28 Best Restaurants in Northern Thailand, Thailand

Coriander in Redwood

$$ Fodor's choice

This century-old log trader's home was transformed into a warm, redwood-lined restaurant---part of the Riverhouse Hotel group---that serves very good Thai cuisine and well-executed Western dishes. There are tables arranged under the trees of a leafy garden for a nice view of the Yuam River.

Maya Burger Queen

$ Fodor's choice

After 10 years in Britain, a Pai entrepreneur named Ping returned to her hometown and opened this highly successful burger restaurant. The modest establishment is also the place to share tips with the travelers who gather here nightly.

Tedsaban Rd., Pai, 58130, Thailand
Known For
  • <PRO>locally sourced beef</PRO>
  • <PRO>freshly cut fries</PRO>
  • <PRO>several vegetarian options, including a sweet-potato-and-pumpkin burger</PRO>

Pai Siam Bar & Bistro

$ Fodor's choice

Husband-wife duo Carlo and Supaporn man this perfectly situated indoor-outdoor bar, bistro, and guesthouse at one of the busiest intersections in Pai, just at the end of the walking street. The menu is expansive with Thai-fusion tapas, all-day breakfast, large pizzas, and Thai staples. Cocktails are top-notch and desserts, freshly baked daily by Supaporn, are not to be missed. 

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$$ Fodor's choice

Widely acknowledged as Pai's best restaurant, Silhouette serves outstanding Thai-inspired European cuisine, made with fresh, mostly organic, local produce. Panoramic mountain views, the quirky house sense of style, and live jazz music all add to the pleasure of having a meal here.

7he Vow


This trendy riverside café has an extensive menu of Thai and international foods, homemade baked goods, and the best local coffee. They also sell house-made and locally sourced items including tall bottles of wild honey and bags of lightly roasted Thai coffee beans.

Baan Song Thai


This charming restaurant just a bit south of town is nestled in a lush tropical garden and has a vast menu of Thai specialties. Locally grown sesame is featured in a variety of dishes.

138 Moo 5 Baan Ta Pong Daeng, Mae Hong Son, 58000, Thailand
Known For
  • sesame fried chicken wings
  • smoothies
  • adjoining shop selling local food products

Bai Fern


Mae Hong Son's main thoroughfare, Khunlumprapas Road, is lined with inexpensive restaurants serving local cuisine, but this one is one of the best. You can eat in the spacious dining room with solid teak columns, under whirling fans, or there's an adjoining café that has free Wi-Fi and strong coffee.

87 Khunlum Prapas Rd., Mae Hong Son, 58000, Thailand
Known For
  • pork ribs with pineapple
  • roast chicken in pandan leaves
  • steamed whole snakehead fish

Boo Bpen Seafood


Although not on the river, this restaurant has the edge on the competition because of its spacious bench seating and garden atmosphere. House specialties include gai khua kem (roasted chicken with salt) and boo nim tort gratium (crab fried in garlic).

Sanambin Rd., Phitsanulok, 65000, Thailand
Known For
  • <PRO>barbecue prawns with chili, lime, and fish sauce dip</PRO>
  • <PRO>live bands</PRO>
  • <PRO>fresh seafood</PRO>

Cabbages & Condoms

$$ | City Center

Most of the modest price of your meal at this quirkily named restaurant, one of three in Thailand, goes toward the country's leading nongovernmental organization that specializes in HIV/AIDS education. The food is Thai, geared somewhat to Western tastes. There's usually live music at lunchtime and in the evenings.



In an increasingly hip neighborhood on the edge of town, this taqueria serves authentic Mexican food including homemade tortillas (flour and corn), salsa, and hot sauce. The chicken mole is delicious and the margaritas are spot on, too. It's a nice break from Thai food when the need arises.

258 Moo 8 Vieng Tai, Pai, Thailand
Known For
  • breakfast all day
  • coffee that's locally sourced and roasted on-site
  • overstuffed burritos
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Reservations not accepted

Chivit Thamma Da


Classically trained baker Nattamon Holmberg puts an emphasis on slow and sustainable food at this cozy café on the Kok River that serves a mix of Western favorites like avocado toasts, along with Thai food. The prices are a little higher than other restaurants in Chiang Rai, but the quality of its locally sourced ingredients more than make up for it.

179 Moo 2, Rim Kok, Chiang Rai, 57100, Thailand
Known For
  • draft beer of the month
  • a serious tea selection and expansive menu of Thai and Western food
  • art exhibitions and books you can borrow

Dream Café

$ | Old City

Part of the appeal at this lovely, longtime favorite restaurant is the decor, extraordinary antiques that have filled its weathered space for decades. The Thai food is good, too, though be sure to ask for things spicy if that's your preference.

86/1 Singhawat Rd., Sukhothai, 64000, Thailand
Known For
  • rustic but romantic guest rooms at the adjacent Cocoon House
  • stellar ginger salad
  • crowd-pleasing flavor profiles

Give Green Farm House Restaurant

Although it's located right down the street from a major attraction (Thawan Duchanee's "Black House" museum), this family-run business keeps its prices low and its traditional dishes noticeably fresh and delicious. Much of what they make is straight off the Give Green Farm, and operates as a master class in sustainable comfort food.
300 Moo 13, Chiang Rai, 57100, Thailand
Known For
  • organic without the sticker shock
  • farm-to-table fare that tastes like it
  • vegetarian options



Family run since Inthira Tansuhaj first opened it in 1964, this Mae Sariang favorite sticks to Thai staples like curries, soups, and stir-fries. English menus are available, and service is actually quite efficient for an ever-expanding space that now seats up to 300 people.

170/1 Wiangmai Rd., Mae Sariang, 58110, Thailand
Known For
  • fried fish with garlic
  • cold bottles of Chang
  • seasonal specialties like chayote greens, red ant eggs, and giant crickets



The name of this attractive open-sided restaurant signifies the strongly perfumed frangipani trees that frame its riverside setting. The gargantuan menu embraces Chinese, Thai, and Japanese cuisine, but the specialty is northern Thai food, including fresh fish from the Kok and Mae Kong rivers.

Mai Krang Krung


This pretty, family-run lunch spot is known for the local specialty "Sukhothai noodles”---a clear pork broth with rice noodles, chili flakes, toasted peanuts, and lime, topped with roasted and minced pork. The restaurant doubles as a boutique selling jewelry and silk textiles.

139 Jarovithi Thong Rd., Sukhothai, 64000, Thailand
Known For
  • butterfly pea dumplings (chor muang) for dessert
  • delightful herbal drinks
  • pad Thai that's nothing like what you've had back home

Mekong Pizza


This laid-back pizza spot where the tables are laid with checkered tablecloths is a welcome break from all the fancy resort dining options in the Sop Ruak area. The crispy, thin-crust pies are topped with traditional and Thai ingredients ranging from pepperoni and Parma ham to a tom yum–tinged seafood and northern-style sausage.

301/5 Rt. 1290, Ban Sop Ruak, 57150, Thailand
Known For
  • baked-to-order cookies for dessert
  • inventive flavor combos and custom pies
  • a prime location near both opium museums
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon.



A garden panorama of ceramic dolls and other tiny figurines greets you at this enchanting restaurant, where the tables are distributed among the shrubs and ornamental trees. The locals love the place for its excellent lineup of northern Thai specialties and Chinese-influenced dishes.

64 Sankhongluang Rd. Moo 16, Tambon Robwiang, Chiang Rai, 57000, Thailand
Known For
  • nightly folk music
  • laid-back vibes
  • fantastic Lanna food

Om Garden Cafe

Fragrant with incense, this hippie-chic café is set in an idyllic, shaded courtyard garden with mismatched rattan furniture, colorful cushions, sheer curtains, and Buddha statues. The food is healthy, hearty, and wholesome.
4 Wiang Tai, Pai, Thailand
Known For
  • house-baked cake
  • fresh juices and fruit shakes
  • khao soi salad
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon.

Pan Jai


For authentic Lanna cuisine, you can't do better than this simple but superb restaurant, with an extensive menu. Try the kanom jin (Chinese noodles) served with a spicy meat sauce, raw and pickled cabbage, and various condiments, or the satay moo, thin slices of lean pork on wooden skewers, served with a peanut sauce dip. In the evening every table has its own steam pot and barbecue for preparing the popular northern specialty moo kata, a kind of pork stew. The open-sided, teak-floor dining area is shaded by ancient acacia trees, making it a cool retreat on warm evenings.

2 Wira Alley, Phrae, 54000, Thailand
Known For
  • popular lunch spot
  • relaxed environment
  • pork dishes

Phae Phu Fa Thai


An extensive menu in English makes this teak pontoon eatery on the Nan the most comfortable riverside experience. The emphasis is on fresh seafood—the pla taptim (St. Peter's fish, a delicious freshwater variety found everywhere in Thailand), served steamed with a spicy lemon-and-lime sauce, is a good choice.

100/49 Phutabucha Rd., Phitsanulok, 65000, Thailand
Known For
  • <PRO>packed with locals and tourists</PRO>
  • <PRO>simple yet satisfying seafood</PRO>
  • <PRO>nice views of the river and nearby temple</PRO>
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted

Ran Sam Sai Noodles


This family-run noodle shop serves bowls of Sukhothai’s namesake noodle dish, mai krang krung, with roast pork and heaping piles of crushed peanuts and dried chili flakes. Don’t expect anyone here to speak anything other than Thai, but pointing can get you pretty far. There's also pad Thai noodles and some standard stir-fried dishes.

205/13 Tha Chai, Si Satchanalai, 64190, Thailand
Known For
  • local clientele
  • noodle soup
  • good stir-fries

Ruen Kaew


The name of this riverside restaurant means Crystal House, which is rather fitting, since it's such a gem. Pass through a profusion of bougainvillea flowers to find a wooden deck overlooking the Nan River, the perfect vantage point for taking in the lush scenery and enjoying the Thai menu with some original touches. The crispy chicken in a sweet pickled plum sauce, for instance, is a rare delight.

1/1 Sumondhevaraj Rd., Nan, 55000, Thailand
Known For
  • original takes on Thai food
  • nightly live music
  • chicken in honey sauce

Sala Mae Nam


The Anantara resort's main breakfast buffet room turns into a reputable Thai restaurant during the lunch and dinner hour, offering northern specialities like khao soi, geang ho (dry curry pork with glass noodles and vegetables), and a duo of dips made with minced pork and green chilies.

Suriya Garden


This large restaurant has a wooden deck overlooking the Nan River banks and live music every night. Get here early, as it's often full of diners looking for authentic food at fair prices and a prime spot along the water.

9 Sumondhevaraj Rd., Nan, 55000, Thailand
Known For
  • Chinese-style white bass and pig's trotters
  • spicy and sour northern Thai notes
  • a peerless atmosphere

Sweet Rice Café

$ | Old City

Just 5 minutes from the main historic park by car, this bright, colonial-style café is in a lovely manicured garden. The menu offers a mix of Thai staples and Western comfort foods, but they’re really known for their noodle soup with roast pork. Also don’t miss their wide variety of ice creams which even includes durian flavor when in season.

91/4 Moo 2 Muangkao, Sukhothai, 64210, Thailand
Known For
  • interesting ice cream flavors
  • pretty setting
  • Thai noodle soup
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues. and Wed.

The Jazz House Pai


At this Pai institution, the crowd-pleasing international menu matches the diversity of the live jazz music performed here. There's lots of seating and hammocks keep the vibe laid-back.

24/1 Chaisongkram Rd., Vieng Tai, Pai, Thailand
Known For
  • everything from pad Thai to pizza
  • cheap yet tasty cocktails
  • weekly open mic nights

Toke Tong


Chinese and northern Thai dishes dominate the extensive menu at this timber-built traditional restaurant in a lovely garden. They're known for khantoke dinners (northern Thai set meals, served on a tray) and their delicious khao soy noodles. A Thai traditional ensemble plays nightly.