Chiang Mai, Thailand is a popular destination for tourist and expats alike. The combination of tradition and history with modern amenities is a huge draw. The Nimman area, just northwest of the old city is popular among expats and locals for it’s hipster eateries, and specialty beer bars.
Nimman is centered around the Nimmanhaemin Road, the area’s main street. Once off the main road the streets are small and walkable with shops and restaurants everywhere. There isn’t much in the way of tourist attractions in this neighborhood but if you are looking for good food, unique shopping, or rooftop bars then this is where you need to be. In true hipster fashion there’s not much to do but eat, drink, and be merry.
Possibly the best burger you will eat in Thailand, giant, juicy, and delicious. They’ve got a simple menu of a couple different types of burgers, so it’s nothing fancy. The best part is the rooftop eating area, I don’t know why hanging out on a roof is so cool, but it is.
Did someone say brunch? If you are looking for the perfect hipster brunch this is it. The vintage-y shabby chic interior is cute and cozy, or you can sit outside at picnic tables on the lawn. The food is decidedly American so you’ll get all your favorite brunch staples like eggs benedict and smoothie bowls.
For a little date night action, or if you are just feeling fancy Jarid is the perfect spot. Located in the Art Mai Hotel, Jarid’s fine selection of wines pair wonderfully with the Thai fusion dishes. I loved the modern artsy decor, and the vibe was upscale but not snobby.
A good old fashioned brew pub with 15 beers on taps and solid bar food. Rob and I split the beer sampler our first night there so we could try all the beers they had. They stock beers from all over the world, some I’d never even heard of before. My favorite by far was the Monte Blanc Rousse, which is basically a beer rosé, no wonder I liked it!
If you like beer, do not miss Beer Lab, they have huge selection of over 200 beers from around the world. The huge patio is great on warm evenings for hanging out and having a drink and some food. They also have a specialty beer lab drink that basically looks like a science experiment, beakers and all, so you kind of have to try it for the novelty of it.
I love rooftop bars, having a cocktail with a view of a city skyline is seriously cool. This rooftop bar boasts an impressive drink menu and a pool with a view! If that’s not bougie, I don’t know what is.
This cute little coffee shop is perfect to grab an iced coffee and read a book. The hipster garden decor is mellow and you won’t get anyone tapping away on a laptop because they do not have wifi.
This tiny coffee shop is just a counter inside, and few tables out on the front patio. Its definitely got the digital nomad work vibes going on, and there always people working on laptops or reading there. The best part about this spot though, is the cafe cat, a big gray friendly feline who hangs around napping on chairs.
A large indoor mall with tons of shops and a movie theater. It reminded me of malls in the States and even had quite a few American stores like American Eagle and Levis. It’s five stories tall and fun to kind of just wander around and check everything out. I felt like I was in middle school again, just cruising around the mall.
There are tons of little mom and pop shops along the streets of Nimman selling all sorts of cutesy gifty sorts of things. I loved this little shop called Memo Nimman (right across the street from the De Chai Hotel), it was filled will all kinds of cute and quirky trinkets. And if you are into cigars make sure to stop by The Cigars Room.
If you haven’t gotten a Thai massage yet, you should definitely give it a try here. The price is extremely reasonable and the massage is awesome. The staff there are super nice, and it has the vibes of a day spa, not just a massage parlor.
So when I saw the sign for the Cat Cafe, I knew I had to check it out. Who doesn’t want to drink tea and hang out with cats? The cafe is cute and there are lots of kitties roaming around. I went in the afternoon when a lot of them were sleeping and laying around, but I was content to just hang out drink my tea and pet any cats that wandered over to me. The cafe is fairly new and doesn’t seem to have a web presence making it kind of difficult to find unless you are just wandering by it. It is on Nimmana Haeminda Road Lane 5 near the Baanmek Hostel, the red and while striped facade make it pretty easy to spot.