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Huen Phen, Chiang Mai: Local Bolthole

A sure sign of a damn fine restaurant is when it’s packed wall-to-wall with local diners – certainly something that can be said of tasty little diamond in the rough, Huen Phen.

Tucked away in a family home in the old city, brimming over with plants, local crafts and antique curiosities, this darling canteen by day becomes a sweet candlelit enclave for supper – although be warned it can be a tough spot to find after dark, so make sure you note the phone number and your driver can call up for directions.

And there’s good reason Huen Phen is popular with the Chiang Mai natives – their food is rich, flavour-packed, authentic Lanna cuisine, which includes dishes like aeb pla (whole flakey fish fillet with red curry paste, heaped with sweet basil and grilled in a banana leaf), gaeng ho (stir-fried vegetables with mung bean vermicelli and a house chili sauce), and larb moo (cinnamon and cumin-spiced pork topped with crispy shallots and kaffir lime leaves). Bums down, sleeves up!

Huen Phen, 112 Rachamankha Rd, Phra Sing, Chiang Mai, +66 53 814 548

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