Coolest, Funkiest Street in Town
Nimman is Chiang Mai's chicest neighbourhood. Since the mid-00s the kilometer-long road between Huay Kaew and Suthep has attracted trendy coffee shops, natty boutiques, hot and cool night spots and some of the city's most modern apartments. If you want to be seen - or want to watch people who want to be seen - this is probably the place for you.
Smoothie Blues - breakfast/brunch, sandwiches (wholemeal/baguette/pitta), mexican and seasonal specials, all washed down with generously large, freshly-blended smoothies. A favourite hang-out of the local new-media people.
Bake and Bite - sandwiches (on freshly baked wholesome breads), pies, mexican and breakfast dishes. Air-conditioned dining area as well as shaded outdoor seating. Bread and cookies to go. A while back it moved from it's location on the west of the street, to the east. You'll find the new place near Starbucks.
Salad Concept - healthy and tasty, and almost always busy with locals and visitors alike. You can choose from a wide range of standard salads and wraps, or go free-form and build your own. There's a number of hot dishes on the menu too (the fried fish is good!), as well as good smmothies and health drinks.
Smiley Kitchen - tucked away in soi 3. Serves deeply satisfying Japanese home-style dishes. A favourite with Japanese expats and locals.
Wawee, Starbucks and Doi Chang are all well-represented. They're fine, but also be sure to check out some of the smaller places.
Ristr8tto - arguably the jewel in Nimman's coffee crown. Expertly prepared coffees in almost any style with beans from the finest coffee places in the world, all in a funky atmosphere. The waffle's are tasty too!
Beer Republic - mid-way down soi 11, this place has a good range of imported Eurpoean beers on tap and by the bottle.
Beer Lab - in a fairly glitzy plaza, serving an excellent selection of beers on tap, including a range of Scottish craft beers you won't want to miss if you enjoy a UK-style pint.
Gamrai shop - in the same block as Smoothie Blues, this liquor wholesaler attracts an early evening crowd with basic, cold (and cheap) local beers at a number of tables on the street.
Warm Up - supposedly the hottest place in town. The crowds here chill out to funk and jazz in the outdoor area, while inside the beats keep a trendy crowd on their feet. Sushi bar and a full restaurant, as well as anything you can think of to drink.
Nimman Promenade - a couple of alleys lined with small boutiques selling plenty of unusual and eye-catching object from art and antiques to fashion and jewellery. Right next to Wawee on the west side of the street.
Soi 1 - this soi next to the former Rincome hotel is lined with stores featuring the best of Chiang Mai's hand-made furniture, arts and crafts.
Gerard Collection - showroom for a local exporter of finely-made and distinctive bamboo furniture. Elegant, modern designs, durable and sustainable too.
For a convenient and fun way to visit Nimman (while avoiding parking hassles) and the rest of Chiang Mai, check out GetVanGo. They offer access to Chiang Mai-based minivans with drivers for a very reasonable daily rate.