City Buzz

 |  November 29, 2013

What’s buzzing now? Tonnes of fabulous new restaurants, coffee shops and hotels all over the city for you to check out and enjoy this holiday season!

Magnolia and Pinn Food Society

Part of the ever-growing Wine Gallery empire, Magnolia is a charming restaurant serving up freshly baked goods and aromatic coffees and teas in the mornings (well, all day, if you wish), classic Thai and European dishes for lunch and with an added bonus of the city’s best selection of wines to chill out with in the evenings. Pinn Food Society, on the same premises, is a new initiative focusing on training F and B professionals in the city, so if you have a restaurant and want your staff to train by a sommelier, or learn new skills from a visiting chef, give them a call. Pinn also sells gourmet food products including virgin olive oils, wagyu beef, duck leg and foie gras. The wine bar comes with a small menu of great treats, from cold cuts to pasta, cheese platters to duck confit. Overall, a great destination for foodies and wine lovers with multiple dining, lounging, seating areas to choose from.

Open daily, 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Breakfast 8 – 10 a.m., lunch 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and wine bar 5  –  11 p.m.

Rattanakosin Road 

053 872 395 

Ice Dream Boutique

Located inside the brand new Promenada Mall, Ice Dream Boutique is a lively little ice cream parlour from Vienna, Austria. They also serve frozen yoghurt, milkshakes, smoothies and bakery items. Sit in their caf? space and watch the world go by or take your icy sweet treat to go and stroll around the up-and-coming, beautifully designed indoor/outdoor mall. This is the first place we’ve found in Chiang Mai that serves up genuine healthy soft-serve fro-yo in seven different flavours: plain, mango, strawberry, passion fruit, coconut, chocolate, and raspberry (but only four flavours are available each day). Along with the basics, Ice Dream serves some excellent coconut pudding and unique creations such as the N’ice Dream Globe – a scoop of ice cream served with different toppings and decorated to look like planet earth! But perhaps the most marvelous creation of all is the Froggae Alcohol, which is, you guessed it – ice cream and liquor combined! What could be better? 

Open daily, weekdays: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.,  weekends: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Building A, 1st Floor, Promenada Resort Mall 

053 142 743

Ketawa Kafe 

Ketawa Kafe at the Ketawa Boutique Hotel near Wat Gate is a lovely and stylish place to spend an afternoon. Sit back and relax in the modern, airy comfort of the caf?, the hotel lounge or beside the swimming pool. Ketawa serves up a variety of hot and cold drinks plus bakery items and over 30 flavours of homemade ice cream, including avocado and even durian. The owner is dedicated to crafting her ice cream just as she would for her own family, meaning no preservatives and only fresh, top quality ingredients. The low fat mango ice cream is delicious and full of real mango flesh! Ketawa also offers a unique DIY twist on iced coffee: pour your own hot milk onto a glass of coffee ice cubes, wait three minutes and voila! The caf? is currently in the process of expanding, with food and booze coming soon (expected by March of next year) and a new corner selling clothing, accessories and home d?cor that just recently opened. 

Open daily, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

121/1 Bumrungrat Soi 2

053 302 248, 083 943 5959

Hug Collection @ Nimman

Got relatives or friends visiting for the holidays? Located in the most vibrant and hip area of Chiang Mai, this fabulous new hotel sits at the crossroads between sophisticated modern living and traditional Lanna style. Guests can enjoy strolling along all the lovely boutique fashion outlets, the cultural antiques and accessories shops, lively restaurants, bars, cafes, nightlife spots and terraces. Hug Collection @ Nimman Hotel offers 12 different spacious and uniquely modern rooms, each emphasising posh and style while still providing an exceptionally comfortable sleeping experience. Choose your size and luxury level, from Superior to Deluxe Triple to Family Room to Suite. The attached Hug Coffee Bar is a funky little place to settle in for an afternoon of latte sipping and relaxation or a quick bite before heading out to explore the city. Check their website for tonnes of special promotions this season!

1 Sirimangkalajarn Road

053 223 361

Monsoon Tea

Tea-lovers rejoice! A brand new shop has opened at JJ Market that will satisfy the snootiest of tea-snobs and the greenest of newbies alike. Monsoon Tea is a veritable wonderland of locally grown tea varieties and rare imported specialty teas. Walk into the clean, brightly lit shop and breathe in the fabulous, fresh aromas of dozens of different types of teas from all over Southeast Asia, lined up in large silver canisters along the walls and under glass in a table top case at the centre of the shop. Most of Monsoon’s tea is local and picked from wild tea plants growing in the mountains of Northern Thailand, which is then processed into black, oolong, green, white or puerh tea. From there, Monsoon specialises in flavouring their teas in a variety of unique and delicious ways, from lychee to popcorn to mint chocolate.  The shop also sells organic kombucha, local honey and a smart selection of top-of-the-line tea accessories.

Open daily, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. 

JJ Market, 45 Atsadathorn Road

Hungry Vegie

Recently launched at Namo Yoga Centre on Moon Muang Road, Hungry Vegie warmly welcomes every hungry (or just thirsty) veggie-lover to their cosy shop. Here you can find Asian-fusion salads, pasta, fried noodles, fried rice, stir-fried and curry dishes with selections of tofu and tempeh, and of course plenty of vegetables! They use only local organic ingredients and no preservatives, so you can rest assured that anything you eat here is not only tasty but also healthy. Coffee, tea, herbal drinks and unique smoothies (with only honey as sweetener, never sugar or anything artificial) are also available. Hungry Vegie also delivers around the city from Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., with a minimum order of 200 baht. Special promotion for dining in: mixed veggie salad, fried rice and fruit juice for only 109 baht! Throughout December, they will also offer desserts such as banana cake, chocolate chip cookies, and pie. So whether you are a full-time or just “sometimes” vegetarian, do your body and your taste buds a favour and check this place out!

Open daily, 10 a.m. – 6.30 p.m. (Closed Sundays)

Moon Muang Soi 4 (at Namo Yoga Centre) 

088 267 4240, 081 026 8275

Fiending for Caffeine?

We’ve got you covered. If there’s one thing you don’t need to go without in Chiang Mai, it’s coffee (and tea, and smoothies, and cakes…). Here are a few handpicked newbies for you to try!

Paiyanyai Coffee

You know how frustrating it can be when you come to a coffee shop to get work done, but can’t, thanks to loud music or the rowdy table next door? Or vice versa, when you just want to socialise and someone keeps shushing you? At Paiyanyai Coffee, you can find a trifecta of classic coffee shop atmospheres, all in one convenient place. On the first floor, sit back in a comfy sofa and enjoy cheerful music while perusing a yummy selection of food (like rainbow crepe cake and Thai fusion dishes) and drinks (like iced coffee and green tea). Want somewhere quieter to read? The second floor welcomes you with a proper study atmosphere. The third floor is reserved for those who come as a group and would like privacy for such things as tutoring or study groups. Just call to book and they will set up a table for you. Well-decorated with a bright array of art and toys, this shop is your new home away from home.

Open daily, weekdays: 8 a.m. – 8 

p.m., weekends: 8.30 a.m. – 8 p.m.

12/13 Nimmanhaemin, on the 

small soi between soi 13 and soi 15 

053 895 232

Fang Coffee @ The Balcony Village

One of the loveliest branches of Fang Coffee (which now has six locations and counting), is located at the Balcony Village boutique hotel. Here you can sip coffee in the air-conditioned teakwood and glass house decorated in modern Lanna style (with comfy sofas, high-speed wifi and an iMac for customers, it’s a great place to get work done) or spend the afternoon lounging in the surrounding garden, where a shaded carp pond provides the perfect ambiance for a lazy day. Fang coffee beans are all locally grown in Fang district, Pu Muen and Pha Hee in Chiang Rai, and the delicious java they produce is fragrant, smooth and never too bitter. The caf? also serves bakery items and various kinds of food; must-haves include the orange cake and coconut cake, which sell out almost daily. Additionally, they offer authentic Thai and Lanna food such as khao soy and kanom jeen, and if you want to take it up a notch, just head upstairs to the hotel bar and restaurant and sip a cocktail by the swimming pool. Fang Coffee can also be purchased wholesale at Tops Chotana, Makro Mae Rim, Ram Hospital, Central Airport Plaza and in front of Warm Up Caf? on Nimmanhaemin.

Open daily, 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.

12 Moo 5, T. Faham 

053 241 678

Ploen-Jit Coffee House

“Pleon-Jit sawasdee ka!” is the first thing you’ll hear when you walk through the glass door of this spacious country-Moroccan style coffee shop in the heart of Nimmanhaemin. Make yourself at home and enjoy their Arabica coffee or other popular items such as iced matcha green tea. Drinks range from only 40 to 80 baht. If you’re a bit hungry, they also offer light meals such as spaghetti, spring rolls, and fried egg with minced pork. Got a sweet tooth? Don’t miss their homemade baked goods. We especially love their waffles, orange cake and velvet cheesecake. Ploen-Jit has been open for only three months but has already gained a lot of positive feedback from visitors, especially thanks to their unusually spacious parking area (a rarity on Nimman, as we all know). 

Open daily, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Nimmanhaemin Soi 15 

Facebook: Ploen Jit 

089 850 0073