Naked Espresso, Vientiane

Vientiane is full of rustic charms, from the landmark Mekong river (currently quite muddy) that flows alongside the length of the city and marks the border between Laos and Thailand; to the blocks of ivy-tangled disused land that sprawl everywhere. People live in houses, not apartments; bicycles intermingle with 4WDs and chickens wander in and out of their urban farms.

You can well imagine that in another 5-10 years time, those blocks of overgrown greenery will hold apartments, the bicycles will have disappeared and other relics of a charming sleepy town will disappear into the annals of history. 

If, like me, you are fascinated with the changing blur of lifestyle and landscape before your very eyes, then Vientiane is the place for you. It is already happening and when it does, it's nice to imagine that it's mostly inspired by Laotians themselves (as opposed to multinational conglomerates building skyscrapers and opening chain restaurants).

Hole in the wall coffee shop Naked Espresso cafe, Vientiane | Eat Drink Laos http://eatdrinklaos.com/blog/naked-espresso-vientiane One of Vientiane's favourite coffee drinking cafes for foreigners and Laotians alike - superb Lao coffee, great food, friendly atmosphere

Which is the case with Naked Espresso, a popular falang (foreigner) cafe owned by a young Lao barista called Pop. he went to Australia for a few years on a business scholarship and while he was there, he worked in a coffee shop. Then he returned and put all of that knowledge to very good use.

Too good to drink? A good Lao coffee goes a long way at Naked Espresso cafe, Vientiane | Eat Drink Laos http://eatdrinklaos.com/blog/naked-espresso-vientiane One of Vientiane's favourite coffee drinking cafes for foreigners and Laotians alike - superb Lao coffee, great food, friendly atmosphere

It's not surprising that the blackboard menu has a long list of Australian-esque coffees like flat white and short black.

Get your falang coffee fix here at Naked Espresso cafe, Vientiane | Eat Drink Laos http://eatdrinklaos.com/blog/naked-espresso-vientiane One of Vientiane's favourite coffee drinking cafes for foreigners and Laotians alike - superb Lao coffee, great food, friendly atmosphere

Though as a non-coffee drinker, my eye was immediately caught by the jars of T2 teas. I'm always impressed to see a cafe known for its coffee remember that other hot beverages exist too.

There's also a short but broad menu of food to appeal to local falang who fill its 8 or so tables (more located upstairs). Complete with wifi, ever-present a/c and a well priced menu of breakfast and lunch options. A second, "bigger and more fancy" Naked Espresso is located downtown, near the Dairy Queen.

Naked Espresso cafe's freshly roasted coffee beans, from Laos and beyond, are always popular in the cafe and to take home. Naked Espresso cafe, Vientiane | Eat Drink Laos http://eatdrinklaos.com/blog/naked-espresso-vientiane One of Vientiane's favourite coffee drinking cafes for foreigners and Laotians alike - superb Lao coffee, great food, friendly atmosphere

But for now, "Nakeds" is a spot for a quick lunch and it doesn't disappoint.

So, if I've time on my hands to sit and watch the world swirling around in downtown Vientiane, Naked Espresso will probably be my vantage point, accompanied by a nice cup of tea (or coffee).

Latte art comes in many forms - why not a bicycle on the wall? Naked Espresso cafe, Vientiane | Eat Drink Laos http://eatdrinklaos.com/blog/naked-espresso-vientiane One of Vientiane's favourite coffee drinking cafes for foreigners and Laotians alike - superb Lao coffee, great food, friendly atmosphere

The original Naked Espresso is on Rue Dongpayna right near the traffic lights and the flower shops. Naked Espresso 2 is in town at Rue Manthatourath, near the Dairy Queen corner and almost opposite Champa massage.