The BEST Pad Thai’s in Chiang Mai, Thailand - Most Authentic Pad Thai - Vegetarian & Vegan Friendly
If you're in Chiang Mai or anywhere in Thailand for that matter, then you must have already gorged your face in Pad Thai and other local cuisine dishes. I could honestly eat pad thai on the daily. It is such a delicious mix of sweet, salty, sour and savoury! It's probably one of the most famous dishes that people know Thailand for. Of course, Thailand offers an array of amazing food...like their curries, salads, stir-fry's and more! Thailand also houses all sorts of cuisines and restaurants outside of just Thai food but obviously if you're in Thailand, you're going to want to checkout and eat the local food! Down below I have the top 5 absolute best pad thai's in Chiang Mai + one bonus pad thai that is the BEST in ALL of Thailand!
Chiang Mai, Thailand is my favourite city in the whole wide World for SO many reasons but I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say that the local cuisine doesn’t play a role in that! I’ve personally travelled to around 25 countries and around 160 cities/places in my lifetime (thus far) across 4 continents…and find Chiang Mai to be foodie HEAVEN! So hopefully that says something :). If you’d like to see my top 30 fav eats (vegan + veg friendly) in Chiang Mai, click here!
Now, if you don’t know my background or if you don’t follow me on instagram and you just landed on this Blog by searching up Chiang Mai, you may not know this, but I’ve spent around half the year in Chiang Mai or around SE Asia for the past 2 years and the other half in Western Canada. At the time of writing this blog post, I’m currently here for my 3rd year. So, I’ve spent a good sum of time in Chiang Mai and I’ve scouted out the best pad thai for you!
These below are the creme de la creme of pad thai in Chiang Mai that are MUST-try’s & my personal go-to’s! They are in my opinion, the most authentic, the best in flavour and overall just the best.
All photos shown below are my personal photos from eating at these spots unless otherwise stated and of course only show a small sample of what each restaurant/cafe has to offer! This post is NOT sponsored. All opinions are my own and I’m putting this here to help other travellers out who visit Chiang Mai :).
I’ve added google search links to ALL spots talked about right under my mini-scoop review for each which will take you straight to the google search landing page so you can see menu photos, other peoples’ reviews, the TripAdvisor reviews, HappyCow, other blog posts etc.
Alright, let’s get started!
These are in no particular order:
1. pad thai mustache style
✧ Pad thai street food stall in the Nimman area
✦ Offers original pad thai, pad thai omelettes and fried rice - isn’t a strictly vegan or vegetarian pad thai spot but can modify for vegan/veg easily
I love pad thai mustache style! It’s a one man show and he runs his pad thai spot in the Nimman area. He is usually open at around 7pm-8pm and is open until late at night. Every pad thai is made fresh to order and this is a spot loved by locals and tourists alike. Note that he makes each one, one by one so if there’s a huge line you can always put your order in and walk around Nimman and come back. Overall, the pad thai is very authentic and he uses the old school tamarind sauce and all the fixings that come in a original pad thai (like pickles radish, shallots, green onion, beansprout, peanut).
Price range: All his dishes are around 40 baht to 70 baht. He gives me the vegan pad thai he makes for me (no egg, no meat, no fish sauce) for 40 baht. Super cheap and super good!
My personal recommendations: I get the vegan pad thai every time I come here. I just say pad thai original, no egg, no fish sauce, no meat and he totally understands what I want :).
2. may kaidee
✧ Fully vegetarian and vegan restaurant + cooking school
✦ Located in old city
May Kaidee is my favourite spot for all Thai food (& some amazing sushi, too)! Her pad thai is next level though. So so good!! I always ask for it original style with the tamarind sauce. She makes each dish fresh in the back and brings it out with an amazing peanut sauce + veggies on top. This isn’t a traditional pad thai as it has a lot of added veggies on top but it is insanely good! It’s almost like a thai chow mein and I fall more in love with it each time. Definitely worth going for the pad thai but also all the other amazing dishes!
Price range: All of May Kaidee’s dishes are around 70 baht. A very good deal for the quality of ingredients you’re getting and the freshness! Highly highly recommend checking it out.
My personal recommendations: I love the pad thai (of course) and the sushi. I also really like her curries! I am certain all the dishes are superb, though.
Link to Google reviews, TripAdvisor + more
3. lamour cafe
✧ Thai food, International food, drinks, lattes, cafe, desserts, brunch, breakfast, lunch & evening dinner spot etc
✦ Serves a range of all dishes and is not a strictly vegetarian or vegan restaurant but can easily accommodate to your liking :)
Lamour Cafe is such a beautiful restaurant and cafe! The setting is absolutely stunning. It’s set amidst a beautiful forest with tons of greenery around. It also has a fabulous hair salon attached to it on the second level of one of the buildings which I recommend too! The service here is top notch and the chef’s and staff take great pride in you getting exactly what you want and how you want it. I love the pad thai here. It’s super good and has some beautiful touches like shredded cucumber and banana flower etc. Go if you want pad thai in a beautiful, more fine dining type vibe! They have an array of dishes from international food, to pastas to thai cuisine to papaya salad to brunch and pancakes and wonderful drinks/smoothies/teas and desserts! It’s also less than 5 minute walk to Baan Kang Wat & Wat Umong which is a huge plus.
Price range: I believe the pad thai was around 100 ish baht.
My personal recommendations: I love the pad thai (obviously) but also really enjoy their papaya salad here and smoothies. I am sure all the dishes are fabulously prepared and presented. The flavours were really good! The service is also amazing so if for some reason you aren’t happy with something, the staff and chef’s are happy to accommodate any requests you have. For example if you like it more or less saucy etc. I just ask for pad thai vegetarian, no fish sauce, instead the tamarind sauce and no egg and they make a wonderful vegan pad thai for me. You can get it however you like, of course :).
Link to Google reviews, TripAdvisor + more
4. anchan vegetarian restaurant pad thai
✧ Fully vegetarian/vegan restaurant
✦ Located in the Nimman area
Anchan pad thai (butterfly pea flower) pad thai is such a different yet delicious version of pad thai! The purple looks pretty dang cool too when it comes out and is 100% a natural colour from the anchan. You can get anchan pad thai or regular mushroom pad thai at Anchan Vegetarian Restaurant. Note too that these spots that are fully vegetarian or vegan spots, there are always tons of people who aren’t vegetarian or vegan that eat at them due to the amazing flavours and food they offer! So don’t knock it til’ you’ve tried it ;). This restaurant also offers an array of other dishes too and the menu changes almost on a weekly basis!
Price range: Around 90-120 baht per dish.
My personal recommendations: I love the anchan pad thai here!
Link to Google reviews, TripAdvisor + more
5. thai farm cooking school self-made pad thai
✧ Cooking school
✦ Not a fully vegetarian cooking school but has vegan/veg options for you to learn to make :)
I loved my experience at the Thai Farm Cooking School and honestly, one of my all time favourite pad thai’s was the one I learned to make with the cooking school! Your day starts off at a local market and then you get driven to the farm and cooking school where you get a tour of the organic farm they have there. Then, you make quite a few things during the day! I made a soup, a curry (including the curry paste), a pad thai, saw how papaya salad was made, a basil stir-fry, mango sticky rice and a coconut milk banana dessert. I highly recommend learning how to cook traditional Thai food at any of the cooking schools around. I really enjoyed my time at this one and it’s crazy to think the one I learned to make made my top 5 in Chiang Mai!
Price range: You can look up the daily cooking school rate on their website but I believe we paid 1500 baht which is around $65 CAD or $50 USD, around that for the full day with pick up and drop off which is a really great deal in my opinion. You also get a little cookbook with all the recipes at the end :).
My personal recommendations: Bring a hat, sunscreen & wear comfy clothes/shoes!
Link to Google reviews, TripAdvisor + more
6. ASA VEGAN KITCHEN
✧ Vegan food, smoothie bowls, soups, Thai, pancakes, fusion food
✦ Fully vegan and plant-based restaurant. No animal products.
Asa Vegan Kitchen is in old city and is an awesome working cafe and restaurant! Love their food, drinks & smoothie bowls! Their pad thai has a unique spin where they use plum sauce instead of tamarind (the traditional way to make pad thai) and it tastes amazingly good! They have delicious plant-based food, health-focused foods, comfort foods and it doubles as a yoga studio upstairs. Really cute ambience and wonderful all around experience.
Price range: Their pad thai is 120 baht. They have a large menu as well that range from 120-170 baht for mains.
My personal recommendations: I love their chai pancakes, their pad thai, their mushroom burger and of course, the smoothie bowls and their chickpea mango curry!
bonuS BEST PAD THAI IN ALL OF THAILAND…
This definitely goes out to the Pai walking street pad thai!
This pad thai is located at the end of Pai walking street and is seriously the best I’ve ever had (which it’s not hard to find amaaaaazing food and pad thai anywhere in Thailand so hopefully that’s saying something)! We have been going here for 3 years in a row every time we go to Pai. It is a little street cart set up and is 50 baht for pad thai. It is labelled “pad thai cashew vegetarian.” Here is the google listing of the exact location. Pai itself is a MUST when in Northern Thailand. I have been countless times (it’s usually where me and my partner go for a weekend getaway). Pai is a small tranquil village in the Mae Hong Son area and is wonderful for nature, hikes, sunrises, sunsets, scooting around and exploring.
Drink bottled water!
In Thailand & most of Asia, make sure to drink bottled water (my fav is the Singha brand) but at some of the restaurants mentioned above (and others in Chiang Mai, too), they offer filtered reverse osmosis safe-to-drink water as well, just make sure to ask.
What about the ice, though?
Ice is generally safe to drink at restaurants, cafes and at the various awesome eats in Chiang Mai. In Thailand, in general, most vendors and restaurants get their ice from a clean ice distributor. Even the street smoothie spots use clean ice, for the most part. If you’re worried, ask and ensure it is clean ice or drinking water. If you’re really concerned about a certain street vendor or street side smoothie shop, just skip it (I have never had to do this) but just sayin’ just in case. Of course, use your own discretion.
You are totally good to eat street food in Thailand! I wouldn’t say this about all countries or places in Asia, but especially in Chiang Mai, you should be just fine. I have never gotten food poisoning or stomach sick from eating at any of the restaurants listed above or from eating street food in Thailand in general, either. Of course, if you have never ever had certain veggies, spices etc, your stomach may have a little shock and need to get used to the way or style of cooking, but in terms of sickness, I haven’t heard of really anyone who’s gotten “sick” from Thai street food unless they’ve eaten meat or fish lying there for a while. A great tip for street food (common sense-ical but common sense is not always common practice) is to go to the spots that have line ups (duh!) and only eat the street food if it’s being prepared fresh and cooked in high heat in front of you so if any pathogens were there, they die off. This isn’t to scare you into not eating street food, it’s to encourage you to indulge in it and try new things, but smartly :). So…don’t forget to indulge in Chiang Mai street food, smoothie’s and drink your heart out in coconuts, too!
I started adding travel and more lifestyle type/style blogs to my site because I get questions and dm’s alllll the time from people from all over asking me what my top recommendations are, what to go see, what to do, where to eat, tips, hacks etc etc so I thought instead of typing it out each and every dang time, I’d just post it on the blog to help even more people (and low-key so I can just send a link to those who ask :P). I hope this blog post helped you out! If you enjoyed it, definitely feel free to share it! XO
Sending you BIG love today & always!
My whole heart, ♡