Looking for a cool cafe where you can chill out in Luang Prabang, Laos? Scroll down :)
Luang Prabang is Laos’ funky UNESCO World Heritage City, full of temples, palaces, and lots of cool cafes. Here are some of the best cafes in the city, both the ones that are long-time tourist haunts and those that are more local and traditional. Lao coffee is world-famous, and you definitely must not miss enjoying a cafe or ten while you are in the country.
The best cafes in Luang Prabang, Laos, and what to order
1. Saffron Coffee's Espresso, Brew Bar, & Roastery
Saffron Cafe is a famous cafe among tourists in Luang Prabang. It’s a cool and atmospheric cafe on the riverside, and you can choose to sit inside the cafe in the calm atmosphere, or sit across the road by the river and admire its beauty. The cafe has wide variety of drinks, pasteries, and food. I ordered this pot of coffee cherry tea, and sat by the river in the morning. It’s such a serene and beautiful view of local Lao life. As I sat, I watched local people crossing the river on the old wooden ferries. The view is one of the best in the city.
Price : $
Must-try: a pot of Saffron’s famous cascara, or coffee cherry tea, a strong and sweet brew made from the usually-discarded coffee cherry after the beans have been removed.
2. Ock Pop Tok Silk Road Cafe
I had an amazing time at the Silk Road Cafe at Ock Pop Tok. I really like the idea that my money goes to help support the ethnic minority group of Laos. This is more than just a cafe. They also have showcase of traditional tribal handcrafts such as scarves, bags, clothes, etc. You can also help to support their organization by purchasing their products or enjoy drinks and food at the cafe. While we were there, we were lucky to see a weaving demonstration by Mrs. Kiang, a local master weaver. I ordered this refreshing glass of butterfly pea and ginger lemonade. It’s amazing! The cafe is very nice and well-decorated, and it’s like sitting in a colorful garden. I also tried a rich iced Lao coffee, which is also very good. They are also the only cinema in town! Op Pop Tok shows a second-run movie every Thursday night. Tickets are 70,000 kip per person, and include dinner.
Must-try: a cool glass of butterfly pea tea (bright purple, sweet, and served with a tiny bit of lime), or a glass of iced Cafe Lao
3. Indigo Cafe
Another good cafe to try out in town is the Indigo Cafe, located just down the road from the Royal Palace. This cafe offers a wide variety of food and drinks, but what makes it so famous is its bakery, with its delicious fresh bread and pastries
I ordered a hot Lao coffee, which comes with condensed milk at the bottom (milk is optional), and a delicious buttery croissants. The coffee is great and has the nice, rich aroma that is so distinctive for Lao coffee. The croissant was very crispy on the outside but so soft and buttery on the inside. It’s so crispy that the flakes went everywhere, but I loved every bite!
Price: $ (15.000 kip for coffee/10.000 kip for croissant)
Must-try: traditional Lao Coffee and a fresh croissant from the bakery (pay for coffee and pastries separately)
4. Le Banneton
This fine cafe and bakery shop makes a perfect croissant. This cafe is located in an ideal spot where you can indulge in temple views in the old historical town of Luang Prabang. I ordered a lemon iced tea which was very refreshing (and perfectly sour!), Lao coffee that was so smooth and rich, and of course, a croissant! These buttery, soft, warm croissants are what put Le Banneton on the map in Luang Prabang, and what keep travelers coming back again and again.
Must-try: a hot croissant fresh from the Le Banneton bakery
5. Joma Bakery Cafe
Joma Bakery Cafe has always been popular in Laos for their awesome coffee, delicious pastries, and relaxing atmosphere. They have two branches in Luang Prabang, and one in Vientaine as well. It’s a very nice cafe where you can chill, enjoy great coffee, and try a delicious pastry. I especially like their smooth Lao iced coffee. It’s not as strong or as rich as other iced coffees in Laos, but the flavor is very nice, and it’s a refreshing drink on a hot afternoon. Everything is yummy here! The price is a bit higher than at other coffee shop but it’s still a reasonable price, and you can feel good that all of their coffee is ethically produced.
Must-try: Traditional iced Lao coffee (25,000 kip)
Location : https://goo.gl/maps/vXWFRCzW1nu
6. Prachaniyom Coffee Shop
This is a true secret gem in Luang Prabang. Lao iced coffee is AMAZING. It’s so rich in taste and aroma, and the coffee at Prachaniyom is the best I’ve had so far! Their coffee is super rich and strong, and served over condensed milk and ice to be the perfect sweetness. Most importantly, I can a drink this cup of coffee and admire the serene morning views of the Mekong River and mountain for only 8.000 kip! The best coffee in the city is also the cheapest! I’m being honest by saying that this is even better than the coffee that you can get at an expensive cafe. I highly recommend you to try their pork porridge as well. It makes for a delicious (and super cheap) breakfast. This cafe is only open in the morning, from 4am until 11am, so get their early and enjoy some coffee with your new local friends along the river!
Price: $ (8.000 kip for both coffee and porridge)
Must-try: traditional iced coffee and rice porridge
Location: Prachaniyom Coffee Shop
7. L'Etranger Books & Tea
This cafe and tea room is so cool! It’s a cafe, restaurant, used book store, and Akha hilltribe traditional craft shop. The coffee is very good, and they offer a great selection of filling breakfasts (try the “Lao Farmer”, which comes with two eggs, cooked eggplant, and a basket of sticky rice). If you want to support traditional handicrafts, pick up a hand-made Akha scarf, blanket, or bead bracelet. They show a different movie at 7pm every night. There is no cost to watch the film, but you are expected to purchase a drink or meal.
Price: $ (20.000 kip for both Lao iced coffee )
Must-try: traditional iced coffee
Location: L'Etranger Books & Tea