Hey guys, this is the first post I’ll be writing in English! Some of you might have heard about the beautiful city up North of Thailand. If you’re like me and prefer mountains over beaches then you’ll love this charming city of Chiang Mai.
I’ve got the chance to come to Chiang Mai last year with my group of girlfriends in August, it was such a fun trip and I realized how much Chiang Mai has changed and become a place full of things to do and places to explore. So, after I finished my last final exam in college, I flew to Chiang Mai again with my sister this time.
Aside from Lanna style temples and northern-style cultural activities that can only be found in Chiang Mai and other northern provinces nearby, I have found out the trend of “cafes” or cool coffee shops that popped up around town. It is definitely every coffee lovers’ definition of heaven on earth.
If your hotel is located in Nimman area of Chiang Mai, the hip part of town, you will be encountering coffee shops everywhere. We loved our stay. Bed has everything we need and more. There were food, fruits, snacks, drinks 24/7 in the lobby and on every floor.
These are some of the cafes I have been to or have heard about (but didn’t get the chance to drop by), all of which located in Nimman area. So if you have a day or two to spend wandering around this trendy part of town, rent yourself a bike and I hope a few of these cafes along with their special menu of food and drinks might interest and make the cut.
1. Rustic and Blue ♥
Located on Nimman Soi 5, I have to say the entrance was a little underwhelming. But once you get into the cafe, it gives you a feeling of coziness and comfort. Somewhere you definitely want to hang out on a hot afternoon or even wake up early to make it in time for breakfast/brunch.
We enjoyed the design and cafe’s decoration. Feeling right at home, cozy with warm wooden furnishings, one might feel like they just entered a cabin in a wood somewhere (of course ignoring the glass windows lol). We weren’t hungry so we didn’t order much, they had a variety of food, from heavy chicken waffles, fish and chips to light breakfast with salad and scrambled eggs. The charming part about this place is also the outdoor backyard that allows for some lunch outside in the hot blazing sun.
The menu is gorgeous and we asked them for the most popular or signature dish since we were too full to try things out, they suggested the Acai Smoothie Bowl which happens to be vegan and made from homegrown products. I guess this is as white girl as one can get, gluten-free, vegan, organic bowl of granola and berries. And because of that, we didn’t finish it but did get our money’s worth by taking so many photos of the beautiful displays of fruits and berries.
More photos on @rusticandblue Instagram
2. Mango Tango
One of the most well-known dessert place in Chiang Mai featured in so many tourist books in China and Japan. It seems like heaven for mango lovers. Mango Tango offers all kinds of mango desserts from pudding, to shaved ice to smoothies. Honestly, I have never tried it but it’s always packed with people and tourists taking photos. If I’m not mistaken there are also a few branches in Bangkok and even in Chiang Mai itself but this one is located in the area of Nimman. I do know one thing, the massage place nearby is pretty good.
2.5 Coco Corner
Just the opposite of Mango Tango, I oversee this other cute place offers all types of coconut-based menu. Coco here is coconut and not cocoa chocolate! 😛 I’m not sure what exactly it offers or whether it’s any good since I only walked pass it. If you’re craving for coconut and searching for the coconut ice cream topped with sticky rice the traditional Thai style that comes along with condensed milk and peanut, I think it’s worth checking out!
3. Yayee Rooftop Bar
This place is located right opposite of our hotel, Bed. We saw that they have a pretty cool rooftop bar and had no idea where to go for dinner so decided why not? This place also offers an indoor zone which is their first floor but if it’s not raining or anything I really recommend you to enjoy the sunset up on the rooftop. It opens at 5pm and even though it was hot, we did enjoy our time up there.
I think this hotel is owned by the Thai top male celebrity Ananda Everingham hence the celebrity endorsement and also his name in one of the breakfast menu.
4. Nimmanian Club
I had this place on my list but didn’t decide to specifically come here, however as we were on our way back to the hotel we came across this place. It’s hard to miss since the amazing aroma of fresh-brewed coffee beans was surrounding the nearby areas. We couldn’t resist and enter. The menu was so cute! But once we saw the drinks, we got to give this place some shoutout. It’s small but decorated with warm light and the service was also very attentive.
5. Flour Flour Cafe
6. The Barisotel
I regretted not going to this place during the trip since we were so packed with things to do. It must have been the best cafes in this list because of the gorgeous white background and decorations that ALWAYS look good on photographs. Obviously, it’s photogenic, because looking from the photos I’ve seforched of this place on Instagram, lots of people go there for a mini photoshoot! The dessert also looks pretty good too. I think next time I might drop by and stay at this place since it’s also a hotel and the room looks gorgeous and chic from the photo.
7. SS1254372 Cafe
8. Ristr8to LAB
If you ask me for the best quality coffee in Chiang Mai then it has to be this place. Last time I was here in last August, my girlfriends had to drop by this place every morning for their coffee fix. Even I who do not like coffee had to try one sip and damn is it so aromatic. This place is the place to get the best coffee, and it doesn’t hurt that sometimes you get to see a really cute barista. It offers many different brewing methods and I heard that the owner of this place won 6th place in the World Latte Art Championship which is impressive.
The design of the coffee shop itself is described as Scandinavian-style focusing on the art of latte art and the expertise the owner has learned throughout his years around the world.
9. Mont Nomsod
If you want to cut the crap and go for the super local dessert with no intention of taking good aesthetically appealing photos on Instagram, then Mont Nomsod is the answer. Located right on the street of the main road of Nimman, you will always see people queueing no matter what day of the week it is. Here, you can order toast with condensed milk, sugar, butter, chocolate sauce and so much more.
I recommended going for the (green) Thai Pandan Custard or (Sangkaya Bai Toey) with soft bread cut into pieces served warmed in a plate. I always like to pair it with hot milk, some people go for pink milk which is a mixture of milk and red syrup. It always gives a sense of comfort to a long day wandering around the city, especially if it’s raining outside the warm milk just feels like a mommy’s hug.
It opens late afternoon and sometimes all the way to midnight
If you happen to drop by and see that it’s closed, try again other night because you should really come here for a late night treat!
9.5 Guu Fusion Roti & Tea
Just a block away from Mont Nomsod, we cannot ignore and not mention Guu Fusion Roti which is pretty much the bomb. I know that both Mont Nomsod and Guu Fusion Roit can be found in Bangkok, but it just doesn’t feel the same. This place takes roti to another level of an insane amount of passion, you can see all sorts of roti offered in different toppings and selections both savory and sweet. It’s the worst place to come if you’re on a diet or trying to lose weight, because everything tastes so good.
Of course, there are loads more beautiful and interesting cafes that I haven’t begin to cover but these are some of them located in Nimman where I stayed. Chiang Mai has so much to offer, and I hope you guys love the time spent there like I have.