Free Bird Cafe

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 43 reviews )

116 Maneenoparat Rd (at Sanam Kila), Chiang Mai, Thailand, 50300

Small NGO cafe offering coffee, smoothies and fruit shakes, vegetarian grilled sandwiches, hummus, salads, and Thai food. All proceeds go to support Thai Freedom House, a language and arts community center for hill tribe and refugee families. Free Wi-Fi, art magazines. Previously located at 28 Santiluk Rd and also Moon Muang Soi prior to that. Open Tue-Sat 9:00am-5:00pm. Closes first weeks of September.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Thai, Western, Burmese

Reviews (43)

First Review by eatyourveggies

Nice atmosphere - Edit

We went here just for a cake that was really deliciuos . The atmosphere is nice And you can relax after a day around the city . They run this place to Help Burmese people and we love this kind of activities . Next time we ll try their food for sure

Pros: Nice atmosphere

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vego cafe with vegan options - Edit

I called into Free Bird Cafe for lunch today (note to self: leave shoes at the door :-) ... I got the vegan pad Thai with a soy latte (฿160) ... I enjoyed the pad Thai despite it being rather bland looking on the plate ... the quality and quanity of the food was very good and the soy latte was ok ... the cafe was clean and cool and the staff friendly and attentive

Pros: vegan options available

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Good variety and wholesome - Edit

I got the Shan salad sampler with rice berry and it was excellent. There are so many items on the menu I want to try including a vegan French toast sandwich with pb and dates and super food smoothie bowls. The small shop also offers homemade kombucha and some natural bath products. Prices are more comparable to Bangkok, but all profits are going to support Burmese refugees :)

Pros: lots of vegan options, emphasis on whole foods, variety and creativity

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good food for a good cause - Edit

I just looove the food there! the prices are a bit high, but I understand why.
if you're in a rush.. don't go here because it's one girl in the kitchen and one waitress (pretty slow).
Wish they were open more early (for breakfast and all) because they also close early.

Pros: a lot off vegan options, amazing fresh food, for a good cause

Cons: expensive , opening/closing time

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Nice food, good cause - Edit

It was very busy. The shan salads were good. I also tried hummus which came with these crispy fries that looked like and had the texture of a deep fried snacks found in 7 eleven but not sugary though and I'm sure they made it themselves.

Drinks were nice, nice choco shake with no sugar in a jar.

Pros: good food for a good cause, centrally situated

Cons: slow service, little pricey for what it was

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best in town-highly recommend - Edit

We felt so healthy and refreshed after our delicious meal here, ready to tackle a full day of touring temples. The food is not only healthy, beautiful, and delicious, but local, organic, and often raw. We had the amazing salad sampler where you can choose 3 of their many salad choices. We had the pumpkin, ginger, and chickpea salads, all with amazing taste and freshness. We also enjoyed their kaosoi curry noodle, and the tempe, which went well with brown rice. Overall, great food, good prices, lovely atmosphere, felt good knowing our patronage also helps Burmese refugee support programs. Highly recommend!

Pros: healthy ingredients, delicious, atmosphere

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Must visit in Chiang Mai - Edit

If you go to Chiang Mai you have to visit the free bird cafe. They have so much variation in their menu it's amazing. There should be something for everyone as long as you like healthy food. The sandwich I had was a bit tasteless, but everything else I tried was really really good. Also it's a charity cafe, so everything you buy is for a good cause. One negative: The place is a bit loud as it's directly near a main street.

Pros: tasty food, nicely decorated, variation, charity

Cons: price, loud location

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Wonderful place - Edit

Great organisation and fantastic food. Wish they opened earlier - 9am is not nearly early enough for breakfast for this early-rising reindeer (and there are so many fantastic breakfast options!). Really tasty food and a great organisation.

Pros: profits go to assisting Burmese refugees, delicious food, vegan options

Cons: doesn't open until 9am

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bam!! love this place!! - Edit

My friend showed me this place not realizing it was a vegan/vegetarian restaurant. She saw a picture on Instagram of the food here and wanted to check it out. It was delicious! Tons of options! If you wanted to try the famous Thailand Khao soi but couldn't because it's egg noodle - come here! They have a lentil noodle instead and vegan version. It's delicious! And lisas smoothie (I think that's the one I had) is one of the best! It's pretty easy to find - on the corner.

Pros: delicious!

Cons: wish it was closer to my hostel

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Organic - Edit

Great initiative from the owners. 2 days a week closed due to study for burmese refugees. And all organic!!

Updated from previous review on 2016-10-08

Pros: Organic!

Cons: Not for work

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Great restaurant, great food, great atmosphere - Edit

I reviewed Free Bird cafe first time 2,5 years ago and now I want to redo it, because the place has got so much better! It´s now one of my favourite Chiang Mai restaurant, or maybe the most favourite.

I love the salads, because I like salty Asian salads that have lots of taste. The Shan salads at Free Bird are something you don´t get vegan in many places at all.

The smoothie bowls (cacao or spirulina) are so good! They are tasty and sweet as I think they should be.

If somebody thinks it´s unhealthy then hey, all vegans don´t want to eat superhealthy food and it would be bad reputation for veganism if everything was superhealthy. I love to get my deep fried, sugary and salty foods. But I would not call the food of Free Bird as unhealthy (and I´ve been vegan for 22 years).

My old review:

I ate tea leaf salad and it was well spiced (not with chili) and good. There was only little bit of fermented tea leaves for taste.

I also had vegan key lime pie, which was not so tasty. It was still frozen.

My spouse had porridge (named warm oats of something) that was supposed to be with coconut milk, but it did not taste like coconut at all. Still it was good.

Nice atmosphere, not too far from any places inside the old town.

Updated from previous review on 2014-03-28

Pros: good salads and smoothie bowls, nice atmosphere, looks nice

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One of the best - Edit

I love Free Bird! Great food, fantastic breakfast (the smoothie bowls... wow) and they no longer serve milk. I love the whole concept as well. This is a must visit when in Chiang Mai! ;)

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Closed - Edit

I visited Free Bird Cafe this week but unfortunately they're closed. Don't know why..

1 Response

reissausta ja ruokaa 14 Sep 2016 - I think they were updating the place. It´s open now.  

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will be back! - Edit

Cafe has a really nice interior! And we were so excitied to try out their food. We ordered vegan pancakes and my sister a gluten free version. It was delicious!! And the Cappuccino I had with it (with home made almond milk) was to die for! Great experience! We were happy to have such a huge selection of vegan food and drinks.

Pros: clean spot, tasty food, a lot of homemade things

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Nice cafe with a cause - Edit

I really liked the mango shake and the hummus sandwich with eggplant! I would have given it 5 star if there was AC...

Pros: Nice food, Charity

Cons: No AC

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Vegan Kao Soi - Edit

Good atmosphere and good cause!
Their vegan kao soi is to die for!

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Very UnHealthy and UnTasty - Edit

I was at FBC today with my wife and 2 y.o. son. We had Samosas, Salad Sampler of 3 and Vegan Pancake (400 baht total).
Here is what I have to say:
If you are on a healthy side of veganism and/but not just for moral reasons you have to stay away from this place.
Thai food is supposed to be spicy but that much salty.
We could barely taste the actual salad. All our mouths could feel was THE SALT. Remember we had sampler of 3! salads? But that were SALT + SALT + little bit of spices + EXTRA SALT! And I can't stress this enough!!!
2. Samosa is DEEP fried. You kinda expect healthy version of a meal at a vegan restaurant? Wrong. You get loads of hydrogenated over time oil. And we have experience of having samosas at other places in Asia - it doesn't have to be fried at all.
3. Vegan pancake is just a piece of dough with A LOT of coconut. Basically - oil again! + Some cane juice pretending to be kinda maple syrup. And some freaking pieces of UNRIPE fruits my son even refused to eat. You could not afford to go to market and buy ripened ones? In THAILAND!!! Really?

I really get where the good reviews are coming from.
Newbies! It is a great place to start if you try to ditch the SAD diet. Loads of salt and oils from vegetable sources + little of unripe fruit is a VEGAN diet and better than SAD. People who is used to a lot of these ingredients probably will be happy. But it is UNHEALTHY!
And for those of you who is on the HEALTHY vegan lifestyle with something like high carb, low fat, low salt approach please stay away for your own sake. You will be disappointed! It is not healthy, not tasty at all and expensive for Thailand. I would give it a one star rating if happycow would have it for a vegetarian restaurant.

On the bright side the place is chill, the waitress is super nice, kind, polite and beautiful. It's the food guys.. sorry..

Pros: Place, Waitress

Cons: Food, Salt, Oil

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Really awesome place! - Edit

Had an amazing fruit salad and coffee here, and it's great to know the money is going for a good cause! Also has a nice second hang store with some interesting stuff :) highly recommended

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