Hiking, kayaking, and tubing in Vang Vieng, Laos will surely work up an appetite. But you might be overwhelmed come meal time with Vang Vieng’s surplus of sandwich stands, noodle shops, and cheap eats catering to backpackers. So we’ve compiled a list of the top eateries in Vang Vieng – everything from excellent local, Western, and ethnic cuisines.
Viman Vang Vieng is run by Mr. Kaz, who is Thai-born but lived in Germany for decades before opening up Viman. This restaurant specialises in both Thai and German food. Mr. Kaz is a Renaissance man waiting on tables and cooking up a fabulous schnitzel and delicious curries. He is also a musician and a painter. His restaurant showcases his artwork as well as his culinary prowess.
Il Tavalo will give pizzerias in Italy a run for their money. Perfect crust and a wide variety of toppings ranging from white pizza, lots of vegetarian options, and the gamut of charcuterie and cheeses are on offer. Run by an Italian father-and-son duo and away from the tourist crowds down town, it’s a must for anyone craving authentic pasta or pizza and a glass of wine.
For the best Mexican food in Laos, look no further than Lao- and Australian-run Amigos. The sister establishment of the original Amigos in Luang Prabang, this Vang Vieng restaurant serves equally delicious tacos, nachos, french fries, and guacamole when avocados are in season. Locally sourced ingredients and a killer playlist make this hidden gem in a secret garden a must-visit.
Peeping Som’s is a Korean barbecue joint on the main road in Vang Vieng and is popular with Korean and Western tourists alike. Come hungry, come with friends, and cook your own meats and vegetables at your table. A range of Lao and Korean cocktails and beers are available on the drink menu as well.
Green Restaurant serves up impeccable views of the Nam Song alongside a mean curry and fabulous fresh spring rolls. While the menu has plenty of Western options, the Asian side of it is where Green Restaurant really shines. Order a fruit shake to accompany your chicken satay or lam stew or pad thai.
There is no shortage of pizzerias in Vang Vieng but only one is run by French chef Jean-Loup, who cooks his pies in the outdoor oven he built himself. Pizza Luka is named for Jean-Loup’s son and serves pizza, lasagna, salads, and desserts six nights a week. Try the white pizza or the goat cheese honey pizza, which features locally made goat cheese from Vang Vieng’s organic farm.
They’ve got your butter chicken and your garlic naan and your tiki masala. Nazim took over this Indian restaurant in 2017 and caters to tourists and locals with a wide variety of dishes, including plenty of vegetarian and some vegan options. In addition to Indian favourites, Nazim has a page of Malay foods on the menu that are halal.
Chaleun is a homy family-run restaurant with fabulous noodle and rice dishes. Unlike many local restaurants, Chaleun also has excellent Western cuisine, including pesto, garlic bread or burgers and fries. Sit Lao-style at low tables on cushions or at the tables. Every meal purchased comes with a free fruit shake, coffee, or tea.
Restaurant du Crabe d’Or is a fine dining establishment at Riverside Boutique Resort in Vang Vieng. Overlooking the river and mountains beyond, the restaurant is named after a nearby cave and serves both traditional Lao and French cuisine. Try the Lao Degustation Menu to taste five local dishes made with ingredients from the Vang Vieng morning market.
Lotus Restaurant is on the other side of the toll bridge from the main town of Vang Vieng. Run by Boa and Philippe, it specialises in French and Lao cooking. Eat inside or at the charming garden surrounded by plants and natural beauty on the quiet side of the Nam Song. Try the laap or fish soup if you’re leaning toward the Lao side of the menu or opt for a burger and fries if you’ve got a hankering for Western food.