While in most of Asia you would be reduced to committing the cardinal Starbucks sin when in need of your caffeinated fix, the booming cafe culture in Chiang Mai has provided a bonafide bevy of genuinely good java joints. This is Thailand via Melbourne – exposed brick, wood-clad interiors, hipster baristas, elaborate brunches and all.
Set up by an Aussie, the smart, black iron exterior oozes cool and the timber benches are perfect for a laptop n’ long black linger. They are partial to a bit of latte art-te here. Plus there’s sister Ristr8to Lab around the corner for cocktails later.
Ristr8to, 15/3 Nimmanhemin Rd, Muang, Chiang Mai. +66 5321 5278, ristr8to-coffee-chiangmai.com
Standing room only in this sleek, industrial old city locale serving freshly house-roasted, single-origin beans. They do not offer WiFi, supposedly in order to promote the lost art of conversation. And if you simply cannot disconnect, Ponganes coffee is also available at brunch babe Nawat Home Cafe.
Ponganes, 133/5 Ratchapakinai Road, Muang, Chiang Mai. +66 87 727 2980, ponganesespresso.com
Akha Ama Coffee
With a passion for involving local communities in the production and cultivation process, all Akha Ama coffee is grown in the northern Thai village of Maejantai, the hometown of owner Lee. You can buy the beans, as well as a cup of seriously good barista brew at the tucked-away cafe.
Akha Ama Coffee, 9/1 Mata Apartment, Hussadhisewee Road, Chang Phuak, Chiang Mai. +66 86 915 8600, akhaama.com
Impresso Espresso Bar
Serious about serious coffee – just check out their arsenal of heavy machinery. The menu features a sparkling cold brew, and daily baked sweet treats are always on offer, while indoor/outdoor seating provides an ideal people watching perch.
Impresso Esspresso Bar, 28/1 Nimmanhaemin Road, Muang, Chiang Mai. +66 85 527 1324, facebook.com/impressobar
The Larder Cafe and Bar
In need of your smashed avo fix? The Larder dishes up elaborate brunches Brooklyn style, complete with sleeve-tattooed hipster baristas. There’s also glutenous goodies and a fab fresh juice selection, all to be savoured in the lovely leafy surrounds.
The Larder Cafe and Bar, 3/9 Sukkasem Street, Muang, Chiang Mai. +66 52 001 594,facebook.com/Larder