Phenomenal Khao Soi (ข้าวซอย) in Lampang

By Mark Wiens 27 Comments
best khao soi in Thailand
One of the best bowls of khao soi (ข้าวซอย) I’ve ever had

I’ve probably said this before, but khao soi (ข้าวซอย) is one of those Thai dishes that can be extraordinarily good OR just not good at all.

Formerly, one of my favorites bowls of khao soi was in Chiang Mai, and while that one is still incredible, I have a new favorite…

Khao Soi Islam in Lampang served me a bowl of khao soi (ข้าวซอย) that blew my mind (and tongue), and after taking my first few bites, I determined it was my new standard for the best bowl of khao soi I’ve had Thailand.

Khao Soi Islam (ข้าวซอยอิสลาม ลำปาง) - Lampang
The master at work

Khao Soi Islam (ข้าวซอยอิสลาม ลำปาง) – Lampang

Khao Soi Islam (not to be confused with the same name restaurant in Chiang Mai) is a restaurant in Lampang, that has been open and serving khao soi for a number of generations.

Their khao soi is an original version of the dish, influenced by Chinese Yunnanese Muslims. This restaurant is also fully halal.

ข้าวซอยอิสลาม ลำปาง
The menu at Khao Soi Islam (ข้าวซอยอิสลาม ลำปาง) in Lampang

Menu

The menu at Khao Soi Islam (ข้าวซอยอิสลาม ลำปาง) is simple, includes just a few choices, and it’s written in both Thai and English.

Also, I couldn’t help but enjoy the little boy, photoshopped onto the menu with a loudspeaker, proclaiming “the chili is very spicy!”

Thai roasted chili sauce
Incredible roasted chili sauce

The chili wasn’t too spicy, but it was perfect, and the flavor was beautifully smoky and fragrant.

For myself, this roasted chili sauce, is the one and only condiment I need with my khao soi – and while the khao soi here tasted marvelous even with nothing else added, a few scoops of this chili oil sauce enhanced it even more.

Thai egg noodles
See that tray of yellow egg noodles?

The Egg Noodles

Part of the reason why the khao soi at Khao Soi Islam (ข้าวซอยอิสลาม ลำปาง) was the best I’ve had in Thailand so far, was because of their egg noodles.

Many restaurants tend to use factory made egg noodles in their khao soi, but at this restaurant, they make their noodles themselves by hand.

As soon as you walk in the door, you’ll not only be greeted by the friendly owner of the restaurant, carefully boiling the noodles, but on the left hand side, you’ll likely see a tray of the fresh noodles.

You can actually see the quality of the noodles, before you even order your bowl of khao soi (ข้าวซอย).

egg noodles
Boiling the egg noodles with precision

After your order, the owner loads a handful of egg noodles into his boiling pot, and expertly boils them until fully cooked, yet not over cooked, and fishes them out with a pair of chopsticks.

The noodles, according to this guide, were size-wise right in-between the thin and wide wonton noodles, not as wide as the 1/4 inch noodles I often have seen in Chiang Mai.

Thai khao soi
Bowls of noodles waiting to be drowned in curry

He then divides them into bowls.

I’m telling you, this wasn’t just the best bowl (bowls) of khao soi I had in Thailand, but these were also some of the best noodles I’ve ever had in Thailand.

Despite loving spicy and overly flavorful foods, I would have almost been completely happy with just a bowl of his freshly boiled noodles – almost like a fresh baked loaf of bread – plain, yet irresistible.

best Thai khao soi
Khao soi neua (ข้าวซอยเนื้อ) – beef khao soi

Khao soi neua (ข้าวซอยเนื้อ)

I started with a bowl of khao soi neua (ข้าวซอยเนื้อ), beef khao soi, and I ordered the special (พิเศษ), which is probably just a little larger than the regular size (and 5 THB more expensive).

After the noodles were added to the bottom of the bowl, a ladle of the curry was spooned on top, including nuggets of tender beef, and finally, just like all bowls of khao soi, a handful of deep fried crunchy noodles on the very top.

Price – 45 THB

khao soy
A bite of pure delicious khao soi

Starting with the noodles, they were silky, with a hint of chewiness, and I could really notice the freshness in each bite. I could not have asked for anything more in a noodle, they were perfect.

The curry sauce was beautifully balanced with yellow curry powder, not overpowering, yet incredibly soothing, with rich buttery coconut milk.

What I most loved about the khao soi was that it wasn’t sweet at all – and I even asked the owner and he mentioned that he didn’t use any sugar in his recipe.

best khao soi in Thailand
Khao soi gai (ข้าวซอยไก่)

Khao soi gai (ข้าวซอยไก่)

After polishing off my bowl of beef khoa soi in just moments, I immediately had to order a second bowl.

This time I went for the chicken khao soi (ข้าวซอยไก่), and again I ordered the bigger sized bowl.

Price – 45 THB

ข้าวซอยไก่
Chicken khao soi in Lampang, Thailand

The noodles and the curry sauce tasted nearly identical, but instead of the nuggets of beef, this time there were chunks of chicken.

While the chicken was just about as good, I think the beef had the edge, mostly because I love beef.

yellow egg noodles
The yellow egg noodles were the highlight for me

With a few generous scoops of the chili oil sauce, this was one of the most amazing things I have eaten in northern Thailand in a long time.

While khao soi (ข้าวซอย) can really be hit or miss for me, both bowls at Khao Soi Islam (ข้าวซอยอิสลาม ลำปาง) made me nearly speechless how good they were.

best restaurants in Lampang
Beef satay (เนื้อสะเต๊ะ)

Beef satay (เนื้อสะเต๊ะ)

In addition to the khao soi (ข้าวซอย), Ying and I also got an order of 14 sticks of their beef satay (เนื้อสะเต๊ะ). I took a photo of the satay before the sauce arrived, so sorry I didn’t show the sauce, but it did come with it, along with some pickles as well.

Overall, the satay was good, but I thought pretty average, not incredible… or it may have been that I was so amazed by the khao soi that I didn’t really even pay full attention while tasting the satay.

Price – 14 sticks for 70 THB (14 ไม้ 70 บาท)

ขนมปังหน้าไก่
Khanom pang na gai (ขนมปังหน้าไก่) – Little deep fried pieces of toast

Khanom pang na gai (ขนมปังหน้าไก่)

Finally, to wrap up our award winning meal in Lampang, we got a plate of khanom pang na gai (ขนมปังหน้าไก่), pieces of bread topped with chicken and deep fried.

I’m not usually one to jump at ordering something like this, so it was my wife who really wanted to try this, but I did sample a few bites and I would have to say that it really was quite tasty – extremely crunchy and salty.

Price – 30 THB (ชุดละ 30 บาท)

ข้าวซอยอิสลาม
The inside of Khao Soi Islam (ข้าวซอยอิสลาม) – Lampang, Thailand

The inside of Khao Soi Islam (ข้าวซอยอิสลาม ลำปาง) is small, but friendly and cosy.

The owner family of the restaurant are all very nice as well, especially the master who dishes out the khao soi like an artist, and his passion for khao soi shines.

Khao Soi Islam (ข้าวซอยอิสลาม)
The outside of Khao Soi Islam (ข้าวซอยอิสลาม)

Conclusion

Khao Soi Islam (ข้าวซอยอิสลาม ลำปาง) is a restaurant in Lampang, Thailand, that specializes in khao soi (ข้าวซอย) – egg noodles in a coconut milk based curry.

When I walked into the restaurant for the first time, I knew it was going to be something special – I could see the hand-made egg noodles waiting to be flash-boiled, and I could smell the aroma of dry spices.

I started off by ordering their beef khao soi (ข้าวซอยเนื้อ), and on my first bite, I immediately fell in love. It’s probably the best khao soi (ข้าวซอย) I’ve had in Thailand so far.

The curry sauce was rich and creamy from the coconut milk, perfectly flavored with yellow curry powder, and without even a hint of sweetness – it was just pure spice and cream… and the home-made yellow egg noodles were extraordinary.

If you ever visit Lampang, along with eating northern Thai food, you have to eat at Khao Soi Islam.

Khao Soi Islam (ข้าวซอยอิสลาม ลำปาง) – Lampang, Thailand

Address: 3 Thanon Pongsanuk, Wiang Neua, Lampang, Thailand
Phone: 054-227-826
Open hours: 8 am – 2 pm daily
Prices: Eat a couple bowls for under 100 THB per person – and I’ll reassure you, it’s worth every single Baht you spend

ที่อยู่ 3 ถนนปงสนุก ต.เวียงเหนือ อ.เมืองลำปาง จังหวัดลำปาง
โทร. 054-227-826
เปิดบริการ ทุกวัน 8.00 – 14.00 น.

How to get there: The restaurant is located right in the heart of the old part of Lampang city, across the Ratsada bridge, on Pongsanuk road. If you’re staying in central Lampang town*, it should easy to walk here.

On the map, scroll down to “Northern Thailand,” then click on Khao Soi Islam.



27 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Boon

    2 years ago

    what a pity ! khun Mark, I am from this province but, I’ve never seen and never tried this superb khao soi islam before. I promise that next trip of seeing my parent in Lampang I won’t miss it for sure. big thanks for your recommendations.

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hi Boon, nice to hear from you, and glad you’re from Lampang, one of my favorite places in Thailand. Hope you can try Khao Soi Islam soon!

  • Tasty Healthy

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for this great review and the video.
    Any tips on where I can get a recipe online for something at least *similar* to what you got eat here?
    Meaning, the best recipe for Khao Soi that you know of?

    Thanks

  • Kevin

    2 years ago

    Hey Mark,

    Do you think you’ll ever post a recipe for khao soi? I was in Chiang Mai in late February of this year and went to khao soi khun yai. It was INCREDIBLE!!! One of the best things I ate my entire trip. I made khao soi at home recently using Andy Ricker’s recipe and it was delicious, but a little different than what I had in Chiang Mai. The broth was heavier and much more yellow in color than I remember eating at khao soi khun yai. I remember it being much more brown/red in color like in the pics you have.

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hi Kevin, great to hear from you, glad you enjoyed khao soi when you were in Chiang Mai. It’s definitely on my list of to-make recipes, hopefully I’ll try to do it in the coming months. Thanks!

  • prame

    3 years ago

    finally someone know this. this is definitely the best noddle in thailand the other are no match. the ultimately smooth noodle and extremely delicious soup. god i miss that place also the father’s owner which is the real khao soi master that pass away 3 years ago, when he cooked it’s look like he creating art, strangely he quite short but his son is very tall. anyway thank for put my most favorite restaurant in the spot.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Prame, great to hear from you, glad you love this khao soi as well, I agree, the best I’ve ever had in my life. Are you from Lampang, or did you live there before?

      • prame

        3 years ago

        For so many years i lived there. It’s a very quiet town. I remember that I used to have lunch there like 4 times a week, never get bored.. I remember this place actually open at 9 then sold out at 12, so got to get there really quick sometime it’s full which is very painful lol. How can you imagine a restaurant that open only 3-4 hours a day and for so many years and still open till these day.There also Khao Soy Bhun Young that’s not far from it which is quite delicious but again, no match for Khao Soy Islam.

        • Kitti

          3 years ago

          ข้าวซอยบุญยืน (KHAO SOI BUN YUEN), right? My friend who live in Lampang also talk about this but he also prefer Khao Soi Islam.

          • prame

            3 years ago

            So it would seem. It’s the one that has no parking space and often fill with cops. Other than that it tasted quite good it’s the option when I didn’t get to Khao Soy Islam in time.

        • Mark Wiens

          2 years ago

          Hey Prame, great to hear from you, thank you very much for sharing. It’s for sure the best khao soi I’ve had anywhere so far!

  • Sven-Erik

    3 years ago

    Arriving in Thailand in little over one week time, but a trip up north is not in the plans this time, so wondered if you could recommend some places in Bangkok that have good khao soi?

    • Sven-Erik

      3 years ago

      OK, I think found out the best place in Bangkok. The daughter of the founder of the 70-year old Khao Soi Lum Duan Fah Haam in Chiang Mai has a restaurant near Don Meuang Airport (16/54 Vibhavadi Rangsit Road Soi 58) that I will try out.

      Read about it here.

      • Mark Wiens

        3 years ago

        Hey Sven-Erik,

        Yah, I’ve heard of that place, but haven’t been there myself yet, but sounds like it will be good. Unfortunately in Bangkok there aren’t too many other options, so I normally just refrain from eating khao soi in Bangkok.

        Enjoy!

        • Kitti

          3 years ago

          Yes, usually Khao Soi in central part of Thailand are sweeter than northern part but I think Khao Soi Lum Duan look interesting.

          I just read some thai people reviews and they said it isn’t very sweet, some even said it just like what they had in Chiang Mai branch so it might be a good try (Although I can’t guarantee it will be good as I never try Khao Soi Lum Duan) and price is more expensive as Khao Soi Neua at Khao Soi Lum Duan is 60 baht per bowl.

          • Suellen

            3 years ago

            Hi Sven and Mark,

            My Bangkok khao soi place is You and Mee under the Grande Hyatt Erawan at Chitlom……I go there immediately on getting into the city …it’s like an addiction! You’ll see what I mean!

          • Mark Wiens

            3 years ago

            Thank you for sharing Suellen, I’ll try to check that out when I have a chance.

  • Mike C

    3 years ago

    One week too late for me! Guess I’ll have to be back to Lampang. This looks incredible.

  • Neil Mitchell

    3 years ago

    Hi Mark, great post! That beef noodle dish with curry sauce looks totally delicious and packed with savoury flavour. I could eat a big bowl of that right now but I may have to settle for some Frosted Flakes instead. That chicken toast looks interesting too….how is the chicken “glued” onto the toast like that? It almost looks like cheese toast….you would think the chicken would fall off the bread in the fryer but the bread in your photo looks like everything’s stuck quite handily to it. Good looking food and great article, thanks Mark!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Thank you very much Neil. Haha, I’m not totally sure how that chicken and toast stuck together – it may have been egg, but I’m really not sure. Somehow it all stuck together and it was actually quite tasty, but nothing compared to the khao soi.

      • Neil Mitchell

        3 years ago

        Thanks Mark. Ya, it makes sense that egg may have been used in that chickenwich to glue it all together. You’re right though about the khao soi….it looked the best of everything on that page and I was nuts for a bowl after reading your review and staring at the picture for an hour or two but I’ll have to hop on a plane to eat some….it would be an expensive bowl of khao soi but I bet it would be worth it!!

        • Mark Wiens

          3 years ago

          Haha, right about that Neil, it’s worth flying for!

          • Antonia

            3 years ago

            I feel just like Neil – stuck in a cold climate, about to eat a bowl of wheatabix for breakfast, and now all I want is khao soi!!!

      • Kitti

        3 years ago

        Yes, they use egg. I think it work out like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ev3efXZqKjw.

        • Mike C

          3 years ago

          Yeah, definitely some kind of paste made with chicken, not just a piece of chicken.