Khao Soi is one of our favorite dishes to eat in Chiang Mai Thailand! This famous curry noodle soup is a unique blend of spices and a must try on your visit. Here’s where to find the best Khao Soi in Chiang Mai, what’s behind the recipe, and all about our own experience.
Our First Taste of Khao Soi
The first time we had the amazing dish was actually on the island of Koh Lanta. We hadn’t heard about Khao Soi before visiting Thailand and ordered it based on the restaurant owners recommendation.
You will quickly find out (like we did) that there are so many incredible Thai dishes to try! This special cuisine has much more to offer than just Pad Thai, papaya salad, and red curry.
We were instantly blown away from our very first taste. Part of what makes it so good is the unique Khao Soi noodles that are specific to this dish. Our cook said she has the fresh egg noodles shipped in from Chiang Mai which is where she grew up learning to make it.
Needless to say, whenever it was offered from then on we ordered it right away. We were also so excited that in two weeks we would be heading north to Chiang Mai to try the real thing.
Even though we have now eaten Khao Soi all over Thailand, it’s not something you will typically see at Thai restaurants abroad. To truly get the best and original you need to visit Chiang Mai!
Here’s some quick tips for planning a trip to Thailand to help you before your visit. We also wrote a guide with 4 different Thailand itineraries that can be combined into one longer route. Be sure to check out our full Thai food guide below as well!
What is Khao Soi Chiang Mai?
Khao Soi is the signature dish of Chiang Mai and a noodle dish that has been a favorite of travelers for years. While it can be found all over northern Thailand, it’s specific to this one popular city.
The bowls are served made to order everywhere from stands to small street food restaurants. We’ve tried so many amazing Thai dishes over the years, but have to say that Khao Soi is our absolute favorite!
The Amazing Khao Soi Recipe
So what is Khao Soi made of? Typically, you’ll find this soup prepared with coconut cream and curry broth. The most common meat which comes inside is braised tender chicken leg.
Yet, if you ever come across a beef Khao Soi be sure to try that, too! The beef actually ended up being our go-to over the chicken while in Chiang Mai.
Khao Soi Chiang Mai also comes with two types of rice noodles. The first are boiled and set inside the broth, and then fried egg noodles are placed on top. The crispy noodles give the dish a fun crunchy texture that mixes great with the other flavors.
What Does Khao Soi Taste Like?
Khao Soi is quite literally one of the most flavorful meals you will have in Thailand! The taste can be slightly different depending on where you order it and if you get beef or chicken Khao Soi.
The rich curry broth packs a punch and is slightly spicy. One thing not to overlook is the little bit of lime juice which can be squeezed from the lime wedges on the side. The lime is the perfect topping to give the dish a little tangy taste.
The dish looks spicier than it is from the red curry paste. On the table, you will see extra chili paste and other dry spices to add yourself.
Just be careful when adding dried chili to the Khao Soi recipe as the wrong amount can be deadly! Other toppings which are usually available are mustard greens, fish sauce, shallots, and cilantro.
Where to Find the Best Khao Soi in Chiang Mai
Now that you know all about this great dish… Where can you find the best Khao Soi in Chiang Mai? First, know that there are many places to get it from the local night market to small restaurants. There are so many different spots serving Khao Soi you should have no problem finding it in the old city.
With that said, we recommend skipping Khao Soi at the popular weekend markets in Chiang Mai. You’re better off going to a restaurant that specializes in Khao Soi, as many of them have it as the only dish they serve up.
A few years ago Michelin Guide went to Chiang Mai and did a massive review. They even included street food restaurants and stands in their visit.
This is the main reason Chiang Mai is one of the few places in the world where you can get a Michelin-star meal for just a couple of dollars. With Khao Soi being the iconic dish of the city, a few spots even made the list!
This is where you should start off if it’s your first time trying Khao Soi Chiang Mai. If there is another place you love then make sure to leave us a comment at the bottom.
Khao Soi Lung Prakit Kad Kom
Our favorite Khao Soi Chiang Mai is comes from a restaurant called Khao Soi Lung Prakit Kad Kom. It was the initial spot we tried and since have gone back every time we’re in the city.
On our first visit we hired a Tuk tuk driver to take us around to all the best temples around old town. If you didn’t know, Chiang Mai has over 300 incredible temples to explore.
Hiring a driver was hands down one of the best things we did in Chiang Mai. We saw not only the popular temples, but he took us to several we had never heard of. When it came time for lunch we asked him where the best Khao Soi in Chiang Mai was and he knew just the place.
Khao Soi Lung Prakit Kad Kom was high on our list after seeing it on the Michelin Guide but we didn’t expect to go that afternoon. Our driver warned us that it’s hard to get a seat so we were happy to arrive early before the busy lunch rush.
We would find out later that it appeared on the Netflix show called “Someone Feed Phil.” Sometimes we get a little nervous going to touristy places like this, but the meal did not disappoint.
Trying Khao Soi Chiang Mai
We took the last open table in the small seating area and ordered one chicken and one beef version of the dish. The restaurant also has deep-fried chicken pieces that you can order on the side.
The bowl was prepared from the large pot of soup that they had broiling for the day. Our experience was a mix of locals, tourists, and a bunch of Grab taxi drivers who kept popping in to pick up to-go orders.
Immediately, this became one of our favorite dishes of all time. We came back to eat here often during our two weeks in the city of Chiang Mai and even brought our friends who were visiting. Be sure to try this amazing part of northern Thai cuisine on your own trip!
Where to Stay in Chiang Mai Thailand
Luxury – The Inside House – Enjoy a taste of luxury in Chiang Mai at the Inside House! This unique resort features a rooftop swimming pool, large rooms, and on-site restaurant.
Fun Vacation – Tamarind Village – Located in the heart of Chiang Mai Thailand, this hotel has comfortable rooms surrounded by Tamarind trees. The traditional decor and balconies will make you feel right at home.
Boutique Hotel – El Barrio Lanna – The beautiful setting and wide-open rooms of El Barrio Lanna are perfect for couples. A gorgeous pool sits in the middle of the property and is just a short walk from Old Town.
Hostel – The Common Hostel – If you’re looking for a hostel in the middle of all the action in Chiang Mai Old Town, this is it! The Common features bunks with their own private lockers and a 24 hour front desk.
Have any questions about this article or want to share your own experience eating Khao Soi Chiang Mai? Let us know in the comments below.
Brigitte & Jake
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Thailand Travel Planning
Transportation: While traveling through Thailand 12Go is where we find all our ferries, trains, buses, and transfers! You can find everything from island hopping speed boats to the night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide to find activities all over Phuket! You can find everything from a James Bond island luxury sunset cruise, to Phuket Old Town 15-taster food adventure, and 5-hour island tour!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without protection. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.