Laos’ capital, Vientiane, has been home to western-style cafés since the 1990s and the choice is ever-growing. Whether you’re looking for specialty roasters, excellent food or a comfy place to camp out with wi-fi, there’s somewhere for you on this list.
Common Grounds is a great place for both families and business people. With a kids play area in the back, families can enjoy a meal and chat while keeping the little ones entertained. Upstairs is a private meeting room perfect for presentations or brainstorming sessions. The coffee is strong, and the menu is fantastic – featuring tacos and quesadillas, wraps, sandwiches and salads. Almost everything can be made vegetarian and they have gluten free items as well. With renovations completed in 2015, the new space is also an art gallery with proceeds from sold works benefiting at-risk women.
Sinouk was founded in 1994 and owns all levels of production from their coffee plantation on the Bolevan Plateau to their five coffee shops in Vientiane. Stop in to buy a bag of beans or sit down for a cup of coffee or pot of tea. Sinouk has a variety of delicious baked goods as well as sandwiches. If you’re serious about honing your coffee-making skills, consider a two-day barista training course to learn how to create the perfect cup and draw latte art in foam.
Check out 30 ml for a great place to work the morning away with a macchiato or latte. They have fabulous homemade juices (try their Liver Detox) and smoothies (go for the berry) plus a menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner items. In the evening, the outdoor bar serves wine and drinks to sip while you enjoy a curry or noodle dish. The service is prompt and professional and the space, which opened in 2017, is sleekly designed with wood and black metal. 30 ml features coffee beans from countries around the world such as Brazil and Indonesia, as well as homegrown beans from Laos.
Kung’s is Vientiane’s best kept secret. Located at the end of an alleyway near Wat Si Muang, the outdoor establishment is cosy with overhead trellises filled with plants and hanging gourds. Don’t be surprised if a motorbike drives between the tables while you are sipping on your coconut coffee (you’ll want to go ahead and order a second, they’re that good) and savoring a sticky rice mango pancake. The bathroom contains a garden that feels like a place gnomes and fairies would live in. While the service is Lao-style slow, the food and ambiance are so fabulous you won’t mind the wait.
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