The backyard at the Chiang Mai cafe Rustic & Blue looks like something out of a Bon Appétit shoot. Guests sit on wooden picnic tables and benches or atop pillows piled inside white-canvas teepees. String lights give the whole scene an extra twinkle. But the real star at this popular cafe is the healthy-ish food—like this fried egg served with chunky salsa, roasted pepper hummus, and warm pita.
L.A. chef Chris Ostray helped Chiang Mai native Apiradee “Meen” Piankusol open her dream restaurant a few years back, making his mark with a menu that’s as wholesome as it is awesome. Vegetarians and vegans will feel especially well cared for when they’re digging into a green “smoothie” bowl (Chinese kale, spinach, and apple, flaxseeds, dates, cashew milk, granola, and fruit) or chomping into a bean-and-walnut burger topped with crispy taro, grilled eggplant, a coconut cashew sauce, and sautéed greens. And that’s just the brunch menu. Dinner is served daily and includes heartier fare like fish and chips prepared with fresh sea bass and smoked BBQ pork ribs plated with deep-fried kale.
Diners who want to take a piece of the Rustic & Blue experience home with them may browse the small marketplace area inside the main dining room; Meen sells an array of homemade jams and tea blends to go.
De Marche, Nimman Soi 7, Amphoe Muang Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Thailand; +66-53-216-420.