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Where is cheap and good to eat in Chiang Mai?

Reader’s  E-mail:

I am staying in Chiang Mai. Can you suggest somewhere that is cheap and tasty to eat in Chiang Mai?

Reply from Thailand Info

Try Jok Sompet. It’s on the Sri Poom Road on the corner of the Ratchapakhinai Road. The Sri Poom Road is the road on the inside of the canal running along the northern side of the Old Town of Chiang Mai. Jok Somphet is near Chang Phueak Gate, which is where you can pick up shared Songthaews to the Zoo and the University.

Jok Sompet

Jok Sompet is a Chiang Mai dining institution and one the most famous and longest running restaurants in Chiang Mai. Everyone knows it and a taxi, tuk-tuk or Songthaew driver is guaranteed to understand where you mean.

Location of Jok Sompet

Rice Porridge

This 24 hour a day restaurant is famous for three types of dishes. firstly, its ‘Jok’ which is rice porridge. Not many Westerners like this dish which is essentially rice soup with a variety of different additions, most famously the black eggs, which have been buried in the ground for 2 or more weeks which turns the uncooked contents black. Thai people like to eat Jok after going drinking. Perhaps avoid this and try either the Dim Sum or ‘Khao Op Gai’ or Khao Op Moo’.

Dim Sum

The Dim Sum is very cheap, at 40 to 60 THB a dish. They have a menu with pictures so you can simply point to what you want to order. The deal is that they have it prepared then they will bring it. If not you choose something else. This is a fast food place and they have stuff constantly being cooked.

Baked Chicken and Rice

Khao Op Gai means rice with baked chicken. The dish costs 70 THB and you get a plate with rice and an oven cooked Chicken thigh with vegetables and a slightly sweet gravy. It is a bit like an English Sunday lunch over rice. Really tasty and very filling. Khao Op Moo is the same thing but with roast pork. it is slightly cheaper at 50 THB a plate.

Khao Op Gai at Jok Sompet

Khao Op Gai at Jok Sompet

Busy Hours at Jok Sompet

Jok Sompet gets really busy 06.00 to 08.00 and then from about 18.00 in the evening through to 03.00. It can be very lively, although it is a big restaurant and you can usually squeeze in somewhere. However, if you want to avoid the crowds it is virtually empty (for reasons I have never fully understood) at lunch time.

Next read about How to Get from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai