Khao Soi, popular in both Northern Thailand and Laos, is a delicious and complex dish. Made very differently between the two countries, Thailand’s version is a mouth-watering noodle soup that combines two different noodles; a flat egg noodle, and a deep-fried crispy egg noodle. It is often served with a chicken leg marinated in a spicy coconut curry, roasted chili paste, and a slice of lime. There are many places that sell Khao Soi in Chiang Mai; here are three popular places to check out:
Khao Soi Khun Yai (Grandmother’s Khao Soi)
Khao Soi Khun Yai comes highly recommended by tourists and locals alike. She serves just two dishes here: Khao Soi, with either chicken or beef, or noodle soup, which is just plain rice noodles with pork and a clear broth. Get here early as she’s only open from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, if she doesn’t run out earlier, and there’s always a line from the time she opens until she closes. There are only eight tables, and it’s not uncommon to share your table with other patrons waiting for this dish of spicy goodness. The presentation is beautiful, topping the dish with thin crispy noodles piled high in the bowl. The chicken is chunks of meat rather than a whole chicken leg, so there’re no bones to deal with. The meat is marinated in her famous broth overnight and falls apart when you try to cut it with a spoon and just melts in your mouth. The entrance is on the city side of the north moat between the temples Wat Monthian and Wat Kuan Kama. The price of her famous dish? Just 30 THB (0.83 USD).
Khao Soi Arak
Another local place is Khao Soi Arak. This broth is rich and dense, whereas the one at Khao Soi Khun Yai is thin and creamy. This place serves a big chicken leg that has been marinated and sucks up all the juice. When you pick it up from the bowl, the meat falls right off the bone. The place is located down Arak Road, Lane 4, and has a big outdoor area with plenty of seating with fans to keep you cool. They are open from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM and serve many other Thai dishes. The place is usually busy during lunchtime and dinner; if you want to beat the rush go in off-peak hours between 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM. The price of Khao Soi here is 40 THB (1.10 USD).
Khao Soi Mae Sai
A favorite of many locals is a place located a short 10-minute ride outside of the old city, in the Nimmanhemin area, on Ratchaphuek Road. You will find mostly locals at this hot spot. Besides the Khao Soi, there are three other noodle dishes you can order: Noodle Curry, Noodle Beef, or Rice Noodle Spicy Soup. You know the Khao Soi is good, as this is the dish most of the locals were eating. The broth is rich and creamy with a good amount of spice. Lunch time is busy, and all 16 tables are usually full. They are open from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM and it is a must try if you find yourself in the Nimman area. The cost of the Khao Soi dish is 40 THB (1.10 USD).
Try all three and compare
No matter where you get Khao Soi, you’re sure to fall in love with the dish’s complex flavors. Check out all three locations and decide which one you like the best. You might find yourself with a new favorite Thai dish that’s not Pad Thai.
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