Cafes to work from in Chiang Mai

A month of cafes in Chiang Mai – Thailand

When in need of downtime to get projects done in Asia, Chiang Mai has been my home base of choice. I realised when I first started coming here that this city is a cafe wonderland. With so many cafes with wifi, it is an easy place to live as a digital nomad. Having travelled to every country in SE Asia (except East Timor), I can say that I can’t recall a city that has such a good selection of cafes.

On my last visit to Chiang Mai I was there for a whole month, and it occurred to me that I could go to a different cafe every day and still not see them all. So that is what I did. Here is a list of 30 cafes in Chiang Mai that I visited over the space of a month. [Edited Nov 2013: some of the cafes have since closed so I have moved those to the bottom of the list.]

Chiang Mai Cafes Map

Chiang Mai Cafes Map

If you use Foursquare save the Chiang Mai Cafes List.

Nimmanhaemin Old City East of Old City/Night Bazaar Other Places



Ristr8to - Chiang Mai

As soon as I saw this place I could tell that it had been influenced by an Australian. Sure enough this cafe was set up by an Aussie, and it is staffed by baristas who know how to pour a latte. If I lived closer to it I would have been here all the time.

Location: 15/3 Nimmanhemin Rd

Ristr8to Lab

Ristr8to Lab

If you can’t find a seat at the original Ristr8to then go around the corner to Ristr8to Lab. Same deal here – amazing coffee being served.

Location: Between Soi 3 and 5 behind Nimmanhemin Rd


Impresso - Chiang Mai

Impresso is the sort of place that wouldn’t be out of place in Brunswick St, Melbourne; a cool cafe serving great coffee.

Location: Nimmanhaemin Road, Soi 11

Roastniyom Coffee

Roastniyom Coffee - Chiang Mai

I nearly didn’t go to this one as I thought it was just another roadside cafe. I’m glad I went though, as not only was it a good coffee but the building has been built around a tree. I had passed this cafe many times without noticing how close the canopy of the tree is to the roof. I couldn’t see the cafe for the tree, if you will.

Location: Sirimangkalajarn Rd
Website: pages

M-A-N-A Co-working Space

M-A-N-A Co-working Space

MANA cafe and coworking is a hybrid cafe/coworking space where you stay for an hour or a day. This is good option if you want the facilities of a coworking space without any long-term commitment.

Location: 28/12 Nimmanhemin Rd



CAMP AIS is another cafe/coworking space combination, provided by AIS – a mobile operator in Thailand. Don’t let the mall location put you off; it’s a great space and is filled with local students and international digital nomads at work.

Location: 5th Floor, Maya Mall

Tiger Ted Cafe

Tiger Ted Cafe

Next to the Maya Mall is this cyclist-friendly cafe. It’s constructed of shipping containers and is built around a beautiful tree. Great vibe and coffee here, though the little wooden hipster seats are hard to sit in for tall people.

Location: Huay Kaew Rd (at Rincome Market)

9th Street Cafe

9th Street Cafe - Chiang Mai

A modern little cafe/bar, the 9th St cafe would fit in just as well on 9th Street New York as it does on Soi 9 in the Nimmanhaemin Rd area.

Location: Nimmanhaemin Road, Soi 9

Coffee Wish

Coffee Wish - Chiang Mai

Conveniently located in the heart of Nimmanhaemin Rd.

Location: Nimmanhaemin Road

Goat Coffee

Goat Coffee

Goat Coffee was originally at Rachaphruk Rd, off Huey Kaew Rd. They then moved to Suthep road, and can now be found on Nimenhamen Soi 9.

Location: Nimenhamen Soi 9.

Khun Nai Teun Sai

Khun Nai Teun Sai - Chiang Mai

Khun Nai Teun Sai is the epitome of groovy cafes in the Nimmanhaemin Road area. It has a big garden, plenty of lounge space, and lots of kitschy art around the property.

Location: Nimmanhaemin Road, Soi 11

Tom N Toms

Tom N Toms

Tom N Toms is a South Korean cafe chain. I’ve listed it here for its prominent location at Think Park, and for the fact that it is open 24 hours.

Location: Think Park, Nimmanhaemin Road

Ninety-Four Coffee

Ninety-Four Coffee - Chiang Mai

A big chain cafe that offers free wifi.

Location: Nimmanheamin Soi 9

Old City



Pacamara turned out to be one of my favourite cafes in the old city. A good place to go in the morning before it gets too busy.

Location: 80/5 Ratchadamnoen Rd

Kaldi Coffee

Kaldi Coffee

Opposite Pacamara is Kaldi Coffee, which is a cafe and bakery attached to a hotel.

Location: 145/4 Ratchadamnoen Rd

Ratchadumnern Coffee

Ratchadumnern Coffee - Chiang Mai

This cafe in the middle of the old city is bright inside and has a nice outdoor area (good for morning coffee before it gets too hot).

Location: Ratchadamnoen Road, opposite the police station.

Tree Sis Coffee

Tree Sis Coffee - Chiang Mai

An independent cafe in the old city, not far from Wat Phrasingh.

Location: Inthawarowat Road

Coffee Lovers

Coffee Lovers - Chiang Mai

How could I resist with such a name. I ended up here a few times for their Vietnamese coffee.

Location: Ratchamanka Road

TH Cat Coffee

TH Cat Coffee - Chiang Mai

A little hole-in-the-wall type cafe. Keeping with its name, it is filled with all things cats. This concept would be too cheesy to work anywhere else, but this is in Thailand so a cafe full of cat knick-knacks works well.

Location: Rajvithi Road

Pangkhon Coffee

Pangkhon Coffee - Chiang Mai

I like the logo of the Akha tribe woman so I went in. Not a bad option if you are by the south side of the moat and in need of an air conditioned caffeinated wifi fix.

Location: 7 Chang Lor Rd

Black Canyon

Black Canyon - Chiang Mai

A Thai cafe chain with an American western theme. I’m still trying to work that one out. I ended up here often out of convenience as I was staying for a while near the branch at Tha Pae Gate. Points given for being a chain that offer free wifi.

Location: Tha Pae Gate, and other locations.

Ponganes Espresso

Ponganes Espresso

Ponganes is a cafe in the old city that is serious about serving great coffee. There is not much space to sit though, so it would be a good place to go for a quick meeting rather than lingering over a laptop.

Location: 133/5 Ratchapakhinai Rd

J.Ju Coffee

J.Ju Coffee - Chiang Mai

A cozy little cafe opposite the Anadard Hotel in the old city.

Location: Ratchamanka Road

Peppermint Cafe

Peppermint Cafe - Chiang Mai

Another place I ended up many times purely out of convenience as I was living on the same street for a while. It was a good street to live in having this one nearby. Smooth coffee and a good place for lunch and smoothies as well.

Location: Rachadamnoern Road, Soi 5

Location: 36 Chaiyaphum Rd

Free Bird Cafe

Free Bird Cafe is part of Thai Freedom House, a not-for-profit community centre that assists refugees from Burma and Indigenous peoples of Thailand.

[Free Bird was formerly on Moon Muang, Soi 7 (in an old wooden home)]

Location: 116 Maneenopparat Rd

East of Old City/Night Bazaar

Coffee Band

Coffee Band

This cafe is by the moat on Chaiyapoom Rd, not far from Tha Pae gate. I went in the morning and enjoyed the option of being able to sit outside with a view of the moat.

Location: 10/1 Chaiyapoom Rd

Libernard Cafe

Libernard Cafe - Chiang Mai

Libernard is set in a classic wooden Thai house, the likes of which have mostly disappeared from the city. The cafe is set in the garden and there is a lot of artists material about. It is more of a studio in use rather than a showcase of art. This place would be very cozy with an improvement of the furniture.

Location: 36 Chaiyaphum Road

Mo Rooms

Mo Rooms - Chiang Mai

When I find myself on this side of town I often pop into Mo Rooms, which is a boutique accommodation/art gallery/cafe. East of the moat, between Tha Pae Gate and the Night Bazaar.

Location: 263/1-2 Tapae Road

Other Places

Akha Ama

Akha Ama - Chiang Mai

A place I never would have found if it wasn’t for my friends who already knew about it. Akha Ama might just be the best coffee in Chiang Mai. The cafe is run by Lee, who also grows the coffee at his home Akha village in Northern Thailand. It’s tucked away in a residential area, but if you are living here and on a motorbike this wont be a problem.

If you are interested in learning how coffee is grown and processed, then I highly recommend the coffee tour that Lee conducts a few times a year.

Location: Mata Apartment 9/1 Hussadhisewee Rd, Soi 3.

Bangkok Airways Lounge – Chiang Mai Airport

Coffee at Bangkok Airways Lounge - Chiang Mai Airport

Not really a cafe, but I wouldn’t have made my list seeing I departed early on my last day. This listing is part make up the numbers and part travel tip. If you are coming or going to Chiang Mai via Bangkok, be sure to check for flights on Bangkok Air. They are usually pricey when they have no competition, but as there are five airlines serving BKK – CNX, the prices are always competitive. With Bangkok Air every passenger gets to use the Bangkok Air lounge, which offer free wifi, free snacks, and…free coffee.

Location: Bangkok Airways Lounge – Chiang Mai Airport


Some have fallen by the wayside since I first published this post, so I will put those in a list here.

Cafe: Yellow Bear Coffee
Location: 1 Sirimangkalajarn Road

Cafe: Baan Ped Coffee
Location: Nimmanhaemin Road, end of Soi 6

Cafe: Coffee Rider
Location: Inthawarowat Road

Cafe: Design Studio Coffee
Location: Nimmanhaemin Road, Soi 9

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  1. Wow, cool idea and great list. I never used to frequent cafes but I find myself seeking them out more and more while I’m on the road. Reliable internet is always greatly appreciated

    • Thanks. I find the cafes a better environment to work in than a netcafe, and it breaks my day up a bit by getting me out of my room.

    • I just came back from Impresso on Nimmanheim after reading your post, and while sitting there decided to start taking my laptop there everyday to get work done instead of trying to do it from the comfort of my room. The problem with being in my room is that it’s too easy to get distracted, lay down, take a nap and watch a movie.

      Thanks fellow Nomads, my blog and new book, 12 Weeks in Thailand: The Good Life on the Cheap, wouldn’t be as successful if it wasn’t for coffee shops like these with free wifi! =)

  2. LOVE this. Thanks James. 🙂

  3. What a great list.  With all of that caffeine, I’m amazed you were still able to type this up.  🙂

  4. Very excited to see this post James! Can’t wait to start exploring some new options. So good to spend some time with you at Impresso. Hope to catch up somewhere again soon! 

  5.  Much more laid back than Bangkok, so a good place to work for me 🙂

  6. Honestly, when I first read the Goat Coffee, the first thing that came to my mind is that the coffee beans used in this cafe must be from goat’s feces out of eating coffee beans. 😀 sick but yeah.

  7. I know Chiang Mai is very popular for tourists and bloggers.  This is a great review of the cafes there.  And honestly I didn’t expect them to look so nice and inviting.  I’m impressed.

  8. MMm missing CM. didn’t realize one person could drink so much coffee in a month. Lol

  9. Wow, that is one long list of tempting cafes! Thanks for sharing, will have to check them out next time we’re in CM.

  10. Haha, amazing! You have been busy! Bookmarked this page for when I get to retire to Chiang Mai for a year to work on my blog – hope it’s soon 🙂

  11. Thanks for the suggestions, I now have a growing list for part II. I can’t believe I never made it to any of the Doi Chaang cafes. I kept seeing them around but forgot to go. Another good reason to go back 🙂

  12.  Thanks for the list! certainly CM is a good place for the coffee lovers. I suggest you to try Hopf Coffee House at Rajwithi, coffee is really good and the atmosphere really charming. Just suggestion…

  13. I’m at Design Studio right now. I am staying on the other side of the old city, but had to come over to this side to the wonderland of cafes in this area. Perfect way to spend my Sunday. Thanks for the list!

  14. Great post, thanks mate!

  15. I like that part of Chiang Mai, all the Soi’s off Nimmanhaemin. Glad you enjoyed.

  16. Thanks Elisa, I have never been to those two so some more home work for me 🙂

  17. Great list, we are living in Chiang Mai at the moment, definitely have to go and check some of these places out now 🙂

  18. Wow, this post is awesome! I’m moving to Chiang Mai soon and looks like I’ll have plenty of cafe’s to hang out at.

  19. Hi James,

    thanks so much for this extensive list! It saves me a lot of time to look for good spots – either for coffee or work.

  20. Ahhhh THANK YOU for this list! I do online work as well and have been thinking of staying in Chiang Mai for a month or two, a “workation” of sorts. I need coffee at least once a day and I need wifi to get work done, so this post is really really helpful. Thanks again! *bookmarked*

  21. Awesome post.. thanks for taking the time to compile these!
    + 1 for Akha Ama (awesome), the Matchacino and outdoor plug sockets at Impresso and the great coffee at Ristr8to!

    We’d heard good things about Baan Ped Cafe but it seems it may be closed. We looked everywhere for it on Soi 6 beyond the roundabout. A similar looking building is now a new restaurant called Mu Mu. Maybe someone who knows better can confirm?

    We also like Chan Neung (Nimman Soi 1) which has decent coffee, outdoor plug sockets and an upstairs section with big desks and office chairs. Another chain worth mentioning is Happy Hut as they do have free wifi. The one on Nimman is big and has plenty of plug sockets and some comfy couch chairs.

    • Thanks for the update. The competitive nature of the cafe business in Chiang Mai will mean a some new places will replace the old.

      I never made it to Chan Neung so I wil bookmark for next time 🙂

      • Awesome post!
        I absolutely adore iBerry over in the arts district by the university and it’s clearly no secret to locals. One of the most unique and coolest cafes I’ve ever visited. Serves both coffee, desserts, bubble teas, etc in amazing setting.
        Surprised to find that hands down the best cup I’ve found in Chiang Mai (let alone most everywhere) so far is at Raming Tea House maybe 1km out of the east gate. Incredible espresso from Thailand.
        I will continue to follow your recommendations!! Thanks for this!!

  22. I absolutely love this article. Just as much as I love all the cafes in Chiang Mai. Admittedly though, we tried way more different cafes on our first visit. Now on our second visit we actually succumbed to Starbucks. Sure, the internet wasn’t free, but for 300 THB we got access for an entire month at any of their locations.

    And I guess we also really like the comfy chairs and some of the anonymity you get with a bigger place. At small cafes I somehow always start feeling bad/guilty when I stay longer than a couple hours. Anyone else like that?

    • True about Starbucks that I don’t feel guilty about lingering. Too bad they don’t have free wifi like they do in Malaysia though. If a place is really busy I won’t stay too long.

  23. GREAT website!
    I really enjoyed reading it.

    But, wawee at Nimmanheamin offers FREE wifi. I don’t know about the wawee around the more tourist area in old city.
    Or maybe it was just a special christmas offer today hahaha…

  24. This it brilliant! I’m glad you like coffee shops as much as we do! Stu is gonna go crazy when I tell him there’s a Vietnamese coffee shop here- he loves it! We’ve been going to the same cafe everyday, which I don’t think is on your list. When we go today I’ll note town the name and take a photo and get back to you!

  25. A couple of great coffee shops I need to mention are ‘Cafe de Thaan Aoan’ on Prapokklao Road in the Old City and ‘Sipping Coffee’ on the university road, quite far down, near the mountain. Both are really beautiful places to sit and drink great coffee in lovely surroundings. Unfortunately, I have to say the Vietnamese coffee at ‘Coffee Lovers’ was a disappointment. If you’ve ever been to Vietnam you’ll know how good and unique the coffee is and this was like normal coffee with condensed milk, but double the price! On a positive side, the actual ‘Coffee Lovers’ cafe was really nice and the staff was very friendly, so worth going to!

    • Hi Eloise, thanks for the recommendations. I now have more homework to do next time I go back!

      I am writing this in Saigon so I can now compare coffees, and you are right in that it is not quite the same. I though that might have been the case but I was happy to get a sweetened condensed milk hit 🙂

  26. Good work, James! It’s been a few years now, but my very favourite among the outstanding crop of coffee shops CM has to offer was Wawee opposite The Four Seasons in Mae Rim – for coffee quality, view and ambience. A kind of split-level art gallery. Does anyone know if it’s still there?

  27. Lindsay White says

    I just opened a great little coffee Shop in Chiangmai & would like to invite you to test my coffee & service
    I Thank you & hope I get a reply

  28. GREAT post – im a coffee lover and off to C.M. in 2 weeks – now i have a list of coffee places to checkout – thanks!

  29. Good work james, founds some new favourites. Love The coffee bar and Pacamara. Also many cafes have shut down, the list so far is Goats, Yellow bear, Knun Nai, Baan Ped, Coffee rider and cant find Design studio.

  30. I’m mostly working out of the new coworking space Punspace in Nimmanhaemin while I’m here in CM, but I’m staying in the old city and craving walking distance coffee shops. This list is aweome, THANKS!

    FWIW, I think it be cool to add the rough location of the coffee shops to the list, or even a map. I know some of the street names but most I’ve got to go look up to see where they are when I really just want to head out the door and know I’ll arrive at a decent shop in a few minutes walk.

  31. As the other posts above say – great post!!
    A few are outdated (Goat coffee moved and yellow bear disappeared) but still this is a list i visited alot when i first arrived in CM.

    I hope to grab a coffee with you next time you are in Chiang Mai!!!

  32. Luvv coffee bar
    On nimmanhaemin rd is a great cafe.not only a nice cup,but they have perfect set up for laptops.lots of benches set up around the cafe with outlets for all.and a cosy and relaxed atmosphere.And free wifi of course.
    Located on the corner of soi 8

  33. not sure if anyone mentioned. goat coffee has shifted. to somewhere at niman.
    there are some nice cafes now in The Habour and near to CMU.

  34. Currently in Chiang Mai post-DCBKK, this list is a handy reference! Thanks.

  35. HI James,
    I am currently in Chiang Mai. There are about 23121 new coffeeshops but your list is still solid.

    There is one change though: Goat Coffee has now moved into the place where design studio coffee was on Soi 9.

    See you soon again,

  36. Peppermint Cafe isn’t closed, same owner, has been for years.

  37. Are there any cafes in Chiang Mai that serve cream?
    So far i’ve been to two locations and neither had cream for coffee.

  38. Could you also consider including us in this list.

    Coffee Monster is a new cafe/coffee shop aimed at digital nomads and internet marketers by providing a co-working space, meeting room, podcasting studio, presentation space, table tennis and pool table all for free to customers. We also have 30MB fibre line load balanced with a 16MB ADSL line to ensure good connection.

    There are always interesting people here to meet and ongoing improvements to better meet the needs for those working online.


  39. Thank you for putting together such a comprehensive list! I am considering a move to Chang Mai and I was so glad to come across this!

  40. Hi James, thank you for this post. If possible it would be great to have information such as whether food or alcohol is available as well as coffee, if the space has air conditioning, and a price range or category. I also agree with a previous comment that a map wild be very helpful. Good work! I look forward to checking out some of your finds.

  41. Thanks for the information about the airport. It’s nice knowing there are freebies to be had for people using Bangkok Air.

  42. Hi!

    We’ve been exploring the many cafes being suggested, but what do you do if you’re a bit of a health nut and not a big coffee drinker? Is it time to take up the habit? 😉 Or, are there places to set up and work online that actually have healthy options like fruit shakes and smoothies (that aren’t packed full of sugar). Because it’s so hot, we’re also looking for air-conditioned spaces. The two don’t seem to go together. I’d really appreciate any suggestions.

    Thanks 🙂


  43. Thanks for sharing, we are renting an apartment in Chiang Mai in a few days for the whole month. Planning on catching up on the blog, great to have a list of cafes

  44. Thanks for a very comprehensive list! There’s definitely a few new places for me to go and check out over the coming weeks.

    A few of my favourites that weren’t on that list are Marble Arch (Nimman Soi 9), Coffee Villa (Nimman Soi 5) and Play Cafe (Nimman Soi 13).

    I’m working on adding details like coffee prices and internet speed tests on my site for the cafes in Chiang Mai, so when I visit some of the ones from your list, I’ll add them to my site too. 🙂

  45. I can not stop reading your blog!

    We just started our worldtrip based on good coffee and are currently in Bangkok (and have been to chiang mai, of course!). What you wrote about both cities is so near to my impressions and feelings. So we will go back to chiang mai after visiting vietnam.
    The next stop ist Ho Chi Minh city and I am exhausted to visit a lot of your recommanded cafes!

    My recommandations for a nice coffee (but without wifi):

    Chiang Mai:


  46. And don’t forget Tiger Ted’s, the complex of old shipping containers stacked up… Favourite for hip cyclists.. Jammed in between the Maya and the night market… Obligatory free wifi, great eats and a anally retentive barista… He fusses over every cup..
    And can park the bike out the front in full view of the seating.
    Arroy mak !

  47. monkeytime says

    Great list! You have to add Tanita Coffee House, it’s a must visit for Chiang Mai!

  48. I will start the first thread of coffee markssss.Helps a lot with the shortlist. Thq

  49. Great list. Already used this to find the Tiger Ted and a few others.

    A couple other ones I’ve run across in the past 2 days.

    Juice shop – right across from 9th st cafe
    Salad Concept – salad / juice place that serves coffee & I’ve seen a lot of people working there.
    Local Cafe – just across the street from the mall. Big, open space. Is so nice it feels like it could be a chain, but doesn’t feel like on.

  50. Lindsay White says

    Hello again
    My place is called Chiangmai Coffee Stop on Huew Kaew Road opposite the new Harbour shopping center & a few doors down from Chiangmai Hill Hotel
    I have great seating & free WiFi & we only use the Best Coffee from the Royal Project up North
    I look forward to welcoming you

  51. Thanks Lindsay, I will be sure to visit next time I come to Chiang Mai 🙂


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