Chiang Mai has a vast selection of restaurants, and you will find the choice overwhelming. We love Thai food, but when it is no longer the once a month trip to your local Thai restaurant like it was back home, you can get a bit tired of it.
The good news is that there is such a wide variety of restaurants offering western food that you can eat different food all the time and avoid getting sick of Thai food. Pizza places are a dime a dozen in Chiang Mai; however, the challenge is finding a great pizza without a rip-off price. Just like anywhere in the world Chiang Mai has pizza franchises that will charge ridiculous prices (400 baht and over) for a below-average pizza. Avoid them at all costs.
Finding an amazing pizza can be a bit of work, but we have done the work for you and chosen our three favourite pizza spots, plus the ultimate winner out of the bunch.
Locations of all the spots are on the map at the end of this post.
All the food we have had at the Dukes has been amazing, from ribs to hamburgers and especially their pizza. They offer thin-crust Chicago style pizza, and the pizzas are incredibly huge – even a medium is more than enough for two hungry people.
Pizza sizes are small, medium and large, with prices ranging from 235 baht to 535 baht.
That may sound really expensive when comparing it to most restaurants in Thailand, but I can’t stress enough how giant they are. Also, the 535 baht pizza is the top of the range, an example of one is the Meat Lover’s pizza that includes Italian Sausage, Pepperoni, Meatball and Ham with Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella.
The restaurant is big and can get quite busy and noisy. Go for the food, not the atmosphere.
All the times we had been to The Dukes we had awesome, attentive service. Unfortunately, our last visit wasn’t great and after that day we found other spots that we preferred. We happened to visit the restaurant on an incredibly busy evening. The staff tried to keep on top of orders and service but were clearly run off their feet, as was the kitchen. Collen worked many years in restaurants, so we are very forgiving of situations like this. Our problem was the manager who was more interested in sitting drinking with his mate and then bossing the staff around from his seat. He could clearly see that his staff was overwhelmed, and customers were complaining, yet he just couldn’t be bothered.
This shouldn’t put you off as we had many great experiences at The Dukes on previous occasions.
It’s rare to find a restaurant in Chiang Mai that only serves one type of food. They all seem to offer a broad menu ranging from Western to Thai and plenty in between, which is great when you don’t know what you feel like, but when you feel like pizza, you come to By Hand Café.
By Hand Café does pizza and pizza only. There are no pasta dishes, or salads or Thai food. They do pizza, and they do it well – very well.
At the entrance of the small restaurant, you will find the large clay pizza oven that produces amazing pizzas right in front of your eyes. A wood-burning oven truly makes a different type of pizza.
Our go-to pizza is the Chorizo pizza with extra capers and olives, and fresh basil added when it comes out the oven. Thin, crispy base, drizzled with some chili-infused olive oil and enjoyed with a cold Singha beer.
There’s just one size at By Hand Café, which is a standard pizza size. Our Chorizo pizza with extra capers and olives is 220 baht. We usually share one, which is plenty for us.
The restaurant is small and chilled with tables scattered inside and out. Super chilled with awesome music playing in the background. Enjoy a cold beer (or a few), a delicious pizza, do some people watching and allow the hours to pass you by.
The place is small, so there are normally only three staff members around. Service is always great, and it is always easy to catch someone’s eye even if it happens to be the guy making the pizzas.
Uno Pizza Italy is a small, quiet spot on the moat run by a Thai family. There is a broad menu including pizzas, pasta and salads. We have only tried their pizzas, which are great. They also do pizza by the slice if you are looking for a quick bite.
Our standard choice is the Uno pizza that includes olives, salami, pepper, mushrooms and cheese.
Their pizzas are one standard size, and the Uno pizza costs 189 baht.
Uno Pizza Italy is a long, narrow restaurant with the kitchen at the end. The décor is a little strange and includes random fake flowers, a ceramic parrot and squirrel as well as some cool Italian-themed posters.
Great service and there’s always someone around to get you a cold beer.
The ultimate winner is By Hand Café
By Hand Café ticks all the boxes for us. Brilliant, affordable pizza in a chilled setting made with passion and served by super friendly and competent staff.
Even if you are only in Chiang Mai for a short stay, make sure you pop in for a visit. Alternatively, if you stay here long term, make sure you become a regular like us – I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Have you visited any of these pizza spots? Do you have other favourites that we should add to our list?