Luang Prabang: Melting pot of vegetarian flavors

Luang Prabang : A fascinating & charming UNESCO world heritage city. This little town nestled in the valley at the confluence of Namkhan and the mighty Mekong is famous for its gilded Buddhist temples. It’s also the ultimate confluence of French, Thai and Laotian gastronomy.  Discover Prabang through our breakfast, lunch, sundowner and dinner hotspots.

Breakfast: Start your day with some freshly baked baguettes and coffee

imageSilk Road Café, Ock Pop Tok Villa

Located down a narrow little path about 2 km from the city centre, Silk Road Café offers the most picturesque breakfast by the riverside. It’s as close as you can get to tranquil views of the Mekong with a hot cup of coffee, baguette, fresh butter & jam. Ock Pop Tok means “East meets West”, so try some eggs made to order with Lao Tomato Salsa for a local flavor. For residents at Ock imagePop Tok breakfast is included.

The café is equally popular for brunch or lunch time. If you are adventurous, try the Silk Poo tea, yes it is what you think it is, with a strong hint of mulberry!

Budget: $10 for breakfast; $15-20 for Lunch

Green Picks: Naem Dip – Fresh Vegetarian Spring Rolls with dipping sauce, Lao Style Aubergine & Tomato dipping sauces served with crispy rice cakes, Tom Yum Soup, Luang Prabang Salad – Local specialty of fresh greens, tomatoes, eggs with a light mayonnaise sauce and roasted peanuts and garlic.

3 Nagas 

imageIt can’t get better than starting your day with fresh coffee, croissants, fruits and waffles in a French colonial mansion overlooking a garden. Simply beautiful beginning to a day of sightseeing as you can cycle along Sakkaline road after breakfast to see the temples. For those staying at the 3 Nagas, the hotel offers complimentary cycles.

Green Picks: Croissants, Pain au Chocolat and Waffles

 

Lunch: Try a vegan treat or a traditional Lao lunch

imageL’elephant vert

The Green Elephant is an ethno botanical “living cuisine” restaurant with all the ingredients locally sourced in Laos. The restaurant serves “Rawfully Good” vegan options as well as slow cooked meals where nutrition is intact and not destroyed by cooking. By far, one of the best filling and healthy vegetarian lunches we have ever had. Sinfully clean eating!

Budget: $20 per head

Green Picks: Mixed Vegetable Salad with Roquefort Cream Dressing, Pumpkin Soup and Coconut Cream with Kaffir Leaves, Home Made Raviolis, Stuffed with Local Mushrooms, and a Cream Sauce with Fresh Herbs, Cumin Flavored Oyster Mushroom and Vegetable Lasagna, Chocolate Fondant

imageDyen Sabai

The Namkhan River has a picturesque bamboo bridge that leads to Dyen Sabai a true Laotian food and nature treat on the river bank. The platter is the best way to sample the wide variety of traditional Lao cuisine food, a spread of local dips and fresh treats.  You’ll love the various board games to keep busy while you wait for the meal. It’s a rather long wait for most meals in Laos but well worth it.

Budget: $10-15 per head

Green Picks: Vegetarian Platter (Mekong Seaweed, Steamed Vegetable, Eggplant Dip, Garlic Mushroom, Tomato Dip), Yellow curry, Fried Rice

Cafes & Wine Bars: Time for a Cuppa and a Sundowner

We absolutely loved the Café and Wine bar culture in LP. Feels like the French left a culinary heritage that’s been beautifully adapted and preserved in Asia

imageFor some delicious crepes, a glass of wine with a sunset view of the temples on Sakkaline road head to Le Banneton Bakery. There’s fair trade coffee for the teetotalers.

Shopping at the night market and need a break. Walk into Opera House, get a glass of wine, tapas and people watch! Une belle soiree, non?

Icon Klub is a must visit for cocktail lovers. Lisa runs a “One- woman show” with finesse and whips up some amazing tipple. Stop by, have a chat and Ring the Bell if you’d like to buy a round for the bar. A special treat are the poetry workshops twice a week led by Sean Chadwell at the attic.

Dinner: Wind down with a sumptuous meal

French & Laotian are the best flavors to savour in Prabang.

imageOur favorite Laotian dinner was at the famed 3 Nagas, starting with some crispy rice cakes & salsa, followed by fresh spring rolls, an absolutely fingerlicking melt-in-your- mouth Tofu curry that hits the spot and finished with delectable homemade ice-cream. Their food is prepared using only organic products. The courtyard at 3 Nagas with its twinkling lights makes for a perfect ambience topped by exxemplary service.

imageLe Banneton has some amazing fresh salads, quiche and savory crepes paired with house wine for dinner. We especially loved the sumptuous potato, onion buckwheat crepes with goat cheese.

A few meters from the bustling night market is Coconut Garden with a choice of continental and Lao food. You must try the Fried Glass Noodles with Bamboo Shoots, Mushrooms, Mixed Vegetables and Eggs or the Lao Omelette with fresh herbs. The spinach quiche is the right balance of a crispy pastry and light filling. The in house bakery has daily specials.

Luang Prabang is a destination we will certainly return to for some encores and great hospitality. A bientot!

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