There is no café I adore more in Chiang Mai than Dada Kafé. Opened three years ago by Khun Da it’s the perfect place to get healthy food that not only tastes delicious but is also well-priced. During our last trip we begged them to consider opening a branch in Bangkok so we can get a daily smoothie hit. They also have free wi-fi so I could email food pictures as I went, hooray.
It’s situated on Ratmakka Road, which is around five minutes walk from the Tha Pae Gate. It stands out on a shabby row of buildings, gleaming green and surrounded by plants and flowers. You feel healthier just sitting in the place, especially if like me you spend most of your time dodging traffic in Bangkok. There is space to sit both inside and out, although at night there can be some mozzies so take some spray just in case. Food wise, it’s super tasty and mostly healthy. I went back regularly just to ensure I could give a full picture of the menu.
Try the large bowls of porridge with mango or mixed fruits. They hit the spot if you are planning to explore, you’ll get all the energy you need to last you until lunchtime from one of these. Boost your vitamin intake with one of the juices or smoothies; fresh apple and ginger juice has a real kick to it, or if you are feeling low try one of their pick-me-ups which the owners told us can help with all kinds of ailments from bad eyes to digestion. For the hardcore there are even shots of wheat grass (no thank you). For those out there who don’t like sweet things at every meal there are plenty of egg dishes, or my personal favourite: toast with avocado, lime and tomato.
Lunch and Dinner
There is so much salad in Dada’s sandwiches (you can pick from three different types of bread) they can be hard to fit it in your mouth. Chose from a variety of fillings including some quality chicken and juicy bacon. Whilst the vegetable burger wasn’t perfect, I couldn’t get enough of their chicken burger with sour yoghurt cucumber salad. The food isn’t all western style, they offer a great range of Asian dishes including a very comforting rice soup, the hearty broth was jam-packed with veggies; and some spicy massaman curry and brown rice. Wash all this down with a peanut butter smoothie, slightly more sinful than the morning smoothies. They also serve a range of beer and wine.
There is a time to be healthy and a time to indulge. Dada has a short but sinful list of desserts including German cheesecake, pancakes and handmade chocolates. In the name of research we worked our way through them all, and I even tried the pancakes with honey and mango twice. A slice of tiramisu balanced the coffee and cream notes perfectly and German cheesecake is light, fluffy and not too sugary. Get a pot of fresh ginger tea to accompany those delectable dark chocolates.Address: Dada Kafe Chiang Mai, Ratmakka Rd 20/1 | Phra Singh, Chiang Mai, 50200 Tel: 053-449718 Open: From 9am till 9pm except on Sundays, where they close at 4pm