Must-Visit Japan-Inspired Cafes in Chiang Mai


Chiang Mai is well-known for its coffee culture, with a combination of good local coffee and cool cafes making it one of the most vibrant cafe scenes in Thailand. Due to travel restrictions, spectacular Japan-inspired cafes started popping up in Chiang Mai recently to cure the locals’ itch of not being able to travel to their favourite country. Here are the top 3 we think you should visit!

#1 The Baristro Asian Style

The Baristro Asian Style opened its doors in May 2021 with a minimalist, zen-inspired décor which resembles Kyoto. Café hoppers will be familiar with the brand “The Baristro” and their latest outlet is located near Chiang Mai university.

Interior of The Baristro Asian Style. (Cr. @The Baristro Asian Style)

The café is surrounded by stalks of bamboo, reminiscent of the famous Arashiyama Bamboo Grove in Kyoto. Apart from Japanese, the concept also encompasses shades of Chinese, Korean and Thai.

Matcha drink & Exterior of The Baristro Asian Style. (Cr. @The Baristro Asian Style)

To make it a complete ‘Kyoto Experience’, we recommend that you order from their special green tea menu. Do you feel like flying to Chiang Mai right now?

Facebook | Contact: +66 92 455 3947

Opening Hours: Daily 8am – 6pm

Address: 200 Suthep Rd, Tambon Su Thep, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai 50200

#2 Pause CNX

Pause CNX is a hidden café near Wat U-mong and you should not miss it because they are the only café in Thailand to have won the world’s architecture award from Architect+.

Semi-transparent curtains at Pause CNX (Cr. @Pause CNX)

A stark contrast from the surrounding lush greenery, Pause CNX will transport you into different dimensions as you walk through their semi-transparent curtains before entering the cafe in a mirror-walled building. Photo-taking is a must here.

The exterior environment of Pause CNX (Cr. @Pause CNX)

Despite the environment and space being the main draw, their coffee should not be overlooked. Their barista was trained by Tokyo Barista Training Lab and the coffee is made using Slayer Espresso Machines.

Passionfruit Americano (Cr. @Pause CNX)

Passionfruit americano seems to be a hit too.

Facebook | Contact: +66 61 952 8995

Opening Hours: Daily 10am – 6pm (Closed on Tuesday)

Address: 85 Moo 5, Kingphai Soi 3, Suthep, Mueang, Chiang Mai

#3 Transit Number 8

Transit Number 8 is a transit-themed cafe 15 minutes’ drive from Chiang Mai International Airport. The zen Muji-esque design aesthetic begins even before you step in, and runs through the cafe down to its furnishings and menu. 

Facade of Transit Number 8 Cafe (Cr. @Transit Number 8)
Stairways and Interior (Cr. @Transit Number 8)

The stairway leading up to the mezzanine reveals a sleek roof window which will excite travel buffs who can enjoy the sights of planes flying above them while leisurely sipping their coffee.

Brewing of Coffee (Cr. @Transit Number 8)

Visit Transit Number 8 to experience being a transit passenger in style, especially right before or after your flight at Chiang Mai International Airport.

Facebook | Contact: +66 62 592 4259

Opening Hours: Daily 8am – 6pm

Address: 56, 19 Soi Sanam Bin Kao 8, Tambon Su Thep, Chiang Mai 50200

We hope you have been inspired to hop on to the first plane to Chiang Mai once travel restrictions are lifted. For more recommendations on what to do around Thailand, visit or follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

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