When I first got to Chiang Mai I decided to go straight to Free Bird Cafe for breakfast, as I had heard so many good things about it from fellow travelers. Alas, it was Monday and Free Bird was closed. And really this is the only mild complaint I have about Free Bird. Sure it is totally selfish to want the workers not to get a day off, but after tasting the absolutely amazing pickled green tea leaf salad, you will understand why I would love to see it open 7 all days.
Aside from that first day and the next Monday, I went to Free Brid everyday while I visited Chiang Mai. Sometimes for breakfast, sometimes for lunch, sometimes just for tea, I was instantly smitten with cafe with an amazing consious. The staff are beyond friendly and you can tell they love that you are there. They constantly offered to add hot water to my tea, even when I was more than willing to buy another pot.
The prices are beyond reasonable. And as I said before the Pickled green tea leaf salad was extraordinary. Facts are facts: this is beyond a doubt my favorite salad I have ever eaten. I ordered two the day I left Chiang Mai. And really & truly, as my bus got further and further away from Chaing Mai I wondered why I did not order a third.
As an added bonus there is a used clothing store on site. Sadly for me, most of the clothes are ladies, but I bought a few t shirts for myself and a dress and a few shirts for the lady I love.
That all profits go towards helping Burmese refugees makes what was already an amazing cafe near perfect.
Please note that during the week the cafe closes at 4:30 for good reason, as it morphs into an education center for those same Burmese refugees.
I can't lie, I more than 1/2 wanted to move to Chaing Mai and live next door to Free Bird Cafe, alas the stars were not aligned for this. But I can say any visit to Chaing Mai without a/numerous visit/s to Free Bird = you not doing it right. And if you are lucky you will be able to meet the amazingly adorable neighborhood kitty that will curl up next to you as you read/write/enjoy your tea/meal -- such an added bonus to such an amazing place.
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