You don't need to worry about food in Chiang Mai. Tasty food of all sorts can easily be found. 7-11 everywhere is 24 hours in case you need a late night snack (they sell toasties!)
← The northern specialty is khao soi, noodles in curry soup with crispy egg noodles as a topping — I wasn't really a fan although it didn't really have any unappealing flavors.

It's very easy to find Western Food, especially pasta, burgers, and even Mexican food. You can get Western breakfast, but don't be surprised if you see mini hot dogs passed off as sausages and pathetic pieces of bacon or ham.

street vendor / food cart
- little or no English
- running water / refrigeration
- plastic/disposable dishes

~฿ 20 - 35

local eatery
- little or no English
- indoor seating
- plastic dishes

~฿ 30 - 35+

touristy restaurant
- some/good English
- English/picture menu
- nicer atmosphere

~฿ 50- 120+

There are lots of restaurants to choose from, local ones with meat over rice for 30 baht or more touristy ones with both Thai and Western dishes starting at 60 baht. There are lots of options — most touristy restaurants within the Old City will have picture/English menus.

Common Thai Dishes

I'm not the most adventurous eater so I stick with "safe" but tasty dishes — no mystery meat, please ( Moo = pork ; Gai = chicken ). I also don't eat overly spicy food ( Mai Ped = not spicy ) — sometimes, when you ask for "not spicy" food, it will still be a little bit spicy. If you're like me, these are some dishes you can try that almost every restaurant will serve, which most non-Thai people have no problem eating. I made these during Thai cooking class :

Tom kha kai ต้มข่าไก่
= coconut soup with chicken, my fav!

Kaeng khiao wa แกงเขียวหวาน
= green curry, sometimes a bit spicy

Pad Thai ผัดไทย
= fried rice noodles with eggs,
bean sprouts, and ground peanuts

Som tam Thai ส้มตำไทย
= green papaya salad...
could be a bit spicy!

"Safe" Dishes

Of course being in Thailand is the perfect opportunity to try awesome Thai food filled with herbs and spices, but these are some flavorful yet usually non-spicy "safe" dishes that I quite like. They can be found in most restaurants and usually cost 30-80 baht depending on the restaurant you go to :

Khao khai chiao ข้าวไข่เจียว =
Omelette on rice, usually with minced pork

Stir-fried morning glory or kale
with garlic and pork/chicken if you want

Khao man kai ข้าวมันไก่ =
Steamed chicken on rice, sometimes slightly gingery

Crispy chicken or pork on rice,
usually served with soup

Khao phat sapparot ข้าวผัดสับปะรด =
Pineapple Fried Rice

Basil with mushrooms and shrimp, with rice.
You can also get this with pork or chicken instead.

Roadside Desserts

Don't miss your chance to try pre-cut tropical fruit in little packets at 10 - 20 baht each!

Try kanom krok (20 baht), a delicious snack made of flour, sugar, & coconut cream!

Roti or rotee (10-40+ baht) is a rectangular or circular Indian pancake
with your choice of topping (chocolate, nutella, condensed milk, egg, ...) typically sold by Muslims.

Favorite Restaurants
Mamory Delicious, about halfway between Old City's East Gate and the southeast corner, has unbelievable good Thai and Western food. They have a giant picture menu with detailed description of what's in each dish in several languages. Prices were not cheap but reasonable (~80-100 baht for Thai dishes and more for Western ones). Most restaurants in Thailand serve pretty decent food, but the food here was unusually amazing! I don't know what they put in their dishes, but the food we ordered every time was really just incredible! Beer came in an ice-cold mug. The Dutch owner came around and chatted with customers.
Come Chiangmai, in the southeast corner of the Old City, is actually a hotel with really awesome food and fruit shakes (55 baht each). Dishes are ~80-150 baht and they also have roti pancakes! Sit out back in their beautiful walled garden for a relaxing meal. I really loved their stir-fried kale with pork!
Sticky Rice Cafe, just south of Old City's East Gate near the Thapae Boxing Stadium, is a cute little restaurant with tasty and well-presented dishes!

You can choose little tapas or chicken/pork dishes over the most delicious brown rice for 55 baht a pop. If you want shrimp instead, it's 80 baht per dish. Vegetarian dishes (kale / fried tofu) are also available!