Ideas & Advice

Editor Steve Thio Picks: 9 must-visit Chiang Mai places for the foodie couple!

Steve Thio sifts out the best eats of this city in Northern Thailand during our trip there with actress Rebecca Lim!

(Have you seen Part 1 of our Chiang Mai travel guide? Here, 11 of Chiang Mai's best spots for your honeymoon and wedding portraits!)

If you’re a hipster bride, there are quite a few alternative and beautiful restaurants as well as charming cafes serving Insta-worthy, traditional Northern Thai food and/or creative fusion dishes prettily presented with edible flowers and leaves.

Here are the ones we visited: 

1. Baan Mon Muan

This small resort with a restaurant was perched on a mountain slope.

A traditional Thai establishment, known for its vegetable dishes with supplies coming from its own garden as well as neighbouring farms, it was filled with quirky furnishings and details. 

It also had large, wrap-around windows and wide balconies, as well as stunning views of the surrounding mist-capped mountains and tree-cloaked valleys.

We found the spacious open deck great for alfresco cocktails or an informal evening reception. 

We also loved its beautiful landscaped gardens dotted with flowers, the streaming ponds, and animal figurines that created a pretty entrance for newly-weds. 

2. Vieng Joom On Teahouse 

If you have a sweet tooth like me, this well known local cafe will satisfy all of your dessert desires as it did mine. 

The colourful venue – pretty in wedding and hen party pictures – had a tree-shaded riverbank area with outdoor seating, and an air-conditioned space in pastel hues trimmed with ornate gold trims and colourful furniture. 

It is famous for its mind-boggling array of exclusive tea blends, all packaged in the most gorgeous tins and boxes. 

Rebecca and I sat down with the rest of the Her World Brides team to a high tea set of scones, yummy tarts and the cutest petit fours!

3. Nakara Jardin Bistro

A lovely patisserie and bistro set in a tropical French-style garden on the banks of the River Ping, it is so picturesque and perfect for charming wedding receptions or pre-wedding shoots.

The menu featured French cuisine and super yummy, freshly- made pastries.

4. Meena Rice Based Cuisine

Serving healthy organic food, this charming rustic-style restaurant turned out to be great for a casual, post-ceremony lunch.

It made up for its off-the-beaten track location by being really pretty and great for photo ops. You can sit indoors or outdoors under a massive tree. 

Inside, wooden furniture was dressed up with indigo tie-dye fabric, and surrounded by handmade ceramics and local flowers, as well as jars of rice seedlings for a more rustic ambience.  

The unique feature of this restaurant was the rice. How often do you see four different types of rice in four colours and all served in triangles?

We had the option to customise our order but chose from its menu instead, which included fresh salads and delicious traditional meat and fish dishes, including Roasted Sticky Rice with Garlic Pork and Deep Fried Fish Fillet with Lemongrass Salad.

The Butterfly Pea Herbal and Riceberry Herbal Drinks, and cold pressed-to-order juices were also heavenly.

5. Woo – Cafe, Art Gallery & Lifestyle Shop 

Popular with expats and the uber stylish, this hip cafe was a unique dining and shopping experience, and a great place to chill at. 

Lavishly decorated with local blooms and filled with stylish furnishings and homeware, the ambience was chic yet comfortable enough for us to want to hang out and chat for hours. 

It served both traditional Thai and Western items, along with Woo Cafe’s signature fusion dishes. 

Why did we pick this as a potential reception venue? Well, we reckoned that it would appeal to your senses of sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. 

You could have a small wedding dinner here and then get your guests to troop next door to choose their own favours from the extensive array of locally made decor items and homeware.

6. Sip by the River Coffee House (Sibsan Luxury Hotel Rimping)

Before flying home, we stayed at Sibsan Luxury Hotel Rimping in Chiang Mai town, said to be the best five-star boutique hotel in Chiang Mai.

Very centrally located, it put us within walking distance of centuries-old temples and markets.   

We couldn't resist sitting down to a truly delightful high tea experience that incorporated local flavours at the hotel's Sip by the River Coffee House. 

Located in a traditional wooden Thai house at the rear of the hotel, this elegant venue had an air-conditioned space and an outdoor deck that overlooked the River Ping and its own green gardens. 

You and your partner (or wedding party) can enjoy local desserts while basking in the golden rays of the setting sun, and sipping Lanna-style coffee served in the finest Hermes crockery. 

Plus, it’s a good fit for an intimate reception after a sunset ceremony. In fact, the lovely white stone arch by the river that would be spectacular for this.

7. Samsen Villa  

Also on the banks of the Ping, this is a beautiful place for dining.

As the Chiang Mai weather is cool throughout the year, most opt to eat on the outdoor deck, which overlooks the river and is surrounded by trees and flowering shrubs. 

We found it to be a lovely place for a solemnisation and daytime reception. 

8. Khao Soi Ninman

When Rebecca and I arrived here, it was packed with locals and tourists from mainland China and Hong Kong.

Tucked away in a little side street, this small place is famous for its very rich Thai curry noodles (Khao Soi) served with a choice of different toppings.

Trust me – one bowl will not be enough! 

There was also a menu of select sides that included dumplings and skewered meat to complement our meal. Chiangmai/ 450829188297435

9. Ohkajhu 

We had our very first Chiang Mai meal here.

Surrounded by organic vegetable and fruit farms, what made this quaint restaurant  stand out from others was its menu of an amazing variety of steak and salad dishes, home-made dressings, and yummy shakes and juices. 

It also used only organic and hydrophonic veggies picked fresh daily from its own gardens.