Must Try Northern Thai Food in Chiang Mai


Each region of Thailand has its culinary specialties, from refreshing salads and grilled chicken in Isaan to fiery curries in the South. As such, Chiang Mai is the perfect place to indulge in the delights of Northern Thai food. Here are the signature Northern Thai dishes you must try when visiting Chiang Mai.

Khao Soi

Khao Soi is the most famous Northern-Thai dish; if you only have time for one dish, this has to be it. Khao Soi is a creamy, rich, curry noodle which isn’t too spicy. In fact, as the flavours are quite well-balanced, it is a favourite with many foreigners. Khao Soi also comes with crispy noodles as a topping, giving an extra crunchy texture to the whole dish. While it’s often served with a chicken drumstick, there are also versions with other meat and seafood. Its side condiments such as chopped cilantro, sliced shallots, pickled greens and fresh lime are all equally vital elements to the perfect bowl of Khao Soi.

Sai Oua

Sai Oua, commonly known as Chiang Mai Sausage, is another quintessential Northern-Thai specialty. As its name suggests, it originates from Chiang Mai and is packed with lots of herbs like galangal, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, turmeric root, garlic and chillies. Be prepared for a huge flavour explosion in your mouth. Sai Oua is usually grilled and eaten with sticky rice. 

Kanom Jeen Nam Ngeow

Kanom Jeen refers to fermented rice noodles, and Kanon Jeen Nam Ngeow is a noodle dish with a soup which is light and refreshing, unlike Khao Soi – its rich and creamy counterpart. This dish has influences from Tai Yai (an ethnic group who migrated from Myanmar), and is often made with a tangy tomato base that includes dried chillies, pork bones, crispy pork crackling and cubes of pork blood. 

Nam Prik Noom

Nam Prik Noom is a popular Lanna condiment, and many call it Chiang Mai Chilli Relish. It is made using green peppers, roasted to bring out its signature alluring smoky flavour. It is often used as a dip and served with a side of crispy pork cracklings and vegetables. Go easy on the first bite to test the level of spiciness. You will not resist a second bite.

Gaeng Hunglay

Gaeng Hunglay is a Northern-style Pork and Ginger curry. Slow-cooked in a sophisticated blend of fresh herbs, spices, ginger, peanuts, tamarind and chillies, a perfect piece of pork belly from a bowl of Gaeng Hunglay will melt in your mouth with every bite. Be sure to eat it with a bowl of Thai jasmine rice!

With all these amazing Northern Thai food in Chiang Mai, we hope you have been inspired to visit Thailand. For more recommendations on what to do around Thailand, visit or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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