Often overlooked, beef can be just as good as the ubiquitous chicken when accompanying the absurdly complex and delicious dish of khao soi. In my opinion, no place does it better than Khao Soi Mae Manee, expect maybe Khao Soi Lung Prakit Kaat Gorm.
This is your classic Thai noodle spot. There isn’t much in the way of scenery, it’s in a little neighborhood with less than great parking (especially for cars), and the price for flavor is kind of absurd. The people that run it have been doing so for a while and seem to be really happy with their product. English isn’t spoken well here, but they are well accustomed to dealing with non-Thai speakers and are more than accommodating.
This spot first came on my radar after watching Mark Wein’s Khao Soi tour of Chiang Mai. If you haven’t heard of his Youtube channel I highly suggest giving it a look. He is probably the Gold Standard for Thai food Vloggers. Fair warning, he makes this… “O-face” after everything he eats, and it gets kinda old really fast. However He has lived in Thailand for a long time, speaks the language, shoots in 4k, and highlights some of the best food Thailand has to offer. Every spot I’ve found through him has turned into a favorite of mine.
Also a big shout out to Palin’s Hot Thai Kitchen for anyone who wants to take a crack at learning how to make this dish, or most any Thai food for that matter. She lives in Canada, is and speaks Thai, and offers a wealth of information when it comes to learning how to cook great Thai food in an easy to understand and digest kind of way.
The Khao Soi at Mae Manee is made deeply rich from the beef stock, fresh coconut milk, and perfectly crisped fried egg noodles. It is on the spicier side as far as Chiang Mai khao soi goes, but that’s a good thing. The aesthetics of this dish are one of the best parts; we tend to eat with our eyes first. The fact that they add the coconut milk just before serving gives a nice color contrast to a dish that can kind of muddle together. I actually took the color for my site and logo from the fried egg noodles in this picture.
Khao Soi Mae Manee is a little out of the way if you don’t make it up to Mae Rim all that often, but is a great spot to stop for lunch if you do. Even if a trip to Mae Rim isn’t on your schedule anytime soon, I really can’t recommend this place highly enough. It’s near the top of my list (if not at the top) for places in Chiang Mai that are worth that little bit of extra effort to get The Good Stuff.
Khao Soi Mae Manee
Open: 9:00-15:30 Everyday
Closed on Buddhist Holidays. You can check their Facebook to see if there is one the day you want to go.
The Good Stuff Chiang Mai