41 Best Restaurants in Laos

124 Thaluang Coffee

$ Fodor's choice

This heritage shophouse in Pakse's old quarter has been lovingly converted by its Japanese owner into a warm café space infused with minimalism and Lao touches. The coffee here might be the best in Laos, and there are fresh homemade pastries, too.

124 Thaluang Village, Pakse, Champasak, Laos
Known For
  • homemade brownies
  • artisanal drip coffee
  • handicrafts for sale to support Lao communities
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sat.


$$ | Ban Mixay Fodor's choice

All the usual Italian stalwarts grace the menu at this upbeat spot, along with imported oysters and Wagyu beef. The same owners also run the more casual Ai Capone next door, a traditional pizzeria.


$ Fodor's choice

The decor of this colorful, French-owned restaurant is a throwback to the Asia of 50 years ago, but the constantly changing menu of Asian, Western, and fusion comfort foods is quite modern. The cinnamon pork stew in particular is a crowd favorite with both the Lao and expat clientele and perfectly accompanied by one of Bouang's signature cocktails. Seats on the porch allow for leisurely people-watching. 

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Cranky-T Cafe and Bar

$ Fodor's choice

This charming restaurant dishes up savory Western comfort foods, delicious cocktails, and the best coffee in town. The well-traveled owner is also a vivacious fountain of knowledge about the area. In the evenings, it's a popular gathering spot for local expat NGO workers and UXO de-miners. There are other branches at Jar Site 1 and the airport.

Kitchen by the Mekong

$ | Ban Phonehueng Fodor's choice

The romantic restaurant of the boutique hotel that occupies the former royal residence serves exquisite cuisine in a serene, romantic setting. The Lao tasting menu, a good option, includes tamarind soup, orlam(spicy chicken stew), and sai oua, a homemade pork sausage, served with river weed and chili paste. Or else take on the signature pork-knuckle stew cooked in Lao beer.

L'Elephant Restaurant Français

$$$ Fodor's choice

One of Luang Prabang's finest restaurants offers traditional French food, with a dash of Lao influence, such as the chevreuil au poivre vert (local venison in a pepper sauce) and the several daily specials usually include fish fresh from the Mekong. Seating is available in the bright, airy dining room or on the sidewalk, behind a barrier of plants. You can order à la carte or opt for a three-course prix-fixe menu, and if you need relief from the heat, head to the air-conditioned section. 

La Signature

$$$ | Muang Chanthabury Fodor's choice

The charming restaurant of the boutique Ansara Hotel serves authentic French cuisine in a romantic garden setting. Appetizers on the varied menu might include anything from fish carpaccio or a warm goat cheese salad to the over-the-top combo of fried duck and duck foie gras. For your entrée you can go haute with a rack of lamb or roast lobster, or casual with pizza or a croque-monsieur.

Manda de Laos

$$ Fodor's choice

With an unbeatable location over a UNESCO-classified lotus pond, this impressive wooden restaurant only serves traditional Lao food, all based on the owner's family recipes. The dishes, such as fish Hor Mok steamed in banana leaves or the delicious jungle honey-glazed spareribs, are presented with a panache that helps emphasize the venue's authenticity. Signature cocktails feature Lao ingredients combined with modern mixologies. Best visited at dinner when the flicker of light from dozens of lanterns makes it look extremely romantic.

Paste at the Apsara

$$$$ | Ban Wat Sene Fodor's choice

As at the original location of Paste, a Michelin-starred restaurant based in Bangkok, the menu here is built on the traditional recipes of the Lao royal family, but with a slight update for modern tastes. The preparation, presentation, and taste are second-to-none in Luang Prabang.

Ban Wat Sene, Kingkitsarath St., Luang Prabang, Louangphabang, Laos
Known For
  • dinner set menus
  • flavorful slow-roasted duck curry
  • Or Lam, a Luang Prabang ratatouille

Popolo Cantina

$ Fodor's choice

This hip restaurant in the heritage home of a former French official serves refreshing Mediterranean fare such as huge salads, excellent wood-fired pizzas, and platters of beef carpaccio. Many dishes also feature savory local buffalo burrata cheese. There's also a full list of French wines and exclusive cocktail creations.

Saffron Coffee

$ Fodor's choice

Contrary to popular belief, fine Lao coffee doesn't only come from southern Laos, it's also grown here in the northern part of the country, and this charming café, started over a decade ago, has helped change the lives of highland farmers in the surrounding rural areas. There are great sandwiches and pastries, but the absolute highlight is the artisanal coffee and the amazing views of the Mekong from their riverside terrace. Many an afternoon has been lost to gazing at boat traffic plying these waters. Cherry to Cup tours are also available for true coffee lovers. The upstairs is air-conditioned if you need a break from the tropical heat.

Sticky Fingers

$ Fodor's choice

An institution on Vientiane's culinary landscape for several decades, this restaurant serves modern Australian and international comfort foods and a revolving weekly menu of specials showcases the dexterity of the Lao chef. The twice-weekly happy hours are great for meeting local expats.

Tamarind Restaurant and Cooking School

$ | Ban Wat Sene Fodor's choice

This riverside restaurant is the place to experience and understand Lao cuisine in Luang Prabang. The various tasting menus feature five traditional types of jeow, or dips, to be eaten with vegetables or sticky rice; there's also a "five-bites" selection that includes dried buffalo, sai oua (flavored local sausage), and other delicacies. The restaurant also runs a popular cooking school worth checking out.

Kingkitsarath Rd., Luang Prabang, Louangphabang, Laos
Known For
  • lemongrass stuffed with chicken
  • watermelon and chili granita
  • well-trained local staff
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Reservations essential

Tamnak Lao

$ Fodor's choice

A wonderful place to experience Lao cuisine and culture, the latter in the form of classical dances performed nightly, this restaurant provides a blissful retreat from the downtown tourist frenzy. You can dine either in the teakwood interior space or outside in the garden. The specialty here is the cuisine of Luang Prabang, such as the pla larb (minced fish with herbs). Dinner service doesn't begin until 6.

100 Phonxay, 23 Singha Rd., Saysettha, Vientiane, Vientiane, Laos
Known For
  • <PRO>local cuisine</PRO>
  • <PRO>French Colonial setting</PRO>
  • <PRO>fresh fish from the Mekong</PRO>
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted, Closed Sun.

The Bamboo Lounge

$ Fodor's choice

A husband-and-wife team from New Zealand opened this restaurant that serves outstanding wood-fired pizzas, freshly baked bread, pasta, and other Western dishes you can enjoy with a real espresso or cappuccino. It's affiliated with Forest Retreat Laos, a trekking agency across the street that works with local people to create and promote sustainable tourism in the Nam Ha Protected Area.

The River Resort Restaurant

$ Fodor's choice

The international team in the kitchen of the River Resort's elegant restaurant prepares fine Asian and Western dishes—the best food you will find in all southern Laos—with equal skill and panache. Highly recommended is the local Mekong fish, which can either be grilled and served with tamarind sauce and lime, or steamed in a banana leaf Lao-style.

Villa Opera

$$$ Fodor's choice

This longtime Italian restaurant, in a beautiful colonial villa with a garden, is a bit out of the main tourist center but still reigns as one of Vientiane's steady grande dames. Villa Opera serves authentic pasta, baked entrées, and fresh salads along with items like the Pizza de Laos, made with chilies and Lao sausage. You can get a perfect espresso or a cappuccino, too.

3 Nagas Restaurant


Crispy river weed with spicy buffalo jam and steamed mushrooms in an herbal mousse are just two of the local specialties served at this atmospheric restaurant on the front terrace of 3 Nagas Luang Prabang hotel. Set menus are available from 200,000 kip, though you can also order à la carte. Across the street, the hotel's trendy cocktail bar Nagini is great for a nightcap.

Sakkarin Rd., Ban Wat Nong, Luang Prabang, Louangphabang, Laos
071-253 888
Known For
  • grilled buffalo with coffee sauce
  • mango sticky rice with banana and rosella ice cream
  • sampler menus perfect for Lao food novices

Daauw Home


Inside a thatched hillside bungalow overlooking Houay Xai's main street, Daauw Home is run by a nongovernmental organization that helps local women and ethnic minorities empower themselves. Cooking over an open fire, the chefs prepare amazing dishes that diners enjoy with "mojitlao" cocktails. There are knockout sunset views, and a bonfire keeps things warm when it's chilly.



A Pakse mainstay, this restaurant serves vegetarian and nonvegetarian Indian and Malay food, including excellent dosas and curries. Western-style breakfasts are prepared starting at 6:30 am—perfect for the early-morning minivan crowd heading to the 4,000 Islands.

385 Banthaluang, Rd. 13, Pakse, Champasak, Laos
Known For
  • <PRO>masala dosa</PRO>
  • <PRO>roti canai</PRO>
  • <PRO>rice and curries</PRO>
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No credit cards

Joma Bakery Cafe


Canadians run this inexpensive self-service restaurant, where the in-house bakery turns out delicious pastries, bagels, sandwiches, and salads. The homemade soups are excellent, as are the breakfast burritos and wraps, and there are all the typical coffee and espresso drinks. A second Joma branch is available on Sisavangvong Road about halfway down the peninsula.



A TREE Alliance training restaurant for marginalized youths, Khaiphaen's menu might include anything from tofu with Khaiphaen crispy river weed and green mango dip to fusion Lao staples such as grilled buffalo steak with pickled daikon. The food is great and you'll also be helping young Lao people build their hospitality skills.

100 Sisavang Vatana Rd., Ban Wat Nong, Luang Prabang, Louangphabang, Laos
Known For
  • humanitarian concept
  • chocolate mousse with rosella syrup
  • pineapple and chili margarita
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sat. and Sun.

Khop Chai Deu


A popular downtown restaurant and bar in a French colonial building, this is an excellent stop for happy-hour cocktails or dinner. For a tasty introduction to traditional Lao cuisine, try the Discovery Lao, a set menu including larb (a semi-spicy salad of ground meat), a zesty sour fish soup, khao niaw (Lao sticky rice), and a glass of lao-lao (rice whisky).

Khop Chai Deu


An incredibly scenic branch of a Vientiane restaurant mainstay, Khop Chai Deu offers Lao, Thai, and Western food options served on the pool deck of Inthira Vang Vieng hotel. Try the duck laab, a zesty minced duck salad tossed with herbs. The staff are quite well-trained and the bartender keeps the champagne chilled as you watch the sun dip down behind the jagged landscape. 



The Lao food at this restaurant inside a fading mansion is among Vientiane's best. Favorites include mok pa fork (steamed fish wrapped in banana leaves and cooked with eggs, onions, and coconut milk), and gaeng panaeng (a thick red curry with chicken, pork, or beef). Servings are small, so most people order several entrées à la carte or set menus featuring seven to nine dishes, plus dessert and coffee.

La Verandah Riverside


This beautifully situated resort restaurant right on the river serves an impressive mix of Thai, Lao, French, and Western dishes. The penang curry is aromatic and full of flavor, as is the spaghetti pad kee mao (drunken noodles, with basil and chili sauce).

Unit 9, Ban Viengkeo, Vangviang, Vientiane Province, Laos
Known For
  • <PRO>good wine list</PRO>
  • <PRO>duck breast with honey and red wine sauce</PRO>
  • <PRO>affordable set menus</PRO>
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted



This restaurant near the market serves the best authentic Chinese food in Phongsaly, though ordering is a bit unusual as there is no menu and the owner speaks no English nor Lao, so she invites you into the kitchen, opens the refrigerators, and you simply point to what vegetables and meats you want. The rest is up to her culinary magic. 

Phôngsali, Phôngsali, Laos
Known For
  • stir-fried morning glory
  • inexpensive prices
  • hot green tea

Le Bistro Ban Vat Sene

$ | Ban Wat Sene

Sidewalk seating and the retractable brown-striped awning contribute to the atmosphere of a traditional French café at this café on the northern end of town. Freshly made quiche, baguettes, and grandes tartines (large slices of homemade bread with various toppings) are menu highlights for lunch and dinner. 

Le Panorama


The sixth-floor restaurant at the Pakse Hotel not only has the best view in town, but it also has some of the best food. Start with a sunset cocktail on the rooftop terrace, then move on to a romantic candlelight dinner under the stars. There is a choice of French food and pizzas, but it's the Lao food here that really stands out.

Th. 5, Ban Wat Luang, Pakse, Champasak, Laos
Known For
  • gai vat phou (chicken breast stuffed with crabmeat)
  • international wines
  • Pakse's best burgers
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No lunch

Lin's Cafe


This bistro occupies a 1930s historical building in the corner of Talat Yen Square and has a wide menu of Western-inspired comfort foods, including salads, pasta, rice dishes, and coffees. The good milkshakes, selection of beer, good coffee, and strong Wi-Fi make it popular with travelers.