Fall in Love with the Best Authentic Khao Soi in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is the largest city in northern Thailand. It is a popular destination with many Buddhist temples and the Old City worth exploring.

The food is one of the best-kept secrets and in particular, Khao Soi, the famous Chiang Mai noodle dish.

After exploring the local food in Bangkok, we were eager to discover northern Thai local specialties. In fact, Khao Soi was one of the main reasons for traveling to Chiang Mai.

After eating our way through the lenses of Khao Soi, we invite you to join us on our quest for the best authentic Khao Soi in Chiang Mai.

Article last updated – April 8th 2019, with additional Khao Soi eateries
Thailand Map Authentic Food QuestChiang Mai in the north of Thailand
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On the Quest for the Best Khao Soi in Chiang Mai

In Chiang Mai, you’ll find Khao Soi everywhere, from restaurants, local eateries, and markets. Each vendor has their own way of making this famous Chiang Mai noodle dish. Some vendors make Khao Soi too mild, while others have it a little too hot and spicy.

To find the best Khao Soi in Chiang Mai, we went on a mission to ask locals in Chiang Mai to answer one question: “where is your best Khao Soi in Chiang Mai?

Given our focus on local food specialties, the Chiang Mai locals we asked were local market vendors, local chefs, Chiang Mai food tour guides as well as owners of local eateries.

In addition, we also did research and read a variety of articles about the popular Khao Soi eateries in Chiang Mai.

Finally, to pull together this comprehensive list together, we ate Khao Soi several times a week at many of the places that were recommended to us.

Although some of the places listed below are more famous and popular than others, try several before you decide on your own favorite Khao Soi spot.

Following are 10 Khao Soi eateries to give you a head start. Don’t miss our favorite and best Khao Soi local eatery.

1 – Khao Soi at the Saturday Market by Chiang Mai Gate

As always, the best places to find local dishes is at the local markets. Chiang Mai offers many incredible food markets day or night.

Every Saturday night is the Wui Lai Market by the Old City. The market starts across the Chiang Mai Gate and extends all the way down the length of Wui Lai Road. Although the market is dedicated to art and crafts, you will find plenty of food options.

The area around Chiang Mai gate is a bustling square where food vendors set up their carts and tables. You’ll see tourist and locals alike sitting together and enjoying the local foods.

Chiang Mai Gate Saturday Night Market Authentic Food QuestCrowded square at Chiang Mai Gate

On our first Saturday night in Chiang Mai, we walked through the many vendors and decided to try the local specialty, Khao Soi, the famous Chaing Mai noodle dish.

From a local vendor with a long line, we were served a generous bowl of Khao Soi and were eager to try our first Khao Soi in Chiang Mai.

The noodles were perfectly cooked. Not soggy at all. And the chicken was extremely tender . The curry soup thick and not too spicy. For our first introduction to Khao Soi in Chiang Mai, we were delighted.

Bowl of Khao Soi Chiang Mai Authentic Food Quest for best Chiang Mai noodle dishOur very first bowl of Khao Soi in Chiang Mai

Where to Eat Khao Soi at the Saturday Night Market

Wui Lai Market – Khao Soi Vendor

Address: Chiang Mai Gate

Hours: Every Saturday from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Prices: 40 Baht per bowl, approximately $1.22 USD.

2- Khao Soi Islam – Serving an Original Version of Khao Soi

In Chiang Mai’s thriving Muslim community, close to Chiang Mai’s Mosque is where you will find this celebrated Khao Soi restaurant.

Khao Soi Islam is famous for its authenticity to the original Chiang Mai noodle dish first introduced by Chinese Yunnanese Muslims traders.

This eatery is run by a  Muslim Thai family who cook following Halal guidelines.

The space is open with several rows of tables and benches to accommodate large crowds or groups. 

The menu is in English and Chinese, and the service is fast and friendly.

Khao Soi Islam Restaurant for Khao Soi Chiang Mai by Authentic Food QuestThe airy interior at Khao Soi Islam restaurant

The Friday Morning Market takes place very close to Khao Soi Islam. We recommend having lunch at Khao Soi Islam after a morning market tour.

After a market visit, we walked into Khao Soi Islam, hungry from all the tempting market treats and eager to try this celebrated version of Khao Soi.

As we have done previously, we each ordered a standard bowl of the chicken Khao Soi.  When the bowls of Khao Soi arrived, we noticed right away the creaminess and the chopped up pieces of chicken in the bowl.

We enjoyed the taste of the Khao Soi, though we were not blown away by the flavors. We found the curry too mild and the egg noodles not crunchy enough. 

We also typically prefer the Chiang Mai noodles served with whole pieces of chicken rather than cut up pieces of chicken in a bowl.

Even though Khao Soi Islam is not one of our top spots, we still recommend stopping by to taste this version of Khao Soi that is said to be close to the original.

Go on a Friday, so that you can enjoy the market experience before lunch.

Chiang Mai Noodles at KhaoSoi Islam Restaurant by Authentic Food QuestChiang Mai noodle dish at Khao Soi Islam

Where to Eat Khao Soi Near the Friday Morning Market

Khao Soi Islam

Address:  22-24 Soi 1, Charoenprathet Road, Changklan

Hours: Open every day, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Price: The price of a standard bowl ranges from 50-70 Baht (approx $1.57 – $2.19 USD)

Pro Tip: Khao Soi Islam is known for serving excellent biryani, particularly with goat meat. Since our focus was on Khao Soi, we did not try the biryani, though we recommend trying it if you still have room. 

3 – Khao Soi Mae Sai – Stands True to Its Popularity

Another highly recommended restaurant by locals is Khao Soi Mae Sai. It is said to be the best place to have Khao Soi by expats and regular visitors to Chiang Mai.

With such recommendations and a prestigious title, we were eager to taste this version of the Khao Soi, the famous Chiang Mai noodle dish.

While we were not disappointed with the Khao Soi, we didn’t care much for the environment.

As a result of their popularity, the place gets crowded with locals and tourists who quickly fill up the tables.

With the lunch hours extended until 4:00 pm, it is best to go after the rush so that you can sit outside and enjoy your meal.

KhaoSoi Mae Sai Chiang Mai Restaurant Authentic Food QuestThe Kitchen at Khao Soi Mae Sai
Khao Soi Chiang Mai Noodles Authentic Food QuestNice bowl of Khao Soi. Fresh and flavorful

Where to Eat The Best Khao Soi in Chang Phueak

Khao Soi Mae Sai

Address: 29/1 Ratchaphuek Alley, Mueang Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai

Hours: Monday to Saturday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

Prices: 40 Baht per bowl, approximately $1.22 USD

4 – Khao Soi Khun Yai – Recommended but Disappointing

Khao Soi Khun Yai came highly recommended and we found it mentioned in many articles and blogs. It is a really popular restaurant, filled with tourist crowding the benches at this off-road street vendor.

Given its popularity, you have to be patient when ordering your meal. It is best to go either early before the busy lunch period or a little later after the crowd winds down.

Khao Soi Khun Yai Chiang Mai Restaurant Authentic Food QuestKhao Soi Khun Yai

On the menu, you can choose either beef Khao Soi or the chicken Khao Soi.

We decided to order one of each to get a sense of the differences between the two versions.

Overall, we were disappointed by Khao Soi here. Perhaps we had really high expectations after hearing all the positive reviews about the restaurant.

First, the portions are relatively small as compared to everywhere else we had eaten Khao Soi. It is the kind of place where you may need to order a second bowl just to satisfy your hunger.

Secondly, the crunchy noodles didn’t seem homemade and were lacking freshness. The beef was disappointing and the chicken was only a slight improvement.

However, on the positive side, the location and atmosphere are pleasant. The restaurant is in the Old City on a quiet street across from the Wat Kuan Kama Temple. If you are looking for a laid back experience in the Old City, this is a great option.

Khao Soi Chiang Mai Noodles Authentic Food QuestGood, but not fantastic bowl of Khao Soi, Chiang Mai

Where to Eat Khao Soi Near Wat Kuan Kama

Khao Soi Khun Yai

Address: Across Wat Kuan Kama Temple, Sri Poom Road, Amphoe Mueang, Chiang Mai

Hours: Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Prices: 40 Baht per bowl, approximately $1.22 USD

5 – Khao Soy Nimman – A Catered Experience

Located on Soi 7 in Nimman, this upscale air-conditioned restaurant is popular with tourists and expats.

The English speaking staff know enough to communicate and allow first-time visitors or those not comfortable diving into the street food version of Khao Soi, feel at home.

Khao Soy Nimman Chiang Mai Restaurant Authentic Food QuestGorgeous outdoor seating at Khao Soy Nimman Restaurant

The Khao Soi here is predictably more expensive. The portions are not as generous as compared to other locations. Perhaps to cater to foreigners, the flavors are not as spicy. Overall, the sauce was creamy and it blended well with noodles. The chicken was tasty, though not as tender.

If you are looking for an upscale experience in air conditioning and an English speaking staff, you will like the comforts of Khao Soy Nimman. We found the experience “catered” and we much prefer Khao Soi prepared the “local” way, for the local palate.

Khao Soi Chiang Mai Noodles Authentic Food QuestKhao Soi at Khao Soy Nimman

Where to Eat Khao Soi in Nimman

Khao Soy Nimman

Address: 137, Nimmanhemin Road, Soi 7

Hours: Open every day, from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm

Prices: 65 Baht per bowl, approximately $1.94 USD.

6- Khao Soi Mae Manee – A Creamy Khao Soi Experience

The huge posters adorning the walls at this unassuming local eatery is the first thing that will grab your attention. Reviews and local articles about Khao Soi Mae Manee and pictures of the founder will intrigue you.

The menu at Khao Soi Mae Manee is pretty extensive. Besides the typical egg noodles, you can choose vermicelli noodles or even instant noodles.

Beyond the standard chicken, beef or pork ribs, you can choose Vietnamese sausage or fish.

If you want to mix different types of meat in your curry, all you have to do is pay a little extra for that experience.

KhaoSoiMaeManee_BestKhaoSoiChiangMai_AuthenticFoodQuestReviews and articles on the walls of Khao Soi Mae Manee

The first thing we noticed when we got our hot bowls of Khao Soi with chicken was a layer of pure coconut cream sitting on the top of the bowl.

Once we mixed the coconut cream into the curry, the bowl of Khao Soi became rich and thick. While tasty and flavorful, we found the Khao Soi too rich for our personal preferences.

Khao Soi Mae Manee is one of the popular Khao Soi eateries in Chiang Mai. If you enjoy thick creamy textures, you will love the Khao Soi Mae Manee.

Chiang Mai Noodles at Khao Soi Mae Manee by Authentic Food QuestCreamy Khao Soi at Khao Soi Mae Manee

Where to Eat Creamy Khao Soi – Khao Soi Mae Manee

Khao Soi Mae Manee

Address: 18 Soi Chotana 24, Tambon Chang Phueak, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai

Hours: Open every day, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm (Closed on Buddha Days)

Price: The price of a standard bowl ranges from 40-50 Baht (approx $1.25 – $1.57 USD) or 60 Bhat (approx $1.88) for a big bowl.

Pro Tip: This local restaurant is tucked away on Mae Rim Fang Road in a small alley next to the Chiang Mai Department of Labor. To get there, we took a Grab car (Southeast Asia’s version of Uber). Tricky to find, we recommend getting a local driver getting to take you there.

7 – Best Khao Soi in Chiang Mai – Our #1 Favorite Khao Soi Local Eatery

To get the local flavor and experience, there is no better place to eat in a local part of town where the locals themselves go for lunch.

We first discovered this gem on our first trip to Chiang Mai two years ago.

Every week, during our first month-long stay in Chiang Mai, we would do our laundry at a nearby “wash shop” or coin-operated laundry facility.

The clean laundry facility was just off the busy Chonprathan Road (Chiang Mai Outer Ring Road) at the intersection of Wua Lai road.

Right across the laundry place, we discovered this small street food vendor where locals would stop for lunch.

There were no signs in English and the ladies who were preparing the food didn’t speak a word of English.

Enticed by the popularity of the place, we decided to give it a try and we were thrilled we did.

Favorite Khao Soi Restaurant for Khao Soi Chiang Mai by Authentic Food QuestThe Khao Soi cooking station at the entrance of our favorite local eatery

This local eatery specializes in only two dishes. One of them is Khao Soi, made right in front of you.

The Khao soi is special and admittedly, it is on the spicy side. The flavors are geared towards the local tastes.

The chicken leg is full and incredibly delicious while falling off the bone. And the noodles are crispy and literally melt in the mouth.

We like several things about this Khao Soi eatery that is our favorite.

First, the experience is very local. In all the times, we have eaten there, and they have been plenty, we’ve never seen any tourists. 

The Chaing Mai noodle dish is exceptional. The curry sauce is harmoniously balanced. The level of spice is hot, just as we like it. The noodles are perfectly cooked and crunchy at the same time. And finally, the chicken is firm and incredibly tasty.

Khao Soi Our Favorite Chiang Mai Noodles by Authentic Food QuestOur favorite delectable Khao Soi, Chiang Mai noodle dish

Watch the Video about our #1 Favorite Khao Soi in Chiang Mai

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Where to Eat The Best Khao Soi in Chiang Mai

Local Khao Soi Street Vendor

Address: At the intersection of Wua Lai and Huay Kaew Soi 2 Road, Chiang Mai

Hours: Open Mon-Sat, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm

Prices: 30 Baht per bowl, approx $0.94 USD

Pro Tip: This street food place is quite popular. We recommend going before 12:30 pm for a delicious bowl of Khao Soi. Available in a small plastic bag are crispy chips. Get some to slurp on the delicious curry sauce.

8 – Khao Soi Fah-Haam Off the Beaten Path Khao Soi Gem

This is our second favorite Khao Soi restaurant. It was recommended to us by our favorite local street food vendor.

On a Saturday, we took a Grab car to go to Khao Soi Fah-Haam about 15 minutes outside of the Old City.

Finding the place was challenging, as everything was in Thai, including the name of the restaurant.

As soon as we walked into the restaurant, we felt right at home. The large airy canopy style restaurant with a bamboo thatched roof was perfect on humid afternoon.

Surrounding the walls of the restaurant were pictures of the menu and a particular Chef Yoon, who received an award for his Khao Soi in 2016.

As usual, we ordered our typical chicken Khao Soi.  This time we added a plate of freshly grilled pork satay that was cooking at the front of the restaurant.

Khao Soi Fah Haam Restaurant Chiang Mai for Best Khao Soi in Chiang Mai by Authentic Food QuestThe cheery and exposed interior at Khao Soi Fah Haam

We were very impressed with the Khao Soi at Fah-Haam. The portions are generous with firm and full chicken legs. The curry sauce had the right balance of coconut and curry paste.

The spice levels were just right and when topped with the condiments, the delicious flavors came shining through.

All around us were tables filled with locals. Everything is in Thai and nothing in any other language. You get the sense that the experience is not catered for tourists. 

This gem was one of our best Khao Soi Chiang Mai and worth the trip for the experience.

Chiang Mai Noodles at Khao Soi Fah Haam Chiang Mai by Authentic Food QuestTwo delightful bowls of deliciousness at Khao Soi Fah-Haam

Where to Eat Chef Yoon Khao Soi 

Khao Soi Fah-Haam

Address: 3044 Tambon Nong Kwai, Amphoe Hang Dong, Chang Wat Chiang Mai |

Hours: Open every day, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Price: One serving 45 Baht (approx $1.41 USD)

Pro Tip: Order fruits or desserts from a vendor who walks around selling the treats. This is a great way to have a smooth finish to the spicy Khao Soi

9- Huen Phen Restaurant – For Khao Soi at Dinner

Huen Phen is a popular restaurant located in the Old City, which serves a nice range of northern Thai dishes.

We particularly enjoyed their Laab also called Larb Kua, a spicy salad made with ground pork meat.

Huen Phen offers two different experiences at lunch and dinner.

At lunch, you can eat leisurely on their patio in a casual environment. Some dishes are served exclusively at lunch and the place is frequented by locals and tourists alike.

Meals at dinner are served at the indoor restaurant. The interior is in an interesting wooden Lanna style house, packed with antiques and relics. The restaurant is very popular with tourists in the evenings.

Huen Phen Restaurant Chiang Mai Restaurant Authentic Food QuestLanna style decor at Huen Phen restaurant

Khao Soi is one of their featured dishes and prominent offerings on their Northern Thai menu.

We particularly enjoyed the crispy noodles and chicken. Although we found the sauce a bit too heavy and the curry paste too rich for our tastes.

However, it is a flavorful bowl of Khao Soi worth having especially if you are eating dinner in the Old City and craving this Chiang Mai noodle dish.

Chiang Mai Noodles at Huen Phen Restaurant Chiang Mai by Authentic Food QuestKhao Soi at Huen Phen restaurant

Where to Eat the Best Khao Soi in Chiang Mai Old City

Huen Phen

Address: 112 Ratchamanka Rd, Chiang Mai,

Hours: Open everyday, day time: 8:30 am – 4:00 pm dinner time: 5:00pm – 10:00pm

Price: One serving 90 Baht (approx $2.82 USD).

Pro Tip: Go to Huen Phen for lunch for a more casual and local experience.

10- Arak –  Local Khao Soi Eatery in The Old City

After meeting a friend for coffee in the Old City, we were left to find a lunch place in one of the most touristy parts of town.

We were looking for somewhere new and are always up for a good Khao Soi on our quest to find the best Khao Soi in Chiang Mai. Not knowing where to go, we relied on Google Maps to show us the way.

Claire loves to use Google Maps and it has proven to be useful several times. We spotted Khao Soi Arak as a potential contender for our best of Khao Soi Chiang Mai.

This lovely eatery is nestled in a quiet street near Suan Dok Gate, on the west side of town. It is open only for lunch. We arrived rather late and found the place pretty quiet.

Claire and Rosemary at Arak Restaurant in Chiang Mai on their quest for the Best Khao Soi in Chiang Mai Authentic Food QuestClaire and Rosemary at Arak restaurant with bowls of Khao Soi

Their menu is very simple, they offer Khao Soi chicken, beef and pork. We stayed with the classic Khao Soi Chicken.

The friendly waiter served us a reasonable bowl of Chiang Mai noodles with a nice chunk of a chicken leg.

We really enjoyed the chicken really fresh, the sauce was nice though lacking spice. We noticed one local adding chili to its bowls and decided to do the same.

The noodles were tasty though we found the soup not very warm. Maybe it was due to the fact that we were on the late side.

All in all, it is a very enjoyable lunch away from the crowd in the center of town. It is a great way to refresh and resource before or after a visit to the famous temple Wat Phra Singh.

Chiang Mai Noodles at Khao Soi Arak by Authentic Food QuestKhao Soi and condiments at Arak restaurant

Where to Eat Khao Soi for Lunch in Chiang Mai Old City

Khao Soi Arak

Address: Arak 7 Alley, Tambon Si Phum, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai

Hours: Open every day, 10:30 am – 4:00 pm

Price: One serving 40 Baht (approx $1.25 USD).

Pro Tip: Typically Khao Soi can be spicy. At Arak, the Khao Soi isn’t very spicy so don’t hesitate to add chili provided at each table. 

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How to Make Khao Soi in Chiang Mai

After falling in love with Khao Soi and eating it at several different places, we decided to take a cooking class in Chiang Mai to learn how to make Khao Soi.  

At a lively cooking class in Chiang Mai in Chiang Mai, we learned how to make the most famous Chiang Mai noodle dish.

Claire & Rosemary at our Chiang Mai Cooking Class by Authentic Food QuestRosemary and Claire ready to cook Thai specialties including Khao Soi

Read more about our lively cooking class in Chiang Mai

How to Make Khao Soi at Home

To make Khao Soi at home, here is the list of ingredients and recipe (compliments of Aroy Aroy).

The secret to a good Khao Soi is in the cooking class in Chiang Mai

You can buy the Khao Soi Paste instead of making it from scratch.

Once you’re set with the Khao Soi Paste, here are the additional ingredients needed to make Khao Soi, the most famous Chiang Mai noodle dish.

Ingredients for Khao Soi

1 pound fresh Chinese-style egg noodles, divided

2 (15-ounce) cans coconut milk, or 2 cups fresh coconut milk (do not shake)

1 cup homemade or canned low-sodium chicken stock

2 tablespoons palm sugar

2 chicken skinless chicken breasts, sliced thinly

Fish sauce to taste

Sliced shallots and lime wedges for serving

Cooking Khao Soi Khao Soi Chiang Mai Authentic Food QuestIn the heat of cooking Khao Soi
Aroy Aroy Khao Soi Chiang Mai Authentic Food QuestOur Khao Soi dishes at Aroy Aroy

 Khao Soi Recipe – Serves 4

1- Separate out 1/4 of the noodles (enough noodles to make a crispy fried-noodle topping for 4 bowls) and set the remaining noodles aside.

2-Heat vegetable oil in a large wok over high heat until simmering. Working in batches, add noodles to oil and fry, stirring and flipping until golden brown and crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Season with salt and set aside.

3-Discard all but 1 tablespoon oil from wok. Using a spoon, skim 2 tablespoons of creamy fat off the top of the coconut milk and add to the wok. Heat wok over high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until coconut milk breaks and oil begins to lightly smoke, about 2 minutes. Add curry paste mixture and cook, stirring and smearing the paste into the oil, until aromatic, about 45 seconds.

4-Slowly whisk in the coconut milk, followed by the chicken stock and palm sugar. Add sliced chicken breasts and bring to a simmer. Cook, turning chicken occasionally, until chicken is tender and broth is very flavorful, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with fish sauce.

5-Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add remaining uncooked noodles and cook until al dente, about 1 minute. Drain noodles and divide between four warmed bowls. Top noodles with two pieces of chicken. Divide broth evenly between bowls. Top with fried noodles and serve immediately with sliced shallots, lime wedges, and pickled mustard greens on the side.

Have you had Khao Soi before? Let us know in the comments below what you think of it.

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77 Comments on “Fall in Love with the Best Authentic Khao Soi in Chiang Mai”

  1. It is so funny that I get to read this at the time I am craving for Thai food! Hahaha. I do not know if that is a good thing or a bad one though.And thanks for sharing…..

  2. It is so funny that I get to read this at the time I am craving for Thai food! Hahaha. I do not know if that is a good thing or a bad one though. I haven’t been to Chiang Mai though I’ve been to Thailand several times. I will bookmark this as I am planning to go to either South or North of Thailand.

    • If you’ve been to Thailand several times, its worth a trip to Chiang Mai, what locals refer to as the “Rose of the north.” The food is different than in other parts of Thailand and worth discovering. Indeed, hold onto this local food guide for your next Thailand trip.

  3. Chiang Mai is one of my favourite places in Thailand. I love the vibe of the place and its food scene is quite lovely. I took cooking classes some five years back. And, I totally agree that its food is one of the best-kept secrets and in particular, Khao Soi. Now I am craving for some.

  4. I’ve heard a lot about the cuisine in Chiang Mai. I wouldn’t think I’d ever travel to a destination primarily for the food, but Chiang Mai might be an exception. My cousin took a cooking class there, and he was amazed at all the flavors melded into their dishes. Khao Soi also sounds and looks incredible!

  5. I have never had Khao Soi, but it looks tastey. It can be so tough finding the best place to get an areas signature dish. Thanks for doing all the work to make it easy for those of us looking to get the best authentic Khao Soi!

  6. Yum! Your photos of bowls of Khao Soi are making my mouth water. It looks like just the kind of dish I’d love! Good thing it’s available everywhere in Chiang Mai. I’d love a recipe to try cooking it at home!

  7. I ate lots of khao sois when I volunteered in Bangkok for 23 days few years ago 🙂 Now, next mission is to eat this in Chiang Mai. Wanna know if there’s difference sois when I volunteered in Bangkok for 23 days few years ago 🙂 Now, next mission is to eat this in Chiang Mai. Wanna know if there’s difference between the two 🙂

  8. I was sorry that we missed Chiang Mai when we visited Thailand. And now I see that we also missed the well kept secret of Khao Soi. Interesting to know that you can only find it in northern Thailand. It must have been so fun to ask everyone where the best spot was to try Khao Soi. I am sure there was a lot of variety in the versions you tasted. Great that you got to try making it yourself! Thanks for including the recipe.

    • That’s a bummer that you missed Chiang Mai, now you have another reason to go back. Our quest for the best Khao Soi was loads of fun. We became “experts” at the nuances. Glad you enjoyed the article, Linda.

  9. The fresh coriander on top of the Khao Soi at the Saturday Market had me intrigued. Love coriander! Thanks so much for posting the Khao Soi recipe, I’m definitely going to try to make it!

  10. Cant believe you missed out on 2 of the very best and most authentic Khao soi houses in the city…. Khao soi Islam and khao soi Lam Duan ( Fa Ham ). Thankfully you wont find many tourists there so no Chicken breasts in the curry. Just proper bone in chicken drumsticks for true flavour. A huge pot of stock on the rolling boil with proper curry paste ( not red curry paste ) and it gets better and better as the day goes on. A lot of the locals visit later in the day when the stock is at its best.

  11. Hi! Thank you so much for your recommendations! I’m right now in Chiang Mai – one month here. By the moment, my favorite Khao Soi is Mae Sai’s one 😉 discovered it by chance while looking for a condo 😀

    I’d like to taste the local one you talked about, the one near your laundry, near Wua Lai…. but can’t figure where it is… because you said “Outer Ring” which is far away from Wua Lai Rd., and then in the address you said Huay Kaew Soi 2, which is near Nimman and way far from Wua Lai too…

    I think something was lost in translation here 😀 please, would you so kind to give me a pin in a map, or other name for the road crossing Wua Lai?

    Thank you so much in advance!

    • Hi Alvara, thanks so much for your note and glad you are enjoying exploring the delicious Khao Soi of Chiang Mai. The local food stall is actually near isleepguesthouse (20 Chomdoi RoadT. Suthep Muang Chiangmai). We’ve updated the article to reflect this change. Thanks again and enjoy Khao Soi in Chiang Mai.

  12. Yummy! It does look like curry laksa considering its Chinese origins. What would you say is the main flavor that distinguishes khao soi from other noodle dishes?

    • So glad you enjoyed the article Daniel 🙂 Actually, curry laksa is quite different from Khao Soi. Indeed they do share Chinese origins, but the preparation is incredibly different. The fresh curry paste and the combination of flavors is what makes Khao Soi so unique. So rich and delightful. This is one must-have dish!!

  13. Khao Soi in Chiang Mai sounds like a staple to try for sure! Good to know that the spice levels vary – I’m not great with too much spice, so mild would be my way to go. Totally agree that the best places to find local dishes are the markets – I haven’t set out itinerary yet, but will try to plan time in Chiang Mai to fall over a Saturday when we go to Thailand to fit in Wui Lai Market 🙂

    • Yes, do make sure you indulge in Khao Soi in Chiang Mai. Skip the tourist spots and settle in at a local stand and be prepared to be amazed. The food will certainly enhance your overall experience on your trip! Have fun!!

  14. I’ve never had Khao Soi before…never even heard of it! But I love the spices and flavors that are used so much in Thai cooking, so I’m sure I would love it. I’ve also never been to Thailand…now I have another reason to visit beyond just the beautiful scenery. Thanks for the great insider tips!

    • You are most welcome Jim, and if you are already a Thai food fan, you will absolutely love Khao Soi. Indeed, the food is another reason to visit Chiang Mai. Do let us know if you end up discovering Khao Soi in Chiang Mai. Cheers.

  15. We took the night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai but didn’t know about Khao Soi so missed out. We did eat many other amazing things at the markets though and took a one day cooking class at Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School. Loved Chiang Mai.

  16. I became a khao soi addict, sort of, after spending half a year in Chiang May. Personally, I found the best khao soi from street vendors: crunchiest noodles, the broth full of flavor, bitey spices. Pricier places were trying to be fancy and generally spoiled authentic experience. It’s been 3 years since I left Thailand and haven’t had a bite of khao soi. I just couldn’t find it anywhere. Finally, this summer during my visit to Perth, I spotted it on a menu of some Thai restaurant. I was so excited, but the soup hadn’t lived up to my memories.

    • Totally agree Elena, our favorite places for Khao Soi in Chiang Mai were also the small off the beaten path places! That’s awesome that you’ve seen it on a restaurant in Perth. It is had to replicate the flavors outside of the city of origin. We’ve had similar disappointments with Vietnamese foods in the U.S. as well. The best is always to enjoy the local flavors at the destination 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  17. Hey, thanks for the list of ingredients for Khao Soi — it might be something I could actually make! I love anything with coconut milk added, and every version you show here looks amazing! Your list of places that serve it well will come in very handy when I get to Chiang Mai.

    • You are most welcome Tami, please do share a pic with us after you’ve made the meal. We agree, anything with coconut milk is amazing. Indeed, do keep this list handy for your trip to Chiang Mai and do let us know your preferred place for Khao Soi. Cheers.

  18. We still haven’t made it to Thailand yet, but I’m dying to visit!! Khao Soi sounds amazing and exactly like a dish I would enjoy. It would be so fun to try this dish from so many different restaurants—I love seeing how iconic dishes are different from place to place. Taking a cooking class is always so fun too, and such a great idea!

    • Thanks so much Jenna for your comments. As food explorers, we are always interested in learning about the local foods with the goal of inspiring others to travel through the local food. Khao Soi is one of those meals that must be experienced in Thailand and specifically, Khao Soi. Hope you get to Thailand soon and make sure to indulge in this dish. You will be amazed by its flavors!! Thanks for stopping by.

  19. I so agree that it’s fun to eat where the locals go. I’ve spent months in Thailand and I have to confess I’ve never heard of Khao Soi. Even when I was in Chiang Mai. I get so stuck on fried shrimp with basil and chilli I order it every day. Literally. This will propel to expand my food experience.

    • Oh, bummer. So sad that you missed Khao Soi in Thailand and specifically in Chiang Mai, where it is the most famous dish. Hopefully, you’ll get back to Thailand soon and when you do, make Khao Soi your first meal. Thanks, Carol.

  20. We enjoyed a fab dish of Khao Soi last April, with the couple whom we house sat for. They grab their Thai food from a village outside of town where they live; bordering Doi Suthep National Park. The food out there in the villages surrounding town is first rate; no mailing it in as you experienced in the Old City, where folks may hold back some because tourists will gobble up anything happily and give a thumbs up.

    I am no foodie but after eating for 2 years in Thailand collectively, I know real Thai food 😉

    We are heading back to this village in February for the same house sit. Ready and raring to enjoy more authentic Khao Soi!

    Fabulous post guys!!


    • Thanks Ryan and so jealous you are heading back for some “real” local Khao Soi. You are right, further away from the tourist spots, the Khao Soi is incredible! So glad you enjoyed the article and eat well….for us 🙂 Cheers!

  21. I sadly didn’t have Khao Soi when i was in Chiang Mai! 🙁 I am so sad about this. I wish I read this post before I was in the area! It looks like an absolute must. Luckily I have high intentions of returning soon. When that happens I will be sure to give it a try! Thanks!

  22. I can’t handle a lot of spice, so I would choose the less spicy recommendations you’ve mentioned.

    I’ve never had Khao Soi before and unless I can find a gluten free version, I’ll never be able to try it (I’m celiac). It makes me a little sad because it sounds so good. I might use your recipe and see if I can find a decent noodle to use with it, though.

  23. Honestly, the food looks great at every one of these places! My son visited Chiang Mai a few years ago and I wonder if he got to taste any of these, and which was his favorite. It would be so much fun to go on a tasting tour.

    • Thanks so much Samantha…at authentic food quest, we aim to bring the best local experiences to travelers so that they can have a wonderful experience. Indeed, eating the local food is the best part of the experience 🙂

  24. This sounds delicious! I cannot handle spicy food, but because of your guide I can definitely find some mild Khao Soi. I also love how you added a recipe, so we can try this dish if we can’t make it to Thailand soon!

  25. Oh my! This dish looks delicious! I had Thai food a few minutes ago. The things is that most restaurants around here do not have Khao Soi on their menus. But, in Thai Town (East Hollywood), I know there are restaurants selling it. In this one place, the noodles are prepared every day.

  26. Your posts always manage to make me hungry. I love the idea of hunting for the best version of a dish. Thailand has really been calling to me lately, and the thought of sampling from all of these locations is definitely adding to that.

  27. I fell in love with Thailand over again in this article. That place is budget friendly and the food I’m seeing here makes me want to up and run to chiang Mai… Kudos on this one… I’ll love to learn how to make the noodles too


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