Although Laos gained independence from France in 1953, much of its culture and cuisine still feels its influence. Vientiane was the administrative capital under French rule, and today there are still many delightful French restaurants and cafés; we’ve picked some of the best for great French food in the city.
Opened in 2010, La Signature has become one of Vientiane’s most well known French restaurants. Located in the Ansara Hotel, diners can choose to eat inside or al fresco. The restaurant itself has been given the look and feel of an old colonial building, so as to fit in with the architecture in the area. If the weather permits, eat outside on the roof terrace where there are great views of the garden.
Le Silapa is an upscale restaurant, offering the finest in French cuisine. Opened by Canadian chef Frédéric Dionne-Vachon, le Silapa has a modern, elegant feel. Located in an old colonial house above a tapas bar, the restaurant can be easy to miss, so keep an eye out. The menu has many classic French dishes, all at reasonable prices.
L’Adresse is situated near the Mekong River, behind the Vat Ong Tu temple, in a spacious two story house. The décor is chic and stylish, and the restaurant has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. The staff are friendly and eager to help, and often take special requests. With the number of French guests and regulars, it is quickly noticeable that L’Adresse is a firm favourite amongst those who know good French cuisine.
Bistro 22 is perfect if you’re looking for something a bit quieter and simpler for your meal. Located just outside the city centre on the Samsenthai Road, it has a bistro-style feel to it, rather than an upscale restaurant like others in Vientiane. The staff are attentive and friendly, and you will find lots of locals dining at Bistro 22.
If you’re looking for something a bit different, try L’Atmophere. The interiors are very modest, with just a few tables, and the menu written on a blackboard. The service is great, and the food is of good quality. Try a croque-monsieur, or a French-styled hamburger for a more casual take on French dining.
The Na Doa restaurant is located at the Mandala Boutique Hotel and has a wonderful atmosphere. There is inside seating in a traditional teak house or outside seating with a wonderful view of the grounds. The staff are very friendly and attentive, and the menu offers a good selection of French cuisine. You will find the best of the classics on the menu, with some more unusual dishes you won’t find in your standard French restaurant.