Vientiane is the capital city of Laos. It may not be filled with high-rise buildings and business suits but it does have quite an array of international food choices. There’s plenty of run-of-the-mill food and drink to be had but we’ve focussed on 3 special options. We could have easily hung out in Vientiane for a month or two sampling all the food and drink that Vientiane had on offer.
Lao-Lao – Loation Rice Whiskey
We have mentioned Lao-Lao quite a few times recently. Good Lao-Lao is very nice. Most of the Lao-Lao you’ll encounter around town can be described as like very cheap sake. It is a rice whiskey made out of fermented rice that tastes just as nasty going down as it does coming up. Just ask Andrew. He had a grand time drinking way too much Lao-Lao while we were on our Stray Travel bus tour.
One important factor when considering drinking Lao-Lao Vs any other drink Laos has to offer is the cost. Lao-Lao is extremely cheap. Less than $1 USD for a 750ml bottle. You can actually get lao-lao cheaper too. Many Laotians make lao-lao at home and sell it as a second income. Just like Italians and their home made wine.
One big difference between Italian wine and Laotian lao-lao is the variety of flavours available. Honey lao-lao doesn’t sound too bad. Snake or scorpion lao-lao however, not so much. See the photo above? Mmm, doesn’t that look appetising?
We had been told on many occasions that we were not allowed to say no to a Laotian if they offer us a shot of Lao-Lao. If you are with a group of five locals, they will be offered a shot by each person one after another. All in a space of 30 minutes. Needless to say, take the shot of lao-lao happily but then spit it back into a glass of water subtly.
Drink sparingly and carefully. Many people fall very ill drinking lao-lao. Think before sculling 10 shots in a row and jumping in that tube down the river in Vang Vieng. Otherwise enjoy the Lao-Lao ride!
McK Fast Food
Look! Is that a McDonalds? Is that a KFC? No, it’s McK! Oh yeah baby. This is what we’re talking about. Probably the most awesome fast food restaurant in the world. Cough cough. Alright, I’ll try not to be too harsh but it is pretty bad.
McK is a Chinese fast food restaurant that looks like a McDonalds. The restaurant is laid out like a maccas. The uniforms look like they are from maccas. The chairs, tables and coffee machine look like they come from maccas. But the menu is like KFC.
So instead of being able to get a Big Mac from a McDonalds or sit in a KFC to get popcorn chicken you can now experience the best of both worlds. McK to the rescue!
The food wasn’t terribly tasty. The chicken was rather grey. The fries were ok. All in all, we enjoyed our meal at McK. Maybe “enjoyed” is too strong a word. We wanted a burger. And we got that.
Nos Japanese Sushi Bar Restaurant
Ah, this is a lot better! Are you feeling the need to have something to eat other than rice, noodles or bread? Then visit NOS Sushi Bar Restaurant in Vientiane!
For 29,000 Kip or around $3.50 USD you can get an amazing lunch time feed of udon soup, vegetable tempura, salad, pickles, iced green tea, and green tea icecream to finish. Awesome.
The restaurant is air conditioned, full of comfy booth seats, has very clean toilets and a lovely water feature with healthy fish to look at.
Honestly, if you are looking for a good place to hang out for a few hours while eating very tasty food, check out NOS Sushi Bar Restaurant in Vientiane. Just take note of the opening hours (we didn’t) – 11:30am – 2:00pm and 5:30pm – 10:30pm every day.
Tanya is a TEFL teaching farmer’s daughter and writes most of the posts. She is also an experienced IT person, a fantastic organiser and an awesome cook. She left a free-beer-providing IT job in a brewery for life on the road. That is commitment!