As a travelling coffee lover, it can be tough finding great espresso in backwater destinations like Pai.
Type into Google: “Best coffee shops in Pai”, and you’re confronted by a heap of mediocre cafes, each recommended in articles written by passing tourists.
Even TripAdvisor misses the really good coffee spots.
So how can you find the best coffee amongst all this noise?
Well luckily, you found me.
I love coffee. I’m a trained barista. And I live in Pai.
In this quick post, I‘ll share with you the hidden gems in Pai’s seemingly endless list of coffee shops.
In fact, I’ll share with you the cafes where locals drink their coffee.
So without further ado, here are the 5 best coffee shops in Pai.
1. The Pedlar
Only a few months since it opened, The Pedlar is already regarded as the best coffee shop in Pai. I’ll leave the pictures below to speak for themselves.
The Pedlar offers specialty coffee along with home baked goodies like old fashioned-donuts, brownies & fresh daily cakes.
As well as coffee and cakes, The Pedlar has a small menu with brunch classics like grilled cheese sandwiches, bagels, avocado toast & croque madame.
If you love good coffee, The Pedlar should be your number 1 choice.
Cafecito’s popularity for Mexican food is undeniable, and the coffee is no afterthought. In fact, Cafecito’s coffee is amongst the best rated coffee in Pai— and was number 1 until The Pedlar came along.
Alongside its great coffee, Cafecito serves authentic Mexican food, with an all-day breakfast menu & a short list of well-prepared Mexican classics.
The in-house baker makes all their breads and flour tortillas from scratch, with a daily selection of home-baked cakes as well.
Most of the food-action in Pai hangs around the walking street, whereas Cafecito is located on the sleepier side of Pai. It’s one of those hidden gem cafes that requires a short walk — or an even shorter bike ride — but it’ll be well worth the effort.
Khaota has a loyal following amongst local Thais in Pai, so much so that even in this small town, they have two locations.
Khaota roast their own coffee in-house using locally sourced Thai coffee beans, and though a little on the darker side, the coffee is nonetheless good.
Aside from the occasional cookie, there’s no food menu at Khaota, so don’t plan for breakfast here.
4. Analog Cafe
In keeping with Thailand’s street food culture, Analog Cafe is less of a cafe and more of a coffee cart.
The cart, as the name would suggest, does not use any electric machinery — everything is analog. Hand ground coffee, gas boiled kettle and slow poured technique, everything here is done slowly, by hand.
You can find Analog Cafe in the mornings on the second half of walking street, outside Boom Burger restaurant.
As a street cart style coffee shop, the “cafe” makes use of Boom Burger for seating whilst the restaurant is closed.
5. Puri Pai Cafe
A sister cafe to the famous 5 star Pai hotel, Puripai. This small open fronted cafe at the front end of Pai walking street offers a selection of baked goods alongside locally sourced coffee.
Fun fact: on the drive to Pai from Chiang Mai, you pass a cafe called “Coffee Hill” which is actually the coffee farm where Puri Pai Cafe sources their beans. Keepin’ it local!
Find Puri Pai Cafe: on Google Maps →