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Good Restaurants in Chiang Rai


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Noticed a few weeks ago that Corleon's Pizza finally gave up. Or moved. Anyway, it isn't in the location by the Wang Come now. Nice guy but that's all that he had going for him, from my two experiences.

Had a late lunch at By Heart last week. It appears that they have a new chef. The wife's usual Thai dish was unsatisfactory. I had the 160 baht sirloin. Tough as shoe leather. The chick set me up with a butter knife. I tried to return it in exchange for a steak knife. She says they don't have steak knives. Huh?!?!?! Will probably give them another chance in the future but they are on thin ice with me. They used to be exceptional.

Tried Don's on the suggestion of companions this week. Yawnnnnnn......

Never had a decent steak in LOS. I wait to be back in UK for a goodly hunk of Aberdeen Angus. I'd be interested in your view on Don's steaks.

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Chivit Thamma Da Coffee House never disappoints and breakfast is my favorite.

We always stay over night in Chiang Khong and the last 3-4 years we have stayed at Day Waterfront Hotel.  Just on the Mekong River and very nice and friendly people that speak good English.   

Thanksgiving Day Feast @ LeMeridien Chiang Rai - Another great meal by the Hotel Staff, we surely enjoyed our dinner on this special occasion. Presentation second to none and the food selection was be

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Noticed a few weeks ago that Corleon's Pizza finally gave up. Or moved. Anyway, it isn't in the location by the Wang Come now. Nice guy but that's all that he had going for him, from my two experiences.

Had a late lunch at By Heart last week. It appears that they have a new chef. The wife's usual Thai dish was unsatisfactory. I had the 160 baht sirloin. Tough as shoe leather. The chick set me up with a butter knife. I tried to return it in exchange for a steak knife. She says they don't have steak knives. Huh?!?!?! Will probably give them another chance in the future but they are on thin ice with me. They used to be exceptional.

Tried Don's on the suggestion of companions this week. Yawnnnnnn......

Never had a decent steak in LOS. I wait to be back in UK for a goodly hunk of Aberdeen Angus. I'd be interested in your view on Don's steaks.

I wouldn't order a steak at Don's. I don't order western style steaks anywhere in this town. I just get aggravated and start thinking about the money I just pissed away. I have been with people who did order the steak at Don's.

If I want a piece of "almost" steak style beef, I always order what I think is going to be the small Thai style steaks in the Thai cafes. Some do okay. The little place across the street from the school in Den Haa does okay for 59 baht or whatever it is. You can actually chew it up. The one at By Heart was a lost cause. There was no way to eat it. Some of the little cafes do okay for the price you pay. But truly, for the best piece of beef in town, get a decent cut from any local butcher and put it in the crock pot/ slow cooker overnight, with some roast beef seasonings. Perfect, every time.

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Without a doubt there are a lot of great Thai restaurants in Chiang Rai. Some of the best noodle stands are in the heart of the city near the government offices. For the ones that look pretty on the inside normally are very expensive and food of questionable value.

For western food restaurants I have tried many in Chiang Rai except Barry's place which I have not been to. Even the 5 star hotels have western food of questionable quality and always for a big price. Having been in the restaurant business for 14 years here and in Phuket I don't find the other places with food better than what we serve. I do always like to try the other places and certainly have not been to them all. Our Mexican, Steaks, Sandwiches, Pizza, Breakfast and international foods usually meet the customers standards. We also have a good variety of Thai Foods that are hard to beat. Our butcher shop sells the best beef, Mexican products available in Thailand along with English style pies and take away stew, chili con carne and soups. The whole grain European style breads made in our bakery and quoted as being some of the best with good prices.Our customers are very helpful in pointing out our deficiencies which we appreciate. Our head cook has been with us for 13 years. Our factory in Bangkok ships to us on a weekly basis. Now we have a shortage of European cheese products but should be in stock by Mar. 21. We are the only small western water front restaurant in Chiang Rai that I know of where there is always a breeze blowing. If you can make a recommendation to me for good western restaurants please do. Sometimes a change is good for all of us.

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You are never going to please everybody Don and sometimes there's more than food involved in the criticism.

Personally I have never had a meal at your place that would make me think twice about going back and I find it a regular and reliable place to take visitors and will continue to do so.

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Barry's WCH is not bad for a burger and fries. Heard he has a new stall in the night bizzare with a limited menu. Kae's mexican at the night bizzare is also not bad. I like the Enchilada which have a lot of cheese. Not a fan of her chicken or beef fillings, but basically is ok. Taco's, beans, and rice are ok.

Looking forward to Sizzler Steak and Salad and a few other new chain restaurants coming to the Central Plaza April 1.

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Maybe I should clarify some things.

The burger was dry and boring. I left half of it. I don't leave half of a burger anywhere. Burgers are my favorite. Would be much better if it was half as thick, but wider and cooked quickly on the outside to seal in what juices it has. Nothing wrong with the portion. Just put together wrong and cooked too long.

The big nachos plate. Chips tasted ancient. Regular cheese melted on top and cold by the time it is served, leaving it one big glued-together chip aggregate to deal with. Nacho dishes have cheese "sauce" on them for a reason. In addition to the chips tasting old, they were, for the most part, small broken pieces of chips. Who wants to eat nachos when the chips are just bits? Should be sorted, whole chips. Bits and pieces go in the taco salads and chili Frito pies. Of course you don't have Fritos, so the chips work. As far as I can tell, you don't have the dishes that use up those bits and pieces so you use them where you shouldn't, to your loss. But kudos on the sides of sauces that were served, even if a guy can't find a chip big enough to make use of the sauce. The refried beans that are a part of that dish were good, too. Lots of opportunity and promise with that dish but it doesn't even begin to meet its potential. And it would be a small thing to make that happen. Not too many things better than eating a huge serving of nachos supreme with a few tall, cold, glasses of beer.

You know how the nachos are done back home. And I truly believe this next statement: If that dish was served to you in your home country, you wouldn't order it again. No way.

Scea is right. You can't please everyone. But I am not out there looking for above par food. I'm trying to find at least the average, western style food. I have eaten western style food most of my life. I know what is average.

Scea also mentioned that with some, there's more than food involved in the criticism. In some cases, that may be so. It isn't in my case. I wish you all the luck in the world. I wish I could find in your place the "taste of home". I would go often, if that were the case. With many critics, your reputation is only as good as your last meal. I'm not that way at all. I have tried your place several times.

Some time ago I went to your shop to buy tortilla chips. I bought three bags. They were to be a dish for the potluck. However, when I got them home and tasted them, I found them to be soft and stale. I looked at the expiration date and it told me that they were something like 6 months past their sell date. I drove back out there to get something done about it but of course, the place was locked up and nobody would come to the gate. I posted here about that. I didn't go back out there a third time. I just chocked that up to my experience and assigned a value to you as a business man. In my opinion, you EARNED that assigned value. However, that value doesn't figure into my critique of your food on the premises. I'm way too forgiving. You can keep the money for the chips. I've lost more to lesser men and will again.

Other than that, Don, I have nothing bad to say about you as a person. I met the fellow out there that you took care of so he could get his physical therapy here in CR. That act of kindness was one that impressed on me the type of man you are on a personal basis. We certainly need more like you on this earth in that respect.

As I said, I wish you all the luck in the world. I wish your place was my kind of place. That would be cool. I'm looking for that kind of place and if one comes to CR, it will do well, whether it is in a good location or not. But maybe, I'm one of those you can't please. I know what I like and I know what you're trying to make out there and they aren't the same things, though they could be. For others who aren't used to the same things that you and I are, then you probably do pretty well.

To answer the second to last line in your post, I don't know of ANY decent western food place in CR. I wish I did. I need a change now and then.

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I agree with Kandahar , its very hard to find a restaurant that can provide western fare , many are not ok , some are just ok , a few slightly above that and thats it .

If I go somewhere and order a steak I want a steak not a small beef rasher. I would like it served to my liking and not as they deem it to be . I would also like it delivered on a sizzling platter/griddle , accompanied with HOT vegetables and fries if I order them , not COLD.

Its nice that there are some that are trying hard to get it right , sadly though , its still in the trying stage.

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I've always found Don's satisfactory.

I think people expect too much of "small town" Western restaurants in countries like Thailand.

It must be hard work getting everything coordinated like staff, food quality, etc.

Yeah, that is a tough road to go down, with the staff thing and all.

I have had Don's breakfast recommended to me many times. Have yet to hear of anyone who has anything bad to say about his breakfast. And his buffets are getting good reviews as well.

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If you go into any restaurant anywhere in the world and order food from the menu , regardless of what food it is , you expect to get a good quality meal ,what you have ordered and pay for it at the end.

Going into a 5* Hotel in Chiang Rai or anywhere else and getting a crap meal is no different than getting a crap meal anywhere , even if it is local fare in a very cheap roadside eatery. There are no excuses in my opinion. We all expect good food and good service to go with it regardless of where it is you eat and how much it costs.

Having to wait 1 hour for food to arrive is not good but some would say if the food was good then its worth the wait, what about when the food isnt good.

We all have different tastes and different opinions but either way , no one likes to get a bad meal or poor service and have to pay for it but more so if its western food at western prices.

Restaurants attempting to do food of other nations is fine by me , but get it right and you will prosper and have a roaring trade, get it wrong and do nothing to rectify will of course end in no trade and closure.

Any Chef will know , he/she is only as good as the last meal they served, if its good you return,if its not good then you wont return and neither will your friends after you tell them what a crap meal you had there.

Its got to be GOOD ALL OF THE TIME .

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Maybe I should clarify some things.

The burger was dry and boring. I left half of it. I don't leave half of a burger anywhere. Burgers are my favorite. Would be much better if it was half as thick, but wider and cooked quickly on the outside to seal in what juices it has. Nothing wrong with the portion. Just put together wrong and cooked too long.

The big nachos plate. Chips tasted ancient. Regular cheese melted on top and cold by the time it is served, leaving it one big glued-together chip aggregate to deal with. Nacho dishes have cheese "sauce" on them for a reason. In addition to the chips tasting old, they were, for the most part, small broken pieces of chips. Who wants to eat nachos when the chips are just bits? Should be sorted, whole chips. Bits and pieces go in the taco salads and chili Frito pies. Of course you don't have Fritos, so the chips work. As far as I can tell, you don't have the dishes that use up those bits and pieces so you use them where you shouldn't, to your loss. But kudos on the sides of sauces that were served, even if a guy can't find a chip big enough to make use of the sauce. The refried beans that are a part of that dish were good, too. Lots of opportunity and promise with that dish but it doesn't even begin to meet its potential. And it would be a small thing to make that happen. Not too many things better than eating a huge serving of nachos supreme with a few tall, cold, glasses of beer.

You know how the nachos are done back home. And I truly believe this next statement: If that dish was served to you in your home country, you wouldn't order it again. No way.

Scea is right. You can't please everyone. But I am not out there looking for above par food. I'm trying to find at least the average, western style food. I have eaten western style food most of my life. I know what is average.

Scea also mentioned that with some, there's more than food involved in the criticism. In some cases, that may be so. It isn't in my case. I wish you all the luck in the world. I wish I could find in your place the "taste of home". I would go often, if that were the case. With many critics, your reputation is only as good as your last meal. I'm not that way at all. I have tried your place several times.

Some time ago I went to your shop to buy tortilla chips. I bought three bags. They were to be a dish for the potluck. However, when I got them home and tasted them, I found them to be soft and stale. I looked at the expiration date and it told me that they were something like 6 months past their sell date. I drove back out there to get something done about it but of course, the place was locked up and nobody would come to the gate. I posted here about that. I didn't go back out there a third time. I just chocked that up to my experience and assigned a value to you as a business man. In my opinion, you EARNED that assigned value. However, that value doesn't figure into my critique of your food on the premises. I'm way too forgiving. You can keep the money for the chips. I've lost more to lesser men and will again.

Other than that, Don, I have nothing bad to say about you as a person. I met the fellow out there that you took care of so he could get his physical therapy here in CR. That act of kindness was one that impressed on me the type of man you are on a personal basis. We certainly need more like you on this earth in that respect.

As I said, I wish you all the luck in the world. I wish your place was my kind of place. That would be cool. I'm looking for that kind of place and if one comes to CR, it will do well, whether it is in a good location or not. But maybe, I'm one of those you can't please. I know what I like and I know what you're trying to make out there and they aren't the same things, though they could be. For others who aren't used to the same things that you and I are, then you probably do pretty well.

To answer the second to last line in your post, I don't know of ANY decent western food place in CR. I wish I did. I need a change now and then.

Nothing worse than an incomplete chip! Just kidding. I love most things about the LOS except the lack of good, western chow. One out of 21 meals each week needs to be good farang fare - The Stable is too long of a drive! :)

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If you are offering a restaurant with food from a different country than the one you are in as I did for 10 years in England, then the secret is quite simply to get the best and freshest ingredients possible.

What we did in our Thai restaurant was to have fresh goods delivered on a weekly basis by plane from Bangkok.

The ice in the plastic bags was still only partially melted when we had the goods delivered to our restaurant by van from Heathrow Airport.

Alcohol was obviously a big part of the whole deal - I've always believed if your drinks don't constitute 50% of the bill then you've not had a good time in the restaurant - I had beer from Thailand, and at least 10 types of wine to accompsny the meal you were eating, from New Zealand Zinfandel for fish , to a robust Chilean red for the meat curries.

Our philosophy was to make those people want to come back, not as in Thailand to make a quick killing.

Eating out in Thailand sucks, you are best off doing it at home, or on a prawn farm.

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Didn't see you a long time John!

I understand that many people in Chiang Rai are eagerly waiting for new and

more standardized culinary experiences that will be offered in:

The Central Plaza of course!

What about a visit to:

The Fruit House, Phung Noi Bakery, Six Star Café, Yamazaki, Auntie Anne's, Black Canyon,

Chester's Grill, Kanom Jeen Street & Yoddoi Coffee, KFC, McDonald's, Mister Donut, S&P,

Starbucks Coffee, Swensen's, The Pizza Company, Amante Del Gelato, Bar B Q Plaza,

Joom Zap Hut, Coffee World, Dairy Queen, Doppio café, Fuji, Hot Pot Inter Buffet,

Ice Monster, Kane Mochi, MK Restaurant, Moom Mai, Patisserie Eliza, Sizzler,

Sukishi Buffet, Wagashi, Yayoi and Yum Saap!

Add to this more than hundred shops of different sorts and eleven banks and you can imagine

how big the whole thing is going to be.

A lot of work still has to be done, so the work goes on day and night.

Limbo :yohan:

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post-6305-0-90681500-1300324100_thumb.jp

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And probably not one 2nd hand shop in the lot - which reinforces the Thai taboo against buying anything used.

As for the food places, will there be one place to get a good fat deli sandwich? Doubt it. But perhaps a person can buy the ingredients and find a nice little park place to sit down and..... ooops, for a moment, I forgot I was in Thailand, and mall designers here don't allow for nice little park-like areas to sit down and relax. It's 100% buy, buy, buy, with loud pop music assaulting the shopper from various directions, and if you're lucky, some pretty girls in m mini-skirts shouting/screaming in to microphones, trying to force-sell you something.

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Lots of duplicate food places at the new Central, but also some newbies in town like McDonalds, Fuji, Sizzler, Starbucks, Chesters, and many that are normal fare at just about all Central Malls. They should all be pretty much consistant quality with their other locations.

And hopefully English Soundtrack Movies with Thai Subtitles

No Subway or Bugger King for now it seems. They will smarten up with time. :whistling:

In the meantime there is always Kurt's place near the downtown police station for deli meats cheeses and sandwiches.

Edited by TacoBoy
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  • 3 weeks later...

Sometimes a change is good for all of us. [/size]

Don, you're the only place I'll go to for western food when I'm in CR which, unfortunately for both of us, isn't often enough.

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  • 1 month later...

I found McDonalds to be pretty good.

Haven't stepped foot in the rest of the plaza yet so have no idea about any other shops there. But IF there are other restaurants there, they will for sure be less interesting to me than McDonalds. Pretty much anything else that could be offered there is available throughout the city in one form or another unless they have opened a Martian restaurant in the plaza.

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I now feel thoroughly embarrassed to have ever stepped into that snooty, hoity-toity plaza and eaten at the following restaurants Sukishi Buffet, Fuji, MK, Yayoi, Yum Sap and Moom Mai. There must be something seriously wrong with me. :unsure:

I’ll try to restrain myself and not be tempted by the following offerings, Hot Pot Inter Buffet, S&P, Black Canyon, The Pizza Company, Kanom Jeen Street, Sizzler, Bar B Q Plaza, Chester’s Grill, KFC, and of course McDonald’s as it gets such mixed reviews.

Then again, I am weak and will no doubt try them all before passing judgement. :D

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I now feel thoroughly embarrassed to have ever stepped into that snooty, hoity-toity plaza and eaten at the following restaurants Sukishi Buffet, Fuji, MK, Yayoi, Yum Sap and Moom Mai. There must be something seriously wrong with me. :unsure:

I'll try to restrain myself and not be tempted by the following offerings, Hot Pot Inter Buffet, S&P, Black Canyon, The Pizza Company, Kanom Jeen Street, Sizzler, Bar B Q Plaza, Chester's Grill, KFC, and of course McDonald's as it gets such mixed reviews.

Then again, I am weak and will no doubt try them all before passing judgement. :D

Me too but I freely admit McD was my Very first stop. Onward!

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I am glad to read you left some to try on your second visit to Central.

I now feel thoroughly embarrassed to have ever stepped into that snooty, hoity-toity plaza and eaten at the following restaurants Sukishi Buffet, Fuji, MK, Yayoi, Yum Sap and Moom Mai. There must be something seriously wrong with me. :unsure:

I'll try to restrain myself and not be tempted by the following offerings, Hot Pot Inter Buffet, S&P, Black Canyon, The Pizza Company, Kanom Jeen Street, Sizzler, Bar B Q Plaza, Chester's Grill, KFC, and of course McDonald's as it gets such mixed reviews.

Then again, I am weak and will no doubt try them all before passing judgement. :D

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I am glad to read you left some to try on your second visit to Central.

I now feel thoroughly embarrassed to have ever stepped into that snooty, hoity-toity plaza and eaten at the following restaurants Sukishi Buffet, Fuji, MK, Yayoi, Yum Sap and Moom Mai. There must be something seriously wrong with me. :unsure:

I'll try to restrain myself and not be tempted by the following offerings, Hot Pot Inter Buffet, S&P, Black Canyon, The Pizza Company, Kanom Jeen Street, Sizzler, Bar B Q Plaza, Chester's Grill, KFC, and of course McDonald's as it gets such mixed reviews.

Then again, I am weak and will no doubt try them all before passing judgement. :D

That has to be the winning post of the week.

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I am glad to read you left some to try on your second visit to Central.

I now feel thoroughly embarrassed to have ever stepped into that snooty, hoity-toity plaza and eaten at the following restaurants Sukishi Buffet, Fuji, MK, Yayoi, Yum Sap and Moom Mai. There must be something seriously wrong with me. :unsure:

I'll try to restrain myself and not be tempted by the following offerings, Hot Pot Inter Buffet, S&P, Black Canyon, The Pizza Company, Kanom Jeen Street, Sizzler, Bar B Q Plaza, Chester's Grill, KFC, and of course McDonald's as it gets such mixed reviews.

Then again, I am weak and will no doubt try them all before passing judgement. :D

That has to be the winning post of the week.

Amen! My first lol of the week.:D

Edited by scorpio1945
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Work @ Home has the best tuna sandwich in town, in my opinion. Had one again today and am never disappointed. They use a particularly small loaf of fresh baked bread, slice the top half off, layer the good stuff on the bottom half and plunk the top half back onto the sandwich.

I had the ham and cheese sandwich right after the tuna sandwich. Same foundation, different fillings and it was remarkable also. The bread for the sandwiches is always served warm. Not sure, but I think all of those styles of sandwich are 85 baht. Other styles do cost more.

You can check your e-mail on one of the house computers while you wait and I think the net is free for dining room customers. Smoking is allowed at the tables outside of the cafe. If you don't want to sit out by the street and listen to the racket of the traffic, there are also chairs and tables at the back of the shop where you can overlook their garden as you relax.

Work @ Home really is a special place when you're needing a break from the local fare.

Stu, I did see the bacon in the display case. I think the post read 45 baht for 100 grams. The bacon looked good but I didn't buy.

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They also do the nicest fruit drinks in town, not sweet just delicious, and they have a good selection of magazines to read while you relax.

Work @ Home has the best tuna sandwich in town, in my opinion. Had one again today and am never disappointed. They use a particularly small loaf of fresh baked bread, slice the top half off, layer the good stuff on the bottom half and plunk the top half back onto the sandwich.

I had the ham and cheese sandwich right after the tuna sandwich. Same foundation, different fillings and it was remarkable also. The bread for the sandwiches is always served warm. Not sure, but I think all of those styles of sandwich are 85 baht. Other styles do cost more.

You can check your e-mail on one of the house computers while you wait and I think the net is free for dining room customers. Smoking is allowed at the tables outside of the cafe. If you don't want to sit out by the street and listen to the racket of the traffic, there are also chairs and tables at the back of the shop where you can overlook their garden as you relax.

Work @ Home really is a special place when you're needing a break from the local fare.

Stu, I did see the bacon in the display case. I think the post read 45 baht for 100 grams. The bacon looked good but I didn't buy.

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They also do the nicest fruit drinks in town, not sweet just delicious, and they have a good selection of magazines to read while you relax.

Work @ Home has the best tuna sandwich in town, in my opinion. Had one again today and am never disappointed. They use a particularly small loaf of fresh baked bread, slice the top half off, layer the good stuff on the bottom half and plunk the top half back onto the sandwich.

I had the ham and cheese sandwich right after the tuna sandwich. Same foundation, different fillings and it was remarkable also. The bread for the sandwiches is always served warm. Not sure, but I think all of those styles of sandwich are 85 baht. Other styles do cost more.

You can check your e-mail on one of the house computers while you wait and I think the net is free for dining room customers. Smoking is allowed at the tables outside of the cafe. If you don't want to sit out by the street and listen to the racket of the traffic, there are also chairs and tables at the back of the shop where you can overlook their garden as you relax.

Work @ Home really is a special place when you're needing a break from the local fare.

Stu, I did see the bacon in the display case. I think the post read 45 baht for 100 grams. The bacon looked good but I didn't buy.

Where is it? On Sven's google map?B)
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No, it isn't on the map. Proceed from the Coffee Doi Chaang Coffee and Arthouse, which is on the map, about another 60 meters towards the new river bridge and Work @ Home is on your left. Wide open front, you can easily see inside and there are usually tables and chairs in front, by the side walk.

So, from the night bazaar, head towards the river, cross the first traffic light (clock tower street) and proceed about 100 meters more. There is also a small Honda shop on the left. Work @ Home is the next building after the Honda shop. I often park behind the cafe, have a lunch and then leave the car parked there as I go on into the city center to shop or get a haircut. Short walk to the night bazaar area, maybe five minutes, tops.

You can buy fresh bread there also. Good bread.

Edited by kandahar
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  • blackcab changed the title to Good Restaurants in Chiang Rai

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