Cafes You Can’t Miss in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, Thailand is a haven for digital nomads. People with laptops are everywhere- cafes, restaurants- you name it. 

It’s no surprise- the wifi is strong, and in the case of cafes, the ambiance is great and coffee is excellent. Coffee culture taken seriously in this small city. 

For a cold brew aficionado like myself, what could be better?

I loved Chiang Mai so much I’m considering a return there if I’m still travelling this fall. 

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The Best Cafes in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Ristr8to: True coffee lovers will enjoy this- it’s a place for people who take their coffee seriously. We’re talking award winning coffee. 

They don’t do iced coffee but they have other cold coffee concoctions I enjoyed trying, and the latte is one of the best I’ve ever had. 

Nine One Coffee: Most mornings in Chiang Mai started here. Whether staying in the cafe to work for a bit or taking my cold brew to go, I dug the size (medium, appropriate amount of ice) and appreciated how strong the brew was.

Aka Ama Coffee: I told myself I wouldn’t buy coffee beans anywhere I visited- because I don’t know how long I’m travelling for- but, I just couldn’t resist doing so here. The coffee is fantastic and I love how close their old town location is to a few of the best temples in the city- great place to pop in for a morning caffeine fix or if you need a break from the heat post-temple hopping.

Ponganes Espresso: The cold drip was ace, but I also enjoyed the iced Thai tea I had when I stopped by another time. You can work inside or take a seat in the front garden- the wifi extends outside.

My Secret Cafe: Hidden away from the hustle of old town, this place is a serious gem. It’s cosy, quiet and has a drink menu with loads of options- smoothies, coffees, teas, as well as food and free water. I came here one afternoon to relax with a Thai iced tea and read and found it hard to leave to check out another cafe. 

Overstand Coffee Shop NIMMAN: Known for being a good breakfast spot in the Nimman neighbourhood, the coconut espresso is also worth popping in for.

Rustic & Blue: The coffee is good, but the breakfast is better. Reminiscent of something you’d find in Bali, the menu screams smoothie bowls and healthy breakfast options. I kept it pretty simple with a green juice and parmesan scrambled eggs, and loved it. 

Graph Cafe: The cold brew is good, but it’s also the most expensive I had in Chiang Mai (and not any better than Nine One and Aka Ama, in my opinion). It’s also a small space, not somewhere you can really sit and chat or work from. Including it because the cold brew was good, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The Larder Cafe and Bar: I didn’t try the coffee here, although the menu was extensive. Instead, I came in for breakfast and wasn’t disappointed. Better prices than some of the trendier cafes in the area, and a bit quieter than them too.

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My cafe roster really only scraps the surface of what’s waiting in Chiang Mai- there are more places than anyone could fit into one visit. That degree of choice is one of the things I enjoyed most about the city. 

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If you’ve ever been to the rose of Thailand’s north, which cafes did you enjoy? Does this list of the ‘best cafes in Chiang Mai’ include your favorite places? 

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