The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Restaurants in Chiang Mai
The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Restaurants in Chiang Mai
The Countless Vegetarian, Vegan and Healthy Restaurants in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai has become a trendy city to be in, from the badass coworking spaces to its seemingly endless list of restaurants to eat clean. In this article, we’ll go over a whopping 15 healthy restaurants in Chiang Mai to fill up your stomach with that feel good factor. It’s important to note that you can order most traditional Thai dishes vegetarian but not vegan. If you’re vegan, we suggest just scrolling down to the 6 vegan restaurants in Chiang Mai we recommend!
It should come as no surprise that we at Bodega love to stuff our face, but some of you may be shocked to see us eating clean. The truth is that our bodies really need some balancing out when you drink as hard as we do. From beer pong tournaments to our infamous Chiang Mai pub crawl, some healthy food to keep the party going is a great idea. You’ll thank us later!
PS: We’re always on the hunt for new places to chow down, so if we missed somewhere you love, tell us in the comments ?
Our Favorite Healthy Restaurants in Chiang Mai
Godlike. Just a hop, skip and a jump away from Bodega Chiang Mai, we’ll start out the list with the closest healthy restaurant to our hostel. It doesn’t matter what your diet is, you’re going to eat until it hurts here. Taking a food tour of Chiang Mai wouldn’t be complete without khao soi and Taste from Heaven is a great place to check that box.
Crowd favorites include their famous mushroom satay, pineapple fried rice, crispy vegan chicken salad with tempeh and the chocolate coconut milkshake. They also host Thai cooking classes that will teach you everything you need to know about local Thai ingredients, staple dishes and more!
Another interesting thing to note is that Taste From Heaven uses bamboo straws with all their drinks. Plastic waste is at an all-time high and cutting down on the use of straws is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Eco-friendly and healthy – two birds with one stone!
Contact: +66 91 859 8920
Address: 34/1 Ratchamanka Rd, Tambon Phra Sing, Amphoe Mueang
Rosy-Cheeks comes highly recommended among both the expat crowd and foodies on the road. After our first visit (and second…and third), we can say with confidence that it truly lives up to the hype. The owner of the restaurant, also the head chef, has put so much TLC into each dish on the menu. It seems like every couple months, they’ve got a new ‘gram-worthy dish on the menu. Most recently? Coconut milk mozzarella balls. Yes, vegan mozzarella balls in Thailand. Never thought we’d see the day!
While not everything on the menu is vegetarian, it’s all healthy for the most part. There’s 2 Burmese salads to choose from – tea leaf and tamarind. Our top picks are the tofu phorrito and the papaya Pad Thai.
Contact: +66 94 842 0197
Address: 52/2 Village No.8 Soi 4, Soi Wat Umong
As the name suggests, Restobar is the place to get a decent wrap with a side of freshly-squeezed juice. Wheatgrass juice, to be specific. Think of this place as the mecca for healthy Western food in Chiang Mai, with their chicken-avocado wrap as the standout menu item. The Western menu doesn’t stop at just wraps though; you’ll find your typical Western breakfast items as well. The french toast and pancakes come with fresh fruits and honey.
“Healthy is the new sexy.”
Restobar is located on the ever-popular Moon Muang Road, with air-conditioned seating inside and a beautiful patio out. If you’re grabbing lunch here, make sure to arrive early enough to get a table inside because the Thai heat will really zap you. Brunch time beats lunch any day of the week if you ask us.
PS: They’ve got great Wi-Fi and power outlets at their tables, so it’s a great spot for digital nomads that want a break from Chiang Mai’s coworking spaces.
Address: 127/3 Mun Mueang Rd, Thesaban Nakhon
Rustic & Blue easily has the best patio of any healthy restaurant in Chiang Mai, by a long shot. Rustic decor, as the name suggests, coupled with a warm nature-rich environment for your dining experience. If you love being surrounded by greenery while eating your greens, this is the place to be. ✌️
As far as healthy joints go, Rustic and Blue has a menu that can only be described as exotic and creative. Sure, they have your typical menu items like acai smoothie bowls and vegetarian breakfast food. But look past that and you’ll see interesting dishes galore: gluten-free chickpea crust pizza, falafel tacos and even homemade sourdough bread! For all you craft coffee lovers out there, we recommend grabbing a cup of bulletproof after your meal. While not the best coffee in Chiang Mai, it’s still delicious (and good for you).
Contact: +66 53 216 420
Address: Nimman Soi 7 | 2 Nimman Soi 7
Gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options up and down the menu, could you ask for more? While Food4Thought isn’t strictly a healthy restaurant, they have some great breakfast options to satisfy your green thumb. And when we say breakfast food, we’re talking Western breakfast. In fact, you won’t see any Thai dishes on the menu at Food4Thought & Bay’s Cafe. But that’s alright, sometimes it’s nice to take a break from the local food anyway, right?
Don’t be scared off by the seemingly expensive pricing here since the portion sizes are quite generous. As Homaro Cantu once said, “Sitting down and sharing a meal together combines two of my favorite loves: eating great food and talking about great food.” Emphasis on the word “sharing” since you might need to split a meal (or save some for later). One dish you absolutely have to try at Food4Thought is their avocado fries. Move over avocado toast, this is peak millennial grub!
Contact: +66 53 217 395
Address: 15/5 Moo 1 | Chang Phueak Subdistrict
V Secret is a hidden gem among expats in Chiang Mai. And when we say hidden gem, we mean that it can be hard to find even if you know where you’re going. V Secret is located at the very back of the new and trendy Ploen Ruedee Night Market. Cross through the entire market to the kids’ playground and you’ll see a wooden food stall with the glowing V Secret sign.
For backpackers on a budget, this is probably your best bet for vegan food in Chiang Mai. One meal is about 100 baht, which is even cheap compared to the other food vendors at Ploen Ruedee. Everything is cooked right in front of you, like your typical Thai street food experience and dishes are served on fresh banana leaves. While the menu is a short list, everything has a Mike Tyson impact on your taste buds. The #BodegaHostels favorite is the tempeh spinach curry.
Contact: +66 87 312 0570
Address: Chang Klan Road | Chang Moi, Ploen Ruedee Night Market
Our Favorite Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants in Chiang Mai
We live in a society. A society where people go hungry and there aren’t enough people doing anything about that. The Vegetarian Society in Chiang Mai is doing exactly that and it’s hard to criticize them for anything at all. They offer free vegan and vegetarian food for the poor and practically give it away for everyone else. Can you afford 10 baht for a full meal? Yeah, that’s what I thought. As a tourist, it can be a difficult place to get a seat at since it’s so damn busy (and rightfully so). Note that they’re only open for lunch everyday, so plan your day accordingly. Fortunately, they’re conveniently located in Chiang Mai Old Town, so it won’t be out of the way while you’re sightseeing.
Contact: +66 53 271 262
Address: 42 Mahidol Rd | T. Haiya
When you think of vegetarian food, sausages don’t typically come to mind. But that’s exactly why you should pay Pun Pun a visit: Thai-style fermented sausage with all the fixings (nam hed song kreung). The dish is traditionally served with sides of lime, red onion, spring onion, cilantro, cashews, ginger and chili. Take a bit of sausage, a dab of anything else and you’ll be in heaven. Another reason why Pun Pun makes our list is that the restaurant is a major player in pushing sustainable travel in Thailand. You can even volunteer there in exchange for accommodation (Workaway). You’ll have the opportunity to learn the inner workings of their organic farming operation and bring their philosophy of modern homesteading to life. To give you some perspective on the Pun Pun lifestyle, check out Jon’s TEDx Talk!
Contact: +66 84 365 6581
Address: Su Thep, Mueang Chiang Mai District
Salads the size of Kanye West’s ego. Seriously, these things are absolutely massive. Happy Green, located along the bank of the Ping River, is a great unknown vegan restaurant in Chiang Mai. Its remote location makes for an adventure in and of itself and the delicious menu rewards you for your efforts. Since it’s a local gem, expect Thai pricing – super affordable for any traveler. The salads are only 60 baht and the ingredients are hyper local. Not only are they grown locally, but they’re grown right by the restaurant. The waitresses actually hand pick ingredients straight from their organic garden after you order!
In tune with the green movement, Happy Green also offers a discount to anyone who arrives by bicycle. ?
Contact: +66 83 774 1743
Address: 4/3 Moo 3, Pa Daet, Mueang Chiang Mai District
I’m sure you’ve had one of those cliche conversations with people who are skeptical of vegan meat alternatives, especially when it comes to the beloved burger of the meat-eating world. Amrita challenges that skepticism and absolutely crushes it. And not just with one burger, but a wide variety of them. Try the tempeh burger with pineapple sauce and mango salsa if you don’t believe us!
Amrita Garden also has a daily macrobiotic lunch special that comes with a detox soup, papaya leaf tea, a small selection of veggie dishes and a bowl of rice. The lunch special’s portions may seem small but they’re quite filling when you go from dish to dish. You won’t leave unsatisfied, that’s for sure. If this is the route you go for your clean meal, make sure to pay the extra 10 baht for their seaweed and pickled mustard leaf wrapped rice balls. It adds so much more to the entire meal, giving each veggie dish new life.
Contact: +66 90 321 2857
Address: 2/1 Samlan Road Soi 5, T prasing, Amphoe Mueang
Bee Vegan is the place in Chiang Mai for traditional vegan dishes. Most things on the menu sit around the 60 baht mark, making it a great spot for backpackers to eat like a horse. On the same note as Pun Pun, Bee’s feature item is fermented mushrooms. The mushroom starter perfectly blends savory tastes with vinegar, you can’t go wrong with it.
Like many other vegan restaurants in Chiang Mai, it can be hard to find. It’s located in a small dead end off Suthep Road and you’re best off just using Google Maps to get there. Writing directions won’t do it justice, GPS is the savior. Good luck!
Contact: +66 96 795 7704
Address: 9 ถนน สุเทพ 1 Suthep Alley, Mueang Chiang Mai District
While the salads here are smaller than Happy Green’s, they are damn tasty and quite affordable. Of all the vegan restaurants in Chiang Mai, we’d say it’s the most Westernized out there. That means air conditioning, comfy seating and Western-style salads.
If you thought you’d grab a light meal, you stepped in the wrong place. The Salad Concept has a tremendous menu full of filling salads, wraps and juices. Whatever you choose to order, we highly recommend grabbing shots of wheatgrass juice to cap out your meal epic style.
Contact: +66 53 894 455
Address: 49/9-10 (Soi 13) Nimmanhaemin Road, Suthep
Our Favorite Places to Get Fresh Juice in Chiang Mai
If you read about Aum online, you’ll get a mixed bag of incredible and terrible reviews. While they have a selection of Thai dishes like khao soi, they don’t seem too authentic (especially compared to other options in the city). But that doesn’t matter because we stop by Aum specifically for their delicious, organic juices.
Contact: +66 89 853 9796
Address: 1/4 Suriyawong Alley | small alley opposite Chiang Mai Gate Hotel
As the name suggest, Juicy4U specializes in fresh juices. What sets them apart from other places with organic juice in Chiang Mai si that they use their own locally grown organic produce. Now that you’ve read through our long list of vegan restaurants in Chiang Mai, this may not seem like an impressive feat but it really is. Don’t underestimate how refreshing organic juice can be!
Contact: +66 83 330 6664
Address: Ratchamanka 5, Chiang Mai, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai
Vegetarian Food at the Chiang Mai Night Market
If we had to summarize the vegetarian food stall at the Chiang Mai night market in a single word, it would be: overrated. Seriously, it’s just not that great. It’s definitely a great option if you’re spending time at the night market anyway, but it’s quite unhealthy and doesn’t compare to the proper vegan restaurants in Chiang Mai. You’ll pay more than what you would for a tasty meal at any restaurant in this article and your meal will have enough MSG and oil to fuel a tuk tuk! We wouldn’t recommend it if you’re trying to eat clean, honestly.
On the other hand, the positive reviews of the food here seem to focus more on the environment of the night market itself. Now that’s something we can get behind! The dining experience of night markets in Thailand is something everyone should take part in at least once.
How to Order Vegetarian and Vegan Food in Thailand
Obviously, the big offenders are meats and seafoods but avoiding them can be complicated. Sometimes the dishes you’d expect to be vegetarian actually aren’t. Thailand is a fan of using meat in curry stocks and as a base for many sauces. You’ll also run into dishes cooked in fish oil quite often. Fortunately, all it takes is learning a couple key basic Thai phrases and you’ll be set!
- Do you have any vegan food? – Mee ahaan jay mai (ka/krap)?
- Do you have any vegetarian food? – Mee ahaan mangsawirat mai (ka/krap)?
- I can’t eat seafood — Kin a harn talay mai dai (khrup/ka)
Living and Eating Healthy in Chiang Mai
Hopefully after reading through our favorite healthy restaurants in Chiang Mai you’ve got a few in mind to grab some grub at. If not, then I’ve failed as a writer! To be blunt, there aren’t many more noteworthy vegetarian and vegan restaurants to choose from in the city. Anything not on this list is either new to Bodega’s ears or too expensive for the typical backpacker. If you feel we’ve missed somewhere essential, drop it in the comments!?