i Like Ice Cream is always crowded with teenagers and students sitting in the air-conditioned room gobbling down tasty calories and sending each other messages using the free wireless internet. The shop is now offering homemade premium low-fat ice-cream flavours for those worried about the ‘bulge’. Many of the flavours are unique, you can choose from cheese, bubblegum, white chocolate, and other rarities as well as lychee and mango flavours. The whole design of the place is fetching, with classic photos, huge paintings and a bright colour scheme which will doubtless impress the youth of this city. Ice-cream is served as scoops, with a waffle, or in a cone, with many kinds of toppings.
Open daily 10.30 a.m. – 8.30 p.m.
Suthep Road by busy uni hub area on Soi Kru Nok
Tel: 086 431 7211
With challenging phrases such as ‘big and fat’ and ‘large portions’ advertising their burritos, we had to see if we could manage to get one down our necks. El Diablo’s is a small cosy venue, nicely decorated – photos on the walls, all with a Burmese slant. The burritos are as promised, big and fat and delicious, while the quesadillas, although not as filling, also hit the spot if you’re a Mexican food lover. The menu isn’t huge, so you won’t have to put too much effort into choosing your dish which will be of the TexMex variety. Regular specials, such as the spicy Colorado burrito with roast peppers is recommended, as is anything with their homemade guacamole. Platters are available too for those with monster appetites and a huge plate of free nachos with salsa will also accompany your meal. Fruit shakes, soft drinks, coffee, cocktails and beers are available too.
Open everyday 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.
48 Chaiyaphum Road (not far down from Mike’s
Burgers heading towards Tha Pae Gate)
Certain to be a Chiang Mai talk of the town is this new Parisian-styled restaurant serving classic French cuisine in an impeccable setting. Try mouthwatering French favourites such as sautèed frogs legs with garlic cream sauce, or the imported duck leg confit whose meat is so tender a gust of wind would glide it away from the bone. The a la carte menu offers tons of other delectable treats including desserts such as the arrestingly rich soft bitter chocolate baked in the oven with orange sauce. A two or three course lunch is provided at a very affordable 450 baht, while a dinner menu with wine will cost you 1,200 baht. The ambience at Auberge is second to none, encapsulating a style that is elegant and extremely tasteful yet is unpretentious and friendly. All fittings, decorations, including the resplendent chandeliers, the palatial lawn (available for large group dinners, receptions and parties) and long terrace, makes a dining experience here not something you’ll easily forget. For loy kratong a four course menu is provided with a drink and a kratong for 1,000 baht. Reservations are recommended.
Open 11.30 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
122 Palm Spring Place Housing Estate, Mahidol Road
Tel: 053 308 388 Fax: 053 308 377
Enjoy coffee from the mountain peaks of Chiang Rai, ground and roasted to perfection. Akha Ama is a nicely decorated little coffee shop where the subtle aroma of the Arabica coffee seeds permeate the venue. Their coffee was nominated at the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe for the 7th World Cup Tasters Championship 2010. All the usual choices are there including espresso, cappuccino, mocha and latte, served hot or cold, or you can opt for something totally different with an Italian soda. They are also giving away souvenirs with their coffee!
Open daily 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Hussadhisawee Road Soi 3 (Santitam area)
First there was ArtSpace on Soi 7, then Sangdee Gallery opened up on Soi 5…and now the latest arty addition to Sirimangkalajarn Road is The Cat House, a restaurant owned by a Thai-Canadian couple, which also shows art on its funky little walls, and hosts dance parties, shaking meditation sessions as well as teaches tango and energy harmonics. A daily yoga class is soon to start too. Sample their healthy, inexpensive homemade dishes of Thai-farang fusion, all at really decent prices: spaghetti 60-80 baht, sandwiches 60-85 baht and salads 30-70 baht. Smoothies and cocktails are available.
Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m., closed Mondays
Soi 3 Sirimangkalajarn Road
Tel: 086 196 8422
Located in the Old Chiang Mai Cultural Centre, Euang Kam Sai offers the quintessential Lanna experience for those who really want to really get to grips with the region and its food. You will find all kinds of Lanna treats here, plus they also offer some Chinese and foreign food. As you’d expect all the staff are dolled up in Lanna garb, while Lanna music is played throughout the night. One of the best things, beside the traditional dishes that none of our staff had actually heard of (kow bai, kai kwam, nam prik e-kay), is the atmosphere of the place. Situated in a spacious and breezy old teak house, eating here might take you back to the days local girls went topless! We wish . . .
Open daily 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Old Chiang Mai Cultural Centre, 185/3 Wualai Road
Tel: 053 202 993-5