– M – V –
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai Food: The food in Thailand has a reputation for a reason, and our experience in Chiang Mai was no different! The Pad Thai, the fruit, the street food, it all blew our minds. As sick as we were from jet lag, it didn’t stop us wanting to try everything!
Local Street Food.
Our hostel, Chiang Mai Gate Capsule Hostel, not to be confused with Chiang Mai gate hostel, was in a great location for food! It’s located on the outskirts of the south side of the town, and it just so happened to have a street food market two seconds walk down the road! If you are here, you have got to check this out, especially for vegetarian food! Well any food actually… they have stands with any type of food you can imagine! Even though we were very sick, and the gyozas (6 pieces for 40 baht) just made it worse for me (M) (without going into too much detail, I will never be able to eat them again!) we were here most nights. The vegetarian stand is incredible and the grilled sweetcorn cobs are something that we could not get enough!
There were also some amazing fresh fruit drinks here to keep you fresh in the hot Thai sun. Although, be careful if you get an iced drink from the street market, make sure no tap water is used and the ice is safe. You can tell from the ice cubes. TOP TIP: if it looks like its a cube and isn’t crushed up, it’s safe!
Night Food Market.
We went on a walk to the night bazaar to check out our first market of South East Asia (see our post on the sights by clicking here), stumbled across this food market and couldn’t resist. Everywhere you looked there was another stall cooking up something deliciously tempting. You would choose your food and then sit on plastic chairs and tables in amongst the action to enjoy. I (V) went to one that was very similar in Koh Samui and loved it! The food here was just as amazing. We got grilled sweetcorn, vegetable spring rolls and a fresh coconut to drink (something else we can’t get enough of!), with a seafood pad Thai (for me(M))!
You can even find stalls offering exotic meat like crocodile, ostrich or even scorpion if you’re feeling particularly adventurous.
So after trying the fruit all over South East Asia, we can confidently say that for us, nowhere can beat the fruit from the markets in Chiang Mai… It may have been because it was the first place that we had fruit on this trip, that we hadn’t had any fruit in 5 days, or that we were craving it after being sick for a while, but we fell in love with the mangoes and oranges!
(M) I personally hate mangoes back in the UK, I won’t touch them if Vicki has one. But there was something special about them in Chiang Mai, definitely worth a try even if you’re a Mangophobe like me!
We still weren’t feeling great, so we headed just down from our hostel and found this little place that is on TripAdvisor. I (V) had fruit and granola with yoghurt because I couldn’t stomach anything else, whilst I (M) had some form of curry (justified as it was pretty much lunchtime) with a Pineapple Lassi. Go for the Lassi, but give the curry a miss, it just had a nasty habit of repeating on me. We didn’t eat too much, although, we did need the energy as we were about to go on a 40-minute walk across town to the embassy!
One of the good breakfasts we did have were our croissants on the way to the Elephant Sanctuary! We had a quick stop at a service station (which was a welcome break from the jumpy journey making everyone car sick!). Where we found a tiny bakery and bought fresh croissants. (V) Mine was beautifully warm chocolate, and Matt’s was ham and cheese. Everyone else went to the supermarket, but we definitely made the right choice to sit and eat these in the sun!
This was where we discovered the insane chocolate and mango crepes! Make sure you head to the food market that we mentioned before, to try these. They are incredible. The mango is the freshest you will try, and the crepe is cooked straight in front of you. Then they chop the mango up, the quickest we have seen, and cover it all in Nutella. You won’t regret trying these!
One of the other places that we found some incredible snacks at, was on one of our walks across town. We couldn’t tell you the name of it for the life of us, but it had good wifi, cute tables, and some amazing shrimp parcels (M). Whilst I (V) had some chips to settle my stomach! These types of restaurants are all over Chiang Mai, just pick one and try everything!
Even when the time came to leave Chiang Mai we couldn’t stop eating the food. There is a great restaurant to the left of the entrance to the train station. We ordered a take-out feast of spring rolls, two helpings of Pad Thai and a cheese toastie to see us through. If you are taking an overnight train back to Bangkok, make sure you get takeaway from this place, it’s cheap and good, and the food on the train just isn’t!
The food in Thailand is some of the best around, the Pad Thai, the vegetable spring rolls, the mango, all made in front of you on street food barbecues, what’s not to love? Make sure you try it all and keep an eye out for our next post on Chiang Mai! If you want to read about what we recommend you see in Chiang Mai, then click here for our sightseeing post!
Vicki and Matt xo