Top 5 Vegan Restaurants in Chiang Mai

Top 5 Vegan Restaurants in Chiang Mai

Traveling to Thailand’s veggie mecca Chiang Mai? Here is a list of vegan restaurants you do not want to miss out on – carefully selected and thoroughly tested by expat and passionate foodie Dee Fancett who has been living in North Thailand for over 10 years and is the local Happy Cow ambassador. These are her top finds!

Guest Article by Dee Fancett from

Believe it or not – Up until about a year ago, there were very few completely vegan restaurants in Chiang Mai. Certainly, there were no western style ones that sold an a la carte menu with food other than Thai food or stayed open late enough for dinner.

Despite it’s well deserved fame for being a little vegan corner of the world, there were no vegan restaurants in Chiang Mai! By that I mean a vegan restaurant doesn’t just have a vegan menu but sells no animal products whatsoever.

Fortunately, things have changed rather rapidly over the last year! First up, Vegan Heaven opened up which is a sister branch of Taste From Heaven but with a veganised menu, then Reform Kafé eliminated dairy and eggs followed by Free Bird Café doing the same shortly after.

For the purposes of this article I am only going to discuss restaurants which are strictly vegan. I would like to give credit to those restaurants who have made their menu so that vegans can go there and know they can order anything they want from it, without having to adapt any ingredients.

They have also set the ball rolling in making the changes we so badly needed here in the now well-known Vegan Capital of the World (OK, not quite, but one step at a time!)

Streets of Thailand. With courtesy of Evan Krause.

These are my Top 5 Vegan Restaurants in Chiang Mai

      1.    Reform Kafe

Reform Kafé opened up a year or so ago as part of their guest house, Green Tiger House. They sold a strictly vegetarian menu with mostly vegan items. As of July 2017, they made the switch to sell only vegan food and drinks.

Reform is a large, classy and well-designed restaurant, in complete contrast to so many of the very basic buffet style vegan restaurants you will find here. It is a bit more expensive but you get what you pay for as the food really is a cut above.

Let’s start with the burger, which is hands down the best vegan burger in Chiang Mai. A lot of restaurants – including non-veggie restaurants – serve a vegan burger. Nothing comes anywhere close to the one that is served here. A large size and isn’t made with a meat substitute or tempeh but showcases mushrooms.

It doesn’t fall apart in your hands like some of them do and it isn’t lacking in flavor, the taste and texture are just perfect. The chunky fries are very good too and are served with a homemade vegan mayonnaise.

Other excellent dishes include their grilled vegetable sandwich, a huge portion which is able to satisfy anyone’s hunger. Served with a delicious homemade pesto. They also have classic Thai dishes such as a masaman curry. Healthier options include Burmese tea leaf salad, avocado salad or veggie sticks with a creamy dip. They even have desserts and sell alcohol too!

The owner, Daniel, has been a vegetarian since birth. He is a very friendly and welcoming chap, his team have clearly done an excellent job of making this restaurant a success. We’ve even heard that it’s so successful that they plan to open another branch very soon!

         2.    Free Bird Café

Free Bird Café has been in Chiang Mai for eight years over a few different locations. Their recent decision to eliminate all dairy – followed by all egg products as well – was very welcomed by the vegan community! This does not mean that their menu items were reduced, instead they offered a vegan alternative of every dish on the menu!

They sell Burmese food which includes a lot of interesting and tasty dishes such as the shan somtam, tea leaf salad or ginger salad. You can order from lots of choices of different kinds of Burmese salads here or even a mixed sampler if you so prefer. You will probably want to try them all – they’re so tasty.

They also have western dishes such as a hummus dish, museli bowl and an amazing vegan trail mix pancake which no other restaurant can match. They also have other Asian dishes such as pumpkin curry, traditional jok, veggie samosas and more. Don’t forget to try one of their desserts too! My ultimate favourite is the wonderful smoothie bowl; delicious, healthy and filling.

They also have a very impressive range of non-dairy coffees and teas that you will not find anywhere else in the city.

Streets of Thailand. With courtesy of Igor Ovsyannykov

          3.  Vegan Ama Kitchen

Vegan Ama Kitchen opened up as a fully vegan Thai restaurant a couple of years ago inside the Trams Square Wellness Resort complex. As soon as you walk in you’ll appreciate the pleasant surroundings which make it much more of an enjoyable experience than the usual simple buffet places. The dishes also reflect this.

It’s mostly just Thai food but all the dishes are uniquely created with their own twists and additions. The food is pricier than your average buffet style place but the dishes served are of a much higher quality and extremely flavourful.

They even have some interesting raw starters and vegan ice-cream for dessert!

       4.   Vegan Heaven

This was the first fully vegan western-style restaurant to open up in Chiang Mai. It was started by the owners of Taste From Heaven, which is a very popular and well-established veggie restaurant. The menu at Vegan Heaven is the same, except all the dishes have been adjusted to be vegan.

They have vegan cheese, vegan chicken, vegan hotdogs, vegan ice-cream – the list goes on. The menu is very large and full of regular Thai and western dishes.

The actual restaurant, situated on Loi Kroh road, is a fairly small place. They have been so successful that people have sometimes been known to queue outside to get a table! They then opened a second branch, right in the old city. This one is maybe a little less busy, everything else is just the same.

My favourite item at this restaurant is without a doubt the chocolate brownie. It is the best dessert in town and no matter what you get for your main course the brownie afterwards will make it all worth it.

         5.   Bee Vegan

Bee Vegan is a basic Thai restaurant but unlike the others this place cooks to order. The menu has the usual Thai dishes but what makes this place popular is that they also have healthy food. They have various types of Thai style salads and also tofu or tempeh salads or just vegetable salads.

They offer dishes that are steamed or grilled without oil. In addition, they offer other classics such as veggie tempura, a selection of curries, fried rice, Pad Thai, etc. They also offer some desserts and some herbal drinks and they are open as late as 9.30 PM.

YAY! Those were the Top 5 Vegan Restaurants in Chiang Mai!

Since these places are all very successful, I can only hope that more restaurants will follow suit! These establishments prove that vegan food doesn’t have to be boring and doesn’t mean that you have to go without anything. Instead, they offer dishes that will excite and satisfy any vegan or even any meat-eater!

Visiting Chiang Mai? Put all of these fantastic restaurants on your list. Live in Chiang Mai? Have you been to all of these yet? Let us know what you think of them or if you have additions to make to this list!

Streets of Thailand. With courtesy of Evan Krause



Dee about Dee

Hello, I’m Dee and I have been a vegetarian almost all of my life. I made the choice for ethical reasons although I’m also concerned with the health benefits. I have been a vegan for more than 15 years and I am also experimenting with raw food cuisine.

I have been living in Chiang Mai since 2007 and I started to help others get decent food in Chiang Mai and around Thailand.

I am am also a long distance runner, a habit which is empowered by my vegan diet. I am a care for dogs supporter (please see who are our local dog rescue shelter.  I am the Chiang Mai ambassador for the website Happy Cow.

You can also find me on Instagram as @nu_dee_vegan  ,  Facebook and YouTube.

* Featured image by Sven Scheuermeier


4 Replies to “Top 5 Vegan Restaurants in Chiang Mai”

  1. I was in Chiang Mai in December and stayed at Green Tiger. Agree the food at the Reform Kafe is amazing (as is the hotel). They opened their second restaurant while I was there. It’s called Good Souls and is fantastic. Bit more upmarket than the Reform; all of the food on the Reform menu is there but it also has loads of new items (the menu is about twice the size of Reform). The aubergine and quinoa burger is amazing. They also have a few cake options for dessert.

    1. Well, after hearing such good things from you and Dee, I can’t wait to go back soon and eat my way through town 🙂 Can you recommend staying at Green Tiger?

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