The web has many great posts on coffee shops in Chiang Mai like this one from bontraveler.com. These are all great and I’ve visited many, but the longer I live in Chiang Mai the more I want to explore farther out of the city. Some of the best food and coffee I’ve had has come from areas in “local land.” The post is going to focus on three shops that I like to visit just outside of town. The bonus is that I can get a ton of work done here.
This suggested route will require a scooter, or car, and only about 15 min of drive time. I’ve mapped their locations below, but here is an easy way to remember your route while driving. From the Nimman area, take Suthrep Rd (the one by the hospital with the McDonalds) west until you pass over 121. Once you pass 121, take your fourth left onto a Soi. Enjoy the drive. You will pass through student ghetto and then you feel like you just left the big city behind. The trees line the streets and the temperature gets noticeably cooler. On this drive you will find many coffee shops and restaurants but we are going to focus on three.[wpgmza id=”1″]
You can choose which order you want to visit them so they are tailored to your needs. Typically, I split my days into three places – a place to work, a place to eat, and a place to relax and chat without disturbing others. We will look at these coffee shops in this light. First up is Factory Coffee. This is a solid work space. They do have good food, but when I work, I need a desk type table, electrical plug, and AC. This shop is an easy winner for me. Park your bike in front (it will be on a hill, so turn your wheel), order your favorite beverage of choice (they will deliver it to you,) and find your perfect place. The main room with coffee bar has too many shiny objects for me to ignore, so I prefer the adjacent room with its bright lights and large tables.
After a solid work session, I usually want some food, so it is time to head over to 49 Garden Café and Bistro. Depending on the weather, I will typically choose to sit inside with a view looking out. Order up some mini pizzas or fried rice with an Italian soda and hope that today is one of those days that they have live music in the yard. I love the open air feeling that this walk through café has. When the weather isn’t extremely hot, sitting outside under one of the many umbrellas makes you feel like you are on vacation.
After lunch it’s time to plan ahead, which means I need to be able to use my verbals out loud! I know that technically you can chat in a “working” coffee shop, but I always hate being that gal, or in this case, that farang. So, backtrack a bit to Amy’s Café. At Amy’s there is a leather seat waiting for me as well as a Thai Tea. There you can relax in the AC and enjoy a clean space.
These three spots are great places to visit that are a little further afield than the old city, but hopefully you will enjoy the ride and the sites that you’ll see along the way. No worry about getting lost in this neighborhood, the big roads all lead out to 121 so you can always find your way. Click the links to get a more in depth look at each place
What is your favorite coffee shop in Chiang Mai?