While most menus in the Kingdom are relatively affordable, travellers may find themselves pinching pennies and skipping meals to stick to their budget when they are tight on baht. Dining on a dime just got a whole lot easier, however, thanks to our complete guide on where to eat in Chiang Mai on a budget. Bon appétit!
Where to eat in Chiang Mai on a budget: Lucky Too
Lucky Too is a small, soi-side restaurant with little going on. We are talking the most mundane of seating arrangements, no music, and no elaborate decor. What this restaurant does have working in its favour, however, are the cheap prices. Visitors can start their meal with a ฿60 cocktail or ฿35 tea. Those in need of a pick-me-up can get a shot of espresso for ฿35. Pizza, an expensive Western dish, starts at only ฿150 (about $4.80). Lucky Too has everything from panang to vegetarian pizza to choose from, as well.
Lucky Too has breakfast sets starting at only ฿35 (about $1). There are also a number of Thai dishes starting at ฿50 (about $1.60). Whether you are craving some fried rice with chicken or something a bit spicier like the chicken with basil, you are hardly going to be spending more than a few dollars here to indulge. There is also an entire page of menu items dedicated to vegetarians!
Location: Moonmuang Soi 6 at Ratvithi Soi 2, Chiang Mai, Thailand — VIEW MAP
Contact: +66 89 997 5968 | Facebook
Hours: Daily from 7:30 a.m. until 11 p.m.
Where to eat in Chiang Mai on a budget: Peppermaint Guesthouse
Sitting just adjacent to Lucky Too is Peppermaint Guesthouse (yes, it is spelt like that). The guesthouse serves up not only cheap finds, but also strictly vegetarian or vegan cuisine if you want it. Kick-start your day with an all-day breakfast item starting at ฿70. You can instead opt for a vegan pancake featuring different fruit or chocolate for only ฿70, as well. The venue also offers burgers made with unique ingredients like falafel (฿90), avocado (฿90), and even a lentil burger (฿90).
Peppermaint Guesthouse also has soups, natural homemade yogurt dishes, salads, pasta, Thai dishes, and a number of traditional Thai desserts starting at ฿60. Their fresh fruit and vegetable shakes start at only ฿45, as well. Trance music plays in the background, and you can also browse their library, with all books costing only ฿50! Choose from one of the many wooden chairs equipped with soft cushions for seats and enjoy your affordable meal!
Location: 29 Moon Muang Rd Lane 6, Tambon Si Phum, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand — VIEW MAP
Contact: +66 53 279 735 | Facebook
Hours: Daily from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m.
Where to eat in Chiang Mai on a budget: Bagel House Cafe & Bakery
Bagels are a rare entity in Thailand. When you do find them, they tend to be a bit pricier than the ones you used to indulge in at home. Not anymore, thanks to Bagel House Cafe & Bakery. This bakery boils their bagels to perfection before putting them in the oven, giving them that perfect moist and chewy interior that has visitors coming again and again. The bakery has a variety of bagels to choose from, including plain, cinnamon raisin, sesame, onion, poppy seed, garlic, everything, and whole wheat. Make your bagel the best it can be by adding one of the many toppings available, like butter and jelly (฿60), Nutella (฿80), peanut butter (฿80), or cream cheese (฿85).
Those feeling a bit hungrier may instead indulge in one of their bagel sandwiches. Combinations include their vegan Mediterranean (฿125): any bagel topped with creamy homemade vegan pesto, tomatoes, leafy greens, avocado, a fried egg, and olive oil. Bagel House Cafe & Bakery is also serving up breakfast plates starting at ฿70, breakfast sets starting at ฿100, and sandwiches starting at ฿100. There are salads and desserts on the menu, as well. Pair your bagel with a coffee starting at ฿40 or your choice of soda, juice, or fruit shake. The cafe is quite small with limited seating, so try to get here early to be able to pull up a chair and enjoy!
Location: 1 Moonmuang Soi 8, Chiang Mai, Thailand — VIEW MAP
Contact: +66 91 632 3688 | Facebook
Hours: Daily from 8:15 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Where to eat in Chiang Mai on a budget: It’s Good Kitchen
Those travelers on a budget will have to throw showy serving styles to the wind and instead embrace menus with low prices. This is exactly what you will find at It’s Good Kitchen. If you are keen on street food prices but in a sit-down venue, this is the eatery to frequent. It’s Good Kitchen sits just adjacent to Wat Phra Singh, one of the most visited religious structures in the city, as well.
It’s Good Kitchen is only equipped with a handful of tables and chairs, so you may have to fight off a few fellow diners in order to enjoy some of this venue’s best dishes. Mains start at only ฿60, with favorites including pineapple fried rice, panang curry paste with your choice of meat, stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts, and more. Your rice may or may not be in the shape of a teddy bear, as well. You can also order a kombucha here for only ฿55, with seven flavors to choose from. It’s Good Kitchen remains one of the most popular eateries for those pinching pennies while traveling, so be sure to include this cheap eatery on your budget itinerary!
Location: 175/6 Rachadamnoen Road (Sunday Walking Street), Mueang, Chiang Mai, Thailand — VIEW MAP
Contact: +66 53 276 415 | Facebook
Hours: Daily from 11 a.m. until 8:30 p.m.
Where to eat in Chiang Mai on a budget: Kat’s Kitchen
There’s never been a better time to budget on a dime in Chiang Mai. The sheer selection of restaurants can almost be overwhelming. If you are keen on delving into a palate inspiring Thai dish that is also cheap, then Kat’s Kitchen is your place. What this restaurant lacks in walls it makes up for in affordability, as it is one of the cheapest venues in town. Both the decor and staff are charming, which only compliments the delicious and cheap food. The Thai restaurant is found on a stretch of road where some of the best restaurants in the city are, and they certainly give it a run for its money. Regardless, Kat’s Kitchen holds its own and welcomes a continuous flow of people into its bright, quaint eatery.
Highlights of the extensive menu include the panang curry, which can be made with your choice of meat or vegetables. The smoothies are another great go-to to kick off a meal, like the banana Nutella smoothie. All specialty smoothies start at only ฿50 (about $1.60). The food selection is equally as cheap, with curries, noodle dishes, stir-fries, and more on the menu. Each will only set you back a few bucks or two.
Location: 17 Ratchamanka Rd, Thesaban Nakhon Chiang Mai, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand — VIEW MAP
Contact: +66 98 892 2265 | Facebook
Hours: No set opening hours: usually from midday until 10 p.m. (closed Thursdays)
Where to eat in Chiang Mai on a budget: Aum Vegetarian
Though the food may be lacking the meat you may like, the dishes are spectacularly affordable and tasty all the same at Aum Vegetarian. This restaurant is in the running for being one of the most memorable vegetarian entities in the city, and for good reason. With an overwhelming number of choices in addition to the low prices, you simply cannot go wrong by venturing to this eatery for a meal (or two) during your time in Chiang Mai.
Wallet-friendly and delicious dishes start at ฿70 (about $2.20). Healthy options include tasty favorites like their stir-fried cauliflower (฿70), green eggplant salad (฿70), and steamed tempeh (฿120). Broaden your taste bud horizons with the pumpkin maki (฿120). Feel nostalgic while indulging in their vegetarian burger with tempeh (฿120). Be sure to end the meal on a sweet note with one of Aum Vegetarian’s delicious desserts, like the banana in coconut milk (฿50): a classic Thai favorite.
Location: 1/4 Suriyawong Road Haiya, Chiang Mai, Thailand — VIEW MAP
Contact: +66 53 278 315 | Facebook
Hours: Daily from 10:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m.
Where to eat in Chiang Mai on a budget: Khun Kae’s Juice Bar
If you are looking for an Instagrammable ambiance and delicious and healthy food that will abide by your strict budget, Khun Kae’s Juice Bar is the place to be. Feel good about indulging in the blueberry smoothie bowl, made with frozen blueberries, bananas, avocado, dates, and almond milk for only ฿80 (about $2.60). In addition to smoothie bowls, you will also find healthy shots, cold-pressed juices, miracle smoothies, and more on the colorful menu. Smoothies start out at as little as ฿40 (about $1.30) and are certainly generous in size and aesthetically pleasing! What more could you want?
Location: Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand — VIEW MAP
Contact: +66 84 378 3738 | Facebook
Hours: Daily from 10 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.
Where to eat in Chiang Mai on a budget: Blue Diamond Breakfast Club
Though a bit more on the expensive side, Blue Diamond Breakfast Club is worth a visit if not just to try all of the delicious home-baked treats here. The venue boasts of one of the most extensive menus of all the restaurants on our list. Entire pages are dedicated to breakfast options, hot and spicy salads, avocado salads, stir-fried rice dishes, noodles, soups, macaroni dishes, and stir-fried vegetable dishes. The beverage menu is seemingly more extensive than the food one, with delicious drinks including their herbal and vegetable juices, fresh coffee, healthy herbal teas, teas, and more.
Delicious dishes include the cucumber and herbs salad (฿95), red curry fried rice with vegetables and tofu (฿75), and the traditional Khao Soi (฿85), a Chiang Mai curry noodle dish made with tofu and vegetables. You can add chicken, pork, squid, prawns, or goji berries for less than a dollar, as well. The restaurant’s most memorable aspect, however, is the plethora of homemade baked goods found here. From vegan cinnamon rolls to vegan chocolate muffins, there is a dessert for everyone at Blue Diamond Breakfast Club. Last order is at 8:30 p.m.
Location: ถนน มูลเมือง ซอย 7 ก, Amphoe Muang Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Thailand — VIEW MAP
Contact: +66 053 217 120 | Facebook
Hours: Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. (closed on Sundays)
Where to eat in Chiang Mai on a budget: Bee Vegan
With dishes starting at as little as ฿20 (about $.60), you simply cannot go wrong by visiting Bee Vegan if you are ballin’ on a budget. Bee Vegan has proved itself to be a meat-free genius with the plethora of interesting vegan dishes on its menu. A vegan smoked sauce will cost you ฿20, while items with a bit more girth, like the spicy and sour glass noodle salad with mushrooms and vegetables, is only ฿50 (about $1.60). You will also find appetizers, salads, stir-fried dishes, fried rice, deep-fried items (like their tasty slices of bacon), noodle dishes, soups, and more. What the menu lacks in photographs it makes up for with its unspoken promise that every dish will be delicious.
Location: 19, 1 Suthep Rd, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand — VIEW MAP
Contact: +66 96 795 7704 | Facebook
Hours: Daily from 11 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. (kitchen closes at 8:45 p.m.)
Where to eat in Chiang Mai on a budget: Cooking Love
Quality food at low prices is the draw of Cooking Love, a Thai venue found inside Chiang Mai’s historic city square. This restaurant highlights delicious Thai favorites like the fried rice with chicken or pork for only ฿70 (about $2.20). You can also try the country’s renowned Thai papaya salad for only ฿70, or pay less than a dollar more to add shrimp! The portion sizes do not reflect the low prices, as the meals here practically spill off the plate. Decor and seating is nothing more than mediocre, but you will find yourself fighting for a seat at this tasty venue during peak dining hours.
Location: 18/7 Rachadamnoen Road, Soi 1, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand — VIEW MAP
Contact: +66 52 002 748 | Facebook
Hours: Daily from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m.
More information about where to eat in Chiang Mai on a budget
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