Chiang Mai isn't just the cultural capital and the home to some of Thailand's most emblematic structures left behind by the Lanna Kingdom, but it is also the only place where Lanna food has prospered for centuries and beyond.

Lanna food is comprised of distinctive cuisines hailing from the Northern regions of Thailand, originating from the ancient Kingdom of Lanna which can hardly be found in other parts of the country. For this reason, visitors should take the opportunity to savor as many Lanna dishes as they can when traveling in Chiang Mai.

Read also: Top 5 Souvenir Ideas from Chiang Mai

chiang mai street food
10 Must-Try Chiang Mai Street Food

10 Must-Try Chiang Mai Street Food

1. Khao Soi (ข้าวซอย)

Known as the most famous food of Chiang Mai and the whole of Northern Thailand, this is a yellow egg noodle dish served in a thick, fragrant curry base prepared using coconut, red curry, chili and soy sauce. Typically served with slow-cooked drumsticks and fried noodles as topping.

Khao Soi
Must-Try Chiang Mai Street Food: Khao Soi
Image source: Laos Tourism

2. Sai Oua (ไส้อั่ว)

Sai Oua is a Thai Northern-style grilled sausages made from ground pork, lemongrass, cilantro, shallot, chili paste, black pepper and galangal. It is packed with flavors and gives out a unique smell thanks to the addition of kaffir lime leaves, coriander roots and fresh turmeric.

Sai Oua
A popular Chiang Mai Street Food: Sai Oua

3. Nam Prik Noom (น้ำพริกหนุ่ม)

An out-of-the-world combination of roasted green chilies, garlic, shallots, fish sauce, palm sugar and lime juice, Nam Prik Noom makes a divine dip for kaeb moo (imagine nachos and salsa).

Nam Prik Noom
Nam Prik Noom
Image source: Flickr

4. Sai Krok Isan (ไส้กรอกอีสาน)

Northeastern sausages fermented using pork and rice, eaten with raw bird's eye chilis, raw cabbage leaves and sliced ginger - typically as a beer food. This traditional food originated from the Isan region with a flavour profile that's a little sour, garlicky and salty.

Sai Krok Isan
Must-Try Chiang Mai Street Food: Sai Krok Isan
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

5. Kaeb Moo

Greasy and crispy pork rinds deep-fried with salt, garlic and cloves. Highly versatile and incredibly crunchy, they be eaten as snacks with a cold pint of beer, added to hot soup-base dishes, or deliciously served as a side dish for Northern-style Thai meals.

Kaeb Moo
Popular Chiang Mai Street Food: Kaeb Moo
Image source: hungryfatguy

6. Kaeng Khanun (Green Jackfruit Curry)

A northern equivalent to the famous Som Tam, this soup-and-salad dish is mostly spicy and sour with a hint of distinctive fragrance infused through the addition of unripe jackfruit. Cooked with juicy chunks of pork, kaffir lime leaves and cherry tomatoes.

Kaeng Khanun
Must-Try Chiang Mai Street Food: Kaeng Khanun
Image source: Chiangrai Bulletin

7. Miang Kham (เมี่ยงคำ)

Literally translates to 'many things in one bite', this do-it-yourself snack is a mix of shallots, peanuts, chilies, green mango, and onion - to be wrapped in a cha plu leaf and eaten in one bite. The result? A delightful combination of sweet, spicy, sour and salty all in one.

Miang Kham
Must-Try Chiang Mai Street Food: Miang Kham
Image source: Rachel Cooks Thai

8. Kaeng Hang Lei (แกงฮังเลหมู)

Better known as Burmese curry, the flavors of this stew-like dish are intensified through the combination of turmeric, garlic, ginger and tamarind. The highlight of the dish is obviously the fat chunks of pork belly. Taste heavenly when eaten with rice.

Kaeng Hang Lei
Must-Try Chiang Mai Street Food: Kaeng Hang Lei
Image source: sriyaoruean

9. Aeb Pla (Grilled Fish in Banana Leaves)

Aeb Pla are fillets of fish generously coated in a variety of spices and herbs, wrapped in banana leaves, and grilled over hot charcoal. Comes in a pork variation, too.

Aeb Pla
Must-Try Chiang Mai Street Food: Aeb Pla

10. Kaeng Pak Wan Kai Mode Daeng (แกงผักหวานไข่มดแดง)

Originating from northern Thailand, this soup dish is a delicious combination of pak wan leaves, glass noodles and ant eggs that gives an overall sweet and mild taste. The name is loosely translated to be 'spicy vegetable soup with ant eggs' .

A popular Chiang Mai Street Food: Kaeng Pak Wan Kai Mode Daeng
Image source: รวยดี

How many of the dishes mentioned above have your tried on your trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand? Comment below and share your experiences!

Happy traveling!
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