A little of everything
It’s a bit of everything, really, Chiang Mai’s Archer’s Bar and Restaurant: pub, bar, coffee-shop, Thai eatery and Western restaurant. There are plenty such establishments around on the Chiang Mai restaurant scene, but we’ve singled out Archer’s because, unusually, they actually succeed on every front. From an authentic little espresso through the gamut of Thai classic dishes to traditional-style English dishes that your mum would be proud of (well, if she happened to be English), plus a well-stocked bar of very reasonably priced drinks — it’s all good stuff.
The clientele is also a good mix of expat regulars, English teachers and tourists, but unlike some of the places aimed at expats this place is friendly and welcoming, not snooty and exclusive; and unlike some tourist traps, they won’t rip you off.
There’s a pleasant, albeit small, garden area out back or terrace in front, so this is a decent spot to stop off for a coffee or cold drink break if you’re wandering around the old town. Meals are served from breakfast through to dinner. Thai-wise the chef knocks up great versions of all the faves: tom yum, pad Thai, green and red curries plus their signature Thai dish, massaman curry. Local dishes go for 50 to 70 baht, including rice.
For pub grub look no further than their awesome Sunday roast served between 13:00 and 19:00 every … Sunday. It’s 185 baht for a normal portion, 235 baht for a large — the meal includes lashings of roast beef, oodles of vegetables and some rather good Yorkshire puddings (we’d defy you to finish the large portion.) There’s also Western breakfasts served from 9:00 onwards including a full English at 80 baht while baguettes go for 55 to 80 baht.
Giving Archer’s its pub authenticity is a Sunday evening pub quiz but note the emphasis is very much on having fun and it’s not as serious as certain other local pub quizzes can get. The music’s good and atmosphere convivial and friendly with hosts Mark and Sa, and Saturday nights they hold an unusual discount drinks price dice game.
Order a drink and throw the dice; in your worst-case scenario you’ll just pay full price anyway.
Based in Chiang Mai, Mark Ord has been travelling Southeast Asia for over two decades and first crossed paths with Travelfish on Ko Lipe in the early 1990s.
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