Food in Chiang Mai

Unless you’re constantly eating Western food (which admittedly, I often am) there are a lot of cheap eats in Hong Kong. However, those cheap eats are nowhere near as cheap or fresh or delicious as they are in Thailand.

Meals cooked from street stands or small, local restaurants cost around 1 USD. That’s right. One dollar. And we’re talking fresh cooked chicken pad Thai or khao soi. Amazing.

Food in Chiang Mai - restaurants, stands, and outdoor eateries-- what to expect when dining in Chiang Mai, Thailand

chicken pad Thai

Food in Chiang Mai - restaurants, stands, and outdoor eateries-- what to expect when dining in Chiang Mai, Thailand

prepped ingredients

In the morning I’d have a fruit salad made with yogurt and muesli and a variety of sweet fresh fruits- mango, watermelon, avocado, bananas, papaya- whatever was in season and available. With all the clean eating trends going on these days, something like this at a proper food establishment could easily cost close to 10 USD.

Food in Chiang Mai - restaurants, stands, and outdoor eateries-- what to expect when dining in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Food in Chiang Mai - restaurants, stands, and outdoor eateries-- what to expect when dining in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Waiting in the tuk tuk with breakfast

In Chiang Mai? ~1 USD.

I loved browsing the wet markets and seeing all the produce and spices and curries and varieties of rice. Although with the food prices in Chiang Mai, it’s no surprise that many people eat out for all their meals.

Food in Chiang Mai - restaurants, stands, and outdoor eateries-- what to expect when dining in Chiang Mai, Thailand

While street food handling practices in Asia can be shocking to Westerners (things like touching your money and touching your food are common), I had a lot of confidence in the quality of food in Thailand. Fruits and veggies looked fresh and it was great seeing them cook dishes right in front of you. Even for someone like me who has had food poisoning and illnesses before, I was smart about my food decisions and the food in Chiang Mai gave me no issues.

Food in Chiang Mai - restaurants, stands, and outdoor eateries-- what to expect when dining in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Food vendors lined up

Food in Chiang Mai - restaurants, stands, and outdoor eateries-- what to expect when dining in Chiang Mai, Thailand

One of the things I miss the most about being in Chiang Mai was how widely available fruits were. It was so easy and cheap to grab a fruit shake while walking abouts. And the coconuts.

The coconuts were good y’all. Sweet and kept on ice. There is nothing better than drinking coconut juice right out of a chilled young coconuts then scooping out the coconut meat with a spoon.

Food in Chiang Mai - restaurants, stands, and outdoor eateries-- what to expect when dining in Chiang Mai, Thailand Food in Chiang Mai - restaurants, stands, and outdoor eateries-- what to expect when dining in Chiang Mai, Thailand Food in Chiang Mai - restaurants, stands, and outdoor eateries-- what to expect when dining in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Hopefully it won’t be too long before my next trip to Thailand so I can get back to some yummy, cheap eats.

What are your favorite foodie travel locations?

Yum
  • Nice! $1 is even better! I’d love to go someday and see the lantern festival.

  • This all looks amazIng. It’s been years, but I like eating in the Netherlands. Stalls with pickled or salted herring, quick marts with chicken croquettes or french fries with peanut sauce, open air markets with fresh syrup waffles and cheese everywhere. Yum

    • I’ve never been to the Netherlands, but that sounds amazing! Love places with great street food

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