The Best Restaurants in Nimmanhaemin, Chiang Mai

Explore the best food options in Nimmanhaemin with our insider guide
Explore the best food options in Nimmanhaemin with our insider guide | © Megapress / Alamy Stock Photo
Kathryn Beeson

Nimmanhaemin – or the slightly less tongue-twisty Nimman, as it’s known – is the hippest neighbourhood in Chiang Mai. With the rise of contemporary art galleries, trendy shopping districts, craft markets and museums has come a buzzing restaurant scene. Being cool and cultured all day is hard work, after all. But it’s easy to miss the good stuff and fall into bland tourist traps. Here’s our pick of the best restaurants – all suggested by our on-the-ground team of local insiders.

1. Redbox Restaurant

Restaurant, Thai

Innovative flavour combos are the order of the day at Redbox, a boutique restaurant in an attractive old Victorian building. Expect elegantly plated, contemporary takes on modern dishes – mostly Thai, but with a few international options added in as well, with a focus on high-quality, seasonal ingredients. Favourites include the scallop carpaccio and the crispy pata. There are only seven tables here, so you’ll need to book in advance. For a relaxing end to your evening, ask if you can take desserts and teas in one of the cosy downstairs tea rooms. Recommended by local insider Mattia Miani

2. Blackitch Artisan Kitchen

Restaurant, Contemporary, Asian

Maverick Chef Black’s creative takes on Thai cuisine, made with ingredients he sources personally from across the country, have been making waves from the cosy and unassuming premises that seats just 16 per sitting. Diners with a strong interest in high-end cooking will be in their element here. There’s an incredible range of techniques on offer on the seasonal set menus, and the chef’s partner is always happy to explain the processes behind each dish in depth. Recommended by local insider Mattia Miani

3. Kuay Teaw Tamlung

Restaurant, Thai

A local favourite, this family-run noodle house will quickly become one of your go-tos for a big, warm bowl of comfort. The veteran owner still dons his chef hat 40 years after opening, bringing you a menu of perfectly seasoned favourites that you’ll come back for time and again. No need to add sauces beyond what you’re presented with – he gets it spot on each time. Our local insider recommends that you sample one noodle soup dish and one spicy noodle dish without soup. It would be rude not to. Recommended by local insider Shayanan Panich

4. Ginger Farm Kitchen

Restaurant, Thai, Eco-friendly

If you’re looking for traditional Thai fare, look no further than Ginger Farm Kitchen – the more casual, sister restaurant of renowned House by Ginger. Take a culinary tour of northern Thailand with the restaurant’s farm-to-table focused menu, created with fresh, healthy and locally sourced ingredients. Portions are large (always a bonus), and you’ll find well-worn favourites alongside more unusual dishes. Our top pick from trendy shopping district One Nimman, Ginger Farm Kitchen is a perfect treat after a day of retail therapy and exploring. Recommended by local insider Mattia Miani

5. Why Not?

Restaurant, Italian, European

An authentic Italian restaurant with an authentic Italian wine menu, Why Not? is a go-to for cheerful meals with friends and romantic evenings alike. With ingredients imported in from Europe, pasta made on site and flavoursome wood-fired pizzas, Why Not? is the real deal. Locals flock here for their raved-about meat and cheese platters, which go wonderfully with a glass or two of wine. There are more than 300 labels available on the impressively comprehensive wine list, so come prepared to make some tough decisions. Recommended by local insider Mattia Miani

6. Kuakai Nimman

Restaurant, Thai

Kuakai Nimman is all about the kau gai – a traditional Thai dish of thick flat noodles and chicken. Food is served fresh and hot and usually on skillets so it retains that straight-out-of-the-kitchen feel throughout your meal. While the kau gai is the big draw here, there’s a whole menu of reasonably priced, filling noodle dishes packed with flavour to get stuck into as well. Kuakai Nimman is, understandably, a popular local hotspot, and it impressed Michelin’s inspectors so much that they awarded it a Bib Gourmand award. Recommended by local insider Troi Williams

7. Kinlum Kindee

Restaurant, Thai

Traditional local fare served in a super-trendy, contemporary setting is what sets Kinlum Kindee apart from other northern Thai restaurants in Nimman. It’s a great spot to sample specialties from Chiang Mai and the surrounding areas and is popular with tourists and young Thai travelers looking to learn more about northern cuisine. Order various small dishes – tapas-style – for an authentic dining experience and lots of opportunities to try different dishes and flavours. Recommended by local insider Passawee Thepmanee

8. Rod Yiam Beef Noodle

Restaurant, Thai

This is the spot for cheap takeaway eats on the ever-busy Nimmanhaemin Road. Rod Yiam Beef Noodle is a stand that’s hugely popular with locals – always a good sign. There’s a selection of warm, filling noodle dishes and soups on offer with the occasional curry thrown in for good measure and an excellent selection of traditional Thai desserts. Recommended by local insider Passawee Thepmanee

9. Accha

Restaurant, Indian, Vegetarian, Vegan

Generous portions, laid-back vibes and room for all make relaxed Indian restaurant Accha perfect for cheerful get-togethers. The food on offer is reputedly the best Indian you’ll find in Chiang Mai, with all your favourite curries on the menu – tikkas, jalfrezis, dhansaks, you name it – and plenty of vegetarian and vegan options too. The bright decor and reasonable prices ooze warmth and friendliness, making Accha a great spot for a long lunch or relaxed evening meal. Recommended by local insider Shayanan Panich

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