If you’re reading this you’ll be delighted to hear that Chiang Mai has slowly but surely become a vegan and vegetarian paradise! Check out our top 10 restaurants the city has to offer – we know you’ll be coming back for more.
This article was originally written by Lena Blos and has since been updated.
Anchan really delivers on its slogan: “Vegetarian food so delicious you won’t miss the meat.” This Thai restaurant is a local gem, hidden on a soi off the busy Nimmanhaemin Road, and is popular with locals and expats living in Chiang Mai. You can either sit in the main seating area or on the balcony, which adds to the atmosphere and is great for people-watching.
Most of the food is vegan with the option of egg in some dishes and the menu changes weekly, so there are always plenty of options to choose from. A popular dish is the Banana Flower Thai Salad, which looks as good as it tastes. The kitchen is behind a counter in the dining area so you can literally watch your food freshly made.
Aum is one of Chiang Mai’s oldest and most established vegetarian restaurants. Here they offer local Thai street food without the meat, as well as some Western dishes. They have many vegetarian and vegan options, with a few more healthier and interesting choices too, such as steamed sweet potato or fried pumpkin with tempeh. In fact, you can add tempeh to any meal for only 30 baht. A must-try is the vegetarian and vegan sushi. Aum has a welcoming atmosphere and a relaxing dining area upstairs, where you can lounge on cushions and really take the time to enjoy your meal.
Bee Vegan is one of the best value vegan restaurants in the city, with some appetisers starting at only 15 baht. They have a wide range of dishes to choose from, including the regular Thai dishes and curries, and an array of salads too. They also offer vegan cakes, dried snacks, juices, fruit teas and smoothies. The restaurant is very basic but the food is cooked to order and is fast and full of flavour.
Khun Churn has been running for over 20 years and is a well-known restaurant in Chiang Mai. They have recently moved to a new location (again!) to Kamtieng market (Flower market) and although the atmosphere is a little lacking compared to their previous setting they are still delivering great food. They serve a range of Thai dishes and they even offer some Northern Thai dishes, such as northern style laab, which is something a little different.
The restaurant is popular for its good value buffet. You get to choose from a range of salads, vegetable dishes and you can even make your own khao soy, all for only 179 baht. All dishes are vegetarian; however some do contain egg, so if you are vegan you will need to double check.
Located off Suthep road, Pun Pun is hidden in the grounds of Wat Suan Dok Temple and is a simple vegetarian and vegan restaurant that supports local organic farmers and educates locals on organic food. They serve a large range of fresh and authentic Thai and Burmese dishes. The inside seating area lacks character, however the outside tables are much more atmospheric, with views of the temple grounds.
Free Bird Cafe is a delightful café and social enterprise that supports the work of Thai Freedom House; a language and arts community learning centre for indigenous peoples and Burmese refugees.
Free Bird Cafe offers a delicious range of Thai, Shan, Burmese and international dishes as well as salads and smoothies. They also have some unique Burmese dishes, such as tea leaf salad and Shan somtam. One of the most popular dishes has to be their smoothie bowls, which are famous on Instagram! To vegans’ delight, Free Bird Cafe made the recent decision to remove dairy and eggs from their menu and are now 100% vegan; they even offer coconut flower syrup, in place of honey.
Amrita Garden serves Japanese-inspired and Western macrobiotic dishes using fresh organic ingredients. They have a popular daily lunch set that includes soup, various vegetable dishes, rice and payaya leaf tea. They also have many other exciting dishes to choose from, with their signature dish being the Vegan Bolognese.
They don’t fry any of their foods and most of their dishes are vegan, with only a few desserts containing diary. In fact they have a large vegan dessert menu and even offer raw vegan desserts. Amrita Garden is aptly set in a beautiful garden and has a laid-back atmosphere, making it a great place to hang out in the evening.
Taste From Heaven is a popular choice for locals and tourists alike. This cute vegetarian restaurant also has plenty of vegan-friendly options. The Thai and Western menu is extensive and you may be spoilt for choice. The staff at Taste From Heaven is attentive and friendly and their central location is handy for a refuelling stop as you explore the Old City.
Known to serve some of the best vegan food in the city, Morning Glory offers authentic and tasty Thai cuisine. Here, they serve vegan dishes with the exception of yoghurt and honey. They also offer very popular cooking classes if you want to learn how to create the tasty dishes yourself!
Juicy 4 U is located just down the road from Taste of Heaven in an area with lots of vegetarian restaurants. Juicy 4 U is a cute vegan-friendly cafe with a chilled vibe and pleasant staff. They have a small menu with some Thai classics, soups, tofu burgers and their famous sandwiches. Choose from wholemeal or pitta bread and select up to 10 fillings for a jam-packed sandwich experience. All their fresh juices come with the option of adding extra shots, such as wheatgrass or spirulina, for that extra health kick.