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The Pleasures Of Post-rush Hour Breakfast In Chiang Mai


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Anita Hammons



Welcome to Chiang Mai, a city known for its vibrant culture, historic temples, and mouthwatering cuisine. While many visitors are drawn to its famous night markets and delectable street food, one hidden gem of this charming city is its breakfast culture. Chiang Mai offers a delightful array of breakfast options that are sure to tantalize your taste buds and kickstart your day in the most delicious way.


One of the pleasures of having breakfast in Chiang Mai is the leisurely pace that accompanies it. Unlike the bustling rush found in many cities, Chiang Mai encourages a slower, more relaxed approach to breakfast. Whether you’re a morning person or prefer to sleep in, you’ll find that Chiang Mai has options to suit every preference.


One of the joys of exploring local breakfast culture in Chiang Mai is the opportunity to indulge in traditional Thai dishes. From the spicy soups and curries to the fragrant and flavorful rice dishes, Thai breakfasts are a culinary journey that will awaken your senses. But Chiang Mai doesn’t stop at traditional cuisine. It also offers a delightful fusion of flavors, combining international influences with local ingredients to create unique breakfast experiences.


In addition to the diverse food options, Chiang Mai boasts a thriving coffee and tea culture. From specialty coffee shops to traditional tea houses, you can enjoy a steaming cup of your favorite beverage while soaking in the city’s relaxed atmosphere. And let’s not forget the street food breakfasts – a perfect combination of flavors, convenience, and affordability that Thailand is famous for.


If you’re looking to elevate your breakfast experience, Chiang Mai also offers stunning views of the city and its surroundings. Imagine sipping a cup of tea or coffee while overlooking the majestic mountains, or enjoying a delicious meal as you watch the city come alive.


So, join us on a journey through the vibrant and delicious world of Chiang Mai’s breakfast culture. From traditional Thai dishes to fusion creations, coffee and tea delights, street food feasts, and unforgettable views, Chiang Mai has it all. Whether you’re a food lover, a coffee enthusiast, or simply looking to embrace the local culture, indulging in a post-rush hour breakfast in Chiang Mai is an experience not to be missed.


Exploring Local Breakfast Culture

When it comes to breakfast in Chiang Mai, locals take it seriously. The city is known for its laid-back lifestyle, and this is reflected in the breakfast culture. Unlike hurried mornings in other cities, breakfast in Chiang Mai is a time to slow down, savor delicious food, and connect with family and friends.


One of the charming aspects of Chiang Mai’s breakfast culture is the abundance of small, family-run eateries and local markets that come alive in the early hours. These hidden gems offer a glimpse into the authentic flavors of the region while providing a warm and welcoming atmosphere.


One popular tradition in Chiang Mai is “khao tom,” a breakfast dish consisting of rice soup. This comforting bowl of rice and fragrant broth is often accompanied by side dishes such as marinated pork, preserved vegetables, or crispy wontons. It’s a nourishing and hearty way to start the day.


Another staple of local breakfast culture is “khao niaw,” sticky rice served with various accompaniments. You’ll find stalls on street corners selling grilled chicken, spicy sausages, or a variety of curries to pair with this sticky delight. It’s a fulfilling and satisfying breakfast option that will keep you energized throughout the morning.


For those looking for a lighter option, “jok” is a popular choice. It is a rice porridge that is often topped with minced pork, ginger, and green onions. The subtle flavors and smooth texture make it a favorite among locals, especially during the cooler months.


Exploring Chiang Mai’s breakfast culture also means discovering the warm and friendly interactions with the locals. You’ll often find yourself sitting on small stools, engaging in conversations with fellow diners, and sharing stories with the friendly vendors. It’s a chance to connect with the community and experience the true essence of Chiang Mai.


Whether you’re a local or a visitor, immersing yourself in Chiang Mai’s breakfast culture is an experience that will leave you with lasting memories. From the flavorful dishes to the warm hospitality, it’s a perfect way to start your day in this enchanting city.


Popular Breakfast Spots in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is home to an array of breakfast spots that cater to all tastes and preferences. Whether you’re seeking a traditional Thai breakfast or craving something more international, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your cravings. Here are some popular breakfast spots in Chiang Mai:

  1. Kanjana Bakery: This cozy bakery is a local favorite for its freshly baked bread, pastries, and delectable cakes. Start your day with a buttery croissant or indulge in a slice of their famous mango cheesecake.
  2. Taste from Heaven: Known for its vegan and vegetarian offerings, Taste from Heaven serves up a healthy and delicious breakfast spread. From homemade granola bowls to tofu scrambles, you’ll find a variety of plant-based options to fuel your day.
  3. Melanie’s Restaurant: For a taste of home away from home, head to Melanie’s Restaurant. This charming eatery serves up breakfast classics such as eggs benedict, pancakes, and a variety of omelettes.
  4. Kad Luang: If you want to experience the vibrant local market scene, make your way to Kad Luang, also known as Warorot Market. Here, you’ll find an abundance of food stalls offering an array of breakfast options, including fresh fruits, grilled meats, and traditional Thai dishes.
  5. Graph Café: Coffee lovers can’t miss Graph Café, a trendy spot known for its artisanal coffee. Enjoy a perfectly brewed cup of joe while admiring the unique artwork and cozy ambiance.
  6. Moose Restaurant: Craving a hearty breakfast? Look no further than Moose Restaurant. This Canadian-inspired eatery offers a wide selection of breakfast favorites, including fluffy pancakes, bacon and eggs, and hearty breakfast wraps.

These are just a few examples of the many breakfast spots Chiang Mai has to offer. The city’s diverse culinary scene ensures that there’s something for everyone, from the health-conscious foodies to those seeking a taste of home. So, get ready to explore, indulge, and discover your new favorite breakfast spot in Chiang Mai.


Traditional Thai Breakfast Dishes

When it comes to traditional Thai breakfast dishes, you’ll find a delightful array of flavors and ingredients that will awaken your taste buds. Thai cuisine is known for its bold flavors, fresh herbs, and aromatic spices, and breakfast is no exception. Here are some traditional Thai breakfast dishes that you must try in Chiang Mai:

  1. Khao Soi: This iconic Northern Thai dish is a must-try for breakfast. It features egg noodles in a rich and creamy coconut curry broth, topped with tender slices of chicken or beef, crispy noodles, and garnished with pickled mustard greens and fresh lime. It’s a flavorful combination that perfectly balances sweet, spicy, and tangy flavors.
  2. Pa Tong Go: These deep-fried dough sticks, often served with a sweet or savory dipping sauce, are a popular breakfast choice in Thailand. The crispy exterior and soft interior make them a perfect accompaniment to a cup of hot tea or coffee.
  3. Jok: Jok, or rice porridge, is a comforting and nourishing breakfast dish in Thailand. It is made by simmering rice in a flavorful broth until it reaches a smooth and creamy consistency. It is typically topped with minced pork, ginger, green onions, and a drizzle of soy sauce for added umami.
  4. Ba Mee: Ba Mee, or egg noodles, are a versatile and tasty breakfast option. They can be served in a hot soup with succulent slices of roast pork, or stir-fried with a variety of toppings such as shrimp, vegetables, and crispy pork skin. Either way, they are sure to satisfy your cravings.
  5. Khao Tom: Khao Tom, or rice soup, is a simple yet comforting breakfast dish. Made by simmering rice in broth until it becomes soft and porridge-like, it is often served with a variety of condiments such as marinated pork, preserved vegetables, and crispy wontons.

These traditional Thai breakfast dishes reflect the rich culinary heritage of the country. The balance of flavors, textures, and aromatic herbs and spices create a truly unique and unforgettable dining experience. So, take the opportunity to indulge in these delicious dishes and start your day with a taste of Thailand in Chiang Mai.


Fusion and International Breakfast Options

While traditional Thai breakfast dishes are a culinary delight in Chiang Mai, the city also offers a wide range of fusion and international breakfast options. From Western favorites to creative blends of flavors, these dishes bring a unique twist to the breakfast table. Here are some fusion and international breakfast options to tantalize your taste buds:

  1. Eggs Benedict with a Thai Twist: Many cafes and restaurants in Chiang Mai put their own spin on the classic Eggs Benedict. You’ll find variations that incorporate Thai elements, such as replacing the traditional English muffin with a crispy roti or adding a spicy Sriracha hollandaise sauce.
  2. Mango Sticky Rice Pancakes: To satisfy your sweet tooth, try the Mango Sticky Rice Pancakes. These fluffy pancakes are topped with ripe mango slices, sticky rice, and a drizzle of coconut cream. It’s a delightful blend of Thai flavors and American breakfast tradition.
  3. Avocado Toast with Thai Flavors: Avocado toast has become a global breakfast trend, and Chiang Mai puts its own twist on it. Enjoy smashed avocado on grilled toast, topped with Thai herbs, spicy chili flakes, and a squeeze of lime for an explosion of flavors.
  4. Japanese-Inspired Breakfast Bowls: Chiang Mai is no stranger to the popularity of Japanese cuisine. Many cafes offer beautiful breakfast bowls with a mix of fresh vegetables, marinated meats, pickles, and a perfectly poached egg. These bowls provide a healthy start to your day.
  5. French Pastries with a Thai Influence: Chiang Mai’s bakeries infuse French pastry expertise with Thai ingredients. Indulge in croissants filled with coconut cream, pandan-flavored macarons, or durian-infused eclairs. It’s a delightful collision of culinary traditions.

These fusion and international breakfast options highlight the diversity and creativity of Chiang Mai’s culinary scene. Whether you’re an adventurous foodie or seeking a taste of home, these dishes offer a unique and delicious start to your day in this vibrant city.


Chiang Mai’s Coffee Culture

Chiang Mai has gained a reputation as a coffee lover’s paradise, with a thriving coffee culture that has grown over the years. From specialty coffee shops to cozy cafes, the city offers a diverse and exciting coffee scene that caters to every preference. Here’s a glimpse into the coffee culture in Chiang Mai:


One of the reasons for the popularity of coffee in Chiang Mai is its ideal location for growing coffee beans. The mountainous terrain and cool climate create optimal conditions for coffee cultivation, and the region is known for producing high-quality Arabica beans.


Chiang Mai’s coffee culture extends beyond just a morning pick-me-up. It has become a social experience, with cafes serving as gathering places for friends, students, and digital nomads. Many coffee shops provide comfortable seating, free Wi-Fi, and a relaxed ambiance, making them ideal spaces for work or leisure.


When it comes to the coffee itself, Chiang Mai offers a wide variety of brewing methods and flavor profiles. From classic espresso-based drinks like cappuccinos and lattes to pour-over, siphon brewing, and cold brews, you’ll find an extensive range of coffee options to suit your taste.


Chiang Mai is also home to numerous specialty coffee roasters who take pride in sourcing beans from local farmers and carefully curating their roasting process. This commitment to quality ensures that coffee enthusiasts can enjoy a delicious cup of freshly brewed coffee made with beans that are ethically and sustainably sourced.


For those interested in learning more about coffee, there are even opportunities to join coffee tasting sessions and barista workshops. You can deepen your understanding of flavor profiles, brewing techniques, and latte art under the guidance of passionate coffee connoisseurs.


Whether you’re a coffee aficionado or simply appreciate a good cup of joe, Chiang Mai’s coffee culture is sure to captivate you. So, take some time to explore the city’s coffee shops, savor the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, and immerse yourself in the vibrant and thriving coffee scene.


Chiang Mai’s Tea Culture

While Chiang Mai is renowned for its coffee culture, tea enthusiasts will be delighted to discover that the city also has a vibrant and exciting tea culture. From traditional Thai teas to unique blends and tea ceremonies, Chiang Mai offers a diverse range of tea experiences that will captivate your senses. Here’s a glimpse into the tea culture in Chiang Mai:


Thai tea, also known as “Cha Yen,” is a staple in Chiang Mai and throughout Thailand. This sweet and milky tea is made from a blend of black tea leaves, sugar, and condensed milk. It is a popular choice among locals and visitors, and you can find it at street stalls, cafes, and even in pre-packaged forms to enjoy at home.


In addition to Thai tea, Chiang Mai is home to a variety of herbal and medicinal teas. Many local tea shops specialize in sourcing and blending herbs known for their health benefits. From lemongrass and ginger to butterfly pea flower and turmeric, these teas offer a refreshing and aromatic experience.


For those seeking a traditional tea ceremony, there are tea houses in Chiang Mai that provide an authentic and tranquil atmosphere. These tea houses offer an opportunity to participate in a formal tea ceremony, where you can learn about the art of brewing tea, appreciate the beauty of tea wares, and savor the delicate flavors of high-quality teas.


Chiang Mai’s tea culture is not limited to hot tea. With the region’s warm climate, iced tea is a refreshing choice. You’ll find a variety of refreshing iced teas with flavors like lemongrass, pandan, and passionfruit, perfect for cooling down on a hot day.


Tea appreciation goes beyond just the beverage itself. Chiang Mai also offers tea-infused desserts and snacks. You can indulge in tea-flavored pastries, tea-infused ice creams, or even tea-infused cocktails. These unique creations showcase the versatility of tea as an ingredient.


Whether you’re a tea connoisseur or simply enjoy a soothing cup of tea, Chiang Mai’s tea culture offers a delightful and immersive experience. So, unwind, sip your tea, and embrace the tranquility and beauty of tea in this enchanting city.


Street Food Breakfasts

When it comes to breakfast in Chiang Mai, one cannot overlook the vibrant and enticing street food scene. The city’s bustling morning markets and roadside stalls offer a mouthwatering variety of street food breakfast options that are not only delicious but also convenient and affordable. Here’s a glimpse into the street food breakfasts you can indulge in while exploring Chiang Mai:


One iconic street food breakfast that you’ll find on almost every corner is “khao kha moo,” braised pork leg served over rice with a flavorful sauce. The tender and succulent pork, paired with fragrant rice and a side of pickled mustard greens, creates a satisfying and flavorsome start to your day.


If you have a craving for something spicy, “khao rad gaeng” is a popular choice. It is a rice plate topped with your choice of curries, stir-fried dishes, and flavorful sauces. The assortment of options allows you to create a custom breakfast plate tailored to your taste preferences.


For those seeking a quick and filling option, “jekkoy” is a Thai-Chinese dish that is a favorite among locals. It consists of a bowl of hot rice porridge accompanied by a variety of side dishes such as crispy fried pork, liver, and boiled eggs. It’s a comforting and hearty meal that provides a burst of flavors.


Another street food breakfast staple is the “khanom krok” – bite-sized coconut pancakes. These fluffy and slightly sweet pancakes are made from a batter of rice flour, coconut milk, and palm sugar. Watching them cook on the traditional round griddle is a treat in itself, and biting into their soft centers is pure bliss.


If you prefer a grab-and-go option, “kao tom mud” is a popular street food choice. It’s a steamed rice dumpling filled with a savory mixture of minced pork, mushrooms, and aromatics. These dumplings are often enjoyed with a side of tangy chili sauce for an added kick.


Exploring street food breakfasts in Chiang Mai not only satisfies your hunger but also immerses you in the local culture. You can witness the vibrant energy of the markets, interact with the friendly vendors, and learn about the diverse ingredients and flavors that make up Thai cuisine.


So, wake up early, venture out into the streets, and embark on a culinary adventure as you savor the aromatic and flavorful street food breakfasts that Chiang Mai has to offer.


Breakfast with a View

When it comes to enjoying breakfast in Chiang Mai, there are options that not only satisfy your taste buds but also treat you to breathtaking views of the city and its surroundings. Imagine starting your day with a delicious meal while taking in panoramic vistas of majestic mountains, stunning temples, or the bustling cityscape. Here are some wonderful spots to enjoy breakfast with a view in Chiang Mai:


Mountain View Cafés: Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and head to the outskirts of Chiang Mai, where you’ll find mountain view cafés nestled amidst lush greenery. These cafés offer a serene and peaceful setting, allowing you to enjoy a leisurely breakfast while gazing at the stunning beauty of the surrounding mountains. Sipping a steaming cup of coffee or enjoying a delectable meal with such a breathtaking backdrop is an experience that truly rejuvenates the soul.


Riverside Restaurants: Chiang Mai is blessed with the Ping River, which flows through the city, offering scenic views and a tranquil atmosphere. You’ll find riverside restaurants that provide an idyllic setting for a breakfast feast. As you savor your meal, soak in the breathtaking views of the river, watch boats drift by, and feel the cool breeze gently caress your face. It’s a refreshing and picturesque way to start your day.


Mountaintop Breakfasts: For a truly awe-inspiring breakfast experience, head to Doi Suthep, the iconic mountain located just outside of Chiang Mai. Atop this mountain, you’ll find restaurants and cafes that offer not only delicious food but also breathtaking panoramic vistas of the city below. Imagine enjoying a delicious breakfast while witnessing the sunrise or taking in the twinkling lights of the city at night. It’s an experience that will leave an indelible mark on your memories.


Scenic Rooftop Cafés: Chiang Mai’s skyline is dotted with rooftop cafés and restaurants, providing stunning views of the cityscape. These elevated venues offer a unique perspective on Chiang Mai, allowing you to enjoy your breakfast while watching the city come alive. With the cool breeze in your hair and the city spreading out before you, it’s a memorable way to start your day in this enchanting city.


Breakfast with a view not only nourishes your body but also feeds your soul. Chiang Mai’s scenic landscapes and diverse cityscape offer the perfect backdrop for a truly unforgettable morning dining experience. So, choose a spot that suits your preferences, sip your coffee or tea, savor your meal, and allow the beauty of Chiang Mai to enhance your breakfast experience.



Chiang Mai’s breakfast culture is a true delight for food lovers and those seeking a memorable start to their day. From traditional Thai breakfast dishes to fusion creations, the city offers a diverse range of options that cater to every palate. Whether you’re indulging in street food, sipping a cup of coffee or tea, or enjoying breakfast with a view, Chiang Mai has something to offer everyone.


Exploring the local breakfast culture allows you to not only taste the flavors of the region but also immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of the markets and connect with the friendly locals. It’s a chance to experience the unique blend of ingredients, spices, and culinary traditions that make Chiang Mai’s breakfasts so special.


As you venture through the city’s bustling morning markets, cozy cafes, and scenic spots, you’ll discover the pleasures of post-rush hour breakfast in Chiang Mai. Whether you choose to indulge in traditional Thai dishes, sample fusion and international flavors, embrace the coffee and tea culture, or savor street food delights, each bite will be a delightful and memorable experience.


So, whether you’re a visitor or a local, wake up early, follow your nose to the street food stalls, or seek out hidden cafés and restaurants. Take your time, enjoy the flavors, savor the aromas, and let the breakfast culture of Chiang Mai enchant you day after day.