I have been to Rays many times but normally eat the Philly cheesesteak with tender thin sliced rib-eye steak,onions and lots of cheese...delicious. The burgers are the bestI have eaten in Vientiane, try the avocado, bacon, double cheese. Comes with fries the way they should be.
Rays Grille is in an early 20th century french colonial on the Main tourist road in Vientiane center. Lots of locals living in Vientiane and around Asia. Intersting conversations with young and old expats.
Favorite Dish: Philly Ceesesteak beef is my favorite, although the burgers are a very close second! Both are for me the best in Vientiane, or maybe all of Laos. The burgers are fat and juicy with lots of the right stuff including what is advertised 200 grams of pure Aussie beef. Good stuff. Some of my local friends particularly like Rays homemade Falafel Salad with Feta,egg and lots of fresh vegies.
Come for a great choice of fresh fruit shakes and smoothies or juices here. Whenever I passed I couldn't resisted ordering one and take away... it's nice place to sit down as well and obviously popular hangout with always some people here. Dunno, maybe they got into some guidebooks, that wouldn't be surprise as they're here for long already.
Favorite Dish: You'll notice their rich display of fruit first as you pass the little outlet by outside. You'll be sitting literally under colorful paper parasols if you sit inside.
Go straight for the fresh fruit shakes... popular and very healthy version is that of banana, mango and pineapple. Others are good too. Mangosteen juice is something very special.
Everything in this restaurant is vegan, so don't be put off by the names that are somehow little funny: pork sausage or fish salad, steak etc... this is really just vegetarian variety of the 'meat' and yes, it's damn good!
I would simply have to yet try everything to name my favourite dish, but you can begin with Lao dishes that would include papaya salad, laap or pho for a breakfast and rice with different sauces.
Favorite Dish: Choose Asian styles food with seitan, they're delicious. Salads are very big and can easily feed two, made with lime juice instead of artificial vinegar. Tasty!
Alos try fruit shakes of many kinds or ice coffee that you can usually buy at street, this one here is good too.
Yeah... hard to believe, but among altogether 10 or so dishes we tried here, all were good or great with superb taste.
They have pizza too, but dunno how they're like because we would come here to eat Asian dishes.
In general - this is affordable, clean and friendly restaurant, but when there is more people it takes longer time waiting. It's worth it.
The name of this Australian owned bar-restaurant means 'no problem' and it's one of the most common phrases you'll learn while travelling in Laos. This place seems to be popular with foreign tourists and wealthier Lao and youngsters. It's by the Mekong promenade, next to Wat Chan with views ower the river bank and makeshift restaurants at its sand. If you come there in evening there's normally more people than by daytime and has livelier atmosphere. Many come there to play pool (few pool tables in 2 floors), other to flirt and drink :). But in general it is okay place with friendly feel and helpful staff.
The rooftop terrace is quite a pleasant place to sit down and enjoy night breeze; the place feels warm with it's interior design of bamboo-thatch. It's quite spacious and bright, airy. Has English menu with western and local foods with comparable prices.
Favorite Dish: Its vegetarian lasagna is not bad and not too expensive. But it's small - for 35 000 KIP. I understand some ingredients are difficult to get. Beer Lao or Lan Xang beer is 15000 KIP per bottle.
Written Sep 26, 2008
If you can't without pizzas and other European kind of foods, this is good place to try in Vientiane - by Swedish bakery. It has been opened couple of years ago and seems to attract many foreigners to hang out and eat (don't wonder if you find many Sweds there, it's in the name!). Given the location in main tourist area in Namphu, it's easy to find. They have large menu: about 60 kinds of pizza, some sandwiches, salads, sweets and breads and 'fast' drinks like shakes and coffee. Prices are OK; you'll pay 15 000 KIP for cup of chocolate shake, cheapest pizzas are from 38 000 KIP, most expensive around 60 000.
It's open from 7 am to 9 pm, can take away if you like.
UPDATE: Swedish bakery has moved to other location next to ex-theatre. You'll find it there and pizzas are still good.
Favorite Dish: I like pizzas but here I found them too greasy and without enough oregano and most importantly without good tomato sauce or passata. Better buy was large cup of delicous chocolate shake and some sweets.
Written Apr 30, 2009
This is a small place with a few Malay and Singaporean style dishes, won tons and a nice wooden terrace to drink your tiger beer and watch the people pass by. The owner said they import noodles directly from Singapore. I tried seafood mix with yellow noodle - not bad, but not enough spicy for my buds. Tiger beer cost 15 000 KIP, noodles with seafood were 25 000 KIP.
UPDATE (2013): This place no longer exists and something else is now here
Favorite Dish: tiger beer
This is cheap and popular, family owned noodle shop next to Wat Chan by Mekong promenade. I've been eating here many times: they cook simple, yet excellent 'pho' (pronounced like 'fur') with lots of fresh vegetables (lettuce, mint, basil, green bean, bean sprouts, lime and small chilli peppers) along with each bowl of soup and have delicious peanut sauce. If you want to try Lao noodle soup at its best then this is the right place to try. It's open from morning till 2 or 3 pm. Also try their tasty Lao coffee with condensed milk.
Since it's popular with locals it gets sometimes a bit crowded and has lively atmosphere. The noodle shop is basically in the 'living' room of the family in the ground floor where the front wall-doors are open during their opening time - and food is cooked in the large pot in front so you can see how it's done. No need to worry, it's clean. They didn't put the name of place in front but locals call it Wat Chan noodle soup shop.
Favorite Dish: Noodle soups - they can use different kind of meat or meat balls or just vegetable. I always have it with Lao coffee...
After many years you can still appreciate they haven't changed quality of both food and service nor they wasted money on the design of their home which remains until today the same as it was when I have first eaten here back in 2005. That is just wow in this fast changing city!
Note: this review was written on Nov 6, 2009
It's a little bit hot to walk around here in the midday in dry season but you can cool down and eat something nice for your stomach in those makeshift restaurants under grassy roofs on Mekong shore parallel to Fa Ngum road. There are many of them and you can sit in any that suits you because prices and menus are more or less the same. Many look quite lonely around noon so good thing about that is you don't need to wait long to get food (which is prepared and cooked in open kitchens by each restaurant).
Here you can try some nice fish soups, BBQ and rice dishes - and good fruit shakes of fresh fruits. Evenings draw more people here but also mosquitos.
As these shadows and huts are only temporary built you must not be sensitive about heat because it's not possible to have AC here. In that case you'd have to go to other restaurants in near buildings.
Here on the photo taken by my aunt you can see how this kind of place is built - all of natural, local material, mostly bamboo. Some places allow to lay on the floor while drinking (impractical for eating unless your body isn't used to).
UPDATE: There ARE NO RESTAURANTS like this on the same ground ANYMORE! The new park has been built and had remowed them all!
Note: the following review was written in 2009
This restaurant on Anou Rd. is very close to the main touristy streets, just behind the corner and has been one my favourite place for Chinese dumplings since my first visit to Vientiane. They still make delicious foods, have great service and it seems they still get quite a lot of guests as it is within convenient walking distance to Mekong. They have quite large menu in English, Chinese and Russian. It's not very big restaurant and sometimes they get full in evenings but it's worth to wait a lil to get your table. There's bird who knows to speak by the door.
Favorite Dish: Must try are their delicious dumplings - vegetarian are great but they have few other kinds with meat. I think they even became better than few years ago. Other dishes would be with various meats and vegetables, if you can speak Lao or Chinese they can make you pure vegetarian foods.
UPDATE 2013: This restaurant has been moved to Fa Ngum road and it's next to IUCN office.
The Khop Chai Deu Restaurant is clean and service is quick. We passed a lot of european and local restaurants in Vientiane but this became our favorite because it's got cool a/c, cool decor and the staff are friendly and quick. They have clean rest rooms too :)
They have live music going on from 8:30 p.m. to 11:00p.m.
Favorite Dish: The food is good and reasonably priced. The beerlao is cold and a great counterpoint to the spicy asian dishes that we ordered. My favorites: tom yum, papaya salad, chicken (i can't remember the names of the dishes since they are unpronounceable to me)... we let our Thai friend do the ordering for us. :) they do serve American and European food for those who are tired of Asian food.
Many stalls are scattered around selling baguettes with a filling of your choice and cost a little over a dollar or you can buy a plain baguette at the market stalls or at the local bus station and supply your own filling
We stumbled upon this Bakery/ Coffee/ Cafe walking the streets. I did not consider it a bakery as it is more upmarket with nice tables and chairs, evening meals, great cakes and pastries etc etc.
It also has an upstairs section which we did not visit as we obtained a nice table on the ground floor.
We enjoyed coffee and cake on consecutive days. Can highly recommend this establishment.
The Heuankeo Restaurant is a hidden gem in Vientiane! The chef is passionate about her cooking and taking care of her customers. The food is soo...yummy, tasty and authentic!!! They serve a fair spread of local Laotion dishes along with some Thai & Chinese dishes. There is also a noodle station/bar and a desert station. All this for one low set price and all you can eat too!
This place has been open for over 10 years and serves primarily lunch and dinner buffet style. The people are all very friendly. The restaurant is very clean and air conditioned....a very nice luxury to dine in from the heat of the day. The restrooms are also spic and span.
We were here back in '99 and it was quite busy then but the owner tells us they mostly do large catering events and hosts parties in their restaurant. Limited English but you are able to communicate when they have English speaking customers, friends, or family who often stop by for a quick bite to eat. You don't really need to communicate though, just smile and enjoy the buffet spread!
Favorite Dish: Larb! Laotion food is all about the Larbs and this place has all varieties of them...beef, fish, chicken, & turkey. You haven't eatin Lao food unless you've had the sticky rice and Larb.
The fruit and desert station is refreshing after a hot day in the sun.
This restaurant is a garden restaurant on a small side street. It has waiters dressed in uniforms, and it seems a little more up scale than some of the others. Service is good as is the food.
Favorite Dish: I had several things here, all of them good. The Lao salad with it's chopped spices is truly great for us spice lovers. I also had fish cooked in a banana leaf, also delicious.
Throw in a Beer Lao and you can have a great meal here. It is just a little more expensive than most.
The Restaurant is across the street from the Best Western hotel. It is a garden restaurant, meaning you eat outside. It doesn't look like much of a place, but these places have the best unpretentious food at reasonable prices.
Favorite Dish: I got the Thai style green curry with chicken. The curry was a deep green and it was full of local spices, basil and apple eggplants. It was much more delicious than the Thai versions I hd in previous days. The others tended to have a lot of coconut milk, maybe too much.
The second thing I like is the Beer Lao, delicious beer!