If there’s one thing that Chiang Mai does really well – it’s create quaint, quirky and photo-worthy spaces to enjoy coffee and cake. We have put together a list of some of our favourites and we guarantee you’ll find loads of things to Instagram about in each – whether it’s a beautifully decorated cupcake placed perfectly on an antique plate, or a sea of tropical plants suspended above your afternoon tea table. Read below to learn about Chiang Mai’s Most Insta-Worthy Cafés.
Into the Woods
For a touch of whimsical, head to the charming Into the Woods cafe where you’ll be able to eat cake – and leave crumbs for Little Red Riding Hood who has been painted, along with a forest scene and squirrels, on the side of the interior café wall. Apart from a bunch of super-cute figurines placed around the café, and a range of tantalising sweets that include mermaid cupcakes, the most Instagrammable thing in this café is the extraordinary barista art. You can custom order a latte to include an image of whatever you like on top – from your favourite super hero, to your name written in Japanese.
Daddy’s Antique Café
How many antique clocks can you fit on a wall? Quite a few if you’re Daddy’s Antique Café. With large windows that let in lots of natural light, a wooden spiral staircase, and old piano covered in vases full of flowers – you will find plenty of photo opportunities here as well as a full restaurant menu featuring western food if you’re feeling peckish. The exterior of this café – which looks like a gothic cathedral – is one of the most Instagrammable buildings in Chiang Mai!
If you want to take photos of the most divine cakes in Chiang Mai (and then eat them after you’ve uploaded your pics to Insta!) then you need to head to Forest Bake. This tiny rustic café prides itself on using all natural ingredients including wild yeast and old fashioned butter to make cakes that are, quite simply, perfection. They also do a range of savoury tarts. Their sweetie display will make you want to buy one of everything…but failing that, you can at least take photos of them all.
Cars, craziness and cakes…that just about sums up Cargo Café. With its black and white chequered floors and colourful truck stop memorabilia hanging on the walls – this café has a 60s vibe and plenty of things to look at while you devour a slice of creamy sponge cake. The entrance of the café has a huge lounge chair in the shape of an old Chevy and it’s where you’ll find most people posing for a photo or two.
One word to summarise the atmosphere of Khagee café: minimalist. White walls, white curtains, simple wooden furniture, and a no-fuss display means that the focus of this café is to make really great coffee and baked goods – which they do. And it’s these two things that get the most attention from Instagrammers who like to snap their green tea and white chocolate muffins against the non-cluttered café backdrop.
Would you like to sip your iced tea in the treetops? Kaomakham is a spectacular coffee shop that has been built to resemble something out of The Faraway Tree. Set in a splendid garden, with 360° panoramas of the surrounding countryside, this café is a round-house with thatched roof, perched at the top of a huge tree. The owners are obsessed with flowers so if the view is not enough to get you excited about taking photos, there are plenty of places to pose with floral arrangements within the café and garden.
There are no farm animals or bails of hay in The Barn café but there is a resident cat, a high ceiling and some very cool vintage light fixtures in this quirky place. Favourites on the menu include the Ice Macha Expresso and Charcoal Taro Cake. Be sure to sample their ice tea range, which includes green, rose and Thai tea.
It’s a bit of a hike to get to this place but if you love all-things-beautiful it’s well worth a visit. Established by Thai artist Thongma, you’ll find a mix of antique and modern furniture, polished concrete floors, outdoor garden areas with interesting sculptures – as well as an amazing brunch menu. The Insta-highlight of Thongma Studio is a stunning carved wooden door with tall cactus plants growing either side of it…the perfect photo frame!
Also out of town and an ideal place for a half-day trip, is Ironwood in Mae Rim – a nature-lover’s cafe that sits under a canopy of trees beside a peaceful stream. Pose outside their gorgeous greenhouse or take some pics of the beautiful food which is often served with edible flowers on the plate. The staff at this establishment are very relaxed and when they’re not making perfect lattes, they can be found pottering around the garden.
For even more Chiang Mai inspirations, check out some of our other blog posts below: