The best restaurants for royal Thai cuisine in Chiang Mai

photo by CC user Terence Ong on Flickr

These days, Chiang Mai, or The Rose of the North as it is affectionately called by expats and local Thais alike, has become increasingly popular to travelers looking for a city break in Thailand that is not as hectic and polluted as Bangkok has become in the modern age.

With comfortable temperatures throughout the dry season, plenty of culture and activity to fill your days, and all the modern conveniences you could ever need, this city should be on every luxury traveler’s itinerary in The Land of Smiles.

When the time comes to have a meal here though, don’t settle for anything less than the best of this nation’s famed cuisine: try out any of the best restaurants for Royal Thai cuisine in Chiang Mai, and you’ll be certain to have a divine experience.

1) Punna

Serving as Puripunna’s flagship restaurant, Punna does this luxurious Chiang Mai hotel justice in the dishes that it serves up. The emphasis here is on the presentation of each course, with the time, effort and artistry put into the assembly making it difficult to ruin it by taking the first bite. When you do though, it is bound to be a flavor experience that will reset the bar height of your best Thai meal ever.

2) Saenkham Terrace

Situated well away from the tourists hotspots of the Old City and Nimmanhaemin Road, Saenkham Terrace is a local’s secret that we feel guilty about spoiling to the masses … well, almost. Located off Canal Road southwest of Chiang Mai airport in an old neighborhood between the urban mass of the newer parts of the city and the slopes of Doi Suthep, this restaurant holds true to the tenets of authentic Thai cuisine.

Combined with the fact that many of their ingredients grown organically on site, and you’ll soon be talking about this place in whispers to trusted friends looking for a place that will get them reinvigorated about Thai food.

3) White Tembo

Have very high expectations for something as regal sounding as Royal Thai cuisine? If so, pick up the phone and book a table at White Tembo, as the owners of this establishment know a thing or two about this elevated brand of Thai food, as they are direct descendants of Rama I and II. Located north of the moat near Chiang Mat Rajabhat University, the walls of this establishment is adorned with foreign and local art pieces, granting an atmosphere that is befitting of a place that serves food that is fit for a king.

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