Kualao is a long established restaurant in the centre of Vientiane, famous for both the quality of its food as well as its stunning appearance. Set in a classic yellow-washed colonial mansion, Kualao is one of the most easily recognisable restaurants in the capital.
The quintessentially Laotian theme hasn’t been spared for the exterior; everything from the attire of the servers to the decor – as well as a daily performance from the National Dance Troupe – all makes Kualao feel a bit like a Laos tourism promo-op. The menu is full of big flavours and exotic colours, with the likes of Som Tam (papaya salad), deep-fried Mekong River fish, spring rolls, and handmade Laotian sausage all topping the list of recommendations.
Joma Bakery does some of the best freshly made sandwiches in town, and proves to be a popular spot for locals and expats craving that morning cup of coffee alongside a freshly prepared snack – all with free Wi-Fi of course.
Cafés serving up tasty, reasonably priced food and quality coffee are certainly not unique to Vientiane. What sets aside Joma from the rest, however, is its conscious and genuine effort to use sustainable ingredients and support the local environment. They use fair-trade organic coffee beans that are locally sourced whilst also providing employment opportunities to disadvantaged people and victims of human rights.
I-Beam Bar is swanky two-level restaurant near the centre of Vientiane, specialising in Spanish-style Tapas and European wine. Arrive in the evening and you’ll usually find a buzzing atmosphere – conversation in full flow around the various plates of tapas and bottles of wine on each table.
The tapas itself is delicately prepared and presented, using only the finest imported ingredients such as Palma Ham, Kalamata olives and salami with reasonably priced.
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