50 of the Best Cafes in Chiang Mai

50 of the Best Cafes in Chiang Mai | Paper Planes

A little while ago I began going to a new cafe or coffee shop (almost) every day in Chiang Mai. What started out as a little personal quest for one week turned into almost two months of visiting a different spot every weekday. That’s a lot of cafes. And cappuccinos. And pieces of cake.

The crazy thing is, there were still tons of places I didn’t get to.

Chiang Mai’s coffee scene has been decent for a while, but in the past couple years things have really blown up and the town now has literally hundreds of coffee shops, not to mention numerous street stalls or carts where you can also grab some cheap Thai-style coffee, oiling, or tea, cha nom yen. The region falls within the “bean belt” and coffee beans grow in the mountains surrounding Chiang Mai, often farmed by hill tribe villages. Combine the readily accessible beans with a growing town that’s home to four major universities, a large number of longterm expats and digital nomads who can’t work without their caffeine and cafes, and you get a lot of cafe options.

As I visited the different spots I shared photos and details about each place on Instagram and Facebook – this post is a collection of those places plus some extras. Below you’ll find 30 cafes and coffee shops with descriptions, photos, opening times and addresses.

Thirty places not enough? Scroll down to the bottom with links to 20 more. Yep, that equals 50 cafes in Chiang Mai (and there are still more…it would be impossible to go to all of them!).

Before I get to the cafes though, there are some guidelines to using this list. To begin with, someone asked me what my ‘criteria’ was for choosing where to visit. Basically, I went if I thought a place was cool or not – very scientific. Most of the first 30 cafes have something about them that makes them stand out in some way or another such as really high quality coffee (there’s a lot of good coffee in Thailand…and there’s even more instant coffee), surprisingly good breakfasts or baked goods, unique atmospheres, or an interesting owner and backstory.

The first 30 cafes are listed in alphabetical order and you can click on the name/heading of each place to go to the cafe’s website or Facebook Page. Many smaller places in Thailand use Facebook as their “website” and have varying degrees of information on them that isn’t always accurate. If you’re looking at what time places open or close, don’t immediately assume that the times in this list or on Facebook are 100% correct. Times in Thailand aren’t usually strictly adhered to and a cafe’s opening times listed on Facebook, or even on the cafe door, aren’t always correct. (I’ve also gone to several places soon after they were supposed to already be open and…they were not.)

Additionally, be aware that places of business in Chiang Mai regularly move or completely close and disappear without warning. You’ll go to your favorite coffee/phad thai/massage/whatever place one day and the next week it could be gone. If you have your heart set on going somewhere specific double check to see it still exists first. Alternatively, new places seem to magically be built and open up overnight so there’s always something new to discover. This post was updated in early January 2018 to reflect some closures and moves, so keep an eye out for a newer post with a proper update.

For pricing, most of the first 30 cafes offer drinks, desserts and meals all around the same price. Usually a hot cappuccino will be 55 – 70 baht while iced drinks will be 5 – 10 baht extra, sandwiches and wraps are usually between 70 – 100 baht, cakes and desserts tend to be around 60 – 100 baht

As of posting the exchange rate is $1 USD to 36 THB — the baht is the lowest I’ve seen since I first visited Thailand — so a typical cappuccino currently costs around $1.80 USD.

Now, onto the cafes! Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook where I post information on new places as I visit them…

50 of the Best Cafes in Chiang Mai

1. Akha Ama

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - Akha Ama
Fair trade hill tribe coffee at Akha Ama

Aha Ama is a social enterprise coming from an Akha hill tribe village that worked to not only grow coffee beans but also process and market their own coffee. The young founder, Lee Ayu, singlehandedly started the company convincing farmers in his village to work on his project and has since teamed up with leading coffee roasters and restauranteurs in the U.S. like Stumptown and Andy Ricker of Pok Pok (read more about his story here). Akha Ama has a couple locations around town with my favorite being the Santitham cafe in the middle of a small neighborhood soi.

  • Opening times: 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., closed Wednesdays
  • Location: Hussadhisewee Road Soi 3 in Santhitham or Rachadammoen Road near Wat Phra Singh

 

2. Arttitude Gallery (CLOSED)

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - Arttitude Gallery
Fresh juice at Arttitude Gallery

While they do serve coffee, it’s really the fresh cold pressed juices that will make you want to head to Arttitude Gallery. (For coffee go right next door to the excellent Ristr8to Lab – #24 on this list!) Each of the concoctions is inspired by and named after a famous painting like The Birth of Venus. The cafe also serves some desserts and house made fruit sodas.

3. Artisan (MOVED)

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - Artisan Cafe
The cute little Artisan Cafe

Artisan Cafe is a perfect example of Chiang Mai’s artsy, hipster aesthetic. It’s small (quite small unfortunately, there’s not much seating) and decorated with succulents, quirky furniture and the requisite bicycle out in front. I love the slightly out of the way location so that the people stopping in are all coming specifically for the cafe. When going with friends, we ordered several drinks ranging from espresso to a sweetened ice latte and were pleased with all.

  • Opening times: 8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Location: Wua Lai Road, in the Oxotel building.

4. Cerebrum & Friends (MOVED)

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - Cerebrum and Friends
Cerebrum and Friends: The anti-cute coffee shop

Thailand, and Asia in general, is like the Land of Cute. If something is cute, it gets major points despite how well it works, or tastes, or actually serves any purpose. You’ll see a lot of cute things at coffeeshops throughout Chiang Mai – rainbow-layered crepe cakes, desserts that are way prettier to look at than they actually taste, flowery pillows and lace – but not at Cerebrum & Friends. This cafe is straight up weird, with an atmosphere that manages to be stylishly…creepy. You cannot call it cute. Along with coffee, the cafe serves breakfast, sandwiches and salads that I have not tried yet but look quite good. Breakfasts start at 80 baht which is a deal and sandwiches start at 75 baht.

  • Opening times: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m., closed on Wednesdays
  • Location: Samlan Road, not far from Wat Phra Singh

5. Chan Neung (CLOSED)

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - Chan Neung
Simplicity at Chan Neung

Located on Nimmamhaemin Soi 1, this simple, unassuming cafe offers a nice, clear space to work. In the busy Nimmanhaemin neighborhood, Soi 1 somehow manages to seem overlooked and is quiet, yet probably one of the most charming streets in the area with specialty shops and boutique hotels. As with many of the coffee shops, there is both indoor and outdoor seating.

6. Clay Studio Coffee in the Garden

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - Clay Studio
Iced matcha green tea in the garden surround Clay Studio

I had heard about this place for the past several years but never knew where it was until a couple months ago when I realized I had been passing it for ages completely oblivious. Clay Studio Coffee in the Garden is also often known as the terracotta garden and is part of a terracotta studio that creates all manners of statues and pottery. The garden is filled with completed or broken pieces of intricately carved and molded terracotta. It’s really quite incredible and as soon as you step through the doorway into the walled garden space you feel like you’ve walked into another world. There’s a glass coffeehouse serving drinks and food with table both inside and throughout the garden.

  • Opening times: Daily, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Location: Prapokklao Road Soi 2 – When you turn onto the soi from Prapokklao Road, you’ll pass through a small market area then soon notice a brick wall on your left. The entrance to the cafe can be found at the end of the wall. 

7. Coffee Villa (MOVED)

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - Coffee Villa
Reindeer and iced lattes at Coffee Villa

Coffee Villa used to have a Nimmanhaemin location, but you now find them in Hang Dong. The bright and funky cafe serves a range of Thai-style drinks along with some Thai and Western dishes. If you like iced coffee, come here for their big-sized 60 baht drinks!

  • Opening times: Daily, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Location: Chill Park, near the Big C in Hang Dong

8. Dolcetto

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - Dolcetto
Creamy cappuccinos at Dolcetto

This stylish little coffeeshop manages to be sleek and quirky at the same time. I’ve loved the coffee I’ve had here but it is a really small space so you may not always be able to find a seat!

  • Opening times: Daily, 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Location: Nimmanhaemin Road close to Soi 4

9. Fahtara Coffee

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - Fahtara Coffee
The gorgeous Fahtara Coffee

Connected to the equally beautiful Fah Lanna Spa, Fahtara Coffee is a relatively new cafe in the Old City with a unique atmosphere. The coffeeshop has a rich, earthy feel to it with traditional Northern Thai touches and a charming back patio with lots of greenery and misters for when it’s really hot. They serve a range of coffee drinks and teas along with a rotating selection of desserts that are baked specifically for the cafe, including coconut pudding and even inventive scones and cupcakes with flavors like mango and poppy seed and Earl Grey, and Thai and Western meals. Some of the dishes here are slightly more expensive than other cafes, but you can still find a range of prices to fit any budget. For example, the cafe’s signature “Icepresso”, with espresso, ice cream, chocolate, etc. (it looks divine), is 150 baht but a regular hot cappuccino is still just 60 baht.

  • Opening times: Daily, 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Location: 57 Wiang Kaew Road

10. Food4Thought & Bay’s Cafe

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - Food4Thought
Excellent slow brewed coffee and homemade food at Food4Thought

Part restaurant, part coffee bar, Food4Thought and Bay’s Cafe serve high quality, slow-brewed drip coffee and incredible organic meals. Practically everything for the wide selection of Thai and Western dishes, like salads, breakfasts and wraps, is made in house – even the tortillas and aioli! Everything I’ve tried here has been fresh, flavorful and just simply really satisfying. The owners and staff are also lovely. A great place to gather with friends to enjoy a long lunch or get some work done, the cafe has indoor and outdoor seating. I’m a fan.

  • Opening times: Daily, 9:00 a.m. – 8:15 p.m. (changes by season)
  • Location: Sudjai Alley just off of Canal Road close to the corner of Canal Road and Huay Kaew Road. This is kind of a funny location so be sure to check out the map on the cafe’s Facebook Page to get a better idea of where it is.

11. Free Bird Cafe

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - Free Bird Cafe
Burmese eats and more at Free Bird Cafe

Another social enterprise in Chiang Mai, Free Bird Cafe is run by Thai Freedom House, an NGO dedicated to support arts and language learning for Burmese refugees and Thai hill tribe minorities. The cafe features vegetarian and vegan Shan, Thai and Western dishes and also has a small charity shop onsite where you can donate used clothes or pick up some cheap new pieces. Whenever I come here it’s hard to choose what to order – especially when it comes to drinks as they offer a wide variety of coffees, smoothies and fruit shakes complete with superfood add ons, but I can never say no to the lavender latte…

  • Opening times: Tuesday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Location: 116 Maneenopparat Road

12. Graph Café

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - Graph Cafe
Some of the city’s best coffee at Graph Café

Out of all the cafes in Chiang Mai there are two that I love, love, LOVE – Graph Café is one of them. I adore the tiny shop tucked away in the Old City, every cup of coffee I’ve had has been filled with creamy goodness and I love how the young couple running the shop, along with the nearby Graph Table, are completely owning their product and brand (check out their Instagram account). Oh, and they now have nitro cold brew coffee on tap – what??! They’ve also recently opened a new location at the One Nimman.

  • Opening times: Daily, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (be aware that the cafe may open a little later than posted as they open the restaurant and cafe at the same time)
  • Location: Rathvithi Soi 1, and One Nimman at the interstection of Nimmanhaemin and Huay Kaew Roads.

13. Hana Zono Cafe

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - Hana Zono Cafe
Japanese minimalism at Hana Zono Cafe

Hana Zono is a great, quiet place to get some work done. Though, I’ve only gone in the mornings – it opens at 8:00 a.m. – but have heard in the afternoons it fills up with students. The cafe serves some snacks and desserts, but not much. Not the best coffee I’ve had in Chiang Mai, but perfectly decent and a good spot to go alone or with just one other person.

  • Opening times: Daily, 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
  • Location: Suan Dok Road, on your left a little way after turning on the soi from Suthep Road

14. Ketawa Dog Friendly Cafe

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - Ketawa Dog Friendly Cafe
Cake and dog treats at Ketawa Dog Friendly Cafe

Walking into Ketawa Dog Friendly Cafe I felt like I was in a hi-so place in Bangkok…not Chiang Mai. Fortunately, while my yoga pants and flip flops probably didn’t blend with the crowd, my fluffy white dog fit in just fine and was pampered and cuddled by practically everyone in the cafe. Attached to a pet-friendly hotel, the cafe welcomes dogs and cats in its loft-like atmosphere. Prices here are on the more expensive side but I’ll definitely be going back for a doggie play date with friends. (I can’t believe I just said that, but it’s true.) Read more about the cafe here.

  • Opening times: 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., closed Wednesdays
  • Location: 121/1 Bumrungrat Soi 2 (check out the map here, it’s a little hard to find at first if you’re not familiar with the area)

15. Khagee

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - Khagee
The lovely space and delicious treats at Khagee

I don’t know how I hadn’t heard about Khagee before but thanks to a reader suggestion I found this little cafe on the east side of the river…and instantly fell in love with it. Owned by another young couple, the cafe is very simple and minimal (do you see a theme with the types of places I tend to be drawn to?) serving excellent coffee with a selection of baked goods, desserts and sandwiches made in house.

  • Opening times: Wednesday – Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 
  • Location: 29-30 Chiang Mai-Lamphun Road (at the corner of Lamphun Soi 1 – if you try to find it when they’re closed and have their metal doors down, you won’t ever see it because there’s no sign but when they’re open there’s a sign on the window)

16. The Larder Cafe and Bar

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - The Larder Cafe and Bar
Incredible breakfasts at The Larder Cafe and Bar

The Larder Cafe and Bar serves awesome breakfasts and open-face sandwiches…probably the best I’ve had in Chiang Mai. Off of Nimmanhaemin Road, it’s popular with the expat crowd – you can’t find dishes with ingredients like chorizo and bleu cheese many other places! With the high quality ingredients naturally comes a higher price tag however so, to me, this is more of a “special” brunch place rather than somewhere I’d pop ito a couple times a week. I was also a little surprised the first time I went that the atmosphere and decor seems kind of lacking, especially compared to how charming many of the other cafes in the area are…but that doesn’t affect how good the food tastes!

  • Opening times: Daily, 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (kitchen closes at 2:00 p.m.)
  • Location: 3/9 Sukkasem Road

17. Mao Coffee

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - Mao Coffee
Mixing my own latte at Mao Coffee

Apparently I learned about Mao Coffee a little after , or so I was told my cafe-owning friends who kind of turned their noses up at the novelty drinks found here but…it was still fun to check out. The cafe’s signature เมากาแฟ, mao gafaae or “drunk coffee”, is served Thai drinking style with a shot of coffee and your “mixer” in a whiskey bottle – you mix your own drink at your table. Located off of Canal Road, the coffeeshop also serves cake and a couple toasted sandwiches in the indoor, yet airy, cafe or outdoor garden.

  • Opening times: Daily, 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. 
  • Location: Kankhlong Chonprathan Road heading south toward Hang Dong

18. My Secret Cafe in Town

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - My Secret Cafe in Town
Homemade sweets and treats at My Secret Cafe in Town

This cute and colorful cafe is situated just off of the Sunday Walking Street close to Wat Phra Singh. I haven’t tried any of the food, but the cakes and desserts are on point with a really homemade feel, and an American twist, to them with treats Oreo brownies and smores cupcakes.

  • Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
  • Location: 175/12 Rachadamnoen Road 

19. Natwat Home Café

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - Natwat Home Cafe
Excellent brunch at Natwat Home Cafe

Another surprisingly good brunch place that I was surprised to learn about considering they’ve been opened for several years is Natwat Home Cafe. The recently remodeled cafe is spacious and airy with lots of light coming in and serves my favorite coffee from my favorite roasters in Chiang Mai (#23!).

  • Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Location: 330/2 Charoenrat Road

20. The Old Chiang Mai Café (Baan Kang Wat)

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - The Old Chiang Mai Cafe
Go for the atmosphere at The Old Chiang Mai Cafe at Baan Kang Wat

The coffee here is okay, but the surroundings are what you’re really coming for. Located in Baan Kang Wat, The Old Chiang Mai Cafe is one of several cafes and small restaurants in the unique outdoor artist’s village. Get ready to take lots of photos of the charming buildings blending traditional Northern Thai and contemporary architecture styles along with the community garden and artist’s studios.

  • Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Location: The complex is slightly outside of town near Wat Umong, check out this post for directions

21. Overstand

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - Overstand Coffee Shop
Delicious local coffee and food at Overstand Coffee Shop

By far one of the best places to eat in the Old City, especially for breakfasts, Overstand is only open until 2:00 in the afternoon so go get your bread fix early! Dishes center around fresh, local ingredients and the cafe also works with other local businesses and artists to create not only an excellent restaurant but real community – one of my favorite things about Chiang Mai!

  • Opening times: Daily 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Location: 19/3 Rachamankha Soi 2

22. Penguin Ghetto

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - Penguin Ghetto
Cafes, studios and more at Penguin Ghetto

Another outdoor cafe/boutique/studio complex, Penguin Ghetto has taken over several funky older buildings on a plot of land off of Canal Road. Along with the coffee shop, which serves a range of Irish coffees, there’s also a bakery, cafe, artist studios and shops. Cute, quirky and completely Chiang Mai.

  • Opening hours: Daily, 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Location: Kankhlong Chonprathan Road heading north toward Mae Rim from Huay Kaew Road

23. Ponganes Espresso and Coffee Roasters

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - Ponganes Espresso and Coffee Roasters
My favorite coffee in town at Ponganes Espresso

Along with Graph Café, Ponganes Espresso is my favorite coffee in town. Owned by a young couple, Pong and Nes, who lived and trained in Australia for a while, they’re focusing more on roasting and distributing their beans but still have the cafe open during the week serving coffee to go and on the weekends as the full cafe. There’s no WiFi here or many food options, just high quality coffee and people! They’ve also started running unique workshops and classes, like how to brew better coffee at home and coffee tasting sessions, so keep an eye on their Facebook page to see what’s coming up next.

  • Opening times: 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., closed Tuesday and Wednesday 
  • Location: 133/5 Rachapakinai Road

24. Ristr8to

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - Ristr8to Lab
Ristr8to’s newest cafe – Ristr8to Lab

Probably one of Chiang Mai’s most popular coffee brands, Ristr8to is known for its focus on single origin beans from around the world and impressive latte art (the owner has regularly competed and won in international barista competitions). Ristr8to has several cafes around town with the newest location, Ristr8to Lab, serving both coffee and alcoholic drinks on Nimmanhaemin Soi 5 and boasting an open-air atmosphere.

  • Opening hours: Daily, 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Location: Between Nimmanhaemin Soi 3 and 5

25. Rustic & Blue

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - Rustic & Blue
Delicious dishes and open spaces at Rustic & Blue

The first time I went to Rustic & Blue in the Nimmanhaemin neighborhood it was in the evening and they had white lights sparkling from teepees in the back garden – it looked magical. Or something straight out of Pinterest. Dishes are made from seasonal, local ingredients with a farm to table feel. The cafe also has a wide selection of their own tea blends.

  • Opening times: Tuesday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. ; Saturday – Sunday, 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
  • Location: Nimmanhaemin Soi 7

26. SS1254372 Cafe

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - SSSS1254372 Cafe
Quirky art and atmosphere at SS1254372 Cafe

With bizarre statues and light fixtures, and lots of little details, the eclectic space at SS1254372 Cafe makes you feel like you’re stepping into another dimension. Run by Gallery Seascape, the cafe is part of a complex that also has other studios and galleries that are just as funky.

  • Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Location: 22/1 Nimmanhaemin Soi 17

27. Tanita House

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - Tanita House
Northern Thai touches at Tanita House

The exact opposite of SS1264372 futuristic feel, Tanita House highlights traditional Northern Thai culture and design with its wood houses, antique and wood furniture shop, umbrellas and iced drinks served in decorative water bowls. The food here is kind of generic Thai and Thai-ified Western food, but the atmosphere makes up for it and the iced latte with homemade almond milk is a treat.

  • Opening times: Daily, 8:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Location: 152 Charoenrat Road

28. The Barn: Eatery + Design

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - The Barn Eatery + Design
Cafe and bar at The Barn Eatery and Design

Tucked away on a back soi off of Suthep Road, The Barn Eatery and Design was created by architecture students who basically wanted a cool place to hang out. Now a coffee shop, restaurant and bar all rolled into one the large, unique space draws a young crowd through the afternoon and late into the night. While I haven’t been impressed by their cakes (I was clearly getting spoiled by some of the surprisingly good ones listed above) their curries for lunch and dinner look delicious and I love the space.

  • Opening times: Daily, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.
  • Location: 14 Sirwichai Road

29. Up Shop x Cafe (CLOSED

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - Up Cafe
The shabby-chic Up Cafe

It looks small from the outside, but the cafe and shop is surprisingly large and filled with creative and unusual design elements and knickknacks. Hidden between guesthouses and small shops in the Old City, Up Cafe has a wide selection of coffee, teas and fruit shakes along with desserts, sandwiches and breakfasts. The food here is kind of Thai-style Western food (meaning…not quite what you would actually eat at home) but the place is just so dang cute.

30. 9th Street Cafe (CLOSED)

Best Cafes in Chiang Mai - 9th Street Cafe
Coffee and alcohol at 9th Street Cafe

The sign for this little shop reads “9th Street Coffee & Alcohol” which is about all you need to know, isn’t it?

 

 

Thirsty yet?

Now if that wasn’t enough, and before I start getting bombarded with comments saying I forgot this place or should have included that place, let me say again that this is not an exhaustive list of cafes in Chiang Mai. I didn’t cover a good portion of the cafes in the Nimmanhaemin neighborhood (home to Chiang Mai’s student and digital nomad communities) such as Kaweh Cafe (open 24 hours), Play Cafe, LibaristaImpressoKafe Roubaix…and about a million others.

There are also plenty of other coffee shops and cafes around town, like RockPresso Cafe, Baan Borijinda, Bakerista, Happy Espresso, Kaffe 151, Into the Woods and Pacamara Coffee, and I didn’t cover any of the larger chains that you find in shopping centers and standalone shops, such as Wawee Coffee, MingMitr, Doi Chaang Coffee, TOM N TOMS, Roastniyom or Wake Up Cafe.

I also didn’t include several places that I see as more restaurants than coffee shops, such as Good Morning Chiang Mai and Bird’s Nest Cafe.

Now…where did I miss? What are your favorite cafes in Chiang Mai? (It’s impossible to have just one!)

Also, check out this weekend cafe-hopping itinerary in Chiang Mai.

Like this post? Pin it to save for when you next head to Chiang Mai!

50 of the Best Cafes in Chiang Mai

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58 Comments

  • Posted September 18, 2015
    by jmayel

    Thank you so much for collating all these gems! We didn’t know many of them and can’t wait to go back and vlog some of them :-D

    • Posted September 19, 2015
      by Alana Morgan

      Glad you found out about some new ones and thank you for your suggestions! When are you guys going to make it back up??

  • Posted September 18, 2015
    by Katie

    This post is incredible! Absolutely saving this for my return trip to Thailand next spring. I’ve only been to Ristr8to on this list, but Akha Ama, Clay Studio Coffee, Coffee Villa (you had me at big-sized iced coffee for 60-baht!!) and Free Bird Cafe especially caught my eye. Seriously appreciative of your research on this one! I’m sure it felt like some pretty hard work on your part, too ;)

    • Posted September 19, 2015
      by Alana Morgan

      I really sacrificed a lot for this post ;) Thanks for reading, glad it’s helpful!

  • Posted September 18, 2015
    by Nathan vandermost

    Nice write-up! I have been to a few but not all of them. I have been striving to write EPIC posts and I think this definitely passes the test. I’ll be sure to share! Cheers!

    • Posted September 19, 2015
      by Alana Morgan

      Ha – I was going for epic but then got overwhelmed by the sheer number of all the cafes in town…this post could be so much longer! Thanks for reading, Nathan

  • Posted September 19, 2015
    by Alyssa @ Uneven Sidewalks

    Awesome List! I’m excited to try some of these that I haven’t heard of. There are so many so it’s easy to get lost or stick to the same one. We have one near us called Uncle Coffee and we love it! He serves huge drinks, very popular with expats and locals too!

    • Posted September 19, 2015
      by Alana Morgan

      I’ve heard of Uncle Coffee but never been there…will have to check it out when I get back!

  • Posted September 19, 2015
    by Raj

    Wow! Thank you for putting this list together. I will becoming to live in Chiang Mai next month and this information will be very useful. Keep up the great work :)

    • Posted September 19, 2015
      by Alana Morgan

      Hope you find it helpful – good luck with the move!

  • Posted September 19, 2015
    by Ashley

    Amazing – I didn’t realize Chiang Mai had so many incredible cafes! Definitely bookmarking this post for my (hopeful) return to Thailand someday soon!

    • Posted September 19, 2015
      by Alana Morgan

      So many…I didn’t even realize quite how many until I started this…it’s unbelievable!

  • Posted September 21, 2015
    by Jenny @ Till the Money Runs Out

    Great write up and beautiful photos! I am impressed at how many of the cafes you have visited. Tom and I are such creatures of habits that we often will keep visiting the same cafes and restaurants in different cities…

    • Posted September 21, 2015
      by Alana Morgan

      That also feels nice too though to have a favorite spot!

  • Posted September 21, 2015
    by Amelie

    This is a great post. I spent a lot of time between Overstand and Ristr8to when I spent a few months in Chiang Mai last Winter and always meant to do this guide for my own blog. Now I can just share yours instead :)

    • Posted September 22, 2015
      by Alana Morgan

      There still are so many more to see…a never ending job ;)

  • Posted September 22, 2015
    by Leah

    WOW what an impressive list! I can see that Chiang Mai has changed a LOT since I was there. I bet most of these are pretty new, hey? They certainly look modern. I’m hoping to make it up there after TBEX so I’ll have to check some of these out!

  • Posted September 23, 2015
    by Britt

    I love Chiang Mai and the cafe scene was definitely a favourite of mine.

    I personally love Into the Woods!

  • Posted September 28, 2015
    by Jess ~ Gibbon Travel

    Great, GREAT list! I loved a little cafe just outside the front doors of the Empress Hotel – wish I could remember the name, but it was a small cafe with great iced coffee and decent wifi ;) Can’t wait to go back to Chiang Mai and try out some more !

    • Posted September 29, 2015
      by Alana Morgan

      There are SO many little cafes and coffeeshops…I’ll be doing some more round when I get back!

  • Posted October 1, 2015
    by Nik

    Nice list – I didn’t know some of these although I’m apparently at Ristr8to Lab enough to be caught on that picture above (in the background). Pacamara can have pretty outstanding coffee (depending on the barista).
    But in some ways that it’s only down there in the also mentioned section is a testament to how much coffee and excellent coffee has grown in the city. Pacamara was the best coffee before Ristr8to came around, but now Akha Ama, R8, Pacamara, Graph, Ponganes all have improved so much it depends more on day form who is best.

    Kudos for not even mentioning Starbucks. Not worth going when in Chiang Mai. Although I found Tom N Toms equally bad, i.e. near undrinkable.

    • Posted October 2, 2015
      by Alana Morgan

      How funny you were there! I do like Pacamara (just didn’t have any great pictures of it to include in the first part of the list…) and have never been to Tom n Toms though I’m seeing more and more of them…I looked at the menu once and was shocked by the prices! Can’t imagine it’s worth it.

  • Posted October 4, 2015
    by Brooke of Passport Couture

    All of these options look fantastic, but I’m mostly in favor of Aha Ama because of it’s social enterprise focus. I love finding more companies that support and empower local artisans! Thanks for sharing!

  • Posted October 25, 2015
    by Miriam

    Such a great guide to Chiang Mai! I see we have a common love for ice coffee, and they surely know how to make them in Thailand! :) I’m heading to Chiang Mai in January and will use your guide to visit some new cafes. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Posted October 25, 2015
      by Alana Morgan

      Coming from Seattle I know I shouldn’t admit this….but I love the super sweet iced lattes ;) Let me know if you have any CM questions!

  • Posted October 25, 2015
    by Mumun

    Hmm… this looks yummy. Wouldn’t it be great just to go to Chiang Mai to have coffee? Oh the dream. I have to admit, I only read the first 3 before giving up. It’s tickling my travel bug too much. So I stopped before I purchase a ticket.

    • Posted October 25, 2015
      by Alana Morgan

      Ha! You could easily do just a coffee trip here…it’s not too far from Indonesia, come for the weekend! ;)

  • Posted October 27, 2015
    by James

    The variety of cafes in CM is simply wonderful. I have been to many of them and yet not one of the places I have been is on your list, lol. There are that many. Prices are very good and the coffee is, too. CM understands coffee.

  • Posted November 30, 2015
    by Jeffrey Wilken

    I am sorry to say I haven’t been to any of these coffee shops. Gives me plenty to do when we return next year.

  • Posted February 6, 2016
    by I Left Home

    This is such a great list of really unique and beautiful cafes! I can’t wait to go back to Chiang Mai and check a few of them out! :)

    • Posted February 7, 2016
      by Alana Morgan

      Oh my gosh, there are so many – I’m already working on a follow up post because there are so many more to visit!

  • Posted April 15, 2016
    by Nicole Fu

    Hi Alana, just got to CM & found this post when I was looking for coffices to work from. But I assume not all the cafes listed here have wifi?

    • Posted April 15, 2016
      by Alana Morgan

      Almost everywhere in Chiang Mai has free WiFi – massage shops, restaurants, cafes, everywhere – the only place I can think of on the list that does not have WiFi is Ponganes.

  • Posted May 3, 2016
    by Haley

    My Lord. This makes me want to jump on a plane to Chiang Mai right now!!!! Thank you Leah. You create things of beauty.

  • Posted May 11, 2016
    by Patty

    I’ve found your blog in pinterest.
    Btw, i live in chiang mai and i’m glade that you have a good time there :)

  • Posted August 29, 2016
    by Amanda Gedney

    I love this! Super helpful as I’ve just moved to Chiang Mai. Thanks for all your work in putting this together! :)

  • Posted September 3, 2016
    by jasbir

    Great list pretty lady :) I am planning to go Phuket this November. Any list for Phuket.

  • Posted November 18, 2016
    by stephanie

    Oh my I have spend two weeks in CM in 2015 and two weeks in 2016 and I dont remember any of these cafes! I feel so bad :O LOL
    Ive written this article down, for the next time I go to CM.

    • Posted November 28, 2016
      by Alana Morgan

      There are SO many….and more pop up and disappear all the time…

  • Posted December 7, 2016
    by Misty Funk

    Hi, Alana. I just want to tell you how much I appreciate this post. A friend and I have been working our way through the shops on your list. Know that we are blessing you each day as we explore another lovely place in Chiang Mai. —Misty

    • Posted December 9, 2016
      by Alana Morgan

      How many have you gotten too??

      • Posted December 19, 2016
        by Misty Funk

        About 10 so far…and we’re still working through the list. I love seeing different parts of city as I explore your list. So far my favs are Artisan Cafe, Clay Studio, and Fahtara. Yesterday we walked 45 minutes to Akha Ama. Love love love their story! Thx again, Alana. Exploring you list has been a key part of my experience in Chiang Mai. #MuchGratitude

      • Posted January 14, 2018
        by Misty Funk

        Hi, Alana. Just a fun update for you. The “friend” I mentioned above has since become my boyfriend; we met in CM over one year ago and really connected over coffee. Since that time, we have had the great fortune of lots of travel. I even spent last summer in Europe with him. We managed to visit 12 of the places on your list! My faves were Artisan, Clay Studio, Fahtara, Secret Cafe, & Freebird. I miss walking the streets of Chiang Mai looking for great coffee and wonderful environments. Many blessings to you where ever you are in the world today. xoxo, Misty

        • Posted January 16, 2018
          by Alana Morgan

          Wow! What a fun story :) Those are some of my favorites too…although there are soooo many more in town now. I need to update the post but keep coming across new ones all the time so feel like I can never catch up!

  • Posted December 28, 2016
    by Tom Tukiainen

    There are two that you love, love, love. Graph Cafe is one of them. Which is the other? 😀

    Thanks for a great list 🙏.

    • Posted January 3, 2017
      by Alana Morgan

      I love the coffee at Ponganes and that’s where I always buy beans to brew at home. Unfortunately they operate more as a roaster and distributor so the cafe isn’t really a space to sit and relax for a while…but great to grab a quick cup!

  • Posted March 7, 2017
    by Michael

    Outstanding reviews, thank you…..but I know my location of where I’m staying but do not know where any of the locations of the cafes are without timely trial and error to locate each one on a map.
    I know it would take a bit of work but would be extremely helpful for touro’s if a map showing the locations was provided.
    Cheers and thank you for providing what you have

  • Posted March 30, 2017
    by Angelique

    My mom and I are in Chiang Mai right now, and so far I’m obsessed with the places we’ve been to. We started at Graph- OBSESSED! Then headed to Fahtara, the spa there looks worth visiting too! Tomorrow morning we are headed to Cerbrum and maybe after lunch at Woo Cafe we will visit at Tanita House. Hoping our last day we will make it to Clay Garden and Free Bird. I wish we were here longer to try them all! Let me know if you have any new favorites! We’re trying to go to the ones closest to us.

    • Posted April 9, 2017
      by Alana Morgan

      I hope you enjoyed your Chiang Mai Coffee Crawl! ;)

  • Posted November 12, 2017
    by Angela Maciel

    I’ve been to a lot of coffee cafe’s back in 2015 in Chiang Mai but nothing beats the taste of Akha Ama… it is outstanding and way too delicious :)

  • Posted May 22, 2018
    by HL Thailand

    Wow! I just realized that I still have lots of cafes to visit. Thanks for sharing this list, now I can finally fill up my itinerary when I go back to Chiang Mai next month.

  • Posted July 31, 2018
    by Elizabeth Hannah

    What a great time you must have had trying out the coffee shops. I wish! I’ve visited several on your list, but I aim to try out more next time in Chiang Mai. Thanks heaps.

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