One thing you will immediately notice when driving around the Old Town and Nimmanhaemin Road is the abundance of coffee shops. Even if you’re not planning to make your Chiang Mai trip a coffee expedition chances are you will consume more than intended to. The trick is to find the right café which does not only offer a heavenly brewed coffee, but also a cozy atmosphere – don’t worry, we got you covered:
- PangKhon Coffee
PangKhon Coffee is a local chain from northern Thailand with branches around Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. The company is actively fighting against deforestation in the rural area of Pang Khon near Chiang Rai, 1000-1500m above the sea level. Part of the campaign is preserving the forest by growing coffee where deforestation already happened. The service is quick and efficient; you even get a free glass of water along with the coffee (which is unfortunately not yet standardized among many coffee shops). Have a delicious and refreshing passion fruit cake along with your latte or cappuccino.
Cost: Cappuccino – 50 THB
Location: 31 Chang Lor T. Haiya A. Mueang (Chiang Mai Gate branch) Open: daily, 07:00-18:00
Yes, the name reveals already what expects you there: a library! Located on Nimmanhaemin Road, this extravagant coffee shop definitely wins with its attached library (with English and Thai books), the ultra-modern wooden design and, of course, the coffee. Although slightly more expensive than the average coffee shop, this one is definitely worth a visit, even if only for the books.
Cost: Cappuccino 75 THB
Location: 16/2 Nimmanhaemin Road Soi 5 (Soi= ’lane’) Open: daily, 10:00-20:00
Another coffee shop which loves to mix names: cat & atmosphere. Opened just last year, this quirky cat café has quickly established itself not only among cat lovers, but also coffee connoisseurs. Let’s be honest: what can be possibly cuter than cuddling a dozen mini tigers of all sizes when sipping a delicious coffee? The café is entirely space themed, from the décor to the names of the cats like Luna, Apollo or Obi Wan.
Bring a lot of time to play with the cats but also to try their luscious cakes and crepes, but be aware: at busy times, the café allows a maximum stay of two hours only.
Cost: Cappuccino – 75 THB
Location: 233/5 Huay Kaew Road Open: 10:00-20:00
- Marble Arch Café
Named after an underground station in London, Marble Arch is yet another great coffee shop on Nimmanhaemin Road completely London themed! Aside various cold and hot coffee specialities, Marble Arch offers a good selection of sweet and savoury snacks. Overall the atmosphere is kept warm with a lot of indirect lightening and a mix of white and brown colours. In addition it’s a great place if you plan to go online for a couple of hours, since the wifi is fast and reliable, plus you have plenty power sockets.
Cost: Cappuccino – 60 THB
Location: 12/6-7 Nimmanhaemin Road Soi 9 Open: 24 hours
- Chiang Mai Breakfast World at Thapae Gate Lodge
This Thai style lodge is run by a German/Thai couple but especially famous for its all-day-breakfast (actually only breakfast) menu. The area is kept semi open and might get a bit warm during the hot season, but having a coffee along with a delicious panna cotta mango mousse is absolutely worth the visit. Oh, did we mention that you can choose between 50 different coffee varieties? Yep, how about a Mocha Banana Frappe or Almond Latte?
Cost: Cappuccino – 59 THB
Location: Mun Mueang Road, Soi 2 Open: daily, 07:00-17:00
- The Volcano
The Volcano is a so called dessert café, speaking only specialized in sweet treats. It gained immense popularity through its concept of ‘creating’ your own toast: you can choose from three different types of bread, several sauces, fruits and toppings. Back to the coffee: it is not exaggerated when we say that the coffees taste superb and is among the best ones around, both in terms of taste and value.
Cost: Cappuccino – 55 THB
Location: Nim City Daily Open: daily, 10:00-22:00
Widely considered as one of the best coffees shops around town and a paradise for coffee enthusiasts. The staff consists of a number of real trained baristas which also reflects the price. The café can be crowded and noisy at some times, but just given the fantastic taste makes you forget any noise around you. Another highlight: Rist8to is also well known for its latte art (small figures or symbols with milk and foam created on top of a mocha, latte or cappuccino).
Cost: Cappuccino – 70 THB
Location: 15/3 Nimmanhaemin Road Open: daily, 07:00-18:00