If you work online and love coffee shops, Chiang Mai is your heaven on earth. The cafes here offer incredible coffee at cheap prices, interesting decor, open spaces, free wifi, and all of the amenities needed to work for hours. And unlike many other countries, the staff won’t treat you like a second-class citizen for pulling out your computer at the cafe. I think the amount of amazing coffee shops is what single-handedly attracts so many expats and digital nomads to Chiang Mai (okay and the city itself, culture, safety, affordability, and food). So, here are my top 10 favorite coffee shops for working in Chiang Mai, Thailand plus my review of Alt Coworking & Coliving (where I stayed for a month).
Highlights: Great coffee, air conditioning, comfortable outdoor seating
Downsides: Limited seating in indoor areas with air conditioning
One of my favorite coffee shops in Chiang Mai, Cool Muang is unique in its layout: a patio with comfortable seating, a glass-cased air-conditioned meeting room, and a rustic room with a street view. Besides the variety of seating options, they also have amazing lattes and fast wifi (no matter where you are seated). The only downsides are that the indoor seating is not the most comfortable and there are limited outlets.
Highlights: Huge menu and lots of healthy food options, plenty of outlets, good coffee
Downsides: Unlike other cafes, they don’t have free water and the seating isn’t super comfy
STORIES is at the edge of the old city, close to Cool Muang, and is a great place to work and eat. They have one of the biggest menus of all the Chiang Mai cafes, and plenty of healthy plates. They have fast wifi, lots of outlets, and air conditioning; and although it is a restaurant, the staff doesn’t mind if you stay a while.
Highlights: Plenty of seating, open late, strong wifi
Downsides: Loud (and not good) music, seating isn’t the most comfortable
Cafe by day and bar by night, BeansLiquor is a fun place to work . . . as long as you have noise-canceling headphones or really love loud pop hits. The top floor has a lot of natural lighting, but the seats aren’t as comfortable, and the middle floor has comfy booths, but they fill up fast.
4. Artisan Cafe
Highlights: Cozy interior, good espresso
Downsides: Not the best wifi, closes earlier than other coffee shops
Artisan cafe offers a sophisticated atmosphere, great coffee, and a nice variety of seating options (love chairs, sofa, bigger tables, etc). However, the wifi is pretty terrible so it is best to have a hotspot.
Highlights: Lots of seating, cool industrial design, delicious pastries/food
Downsides: Not the best coffee, limited outlets
This industrial-style coffee shop recently opened in the old city and they offer unique pastries (carrot cake of course) and drinks (like honey lemon soda, orange cold brew, and espresso yen) as well as a quiet work environment. I personally didn’t love the coffee, but it is still a great place for remote work.
Highlights: Plenty of seating with outlets, modern interior, amazing lattes, espressos, and cold brew
Downsides: A bit pricier than other coffee shops
The ultimate hidden gem in the Nimman area, this was definitely my favorite coffee shop (although, Cool Muang takes a close second). Everything from the minimalist design to the abundance of outlets to the quiet atmosphere makes this the perfect place to study or work. There are always so many digital nomads working here, but there’s enough space for everyone. And I highly recommend their peach cold brew or charcoal latte!
Highlights: Healthy food and smoothies, good coffee
Downsides: No air conditioning, limited seating and outlets
This cafe is tucked away in the old city, right next to Akha Ama Coffee, and is best for remote workers who want free wifi and healthy Thai food. I enjoyed the homey feel of this cafe along with the abundance of plants but didn’t love how hot it can get in the afternoon.
Highlights: Best coffee in Chiang Mai, lots of seating
Downsides: No outlets
If you want the best cup of coffee in Chiang Mai, definitely try out Akha Ama Coffee. They have delicious coffee and if you’re lucky your cup of coffee will even have some latte art. They have a beautiful open design (with natural lighting on the top floor), free water, and fast wifi; just make sure to charge your computer before you go, they don’t have any outlets.
Highlights: Great brunch food, artistic interior, outlets
Downsides: No air conditioning, a bit noisy
This is ideal for early morning work, they have great breakfast foods, chill music, and overall good vibes. However, it isn’t the best in the afternoon since it does get hotter and they don’t have air conditioning.
10. Fern Forest Cafe
Highlights: Incredible brunch, beautiful garden patio, great coffee
Downsides: Limited outlets and indoor seating
Fern Forest is a mini oasis in the Mueang Chiang Mai District, with the best brunch in Chiang Mai and an amazing garden. If you love outdoor spaces and want to feel like you’re working in a little fairy garden, this is the place. Also, try their Thai coffee and pancakes!
Highlights: Strong wifi, air conditioning, open 24 hours (for members), the top floor is a silent area, several meeting rooms available
Downsides: Not a very social space for meeting other digital nomads and a bit pricier (in comparison to working at a cafe)
I stayed at Alt Coworking & Coliving for one month and absolutely loved my stay. It was my first coliving experience and it was even better than I imagined; I met incredible people who were not only fun to hang out with but inspired me in my work life, participated in new activities (like ice baths), and had a safe and comfortable place to call home. I really appreciated the modern design of the coworking space and bedrooms, the immaculate cleanliness of the entire building, and how helpful the staff was. Without a doubt, I would recommend Alt.However, there are a few situations where Alt might not be the best choice for you. If you are only doing the coworking and hoping to make friends this way, I don’t think this would be the best bet. People don’t really talk in the coworking space and most of the social activities are for the coliving residents. Also, if you only need a place to work for a day or two and want to save money, I would recommend just going to a cafe.
Other Chiang Mai Cafes and Coworking Spaces:
- In the Nimman area, on siri mangkalajarn, they have a good cup of coffee and a cozy interior
- Tucked away on a quiet street in the old city, but the seating is very limited. However, it is close to Carrot Cafe, so you can check this place out on your way!
- Coworking space with pool
- Modern, social coworking space with fast wifi
- Cute coffee shop with great coffee and pastries
- Quiet space with chill vibes and good coffee
- Coworking space with affordable food and coffee, peaceful atmosphere, and strong wifi
- Quiet cafe with air conditioning, outdoor seating, food, and drinks