If you go to the morning food market, you will see a whole range of exotic foods that you will be able to eat during your time on a Laos holiday. They may not all be to your liking, things such as crickets, but you don’t have to try them. If you are on a Laos travel package together with a guide, you will have many of your meals pre-booked and of course can get advice on all the food you might be offered in street vendor stalls.Certainly, the fresh fruit and vegetables as well as the fish from the Mekong make up a significant part of the menus you will find in Vientiane’s restaurants.
There are several restaurants serving ‘’foreign food’’, a relic of Vientiane’s past, and a reflection of its status as an international capital. In additional, Laos has received considerable investment from China and this is evident in some of its better restaurants.
• Aria Mixai Italian Culinary Arts in Rue Francois Ngin, Ban Mixai is the best Italian food in Vientiane. Real Neapolitan pizza is cooked in a wood fired oven, the homemade pasta and the choice of meats and fish makes it a difficult choice as to what to pick. In any event, finish with the excellent ice-cream bar. There is a wine list, mostly fine Italian wines which will match anything you find elsewhere in the country.
• Balkan House in Thongsangnang Village has a Montenegrin chef who offers traditional Yugoslav or Mediterranean cuisine.
• Nam Phou is close to Nam Phou Fountain and lays claim to being the first in that area, and still the best with fresh traditional food as well as good service.
• L'Opéra is nearby and also specialises in Italian food, especially pizzas. The name comes from the fact the owners plays opera as background music, or sometimes a little louder; the choice is yours!
• La Scala Italian Restaurant on Thadeua Road is in a wellmaintained colonial home. There is a good lunchtime buffet, pizzas, pasta dishes and an extensive wine list.
• Le Silapa, above the I-Beam Tapas Bar opposite Ongtue Temple is regarded as one of Vientiane's best restaurants with its menu reflecting the presence of the French for many years. There is a good wine list with the house wine perfectly acceptable.
• Fu Man Lou has done so well there are now two branches with the one on the airport road generally regarded as the best. Try the Sichuan dishes.
• Dihao Hunan Restaurant near Patuxai serves Hunan cuisine. There is little English but everything on the menu has a picture so it’s easy to get what you want.
• Jiu-Jiu Restaurant specialises in the cuisine of South West China. offers fantastic southwestern Chinese cuisine. It is best described as a mixture of Yunnan and Sichuan and again there are photographs on the menu.
• Restaurant Chengdu has Manchurian-influenced food because the chef is from there, though the owner says he is from Chengdu. His efforts at Sichuan fare can vary.