Photos: Anne Chomdock
Are you sick and tired of making those pesky visa runs just for the sake of getting that stamp? What happened to “stopping to smell the roses” or in our case, stop for awhile and enjoy some great coffee and delicious food? Forget your boring visa run that you planned last minute last night, and enjoy the best of what Chiang Rai has to offer in the yummy department. With its soon to be even better known hot spots for coffee shops, join us to ten worth-your-while joints that will make you look forward to your next run.
1. Chivit Thammada Coffee House & Bistro
Chivit Thammada (Ordinary life) Coffee House, an English country-style restaurant provides a fantastic selection of tea, coffee, food, and various other snacks. Stepping into the shop feels like walking into the past, into the days of riverside parties and poetry readings. The international menu is prepared fresh from local produce.
Call: 08 1984 2925 or 0 5316 6967
Open: 8am – 8pm
FACEBOOK PAGE: www.facebook.com/Chivit-Thamma-Da-Coffee-House-Bistro
2. Manorom Coffee House
Excellent food, home-made pastries, and aromatic coffee coupled with a relaxing atmosphere is sure to hit the café lover’s spot. Steak, pasta, and salad are also some of the items available on the menu. Manorom is another “not to miss” coffee house that also provides food. Not recommended if you are short on time, because you’ll want to stay for sure!
Call: 09 2373 7666
Open: 9am – 8pm
FACEBOOK PAGE: facebook.com/manoromcoffee
3. Melt in Your Mouth
Yet another outstanding restaurant in town, in an English style building with a green and shady environment, Melt in Your Mouth is a place that could melt your heart with mouth-watering delights. Every ingredient is imported and chosen with great consideration. Regardless of whether you choose to sit inside the spacious building, in the English garden, or in the garden by the river, Melt in Your Mouth is sure to satisfy every connoisseur.
Call: 0 5371 1199
Open: 8:30am – 8:30pm
FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/meltinyourmouthchiangrai
4. Eat Sleep Cafe and Bed
A cozy bed and breakfast hotel located on the Mae Kok River offers mouthwatering home-made bakery products, great coffee and snacks, sure to delight more than just ‘morning people’. Hand-made products are also sold in their shop.
Call: 09 1067 8272
Open: 9:00am – 8:00pm
FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/Eat-sleep-cafe-bed-Chiangrai
The Fascination Coffee & Bakery House
An industrial building vintagely decorated equipped with contemporary furniture, is our next visit. The homey atmosphere of Parabola: the Fascination Coffee & Bakery House is perfect for savoring freshly-baked items, fruit juices and yummy munchies. Look for the giant red box in front of the venue.
Call: 0 5377 2234
Open: 8.30am – 8.00pm Closed on Tuesdays.
6. Cafe Khiri
Cafe Khiri is a “must visit” for dessert-lovers. The owner gained her expertise from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Paris and makes her delicious creations on a daily basis, from banoffee pies to coconut cake.
Call: 08 9700 9919
Open: 8.30am – 6.00pm Closed on Mondays
7. Cimelio Coffee
On the other side of the road, relive your childhood nostalgia at Cimelio Coffee, a place so spacious and photogenic that you’ll always get a perfect frame.
Call: 08 1616 7410
Open: 9:00am – 6:00pm
FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/cimeliocoffee?fref=ts
8. Krua Silapin
@ Art Bridge Gallery
For art and food lovers Krua Silapin @ Art Bridge Gallery is highly recommended. Here you can admire sculptures, illustrations and art installations. Enjoy the beautiful artwork as well as delicious food in a more than peaceful setting.
Call: 08 8418 5431, 0 5316 6623
Open: 10:00am -10:00pm
FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/ArtBridgeChiangRai/?fref=ts
9. Craft Café
Experience a showcase of handicrafts at this minimal and unique coffee shop at Jinnaluck Miracle of Saa. This paper factory opened its own coffee shop called Craft Cafe. Pillows, coasters and even the curtains are made of mulberry or saa paper. This cafe is stylish and comfortable, and thus a must visit.
Call: 0 5367 5395, 08 1883 9062
Open: 9:00am – 15:00pm
FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/JinnaluckMiracleOfSaa/?fref=ts
10. Ryokan Café
Ryokan Café is a Japanese country style café located in the countryside of Chiang Rai, which delivers a real Japanese café experience. Enjoy Japanese bakery products and strong coffee amongst green rice paddy fields and the nice cool breeze.
Call: 08 1868 3010
Open: 9.00am – 6.30pm
FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/RyokanCafe/?fref=ts
Yes, chances are that if you are making that run for the border, you are going through Chiang Rai at some point, hopefully you are driving yourself–you get to SEE more, obviously AND stop as you please. Don’t just spend a 30 minute potty break at the great White Temple or an hour gelato stop at Baan Damm (GOOO-total must), but get into the new emerging Chiang Rai environs. Recently, many coffee shops are mushrooming throughout the city and along the way to Mae Fah Luang and Mae Sai. Most of them are the babes of the new generation workforce, having just finished their studies in culinary courses throughout the world, and they are bringing their love to Chiang Rai! So stop making those boring visa runs every few months. Instead, enjoy an easily planned gourmand’s approach to time in Chiang Rai. Visa STROLL, not visa run. Enjoy your time wherever the road might take you!
How to get to there:
There are numerous ways to get to Chiang Rai. From Central Thailand or Bangkok, take the Asia Road until you reach the Indochina Intersection. Make a left heading to Chiang Mai. We recommend taking a stop there to rest for the day and visit the Ping River. From Chiang Mai, take the 118 that continues to Chiang Rai. Once you come down from the hills of Chiang Mai, you will reach Baan Mae Khachan, Amphur Wiang Pa Pao, Chiang Rai. From here, you can continue straight to Chiang Rai or take a right for a quick visit to Phayao, which is approximately one hour away. From the Indochina Intersection in Lampang, you can also continue north through Amphur Ngao, Lampang to go to Phayao, and then continue from there to Chiang Rai. This route takes approximately three hours.