Lucie Grace, author of The Best Digital Nomad Neighborhoods in Chiang Mai, shares her top choices for restaurants, bars, cafes, and coworking spaces in the bustling digital nomad hub of Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The Best Restaurants in Chiang Mai for Digital Nomads

Maadae Slow Fish Kitchen: One of the best-rated restaurants in the city, Maade’s menu is pretty exclusively seafood-based, as you’d expect from their name. Dining here doesn’t come cheap but they’re undeniably good at what they do, so it’s a top choice for special occasions.

Vegan Heaven: The undisputed queen of vegan spots in Chiang Mai, Vegan Heaven is one of the originals, known for its sprawling menu and high-quality dishes. Owner Nan is a great hostess and is always happy to reserve you a table, so you don’t miss out on dinner time.

Huen Muan Jai: Make a beeline to this long-serving local restaurant in Chang Phueak for their cheap but insanely tasty Thai dishes. The garden setting is charming and the wide-ranging menu that covers just about all the northern Thai specialities is equally as appealing.

Kao Soy Nimmam: This Michelin star restaurant has stayed true to its humble origins and kept the prices low despite being the best khao soy (northern Thai noodle soup) joint in the city. Expect to wait a while for a table at peak times but it’s totally worth it.

The House by Ginger: The classy yet zany interior design is thoroughly enjoyable in this upmarket Thai restaurant on the old city’s moat. Almost all of the produce comes from their very own Ginger Farm, which you can also visit, southeast of the city.

Fern Forest Cafe: A favorite with locals and tourists alike, Fern Forest’s Babylonian vibe garden is a peaceful destination, even when it’s packed. The trees, plants, and koi carp ponds add an air of serenity, as does the great lunch menu which is served all day.

Gin Udon: Travel to Japan without leaving Chiang Mai in this fantastic udon cafe on the eastern side of the old city’s moat. You’ll be greeted in Japanese by the overwhelmingly friendly staff and dazzled by the insanely tasty menu of udon (noodle soup) alongside other Japanese favorites. It’s not cheap but worth every cent.

Why Not Italian: This classic Italian restaurant is reminiscent of the Italian restaurants your parents took you to as a kid, in a good way. The menu of high-quality fare is very lengthy, so your main complaint will be deciding what to choose. Plus there are two pages of interesting vegan options (not just tomato and spaghetti) on the ‘healthy menu’.

Rad Rabbit Vegan Pizza: With cashew cheese this good, you won’t even notice you’re in a vegan restaurant. The Italian-themed pizzeria also serves great pasta (don’t miss the eggplant parmigiana) and salads and is a hot spot for sustainability and charitable causes.

Oxygen Dining Room: One of the fanciest nights out in the town, this place offers a tasting menu of multiple small plates that will blow you away. Dress up nice.

The Best Bars in Chiang Mai for Digital Nomads

Thapae East: Undoubtedly the coolest bar in the city, Thapae East provides a soundtrack of soul and jazz, whether it’s live music nights or smooth tunes selected by the savvy bar staff. 

North Gate Jazz Co-op: Spread over three floors, and often spilling out onto the street, the North Gate Jazz Co-op is a favorite with locals and visitors alike. Collectively-owned by a group of musicians, who’ve clearly put their heart and soul into the place, this bar is a treat for jazz lovers or the intro you’ve always needed, with live performances most nights of the week.

CRU 2nd floor wine bar: This classy spot in the Old City is the best place for good quality wine (not something Thailand is famous for). The ambiance and views of the main drag below make it a great place to whittle the night away.

Nophaburi Bar: This small but perfectly formed cocktail bar in the Old City has a great menu of classics but it’s the Thai cocktails you’ll want to try, as you spend much longer than intended in the cool little joint decorated with Thai nostalgia. 

Lost Hut: A tiny little dive bar in the Old City, literally in a bamboo hut. A fun place to chat to the laidback owner who closes whenever he feels like it, essentially.

Warm Up Cafe: One of the largest bars in town, Warm Up has four different areas to enjoy and a fun dancefloor on the nights they host EDM deejays.

The Yard: This bar just north of the city walls has a great outdoor space that often hosts good parties and club nights so it’s definitely one to watch.

Moment’s Notice Jazz Club: Another of Chiang Mai’s great jazz bars, Moment’s Notice has live music six nights a week (it’s closed on Mondays) and great, affordable cocktails to boot.

Forbidden Bar: Nimman’s best cocktail bar is tucked away but worth seeking out for its excellent drinks, lovely staff, and cool soundtrack.

The Riverside Bar: A lively bar and restaurant on the banks of the River Ping, the Riverside Bar goes as late as they can get away with and is a fun night out if you’re up for a dance.

The Best Digital Nomad Cafes in Chiang Mai

Into the Woods: One of the most comfortable places to set yourself up for a day’s work, Into the Woods is spacious, air-conditioned, and has good-sized tables, amidst fantasy-themed decor and a library of graphic novels and ethereal favorites.

Baristo on the River: This branch of esteemed coffee roasters is just north of the old city, in a swanky modernist house conversion with a large garden, so it's great for working inside and out. WiFi is reliable, views are serene, and the coffee, of course, is excellent.

My Secret Cafe in Town: There are only a couple of charging points in this cafe but it’s otherwise a top choice, with great staff and an excellent and reasonably priced menu including baked treats to die for.

8 Days a Week: The serene, minimalist interior and excellent coffee make this a remote working favorite, just north of Nimman.

Caramellow: A bit of a way south of the city center, Caramellow seems like it was designed with remote working in mind. The lengthy desks and books everywhere make it a very conducive and productive environment to get that “to do” list done. The staff is lovely and it’s got a great menu to keep you well-fed all day.

The Best Coworking Spaces in Chiang Mai for Digital Nomads

Yellow Coworking Space: In the heart of Nimman, Yellow is the best coworking space in the city. Spread over two floors inside and an outdoor garden, the space also has five private offices, three “skype” video call rooms, and an onsite cafe to cater to all your caffeine needs. The larger office rooms have an assortment of desk heights, from floor seated, regular desk or standing desk, plus wonderful staff who know every visitor by name.

Punspace: There are two branches of Punspace in the Old City. Both are well designed and spacious, with silent working rooms as well as the more social “group working” spaces, where chatting with the friendly regulars is the norm. Both sites have a small kitchen to use and great coffee spots nearby. 

Alt Chiang Mai: This co-living space has small but bright and airy workspaces that live-in guests and day visitors can make the most of, as well as a garden that is the site of regular talks and events, weekly yoga sessions, and an ice bath for those who dare.

Hub 53: Another living and working space, Hub 53 is a Chiang Mai veteran and very affordably priced. Hosted by lovely staff in the north of Suthep.

CAMP at Maya Mall: CAMP (or Creative and Meeting Place if you’re going by full name) is a large open plan space on the top floor of Maya Mall, particularly good for group work and team meetings. It’s a friendly space with all the facilities of the mall at hand.

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