Khao soi curry noodle soup is probably Chiang Mai’s most famous food speciality. Dining on a bowl of khao soi is a must when in Chiang Mai. It ranks along with trips to Doi Suthep Temple and trekking as an essential visitor experience. Khao soi is a fusion of the tastes of olden Burma and India tweaked to suit the Thai taste.
The soup for khao soi is created from coconut cream and a curry paste. Egg noodles are boiled and added to the soup while deep-fried, crispy noodles are sprinkled on top. The dish generally comes with a choice of sliced beef or chicken drumsticks, but occasionally with pork or as vegetarian. Spicy chilli paste (nam prik pao), pickled cabbage leaves, shallots and a slice of lime are used to garnish the khao soi.
There are more than a few khao soi restaurants in Chiang Mai. The What’s Up team have sampled the creations of most and come up with a recommended Top Five. These are mostly open at lunch time only. Foodies with an urge to eat khao soi in the evening could try the Anusarn or Kalare Night Markets.
Last Updated: June 2019
The curry soup at Khao Soi Samer Jai constantly gets rave reviews and is a delight in its own right. The khao soi comes with beef, chicken or as vegetarian. Although khao soi is this no-frills eatery’s reason for being, northern sai ua sausages and barbecued sticks of satay are not without their attractions. Khao Soi Samer Jai is beside the River Ping on the north side of Chiang Mai.
Khao Soi Samer Jai: #391, M. 2, T. Faham Rd., A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50000 | Open: 08:00-17:00 (Daily) | Tel: +66 53 242 928
Just down the road from Samer Jai, Khao Soi Lam Duan is another restaurant noted for its delicious khao soi. Like its sister establishment, this eatery has no airs and graces and the emphasis is on good food. Satay sticks are the ideal starter for khao soi with chicken or beef.
Khao Soi Lam Duan (Faham) : #352/22, Charoenrat Rd., T. Wat Ket, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50000 | Open: 09:00-16:00 (Daily) | Tel: +66 53 243 519
This atmospheric little eatery is positioned on Si Phum Road and across from the north side of the Old City moat. The ingredients used in the khao soi at Khun Yai are high-quality, fresh and guaranteed to provide superior tastes. Pork or chicken are the two main options. This restaurant serves longan and other fruit juices.
Khao Soi Khun Yai : – Soi 8, T. Sri Phum, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50200 | Open: 10:00-14:00 (Closed on Sun)
This Night Bazaar area restaurant serves Halal versions of khao soi plus a number of other dishes. The beef khao soi along with khao mok biryani rice and goat meat come highly recommended. Khao Soi Islam is two minutes’ walk from Ban Haw Masjid, AKA Chiang Mai Islamic Mosque.
Khao Soi Islam : – Charoen Prathet Rd., T. Chang Klan, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50100 | Open: 08:00-17:00 (Daily) | Tel: +66 53 271 484
Khao Soi Nimman serves up a range of khao soi dishes, including pork and shrimp, as well as satay, curries and sai ua sausages. This establishment opens for lunch and stays open later than most other Chiang Mai restaurants serving khao soi. Prices are a little higher too, but not excessively so. Khao Soi Nimman is located on Soi 7 off Nimmanhaemin Road.
Khao Soi Nimman: – Nimmanhaemin Rd., Soi 7, T. Suthep, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50200 | Open: 11:00-20:00 (Daily) | Tel: +66 53 894 881