Chiang Mai, a fun and quirky city in northern Thailand, is a great place to visit to see temples and traditional markets, but also to enjoy authentic Thai food! You don’t need to bother cooking in your hostel or hotel, when the tasty food on the street is so cheap. With a wide variety of different foods and beverages to try, we have found some of the most traditional and typical foods in the area, so you can be sure that you will leave with a full stomach! So get ready, grab spoon and let's start!
Khao Soi is often considered one of the most famous Northern Thai dishes, and it can be hard to get in other places across Thailand, as this dish is distinctly local to the Chaing Mai area. The origins of the dish are said to come from the south of China, when the Chinese Yunnanese Muslims travelled through Thailand on their way to Myanmar. The base of this dish is a curry made of various ingredients such as chilli, coconut, red curry and soy sauce, and is usually served with some slow-cooked chicken or beef and yellow egg noodles. You can find this dish everywhere: in restaurants, eateries and also markets. So, if you only eat one thing when you visit Chiang Mai, it has to be this!
Kaeng Hang Lei
If you are looking for something a little less spicy, then Kaeng Hang Lei is the perfect choice. Known also as Burmese Curry by the locals, this dish is a made with chunks of pork belly in a stew of made from a mix of various spices, from garlic and ginger to tamarind and Tumeric. Like most Thai curries, it is made with a mix of curry sauce and it tastes both salty and sour and the same time! Depending on how much soy sauce is added, the darkness of the curry can vary too, so you can take your pick!
If your not a curry fan, have no fear! Sai Oua is a swirled mixed pork sausage, made with a variety of ingredients which are often used in Northern Thai dishes, such as ginger, chilli, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. This ingredients make the grilled sausage packed with flavour and a it has a distinctive smell. You can’t miss them grilling on barbeques in places like the South Gate Market. Sit down and take a moment to enjoy this tasty treat, and eat it with some sticky rice and fresh vegetables to complete the meal!
Nam Tok Moo
Nam tok Noo is a spicy pork dish that pairs great with sticky white rice! The dish is made with grilled slices of pork, (which are first grilled until they are pink, and then cut into slices) which are mixed in a sauce made with ground roasted rice, chilies, fish sauce and lime and mint leaves, among other ingredients. You can ask for some spring onions on top for any extra kick of flavour!
Khanom Bua Loi
For those of you with a sweet tooth, we would recommend trying the delicious Khanom Bua Loi. It is a traditional Thai dessert made from rice flour, coconut milk and sugar and is usually served warm. It might not look like the deserts that you are used to - it looks like a creamy white soup, complete with large (and sometimes colourful peas) floating in it that can be a little powdery. But it’s tastes great, we promise! Sometimes a sweet poached egg that has been cooked in sugar syrup is served on top too, but not always. The perfect traditional desert to finish your meal.
So, if your stomach is already rumbling reading this, have a look at the great low-cost accomodation we have in Chiang Mai.