Yes, I said it… the best Khao Soi in Chiang Mai, Thailand, is in Central Airport Plaza Mall.

In a city full of amazing street food and restaurants, I go to a mall next to the airport every time I want a bowl of this delicious Northern Thai/Burmese specialty.

 

A delicious bowl of Khao Soi at the Airport Mall in Chiang Mai, Thailand
A delicious bowl of Khao Soi at the Airport Mall in Chiang Mai, Thailand

What is Khao Soi (aka Kao Soi)?

Khao Soi is my absolute favorite dish in Thailand … as long as it’s done right. 

Onions, limes, pickled cabbage, chili flakes, sugar, and vinegar sauce are all on the table to add flavor to your Kho So
Onions, limes, pickled cabbage, chili flakes, sugar, and vinegar sauce are all on the table to add flavor to your Kho So

Northern Thai khao soi is closer to the present day Burmese on ne khauk swe, being a soup-like dish made with a mix of deep-fried crispy egg noodles and boiled egg noodles, pickled cabbage, shallots, lime, ground chillies fried in oil, and meat in a curry-like sauce containing coconut milk.

The curry is somewhat similar to that of yellow or massaman curry but of a thinner consistency. It is popular as a street dish eaten by Thai people in northern Thailand, though not frequently served in Thai restaurants abroad.

. . .

How to Find the Best Khao Soi in Chiang Mai, Thailand

To sample the best Khao Soi in Chiang Mai — a delicious combination of crispy and boiled egg noodles, chicken, and a curry-like sauce containing coconut milk — head to the Airport Plaza Mall. Don’t be fooled by the Western-style hotels and tourist traps that surround it; the basement food court is as local as they come.

Granted, if you want to pay more and get less, you always can head up to the fourth floor’s fancy eateries.

If you’re driving, it’s right next to the driving range and the Airport Greenery Hotel. Here’s a Google Map. Or, just get in a songthaw, tell him “Airport Plaza,” pay 20 baht, and head to the basement. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

Once you arrive at the mall, follow these simple steps:

  1. Find the McDonalds on G-level. If you get lost, it’s located right next to the giant indoor aquarium.
  2. Walk past the tables of people selling meat on a stick, bacon wrapped hot dogs, spring rolls, and other mystery foods that I still haven’t quite identified yet.
  3. Keep on walking for another 10 seconds or so: past a bunch of people sitting on very low stools around a woman selling soup.
  4. When you reach the back right corner of that same area, you will find a man standing in front of a giant pile of fried and boiled noodles.
  5. Sit down and enjoy the best bowl of Khao Soi in Chiang Mai, Thailand!

 

With the McDonalds on your right, follow the guy in green into the Airport Plaza basement food court
With the McDonalds on your right, follow the guy in green into the Airport Plaza basement food court

 

This is the location of the Chiang Mai Airport Plaza Food Court Khao Soi Guy
This is the location of the Chiang Mai Airport Plaza Food Court Khao Soi Guy

So, where is YOUR favorite Khao Soi in Chiang Mai, Thailand?