Owned and operated by veterinarians, it’s no surprise that the popular Coffee Villa in Hang Dong opted to use an animal (a deer, to be exact) as the caf?’s friendly mascot. The moment you step inside, you are welcomed with playful deer-related d?cor, from an antler chandelier to mid-century modern tables and chairs. The ambiance is chic and funky – a tad bit country loft meets modern twist – making Coffee Villa the perfect place to settle in and savour something sweet on a rainy day. There are plenty of reasonably priced and decadent desserts to enjoy, including the melt-in-your-mouth chocolate lava cake (95 baht), the scrumptious ice cream waffle (45 baht) or the cafe’s signature Coffee Villa iced coffee (60 baht). Special promotions abound – like their Facebook page to stay in the know. And for those days when sweetness cravings hit but you can’t bear to leave the comfort of home? Coffee Villa offers free delivery for all customers within a 5km radius of the caf?.
Open daily, 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Chill Park on Hang Dong Park Road, opposite Big C Mae Hia
053 447 620
Perched on the second floor of the bright orange building opposite Coffee 94 on Nimman Soi 9 is the brand new De Garden caf?. Step out onto the green grassy ground, and you’ll feel like you’ve entered your own backyard, except with way funkier d?cor! De Garden offers up an array of tasty Thai dishes and fabulous beverages, so grab a menu, sit back and relax in one of their cosy and colourful chairs and enjoy your day in the sun. We recommend the fried tofu in savoury chilli basil sauce, the delicious pork tonkatsu (crunchy pork with secret sauce and mayonnaise served with rice) and the prawn pad tai wrapped in an omelette. Wash it all down with one of De Garden’s signature sweet sparkling Strawberry Cacao or Blue Cacao Italian sodas. De Garden is the perfect spot for lunch, dinner, sundowners with friends or even a late night out.
Open daily, 10 a.m. – midnight
Nimmanhaemin Road, Soi 9
081 881 5155
Ocean Delicious Drinks
Renowned for their rainbow crepe cake, Ocean Delicious Drinks was established by an Australian father and son duo, Andy and Duran Mackenzie. Ocean offers freshly brewed coffee and tea in a relaxing garden environment, complete with soothing tunes and sofas just waiting for you to sink into them. The drink selection ranges from delicious coffee to playful smoothies. Italian soda is a great choice for a sunny day, and for those of you with a sweet tooth, be sure to try the moist chocolate lava cake, the creamy white chocolate cheesecake, or the colourful cake rolls, all guaranteed to gratify your taste buds. The cafe’s airy atmosphere presents a welcome change from the bustling city, just a five minute drive from Central Airport Plaza (or a 15-minute walk if you’re feeling sprightly). With free wifi available, it’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon catching up on work or just relaxing with a book and a snack. In need of a snuggle? Ocean has a fix for that too – there are two delightful little bunnies hopping around the garden that specialise in keeping customers entertained.
Open daily, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Closed Mondays)
79 SeePing Mueang Road
084 502 1413
Are you a buffet lover? Good news for you, then: the 23rd branch of Miyabi Grill has arrived at the brand new Promenada Resort Mall. Here, you can pay 369 baht and indulge in all-you-can-eat yakiniku, seafood, nikiri, maki, rice and side dishes for a full hour and a half. Their protein and produce are all fresh, expertly prepared and served by their friendly and attentive staff. (During our meal, one staff member accidently made a loud noise by dropping something and the entire staff said sorry together in unison!) They also have special dishes for each month. For September, the delightfully fresh and tasty Salmon Salad will be served. And if you’re a member, you’ll have cheese and curry sausages as well! But the deals don’t stop there; if it’s your birthday, you’ll get a 15 percent discount, and if you’re a frequent diner, all you have to do is present your membership card to get 10 percent off every time you dine. So let’s recap: delicious food, lovely atmosphere, and hot promotions. How can you miss it?
Open daily, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Promenada Resort Mall
085 920 4077
As Chinese tourism in Chiang Mai increases, we are seeing a growing number of Chinese restaurants popping up – which means more yum for all of us! One of the most notable new arrivals is Chili Village, where you will find authentic Szechuan cuisine at its boldest and most brilliant. Here, there’s no sign of the typical bland and greasy dishes that you may have come to expect from Chinese fare. Instead, you’ll discover a refreshing array of spicy and savoury cuisine, made with quality ingredients and cooked up by expert Chinese chefs. Much like Thailand, the climate in Szechuan is hot and humid, leading to a similar (and seemingly counterintuitive, but somehow it works) pattern of hot and spicy food, meant to counteract the hot climate. From the double-cooked pork to the spicy tofu Szechuan-style to the spicy braised pork soup, all dishes hover under 200 baht and are packed full of flavour. The staff is friendly, the chefs are experienced, and everything is made fresh to order.
Open daily, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. (Closed Mondays)
27/1 Wiang Bua Road, behind Thanin Market
083 680 5593
Eating healthy can be hard, especially when you’re a vegetarian, and many restaurants cater to you by frying everything in oil in order to make it taste good. But at Fuang Vegetarian, a lovely new eatery hidden in a small enclave off Chang Klan Road, dishes are guaranteed healthy, and you’ll know it by the way you feel after your meal! The restaurant itself is quite charming, with plenty of outdoor seating in the secluded patio, where wooden tables with red umbrellas are surrounded by lush greenery with a sleepy black cat lounging about. The food is tasty and fresh, and all the bread and rice is brown. Try the tofu steak, smothered in mushroom sauce and served with fresh salad, bread and potato wedges (think French fries, without the fried), or the broccoli with sesame, or the hed satae (mushroom kebab) with tasty peanut sauce. Wash it all down with one of their smoothies or freshly squeezed juices – the revitalising mixed vegetable juice is perfect for hangovers, with a bit of apple added for natural sweetness. Delicious and nutritious!
Open daily, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Closed Sundays)
Chang Khlan Road, opposite @Curve Community and Education Mall
085 614 0083
After perfecting the art of beauty in Bangkok with renowned American organisation Harmony, fashion student Anne decided to return to her home city, Chiang Mai. The new Promenada mall offered her the ideal spot to open up the salon of her dreams, and so that is exactly what she did with the brand new Exclusive Nails. Here, Anne and her team will personally welcome you into the shop, and with its elegant black and gold d?cor, Exclusive Nails does indeed feel just that: exclusive. Settle down on one of the salon’s fabulous massage chairs and spend a luxurious afternoon having your toes preened and pedicured and your brows prettily plucked, or just pop in for a quick polish-up at only 150 baht. With a wide array of colours and brands ranging from Chanel to Nails Inc., you’re sure to find something to suit your fancy.
Mondays – Fridays: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.,
Saturdays – Sundays: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Promenada Resort Mall Chiang Mai
Ground Floor Building A
091 631 7717
Something to Eat Before You Die
In the sea of oddball nomenclature that is Chiang Mai’s restaurant scene, this brand new eatery manages to stand out not just for its rather dramatic name, but for the tasty Thai cuisine and funky, modern decor that goes along with it. Located at the less hectic end of Lang Mor on Suthep Road, Something to Eat Before You Die is easy to spot, thanks to the huge yellow bear statue that stands outside the shop. As it’s already become quite popular with the CMU student crowd, a good time to visit this quirky little restaurant is just after the students’ lunchtime rush, around 2 p.m. Enjoy a lunch of papaya salad with salted egg, fried shrimp sticks, crispy morning glory and a refreshing watermelon shake out on the patio or inside the cool, air-conditioned interior (a novelty in this area). With an array of interesting artwork from the CMU Art Faculty lining the walls, and an extensive (but all Thai!) menu that offers contemporary twists on Thai classics, Something to Eat Before You Die just might actually live up to its name (though we hope not literally)!
Open daily, 10.30 a.m. – 9.30 p.m.
Suthep Road (opposite CMU Faculty of Fine Arts)
053 851 096
Chiang Mai International Rotary Club
Chiang Mai is a fabulous place to live, as we all know, but with expats constantly coming and going, it can be hard to establish a long-term group of friends. That’s where the Rotary Club comes in, providing an opportunity to foster friendships while doing good for the community we live in. An expansion of Rotary International, the world’s first civic service organisation, Chiang Mai International Rotary Club opened last month, and is available to any and all interested in joining. Members will get a chance to participate in humanitarian projects, cultural exchanges and promoting international goodwill. Since the Chiang Mai Rotary Club is an English-speaking organisation, members of all nationalities are welcome to learn more and practice their English skills. Along with the 13 other Rotary Clubs in Chiang Mai, this new club will step into the global playing field to help fight disease, poverty and illiteracy across Thailand. This month, meetings will occur every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at River Market restaurant.
089 430 8067 (Roger Lindley)