Eating and drinking in Vang Vieng
Posted Date: 11/26/20139:37 AM
You blow by the time you sit down for your third meal that something is amiss in the Vang Vieng restaurant scene. “This looks a lot like the menu at that other place” is commonly heard. Usually followed by something like: ‘Hang on, it is the same” The sad truth is that several restaurants, particularly those TV bars on the main street, do serve virtually identical fare aimed squarely at perceived Western tastes. And as with most plates offering such a varied selection of cuisines (usually including Lao, Thai, Chinese, Italian, American, French and with a Rasta option), none of it is done particularly well.
There are, however, a few decent eateries which even have their own menus. Most restaurants are open about 7am or 8am until about 11pm, though in the low season hours can be shorter. Note that this is just a small selection of restaurants we know to be reliable. You don’t need a guidebook to find the others, just look around.
Meal US$ 1-3 – Open: 8am-8pm
Nokeo is one of the last remnants of the old Vang Vieng. There are no bells or whistles, but it’s been around for years because it serves consistently good Lao food at prices low enough that locals can afford to eat here. The succulent ping paa is excellent, as are the various laap and curries. It’s the most Lao place to eat in Vang Vieng.
Organic Mulbeny Farm Cafe
Tel: 511174 – Add: Th Luang Prabang – Meals: US$1-3.50
The ever-grow- ing and innovative menu here is one of the best in Vang Vieng, especially for vegetarians. The mulberry shakes (US$0.80) and pancakes (US$1.30) are famous and every- thing is fairly priced. You can also eat at the organic farm itself.
Luang Prabang Bakery
Tel: 511174 – Meals: US$1,50-7
This long-running bakery serves good breakfasts, pastries and strong coffee, but the pizzas (US$5.50 to US$6.50) and other meals can be a bit pricey.
Tel: 511088 – Meals: US$2-US$4
The typically international menu has a heavy Italian influence; pizzas (US$2.50) and pastas (US$1.20) mix with burgers (US$1.80) and a pretty good caramel flan (US$0.80). The riverside patio is quite romantic by night and also has several sun loungers. The same menu is available at Xayoh Cafe, located on Th Luang Prabang.
Kangaroo Sunset Bar
Tel: 020-7714291 – meals: US$2-4.50
This Australian-run place is a decent sunset and evening drinking hole (it does have the coldest Beerlao in town, and the Lao, Thai and fusion-ish food is very edible indeed. The garlic bread and prawn rolls are delicious.
You can drink in every guesthouse and restaurant in town and you won’t need a guidebook to track down the most happening places. In general, they’re split into the open-air, anything-goes bars on Don Khang (aka ‘the island’), and more familiar-looking places on or just off Th Luang Prabang.
On Don Khang, the lsland Bar ( Tel: 6020-539 9954), Namsong Island Cafe, Lucky Bar. Smile Bar and Sunset Bar are all competing for your business. We trust you to sniff out the best party.
In town, Jaidee’s (Add: Th Luang Prabang – OpenL 8am-1am) has consistently good music and Supermao Jaidee maintains an upbeat vibe.
has regular DJs and is the best pace to dance, through few people seem to bother.