Last autumn, Chiang Mai was thrilled to discover that restaurants in the city were featured in the 2020 edition of the Michelin Guide Thailand for the first time. But if you’re one of the 12 million tourists heading to the city and are bringing your family, including your young children, with you then you’ll most likely want to dine in a more relaxed family-friendly establishment. You’ll, therefore, be pleased to know that there are plenty of eateries in and around Chiang Mai that welcome youngsters with open arms.
Cup Fine Day
Situated in Mueang, Cup Fine Day looks like a simple coffee shop and playground, but step inside and you’ll be delighted by the tasty food that’s also on offer. Whether it’s spring rolls, rice dishes, pasta, chicken nuggets, salads, sandwiches, or curries that you and your kids are after, you’ll find it here. Plus, the desserts and hot chocolate are cited as some of the best in the area. The play area is particularly loved by families as it’s well-shaded and includes a bit of everything, including a trampoline, rope climber, sandbox, slide, monkey bars, and a large outdoor tic tac toe.
It’s hard to find a child that doesn’t like pizza and it doesn’t come better than the pizza at Viva Pizza. Handmade by a Thai chef that grew up in Italy, the pizza here is remarkable. Plus, there are tasty pasta dishes on the menu for any kids that want something different. The family-feel of the restaurant is carried through to the front yard where you’ll find a small playground that includes a climbing frame and a slide for kids to entertain themselves while they wait for their meal to be cooked.
No family trip to Chiang Mai is complete without a visit to the Night Safari. While you’re heading in the direction of the Night Safari, a stop at one of Chiang Mai’s newest cafes Chamcha Cafe is highly recommended. The cafe has been built to incorporate as much nature as possible which means the view is amazing as you’re surrounded by trees and blooming flowers. There’s a swing to play on, fish to feed, a playground surrounded by sand, horse rides, and a trampoline to entertain kids of all ages. Plus, the food and drink on offer are exceptional. The food is mostly Thai, although there are some Western dishes available, such as French fries and chicken wings.
Many tourists will stay in Chiang Mai due to its impressive amenities, low-cost accommodation and food, and thriving atmosphere. But that’s not to say that they don’t venture out to Chiang Mai’s neighboring cities for a day out before returning to Chiang Mai. If this is what you’re planning to do, then you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of family-friendly eateries in these cities too. For example, in nearby Lamphun, you’ll find Triplets Eat & Play which has a large bamboo playground for kids to play in. Adults are treated to Mediterranean and Thai dishes, while kids have the option of a healthy menu or pizza and fries. While there’s no playground at the Sunshine Cafe in Thaton, the lady that runs it is renowned for her exceptional service, food, and low prices. So, if you’re on a bit of a budget or have several mouths to feed, this is the place to go.
The average tourist spends 9 and a half days in Thailand, according to Thai Websites. While you’re sure to want to spend much of your time exploring all that Chiang Mai has to offer during your stay, you’ll probably want to venture further afield too. The good news is that there are plenty of exceptional restaurants right across Thailand that are just as amazing as the ones listed in Chiang Mai above. Restaurants in Bangkok, for example, typically offer the same food choices as those in Chiang Mai. You’ll find restaurants that specialize in Thai, Chinese, Western, vegetarian, Spanish, and Indian cuisine, to name just a few, right across Thailand, so you can be sure that there will always be something that your kids will eat no matter where in the country you are.
Family-friendly dining: the rules
When it comes to choosing a good family-friendly restaurant anywhere in Thailand there are a few things to look out for to ensure your dining experience is as smooth as possible:
- Make sure the restaurant offers a child’s menu as the dishes will be child-friendly and served in suitable portion sizes.
- Do they have a play area to keep kids amused while you wait for your food?
- Check to see whether they offer coloring sheets and crayons to keep little ones occupied.
- Look for restaurants where the chefs prepare dishes in full view of the diners as this will amaze and intrigue kids.
- Buffet options are good for fussy kids and family members with large appetites.
- Consider dining in a pet cafe if your little ones love furry animals and you want to experience something a little different.
Dining out with kids in Chiang Mai is easily done thanks to the high number of family-friendly restaurants and cafes in the city that provide child-friendly meals in fun environments. And even if you’ll be venturing out of the city during your stay, you’ll still find plenty of your kids’ favorites as well as some Thai classics served in establishments no matter where you end up.