Lao cuisine is some of Asia’s freshest, generally incorporating herbs and grilled or steamed meat and fish, with many regional delicacies to discover. Read our updated guide to finding the best and most authentic flavors around Laos.
Café Chai Dee serves a mix of Japanese and international food with plenty of vegetarian options. The restaurant’s name means ‘good heart’, an appropriate characterisation of its warm and welcoming atmosphere. With a book exchange, free Wi-Fi, and comfortable seating, this laid-back restaurant is a popular place for travelers to hang-out and socialize. The menu includes Japanese options, along with vegetarian set menus and sandwiches served on whole wheat bread.
Luang Prabang’s Villa Maly Boutique Hotel offers two distinct dining options; one at the hotel’s restaurant, Le Vetiver; and the other, a dinner cruise along the Mekong River. The menu features a smart mixture of Western and traditional Lao dishes. The restaurant’s atmosphere is relaxed and disarming, filled with painted woods.
Villa Maly, BP 78, Luang Prabang, Laos, +856 71 253 902
Located a few kilometres outside of town in a quiet spot along the Nam Song River, Vang Vieng Organic Farm is a restaurant, bar, organic farm, guesthouse and learning centre. Formerly known as the Organic Mulberry Farm, the restaurant creates imaginative dishes with produce picked right on site. The restaurant also offers Laos cooking classes, and art classes for local kids.
Vang Vieng Organic Farm, 4km north of Vang Vieng, Laos, +856 023 511 220
Bamboo Lounge is by far the most popular spot in Luang Nam Tha to enjoy excellent food in a relaxed setting. The menu offers a diverse selection of international food, including sandwiches, pastas, and wood-fired pizzas. In the evening, the restaurant transforms into ‘Bamboo Bar’, featuring beer and a wide variety of cocktails.
Bamboo Lounge, The Green Building, Phonxay Village | Main Street Louang Namtha, Luang Namtha LNT, Laos, +856 20 555 60007
This tiny restaurant is a favourite of local expats, known for its friendly service and affordable Thai and Lao dishes. Rosella Fusion Restaurant is set on a deck overlooking the Nam Khan River, with the interior offering just six teak tables surrounded by orchids. The menu features staples like pad thai, tom yum soup, lao beef noodle salad, along with what many consider to be the best steaks in the city.
Lin’s Café serves a mix of Asian fusion and Western favourites in a former Chinese merchant’s house. The menu offers an eclectic variety of dishes, including stir-fries, breakfasts, sandwiches, and pastas. There’s also a number of fresh fruits shakes and Organic Laos Arabica coffee.
Lin’s Café, Latsaphanit Rd., Xaiyaphoum Village, Savannakhet, Laos, +856 20 99881630
The Balcony by Lanith offers an impressive menu of Laos-French fusion cuisine for a worthwhile cause. Operated by the Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality (Lanith), the restaurant’s staff are trained through the organisation’s award-winning training programme, while profits are reinvested in the local community. The menu focuses on seasonal dishes incorporating locally-sourced ingredients.
The Balcony, Ban Khoi, Nam Dong River, Luang Prabang, Laos, +856 71 211040