4 Must-Try Food in Chiang Rai for an Unforgettable Trip

4 Must-Try Food in Chiang Rai for an Unforgettable Trip

Chiang Rai—one of the largest cities in the northern part of Thailand—provides the perfect cultural and environmental experience for travelers. Home to the glorious White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), and the famed Oub Kham Museum and Hall of Opium Museum, this magnificent city has much in store for the adventurous travelers. Beyond the splendid architecture and sights, another way to the heart of this area’s culture is through its food.

Chiang Rai is best known for its highly distinctive northern Thai cuisine—a culinary adventure highly distinct from the rest of Thailand. Its food and taste are largely influenced by its roots in the Lanna Kingdom. Aside from the well-famed staple of sticky rice—or “glutinous rice” as some would call it—Chiang Rai offers delicacies leaning towards the spicy side, albeit not as tongue-scorching as that of central or southern Thai cuisine. When you find yourself in this rustic mountain region, do yourself a favor and try their food! Here are four of the must-try dishes that Chiang Rai has in store for you:

1. Sai Oua

Sai Oua, in a gist, is a grilled, spicy, pork sausage mainly found in northern Thailand and northeastern Burma. Although considered as a staple in northern Thailand, it has recently become widely popular in the rest of Thailand. Traditionally a homemade sausage served as a snack, it is comprised of minced pork, herbs, spices, and red curry paste. Eating this with sticky rice and stir-fried vegetables make for a quick meal to get you through the day.

2. Nam Prik

Food in Chiang Rai already has a spicy base taste, but you would still often find it served with two chili dips on the side. These two are more commonly known as Nam Prik, or spicy dips, to enjoy with whatever you’re eating. The two differing dips have distinct tastes and are used for different viands. Nam Prik Num, the green dip, is moderately spicy and is generally used for vegetables or Sai Oua. Nam Prik Ong, on the other hand, is a reddish dip consisting of pork and tomatoes. Humorously known as “Thai Bolognese,” this dip is best paired with steamed or blanched vegetables or crunchy pork rinds.

3. Khao Soi

Khao soi—easily one of the most popular and easy to find menu items in Chiang Rai—is comprised of soft egg noodles with mild, coconut-based curry poured over it, and relished with crispy egg noodles. Commonly found at street food stalls, the Khao Soi can be found in differing variants: some without coconut milk, some with different types of noodles, and some served mixed with various vegetables.

4. Gaeng Hung Lay

A definite must-try, the Gaeng Hung Lay dish is one of the heaviest and richest tastes you will ever experience. Comprised of slow-stewed pork belly and ribs swimming in aromatic curry, this dish takes copious amounts of time to prepare to have the meat soft and juicy. While the dish may have you waiting in hunger, the explosion of taste with each bite is definitely a glorious experience.


Although these dishes are some of the top picks for tourists and locals alike, Chiang Rai’s cuisine is comprised of even more dishes that are as amazing as the ones mentioned. If you wish to taste delectable dishes in one-go, the traditional khan toke dinner is your best option. This is available in various restaurants around town and is considered to be a very informative and delightful experience for tourists. Are you looking for one of the best resorts available in Chiang Rai? Look no further, and book at The Riverie by Katathani. Contact us now, and see how we can accommodate you!