There are so many good coffee shops in Chiang Mai that it is almost no point to recommend anyone to make an effort to go anywhere. It is more than certain that there is good coffee either in your hotel, or somewhere very close to where you stay. The best coffee in Chiang Mai is everywhere, and up to our taste.
I am from Sweden so I prefer my coffee quite strong, and I drink at least five cups per day. Anyway, I heard that only the Finns drink more coffee than us Swedes. Once upon a time, I would bring coffee to Thailand from Sweden. Now, it is almost the other way around. At least when it comes to coffee in cafes. It is hard to get bad coffee here. It is more a matter of how much you are willing to pay, and in what environment you like to have your coffee. There is not one “best coffee shop in Chiang Mai” there are so many.
Without doubt, in the Northern highlands, a high-quality Arabica is grown, and for sure Chiang Mai has its share of famous coffee brands, Doi Chang, Akha Ama Coffee, Wawee to mention a few. Nevertheless, plenty of places where to drink coffee in Chiang Mai so really no need for Starbucks. Then, in Thailand, you will also find excellent coffee at Amazon – a reliable coffee chain that is a lot cheaper than Starbucks.
Anyhow, I do agree that Starbucks has nice cakes though. If you need Starbucks, the best outlet is the one near Chiang Mai Ram hospital, and the nicest building will be the Starbucks in Hang Dong – at Kad Farang Village.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej initiated the Thai Royal Project in 1969, encouraging especially hill tribes to invest in sustainable industries. The ambition was to alleviate poverty and create a more environmentally friendly economy, while curtailing “slash and burn” farming to stop opium production.
Below you will find suggestions of good coffee shops in Chiang Mai. Click on the name to get the location on Google maps.
Enter the fairy tale cafe. Beautiful coffee art, inventive names and hmm, unusual cakes. Very relaxing and the place has a classic touch. Good menu with breakfast and light lunches.
Read more about the magic of Into the Woods here.
On the back roads to Samoeng mountain, you find an English garden, with English cottages and homemade pastries and great lasagna lunches. Good coffee and cheesecake, or why not try their pannacotta? Note open only Thursdays to Sundays. Website here.
Howabout going French? Du Cafe has very instagramable pastry and with interesting taste. In addition there are wines and food available. Oysters are served on Sundays and a chefs table is offered. As it happens, going in here is a bit of a reality escape and it is pretty pricy, or if you prefer the word exclusive. Coffee is excellent but small sized.
Don’t come here for sushi, but for looking at carp fish and thousands of them. Clearly, it is a Japanese themed place with decent coffee, lots of fish and overpriced sushi.
In a garden setting by a stream, near the teak forest. Small cups, but delicious cappuccino. Mostly busy during wintertime, when the Bangkok crowds come. But a nice natural setting all year round except for the smoky period in Chiang Mai.
Boonma is an retro – disco styled cafe with an impressive 6-meter curtain high as the original building. From the modern building, there is a clear view of the landscape outside on the terrace.
Without doubt, This is Chiang Mais own Hobbiton. Then, this is also a bar in the evening with live music.
Diamond Air Cafe
A newcomer on the coffee scene is the huge Airbus 330 converted to a coffee shop in Mae Rim – Air Diamond Coffee. (Black Canyon managed) On our visit, this was a spectacle, a tourist trap if you want. Buy a ticket, wait one hour in the “terminal”. (busy day). Get served a Black Canyon drink on the plane. I guess people miss flying.
This coffee shop just by the moat is also a new bee on the themed coffee scene in Chiang Mai. It’s worth a visit for taking pictures for Instagram but wouldn’t return for coffee. The pasta was decent and nicely presented though.
Finally, I just have to mention some of the best coffee as well.
Moreover, the greatest barista latte maker will be found at Ristr8to. Ristro8 also sell their beans in supermarkets like Rim Ping. At Ristr8to, they try to convince customers to drink coffee hot!!
And, if cakes are a priority try the cakes at Mont Blanc.
Lastly, you will never run out of options for great coffee in Chiang Mai, the present coffee capital of Thailand. The former Lanna capital is setting the trends and caring about the story the coffeeshop tell.
I guess I will have more chances to return to this topic of coffee in the future. Chiang Mai is Storyliving its coffee.