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Food in Vientiane: prices, where to eat, what to try?


Traditional Lao cuisine

You should definitely try the local cuisine, since you are here. It is in this city that there are restaurants where noodle soups (that is, with noodles) are almost the best in the country, let alone street food! If there is, sitting on a small chair almost by the road – this is “tu mach” for you, then look at the options for Lao restaurants with good service and atmosphere.

You have probably heard of Vietnamese pho. There is also Lao pho, with its own taste and aroma, usually with beef or pork. A good rule of thumb is that if the locals flock to one place or another to refresh themselves with this soup, even on the hottest days, then it’s definitely delicious. By the way, most noodle soup cafes are open only during breakfast and / or dinner, or lunch and dinner.

Founded as far back as 1958, the restaurant today serves large portions of soup with a richly seasoned broth, flavored with toasted cinnamon, fennel and anise. A standard bowl of pho soup costs 20,000 kip here, a large bowl costs 25,000 kip. This noodle soup is somewhat unusual in Laos: with round rice noodles of similar size and shape like Japanese udon, with pork broth sprinkled with fried shallots or garlic.

One of the best versions of this soup can be found in a restaurant located 1.5 km from the city center – and at the same time, this restaurant is always filled with guests. Look for a cafe on Dongpalane Road opposite All Time Travel Agency.

If you find yourself at a shop that sells yellow and silver stupas, then you have gone too far. This soup is served here with pork ribs with very tender meat. Say “baw sai leua” to the waiter if you don’t want the meat brought in with a little bit of blood (as the locals like to order).

They come here to dine on fried noodles with beef and vegetable sauce. This is something more Chinese, and it doesn’t look like soup at all, since there is almost no broth. This dish costs about 20,000 kip.

The restaurants mentioned above are not the cheapest.  And it would be nice to learn the names of portions: noy (small), nyai (large), tamada (medium). If you couldn’t explain what you want, just poke your finger or draw with your hands – well, is it worth telling here!

Separately, it is worth highlighting the Pha Khao Lao restaurant. He hid in the alley between Wat Ong Theu and the coastal road. This restaurant is often overlooked, and for good reason, because it offers excellent Laotian and Thai cuisine.

The restaurant has a terrace and a garden with lanterns and jasmine bushes: a wonderful and very cozy atmosphere! Possibly the best duck laap in town is served here. Soups and curries are just as good, and be sure to try fried fish in tamarind sauce or shrimp fried with pieces of young coconut.

The Tamnak Lao restaurant is also very good. Laotian cuisine is prepared here, and the atmosphere is a restored colonial house with a garden. Try a six-course tasting set of traditional cuisine, or simply order green laap, Mekong fish cooked in coconut milk, and other seafood or vegetarian dishes. The large, elegant restaurant is popular with tourist groups and also organizes cultural events and even wedding ceremonies.

An equally interesting place is Makphet. Not surprisingly, this popular Vientiane restaurant had to expand its space: there are already a lot of people teas from it.  The popularity of the restaurant is well-deserved, and not only because of the delicious food, but also because of the ongoing social programs for young people from risk groups.

As for the cuisine, they are spicy, fragrant, with a modern look at the selection of ingredients. Try the buffalo curry, the herb pork sausages and fried tomatoes, and the delicious sauces that come with each course are an absolute must try. This restaurant has decent options for vegetarians.

Also try cold smoothies and leave room in your stomach for dessert like homemade coconut ice cream or mango sticky rice. After lunch, you can visit the handicraft shop right there to buy some handicraft made from recycled materials. And you can bring home the secrets of restaurant cooking by buying the book From Honeybees to Pepperwood, a must-have for anyone interested in Lao cuisine (of course, it is sold in English).

If you want to taste authentic Lao cuisine in an elegant restaurant, then head to Amphone, which provides a relaxed atmosphere. What are we trying here? Laap, fried fish and curry, richly seasoned with herbs and fish sauce, and if you are a fan of spicy food, you will need to ask for pepper in advance.

as the dishes are brought quite tender and not spicy. In the heat, it is very pleasant to dine here thanks to the air conditioning and shady trees in the courtyard. Amphone is located near a small alley leading from Jazzy Brick to Xienghuen Wat.

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