Free Bird Cafe Chiang Mai

Free Bird Café Chiang Mai

Free Bird Cafe Chiang Mai Thailand

Free Bird Café is part of one of Chiang Mai’s most well-known not-for-profit charities, Thai Freedom House.

You can eat at Free Bird Café knowing that the money you pay for a hearty meal goes to supporting Thai Freedom House. And with the delicious food that Free Bird makes, you’ll feel good about the food, and the cause it assists.

So who does Thai Freedom house asisst? It’s a non-government, not-for-profit community language and arts learning center in Northern Thailand. It assists Burmese refugees and Indigenous people of Northern Thailand, through teaching Thai and English language and culture, and as a resource centre for the community. They also provide necessities like mosquito nets, beds, and clothing to construction camp workers in Chiang Mai.

Thai Freedom house is funded mostly by the owner’s funding, and the public’s donations. Free Bird Café is located on the site of the education centre, and the revenue from this café also subsidises the work Thai Freedom house does.

And did I mention delicious food? Free Bird Café serves organic vegetarian food along with smoothies, juices, coffeees and desserts.

Finding a place where the highly carnivorous North Nomad and the very vegan me can eat together is often quite a challenge! But we’ve found a somewhat medium ground at vegetarian cafes: all day breakfast.

Our friends Konstanze, Karl and Lindsey take us for brunch at Free Bird Café.  It’s one of the first places we visited when we arrived in Chiang Mai.

Free Bird Cafe Chiang Mai Thailand

North Nomad chooses one of his favourites – French toast. Sometimes even someone who loves meat doesn’t realise one of their favourite dishes is technically vegetarian.  It’s a little healthier looking than North Nomad is used to with his French toast, and comes with a liberal sprinkling of raw sugar. Still, he eats it up and cleans his plate.

Free Bird Cafe Chiang Mai Thailand

Konstanze chooses the papaya salad, and explains to me that in Chiang Mai, most papaya salad is made with dried shrimp and/or shrimp paste. She’s a vegetarian, and teaches me how to order papaya salad in Thai, so that it’s okay for vegetarians and vegans: mai sai goong (without shrimp), mai sai kung kaeng ka pi (without shrimp paste). She adores papaya and is a huge fan of the salad here, commenting on how delicious it is.

Free Bird Cafe Chiang Mai Thailand

Karl chooses the Khao Soi. In fitting with the background of the restaurant, it’s a Burmese inspired vish. It’s definitely the prettiest dish of the day. The vibrant colours of this veggie, noodle curry seem to explode from the bowl. If the noodles weren’t egg based, I would definitely like to try this. The bright colours want to lure me in!

Free Bird Cafe Chiang Mai Thailand

Lindsey orders the gluten free pancakes. This is a bit of a novelty item for her with her severe allergies. When it comes out, it looks more like an omelette to me. It’s tasty, but lacks the characteristic flour fluffiness of pancakes.

Free Bird Cafe Chiang Mai Thailand

I order the sticky rice and a Muay Thai smoothie. I accidentally pronounce the smoothie as if it’s a cocktail (mai tai) and Karl helps me with the pronunciation. My sticky rice cakes are interesting! I’d expected them to be fried, but the stickness keeps the shape of the red rice cakes together.

I go to eat the rice cakes on their own, when Konstanze mentions she’s seen other people dip a bit of ricecake on their spoon into the liquid provided. It’s a nice broth made with aromatics like coriander, and onion and chilli. It gives the ricecakes a tasty kick.

Free Bird Cafe Chiang Mai Thailand

We all left Free Bird Café with full bellies, feeling happy. I hear that Free Bird Café also does delicious desserts. I’m going to have to go for another visit. Keep your fingers crossed for me that there is a vegan dessert or two that I can indulge in!

Website: Freedom House Charity Free Bird Café does not have a website, it has a Facebook page – this is very common in Chiang Mai for businesses to have a Facebook page in place of a website:

Location & Contact Details: Thai Freedom House/Free Bird Café 116 Maneenoparat Road, Chiang Mai 50300 Thailand (It’s very easy to find, on the moat.) email: 081 028 5383

Opening Hours: Tues-Sat 9am-5pm



16 thoughts on “Free Bird Cafe Chiang Mai

    • I always throw in a mai sai nam plah (no fish sauce) as well, just for good measure! There’s fish sauce in everything here, unless you’re eating specifically at a veggie/vegan restaurant.

  1. I love eateries that help support different awesome causes! <3 Back when I was in grad school, I used to frequent a food truck that used only locally grown ingredients and they'd donate a meal to the local soup kitchen for each meal that they sold! 😀

    The rice cakes you ordered look delicious (+ the French toast! :D!)! <3

    • That’s a fantastic idea for a food truck, too. It’s such a nice feeling knowing that you’re helping a good cause. And yep, with delicious food too! 🙂

  2. I definitely thought that the pancakes were like omelets/crepes. I always love seeing the different little variations in the way people produce the same idea! And the raw sugar definitely would be magical on the French Toast. Or raw brown sugar…. mmm…. I love that the proceeds go to benefit the charity. You can always feel the love in those situations 😀 What’s in the smoothie? Is is ferocious, like the fighters? 😉

    • I hope we can make it again soon. We’ve been in Chiang Mai since October last year, but we live up past the Nimman area closer to Doi Suthep, so we don’t go into Old City very often!

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