Mango sticky rice is a classic Thai dessert, and it’s very, very easy to see why.
It’s hard to avoid in Chiang Mai — a ton of restaurants serve it, and there are street vendors all over the city that specialize in the stuff. I Googled “best mango sticky rice in Chiang Mai” and wound up at Coconut Shell, and I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical.
The place is exceptionally touristy (if a restaurant in Thailand has a sign up in English advertising that they’re serving Thai food, it’s probably aimed squarely at the tourists), and I was having a hard time believing that it served the best of anything.
I was absolutely, positively wrong. The mango sticky rice was so damn good.
It’s a ridiculously simple dish. Sliced mango, glutinous rice, a bit of coconut milk, and some crispy mung beans for crunch. That’s it. It’s phenomenal.
Obviously, this is a dish that lives and dies on the quality of the mango, which was perfectly ripe, creamy, and sweet, with just a hint of tartness to keep things interesting. It works amazingly well with the fresh, chewy rice and the hint of creamy coconut flavour from the milk. And the crunchy pops you get from the mung beans do a great job of adding some contrasting texture. It’s an absurdly satisfying dessert.
How to find it: Their sign is large and in English, so there won’t be any issues finding the place.