The Best Street Food Spots in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Check out Chiang Mais markets to experience some excellent local fare
Check out Chiang Mai's markets to experience some excellent local fare | © Lucas Vallecillos / Alamy Stock Photo
Kathryn Beeson

Street food is one of the biggest draws of Chiang Mai, if not Thailand as a whole. People come for the sights, sounds and smells of nightly food markets and low-key roadside food stands. The sizzle of prawns as they hit a hot wok. The warmth of a spicy bowl of noodle soup. The aroma of lemongrass, peanuts and fish sauce. With the help of our team of local insiders, we’ve picked out some of Chiang Mai’s best street food spots to satisfy those cravings.

1. Rod Yiam Beef Noodle

Restaurant, Thai

Located on the Nimmanhaemin Road, Rod Yiam Beef Noodle is the perfect spot for a quick lunch break while you’re exploring the area’s museums, bars and art galleries. This is Thai food at its best. There are plenty of variations on its namesake dish to enjoy, but that’s not all. There are chicken, pork and veggie options on offer, too, as well as a smattering of curries for good measure. Perhaps unusually for a noodle stand, it also offers a good selection of Thai desserts. Recommended by local insider Passawee Thepmanee

2. Pha Sri

Food Stall, Thai

Soak up the hustle and bustle of early-morning Chiang Mai with this unpretentious local breakfast spot. Owner Pha Sri (Aunty Sri) opens at 3am and closes around midday. So, grab a Thai-style tea or coffee and order a soft-boiled egg or two (perfect with a bit of pepper and soy sauce) and watch the world wake up. You’ll see the market traders setting up shop, monks waiting for favours and people starting their day as the city comes to life. Recommended by local insider Shayanan Panich

3. Siam Signature

Food Truck, Thai

Siam Signature does Thai-style stir-fry exceptionally. Expect sauces made from traditional ingredients like fish sauce, lemongrass, chilli and Thai basil cooked with spectacle into tasty dishes that you eat with your hands (plastic gloves provided) while taking in the sights, sounds and stalls of the Ploen Ruedee Night Market. It’s convenient, cheap and delicious, and you won’t be able to resist taking a snap or two as flames rise flamboyantly from the wok and seafood sizzles over the heat. Recommended by local insider Troi Williams

4. Khunkae's Juice Bar

Cafe, Healthy

Get in a good three or four of your five-a-day at Khunkae’s Juice Bar. Hidden in a secluded spot in the Old City, the stand is a favourite haunt for the city’s health fanatics, those looking for a break from the midday heat and anyone craving something fresh after a late one the night before. Whether you’re after smoothie bowls, herbal shots or deliciously refreshing juices, Khunkae’s makes it all fresh and at very reasonable prices. Recommended by local insider Supawat Kadseesai

5. Burger Box

Food Truck, American

Sometimes, you just can’t beat a burger. In these instances, Burger Box in the Ploen Ruedee Night Market is your best friend. There’s nothing fancy about the food here, it’s just burgers – done really well – plus the usual extras (fries, onion rings). It’s evening-hours only, making it the perfect spot for a low-key dinner or spontaneous late-night snack as you wander the night market, perhaps picking up a bargain or two and taking in the live music on offer. Recommended by local insider Troi Williams

6. Tacos Bell

Food Truck, American, Mexican

Chiang Mai’s revellers have religious experiences at Tacos Bell (no, the ‘s’ isn’t a typo) on the regular. This late-night food truck has built up something of a cult following as a result. It’s located in the Old City, just across from the Zoe in Yellow Bar Street, though you’ll be able to find it easily enough by following the crowds of tipsy partygoers any time after 11pm. It’s run by a good-natured owner with the patience of a saint, and with tacos and other Mexican-based menu items starting at about ฿50 (£1.25) (again, not a typo), you won’t beat it for value. Recommended by local insider Troi Williams

7. Il Gusto

Food Truck, Italian

© VincentvdW / Getty Images

Good pizza is hard to find in Southeast Asia, so it’s always handy to have a couple of spots up your sleeve for when you get the craving. Il Gusto is a solid option for two reasons: it’s got the crust down to a fine art, and there are two locations (Nimman and the Night Bazaar), so you won’t have to travel far to get your pizza fix. Expect the basics of Italian pizza done well, finished off with intriguing toppings that use local ingredients and flavours. Thai fusion pizza might seem an odd concept, but trust us, it works. Recommended by local insider Troi Williams

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