Chiang Mai’s food scene is one of the best in Thailand. It is a place where you can get everything from a whole grilled fish, suckling pig or even world-class Peking duck from right on the side of the street.
But what about those of us who are not as willing to gorge on meat for every meal or would prefer to avoid meat entirely?
Well, we’re in luck too, because Chiang Mai has an amazing vegetarian and vegan food scene. You can find vegetarian options everywhere. Whether it’s strolling one of the many food markets or walking through the trendy suburb of Nimman, you will come across the yellow and red vegetarian sign absolutely everywhere.
To add icing on the cake, a lot of the fruit and vegies in Chiang Mai are organic and locally sourced. It’s a win-win situation for the local farmers and us too!
So, where can you get the best vegetarian food around Chiang Mai?
1. Aum Vegetarian Restaurant, 1/4 Suriyawong Road, Haiya
Anyone who is vegetarian, vegan or even just vege-curious must check out Aum Vegetarian Restaurant. It is one of the oldest vegetarian restaurants in Chiang Mai, so you can be assured they know what they are doing. They have created an incredibly welcoming vibe, complete with a dining area upstairs featuring comfortable lounge cushions and low tables for that authentic Thai experience.
They offer a selection of traditional Thai street food without the meat, as well as some Western dishes, just in case you’re not quite ready to leave the comforts of home just yet. All the food is organic and sourced locally, which is a great touch. They also offer lots of good vegan options, with some really unique superfood twists for those of you who only feed your body the best.
You can’t go past the glass noodle with tofu and vegetables, khao soi and the vegan brown rice maki sushi rolls. You can even add on tempeh to any plate for just 30 baht ($1.30).
2. Happy Green, 4/3 Moo 3 Pa Daet Road, Tambol Pa Daet, Amphur Muang
Happy Green is a really unique, vegan-friendly, buffet-style restaurant set on the banks of the Ping River, with a beautiful view of the Wat Chedi Liam temple. They have their own organic garden out the back, where a lot of their ingredients come from and a fantastic traditional Thai feel throughout the wooden building.
The food is incredible. They serve up massive portions and have a vegan buffet that will keep you going back for more and more. However, the salad menu is what makes this place something really special.
My favourite meal from the menu is the papaya salad. It’s delicious here—not too many prawns and loaded with lots of chillies!
You can even get a 10% discount for arriving by bike! You really can’t beat that!
3. Da’s Home Bakery, 11/4 Soi 6 Moon Muang Road, Muang
Da’s Home Bakery is one of my favourite bakeries in Chiang Mai. The coffee is amazing.
I have only ever been here in the morning. However, the apple-cinnamon French toast is a must-try. The portions are big and everything is cooked to order. They offer a huge menu of breakfast items, from your traditional full breakfast to fresh fruit and yoghurt. This venue is not a dedicated vegetarian spot, so do keep that in mind if you go there.
This place is perfect to pick up snacks before a big day of exploring. They offer a range of house-made, pre-packaged, vegan granola bars, soy yoghurt and fresh baked goodies.
4. Bubbles Live, 5, Soi Ratchamanka 2
If you are looking for something a little bit different in Chiang Mai, you have got to check out Bubbles Live. It is bright, funky and owned by a very entertaining French man.
The food is fantastic and everything is 100% natural. My favourite here is the sweet potato Buddha Bowl, along with a fresh juice from their extensive menu of fresh fruit and veggies. And no visit is complete without some of their tasty spring rolls.
If you are after more value for money, the set menu is the one for you. You get a large size vegetarian curry, rice and a fruit shake for around $3.
5. Juicy 4U, Rachamankha 5, Amphoe Mueang
Juicy 4U is one of the cutest places I know of in Chiang Mai. The staff are very friendly and the restaurant has a laidback feel to it. It has cool little quirks and has lots of plants everywhere!
Most of the produce is grown on their own farm and is all organic. If it’s not grown on their farm, it’s locally sourced.
This place is a true avocado lover’s dream–they give you lots! My favourite is the salad sandwich or the vegie burger, which is jammed full of avocado.
As the name suggests, Juicy 4 U is a juice heaven, with lots of fresh fruits and veggies to choose from, with the addition of wheatgrass or spirulina shots for an extra healthy kick to get you going for a day of exploring.