Where to Take a Cooking Class in Chiang Mai

If you love to explore other cultures through food, you  must enroll in a cooking class while visiting Chiang Mai, Thailand. You don’t have to be a cooking pro to learn how to make some of Thailand’s top dishes at a Chiang Mai cooking class.

One of the top tourist activities in Chiang Mai to to take a cooking class. There’s no better way to experience the food culture than to participate in the making of the top dishes. During a class, you will tour a local food market with a pro to see and select all the ingredients you’ll need to make and taste the dishes on the menu.

The options include a taking a half day or full day Chiang Mai cooking class in the city or on a farm outside the city. There are many classes to choose from, so we’re going to break down the options for you here to make your decision a little easier to make.

» Prepare for your Chiang Mai cooking class by learning about all the wonderful Thai dishes you’ll be making.
» If you’re planning to visit other parts of Thailand, check out our Thailand Travel Guide for more information on where to go and what to do.
Nick cooking
Nick making spring rolls

What is a Chiang Mai Cooking Class Like?

Most of the cooking schools in Chiang Mai follow a similar format. Following your pickup, you will visit a local market to gather ingredients, then return to the cooking school to begin preparing your meal.

Depending on what length of class you choose, you will be making anywhere from 4-6 dishes. The dishes you can make vary from school to school and from lunch to dinner. In most cases, you’ll be given a menu of possible dishes, and you can select the ones you’d like to make for your courses.

At a good cooking school. the ratio of students to teachers is kept small so you can ask questions and receive personalized assistance. Good schools also have enough cooking station for each student, so you don’t have to share, unless you want to.

You will generally do all of your own chopping, rolling and frying. And when you’re done, you will be able to eat the fruits of your labor with your fellow students. It is not typical for a class to include alcohol, but you are often given the opportunity to buy or bring your own, if you wish.

Pad Thai with Chicken and Shrimp
Pad Thai with Chicken and Shrimp

How to Choose a Chiang Mai Cooking Class

When you start looking for a cooking class to take in Chiang Mai, you’ll find out that there are dozens available. Literally. Dozens. Look at their websites and you’ll start to feel like they’re all the same. How can you choose from dozens of similar classes, all with great 5-star ratings on Trip Advisor?
I’m not going to say that there’s one best class to choose. No matter what, you’ll have to pick between a few. That’s because there are different criteria to take into consideration. Each type of class has pros and cons. Which one you choose depends greatly on what you want to get out of the class.
So ask yourself these questions. Your answers will narrow down the choices quite a bit. We’ll go over each of these questions in more details below.

  • How long do you want to spend at the cooking class?
  • Do you want to stay in the city, or would you rather go outside of town to a farm?
  • What is your budget?
  • Where can you cook the dishes you want?
  • Do you require a vegan or vegetarian cooking class?
  • Do you want to go to the market to gather ingredients?

Once you have your preferences set, you can see our list of the top cooking classes in Chiang Mai below and find the one that suits your preferences.

Chiang Mai Cooking Class Length

There are full-day and half-day cooking courses. You’ll first need to choose which one suits you best. If you’re trying to fit this in with other activities during the day, you will want to choose a half-day class. You’ll also want to keep in mind that you’ll be eating all of the courses you make during the class. So if you have a big dinner planned for the evening of your morning class, you’ll need to rework your schedule. You will go home absolutely full.

Below are the typical length and time frames for the various classes:

  • Morning class begins at 9am, ends at 4pm; includes 6 courses.
  • Half-Day class begins at 9am, ends at 1pm; includes 4 courses.
  • Evening class begins at 3:30pm, ends at 8pm; includes 5 courses (no dessert).

City Class vs Farm Class

There are plenty of classes to take inside the city. These are easy to get to and don’t require extra driving to get there. You will typically walk to and from the closest market. The class will take place inside a house or apartment in the city.

The pros of a city class are close proximity, visiting a smaller local market without tourists, and typically a smaller class size due to space constraints.

The alternative to a city class is one that takes place in the countryside at a farm. You’ll be picked up from your local accommodations and driven to the market and the farm. Farm classes often have more people because there’s more space, but that doesn’t mean you won’t still get your own cooking station.

The pros of a farm class are that you’ll get to visit a working farm outside the city and have a chance to see some of the countryside. And you’ll get pick vegetables that are being grown on the property and are as fresh as it gets.

Cost of the Class

Prices for cooking classes in Chiang Mai vary, but you shouldn’t be spending any more than around 800-1200 Thai baht for any class. If you’re paying more than that, it’s overpriced. All of the popular and best cooking classes cost around that amount. That’s around $25-30 USD or £20-25.

If you want to book a private cooking class, you can expect to pay more. Depending on the number of people included in your private class, you might pay around 1000-1500 baht each for a half-day class.

Cook the Dishes You Want

Most schools have similar menus which include an appetizer, soup, curry paste, curry or main dish, noodle dish and dessert. If you want to learn to make something specific, like the Chiang Mai specialty Kao Soi, you’ll have to search the menus for a class that offers it.

Most of the menus feature Thai favorites like Pad Thai, Spring Rolls, Som Tom, Tom Kha Gai and mango with sticky rice, among others.

Some of the dishes you can make:

Vegan & Vegetarian Options

If you need a vegan or vegetarian menu at your Chiang Mai cooking class, there are two ways to go about it. You can either go to a school that is dedicated vegan/vegetarian, or you can  pick a school that offers a special menu. Often, the special menu has plenty of choices and that will be good enough. However, it’s wise to check with the school about things like fish sauce and cooking oil, as those ingredients are not vegan/vegetarian friendly.

Chiang Mai farmers market

Visiting the Farmer’s Market

Most of the cooking schools visit a local farmer’s market for the ingredients to the dishes you’ll be making. There are markets all over Chiang Mai, so you won’t be visiting the major tourist markets, you’ll be visiting the local market near to the school location. This gives a unique opportunity to see the local markets and to learn more about the ingredients from the chef as you walk around.

If you’d rather not visit the local market, you can book a private cooking class and let them know your preferences. Thai Akha’s evening class also does not include a market tour.

The farm class visits the local market and then includes a walk around the farm to see the vegetables and plants that are growing there.

Top Cooking Schools in Chiang Mai

Now that you know what you’re looking for in a Chiang Mai cooking class, you can easily choose the right one for you.

Below are our favorite, and highly recommended, cooking classes. You can book these through the links we’ve given below (which are affiliate links for which we earn a small commission), or you can go directly to their websites to book. Since all of these classes follow the same structure, which we’ve already gone over above, we’ll just give you the important details of each.

1. Thai Akha Cooking Class in Chiang Mai

Schedule

Morning class: 9am – 3pm; includes market tour; cost: 1100 baht
Evening class: 5pm – 9pm, no market tour; cost: 1000 baht

Menu – Make a total of 11 dishes

2 appetizers (papaya salad, fried spring rolls)
2 desserts (pumpkin in coconut milk, mango sticky rice)
3 Akha dishes (Akha soup, salad and Sapi Thong)
1 Curry (green, massaman, panang, red) + 1 curry paste
1 Stir-fry (chicken with cashews, chicken with hot basil, Pad Thai, Sweet and sour chicken)
1 Soup (Chicken & coconut milk, Clear soup with Egg Tofu, Hot & Sour Prawn)

Details

  • Pick up available within 3 km of the city center
  • All students have their own cooking station
  • All dishes can be made vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, and in accordance with other allergies
Book Here

2. Galangal Cooking Studio

Schedule

Morning class: 9am – 3pm; includes market tour; 6 dishes, including; stir-fry, soup, making curry paste, curry, appetizer and Thai dessert; cost: 1000 baht

Evening class: 4pm – 8:30pm, includes market tour; 5 dishes, including; stir-fry, soup, making curry paste, curry, and appetizer; cost: 800 baht

Half Day Course: 9am – 1:30pm; includes market tour;  4 dishes, including; stir-fry, soup, curry and appetizer; cost: 800 baht

Menu

Stir Fry: pad thai, pad see ew, chicken with cashews, minced pork or chicken with basil
Soup: hot and sour prawl, chicken in coconut milk, seafood in coconut milk, hot and sour with pork or chicken
Curry: Massaman, Green, Panang, Chiang Mai Noodle with Chicken
Appetizers: Papaya Salad, Spring Rolls, Chicken Salad, Glass Noodle Salad
Dessert: Mango and Sticky Rice, Deep Fried Bananas, Banana in coconut milk, Pumpkin in coconut milk

Details

  • Pick up available within the Chiangmai, Muang district
  • Price includes a recipe cookbook
  • All students have their own cooking station
  • All dishes can be made in accordance with dietary restrictions and allergies
  • Water included, opportunity to purchase alcoholic drinks
  • Closed on Sunday

Book Here

3. TomYumThai Cooking School

Schedule

Morning class: 9am – 1:30pm; includes market tour; cost: 800 baht
Evening class: 4pm – 8:30pm, includes market tour; cost: 800 baht

Menu

6 dishes of your choice: stir fry, soup, appetizer, curry paste and curry, dessert
 
Stir fry: pad thai, pad see ew, chicken with cashews
Soup: Hot and sour prawn, chicken in coconut milk, Thai noodle soup
Appetizers: Papaya Salad, Spring Rolls, Cucumber Salad
Curry + Paste: Green, Panang, Khao Soi
Dessert: Mango and Sticky Rice

Details

  • Pick up available within the Chiangmai
  • Price includes a recipe cookbook
  • All students have their own cooking station
  • All dishes can be made in accordance with dietary restrictions and allergies
  • Water, tea, coffe included

Book Here

4. Thai Farm Cooking School

Schedule

Full day: 9am – 4pm; includes market tour and tour around organic farm; 6 dishes, including; stir-fry, soup, making curry paste, curry, appetizer and Thai dessert; cost: 1500 baht

Half Day Course: 9am – 1:30pm; includes market tour;  4 dishes, including; stir-fry, soup, curry and appetizer; cost: 800 baht

Menu

Curry & Curry Paste: Green, red, yellow
Soup: Tom Yam with Shrimp, Chicken in coconut milk, Thai vegetable soup

On Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun: chicken with cashews, Spring Rolls, Mange & Sticky Rice
On Tues, Thurs, Sat: Pad Thai, Chicken with Basil, Banana in coconut milk

Details

  • The school is approximately 17 kms from Chiang Mai city
  • Price includes a recipe cookbook
  • All students have their own cooking station
  • All dishes can be made in accordance with dietary restrictions and allergies, including vegan and vegetarian
  • Tea and water included
Book Here

5. We Love Green – Vegan & Vegetarian Cooking School

Schedule

Half Day Course: 9am – 1pm or 2pm – 6pm; includes market tour;  11 dishes, including Chili Paste, Curry Paste, Peanut Sauce, Fresh Spring Roll, Red Curry, Green Curry, Yellow Curry, Tom Yum Soup, Pad Thai, Papaya Salad and Mango Sticky Rice. Cost: 1500 baht.

Express Evening Class: 7pm – 9pm, includes 5 dishes; Cost: 1100 baht

Details

  • The school is approximately 17 kms from Chiang Mai city
  • Price includes a recipe cookbook
  • All students have their own cooking station
  • All dishes are Vegan/Vegetarian
Book Here

CONCLUSION

A reason the reviews are always so high for the cooking schools on Trip Advisor is that they’re great fun and a very rewarding experience. If you’re on the fence about whether to do it, you should. Taking a cooking class in Chiang Mai will be one of the best memories.

Of course, sometimes it’s just easier to eat out in Chiang Mai and let someone else cook you amazing food. If that’s the route you take, check out this guide on where and what to eat in Chiang Mai.

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Where to Take a Cooking Class in Chiang Mai Where to Take a Cooking Class in Chiang Mai

Where to Take a Cooking Class in Chiang Mai

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