1. Is a Chiang Mai food tour worth going?
Chiang Mai has seemingly endless cheap, good food at places as varied as malls, markets, shacks, and restaurants. That being said, Chiang Mai isn’t a city for fancy dining but a food tour in Chiang Mai is relatively reasonable, making splurges easier to justify.
2. What must eat in Chiang Mai?
5 Dishes You Must try
Khao Soi (Egg Noodle Curry): Khao Soi is the one dish that you absolutely must eat in Chiang Mai. It is a soup flavored with yellow curry and coconut milk, loaded with boiled noodles and then topped with fried noodles. Originally, Khao Soi is traditionally prepared with chicken or beef to comply with Muslim dietary rules, but now in most of the Chiang Mai restaurants, you can also choose from seafood and pork. Usually, the portion is quite small, so you might end up ordering another bowl to fill up your stomach.
Khan Toke: It is not a single dish but a signature Lanna dining experience. Served in a low teak tray that doubles as a table, the khan toke comprises a range of northern-style side dishes and a basket of sticky rice. Diners sit on the floor and dig in with one hand. The modern version of khan toke is accompanied by a series of cultural performances such as folk music, finger-nail dance, and tribal dances.
Nam Prik Ong (Thai Pork and Tomato Chili Dip): Found in northern Thailand, is a pork-based relish that balances the sweet acidity of tomatoes with savory fermented soybeans and shrimp paste, all of it accompanied by the heat from pounded dried chiles. It is usually eaten with crispy pork skin, steamed vegetables, or sticky rice.
Gaeng Hang Lay (Burmese-style Sweet Curry): A yellow curry with tamarind-based soup, pork chunks, shallots, and shrimp paste. Its origins are in Burma, but the adapted northern Thai version uses less oil. With no coconut cream as the ingredient, the texture is less thick than green curry and rich in spices. Some might find gaeng hang lay an acquired taste, but, for us, it's a real winner.
Kai Yang (Grilled Chicken): In many cuisines, chicken is a bland, one-note dish. This approach is not the case in Chiang Mai. The grilled chicken was marinated before being grilled on low heat for a quite long period of time. It tasted mild and slightly sweet. They usually serve it with some dipping sauce and the dipping sauce might differ from one place to another.
3. What are the must-try street food in Chiang Mai?
Sai Oua (Grilled Herb Sausage): A fiery starter dish, sai oua is a northern-style sausage made from ground pork, dried chilies, garlic, shallots, and a range of pungent herbs and spices. It looks very similar to northeastern-style sausage when seen on a charcoal grill but tastes drastically different – sai oua is more meaty and rich with herbal aromas as well as chilies.
Khanom Krok: Khanom Krok, a mix of rice flour batter and sweet coconut cream, is slowly cooked in the pan, covered by small clay lids for a short period of time. You will see vendors cooking their treats in the iron pan with the signature half-round indentations over a gas fire. It is cooked long enough to create a crispy shell on the outside and a still soft, gooey coconut center in the middle.