The best restaurants in Pai include wonderful spots offering tasty traditional Thai and regional specialities. Besides dining at established restaurants, check out the cosy little cafes, no-frills venues, and hole-in-the-wall eateries for fantastic Thai food experiences.

    Explore local fare and culture and appreciate the reasonable prices and homey hospitality in a remote mountain village where many get away from it all to disconnect and recharge. To make it easier for you, here are the top spots we’ve chosen where you can enjoy unique culinary experiences in Pai.


    Charlie & Lek

    A longstanding local institution serving traditional Thai entrees

    • Food
    • Families
    • Group

    Charlie & Lek is a popular spot in Pai serving up local fare, and it's also known for hosting Thai cooking classes. As educators, the proprietors enjoyed sharing their culinary knowledge, and their enthusiasm is evident in the popularity of their restaurant.

    Rave reviews of the food recommend their healthy vegetarian dishes, unique regional recipes, and Thai classics. Try the baby sunflower salad, avocado spring rolls, papaya pad Thai, and the Massaman curry. Large plates arrive steaming hot at your table, served by friendly and accommodating staff. It’s also reasonably priced.

    Location: Wiang Tai, Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 10.30 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)81 733 9055


    Khao Soi Zister's

    Traditional, northern Thai dishes

    • Food
    • Budget

    Khao Soi Zister’s is a casual dining spot in Pai that's well-known for its version of the traditional northern dish, khao soi. Khao soi starts with a rich broth made of curried coconut milk, with noodles, your choice of protein (you can also choose vegetarian), topped with crispy fried noodles. It's accompanied by small dishes of condiments including cilantro, shallots, pickled mustard greens, a sweet/spicy chilli sauce and fresh lime.

    Khao Soi Zister’s also offers other dishes, juices and smoothies, coffee, cappuccinos and Thai lemon tea. Whether you dine inside or out on the terrace, you’ll enjoy the relaxed vibe and a warm, plentiful serving of one of northern Thailand’s signature specialities.

    Location: 58 Ket Kelang, Wiang Tai, Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 4.30 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)99 269 2244


    La-Mai's Kitchen

    Regional dishes and Thai classics

    • Food

    La-Mai’s Kitchen continues the tradition of serving delicious and healthy local food in an unassuming and low-key location. The restaurant offers a delightful dining experience featuring heaping plates of authentic and affordable Thai dishes.

    The menu at La-Mai’s is in sections with colourful images of many dishes and a description in English to make it easier for international travellers to make their decisions on traditional Thai soups, noodles and stir-fry dishes. Be prepared for a queue as it gets quite busy at times.

    Location: Wiang Tai, Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130, Thailand

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 9 am to 4.30 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +66 (0)63 585 2654


    Ganesh Bar & Restaurant

    A small eatery serving local fare with style

    • Food
    • Nightlife

    Ganesh, located in the hills just outside of Pai, serves healthy servings of traditional Thai food at reasonable prices. Exotic music from its playlist livens up the place. You can dine under parasol-shaded tables on the porch or inside while admiring the décor and colourful paintings. The bar livens up in the evenings with LED lighting.

    Popular dishes to try at Ganesh include khao soi (coconut curry noodles), pad thai (fried rice), Thai curries, mango shakes, and delicious salty or sweet crepes.

    Location: Unnamed Road 42/1 Wiang Tai, Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130, Thailand

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 3 pm to midnight (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +66 (0)92 492 2826


    Larp Khom Huay Poo

    A popular local dining spot in Pai

    • Food
    • Budget

    Larp Khom Huay Poo is a top spot to head to in Pai if you’re looking for a dining experience with extensive choices of northern Thai dishes. It’s a popular spot among Pai locals, which says a lot. The must-try speciality is larp moo kau or ground pork fried with spices and lots of fresh herbs.

    The menu is extensive, and the prices are quite reasonable – the food served here is not westernised, so you can be sure that you are getting a genuine taste of traditional northern Thai cuisine.

    Location: Mu 1 1095, Wiang Tai, Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 8 pm

    Phone: + 66 (0)53 699 126

    Kara K. La Lomia | Compulsive Traveller

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