Photo Credit: TN
Traveler Story: I Found The Best Fried Chicken In The World In Chiang Rai, Thailand
There’s no doubt in my mind that living in Thailand was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. No longer living under the pressures of the western world and, of course, getting to eat like a bandit every day. The food in Thailand alone is worth the 18-hour flight from New York City.
Not only do I have a new appreciation of Thai cuisine, but the people provide great customer service and also specialize in learning how to prepare dishes from all parts of the world.
I was already 6 months in the country when I came across this gem of a location in Northern Thailand called Chivit Thamma located in Chiang Rai. Chiang Rai is mostly known for the Wat Rong Khun aka the “White Temple”, The Golden Triangle, and the mountain of Doi Tung.
The best way to get to Chiang Rai is through a private car from Chiang Mai, and if you throw in a few thousand baht you can have a personal driver for the day. Usually in preparation for these kinds of excursions I search through restaurant reviews online, find out what people say are the best places to stop and get a bite, and then add them to my itinerary.
Chivit Thamma was the perfect example of don’t judge a book by its cover, but you’ll find a lot of great experiences in Thailand are exactly that as well. Chivit Thamma Coffee House, Bistro & Bar was built within a garden that sits facing the Kok river, with beautiful indoor decor and outdoor seating it was hard to decide where to even sit. You can order food anywhere on the grounds, and the tasty signature drinks add to the atmosphere this location provides.
While chopping it up with some locals, I decided to order the fried chicken as a starter. I wasn’t expecting to find the most perfectly fried chicken in the world. The skin was crispy but also light in its flavor, similar to a tempura fry, and the meat was tender as if it were baked in a rotisserie as it slid off the bone on every bite. It was so good that two years later I’m writing this article, and I’m beginning to salivate over it.
As I was leaving to my Airbnb, I placed an order to go. I needed to make sure that standing outside in 100 degree weather trying to take pictures near a temple didn’t put my hunger in a state of stress where I believed anything I ate would’ve tasted this good.
A few hours later, after a 4-hour ride back to Chiang Mai, I log on to Netflix to kick my feet up and binge-watch Dexter. I pull the chicken out of the bag for a bite. My mind definitely wasn’t playing tricks on me. I found the best fried chicken in the world at Chivit Thamma in Chiang Rai.