Khao Soi Khun Yai (ข้าวซอยคุณยาย) – Best Khao Soi In Chiang Mai?

By Mark Wiens 44 Comments
ข้าวซอย
Khao soi (ข้าวซอย) in Chiang Mai

When you’re looking for khao soi (ข้าวซอย) in Chiang Mai, you many places to choose from.

During my latest stay in Chiang Mai, in between northern Thai feasts, I ate quite a few bowls of khao soi and visited many of Chiang Mai’s most popular khao soi restaurants (I’ll be reviewing all of them in time).

Khao Soi Khun Yai (ข้าวซอยคุณยาย)
Khao Soi Khun Yai (ข้าวซอยคุณยาย)

Tipped from this article on Travelfish, and since I was staying very near, in the Chang Phueak area, I headed over to a restaurant known as Khao Soi Khun Yai (ข้าวซอยคุณยาย) – Grandma’s Khao Soi.

The restaurant is slotted in between two temples, and sort of situated in an empty lot (see map).

Walk in the rusty gate, and on the left hand side you’ll see the open air shelter, home to this incredibly good little khao soi restaurant in Chiang Mai.

Khao soi garnish
Khao soi garnish

At Khao Soi Khun Yai (ข้าวซอยคุณยาย) you get your bowl of curry noodles and a side plate with the normal garnishing goodness of pickled mustard green, chopped red onions, a wedge of lime, and a petri dish of fragrantly roasted chili flakes.

ข้าวซอยเนื้อ
Khao soi neua (ข้าวซอยเนื้อ)

When it comes to eating khao soi (ข้าวซอย), the portion sizes are always quite small – but that’s not a bad thing – that just gives you the opportunity to eat a few bowls in one sitting, or if you’re like me, you can sample the beef version and the chicken version.

I first tried the khao soi neua (ข้าวซอยเนื้อ), with beef.

I immediately loved the look of the broth, nice brown red in color, not too milky creamy (apart from some coconut cream on top), and not too oily.

The noodles were wide yellow egg noodles, covered in just enough curry, topped with chunks of beef, and a handful of the crispy fritters on top.

The khao soi curry gravy was outstanding, flavored beautifully with just the right amount of spices, and not to sweet like it can sometimes be. It was rich, but not oily.

In my opinion, sometimes when you have khao soi, they can go a bit overboard with the crunchy fritters on top, but at Khao Soi Khun Yai (ข้าวซอยคุณยาย) it was just the right amount.

Flavor and ingredients wise, a clear 10/10 for my taste buds.

Price – 35 THB

Turn up the heat with some roasted chili flakes
Turn up the heat with some roasted chili flakes

I always like to taste my bowl of khao soi first, before adding any condiments or extra chili, just so I know how the true flavor tastes.

The khao soi at Khao Soi Khun Yai (ข้าวซอยคุณยาย) was nearly perfect with nothing extra added, but to turn thing up a notch, and because of my obsession with chili, I tossed in the chili as well – and that elevated it to extreme delicious.

ข้าวซอยไก่
Khao soi gai (ข้าวซอยไก่), with chicken

The first bowl was so good, I literally slurped it down in just a few bites, so next up was the khao soi gai (ข้าวซอยไก่), with chicken.

Again, equally as fantastic, same luscious flavored curry broth, just with chicken instead of beef.

Price – 30 THB

khao soi (ข้าวซอย)
Look at the beautiful color of that khao soi (ข้าวซอย) broth!
Chicken exploded with flavor
Chicken exploded with flavor

The khao soi gai (ข้าวซอยไก่) included nice pieces of boneless chicken, just dripping in delicious sauce.

khao-soi-khun-yai-ข้าวซอยคุณยาย
Roasted chili made it even better!

Like I mentioned above, the khao soi (ข้าวซอย) was so good, it really didn’t even require any extra seasoning, so I ate about half my bowl before dumping in the chili to give it an extra boost of heat.

Honestly speaking, I wanted to eat the khao soi (ข้าวซอย) here like it was boat noodles, and see how big of a stack of empty bowls I could pile up.

It was that good.

I managed some self control after my second bowl, and since we had more restaurant to check out that same day. But it would be easy to down 3 – 4 bowls or more at Khao Soi Khun Yai (ข้าวซอยคุณยาย).

ก๋วยเตี๋ยวต้มยำเส้นเล็ก
Kuay teow tom yam (ก๋วยเตี๋ยวต้มยำเส้นเล็ก)

I actually didn’t even taste the kuay teow tom yam (ก๋วยเตี๋ยวต้มยำเส้นเล็ก), but my wife Ying had it, and she said it was outstanding too.

So if you’re in the mood for a bowl of regular Thai tom yum noodles, Khao Soi Khun Yai (ข้าวซอยคุณยาย) does it well too.

Price – 30 THB

Here's the sign you're looking for
Here’s the sign you’re looking for

The sign is only written in Thai, but it’s right on the main road, in-between two temples, so you shouldn’t have any trouble recognizing this sign.

ข้าวซอยคุณยาย
Khao Soi Khun Yai (ข้าวซอยคุณยาย)

Watch the video of the meal..

(If you can’t see the video, watch it here: http://youtu.be/_wvU1olA5PU)

The Bottom Line

Hands down, this is the best khao soi (ข้าวซอย) I’ve had in a very long time, maybe ever. To me, it sets the standard of 10/10 for khao soi. All other bowls of khao soi (ข้าวซอย) I eat now, will be judged against the khao soi at Khao Soi Khun Yai (ข้าวซอยคุณยาย).

Very good stuff.

I’m not a fan of overly sweet khao soi, and I’m a fanatic of spicy strong flavors – so if you have similar tastes to me, you’re going to love it.

Khao Soi Khun Yai (ข้าวซอยคุณยาย) – Chiang Mai

Open hours: 10 am – 2 pm daily (closed on Sunday)
Address: In front of Wat Kuan Kama Temple, Sri Poom Road, Amphoe Mueang, Chiang Mai
Prices: 30 – 35 THB per bowl

ที่อยู่ หน้าวัดควรค่าม้า ถนนศรีภูมิ อ.เมือง จ.เชียงใหม่
เปิด 10.00 – 14.00 น. ( หยุดทุกวันอาทิตย์ )

How to get there:

From Chang Phueak Road, cross into the old city walls (across the moat), turn right on Sri Proom and you should see the temples on the street. Walk slowly past the temples and you should see that orange sign for Khao Soi Khun Yai (ข้าวซอยคุณยาย).



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

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  • K’s Kitchen

    5 months ago

    Check out Khao Soi Mae Sai next time you’re in Chiang Mai. Great noodles of all kinds and always packed with locals.

  • Michael Stephens

    1 year ago

    Actually I did have a better Khao Soi lunch than this last month (December 2015) in an unusual place. Up at the Doi Suthep tourist site, I got hungry and found a vendor selling khao soi bowls in a wooden structure located about 5 meters above the soangthaw parking area on the main road. You get your choice of noodles, with chicken. The flavor combination was perfect, with fresh greens, lots of lime, and big chunks of onion. They gave me a lot more ingredients to work with than the Khao Soi Khun Yai restaurant in town.

    • Mark Wiens

      1 year ago

      Hey Michael, thank you for sharing, and that’s great that you found a better version of khao soi. I can’t wait to visit Chiang Mai again, and I’ll try to check it out if I have a chance. Thanks!

  • Petra

    1 year ago

    Thank you so much for all your advice and I just long to February when we’re going to Chiang Mai and we will defenitivt eat lunch here. Your movies and information about Thailand is clearly the best I have seen and heard.
    Happy New Year
    Petra

    • Mark Wiens

      1 year ago

      Hey Petra, thank you very much for your kind words, and glad you’ll be going to Chiang Mai. Hope you enjoy the khao soi!

  • Cristina Leonhardt

    2 years ago

    Hello from Chiang Mai, Mark!
    Just arrived from a very satisfying meal at Khao Soi Khun Yai – the sign is still there, a little weathered down, but very easily found. It was a mix of locals and foreigners, so it’s more than an year you’ve published this post and still not a sign of it getting too touristic!
    Thanks so much for writing this piece here, and the many other in your curriculum. I have to say that you have been an inspiration since I found Migrationology and now Eating Thai Food – coming from Brazil, it all seemed so exotic and full of flavors. Your way of describing your meals is so personal and definitively transported me here – many days before than the one we actually came.
    Keep on doing good stuff!

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Cristina, great to hear from you, so glad you enjoyed Khao Soi Khun Yai. Hope you continue to have a great trip in Thailand, and enjoy all the food!

  • Aaron

    2 years ago

    Hi Mark,

    I stumbled across your site today and am SO glad I did! I will be in Chiang Mai for 5 weeks starting Nov.3 and appreciate not only you sharing the great finds, but how detailed your information is. Thanks for all your research and generous sharing! Happy travels!

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Aaron, good to hear from you, thank you for checking out my site. Hope you have a great time in Chiang Mai, and enjoy the food!

  • Steve Forbes

    2 years ago

    Hey Mark,

    Seems I am on the “Mark Wiens Food Tour”, just had the beef version Kao Soi here. Delicious!!

    Thanks again

    Steve

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Steve, awesome, glad you enjoyed the khao soi!

  • Aaron

    3 years ago

    Got a khao soi place for you Mark, Not sure I want all the expats and tourists to be knocking down the door there, but happy to share with someone that loves the food of Thailand as much as I do. Let me know next time you’re in chiang mai and I’ll point you in the right direction.

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Thanks Aaron, cool I’ll let you know next time I’m in Chiang Mai.

  • Tanya Pham

    3 years ago

    Mark Wiens!! My husband (Mitch) and I feel like you’ve been our trusted tour guide for the past two months while we’ve traveled in SEA. We’ve been through Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Sangkhom, Khon Kaen, and now back to Bangkok. Everywhere you’ve recommended food, we have gladly complied and never been disappointed. Khao Soi Khun Yai was one of our favorites in Chiang Mai, and we returned multiple times. There is no other khao soi broth that measures up; it was so flavorful and rich. Mitch says the roasted chili paste was the best he’s had. We’re now back in Bangkok for a week before heading to Burma, and we are super stoked to eat our way through Bangkok yet again. Thanks for your amazing research and recommendations — our trip would not be nearly as delicious without you! We have four more months of travel through SEA, and we’ll bring you along everywhere we go :)

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Tanya, thank you very much for you kind and encouraging words. So glad to hear that you’ve been enjoying your trip in Thailand and the food. Have a wonderful time in Burma as well!

  • pauld

    3 years ago

    I love khao soI, so I am excited to try this place. I tried to go today, and learned that the map and directions don’t match. I will try again next week.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Thank you Pauld, hope you can find this spot.

  • toby

    3 years ago

    thanks for info. very detail info and love it. we are abt to go chiang mai . definetely will try it for sure.

  • Cameo

    3 years ago

    Thanks, Mark, for not only this tip but many others. I really enjoy and look forward to your emails. Do you know if it would be possible to order a vegetarian version of the khao soi —

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Cameo, thank you very much. I’m sure there should be a place in Chiang Mai, but it would probably have to be at a specific vegetarian restaurant (but I haven’t been to any myself). At this place, I’m sure the broth is not vegetarian. I’ll let you know if I come across any.

      • Rrose

        2 years ago

        Khun Churn’s is a good vegetarian restaurant with a very good, creamy khao soi- I believe their noodles may be homemade even. The portion is quite large for about 70B. They have been in a new location for a year or so: The Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center on Wualai Rd.

  • Susan Slater

    3 years ago

    Looks delicious!

    I love Khao Soi, but there aren’t too many Thai restaurants which serve it here in Tokyo.

    Gradually improving though.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Thanks for reading Susan, glad the Thai food is improving in Tokyo!

  • Peter Shu

    3 years ago

    I had great khao soi in Fairbanks, Alaska , in a restaurant called Lemongrass. The Thai owner Tuk Tuk is from Chiang Mai, one of his son also own a restaurant in Chiang Mai, called Lemongrass. Unfortunately, my upcoming trip is confined to Bangkok, can you recommend a place for khao soi in Bangkok?

  • Nay

    3 years ago

    @Mark@ In Thai language, “khao soi” doesn’t mean anything. This dish and name derived from Burmese coconut noodle. “Khao Soi” means noodle in Burmese language. You have been to Burma/Myanmar and I don’t know you have tasted coconut noodle or not.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Nay, thank you for sharing. Yes I visited Myanmar a few years ago and enjoyed many amazing noodles dishes, and especially many bowls of mohinga!

  • Smoth

    3 years ago

    Hey Mark,

    Just visited this place today on your recommendation and was so impressed I was compelled to comment. Thus far, my girlfriend and I have visited four of the restaurants you’ve recommended and been extremely impressed by each one. It makes me excited every time we decide to visit a place you’ve reviewed. Keep up the amazing work, you’ve contributed great pleasure to our trip in Thailand.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Smoth, it’s really great to hear from you, thank you for taking the time to share. I’m glad you have had some wonderful food experienced and enjoyed this khao soi. Thanks for reading the blog, I think we might share some similar taste buds.

  • Josias Lopes

    3 years ago

    Great article. I was really waiting for some post on Chiang Mai. Thanks Mark.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Josias, great, thank you. And videos of Chiang Mai coming soon.

  • Paul

    3 years ago

    Great post, I love the pictures. I had Khao Soi Neua on the street during the Sunday night market in Chiang Mai and it was excellent, it was a perfect snack and if I wasn’t so stuffed from eating everything in sight I would have probably downed about 3 bowls. Wish I knew about this place when I was there. Anyway, this will be #135 on my 1000 reasons to go back to Thailand list.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Paul, thanks a lot, glad you got to try some khao soi during your visit. Haha, awesome list.

  • Chris Wotton

    3 years ago

    Glad she is still going strong – I agree, it’s the best I’ve tasted too. My take on it is over at http://theworldandhistuktuk.co.uk/?p=795

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Chris, nice to see your review too. I didn’t get to try Khao Soi Nimman, will have to check that out next time I’m in Chiang Mai.

  • Nash

    3 years ago

    Now you got my mouth all watering for Khao Soi Khun Yai in Chiang Mai. I will check this place out for sure