As Expats in Thailand and beginners in reading and writing Thai language, we’ve found it harder than we expected to track down everyday things. Not only is the internet not in our native language, the Thai way is much more by word of mouth. We have spent the last few years in the Chiang Mai area slowly honing our food sources and want to share them with anyone who is local here. These are all sources verified by me or people I know. Click each title to see locations on google maps. Please post your own sources in the comments!
Food and Household
Baan Suan Pak – This store is run by a great Thai lady who tries to source what she can from organic sources first, then Thailand’s “chemical-safe” options. But she does her own testing as well and speaks english and has been incredibly helpful to us. This is our go-to grocery store which unfortunately is transitioning to an online store only. Could be a good change though, we’ll give it a shot. Online ordering instructions and price list here.
Hours: Sunday – Thursday 10-5
For: Delivery option for organic or pesticide free spices, tea, tahini, tempeh, dried beans and lentils, pasta, natural shampoo, dish soap and more.
Kuang Organic Market aka Chiang Mai Organic Home: This is the best place to get organic food and veggies I know of because you buy straight from the farmers. I have visited some of the farms and can vouch for them! They are highly organized so it’s a real way to support important small but wise efforts that make up big change in food systems. Most of these farmers have turned back from or rejected big Ag (Thailand’s Monsanto equivalents) to grow food that’s better for everyone.
Hours: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 1-6pm.
For: Seasonal all organically grown veggies, fruit, eggs, meat (if that’s what you’re into), mushrooms, mushroom spore kits for starters, soy milk, tofu, Thai desserts, juices, jams, rice, and more.
Mae Tha Organic CSA: Many of the same farmers who sell at Kuang are part of Green Net Cooperative and also contribute to a CSA box that goes out for weekly delivery in Chiang Mai. The big box is definitely worth the small amount of money (around 300 baht), often heavy on greens but not lacking variety. A great way to support the younger community of organic farmers that will creatively carry on sustainable practices in Thailand.
Hours: Wednesday delivery
For: Fresh organic fruits and veggies brought to your door.
King’s Project stands at your local market – many neighborhood markets have at least one vendor who sources from the King’s Royal Project. These are not necessarily organic but they are a cut above unknown sources because they are usually “chemical-safe”. Watch a few seconds of this video to see what packaging to look out for.
Hours: vary by locations
For: quick access to fresh fruits, veggies, and mushrooms that are at least a bit more regulated
Farang Farm Saturday Farmer’s Market – Saturday mornings (go early! 8:30am) if you drive up Canal Road and turn left at the road outlining the southeast corner of the Chiang Mai Convention Center and keep going you’ll run into the Farang Farm Farmers Market. Nana Bakery is the highlight with amazing croissants that go fast but it’s a very friendly and fun visit with free coffee and photo ops galore. Basically if you miss your North American farmers market, go here and you’ll feel better.
Hours: Saturday mornings, early
For: Croissants, breads, pastries, yogurt, butter, salad dressing, peanut butter, jam, fresh greens, bananas, coffee,
Nana Bakeries – the same good breads and pastries as Saturday but you don’t have to wait in line. Their locations are on their website. At least at the Chang Kian branch occasionally if you’re lucky you can get half off breads if they have any left over on Monday. But it’s a good deal at full price for great bread regardless and so yummy.
Hours: Vary by location
For: Croissants, bread, pastries, jam, muffins
Pun Pun – This is actually a delicious restaurant but it has an teeny store attached where you can get jams, kombucha, salt, and other specialty items. They don’t have much fresh stuff until Saturdays in Dec – Feb when they have a lively farmers market. I’ve gone home from there with a pumpkin twice the size of my head. Also check out The Tea Tree Cafe in the same lot for vegan and raw treats and good vibes.
Hours: Friday – Wednesday 11AM–7PM
For: Specialty items if you’re already having a meal at the restaurant.
Blue Diamond – Another restaurant with a shop inside. The food is delicious and it’s really handy that you can just pick up some organic produce on your way out.
Hours: M-Sat, 7am-9pm
For: A variety of organic fruits and veggies, organic seeds, tea, specialty items, vegan desserts, bakery items.
Royal Project Shop – Kind of a boutique grocery store, has reduced-chemical or “safe” fresh produce, goats milk and fruit and goods like essential oils, jams, soaps. I stop by if I’m in the area.
Hours: Daily 8-6pm
For: Specialty organic items and ‘chemical-safe’ or organic produce.
Aden Health Food Store – Tiny little store that might be handy if you live nearby or are passing by. They were out of my shampoo which is made with no chemicals, just kaffir lime, effective microorganisms and soap nuts, but typically they do have it along with other soaps and specialty organic food items.
Hours: Daily from 9am-7pm except until 3pm Sundays.
For: Ask at checkout for free Kefir grains to start your own.
Jing Jai or JJ Organic Market
Some of the beloved Mae Tha farmers also sell here. I believe it’s also open on Wednesday mornings but it’s been pretty slow the times I went on Wednesdays. Great people, great food.
Saturday and Sunday 7am–12pm
For: Organic, seasonal fruits and veggies
Milk Delivery – The owner of Mae Rim Milk Farm is very sweet and tells me that they use natural practices with the cows though it’s not an organic farm. I get 5L of raw milk delivered weekly that I share with our neighbours to make yogurt and cheese. From what I could tell when I stopped by it’s a very small farm, which is a good sign.
Hours: Daily between a range of 2 hours
For: just milk!
Chiang Mai Bread
All kinds of breads, hummus, peanut butter, cheese, butter, vegan cheese, and more delivered to your door! They also have a brick and mortar store now so pop in or order via facebook message, link above. Quality stuff.
Hours: Tues-Sat 12pm-6pm
For: see above!
Rimping Grocery Store
Western grocery store with many locations around Chiang Mai. It’s convenient though expensive but they do have a sticker system that tells you what’s organic or chem-safe.
Hours: Vary by location
For: Organic yogurt, pasta, granola, natural peanut butter, sprouted organic rice milk, torillas (whole wheat but non-organic), other Western indulgences.
Tops Grocery Store
Grocery store with lots of western goods with a few locations around the city center of Chiang Mai. My go-to for organic flour since it’s not too expensive.
Hours: Vary by location
For: Organic white and whole wheat flour, pasta, sugar, baby wipes, tea and more.
Basically Thai Costco but with only the bad parts of it. We occasionally go here for a few western items when we’re not going into town in the near future – the stores are located outside of Chiang Mai in the surrounding suburbs.
Hours: 6am-10pm Daily
For: Organic soy milk, Australian cheeses, an okay in-house bakery, mock duck, packaged food in bulk.
For more markets this is a good resource but I have not verified all of them. If I get confirmation of locations and hours and organic sources, I’ll post them too. http://www.chiangmaicitylife.com/citylife-articles/organic-markets/
Green Doilor กรีน ดอยหล่อ Natural Product Chiang Mai – direct from the source, this has the same products as Baan Suan Pak but in bulk. Preorder on facebook and pick up in either Sankampeng or Hang Dong.
For: Laundry soap, Soap Nuts, Dish soap, general cleaning, shampoo and conditioner.
Online ordering for nutritional supplements, specialty health food, and more. In general, we’ve had terrible luck with getting mail but our supplements from iHerb came directly and quickly. You can use rewards code TOR9266 for 5% off and we’ll get the same.
For: Steel cut oats, Vitamins, Fish Oil, Protein Powder, and more if you’re willing to pay the shipping costs.
Forest friendly tea from Thailand. Their teas are incredible and they source only from sustainable tea endeavours. They do occasional workshops too.
Hours: Monday – Saturday 10am-8pm
For: Local, sustainable tea that supports small businesses and farmers.
Fermented FB group
A great group in Chiang Mai for all things fermented and nutritious.
For: SCOBIES, advice
Backyard Chickens Thailand – this group is mostly based around Chiang Mai and has been immensely helpful in starting our own backyard brood. If you have space for free range hens, it’s a no-brainer, so just start asking questions and dig in.
For: Chickens, Roosters, advice
Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants
Here is a pre-exisiting resource with a map of all the Vegan and Vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Chiang Mai. Thanks, Veggie in Chiang Mai!