Chiang Mai is not only Thailand's cultural capital, it's also home to street stalls, markets, and shophouses where flavorful plates of food can be had at budget prices. Unlike that of Bangkok, Chiang Mai cuisine is more heavily influenced by neighboring Myanmar, China, and Laos. Here are a few dishes and activities you won't want to miss.
Chiang Mai's most beloved dish, khao soi, is made up of egg noodles topped with mustard greens, shallots, crispy fried noodles, and fresh lime wedges, all set in a bowl of spicy coconut milk curry. Curries are as ubiquitous in Chiang Mai as in the rest of the country, but here you can sample gaeng hang lay, a Burmese-style sweet curry, or gaeng hoh, a mixed curry with pork belly, glass noodles, and an assortment of veggies.
Minced meat salads, called larb, are spicier in this part of Thailand and often include beef, pork, chicken, or fish. For a quick snack while perusing a market, grab some sai oua, a northern-style sausage made from minced pork, chilies, and herbs.
- Head out to the city's many street food stalls on foot or by bike and fill up on the flavors of Northern Thailand
- Bring the taste of Chiang Mai home with you by spending time touring a local market and learning how to prepare iconic local dishes with the aid of a Chiang Mai chef
- Taste a traditional Thai breakfast and lunch on a daytime food tour