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One for the Road: Cocktails and jazz at the brutalist Noir CMI bar

We end our trip to Chiang Mai with a visit to one of the city’s hottest new (and hidden) openings. Read on for our review for Noir CMI. 

In all our years of checking out secret bars and hidden gems across Thailand, none of have been so tricky to find and so rewarding to enter as Noir CMI. One last drink and we go home: here’s why you should check out this very hip urban jazz bar in Chiang Mai. 

Bar Review: Cocktails and jazz at the brutalist Noir CMI bar

noir bar chiang mai
Image Credit: Lifestyle Asia


Noir CMI is not an easy bar to find. Located in the parking lot of the Petch Ngam Hotel, the bar lies behind an unsuspecting door tucked to the side of an abandoned hotel. A quiet white light sign helps lead the way, though even after 15 minutes of scouring the parking lot, it didn’t help us much. Prepare for a bit of an adventure, and be soothed by the prize that awaits indoors. It’s a best-kept secret in many ways. An insider tip to finding the door? Look for the red light. Once you find the red light, the white light isn’t far. 

Image Credit: Lifestyle Asia


Once inside Noir CMI, a brutalist interior dominates the space, somewhat still in keeping with the abandoned aura of the area outside. Strong, imposing concrete structures are contrasted with retro furniture and warm tones, as live jazz or vinyl jazz music fills the room. The setting makes you feel like you’re at a secret industrial bunker salon party, and the crowd is cool enough to suit. 

You can sit at the bar, or you can sit at more intimate tables facing the band. The “interactive space for jazz people” is welcoming to all. Whilst classic jazz is played for the most part, the band surprised us with some pop-culture favourites, too. On our visit, the room lit up when they played a rendition of Toy Story’s ‘You Got A Friend in Me.’

noir bar chiang mai
Image Credit: Lifestyle Asia


This isn’t your average watering hole, so don’t expect your average prices. Noir CMI is more expensive than most other cocktail bars in Chiang Mai, though its price range fits right in with most other craft cocktail bars in Bangkok, at around THB 400 per cocktail. 

The jazz theme continues into the menu, with a series of inventive cocktails named after the jazz greats: Frank Sinatra, Chet Baker, and Louis Armstrong, to name a few. There are also a number of classic cocktails with unique Asian twists, which we enjoyed greatly. Take the Ume 75, for example, which is a French 75 made with Umeshu and chrysanthemum. The Kombu Fizz, on the other hand, takes the classic gin fizz and gives it a kombu infusion with Lillet Blanc. It is a drinks list that very much brings together the elements of jazz and the ingredients of being in Asia.

For those who prefer to keep things ABV or completely non-alcoholic, Chiang Mai’s beloved Intangible Cocktail Bar has also devised a non-alcoholic drinks list for the venue. 

noir bar chiang mai
Image Credit: Lifestyle Asia


Noir CMI is one of the few new bars in Chiang Mai that is truly elevating the local cocktail scene. The ambience is laid-back and effortlessly cool, and the drinks are sophisticated. The entertainment program is elegant and inspired. Whilst the bar is the work of the team behind Bangkok’s Alone Together, Thaipioka, and Sugar Ray, Noir CMI still manages to boast a uniquely Chiang Mai character. It isn’t trying too hard. It isn’t easy to find. You’re the lucky one if you get in, and lucky you will feel once you do. 

Noir CMI, 33 11 Charoen Prathet Rd, Tambon Chang Moi, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100, +66 64 953 4221. Open daily 7pm-12am. 

One for the Road: Cocktails and jazz at the brutalist Noir CMI bar

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