Chiang Mai is fast becoming one of my favourite cities in Thailand, and because Thailand knows how to make some of the world’s best cuisines I’m so excited to bring you this city’s list of ethical eateries.
From locally sourced organic produce in the fertile northern regions, to coffee produced by ethnic minorities in the surrounding provinces, here are a list of Chiang Mai’s most ethical eateries.
The Free Bird Café is an organic vegan and vegetarian café supporting local NGO Thai Freedom House, a language and arts learning centre for indigenous peoples and Burmese refugees. Aside from serving amazing vegetarian dishes and smoothies, the café also has a charity shop. Purchase pre-loved clothes, jeans, purses, jewellery and books with 100% of the profits going to help the work that Thai Freedom House do for many in the community.
This socially responsible café in Chiang Mai serves all things sticky rice and more. Grab a delicious red curry for only 50 baht that comes with a healthy serving of brown rice on the side. What makes this café so special however, is the fact that they give 5% of every bill to Local Alike, an organisation giving opportunities for locals, communities and businesses to better their livelihoods through tourism.
Overstand Coffee Shop is a great little café in Chiang Mai that is passionate about supporting locals. They serve locally grown & roasted coffee and source their bread from local bakers. The café has a range of healthy smoothies, vegan and vegetarian options and their sourdough bread is just delightful. They even have vegemite for the Aussies!
Wheatgrass shots? Yes. Rye bread? Yes. Massaman Curry? Yes. Dada Kafe has a guilt free menu that will satisfy you for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They even have a good range of desserts as well. Try the spicy Massaman Curry served with brown rice, you won’t be disappointed.
Bubbles Live Organic is great for the health nuts. They source as much organic ingredients they can and serve a range of vegetarian and vegan dishes, which have been said to be very large portions. If you’re after a healthy meal and a veggie smoothie this is the place to go.
Akha Ama is a socially empowered enterprise that brings visitors amazing coffee that is sourced from a small community of 30 Ahka households in Chiang Rai. Akha Ama grows their coffee in a sustainable way, using permaculture and organic practices. Drop by for an espresso, cappuccino or latte, or try their famous ‘shakerato’ - a double espresso shaken, not stirred, in a cocktail shaker full of ice.
Melt Away Bakery (CLOSED)
This lovely locally run bakery is a sweet tooth’s paradise. Fon, the baker, makes all her mouth-watering desserts from scratch; she even makes the ingredients from scratch. Be prepared to try the best chocolate and caramel cake in Asia, surrounded by the sounds of classical music and the best hospitality you could ask for.
Do you know of any other ethical eateries in Chiang Mai? Leave your comments in the section below. You can also check out my Ethical Eateries series bringing you ethical compilations from cities around the world.