Are you looking for not only the best, but possibly the cheapest Phat Thai in Chiang Mai? How about some freshly made som tom salad? For the really hungry, enjoy an all you can eat vegetarian buffet for only 100 baht. Here are six of my favorite places to grab a bite.
1. The best Phat Thai I have found in CM is in a little open air restaurant on Chang Moi Soi 3. Follow the yellow sign. For 20 baht you get a delicious plate of this great noodle dish (made when you order) along with free water, if you eat in. Take away is also available.
2. Try the sum tam salad at the food court in Warorot Market. At 30 baht you could be going back for more. The lady making the salad will ask you how hot. I like spicy food, but have learned that one chili (the little green ones) is plenty! That is, of course, unless you like to break out into a sweat!
3. The dim sum pork dumplings at the Sunday walking street market are the best I have eaten, bar none. A bag of 12 will set you back about 10 baht. In fact, have your dinner at the Sunday market. There is so much choice. You might starve trying to make up your mind! Try the omelets (another 10 baht delicacy) cooked on the grill in banana leaf. Be adventurous and have one with bugs ! Have a 10 baht bag of banana fritters for desert. Better yet, sticky mango with rice for 20 baht.
4. On Thursday and Friday nights the food vendors set up outside of Central Department Store on Huay Kaew Road. Everything looks amazing, and making a choice can be agonizing. I tried the vegetable egg rolls for 10 baht. Amazingly good! The chicken satay……….YUM!!
5. Finally, if you’re vegetarian (or not) the buffet at The Gap is not to be missed. For 100 baht you can fill-up on the freshest veggie food. One rule, if you take it you have to eat it. The ambiance of the veranda dining room adds to the dining experience. (Rajadamen Road, Soi 4; Phone:053-278-140)
6. Find your way to the charming restaurant run by the inmates at the women’s prison in Chiang Mai. (100 Rachvithi Road) They offer inside seating, or a pleasant garden setting. Try a bowl of their mouth watering Khao Soi for 40 baht. After lunch you may want to check out the prison “massage studio” next door.
You can also try the outdoor vendors by Chiang Mai gate. During the Saturday night walking market they are particularly busy. Lots of great vending carts around the Warorot market in the evening, too. Don’t even try to resist the lady at Sampoet Market and her fried banana fritters; another 10 baht treat.
Eating out in Chiang Mai really is a budget travelers dream…..fantastic local food without breaking the bank!
Approximate conversion rates: 10 Thai Baht = 60 cents US (approx.)
Finally………………..for the truly adventurous ……………………………………………………….