The food in Vientiane is as diverse and colorful as its culture. In the streets of Laos’ creative capital you’ll find restaurants offering cuisines from traditional Asian to French and Western fusion. We list the 10 best restaurants to try in this Laotian city.
Soukvimarn Original Lao Foods
Soukvimarn Original Lao Foods has been in business since 1991, and offers a wide variety of typical local plates including pork, beef and fish dishes; you can have these meats grilled, roasted or steamed. This is the top spot in which to try all the traditional Laos favorites; check out their website where you can find the English translations for all the dishes, a useful function and something which is guaranteed to make you hungry.
Vieng Sawan is more like an open-air food stall than a restaurant. The interior of the joint is very simple, and most of the time it is buzzing with locals, a sure sign that you are about to get some extremely authentic food. A downside of the restaurant is that the server may not speak English at all. But this also means that by visiting here you are embarking on a culinary adventure; just point at something intriguing on the menu and sit back and wait for the surprise.
Miengchaokao Restaurant is more polished and upmarket than many restaurants in the city, and serves a wide range of delicious and traditional Lao food. Locals usually frequent this place with large groups of friends or family. It’s an ideal spot for holding a party, and the spacious venue also boasts an outdoor area for dining. Events and music performances are sometimes held here.
Khop Chai Deu
Khop Chai Deu is situated in the Inthira Hotel of Vientiane, an accommodation option with wonderful traditional Lao-style decoration. The restaurant serves Laotian food and other tasty cuisines such as Thai, Indian and Western delicacies. The joint also doubles as a bar where visitors can enjoy an ice-cold glass of local beer while enjoying the live music performed every night.
Inside a beautiful two-storey French style building, Kualao Restaurant is a popular spot for tourists to dine in, and transports diners back in time to the Laos of a bygone era, with servers adorned in traditional cosutme, authentic Lao dishes of chicken and beef, and typical instrumental music played every night. Don’t miss the freshly squeezed juices here, available in refreshing varieties and made daily on the premises.
Although its name suggests it is a café, Senglao café is more of a restaurant serving sumptuous fusion food. Seafood is the speciality here, with the grilled sea bream a top food pick. The venue offers hungry diners modern Laotian food as well as Western choices such as pasta and salad. The interior decoration is movie-themed, featuring large comfy seating and illuminating lights, and the exterior boasts a pretty garden and a small, picturesque pond.
With a substantial colonial past, French cuisine is unsurprisingly a big part of the food scene in Vientiane. Situated near Wat Ong Teu temple and Wat Mixai temple, La Signature is one the many French restaurants in the city. Set within the Ansara Hotel, the establishment serves quality French food and desserts, including freshly baked, aromatic bread which is unmissable. This is a top spot in which to enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner, and guests can choose to dine indoors on the roof terrace or in the middle of the beautiful garden.
Highland Bar & Restaurant
A great place to watch the sunset over the Mekong River, the Highland Bar & Restaurant is also a sports bar and restaurant. The venue serves a wealth of Western, Thai and Lao dishes, and stocks fridges brimming with ice-cold ale. Live music performances are sporadic and fantastic.
Niku O yakiniku
Any food hunt in Vientiane is not complete until you visit local favorite Niku O yakiniku. This vibrant spot serves sushi, Japanese hot pot and barbecue in a buffet style, all of which is flavorful and moreish. This may not be the most authentic Japanese cuisine you will ever have, but it is what the locals in the city love, and it is a must-try when traveling in Vientiane.
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