The Best Cafes to Work in Chiang Mai

The Best Cafes to Work in Chiang Mai.

The Best Cafes to Work in Chiang Mai (in 2023)

Chiang Mai in northern Thailand is known to be one of the best places in the world for digital nomads. There are many reasons why the place has become such a strong hub for location-independent working people in recent years. An extremely high density of really good cafes to work from is just one of them. The general conditions here simply allow for a good work-life balance. 

Chiang Mai’s digital nomad community is big, welcoming and well organized. The cost of living here is low, the climate pleasant. Mobility options are diverse and the size of the city makes getting around easy. Delicious street food can be found on every corner. Temples and markets are waiting to be explored. A short ride on a scooter and you will find yourself hiking in the mountains enjoying the view over the city. In addition, an airport close to the town with connections to the south is very convenient. 

I spent three full weeks in Chiang Mai in December 2022, testing my way through as many cafes as possible. During my research in advance, I discovered some promising cafes, but then unfortunately a lot of them were permanently or temporarily closed while I visited Chiang Mai. An update was needed: so here are the best cafes to work in Chiang Mai in 2023!

Cafe #1 - The Story 106 Co-Working Space & Cafe

My favorite indoor cafe! I had the most productive time here. The Story 106 is spacious, cozy and beautifully arranged. The attention to detail is impressive. While the ground floor has a more chatty cafe atmosphere with music, the upper floor offers a really nice large and bright co-working space. In two rooms, you can expect a wide variety of seating options with spacious tables, sufficient plugs, fast Wi-Fi and a quiet working atmosphere. 

Most importantly, the quality and selection of coffee is outstanding. From the classic Cappuccino to Matcha Tea and Affogato up to rather unusual creations. Make sure to try the Iced Black Orange! Black coffee with orange and cinnamon – so delicious and refreshing! A good selection of savory and sweet snacks like the Croffle (a mix of a croissant and a waffle) is also available.

Altogether, the concept of the the Story 106 is just great: I find the combination of the cozy cafe atmosphere with the benefits of a real co-working space perfect.

Cafe #2 - Snooze Chiang Mai & Burkta Coffee & PUNSPACE Co-Working

Snooze Chiang Mai is ideal for being productive and still be outdoors. This place really feels like hitting the snooze button in the morning. The large, quiet outdoor space with shady trees is the perfect place to start a new day. Snooze Chiang Mai serves really delicious smoothie bowls in two different sizes, avocado on toast and freshly squeezed orange juice. Next door Burkta Coffee provides you with really good coffee (oat and almond milk available) and Wi-Fi access. Extension cords allow you to stay longer in the garden. In addition, you always meet nice people here and quickly get into conversation.

If you like to work indoors, you can also opt for the co-working space PUNSPACE right next door. So there is really nothing missing here. After work, you can relax in the hammock in the garden. Truly a little oasis in the old town. I really liked it here and it is definitely my favorite outdoor cafe in Chiang Mai.

Cafe #3 - My Secret Cafe in Town

A small cafe hidden in a side alley in the old town. Very cozy atmosphere, good coffee and delicious food options – vegetarian and vegan options available. A great advantage of this cafe is that it is open until evening (currently 8 pm). Most of the other cafes usually close at 4 or 5pm. There are plenty of plugs available and also a few seating options outside in front of the cafe.

Cafe #4 - Ladybake

Ladybake is a cute little cafe in the old town that just makes you feel at home. I really liked the open concept so that you can sit in a covered space without sunlight on your laptop screen and still be in the fresh air. I loved the little cozy corner in the front right! Ladybake has a small selection of different savory and sweet toasts, coffee and delicious cakes. The background music here is great as well (found an awesome new artist!). Power outlets are available, the Wi-Fi is stable and the team is super sweet. It’s completed by dachshund Capper, who usually relaxes in the entrance area and welcomes new guests. Being able to sit in the sun in the green area on the left side enjoying an iced coffee is also a big plus.

Cafe #5 - Ombra Caffe no.3

Ombra Caffe no.3 is well known among digital nomads. It is located northwest, just outside the old town on a side street on the way to the Nimman area. Ombra is a small coffee shop with several rooms decorated in an industrial style. Overall, rather dark, but that adds to the cozy charm of this coffee shop. In addition, there is a small outdoor area with a large table in the back, so that you can also work outside. There are enough power outlets, the Wi-Fi is stable, and the coffee is good.

Cafe #6 - Artisan Café

Artisan Café is also a very popular cafe to work from. Located south of the old town, it’s a large open space with industrial design and a relaxed working atmosphere. If you want to try something new regarding your coffee, this is the place to go. The Iced Black Peach is refreshing and something different! There are plenty of plugs here as well and the Wi-Fi ran smoothly. Especially for those staying in this area of Chiang Mai, Artisan is a good place to go. 

Cafe #7 - COOL MUANG Coffee

I discovered COOL MUANG Coffee randomly while walking around the old town and have returned several times. The cafe has a different vibe. Located on the main street near the East Gate of the Old Town, my first thought was: way too noisy. Without headphones outside, it is. The nice thing, though, is that they offer different places to work here. There are several small seating areas in the first little house by the coffee bar. In addition, there is another enclosed space directly behind it with huge glass windows, a long large wooden table and a couch for working or relaxing. I ended up liking the covered outdoor area the most (headphones with noise canceling help). Besides to various classic seating options, you can also put your legs up in one of the armchairs at the front with the laptop on your lap – nice change! 

Cafe #8 - Sunday Baker

Oh, how delicious the jam was! And I rarely eat any. Sunday Baker is a very small cafe located on the southern edge of the old town. It’s not a classic co-working cafe but I was still able to easily do my things on the laptop. The main feature is certainly the outstanding quality of the food and drinks. I ordered a simple toast with butter & jam, as it was already my second breakfast. Oh my god – that jam was the most delicious I’ve ever tasted. Homemade – and can be purchased on site! Overall a bit more high-priced in comparison, but absolutely worth it due to the high quality here. Bright and very stylishly furnished, relaxing music and overall just super pleasant atmosphere.

Cafe #9 - Cottontree Coffee Roasters

Cottontree is ideal if you’re staying in the Nimman area. The bright, very nicely designed cafe hides outside the old town just behind the MAYA shopping center. There is a very good coffee menu here and delicious cakes and other desserts. You can work inside at the high tables or next to the coffee bar. For a break in between, the outdoor area under the shade sails is super pleasant. Since this cafe is a bit hidden in an alley, you can really hear no rattling motorcycles here. I also really liked the clean, unagitated style here. 

Cafe #10 - Wake Up Coffee @ B2 Riverside Premier

This cafe is for those who like to work late in the evening or at night, as it is open 24 hours! It is located east of the Old Town on the ground floor of the B2 Riverside Premier Hotel. There are hot and cold coffee and tea options, as well as Belgian chocolate drinks. Various wraps as a small bite are also offered. Plenty of power outlets available.   

Where to stay: central and close to the best cafes to work in Chiang Mai

After staying and testing around for three weeks, these are the best cafes to work in Chiang Mai. Each has its own individual benefits. Ultimately, the location of your accommodation and your preferred mobility also plays a role. If you like to walk to the respective cafes, I can highly recommend the area east of the northern part of the old town (between Wichayanon Road and Chang Moi Road). I felt super comfortable here. There is a good selection of accommodation (hostels, guesthouses and boutique hotels), a great mix of restaurants and some of the above-mentioned cafes are within walking distance. In addition, the proximity to the old town is absolutely convenient.

If you’re planning a longer stay, check out the Nimman area northwest of the Old Town. Many digital nomads, expats and remote workers live here. There are various co-working spaces, apartments for rent and generally a very wide range of entertainment, sports, restaurants and shopping. 

Digital Nomad Community in Chiang Mai

It is good to know that most of the communication of the Nomad community in Chiang Mai takes place via WhatsApp groups. Large meet-ups are regularly planned. In addition, there are also some more specific sub-groups – such as for foodies, yogies, hiking, events and many more. There is something for everyone!

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