Chiang Mai offers a variety of cuisine, ranging from French gastronomy to Tex-Mex. But the real culinary experience is in the street, with numerous food carts offering fresh food cooked on the spot. Ask for any kind of popular dish and make sure you specify your spice level if you want to keep your taste buds intact. Dishes like pad krapow gai (fried basil with chicken and rice), som tam (papaya salad), and khao soi (noodles in a coconut curry soup) are popular. For a milder experience, enjoy pad thai (stir-fried noodles) or khao pad (fried rice) in smaller restaurants. Vegetarians can order the same dishes and replace the meat with tofu.