City Buzz

 |  February 28, 2014

Lan Laow Pub & Restaurant

What is better than delicious spicy Thai food, booze and live music? Not much, and you can find it all and more at this laid-back new Santitham gem, perfect for large groups. Settle down inside the spacious teak house, the open-air patio or the side garden with pretty greenery and fairy lights and enjoy the live guitar duo that plays Thai classic rock and western oldies (nary a Maroon 5 cover in sight!) every night. For food, start with the unreasonably tasty sour pork spareribs and the vegetable tempura with secret sauce (buttery and spicy at the same time), before moving on to one of the fabulous fried or steamed fish (there’s ruby, snakehead and sea bass with two pages worth of flavour options – all around 200 baht for a full fish) and excellent curries, soups and stir-fries in the 60-120 baht range. Wash it all down with beer (three big Leos for 229 baht), whisky (first set of mixers free with any bottle), wine, butterfly pea juice or yummy fruit shakes. Lan Laow also offers American breakfasts and a discounted lunch menu of rice and noodle dishes for 40-80 baht.

Open daily, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 1.30 a.m.

15/6 Hussadhisawee Road (north off the northwest corner of the moat, just past Wat Santitham)

Facebook: Lan Laow

053 230 684

House of Wine (H.O.W. Mae Rim)

Mae Rimmers are hard to find these days. But the reason they don’t really venture from their natural habitats into town much anymore is that, well, they no longer have to! With the opening of H.O.W., Mae Rim now has an affordable and excellent wine bar for its many regulars to hang out in (especially after a delightful dinner at H.O.W.’s neighbour, Steak of the Day). The décor is stylish while casual, and the large bar encourages people to meet, sit, chat…and of course, drink wine. H.O.W. has an impressive collection of reds, whites and sparklies from all over the world, sure to impress even the most Chang-weary Chiang Maier. Perfect for locals but also curious city dwellers wondering where all their Mae Rim friends went!

Open daily, 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. (Closed Sundays)

Mae Rim Plaza, off Santisuk Alley, Mae Rim

081 668 6044


Welcome to the future, Chiang Mai. It’s a place where you no longer have to haul yourself off the couch – or even speak with another human being – in order to have deliciousness delivered right to your front door. Founded in 2012, Food Panda provides an online and mobile food court with a wide range of gastronomic offerings, bringing top cuisine from local restaurants right to fingertips and bellies in 36 countries across the world. Their mission is to become the most convenient way to order food online, with the best customer service to boot. And now, they’ve come to Chiang Mai! With over 70 restaurant partners in the city, customers here can choose from a wide range of favourites, including Chez Marco, Mike’s Pizza, Subway, Mix, Sweet Stories, Koh Lanta Pizza, Wine Factory, W by Wanlamun, The Mexican Grill, Sachi, Samyan Seafood, Sushi Box and Three Little Pigs, with many more on the way. They’ve even just launched a new PayPal service, offering a cash-free way to pay for food. Munch on!

053 241 1155

S Condo

Looking for boutique style living with a modern twist? Want to make a solid investment in Chiang Mai’s growth and development? The currently in-construction S Condo, located right in the heart of Chiang Mai’s poshest neighbourhood on Sirimangkalajarn Soi 1, offers the best of all worlds. Slated for completion in mid-2015, the condominiums are now being pre-sold with special incentives galore: elegant and cosy fully furnished and air-conditioned units with bathtubs, curtains, television, refrigerator and electric cooker with hood, guaranteed seven percent profit on resale value for the first year (for 10 units on the first and second floor), and guaranteed buy back after two years for original purchase price. The building itself is state-of-the-art, specially designed to provide all the residential privacy and shared green space you could need, including swimming pool, fitness centre, wifi, free parking and security with 24 hour guards, CCTV, key cards and finger scan entry. Act fast to get the best possible deal on one of only 48 exclusive units – they won’t last long!

7 Soi 1, Sirimangkalajarn Road

081 672 4214, 053 219 300


While pork knuckles and mixed sausage platters complete with sauerkraut and mashed tatties appear to be ubiquitous in Chiang Mai’s many pubs and restaurants, Ratsstube reminds us what authentic and seriously great German food tastes like by elevating these dishes, and so many more, with quality ingredients and simple good cooking. The restaurant near Meechok Plaza, a branch of the famous Bangkok Ratsstube, has recently opened and is gaining ground through word of mouth of its impressed diners. Try the beef rolls with mashed potatoes, pork chop with champignon wine sauce, mammoth mixed sausage platter, vol-au-vent Swiss potted chicken pie and all sorts of other goodies from schnitzels to stroganoff.  Portions are huge, prices are reasonable (mains hover around the 250-300 baht range), and the taste is on point!

Open daily, 10.30 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 4.30 p.m. – 10 p.m. (Closed Mondays)

197 Moo 8, Thanawan Village

053 230 388

Da Antonio

The newly renamed  Ristorante Da Antonio (formerly known as Casa Antonio) has been known as one of Chiang Mai’s best places for authentic home-cooked Northern Italian fare for 13 years and counting. Da Antonio, located inside a pretty little white brick house in Chang Klan, is named after owner Giorgio’s son, and is renowned for its dedication to hospitality and delicious food, which is quite reasonably priced for its quality. Fabulous homemade pastas range from 150-280 baht, and mains 290-600. Try the filetto ai porcini, a prime fillet steak cooked with porcini mushrooms in garlic, red wine and demi glace sauce, the ravioli ricotta spinaci with cream sauce, the linguine ai gamberi e rucola with prawns, rocket leaves and pine nuts, or the fabulous thin crust pizzas, which are without a doubt some of the best in town. Da Antonio also offers up an excellent selection of hand-picked Italian wines, and Giorgio is happy to suggest the perfect pairing.

Open daily 11.30 a.m. – 2.30 p.m., 6 p.m. – 10.30 p.m.

11/1 Charoenprathet 12 Road

053 233 160

Oh Ka Jhu

While a bit off the beaten track, this adorable new farm-to-table restaurant in Sansai is absolutely worth the trip. You’ll know you’ve made it when you see the multi-coloured bus-turned-café, flanked by a life-sized model airplane and two antique teakwood structures lined with tables. Fresh, organic salads are a specialty (served with a variety of yummy, homemade dressings), and all veggies are grown organically onsite in the huge green garden just behind the open-air eatery. Carnivores should try the barbeque pork spareribs, a caveman-sized serving of pork smothered in delicious, homemade barbeque sauce, or the roasted pork spareribs with pineapple and brown rice, stewed until unbelievably tender. Sweet tooth? Don’t miss the delicious fruit smoothies, including mango kiwi and seasonal strawberry mint with homemade yoghurt, organic coffee with hazelnut syrup, fruit salad served inside a melon, or a wide array of homemade cakes and desserts.

Open daily, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

121 Outer Ring Road, Sansai

081 980 4512

Magical Garden Café

Already ranked seventh on TripAdvisor just a few short months after opening, Magical Garden Cafe is tucked away behind Suthep Road and welcomes vegetarians and meat-eaters alike to experience their deliciously comforting food. Chill out in simple bamboo huts dotted around the garden while browsing a menu filled with inspired international delights prepared by the small but dedicated kitchen staff. Start your meal with fresh, flavourful hummus done three ways, eggplant bruschetta with balsamic oil, or, if you don’t mind a few calories, the generously cheesy baked mushrooms. A dish that deserves special mention is the rich vegetable gratin, which goes perfectly with the light crispy morning glory salad. There are a range of cool teas and fruit smoothies, and if you have any space after the filling mains you can try one of their delectable desserts (like banana choco cake). The restaurant was opened to raise awareness for the Magical Light Foundation which builds schools for children, visits refugee camps and much more, and the owner will happily tell you touching tales of their work – all the more reason to make the café one of your regular dining spots.

Open daily, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

24 Sriwichai Road (off Suthep Road, behind Wat Suan Dok)

093 135 3288

Kandara Spa

Want to feel good about feeling good? Check out Kandara Spa, a social business which provides a chance for women from Chiang Mai Women’s Prison to learn a valuable trade. Owner Coco sends her staff directly to the prison to train women, and then hires those freshly out to gain experience working at her lovely Nimmanhaemin spa. Enter and you’d never know about the mission behind the business: it’s all plush Lanna style, trickling fountains and cool, quiet treatment rooms decked out in gold and red. The treatments are nothing short of heavenly, from fresh orange and coconut body scrubs to  aromatherapy milk baths. Try the signature two-hour Thai Lanna Package (1,500 baht), featuring a traditional Thai massage, a head, back and shoulders massage, and a Thai herbal hot compress treatment that will leave you feeling like liquid. The spa also offers a number of other packages, including couples treatments, for up to four hours each, with free transportation to the spa included in all packages.

Open daily, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

2/2 Soi 12, Nimmanhaemin Road (just past Kantary Hills Hotel)

053 289 241