Best Restaurants in Chiang Rai: The Ultimate Guide to Eating (and Drinking) in Chiang Rai

Authored by:
Ruth P.

Ruth P.

One of my favorite parts of living in Chiang Rai has been trying all of the best restaurants throughout the city! Chiang Rai has a little bit of everything for everyone’s dining preferences. From romantic candle-lit dinners, to cheap market eats, to upscale Thai restaurants, you will be sure to find delicious food to satisfy your hunger. 

In addition to tasty bites, Chiang Rai has laid-back bars that offer local beers and classic cocktails. The bars are on the smaller side and provide the ultimate atmosphere for socializing. 

I’ve compiled a list below of some of the best restaurants and bars in Chiang Rai. The restaurants are broken into Thai vs non-Thai. All the restaurants and bars are unique in their own ways, but one thing they share is the desire to tantalize your taste buds through flavorful food and delightful sips that’ll have you coming back for more. 

How Much Does Food Cost in Chiang Rai?

  • The price of a meal in Chiang Rai ranges depending on what you eat and where. The average cost of a Thai dish is about 70 baht ($2 USD), but it can go up to 150 baht ($4.50) at a nice, sit-down Thai restaurant. Expect prices to be on the higher end in the center of town and other tourist areas. If you are looking to pay less (30-50 baht, $1-$1.50), look to eat at the mom and pop shops, a little outside the center of town.  

  • Western food is going to range between 150-300 baht ($4.50-$9.00). Western food is going to cost a lot more, so if you are looking to eat on a budget, aim to eat Thai food. 

  • Food in Chiang Rai is generally cheaper than down south and even cheaper than Chiang Mai.  

Best Thai Restaurants in Chiang Rai 

The suggestions below are grouped into Thai restaurants vs other cuisines. You can easily locate these restaurants by typing the name into Google Maps, but for the ones that are not as easy to find, I have provided the address. 

Som Tum San Sai 

  • This is my favorite restaurant in all of Chiang Rai, partly due to the fact that I eat here for lunch everyday. Everything on the menu is always delicious and is set at a fixed price of 50 baht ($1.50). The food is authentic and the flavors are spot on. 

  • The restaurant is primarily a lunch spot but in recent months, it has extended its hours of operation to include dinner (I have yet to try the dinner menu)

  • My favorites include Pad Thai, red curry stir-fried noodles, Pad See Ew, and Pad Pak (stir fried vegetables). They also have refreshing smoothies which is a good option when I want a break from noodles and rice. 

Address: VR39+RP7 Mueang Chiang Rai, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000


  • Barrab is a top restaurant in Chiang Rai. It's a small restaurant that has limited seating so as such, there is usually a wait. The menu consists of a variety of Thai fares - everything from Khao Soi to Hung Lay Curry and other traditional dishes. The menu is also vegetarian/vegan friendly. 

Lu Lam 

  • Lu Lam is one of the best restaurants for its delicious tasting food and beautiful setting. It’s a popular restaurant due to its location on the river. Because of its prime location, most things on the menu will be on the higher end. However, if you time your visit right, you can catch a nice view of the sun setting over the river while you enjoy your dinner.  

Moom Mai 

  • Moom Mai is regarded as one of the best restaurants in Chiang Rai for its delectable northern Thai specialties. The fried tilapia that comes with a tangy/spicy dipping sauce is a must-try

  • I like Moom Mai restaurant because not only is the food exquisite, but the atmosphere is very inviting. When you arrive, you are greeted by a lovely garden on either side of the walkway. The terrace is full of lush plants and there are seemingly random decorations throughout the greenery which somehow work really well altogether.

Tamarind Bistro and Music House 

  • Tamarind Bistro and Music House has a variety of Thai and non-Thai dishes on the menu. Usually, I don’t like Khai Jiao (the traditional Thai omelette dish), but Tamarind Bistro does a solid Thai omlette that is topped with a creamy tom yum sauce. You can eat in the courtyard of the restaurant which is situated under a huge tree with twinkle lights. On most nights, they have live music so it makes for a perfect night out. 

Best Non-Thai Restaurants 


  • RIBS&CO is a more expensive restaurant in Chiang Rai. I visited  this restaurant a few times, back when my partner was visiting. I have not tried the ribs myself, but my partner reported that they were some of the best melt-in-your-mouth ribs he’s ever had. The soft-shell crab salad is absolutely divine. They also have pasta, pizza and other western foods. 

กั๊ดจัง คาเร (Japanese Restaurant)

  • This restaurant is a go to when I am looking for a switch up from Thai food but don't want to blow my budget. The menu consists of sashimi, Japanese curry, yakisoba and other traditional Japanese dishes. I absolutely love the shrimp curry and the miso soup is the perfect balance of umami and salty seaweed. 

Address: VRXF+8XR, Tambon Rop Wiang, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000


  • SABROSO is one of the only Mexican restaurants in Chiang Rai. The food is a bit more expensive so usually we wait to go on pay day. The passion fruit margarita is the best 200 baht ($5.50) you will ever spend. 

  • Tip - go on Tuesday for ½ off tacos! 

“Food Wishes” Ban Du

  • Food Wishes is a deli situated 15 minutes out of Chiang Rai. They serve fares from all around the world, starting at 99 baht ($2.80). Although it is a little out of the city, my friends and I frequent this deli often because of the budget friendly western dishes. This is another restaurant where you can find Mexican food, but for much cheaper than Soboros. The cheesy quesadillas are my favorite, but the sandwiches are a close second. 

The Hungry Nest

  • The Hungry Nest is another excellent restaurant. It is our go-to brunch spot, and hits the spot after a night out. The coffee is excellent and the bagels are always made fresh. Recently, I had the french toast which was topped with fruit, and I can honestly say it was one of the best french toasts I’ve had in a really long time. 

Heaven Burger

  • You cannot miss Heaven Burger if you are exploring downtown Chiang Rai. It’s a great restaurant that serves your western classics - burgers, pizza, and beers. Unfortunately, the pizza is not the greatest so stick to the burgers and sandwiches. 

  • The burgers are quite large and absolutely mouthwatering. The fries are always crispy and topped with a little parmesan cheese. One of my favorites is the mushroom, avocado sandwich. The menu also has excellent meat alternatives so it’ll be sure to satisfy the cravings of both meat eaters and vegetarians. 

Best Bars in Chiang Rai 

Chiang Rai is a compact little city, which means that all of the best bars are near each other. You can easily bar hop around the city to find the bar that best suits you!

RTCR Bar & Rooftop 

  • For an excellent view over the city, head to RTCR. I recommend going at sunset where you can watch the hustle and bustle of the city, while the sun sets over the hills. Their cocktail selection is limited, but the views make up for it. 

Peace House

  • Peace House is a classic reggae bar downtown. I like Peace House for its calm, outdoor space. You can sit in the back garden and sip on your favorite cocktail, or you can hang out inside and observe the trippy wall art. 

OK!@Chiang Rai

  • Anyone who knows me knows I prefer wine over beer. But, if you catch me enjoying a beer, it's most definitely a sour. OK!@Chiang Rai is the only bar in Chiang Rai that serves sours (some even from Washington State). It’s a more expensive bar, but you can’t argue with the delicious, imported, craft beers. 

Reggae Home & Bar

  • Reggae Bar is the go-to spot with my friends. It is a relaxed bar with a pool table, darts, and good drinks. Sometimes Reggae Bar will bring in a DJ to spin some music live, which can be a nice change of pace from the usual reggae hits.

tiger bar @ตลาดล้านเมือง เชียงราย

  • tiger bar has the cheapest cocktails in the city. Most cocktails on the menu start at 50 baht ($1.50).

  • Tip - go for happy hour (at 5) because despite what Google lists for the hours, it may not be open after 7 p.m. 

Address: 66/8 หมู่11 สันทราย เมือง Chiang Rai 57000

Go ahead and put these restaurants and bars on your list and next time you visit Chiang Rai, give them a go. If you do, be sure to tell me what you think! I’d love to know how you think they stack up.

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