I found several great places to eat in Chiang Mai. I enjoy good food. And thankfully I can find very good food all over the world (anywhere I have been). That makes me happy. I have fewer instances of finding really great food that I miss if I move on.
It isn’t that I don’t miss the great food I had but when I find lots of great new choices I am fine. I generally eat fairly cheaply, in stalls some, but also in simple restaurants. But rarely in expensive places (though in cheap locales I will splurge much more than if I am in an expensive city).
I found lots of very good food in Chiang Mai. I found 3 places I really enjoyed a great deal (I went to each weekly, or more often). Anchan Vegetarian Restaurant is one of the places I would suggest everyone try. I see it as a highlight of being in Chiang Mai. I rarely find restaurants I feel this way about. To reach this level they not only have to provide great food, atmosphere and service but also capture some of the essence of locale.
The also had Anchan juice which when I asked what it was the waitress pointed to the blue berries on the mural. I didn’t enjoy the juice so much actually, so only tried it once, but it was worth trying.
Cooking Love is a wonderful little place inside the city walls. The banana curry was a favorite of mine there. The service is wonder and the food is great.
Food4Thought is another place I really liked. The food is similar to western food (basically what you can find in fancy sandwiches places attracting yuppies, though I guess that term is out of fashion). I spend 4 years in SE Asia and these were wonderful partially because I had very little access to them.
Food4Thought is also a wonderful outdoor atmosphere (with a bit of indoor seating too) and wonderful service. If I was taking a 2 week vacation from the West I probably wouldn’t prioritize getting to here, but if you are on a long SE Asia trip and want some great food and service it is a great choice. And you can get things that are a bit more of the Thailand flavor.
Food4Thought also had the best smoothies I found in Chiang Mai.