In Vang Vieng you can get almost anything made "happy". This means the sprinking of marijuana on your pizza or into your shake etc. at the extra cost of about a dollar. They come in variations of "happy, medium happy or very happy". Someone tried the medium happy and spent the night guzzling water and passed out at 10pm. She was pretty happy until then though! :P
Right at the end of the main street, but close to our accommodation. The man who I think ran the restaurant was very friendly but also a bit vague. It was extremelly popular and he seemed to forget who had ordered what. BUT the piza was fantastic, the seats so comfortable (with pillows and wooden amrests etc) and the mint/lemon shake was divine!
Favorite Dish: pizza and mint/lemon shake
Almost all menus in town appear to be photocopies of each other. Almost all places serve the same dishes at the same prices, but some have increased the prices since they are popular due to location and/or the constant episodes of Friends or Family Guy playback.
The ones on the main street play mostly DVD's while those just north (by ~3 minute walk) along the river just have chilled music.
Search around for best deal because except for the ethnic or foreigner-run restaurants, they all serve the same menu.
Or just choose your restaurant depending if you like Friends, Family Guy or want to listen to some chill music.
Favorite Dish: Don't pay more than 10,000 kip for either a sandwich or pancake.
Don't pay more than 30,000 kip for breakfast.
Don't pay more than 15,000 kip for any soup.
There are several food stalls when you enter the village on the first intersection (right after you get into town after crossing the airfield) and they sell delicious and interesting Vang Vieng foods that are popular with locals and Lao. They use local fish from Song river and they normally fry it or steam it. When steamed, they use local herbs and lemon grass in some fish. In fact, there are so many kinds of fish which you can try there - small or bigger ones; additionally there are few kinds of curries and soups and sauces, some vegetarian, vegan or with meat. Beside fish, you can find other kinds of meat too - pork, chicken, liver, buffalo.... all that is very common on Lao food markets. I was regular buyer there during my stay because I found there all I needed and because I trully enjoyed eating vegetarian and fish options.
If you want to try something really different then ask for steamed ant eggs with egg and spices wrapped in banana leaf (ask for 'khai mod som' in Lao) or steamed young bees (also wrapped in banana leaf). These delicacies have medicinal properties, so don't risk trying if you have sensitive stomach - not everyone can stand it well, even if you've been eating unusal foods before. I was also told that ants egg are also being used for anti-malarial properties in traditional medicine.
Normally the foods at stalls are cheaper than restaurant food and are eaten with sticky rice. You will take them away as they will pack them into small plastic bags or leaves. For fresh dish, go there between 9-10 or later in evening for night market foods.
at the lao Coffee House, Phet makes a great selection of coffee drinks using the best fresh ground Lao coffee also they have a fast breakfast menue for when your a hurry to catch the bus
Favorite Dish: They have some great breakfast sausage and after wrapping in a roll is called a pig in a blanket the sausage has a nice maple flavor
There are a lot of restaurants in VV that serve what is known as happy, space or herb pizza that is pizza or fruit shakes with marijuana. The pizza cost about $US5 and come heavily covered in "herbs". Although they advertise them on their menu boards when you ask for them or they read the order back it is in hushed tones!!! Not sure what that is about.
The restaurant we visited sent a staff member off on his motor bike and he came back with what we assumed was a bag of the "herbs". Lots of the restaurants have laying down tables were people just lay around watching mostly rubbish on tv but if they have been eating the happy pizza maybe it is not so rubbishy!!!
There are a lot of restaurants in VV so you will be spoilt for choice, that is unlsess you want to sit at a proper table & chairs and not have American sit coms blasting out of the TV.
As you can see from my pic many of the restaurants provided recling day beds and tables it seems people spend their day eating Happy Pizza and watching rubbish on TV.
Favorite Dish: We did try a Happy Pizza which was very good but unless you are used th the so called "herbs" it isnt something you would eat everyday. I tried it because it seemed to be one of the attractions of VV but didn't go back for seconds.
There are a lot of other nicer things on the menu to choose from.
Thanks to growing popularity of VV there are nowsadays plenty of places to eat good food (local, international, vegetarian) in town. However, not every place benefits local comunity as much as Organic farm with its idea of 'sustainable farming' and improvement of lives of local kids and farm workers since the profits are circulating. The whole thing is explained on their web page below and Organic farm is becoming popular place to visit among those who support the idea of 'eco-tourism' in Laos. They have two restaurants in Vang Vieng - the smaller one in the town, 5 min from the bus station and another one is about 3 km North of town, by the Song river. Both have good organic foods. I prefer the latter since it is in nicer setting, though you'll probably go there by bike as it's a bit far to walk to. One of the things worth to try would be goat cheese but since it depends on thier goats it is not always available. Definitively must try is their own mullberry tea or fresh mullberry milk shake. They have quite a lot of foods on menu from vegetarian to meat dishes with inexpensive prices. Most of their products are home grown in their farm yard and some are sold by the restaurant (like silk, mullberry tea etc.). They also have some rooms to rent, if you'd like to stay near. In the end, that kind of place deserves attention and your money will be spent good there.
Favorite Dish: Fried spring rolls, shakes, mullberry tea, coffee, salads
It's not because this is the restaurant of a Belgian, married to a Lao girl that I consider this the best. No, I'm not that chauvinistic.
You can eat the common Lao dishes (cheaper than elsewhere) but also BBQ Cat Fish with lemon grass.
This delicatesse cost us 25.000 Kip but I'll remember it for the rest of my life.
Moreover, the setting with view on the river is fantastic and the service is simple and familial.
That's small Indian restaurant by the main - straight road in town, has large menu, good veggie dishes and cheap prices. Nisha has 3 restaurants in Laos, another two in LPB and Phonsavan. The LPB Nisha seems to be more popular and crowded than VV one, but food I tried here in VV Nisha was much tastier and had better, friendlier service; it also looked cleaner than what I saw in LPB. In general it's nice place to try Indian foods.
Favorite Dish: Malai koftas here were my favourite I've eaten in Laos. But also other veggie foods are very nice.
Vang Vieng inexplicably has the best pizzas i have ever tasted outside Italy. Mosy places on the main street specialize in pizzas and they are very cheap and big enough to fill up most people.
Most places will aslo serve Laos and Thai food as well, i didnt eat too much laos dishes but one that was very nice was Larb (or larp or laap) its a meat dish thats cooked with mint and served with sticky rice and its very good.
Favorite Dish: Happy Pizza is great its a blend of local mushrooms that you will never forget, literally!
This restaurant was recommended in the Lonely Planet, and that was why we decided to go there. But we had our worst food experience of all Vang Vieng.
The idea of the organic, home grown veggies is Ok, but the taste was something else.
The atmosphere of the restaurant was less than average too.
I shouldn't go here again.......
The original Organic Mulberry Farm is at Phoudaeng, where they dropp you for the tubing. Here I enjoyed a cup of organic Mulberry tea, which was not bad at all.
The farm has started a project on a schoolbus to help the local children to go to school from the villages. This project we encouraged by a donation at the farm.
Favorite Dish: We ordered some local food, like laab (see the picture) and a mulberry shake.
The food was organic and home-grow at the mulberry farm, but we thought it was less tasty than average.
Our son ordered a dragonfruit shake, which looked like, and also tasted like concrete. NOT RECOMMENDED!
Best dishes and the most reasonable price in my entire trip!! This restaurant is very popular among the locals and Thai people. The food is original, authentic Lao's taste. It might be a little bit far from the GH center, but can definitely reached by bike.
Favorite Dish: Spicy Fish Salad (Koi Pla), Stir-fried Watercrest (Pad Paknum), Steamed Mekong Fish
The Xayoh restaurant has two locations in Vang Vieng. You have the down town restaurant in the busy restaurant area, and there is also a restaurant near the Nam Song river at Ban Sabai bungalows. Partically this restaurant looks very good, the location is perfect with an super vieuw on the mountain range opposite the river.
The open air restaurant is decorated with very funny lanterns, which gives the place an oriental atmosphere. Too bad it rained when we were there, but we enjoyed the food anyway.
Favorite Dish: The Malay satay is excellent here. Just good with spices and perfectly grilled. We came again and again, and I just had to choose this satay time after time. Too bad I didn't made any pics of the food here!
They make excellent fruit shakes too, and we could order pizza's for the kids. They serve lao food as well, which is very good too.
The Xayoh group also has a restaurant at Vientiane, the capital.
All the bars serve the same food (like pizza's, noodles, chicken schnitzels, and so on)
They have those high tables on which you ly down. Just take your shoes off, and settle down the cosy and comfortable cushions, and relax.
It feels just like home......
Some people never leave the bars, they ly down and watch the tv for the whole day it seems.
We thought it was something special for a night it is OK.
But to do this for a whole week would go too far.
Favorite Dish: You can order here what ever you like, and it doesn't matter in which restaurant you are;
they all serve the same food for the same price.
The video's that you can watch are about all the same; like old friends-series.
Some of the restaurants try to get more people by showing the newest movies on tv, there illegal copies, that are sold also in the local shops.
The food itselve itn't bad at all. And sometimes it's OK to relax for one night and watch the good oldies on tv.
You meet many, many other backpackers in this area. But the whole thing is that this scene has nothing to do with travelling.
It could have been some town in Europe as well.