Come on, don’t you ever stop and smell the coffee?
―Justina Chen, North of Beautiful
My Favorite Chiang Mai Coffee Shops
Well, I am not a coffee connoisseur by any means, however, I spent quite a lot of time in many Chiang Mai coffee shops, because there are just so many creative, cool & hip cafés there.
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately for you, this is not a “Best Of” or “Top Ten” list. Let’s just call this a photo album of some of my favorite Chiang Mai Coffee Shops in no particular order.
I’ll share a few of the places I liked to visit the most, my routine coffee shops, a few I just visited to check them out and a few spots where I’d meet up with my compatriot Tyson. He had a few favorite coffee shops as well, and sometimes we’d meet up at a new spot to catch up on daily life in Chiang Mai.
This list doesn’t even include the beautiful coffee shops you can find on the mountains and hillsides outside of Chiang Mai. Pai has some really beautiful coffee shops with viewpoints.
During the 6 months I spent in SE Asia, I never once went inside a Starbucks Coffee, and I know some of you could not imagine a day without Starbucks. I am here to tell you, if the reason why you are afraid to travel is because, you will miss some of the comforts of home, you are truly missing out.
You would be missing out if you moved to a foreign land and only patronized only international franchises and chain stores instead of the local markets and independent mom and pop shops!
I shopped at local markets, and also visited the international chain stores like Tesco Lotus, Rimping, and the Big C, which are found all over Thailand.
My fellow travel bloggers over at Tieland to Thailand wrote a comprehensive post detailing their shopping experience in Chiang Mai here, if you’d like to check that out. They write one of my favorite blogs and do a fantastic job on giving relevant detailed info about living in Chiang Mai as an expatriate.
But save that for later, keep reading or skimming below! 🙂
The point is, if you’re living in Chiang Mai, there is no reason to get Starbucks Coffee, unless, it is out of convenience or…. I just can’t think of any reason why you would when there are literally hundreds of local coffee shops to choose from in and around Chiang Mai. Shops where you can order Lattes, Cappucinos, Chai Yen (Thai Iced Tea) or Green Tea Smoothies and Bubble Tea!
Here are some of my favorite Chiang Mai Coffee Shops
The Marble Arch is named after a London landmark and recognized by many as one of the popular exits of the London Underground. This coffee shop is very modern, clean and quiet in the early afternoons. It is a little more expensive than other shops in the area and it is located in Nimmanhaemin area.
The Librarista also located in Nimmanhaemin is a little more expensive than most shops in the area. To be fair, this shop does not look like a coffee shop, and it actually does have a library inside, so you get a little more amenities which to me makes up for the added expense, it’s not much. It also clean and modern with fun decorations outside and a quiet college library feel inside.
Into The Woods
Into the Woods is a cool little coffee shop at the northern part of the old city opposite Chang Phuak Gate I believe. Although I did not frequent this café, one of my best friends in Chiang Mai actually worked there, and I should definitely mention. I asked her for a few pics, and she sent me a few goodies. Thank you darling. 🙂
I do know that the café is well known for it’s excellent service, good coffee, and friendly staff. If you’re in the area stop by and check it out. It really is a charming spot to relax, have a cup, and surf the internet.
For more detailed info on Into The Woods and more pics see the Trading Travelers Blog where they wrote a whole post on this cute café.
Good Morning Chiang Mai
Really one of my favorites. I spent quite a few mornings and afternoons here. Felt a little like home, it was rarely ever crowded and usually after having a large breakfast in the backyard I would head upstairs to work on making videos or blogging, etc.
Good Morning Chiang Mai has a very rustic feel, I believe the building may have previously been a home. It’s decorated with retro movie posters and other nostalgic paraphernalia. Every meal I tried I enjoyed.
Once, I remember staying there all morning and afternoon for breakfast and lunch, I was on a roll and didn’t want to move away from the wi-fi. With the great food & drinks, great service, comfortable couches and open windows, (it was cool enough) I was able to get the inspiration I needed.
A lot of construction was going on while I was there and now they have added guest rooms to rent!
A tiny little café with minimal seating, but very nice ambiance, quiet and decent wi-fi. I grabbed a little corner bar stool facing out the front window and had a pastry and iced coffee.
Bagel House Travel Café
At the time there weren’t any bagel shops in town as far as I know, but the owners, after living in Colorado, USA for many years, decided to return to Thailand and open up a business. The Thai wife learned to make the bagels back in the USA, however, finding the right ingredients was a challenge in Chiang Mai.
Lucky for me, by the time I arrived I was able to get the new and improved bagels. They were really delicious, especially my favorite breakfast bagel with egg & avocado. Before I left they told me that they would be opening up another shop. I look forward to returning and seeing their progress. Chok Dee!
Craving Western Food
And yes, I craved Western food every few days. I craved Italian, Mexican, Jamaican, and anything that wasn’t Thai every few days. Again, it wasn’t a problem, anything I really wanted I was able to find in Chiang Mai. I even found a restaurant that served Southern Soul food!
It was named the 3 Little Pigs, owned by a man from Louisiana, I believe. He also coincidentally looks like Santa Claus. If you’ve been in Chiang Mai for any length of time than you probably know who I am talking about.
He also owns the Mexican restaurant called El Diablo. I visited El Diablo every Thursday evening with another expat friend of mine, Doug. The problem with eating non-Thai food, is that it is typically a lot more expensive. However, it is still markedly cheaper than what you would spend in the U.S. and worth the splurge at least once or twice a week. There really is no limit of variety of foods in the area if you are willing to search.
More Of My Favorite Chiang Mai Coffee Shops
During my time in Chiang Mai, I didn’t know anything about co-working spaces PunSpace and Coffee Monster and these are two of the most popular coffee shops/co-working spaces where many “digital nomads” congregate. I didn’t learn about this until I returned to the U.S. If I did I probably would never have come back when I did.
If you really were expecting a detailed “top ten” with prices and locations of the best coffee shops around Chiang Mai, check out another favorite travel blog Am I Nearly There Yet?
Here is their Top Ten list of the Best Coffee Shops in Chiang Mai. This list partially helped me find some of the ones I listed above, back when I was searching for new places in my area.
Again, I am not a coffee lover, but I imagine if I was I’d love it out here even more than I do now, but I could be wrong.
Thanks for being here, right now.
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