Foodie Goals Thailand

Cheap Eats in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Cheap Eats In Chiang Mai, Thailand | Budget travel | Chiang Mai| Thailand | Backpack Thailand | Travel South East Asia | backpacking | markets of thailand | Eating in Thailand | Where to eat in Chiang Mai | Thailand street food | Do not miss | Backpackers Wanderlust |

All my favorite cheap eats in Chiang Mai so you can have great food without blowing the bank!

I was always on the lookout for cheap eats in Chiang Mai as I stayed there a lot longer than originally planned. This was due to getting sick, so a lot of my days were spent in my hostel bed at Kikies House, as well as waiting for my wonderful boyfriend, James, to fly over to meet me.

As a result of these events I ate at a lot of different places in Chiang Mai over the nearly three weeks I was there. These are my favorite cafes, restaurants and food outlets which are backpacker friendly, tasty and of course cheap! All tested and tried.

New Delhi Indian Restaurant

If I had a dollar for every time I craved Indian food I would have enough money to fund my travels. Okay, not seriously, but I absolutely love Indian food and have tried it in nearly every country I have traveled to.

New Delhi Indian Restaurant was one of three Indian Restaurants I have eaten at in Thailand and I had a few great meals here. As always the portions are large and will for sure keep you full. They have both indoor and outdoor seating with fans and air con. It is a great place to chill out after a busy day to people watch from the balcony with a cold beer. While there I paid $7.50 for a curry, rice, naan and soda.

Opening hours: Sunday- Saturday 11am-12am

Location: 46/32, A, Ratchawithee Road, Chiang Mai

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Markets

There are so many markets in Chiang Mai you will seriously be in heaven. With such a variety no matter what day of the week it is I promise you will be able to find a market very easy. My personal favorite is the Sunday Night Walking Street Market which is the largest market in Chiang Mai set up 1km along Ratchadamnoen Road.

With such a wide range of food available at the markets it should be your go to place for cheap eats in Chiang Mai. Honestly you cannot go wrong with pad thai and a smoothie.  The samosas cost me $0.75 for three pieces and the coconut ice cream cost $1.00.

Though if you are not visiting on a Sunday or perhaps crowded markets are not your thing there is also:

Chiang Mai Gate Night Food Market

When? Everyday, from 5pm till noon.

Location: Chiang Mai South Gate. Just at the opposite side of the Chiang Mai Gate. Rat Chiang Saen road.

Chang Puak North Gate Food Market

When? Everyday, from 5pm till noon.

Location : Chiang Mai North Gate / Chang Puak Gate.

Saturday night Market

When? Every Saturday, 5pm – 11pm.

Location : Wualai Road

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Bagel House Cafe & Bakery

Bagel House Cafe & Bakery is my favorite breakfast place for cheap eats in Chiang Mai which make a delicious start to the day. With freshly made bagels and fresh produce it hits the spot. The cafe is set on a quiet road off one of the main streets with both indoor and outdoor seating areas. Also there is a counter cabinet displays the bagel range for the day and the friendly staff always greet you with a smile.

The meals are all put together in a small area out front and are served with a fresh slice of fruit. Though, because of the small preparation area sometimes there is a bit of a wait, but trust me its worth it. I paid $3.60 for a yummy egg, cheese and avocado bagel and a drink which was my regular order the numerous times I visited here.

Opening hours: Sunday- Saturday 8.15am-5pm

Location:  1 Moonmuang Soi 8

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By Hand Pizza Cafe

Located near a the beautiful temple of Wat Lamchang a visit to By Hand Pizza Cafe is the perfect way to spend a warm evening. The pizzas are made right in front of you in the massive pizza oven out front. The freshest ingredients are used and music is always playing. This place definitely has a great atmosphere with an excellent section of drinks.

There are so many options of pizza to choose between, from the classic margarita to vegan options and meat lovers deluxe. No matter your food preference here you are bound to find something you will love. I spent $6.00 for a regular pizza and a drink.

Opening Hours: Saturday- Sunday 5pm-10.30pm

Location: 25 Moon Muang Soi 7 (On Corner Opposite of Wat Lamchang)

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Crepe/ Pancake/ Roti Stands

The treats from the Crepe Stands around Chiang Mai are part of the staple diet for any backpackers traveling Thailand and I love them. They are oily fried sweet goodness covered in chocolate sauce or condensed milk. If you are currently traveling Thailand and haven’t had one yet, please do! They make for the perfect dessert and there are usually also savory options if that’s what you’re craving.

My regular Crepe stand in Chiang Mai is located next to Wat Chiang Man and opposite the Seven Eleven on Ratchapakinai Road. There is no real set time when the Thai gentleman that runs it is there, but it is usually around early lunch until late dinner hours. He is very friendly and makes a damn good crepe for around $1.00. My favorite is condensed milk and banana.

Opening hours: Usually early lunch to late dinner

Location: All over Chiang Mai

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Vigie Sist Cafe

Vigie Sist Cafe is the perfect place for delicious baked goods and a relaxing drink. I loved coming here when I was craving a wonderful slice of cake or something a little sweet. In Chiang Mai I found it quite hard to find a cafe with a cabinet which had cakes etc so Vigie Sist Cafe was a life saver! They are actually quite known for their amazing baked goods, sweet frappes and iced drinks! Its the best way to cool down in the Thai heat.

I also love the decor in here! With a dark wood Lanna feel and so many nick knacks hanging about I could spend hours looking around inside and still not even see it all. Furthermore, the tables are covered in cute white doilies which makes the perfect place for a tea or coffee. I paid $3.75 for a croissant, cake and a tea.

Opening Hours: Sunday- Saturday 7.30am-8pm

Location:  200/3 Moon Muang Soi 6,Rachapakinai Road

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Blue Diamond Breakfast Club

An extremely popular option with the expat community in Chiang Mai is Blue Diamond Breakfast Club. Walking in there is like a beautiful oasis with a river running through the middle of the outdoor area and a little waterfall. The space is abundant with greenery which provides a lot of shade and feels like you’ve been transported to the jungle, a stark contrast to the Chiang Mai streets outside.  The triangular ground pillows you find all over South East Asia are set up alongside low set tables. There are also regular tables inside the restaurant itself and directly outside.

The food here compliments the decor with the freshest ingredients used. There are numerous vegan and vegetarian options which is perfect if you have any dietary requirements. The portions are massive and you will definitely be full by the time you leave. It will give you plenty of energy to go out and explore the amazing Chiang Mai temples. I paid $5.40 for scrambled egg, roast potato, avocado with a bread roll and a green tea.

As well as all this there are also cabinets of freshly made baked goods ranging from cinnamon rolls to bread, to muffins and cheesecakes. You will certainly leave having had a great experience! Just be aware they are not open on Sunday; I found this out the hard way.

Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 7am-8.30pm

Location: 35/1 MoonMuang Road, Soi 9

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Seven Eleven

What would a cheap eats post be without mentioning the staple eatery for a budget meal in Chiang Mai. Seven Eleven caters for the budget conscious traveler who isn’t fussed about a sit down meal by providing the quickest and most cost effective option. Hot meals are still available which separates it from a lot of convenience stores you would regularly find with microwaves, sandwich presses and boiling water.

Toasted sandwiches are available from as little as $0.60 with options from jam to cheese and sausage and even chocolate! You can even choose between regular bread or croissant bread. There are so many options it is unlikely you will ever get sick of having seven eleven toasties! As well as the generic toasties there are also burgers, sausages, noodles and prepackaged microwave meals. I can not tell you how many times I have eaten lunch or dinner on the stairs of a seven eleven!

Opening Hours: 24/7

Location: Absolutely Everywhere

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Uno Pizza Italy

The Thai owned Uno Pizza Italy and Thai Food Restaurant provides great food for an even better price. The decor is simple and maybe a little too ‘homely’ for some peoples preference (I am pretty sure the back of the restaurants is a families living room). Though, if you are looking for simple and good food this is the place to be.

The owners are lovely and while I was visiting the young daughter was dancing to the background music out back. Soon afterwards a family friend appeared, it is a really homely feel. Though, if you are not bothered by a relaxed atmosphere and basic decor this is the perfect place for you! I paid $6.15 for a margarita pizza and a passion fruit smoothie.

Opening Hours: Saturday- Sunday 11am-10pm

Location: 268 Ratchapakhinai Rd

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  • Michelle Chumbley

    Everything looks so yummy!

  • Sarah Poitras

    Love that you included Sevs! (That’s what my husband and I call 7/11) 🙂

  • Nicola Neilson

    Great post! Lots of useful places to stop. I was in Chiang Mai earlier this year and my favourite was the giant spring rolls from the Saturday night walking market. So cheap and sooo delicious!

  • Jenn Bcn

    I will always remember the roasted bananas in the night market… it was amazing! Unfortunately when I was there last year I didn’t visit any of these places, though to be honest, I ate like a pig all 5 days I spend there. The food in Thailand is always so amazing…! Thanks for the compilation and prices!

  • Suzannah Smith

    I swear that my husband loves 7/11 toasties more than he loves anything else about Thailand (and he LOVES Thailand!)
    I was really impressed with the crepe stands in Chiang Mai, there was one that did cereal and marshmallow pieces (Luky Lucky Charms cereal) and it was simply divine! Change Mai really impressed me with its food choices 🙂

    • Haha I swear my partner is the same as well. I guess men love their toasties! Oh cereal and marshmallow, that sounds amazing!

  • Ellie Cleary

    Ah I miss those street-side crepes/pancakes!! There’s a great night market (very local, very non touristy) up from the Nimman area, next to the University which has some amazing food for 40-60 Baht for a meal. Trying to remember the name of it now!!

  • Cannot wait to try these!! I’ll be there in November for the first time.

  • Stella Marie Encina

    omg you just got me so hungry! the food all look delicious! and cheap! i might just go there and have a foodtrip of a lifetime, no?

  • awesome eats! Makes me want to go back!!!!

  • Julie

    The roti stands are the best!!! I miss those so much!

  • I love indian food! I ate so much Indian in Japan – always great vegetarian option. I cant believe you found pizza and bagels in chiang mai! I mean I am a NYC girl, so love my pizza and bagels!

  • I never imagined there’d be such a diverse cuisine scene here – it looks incredible and I’m adding it to my future travel list!

  • toni

    What a great piece for eating your way through Chiang Mai! I havent been here yet, but this is exactly what i need for when I do. I need more crepes in my life…though I havent had them with condensed milk. Didn’t even know people did that! I love banana crepes though.

  • Monique Wise

    I absolutely loved Chiang Mai but didn’t get into the cheap eats like I wish I would’ve. Definitely saving this for next time!

  • Indie Chick

    Omg, all of this food looks absolutely amazing! I’ve always wanted to go to Chiang Mai (it’s in my plans lol) and one of the reasons being the food! That crepe looks bangin’ by the way! lol I’m bookmarking this post for the future…Thanks for all of the great info!

  • Leah Helmbrecht

    I feel like I am constantly on a diet in between trips so that I can have room to gain weight when I do travel! The pest part of traveling to a different country is trying the food! This all looks so delicious!

    • Haha totally agree with you there! I am a totally foodie and loved SE Asia where it is affordable to eat out every meal, its heaven

  • Amber Alexander

    Chang Mai is one of the places I’m considering for when I become a digital nomad, I hope to check out some of these places. You’re making my hungry!

  • Kosovo Girl Travels

    love it. I was in Chiang Mai and loved the food there. What I can’t still get over with is Khanom Buang. I so want to be able to cook it here in Kosovo, but it’s hard to find the ingredients.

    • I know that struggle as well! I had so many delicious meals which I have tried to recreate! I could try and blame it on the ingredients, though in all honesty, I am not the best cook haha

  • I LOVE that you included 7-11. I have no idea why toasties aren’t a worldwide staple of 7-11’s. Hmmph. Chiang Mai is awesome. I too, stayed much longer than expected. Oh and those pancakes/crepes/delicious things…I never knew I needed them in my life until I tried my first one…sigh.

    • Haha I couldn’t forget 7-11! I know, they totally should be! We don’t even have 7-11 in New Zealand where I am from 🙁 Haha its one of those places you arrive at and never want to leave.

  • Love asian food especially Thai, we’ve travelled all over the country but not made it to Chang Mai yet, must go back one day soon.

    • Oh you will totally have to go back and visit there! It may be a little out of the way, especially if you are in the Islands, but trust me its worth it. Plane flights are so cheap as well which just makes it that much more accessible

  • flickrlovr

    YUM. All of these places look incredible! I’m so hungry right now. Ha! Thanks for sharing such a comprehensive rundown of some of the best spots to eat in Chiang Mai!

  • Janine Beynon

    Reading this made me hungry! I loved the food in Chiang Mai, had so much great veggie food there! Love that you mentioned 7-11, I loved getting the toasties there for a quick breakfast/lunch

    • I am a veggie as well and I totally agree! All restaurants had such a great range of options. Toasties were my go to breakfast most mornings throughout my entire trip

  • Emmanuelle TESNIERE

    yum yum yum, I want Roti right now !!

  • I had so much fun at the Sunday night market when I was in Chiang Mai! I’d love a banana pancake right about now, and Blue Diamond is definitely on my list for my next trip to Chiang Mai!

    • Yeah Blue Diamond is such a popular hangout, though they’ve decorated it so it so its relaxing and peaceful! Totally a must visit place when in Chiang Mai

  • caroekg

    Oooo that all looks delicious! I hear the food there is amazing and I am dying to get over there! Thanks for sharing these spots!

  • Pinelopi Kyriazi

    That looks like a Paradise!! I never been to Chiang Mai, time to plan a trip! 🙂

  • Everything looks so delicious. You’re really making me hungry 😀

  • Mikkel Paige Mihlrad

    You have some awesome suggestions here! Weren’t the roti crepes amazing?

  • I was in Thailand like 6 years ago and this post reminded me of how much I loved the banana / condensed milk / crepe things! My mouth is literally watering right now thinking about it. Xx, Eleonore

  • Helena

    I am so hungry now(!). Great post and love that you’re including your own commentary too. That avocado bagel looks like the stuff of dreams, think I’ll have to try and replicate that at home!!

    • I swear they have the best avocados in Thailand! Thats a good idea, think I will have to try replicate it as well, though must admit I am not the best cook

      • Helena

        Yeah, to be fair I can imagine myself burning the egg and mashing the avocado….maybe we should leave it to the professionals lol.

  • Jaydiaries

    AHHH! loved this post! I am so hungry now! so many great places to try when I go for new years!

  • Alex BetterTogether

    Oh my goodness I am actually drooling now! love street food 🙂

  • Gary Holden

    You forgot Butter is Better on Chang Klan Rd great european breakfasts plus some of the street eateries along the road. The Night Markets ,huge variety of foods…the food stalls in Chinatown and Worrorot Market, oh so many more to taste and see…Pad SeeEww moo on Chang Klan by the bank, $3, the noodle shop opposite, Noodles and dumplings or wonton, $8 for two including tea,. ahh got to get back my mouth is dtooling just remembering

    • Haha I only wrote about the places I visited so I can share my experience and decide whether they are good enough to mention. You have definitely listed some places I will have to try next time though!

      • Gary Holden

        there are some great places over the other side of the Ping River as well as good music and food, more expensive than street food, at places right on the river……safe travels, stay well be safe

  • Jasmine Chen

    I think I might just need to book a flight there so I can eat all this delicious goodness!!!!! And what’s in the photo for the food you had at night markets? Looks kinda like a dessert and I’m definitely intrigued!

    • Haha I would so go back just to eat! Thats coconut ice cream so theres is ice cream with shaved coconut, the blue stuff is rice, the red fruit is some kind of jelly lolly (I think?) and the yellow stuff I am not sure about but it was crunchy and delicious!

  • Ticket to Adventures

    OMG, your photos look absolutely delicious! I love Thai pancakes, banana + nutella is my favourite 🙂

    • Thanks! The majority are all taken on my iphone 6 as I would spend pics to my boyfriend of each meal I ate haha! Ohhh nutella and banana is a good combination as well

  • EMMA

    Oh wow looks delicious! I am going to Chiang Mai in January so I will definitely have to hit up some of these suggestions 🙂

    • Enjoy your time there! Definitely plan your trip so you are staying over a Sunday night as well. Seriously, the night markets on a Sunday are amazing!

  • Rosie Fluskey

    Haha! I had the best night at Mew Delhi Indian restaurant and many trips to 7/11 (all praise the 7/11 for budget travel!) I would love to return to Chiangmai and try some more of the spots on your list. The blue diamond breakfast club looks gorgeous!!!

  • Brianna

    It sounds like I need to visit Chiang Mai just to eat! I love how budget friendly this city is. And I’m sure there are tons more to choose from too!

  • I’m travelling to Chaing Mai next year and have jotted down lots of note from this article. Thanks for sharing <3

  • WanderingRedHead

    This post has my mouth watering. I was in Chiang Mai recently and ate my face off. I could spent years there just eating!

  • I’m absolutely drooling right now! These all look so delicious – I’m definitely keeping these in mind for when I finally get to Chiang Mai!

  • Just had a some moments of my mouth open in awe of this spread of food in Chiang Mai. Literally want to buy a ticket and just go, and just eat now. Thanks for the tips, noted for my asia trip.

  • Justyn Gourdin

    Hey there!! So a couple of things, I love all your images! They all look so universal and it’s really nice! All the food looks amazing! Secondly, I love that you shared the opening hours and locations of things! I have never been to Chang Mai but when I go I don’t have to worry about where I am going to eat!!

  • I was in Chiang Mai a couple of years back. Would have loved to know some of your suggestions. The food is great there

  • Some of this food looks absolutely amazing! Those cakes and sweets look particularly good 😀

  • Haha the inclusion of 7-11 made me smile but you’re so right – it belongs in this list! It’s my go-to when I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to brave the crowds at the markets. And I wasn’t entirely enamored of the abundance of (overpriced) hippie cafes in Chiang Mai. Would go back for the khao soi though! yummyyy

  • kauai_teacher

    Nice! Everything looks amazing. By brother is going to Thailand soon, so I’ll be forwarding this to him.

  • Outdoors Wonders

    Why on Earth did i read your post at lunch time!! Now i’m totally looking at my plate (salad and quinoa) sideways while pouting!!! not so funny…all these options look awesome! I am totally pinning this for future reference!!

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