September update - new breakfast/brunch post coming soon as the dining scene in Vientiane is changing fast!
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so they say, though personally I prefer brunch. As an Australian, we take our brunch seriously; it can be the highlight of the day. So, it’s not surprising that I like to seek out the best breakfast/brunch options in town.
Here’s my list of the best brunch spots in Vientiane:
Best downtown brunch - Jeremy's Cafe
If you missed out on the wonderful breakfasts of Jeremy Herzog, then more's the pity. This top cafe is now under new management with a twist on the favourite dishes.
Avert your eyes from the tempting cakes and pastries (they'll distract you enough throughout your meal). The breakfast menu includes an American style fry up, frittata, croissants, and eggs benedict. There’s fresh juice, Lao tea and Chicco D'Oro coffee. It’ll leave you satisfied but not tummy-groaning full. Which is good because you won't be leaving this patisserie empty-handed...
From 35,000 kip; open daily from 7am.
Best sweet tooth brunch - Blu at the Mandala
September update - Alas, Blu is now closed :(
The chic little Blu at the Mandala launched its brunch menu just before Christmas. Choose from a selection of gourmet mains that include savoury crepes and eggs benedict (naturally), as well as a selection of sandwiches, pastries and cakes that sit prettily inside a gilded bird’s cage. And tea and coffee, of course. After brunching, it's time to choose from a tray of decadent desserts, presented by one of the chefs at your table. Pick wisely!
Cost: 165,000 kip, kids can eat off their parents’ plates for free; Saturdays only 11am-4pm. Best park at the nearby temple.
Best buffet brunch - Acqua
Not surprisingly, Acqua gets the gong for the best buffet brunch which combines their famous lunchtime buffet with a generous selection of pastries, pancakes and juices. You can also eat as much as you like from another long menu of dishes that range from pasta to salmon fillets.
And, lest there's a pause, waitstaff also stop by sporadically with slices of pizza, ravioli, and anything else the chef happens to be whipping up in the kitchen. You'll want to fast for at least a day prior. It’s not cheap but can you really put a price on gluttony?
Cost: 198,000 kip; kids under 5 are half-price; Sundays only 11.30am-3pm.
Best brunch with a view - Rays Capitol Grille
For a bird’s eye view of Vientiane, Rays Capitol Grille’s 10th floor rooftop restaurant wins hands down. Luckily they also have an extensive menu of American-sized breakfast options to enjoy too.
Try the avocado, tomato and cheese omelette, spinach and smoked salmon frittata, or if you're feeling decadent, thick pancakes topped with fresh mango and drizzled in coconut sauce. On weekends, be prepared to wait but you’ll have the place to yourself of a weekday.
Weekdays 6.30-10.30am, weekends 6.30am-1.30pm.
Best hair of the dog brunch - O’Grady’s
If you’ve had a few the night before, you’ll appreciate a classic Irish breakfast with an (optional) Guinness on the side. Decent coffee, outdoor tables and space for the kids to run around equals a leisurely start to the weekend.
It’s good to see proper sausages and fat hash browns on the plate these days though some nice sourdough bread wouldn't go astray.
From 9.30am-12.30pm daily.
Best healthy option brunch - Naked Espresso
Naked Espresso's fresh beetroot, apple and carrot juices deliver a healthy kickstart to any day. Add in my favourite smoked salmon and avocado on seeded toast (with tomato, lettuce and red onion to boot), a fabulous, Australian-style coffee, or Lao tea, and you’re set.
Other breakfast options include scrambled eggs, cheese toasties, and (you guessed it) eggs benedict.
Breakfast from 8am daily.
Best a bit different brunch - Cafe Nomad
For a Korean twist on falang breakfast favourites, head over to Cafe Nomad. If you like lattes, you'll love Nomad's caramel latte, homemade chai latte and iced matcha latte. Alongside, try the scrambled eggs and grilled veggies or a panini - bacon and eggs, Italian, or my favourite, the bulgogi panini with cabbage, cheese and soy protein in soy sauce.
Sounds... a bit different? It's delicious nonetheless.
Breakfast from 8-11am daily.
Best Lao breakfast - Doi Ka Noi
If you're craving something a little more authentic - we are living in Laos, after all - you can't go past the genuinely fantastic and homemade Lao cooking of Noi at Doi Ka Noi. Try the khao piak sen pla (noodle soup with Mekong fish) or the xin mai (Vietnamese-style meatballs) with fresh baguettes and Lao coffee. Photo credit: Doi Ka Noi.
Breakfast from 7-10am Mon-Sat.
Got any other breakfast or brunch favourites in Vientiane? Leave a comment below!