Best Cafés

Look up the word Nimman and you’ll come to find that “trendy” is one of the most used adjectives to describe this neighborhood in Chiang Mai. Nimman Road itself is only about a kilometer and a half long, but you’ll quickly discover that its many side roads and alleys are packed with shops and establishments that a young person might find interesting or appealing. The area’s main clientele is students from the neighboring University of Chiang Mai, and as such, Nimmanhaemin has adapted accordingly—noodle shops and old residences have made way for independent clothing shops, funky art galleries, and of course, cafés. If you love coffee culture and are discriminating about your brew, this is the place for you. Check out our list of recommendations:

1. Ristr8to

Ristr8to (and its sister locations, DOPPIO Ristr8to and Ristr8to Lab, all located in Chiang Mai) is the brain child of owner and head barista, Arnon Thitiprasert, winner of the 2017 World Latte Art Championship and three-time winner of the Thailand National Latte Art Championship. In fact, all of Ristr8to’s baristas have competed and won in competitions: Kamonporn Fongsak took home the 1st prize in the 2013 Thailand Latte Art Championship, while Eakkapot Wongsang won 4th place in 2014’s competition. They’re dead serious about coffee here: roasting their own beans every Tuesday out of Ristr8to Lab, rotating single-origin coffees monthly. The original location is easily the busiest but the coffee is top-notch across all 3 branches.

The Satan Latte is one of their signature creations, the same cup that won 1st place for Arnon. It comes in a championship regulation cup with an extra shot of ristretto to account for the added milk used to make the latte art. Other signature drinks include the Ficardie, a double shot of ristretto in a 5.5-ounce Picardie glass topped with streamed milk, and the Cigar8to, made by pouring streamed milk on a Doppio Ristretto shot and served in a custom 4-ounce cup. They even serve boozy coffee over at Ristr8to Lab, with an entire section of the menu called Coffee in Good Spirit. Should you choose to partake of their potent alcoholic concoctions, make sure you’re staying in a hotel close by—use “ที่พักนิมมาน” as your search term for Nimman accommodations.

2. Graph Café

With its industrial, minimalist interiors, Graph Café’s One Nimman location easily attracts shutterbugs and influencers, but they end up coming back for the excellent coffee and pastries. Owned by 39-year-old Kharuaporn Satraphai and his wife Pae-Ajaree, Graph sources their coffee from local farms in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, creating whimsical blends such as The Lost Garden, a rosewater-infused drink made with their signature nitrogen cold brew, and the Polar Bear, an espresso drink mixed with milk, sparkling water and triple sec. Graph also sells ready-to-drink bottled cold brews, pizza, and pastries sourced from Find Coffee, Graph’s sister café in Suthep.

3. The Barisotel by The Baristro

Coffee shops anchored to hotel lobbies are not a revolutionary concept. Often, you’ll find an unremarkable spot on the ground floor of any given hotel, placed there as though it was an afterthought—a convenient place to wait until your room is made available. This is decidedly not the case with The Barisotel. This 2-room boutique hotel seems to have grown out of the café below it, not the other way around. The Baristro is a small chain of cafés founded by Instagram influencer Thanit Suvanish, whose preferred minimalist aesthetic is reflected in all 4 of his Chiang Mai outlets. Featuring all-white interiors and plenty of natural light, this is one of the most photogenic cafés in Nimman, but the allure goes deeper than the visuals.

For an undeniably tropical treat, try the Baristro-exclusive Black Coconut, a shot of espresso mixed with coconut water, or the Nitro Orange, carbonated nitro cold brew served with an orange wedge that creates a distinctly bright flavor note. The desserts aren’t to be missed either: cool down with the Korean dessert called bingsu, served here with The Baristro’s very own pandan sauce, or the B-Coconut Ice Cream, served with sweet milk syrup. The Matcha Crepe Layered Cake is also remarkable, as well as the Charcoal Latte Cheesecake.

A side trip through Nimman Road or any of the roads and alleys that connect to it will provide you with many different ways to take your caffeine. Add this road to your Chiang Mai itinerary and you’ll have every opportunity to observe and take part in the local coffee culture.