Vientiane is home to several excellent restaurants at remarkably affordable prices. There are a number of restaurants found in the many tourist areas that cater to foreigners. Most of them are seen along Lane Xang Avenue and Samsenthai Road and even along the banks of the Mekong River. Eating and drinking in Vientiane is extremely varied as you’ll find everything and anything along the small roadside, from stalls to the full-service restaurants.
As the country of Laos is heavily influenced by French cuisine, Vientiane is naturally a good place to find continental breakfast meals. Bakeries such as the Scandinavian Bakery along Nam Pou Place serve pastries, baked goods, cookies and yummy coffee. But if you think that the Scandinavian Bakery is a bit overrated, there are many other bakeries from which to choose that serve similar menus. There are several mini-marts that serve fresh baguettes, pates and imported cheeses as well.
The capital city also shares the same street foods with the rest of the regions in South East Asia. Given that Laos has a large number of visitors that come from Vietnam, it should be no surprise that the Vietnamese noodle soup dish pho is easily found everywhere in the city, most especially in many street stalls. Aside from pho, traditional Chinese egg noodles called mii and very tiny wheat noodles with spicy Lao sauce called khao pun are special favorites in the city.
As the sun goes down, the Mekong River banks turn into one long beer garden. Tables and chairs line up along the riverside as both locals and tourists enjoy free-flowing beer. What kind of beer to drink? “When in Lao, drink Beerlao!” Visitors will certainly see many locals happily drinking this local brew. Locals love drinking so much as you might even see empty bottles lying around restaurants starting from breakfast onwards. But if that’s a little too early for you, Beerlao is certainly a great way to finish the day may it be after a tiring day from work or a long day of traveling. But for those who don’t prefer alcohol, Lao coffee, soy milk and coconut milk are widely available both in restaurants and street stalls to satisfy your thirst.
Wine is abundantly served in many restaurants in the capital city as they are quite reasonably priced compared to other countries in the region as well. There are usually extensive wine selections in many wine bars so wine lovers will certainly get a kick out of visiting Vientiane for their wine.
It is important to know that many of the fancy restaurants have menus priced in US dollars or in Thai Baht. More than just Lao specialties, the rest of Asia and the Western world are proudly represented in its wide range of cuisine. So whether it’s drinking a bowl of hot soup or having a delicious continental breakfast meal, visitors of Vientiane will undoubtedly enjoy what Vientiane has to offer the stomach. Lao people love food so there is no doubt that visitors will enjoy eating and drinking in Vientiane.