I went to Laos after Thailand and found it more difficult to find decent food for cheap prices. It’s less touristy and vegetarianism is not so popular among locals.
Here is a quick review of the places I’ve been to and I recommend eating at, enjoy your trip in this beautiful country!
15,000 to 20,000kip for one meal
It’s a super tiny village, there is no vegetarian restaurant. But you’re lucky because it’s a touristy village and everyone speaks English well enough to understand “vegetarian” (not so sure about vegan, but if you say without egg, milk, meat and fish it should work too). Every restaurant and every guesthouse that does food will have vegetarian options like stir fried rice with veggies, fried vegetables with sticky rice, or soup 🙂
Vegetarian Buffet – Night Market (vegetarian)
You will find this amazing place in the “food street” of the night market, which is down a small side street. Usually a bunch of ladies are at the beginning of that road selling cut fruit (10 000 for approx 500g, very good value for money). For 20,000kip you can fill a whole plate/bowl with whatever you want. They have around 30 different dishes to try from, surely there is something you will like! I would recommend the curries and veggie mixes. Their fried veggies are made with sweetened dough (which I personally found gross) and their fried noodles/rice are tasty, but quite oily.
Nisha – Indian restaurant (vegetarian/vegan options)
30,000kip for a curry and naan
Nisha is a small family run Indian restaurant (the family was having lunch at the same time as me 😀 ). Like all Indian restaurants I saw in Laos, they have both vegetarian/vegan and meat options. I got a very tasty and filling chickpea curry with garlic naan – going out in the heat after that meal was a challenge!
Utopia Bar (vegetarian/vegan options)
30,000 – 50,000kip for a meal
I haven’t personally eaten there because I lacked the time, but I heard really good things about this restaurant/bar. The place itself is really cozy and right next to the river with an amazing view! If possible go for a drink for sunset on the river and you can extend for dinner 🙂 If you go, please let us know in the comments if this place is worthy of its reputation.
Reunion Restaurant (vegan)
Only Veggies: 20,000 – 30,000kip | With Mock Meat: 30,000 to 45,000kip
A nice small Laos style vegan restaurant, on the western side of the capital city. The ladies there are lovely and will prepare your meal in a few minutes. They do have a lot of mock meat, but also dishes with mainly vegetables. Alas, their English is not so good though, I tried to get a less spicy papaya salad in vain (was still pretty good and with lots of peanuts!)
There is another vegetarian restaurant right next door “Reunion”, make sure you check it out if you have time 🙂
Le Vendôme (vegetarian / vegan options)
Starts: 20,000 – 40,000kip | Mains: 40,000 – 60,000kip
This is the favorite restaurant of the friend I was visiting in Vientiane. It’s a French restaurant with a French owner, but the menu has an Italian touch. It’s definitely more expensive than places I usually go to, but the service is excellent, the quality is really good and if you’re craving for some real western food this is the place to go! They have plenty of vegetarian or vegan options throughout the menu: soups, salads, pizzas (real pizzas!), pasta… They can change dishes on your request too. I ordered an avocado/mango salad – which was huge and could have fed 2 people – and they gave me asparagus instead of chicken 🙂
Indian Restaurants (vegetarian / vegan options)
I don’t exactly know why, but there are plenty of Indian restaurants in Vientiane (actually in Laos in general). Seriously, I saw one at almost every corner! I didn’t spend a lot of time in Vientiane so didn’t get to try one but what I saw for sure is that each single one had vegetarian options. If you tried one, let us know in the comments.
No “vegetarian only” restaurant in this small town, but still plenty of options.
Yummy restaurant (vegetarian/vegan options)
Veg Curry w/Rice: 20,000kip | Combo: 30,000kip
This is a small Indian restaurant that also has a hostel at the same place (cheap rooms!) The food is good, even if its not as flavorful as you would expect from Indian cuisine. Vegetarian options are much cheaper than meat ones, which is great for you 😀 Don’t miss out on a chat with the super friendly and open minded owner.
The Dao Lin (vegetarian/vegan options)
20,000 – 40,000kip | Western Dishes are more expensive
Don’t be scared by their huge menu, basically it’s one type of dish per page and then with different options (different meat, fish, tofu, mushrooms…) to choose from. They have a good amount of Lao type food (soups, soy, curries…) but also western style dishes.
Trattoria Italiana (vegetarian/vegan options)
Main: 40,000 – 60,000kip
If you want to eat a real wooden fire pizza in the middle of the Lao countryside this is the place to go! They use only fine ingredients, which is reflected in the price. If it doesn’t rain, be sure to sit in their super cozy garden lounge, happy vibes guaranteed!
20,000 – 50,000kip | Famous Baguette: 7,000kip (eat it while it’s still warm and crunchy!)
A cute French bakery (best baguette in Laos) with a… French owner! They use only the best ingredients which made it the most expensive meal I had in Pakse (40 000 kip, ouch!) They have vegetarian options for breakfast and you can ask for vegetarian sandwiches for taking with you on the Bolaven Plateau. If you eat cheese, ask for one with the local made cheddar – it is really good. Guess what!? You’ll meet a bunch of French people there, both “locals” and tourists. A good place to practice your “bonjour” and “merci”!
On the Bolaven Plateau
15,000 – 20,000kip
Except for the small village of Tad Lo and Paksong, there are hardly any restaurants on the loop, not to mention vegetarian ones! But it doesn’t matter at all. Like Pakbeng, the Bolaven Plateau is touristy enough so that every guesthouse has at least one person who understands the concept of being vegetarian – or vegan after a few explanations – so you’ll be fine. You may find yourself eating a lot of fried veggies and sticky rice though. Make sure you try some nice alternatives in Pakse when you get back 🙂
Except for the small village of Tad Lo and Paksong, there are hardly any restaurants on the loop, not to mention vegetarian ones! But it doesn’t matter at all. Like Pakbeng, the Bolaven Plateau is touristy enough so that every guesthouse has at least one person who understands the concept of being vegetarian – or vegan after a few explanations – so you’ll be fine. You may find yourself eating a lot of fried veggies and sticky rice though. Make sure you try some nice alternatives in Pakse when you get back :
Yummy Yummy! I hope you enjoyed this article 🙂 Think about joining the email list, or check out the “Support Me” page, or comment the heck out of this post! It’s all awesome!