Imm Aim Vegetarian Cafe is one of those places you have to work a little to get to. Both times I came here I spent a little time locating it in the quaint back streets - but this isn't necessarily a bad thing. You always want to work up your appetite before heading out for a big meal.
Imm Aim is a celebrated vegetarian restaurant in Chiang Mai, located on its own in a residential area quite off the main drag - although it is still reasonably easy to access. If you are new to the city take a motorbike or a bicycle, or consider getting dropped off along Huay Kaew Road and walking the rest of the way there.
You will find the cafe easy to spot as it has a clear sign and there are usually a line of bikes out front. The place is about laid-back outdoor dining. Charming though this is, like with all outdoor dining in Chiang Mai, be aware that mosquitoes will be an issue - especially at night. Although the restaurant will provide you with insect repellent, you would be wise to bring your own.
Like many vegetarian restaurants in Chiang Mai, their menu is pretty extensive. There are a fair amount of options here - some Thai-focused, a fair few fusion creations, and some Western dishes. As with most vegetarian restaurants in this city there are lots of raw juices and smoothies on the menu.
My own view on Imm Aim is that it is a decent vegetarian restaurant - but it does depend upon what you order. It seems like there are different ends of the spectrum here, and for me while the stir fries were completely unremarkable, the spicy rice-salads were outstanding.
There are surprises too, which may delight or disappoint. The Massaman curry was a nice dish - sweetened with pineapple and carrot, but not what you might be expecting when ordering a Massaman Curry, as this is often a far more savoury dish.
I definitely enjoy the iced teas at Imm Aim. The cinnamon, ginger and mint flavours come through in the teas, and this is just the kind of freshness you need to contrast some of the slightly heavier and spicier dishes.
This is a good place to come with a few friends, as there is space to spread out on the benches and longer tables, but being located outside, I'd be giving it a miss during rainy weather. There are a number of dishes that are vegan-friendly too, so this is a point in Imm Aim's favour.
Imm Aim get points for the prices, which are reasonable for the type of fare on offer. There are some dishes unique to Imm Aim, which I haven't seen elsewhere in Chiang Mai, so be sure to check it out and enjoy a slightly different take on Thai vegetarian cuisine. Takeaways are available via Food Panda.