Nestled in the heart of the former French colony of Laos, Luang Prabang has its own blend of culinary traditions featuring everything from Southeast Asian-French fusion to more exotic local dishes.
Set at the intersection of two rivers, full of beautiful Wats (temples) and surrounded by both natural and man-made beauty, Luang Prabang’s one of Southeast Asia’s culinary centers. The historical capital of Laos would be well worth visiting even if it weren’t for the many exquisite restaurants which await you there. Featuring traditional Laotian, South East Asian and French fare, the city boasts many of the top places to eat in the region. Here are some of the best places to eat in Luang Prabang.
Ock Pop Tock – Silk Road Cafe
From the dining terrace which floats about the Mekong, you can enjoy a casual dining experience suitable for the whole family. Famous dishes include their chicken stuffed with lemongrass, and goy gai, chicken salad infused with herbs, chillies and lime. If you’re feeling brave, try the tea made from Silkworm droppings! After dinner wander the Ock Pop Tock gardens, which are filled with traditional art works made by Laotion artisans.
Blue Lagoon Cafe
Blending European and Laotian food, Blue Lagoon Cafe is a more upscale joint in Luang Prabang, suitable for a business lunch or a more formal dinner. Try the tender local buffalo fillet, and their variety of exciting salads.
- Coconut Garden
Situated near the night market close to the center of town, this casual, relaxed restaurant has an extensive menu of both Laotian and western dishes. An ideal place to take a rest during a day of sightseeing, you can review your photos from the morning over a lunch of grilled buffalo washed down with a cold glass of Beer Lao.
A fine, upscale French restaurant with a vast, impressive wine list. L’elephant is a great place for a romantic dinner or a long, indulgent evening feast. The ornate interior with a wooden bar and tables will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the days of French Indochina. Try the beef tartare and the the coconut and pumpkin soup.
Tamarind is both a restaurant and a cooking school where visitors can learn the art of Laotian cuisine. Founded by an Australian woman and her Lao partner, their goal has been to create a place which is both ‘exotic and informative.’ By using local suppliers, the founders hope to give back to the local community whilst helping visitors to discover the magic of Lao food. At the restaurant, try the platter of Lao specialties including Luang Prabang sausage, dips, and relishes, as well as the fish steamed in banana leaf.
Just off the main street of Luang Prabang, the rustic atmosphere of Tangor Restaurant, Bar and Lounge makes it a great spot for an intimate dinner. Tangor serves French and international cuisine, and customers rave about the duck and the fish ceviche.
Manda de Laos
Indulge in sticky rice mousse with lemon grass and snack on pork shavings and peanuts served on a banana leaf in a beautiful, romantic setting. Manda de Laos overlooks a UNESCO classified lotus pond, and is shaded by several palm trees. It’s hard to find a more picturesque, relaxing setting for an evening meal.
Le Banneton Cafe
Need a coffee or craving a croissant? Le Banneton Cafe is a french bakery and coffee shop conveniently located in Luang Prabang. It’s a great place for a quick breakfast to get you energized for the day ahead, or to relax away an afternoon with a good book and an even better pastry.
Whether you’re seeking the most authentic local cuisine or ready to experiment with the historical fusion of French and Lao food, Luang Prabang has a wealth of restaurants ready to satisfy your every bite. This enjoyable city is a perfect bet for a gastronomic tour.
Did these Lao restaurants whet your appetite? Join us on our Yunnan & Laos: Jewels of the Mighty Mekong small group tour this year. We also offer private tours of Laos with our Laos: Land of a Million Elephants voyage.