Best 50 Coffee Shops and Cafes in Chiang Mai for 2019!
Chiang Mai is an absolute gem of unique culture, nature, and adventure in the northwestern part of Thailand. In recent years, people from all over the globe have flocked here for its high quality and ease of living, gorgeous natural surroundings, and abundance of cultural and life-enriching experiences to be had. But something else Chiang Mai has become widely known for in recent years? It’s fantastic coffee culture. Local and foreigners alike have been soaking in the incredible variety of quality beans and roasts found all throughout the region, and it’s not hard to see why. The city and surrounding areas are absolutely packed with a plethora of cafes all serving up great coffee. But in a region overflowing with coffee shops, there are some that stand out from the crowd. Cafes that provide an experience just a head above the rest, with roasters, cafe owners, baristas and staff who go the extra mile with their passion for great coffee. Much of my time in Chiang Mai has been spent exploring its hundreds of cafes and coffee offerings, so you’ll be happy to hear I’ve done the hard work for you! Here are 50 of the essential coffee shops and cafes you must experience in Chiang Mai for the ultimate coffee experience. The list below is in no particular order and opinions expressed are strictly mine only.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Best Cafes in Chiang Mai
- 2 Success!
- 3 Akha Ama Coffee
- 4 Akha Ama Coffee La Fattoria
- 5 Maled Coffee Bar
- 6 Hohm Cafe – ฮอห์ม
- 7 Omnia Cafe & Roastery
- 8 CottonTree Coffee Roasters
- 9 Pacamara Coffee
- 10 Pacamara The Sweet Factory
- 11 GRAPH CAFE
- 12 GRAPH TABLE
- 13 Success!
- 14 GRAPH One Nimman
- 15 Asama Cafe Chiang Mai
- 16 Artisan Cafe
- 17 Hana Zono Cafe
- 18 Ristr8to – Specialty coffee
- 19 Ristr8to Lab
- 20 Nine One Coffee
- 21 Ponganes Coffee Roasters
- 22 The old Chiang mai Cafe’ & Espresso bar
- 23 Success!
- 24 Somkiat Cafe
- 25 The Barisotel by The Baristro
- 26 A Day In Chiang Mai – Coffee Brew
- 27 Posrest
- 28 Impresso
- 29 Suan Pailom Coffee Roasting
- 30 186 Cafe & Bar
- 31 TOONGs Coffee HQ
- 32 Nitro Cafe Chiangmai
- 33 Khagee Cafe
- 34 Brew Fact
- 35 Brewing Room
- 36 NowHere – Roast & Brew
- 37 Success!
- 38 Roxpresso Coffee Craft
- 39 Bay’s Cafe
- 40 กาแฟทอฝัน ( Thor Phan Coffee )
- 41 Bart Coffee
- 42 Flour Flour Cafe
- 43 Qahwa Coffee Estate
- 44 Caliente Coffee Roaster
- 45 Yellow Crafts Cafe
- 46 Zzziesta Chiang Mai
- 47 Success!
- 48 Street Coffee Crew
- 49 BEGIN AGAIN
- 50 Artisan One Nimman
- 51 Bluekoff
- 52 Thesis Coffee
- 53 Overstand
- 54 Fahtara
- 55 FIEOW Coffee ROOM Roaster Shop
- 56 The Baristro on the Ping
- 57 To Wrap Up
- 58 Success!
The Best Cafes in Chiang Mai
Akha Ama CoffeeAkha Ama was the first specialty coffee shop I discovered in the early stages of my love affair with specialty coffee. It holds a special place in my coffee heart, and is a solid part of my regular stomping grounds in Chiang Mai. The cafe, located in the Santitham neighborhood, has a cozy vibe with both indoor and outdoor, open-air and garden seating options. If you spend a bit of time in town, you’ll notice a familiar crew of locals and expats who show up here daily for their morning cappuccino and catch-up with friends. As one of these regulars, it wasn’t long before I became good friends with the founder, Lee Ayu Chuepa. I learned from him that Akha Ama sources all their beans from local farms in Northern Thailand, helping the hill tribe farmers to thrive and prosper. Akha Ama consistently serves up quality, affordable coffee, and their commitment to socially empowered enterprise only makes this delightful cafe even better. Akha Ama Coffee is a MUST DO for coffee lovers living in and visiting Chiang Mai!
Akha Ama Coffee La FattoriaAkha Ama La Fattoria was the second specialty coffee shop that Lee Ayu Chuepa opened in Chiang Mai – this time right in the heart of the Old City. Conveniently located on Sunday Walking Street near Wat Phra Sing, it’s easy to pop by for an espresso when out touring temples or shopping at the famed Sunday market. With their new Spirit Espresso machine, Akha Ama La Fattoria is pumping out some seriously kickass coffees. The ristretto is a standout, bursting off the charts with intense yet balanced acidity and fruity flavors. Coffee at this sister location is still very affordable, averaging around 50 baht for some of the best lattes and iced coffee you can find in the city. Because it is the Old City and a smaller cafe, though, you may be hard pressed to find a seat during busy hours. So for a great to-go fix, I highly recommend their pre-bottled Black Juice Cold Brew – I’m always stocking up my fridge to enjoy Akha Ama coffee from home!
Maled Coffee BarA recent addition this year to Chiang Mai, Maled Coffee Bar is fast becoming known as the next hip place to hang amongst locals and expats alike. Located off Huay Kaew road not far from CMU, you’re bound to run into local university students studying, chatting, and sipping gorgeously prepared beverages. Maled has a great range of local and Thai beans to choose from if you’re inclined to have specialty coffee every once in a while. They also offer a variety of decadent and unique options – espresso served up in a martini glass sound up your alley? Try their signature Iced Lava Latte or Jelly Black for something different (so long as you’re prepared for literal foamy lava to actually cascade down the side of your glass!) For the more traditional-minded, their cappuccino is a consistent winner.
Hohm Cafe – ฮอห์มHohm Cafe was first established around 2 years ago by Nueng, a passionate coffee aficionado who has now become a good friend of mine. Nueng’s dedication to producing great coffee permeates into every area of his cafe. He loves helping his customers understand the origins of the coffee, and explains his brewing techniques with such infectious passion that you can’t help but feel as excited about it all as he is! Hohm is located in the Jed Yod area northwest of the Old City and is worth the short trip to visit. It’s a great chance to experience a local neighborhood away from the busy, tourist-packed center. Set right in the garden area of Nueng’s property, its a peaceful location to chill and drink damn good coffee in a cozy environment that truly makes you feel right at home. The signature tea and mocha coffee pot blends are a standout here – delicious, and big enough to last you through an entire afternoon of peacefully soaking in the “home”-y vibes at Hohm Cafe.
Omnia Cafe & RoasteryOmnia is more than just a specialty coffee cafe serving up spectacular drinks – it also has a specialty coffee lab and training center located on the first floor. La Lida, the owner, established Omnia two years ago, and has created a thriving place for coffee lovers to enjoy her great roasts ever since. She sources most of her beans from local Northern Thai farms – even some from La Lida’s own farm in Chiang Rai. They do sell the roasted beans to take home if you love their coffee and want to make it on your own! With floor-to-ceiling windows and pleasant wood furnishings, this cafe is a bright and tranquil haven just off the Superhighway in the Jed Yod neighborhood. I love coming here with a book or some work and just enjoying the chilled out space with my coffee. And if you’re into latte art, this place is your jam. Their incredibly talented baristas consistently pump out some of the best pour-overs and latte art . Ask the barista to make you an Owl – it’s the definition of “Instagrammable!”
CottonTree Coffee RoastersTucked away inside the Greenhill Condo complex off the Superhighway, you might not initially think this unassuming cafe would be one of Chiang Mai’s greats. But Cottontree prides themselves on their coffee-centered focus, brewing up delicious roasts in a cool space that keeps their regulars coming back for more. Ton, the cafe owner, is not only a talented barista but a master craftsman in his roasting technique. If you’re lucky enough to have him make your coffee, you can truly taste and feel the passion for every bean he roasts and brew he pours. Whether your coffee comes from the Slow bar or the espresso machine, by Ton or one of his staff, you know each cup is full of heart, soul, and skill. Ton has kept the cafe design spacious yet minimal, creating a bright and simple environment in which to spend time with your coffee, which is strong yet delightfully smooth – truly one of the best in the city. You can find Cottontree right behind Maya Mall inside Greenhill Condos, just a short walk from Nimmanhaemin.
Pacamara CoffeeCoffee aficionados, take note: Pacamara Coffee was one of the first established specialty coffee shops in Chiang Mai, making it a must-visit when you’re here. Right on Sunday Walking Street, this centrally-located cafe attracts coffee lovers from all over the world seeking a quality pick-me-up. Pacamara has an extensive menu of local and imported coffee to choose from. You can tell they take their coffee seriously – the standard menu actually allows you the opportunity to upgrade your bean. And if you’re not sure what each bean has to offer, the friendly staff is happy to help explain the flavor profiles of each. The owner of Pacamara Coffee, Chartree, was the first Q Grader of Thailand (yes, this cafe boasts plenty of “firsts!”) Now, the Pacamara group has branched to several locations throughout Thailand and Singapore – so consider yourself lucky to be right here in the headquarters of this fabulous coffee roaster.
Pacamara The Sweet FactoryPacamara The Sweet Factory Coffee shop is another branch of the original Pacamara located in the Old City of Chiang Mai. Located in the Star Avenue just off the Super Highway 11, Pacamara The Sweet Factory is close to Central Festival Shopping Mall and the main bus station. It’s great if you’re down on the south side of the city, craving the amazing Pacamara coffee. And if you’re lucky enough to stop by when they have their chocolate lava cake, do not miss the opportunity to dig into this insanely delicious dessert! If you’re planning on shopping for the day or about to head on a long bus journey, it’s worth stopping in for a coffee and cake. The baristas are fabulous, beans are on point, and the overall coffee experience is just like the original Pacamara: one of the best in Chiang Mai.
GRAPH CAFEThis quaint, pint-sized cafe serves up incredibly smooth coffees in the Old City, assuring anyone who visits that size isn’t everything! In fact, the cafe’s smaller interior helps enhance the atmosphere. The cafe’s owner and founder uses his impeccable eye for detail to create a truly inviting space, filled with antiques and rustic furniture suitable for any fan of hipster culture.
GRAPH TABLELocated just around the corner from the original Graph Cafe is this larger space, serving up delicious meals during the day in addition to the quality coffee they’re known for. Graph Table is one of my usual Sunday brunch hangouts where you’ll find me catching up on Coffee Geek and be sipping a 12oz Cafe Latte. The commitment to quality here is undeniable. During quieter hours, you’ll see the Graph staff sorting through roasted coffee beans looking for defects. This is a clear indication to me that Graph takes pride in each and every cup of coffee they produce, ensuring a consistent and flavorsome coffee every single time! I’ve never once had a bad coffee here, and don’t expect I ever will. Their food is on point, and the atmosphere is perfect for weekend chilling, working, or simply enjoying their delicious brew.
GRAPH One NimmanI was delighted to recently find that Graph Cafe opened a location in Nimmanhaemin, inside the fancy new One Nimman shopping center. This cozy new location serves up the same high-quality coffee, in a decidedly posh atmosphere unique to the Nimman neighborhood. Just the fact that GRAPH has opened up three locations throughout the city speaks volumes about its quality. And in addition to their coffees, Graph One is a great place to stop off for a sweet treat while out and about in Nimmanhaemin. Their adorable cheesecakes are every bit as delicious as they look. Graph One Nimman has bottled up their quality cold brew, so you can stop by to pick up some great coffee to go. Overall, I love this cafe for its location in Nimmanhaemin and dedication to the quality coffee I’ve come to expect from the Graph brewers!
Asama Cafe Chiang MaiAsama Cafe is a very special place, essentially built right into the owner’s home – showcasing one of the things I love most about the unique Chiang Mai cafes. It’s located way off the beaten path in a residential area off Canal Road, making this cute cafe an absolute delight to stumble upon if you aren’t looking for it! You might never think some of the best coffee would come from such a coffee shop located far from the main center of Chiang Mai – but indeed, it does. And the peaceful location right on a creek bank only takes the experience up a notch or five. Mok, the talented main barista, is known for judging coffee all around the world, often returning with many specialty whole roasted beans for you to try from the slow bar. And let me just say – Mok’s espressos are to die for! I go as far as saying that her espressos are the BEST I’ve tried in Thailand. Mok uses her craft in adjusting the coffee grinder during the day to cater for the humidity with her Thai-South American origin blended coffee, whilst constantly dialing-in the Spirit espresso machine they operate to produce your finely tuned espresso each and every time. And if you’re in the mood for a sweet treat, the Espresso Panacotta hits the spot like nothing else!
Artisan CafeWith a spacious location just past the south side of the Old City, Artisan is a much-loved establishment among the Chiang Mai coffee-loving crowd. The decidedly hipster atmosphere attracts locals and expats alike looking for a cozy place to work, study, or just chill out with friends and great coffee. You’re bound to run into digital nomads and regulars who swear by this place as their #1 hangout. Artisan’s coffee is always on point, served up with lovely latte art by friendly baristas. Artisan also offers a variety of pastries and sweets to accompany your coffee if you so desire. The croissant and pan au chocolat are two particular favorites of mine. I come here again and again for the atmosphere and consistently great coffee at surprisingly good prices.
Hana Zono CafeHana Zono quant hidden away location is worth the adventure down the soi’s in the Suan Dok area of Chiang Mai. They have a range of specialty beans that can be hard to come by. One of the owners is Japanese and frequents back and forth often, generally returning with roasted beans from the most renowned roasters of Japan. Hana Zono can be a nice place to work from or to chill with your coffee.Hana Zono’s quant, hidden-away location is worth the adventure down the sois in the Suan Dok area of Chiang Mai. A bit off the beaten path, it feels like a secret treasure that you won’t want too many others to find! This lighthearted, unique cafe serves up a range of specialty beans that can be hard to come by. One of the owners is Japanese and frequents back and forth often between there and Thailand, generally returning with roasted beans from the most renowned roasters of Japan. With decidedly sweet vibes and unique roasts, Hana Zono is a cool spot in a local neighborhood to work or just relax with great coffee. And if you’re feeling hungry for a sweet, make sure to try their waffle with whipped cream, the perfect accompaniment to a cafe macchiato!
Ristr8to – Specialty coffeeAsk any local Chiang Mai resident about the coffee scene in town, and they’ll be sure to namedrop Ristr8to, a cafe that’s been at the forefront in putting specialty coffee on the map for Chiang Mai. The inspiration for their coffee has come from around the world, especially from Melbourne – a place many consider to be the coffee capital of the world. Ristr8to’s founder, Arnon Thitiprasert (Tong), spent four years learning his coffee craft before bringing it back home to Chiang Mai. Look up the definition of “coffee badass”, and you’ll probably see his picture. Tong has competed in a series of Latte Art competitions since 2011, and won the World Latte Art Championship for 2017! So you won’t be surprised to see some of Chiang Mai’s best latte art right on top of Ristr8to’s drinks. This cafe is always busy, and for good reason; their coffee selection is off the charts, and all the coffees I’ve personally tried there have been top-notch quality.
Ristr8to LabYou can’t be as popular in Chiang Mai as Ristr8to is without opening up a second location to cater to the quality coffee demand! Ristr8to Lab is the second addition to the original Ristr8to, located just a few hundred metres from its counterpart on a quieter soi. The Lab is a more peaceful place to enjoy your morning sipping session without the bustle of the main road of Nimmanhaemin. Most of the coffee roasting for both Ristr8to locations takes place at the Lab, so if you’re interested in the process, you’ll definitely want to check Ristr8to Lab out for yourself. I highly recommend trying the Shakerto From Hell and the Mexican Latte for something a little different. Ristr8to Lab is truly a haven for coffee connoisseurs, offering up a wide variety of roasts and blends for the most exquisite of tastes.
Nine One CoffeeNine One is yet another fantastic coffee shop in the caffeinated sois of Nimmanhaemin, right in the heart of the neighborhood on Soi 11. Pi One, the owner and founder, is one of the pioneers of the coffee industry in Northern Thailand. His Nine One Coffee shop and farm are out in Doi Saket, a trip I highly recommend taking for a relaxing day and ideal spot for specialty coffee. As far as the coffee goes, you really can’t go wrong here. Their Fruity Flora roast is particularly super tasty as an Americano bursting with sweet fruity notes and a soft lingering aftertaste. But all of the drinks are fantastic – by harnessing the power of the Slayer espresso machine, Nine One pumps out superb espresso coffees of all genres in addition to the brew style coffees from the slow bar. If a coffee adventure is what you’re craving, I highly recommend making a day trip out to Nine One Coffee in Doi Saket, approximately 50 km from Chiang Mai toward Chiang Rai.
Ponganes Coffee RoastersLocated in the heart of Chiang Mai’s Old City, Ponganes Coffee Roasters is one of the original specialty coffee roasters in Chiang Mai – and truly one of the best. The founder and resident roaster, Pi Pong, brought his coffee passion and knowledge from Melbourne where he studied in earlier years. His part-time job in Australia was making coffee at AFL football games at the MCG during the chilly freezing months. Pong developed an intense love for great coffee, and after learning more about the process, decided to open his own cafe in the Old City. Ponganes has now grown to be one of the major suppliers in Chiang Mai, with a variety of beans mainly from Northern Thailand and also some international single origins and blends. Ponganes can be hit and miss with opening hours, as Pi Pong’s primary focus is on being a roasting supplier. However, you will find his coffee shop mostly open on weekends. The cafe has limited seating and no Wi-Fi, but you won’t need it – their coffee is best enjoyed with your full attention! For the espresso lover, Ponganes hits the spot for super intense sours and citrus notes with their signature Breeze Blend brews.
The old Chiang mai Cafe’ & Espresso barThis adorable cafe is found right at the base of the foothills of Doi Suthep area in the sweet Baan Kang Wat village – map location here. If you’re looking for a peaceful, nature vibe – this is your cafe. The setting couldn’t be more tranquil, as you’re surrounded by cute boutiques, gardens, and open grassy areas. The cafe itself serves up quality beans in a chilled out atmosphere. Don’t count on great Wi-Fi, but you won’t need it as this place inspires more connection and reflection than screen time. This part of Chiang Mai really feels removed from the city, surrounded by a local artsy vibe out in nature. Every Sunday Morning, various markets pop up which makes for a great day out enjoying the festive vibe and good quality coffee. I highly recommend this cafe as a fun, unique spot to meet up with friends for a relaxing weekend morning over delicious coffee.
Somkiat CafeOriginally based in Nimmanhaemin, Somkiat recently moved to the Baan Kang Wat area, a more hipster and artsy part of the city. This new location has created a very chilled out setting whilst maintaining the hipster feel of the original cafe. Somkiat Cafe’s mix of espresso and slow bar coffees makes a great place to take some time out or get out of the hustle of Chiang Mai life for a peaceful work location. They offer a nice combination of modern indoor and garden outdoor seating, as well as an array of food options on their menu. The coffee is smooth and rich, a hidden gem in the Pong Noi neighborhood!
The Barisotel by The BaristroThe Barisotel by The Baristro is one of the newer cafe additions to the Nimman area. Stepping into this cafe, you definitely feel a unique vibe that sets it apart from many others in the area: pure and minimalist, with an all-white color scheme that somehow feels more cozy than stark. The contrast of minimalist decor and lack of visual stimuli allows you to be 100% present with your coffee experience without distraction. It also seems to be a great place for focusing on work, as you’ll tend to see the “digital nomad” crowd gather here for work sessions on their laptops. The Piccolo Latte has been my favorite from The Barisotel, and they serve their coffees with a cinnamon stick which makes for a nice extra touch! They also offer an array of delicious-looking cakes and desserts to compliment the simply delicious drinks and environment.
A Day In Chiang Mai – Coffee BrewLocated on the lower-east side of the Old City, A Day in Chiang Mai is a small yet bright little cafe serving up a variety of quality coffee drinks. With a minimalistic design offset by wood, brick, and antique accessories, it’s a pleasant spot to spend time away from the crowds in the city. I personally love having the opportunity to meet and connect with the owner of the coffee shops I visit, which is perfect in Chiang Mai where so many cafes are locally own and run. The owner and head barista here shows great passion for his coffee, and welcomed my feedback on the experience. A Day in Chiang Mai uses a variety of international and local beans, which have produced a great cup of coffee every time I’ve been to visit. If you’re in the southeast side of the city, make sure to give this lovely little hipster cafe a try.
PosrestRight near CMU, this two-story cafe is often frequented by university students chatting and studying over one of their decadent coffees or green tea lattes. Their Aeropress bar serves up quality coffee from mostly local beans in the Nimman neighborhood. The staff at Posrest are exceptionally friendly, and happy to modify any of your drinks to your liking – even offering almond milk as a substitute for those non-dairy drinkers. I particularly enjoyed the variety of seating options here, from the more traditional tables downstairs to floor seating on cushions upstairs, and a bar overlooking the entire spacious interior. The coffees and other drinks are elegantly prepared, and consistent in quality. They do have a few options for small sweet snacks, but the focus here is definitely on the beverages. A great spot to do some work or catch up with friends in a cozy yet bright atmosphere.
ImpressoImpresso is one of the longest-running cafes in Chiang Mai, and an absolutely establishment in Nimmanhaemin between Sois 11 and 13. While relatively smaller inside, Impresso has a nice patio where you can enjoy your coffee while people-watching and enjoying the general bustle of the Nimman neighborhood. They boast not one, but two huge espresso machines serving up great coffee that always hits the spot for me. While a bit more on the expensive side, Impresso is worth it for the consistently delicious and strong espresso, and good vibes both inside and outside the cafe. A few of the more interesting items on the menu include a black forest frappe and some other non-coffee concoctions – but the latte or cappuccino is your best bet to experience the quality of their beans. Photo Source: FourSquare
Suan Pailom Coffee RoastingOn the outer northeast side of the city, in a lush area many foreigners refer to as “Nana Jungle”, you’ll find this adorable cafe tucked away amidst the leafy green plants and trees – map location here. Shawn, the roaster there, is a friend of mine and absolutely brilliant at what he does. A true connoisseur of coffee roasting, he had his own roaster designed and custom made – so there’s truly no other coffee experience like this in Chiang Mai! This is a great cafe to visit particularly on Saturday mornings when the farmers market opens up in the Suan Pailom neighborhood, drawing a lively crowd of locals and visitors to enjoy local organic foods, crafts, and of course – coffee. Dip into the cafe for a fabulously roasted V60 pour over, but be prepared to give up your technology – they’re so passionate about the coffee experience, that they’ll actually confiscate your phone so as to eliminate distraction! The perfect weekend cafe to relax and catch up with friends in a jungle vibe.
Photo Cr. Suan Pailom Coffee Roasting.