Coffee Sound 2499 in San Pa Tong
While Bangkok is crazy about Japanese-style desserts, Chiang Mai, the capital of the North, has its own sweet side as well, with many small and unique design bakeries mushrooming all over the city in recent years.
Bakeries in Chiang Mai have been popular for a while. Around every corner in the city, as well as at significant tourist spots, you can find bakery houses or coffee outlets that serve delicious home-made pastries. Besides quality products, most of the shops also have stunning interior decoration _ from the retro 1970s and luxurious Western furnishings, to graphic art and down-to-earth art studio styles. You will be amazed at the variety.
Among the first to open was Love At First Bite, which first appeared many people’s radar years ago. Since then, the number of home-made bakeries has mushroomed.
Nobody can explain exactly why the businesses do so well here, however, tourists visiting Chiang Mai concede that besides deliciousness and decor, the city’s relaxing atmosphere may also have something to do with it. Chiang Mai’s roads are much less congested and easier to drive on than those in Bangkok. The mountain breeze and a slower lifestyle also instil a good mood into the city’s inhabitants. This is the perfect atmosphere for a bakery lover. Here is a short list of spots worth a visit.
COFFEE SOUND 2499
This retro coffee house, in San Pa Tong district of Chiang Mai, is beautiful. Its contemporary north Thailand architectural style shows in the textured wood, and its concrete structure and tiles. Utensils and furniture from yesteryear fill the place with a 1970s atmosphere. Kids also love the shop as it has toys and a playground.
It is named Coffee Sound 2499 because the shop derived from a loudspeaker business located nearby.
Most loudspeaker manufacturers in Thailand name their shops with the word ”sound” at the end, and the owner built the wooden house here in 1956, or 2499 in the Buddhist calendar.
Coffee Sound 2499 serves home-made baked goods from quality ingredients. No preservatives or artificial colours are included, and butter is used instead of margarine.
The coconut custard cake (45 baht) is the most popular here. It comes with thick whipped cream and a smooth taste that isn’t too sweet. The orange cake is 55 baht and drinks are priced in the 20-30 baht range, which is cheaper than most coffee outlets. This is why this shop has so many regular clients.
Coffee Sound 2499, 80/2 Moo 3, Ban Klang, San Pa Tong district. Open daily, 8am-5pm. Call 081-716-4387.
BAAN HMON OON
This bakery, which also operates as part of a bed and breakfast business, is situated in a lovely English cottage-style house decorated with beautiful furniture and filled with soft music. The polite waitresses make it a nice place to spend a lazy afternoon.
Because of its relaxing atmosphere, clients love to hang around, read and take pictures, and while at times there can be too many people lingering, the shop charges 100 baht for those who visit without buying anything.
Baan Hmon Oon serves quality desserts worth paying for. The most popular dishes are the layered crepe cake (75 baht) served with fruit sauce (strawberry, chocolate or caramel) and the home-made lava chocolate cake (90 baht). The ice cream pancake (90 baht) is good, too. The shop also serves a range of teas.
Baan Hmon Oon, 99/38 Moo 1 Ban Rin, Huay Kaew Road, Muang Chiang Mai. Open daily, 10am-8pm. Call 089-789-4735.
WHAN NOI COFFEE
Its name translates to ”Not so sweet coffee”, and this restaurant turns into a bar after 6pm. It is a place where local artists _ and those who are in love with art _ meet, so don’t be surprised if you find it looking like an untidy art studio in a shady garden atmosphere.
However, during daytime, it is a nice place to enjoy coffee and the bakery. The basic brownie (45 baht) is very good. If you are a coffee lover, the brownie combo set (coffee and brownie) is available for 79 baht. The blueberry pie (55 baht) is also popular and the combo set costs 89 baht.
The ”not so sweet” coffee is served with honey, and Irish coffee is also available.
Whan Noi Coffee, 105 Moo 2, Photharam 1 Road (near Wat Jet Yod), Muang Chiang Mai. Open daily, 10am-6pm. Call 086-670-0153.
Decorated with stunning contemporary art pieces, Mood Mellow welcomes its clients to chill out and enjoy the bakery in an artful atmosphere, in easily the trendiest area of downtown Chiang Mai _ Nimmanhemin.
The shop was once located on nearby Sirimung Karajan Road, but moved to Nimmanhemin Soi 3 a few years ago for a bigger kitchen. Located close to the main road, the shop is easy to find, however you may need some luck finding a parking space.
Bambino (95 baht), a kind of cheesecake, is the most popular dish here. Decorated with white chocolate shavings and a gooseberry on top, it is rich in premium ingredients and has a slightly sweet taste. The chocolate macaroons (300 baht for 12 pieces) are also popular.
Mood Mellow, 2/5 Nimmanhemin Road Soi 3, Muang Chiang Mai. Open Mon-Sat, 10.30am-8pm. Call 089-118-8000.
Coffizebra has a stylish black and white decor with chic decorative items and graphic designs to help fill the place with creative ideas.
Air conditioning and wi-fi help to make it a sanctuary for teenagers to meet, and for people to take refuge from the busy road outside.
The blueberry cheesecake is quite famous here, however, the banana assorted crepe (50 baht) is also interesting _ the soft crepe sheet wraps banana, whipped cream and chocolate ganache together. Drinks are priced at 40-75 baht.
Coffizebra, 97 Suthep Road (at the junction of Sirorot and Suthep roads), Muang Chiang Mai. Open daily, 9am-11pm. Call 083-325-0030.
W BY WANLAMUN
Located in Chang Moi Road Soi 2, W by Wanlamun is a hi-so restaurant delicately decorated in a Western style.
If you come here, especially for the dessert, you will be seated in its elegant bakery room where cakes and desserts are displayed in a chilled cabinet.
Because of the success of this restaurant, the owner has opened a new outlet on Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Road called Let Them Eat Cake.
All cake here comes in beautifully decorated small portions, making it a nice place to enjoy a break.
French patisserie lovers should not miss the St Honore rose framboise (125 baht), while the chocolate dome (90 baht) has high-quality chocolate mousse covered in a dark chocolate glaze.
W By Wanlamun, 1 Chang Moi Road Soi 2, Muang Chiang Mai. Open Tue-Sun, 11.30am-10pm. Call 053-232-328.
”Butter and no preservatives” is the motto of this bakery, which shares its retail space with Wawee Coffee in Panna Place shopping complex on Nimmanhemin Soi 6, about 100m from the bustling main road. Located in a vibrant area, it is the place people go for coffee and a light meal.
Bread Brasserie is famed for its fresh-baked European bread. You can find a wide selection of wholewheat bread and healthy pastries, while the shop’s show kitchen is open for customers to inspect its cleanliness.
The roasted chicken sandwich (60 baht) is very good with quality bread, fresh vegetables and aromatic roasted chicken. Other signature treats include the garlic bread (50 baht) and the croissants (22 baht).
You can select your bread at this outlet, then order coffee from the adjacent Wawee Coffee.
Bread Brasserie, 30 Nimmanhemin Road Soi 6, Muang Chiang Mai. Open daily, 8am-8pm. Call 053-289-229.
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