Best Ice Cream in Chiang Mai

20 Mar 2024
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Who can resist the sweet temptation of ice cream, especially in the warm, tropical climate of Chiang Mai? This northern Thai city, known for its rich cultural heritage and lush landscapes, also boasts an impressive array of ice cream shops that cater to every taste and preference. From traditional Thai flavors to innovative artisanal creations, Chiang Mai's ice cream scene is as diverse as it is delicious. But how did ice cream become such a beloved treat in Chiang Mai? Join us as we explore the history of ice cream in the city, highlight the different types available, and share some of the best places to cool down with a refreshing scoop.

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History of Ice Cream in Thailand and Chiang Mai

Ice cream's introduction to Thailand dates back to the royal courts of the early 20th century, but it wasn't until the latter half of the century that it became widely available to the public. In Chiang Mai, the ice cream culture has flourished over the past few decades, with local entrepreneurs and international residents bringing a variety of styles and flavors to the city. Today, Chiang Mai is home to an eclectic mix of ice cream parlors, from street vendors serving homemade coconut ice cream to upscale boutiques offering gourmet gelato and sorbets infused with local fruits and spices.

 

Ice Cream Options

Whether you're a fan of classic flavors or looking for something uniquely Thai, Chiang Mai's ice cream offerings have something for everyone:

  • Traditional Thai Ice Cream: Creamy coconut milk-based ice creams, often served in a coconut shell with toppings like sticky rice and roasted peanuts.
  • Artisanal Gelato and Sorbet: Small-batch creations featuring local ingredients such as mango, lychee, and tamarind.
  • Classic Flavors: Time-honored favorites like chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, available in both dairy and non-dairy versions.
  • Innovative Creations: Experimental flavors that blend Eastern and Western culinary traditions, such as green tea matcha, durian, and Thai tea.

Street Food Tour

Recommended Ice Cream Places in Chiang Mai

Cool Corner

Nestled in the heart of the Old City, Cool Corner specializes in traditional Thai ice cream flavors. Open daily from 10am to 9pm, it's the perfect spot to enjoy a refreshing treat while exploring the historic area.

Gelato Garden

Located in the bustling Nimmanhaemin district, Gelato Garden offers a wide range of artisanal gelato and sorbets made with fresh, local ingredients. Their garden setting provides a serene atmosphere to enjoy your ice cream. Open from 11am to 10pm.

The Ice Cream Boutique

This boutique shop near the Riverside offers an exquisite selection of innovative ice cream flavors, including vegan options. It's a must-visit for those looking to try something new and exciting. Open from 12pm to 10pm.

Frozen Delights

For a taste of classic flavors and more, Frozen Delights in the Night Bazaar area serves up both traditional and modern ice cream creations. A great place to stop by after a night of shopping, they're open from 6pm to midnight.

Thai Tea Ice Creamery

Specializing in Thai tea-flavored ice cream, this unique spot in the Old City is perfect for tea lovers. Their ice cream offers the perfect balance of sweet and creamy, with a distinct Thai tea flavor. Open from 10am to 8pm.

Exotic Ice Cream Bar

Located in the trendy area of Nimmanhaemin, Exotic Ice Cream Bar is known for its adventurous flavors, including durian and green tea matcha. It's the ideal place for those looking to explore unique ice cream varieties. Open from 11am to 11pm.

Closing Thoughts

Chiang Mai's ice cream scene offers a delightful escape into a world of sweet, creamy indulgence. With its rich variety of flavors, from the traditional to the avant-garde, there's a scoop to satisfy every palate. As you wander through the scenic streets and alleyways of Chiang Mai, let the adventure lead you to some of the most refreshing and innovative ice cream experiences the city has to offer. Remember, no visit to Chiang Mai is complete without treating yourself to its delicious ice cream. So, dive in and discover your new favorite flavor in the heart of northern Thailand. Follow Phanganist on Instagram for more on where to go and what to eat in Chiang Mai and beyond!


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