I’m not going to lie to you and say that traveling while vegan is a piece of (dairy free) cake. Between language barriers and different concepts of what vegan actually means, (fish sauce still comes from an animal god damit!) successfully receiving a meal that you can actually eat can be difficult.
So, when I moved to Chiang Mai after more than a year living in Asia, and realized the availability and variety of vegan food, I almost fainted with joy. Chiang Mai is a vegan paradise. While browsing the city’s extensive list of restaurants on Happy Cow , I felt confident that my days of paying for and giving away meals with milky sauces and tiny shrimps in them were over.
If you’re headed to Chiang Mai, or are already here and don’t know where to find or how to choose which vegan or vegan friendly restaurant to visit, here is a breakdown of my favorites!
Taste From Heaven
Located inside the old city, this is the first vegan restaurant I stumbled upon while living in Chiang Mai and after visiting many after it, it still ranks as my favorite. Why do I love it so much? After being in Asia for a year and a half, I need some Western food every now and then. Think a “full” English breakfast with veggie meats! Yum! Don’t worry, they still have Thai food too.
• Open every day from 9 am-10 pm except Wednesdays when they close at 9pm.
• Address: 34/1 Ratmakka Road, T. Prasinhg A. Muang, Chaing Mai ,50200 Thailand
I found out about this one due to the Thai Fruit Fest, a month-long vegan festival that takes place in Chiang Mai every summer. The wooden paneling and traditional Thai artifacts and art make this place extremely cozy. While some menu items have egg and cheese, most can be modified. My favorite meals there: Wonton soup, “sushi” rolls and the banana/chocolate smoothie. Sit upstairs for traditional Thai seating on the floor.
• Address: Tailandia, 319 Mun Mueang Rd, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100
The hours here are a bit inconvenient if you have a Monday-Friday job like me but taking a sick day and hitting up this incredibly cheap spot for lunch is worth it. Located right outside the main square on the highway leading to the Airport plaza, this co-op is easy to miss if you are not looking for it. The quiet, cafeteria style restaurant offers up a vegan buffet that costs 15 Baht (about 50 cents U.S.D ) per plate. Buy a few plates until you’re full and then contribute to this non-profit by washing up your own dishes when you finish.
• Hours: Monday- Friday from 6am-2pm
• Address: 42 Mahidon Rd. T haiya, Chiang Mai located between the corner of the moat the Toyota dealership.
Maya Mall Vegetarian Stall
When first moving to Chiang Mai, the Maya Mall was a focal point of my neighborhood and the most assessable and affordable place to grab lunch. The entire bottom floor is filled with cheap food stalls, mostly offering Thai cuisine. However, when I started going there back in March of 2015, the only cooked vegan meal I was able to find was a plate of plain rice that I adorned with soy sauce and pepper flakes. Now, a vegetarian/vegan stall has since moved in and made my life a whole lot easier. The ladies that run it are absolute gems and the buffet style selection offers all sorts of dishes including soup and veggie meats. It’s extremely cheap and has a sign advertising “Vegetarian Food” so it’s easy to find.
• Hours: Daily from 11am-10pm
• Address: Thanon Charoen Mueang, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai
Located off of the Nimman tourist street sits a tiny “hole in the wall” Thai restaurant that is extremely popular with locals and expats. The menu is in English and they serve up the usual Thai fare with vegan and vegetarian options. I eat here at least 2 times a week and it comes in handy that they also serve meat so that I and my non-vegan boyfriend can have a meal together and both be happy.
Address: Nimman Soi 13 across from the 7-11
Food 4 Thought
Found down some back roads off of Huay Kaew street is Food 4 Thought. It looks like the backyard of your Pinterest obsessed best friend and they have a handful of lovable kitties roaming the premises too. Another non-vegan friendly spot, it is a favorite of my boyfriend and I and we try to make it there at least once a week. They have raw/vegan desserts, salads, wraps and delicious smoothies.
• Hours: Tuesday-Saturday from 10:30 am-8:00 pm
• Address: 15/5 Moo 1, Soi Sudjai, Tanon Khlong Chonlapratarn, Tambon Chang Phuak, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50300
Hidden in plain sight, I didn’t realize this place even existed until quite recently when taken there for my birthday. Right off of Nimman road by one of the Chiang Mai University buildings, sits Din Dee, a hut-like building made out of clay (I think it’s clay…..). The inside looks rustic and traditional and half of the dining area is filled with teas, natural products and crafts for sale. Not everything is vegan but all meals are vegetarian. I suggest the lentil curry!
• Address: Su Thep, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai
On the same side street as Organic Vegetables, Anchan adds another vegan/vegetarian option to the Nimman area. Vegan meals are clearly marked on the menu and most of the options with eggs can be modified. The cuisine is Thai, the staff is gracious and the best meal I’ve gotten there was the Pad Thai made with papaya noodles. Just make sure to request that it comes without egg.
• Address: Nimmana Haeminda Between Lane 6- Lane 10, Suthep, Mueang Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Down a tiny side street in the old city, this jungle covered restaurant resembles a wooden house with an eclectic collection of garden decorations. It’s relaxed atmosphere is fuelled by the sound of wind chimes and cozy furnishings which sit beside its library of yoga books. Half of the restaurant is a shop that sells clothing, organic snacks and natural products. The menu is a mix of Thai, Japanese and Western meals and the shop also sells vegan desserts.
• Address: 2/1 Soi 5. Samlan Rd., T prasing, Amphoe Mueang, Chiang Mai 50200
Off a side street on the outside of the old city moat, the Cat House is the place to go with both your vegan and non-vegan friends. The menu features western, Burmese and Thai food and they have a board of daily specials and specialty smoothies. The Burmese Tea Leaf Salad was on point and they even had soy yogurt and vegan brownies for dessert.
• Address: 8 Chaiyapoom Lane 1 Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200
If you’re looking for a little more variety in your diet, check out this Korean restaurant in the Nimman area. Their normal menu has traditional vegan options and they even run a breakfast buffet in the morning with vegan options as well. It only costs 80 Baht and features at least four varieties of Kimchi, steamed rice and a soy bean and vegetable soup.
• Address: 9 Nimmanhaemin Lane 7 Suthep Muang, CM
This tiny restaurant inside the old city is covered in vines and easily missed. My dining session felt similar to a garden party brunch. Angel’s Secrets serves both vegan and non-vegan meals and delicious smoothies. Try the grilled mushroom sandwich if you are there around lunch time!
• Address: 27 5, Moon Muang Rd Soi 9, 50200
I stumbled upon Mild by mistake and was immediately drawn in by their sign advertising soy milk based ice cream. It sits on a side street within the old city and has a huge menu of Thai and Western meals. I had a coconut milk porridge with the coldest and most delicious Thai coconut I have ever had. They also have a shop selling handmade crafts and some fresh produce.
• Address: 24, Sri Poom Rd Lane 1, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50300
Bird’s Nest Cafe
This rustic looking café is located in the north end of the old city and is made of antiquated wood paneling and adorned in mismatched art and Tibetan prayer flags. Although not completely vegan, the vegan options are clearly displayed on the menu. My favorite is the Thai Style Salad with cashew nuts, carrots and toasted coconut flakes. They also have a small shop with handmade postcards and natural products. It’s usually quite quiet so it’s a great place to come with a book.
• Hours: 9am- 8pm
• Address: Sinharat Lane Soi 3, Chiang Mai, Thailand
This place has everything! Also not completely vegan, you still have an extensive list of options from Western sandwiches to Thai curries. My favorite part about Blue Diamond is their large dessert fridge of vegan options, including an absolutely devilish chocolate cake, a huge freezer filled with vegan ice cream, an entire bakery’s worth of vegan breads, cookies and muffins, fresh produce and tons of natural beauty and health products. This one is a great place for breakfast, even though it’s not open on Sundays.
• Address: 35/1 MoonMuang Road, Soi 9, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Another restaurant that I found out about through the Thai Fruit Festival, Happy Green is a little bit out of the old city, situated by the river. I went there early on a Saturday afternoon for the “All You Can Eat” vegan buffet and was blown away by the selection for a mere 80 Baht. From pumpkin curry to barbequed flavored mushrooms, it was some of the best vegan food I have had since moving to Chiang Mai.
• Address: 4/3 Moo 3 Pa Daet Rd, Tambol Pa Daet,
Ice Love You
Not exactly a restaurant, Ice Love You is a superhero themed ice cream shop with 20+ different flavors of vegan ice cream. Made with coconut milk, they are delicious and less than 30 Baht a scoop. This shop can be found off of Suthep Road and a smaller version can be found in the Huay Kaew market, Kad Na Mor.
• Address: Srivichai Soi 1, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200
Don’t let this list fool you, there are plenty more vegan restaurants where these came from. Some I’ve been to and some I haven’t made it to yet, however, if you discover one that isn’t on this list, I would love to hear about it! Happy cruelty free eating!