Where Are All The Vegan / Vegetarian Restaurants in Luang Prabang?

If someone knows where all the vegan and vegetarian restaurants are in Luang Prabang, please tell me so I can go back there and stuff my face!

Is this France or Laos?

Is this France or Laos?

Stu and I first came to Luang Prabang in August 2011 during our first visit to Laos when it was wet season and quiet with few tourists.

It was just as much of a joy then to cycle around the pretty streets of the old city taking in picturesque views of the Mekong River and the many decorative Wats dotted around town.

Cycling alongside the Nam Khan River

Cycling alongside the Nam Khan River

One afternoon we were on a relaxing bike ride down Th Kingkitsaret, next to the Nam Khan River and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a sign saying ‘Vegetarian Food’.

It was a small cafΓ© with 2 tables inside next to the kitchen and a few tables opposite by the river. As you can imagine, this really made my day! The menu consisted of typical Lao food with vegetarian substitutes for the usual meat.

As a strict vegan I would prefer to only eat in vegan or vegetarian restaurants. I instantly get more choice and have the comfort of knowing that no meat of fish were cooked in the kitchen.

Lao noodle soup with fresh greens

Vegan Lao noodle soup with fresh greens

All of our meals there were delicious and authentic. My favourite meal was breakfast, when I would have vegan Lao noodle soup, which came with a plate stacked high with fresh greens, yum!

This time round (January 2013), on our second visit to Luang Prabang, I was excited about going back to the same vegetarian restaurant and hoped to eat all my meals there. I had searched for vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Luang Prabang on the internet and other people had raved about how good this restaurant was as well.

Imagine my disappointment when I cycled out in search of my trusty vegetarian restaurant to find no existence of it ever being there! Perhaps it was too much off the main drag or maybe they couldn’t afford to keep it open. Whatever the reason, it’s a sad loss for vegan and vegetarian visitors and locals in Luang Prabang.

Bananas and sweet potatoes grilling on the BBQ at the Night Market

Bananas and sweet potatoes grilling on the BBQ at the Night Food Stalls

I also read on Happy Cow and Wikitravel that the Night Food Stalls had one food stall advertising vegetarian food and another saying ‘vΓ©gΓ©talien’ (vegan). I couldn’t find these stalls in August 2011 and I still can’t find them now, so I presume they are no longer there πŸ™

Vegetable and tofu suzie

Vegetable and tofu ‘Suzie’

Most tourist restaurants in Laos have vegan and vegetarian options, but it’s never as appealing as a vegan or vegetarian restaurant in this meat loving country.

Watching a beautiful sunset over the Mekong River in one of Luang Prabang's many riverside restaurants

Watching a beautiful sunset over the Mekong River in one of Luang Prabang’s many riverside restaurants

I have still enjoyed our second visit to Luang Prabang (it’s so pretty it’s hard not to), but my eating experience has been a bit more difficult than last time.

If you know any vegetarian restaurants in Luang Prabang or restaurants with good options for vegans, please share details!

5 Responses to Where Are All The Vegan / Vegetarian Restaurants in Luang Prabang?

  1. Kate @30Traveler March 12, 2013 at 6:36 am #

    I’m the same, I basically only eat in vegan or at least vegetarian only restaurants.

    • Eloise Rodgers March 12, 2013 at 9:02 am #

      It does make it a bit more difficult only eating in vegetarian restaurants, when a country is not vegan or vegetarian friendly. Laos was a challenge as there wasn’t any vegetarian restaurants anywhere apart from in Vientiane, the capital.

  2. Owen Wiltshire January 10, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

    Top veg spots I found were:

    Tamarind Tree resto (small resto with nice setting on the mekong). I think there are 2 tamarind restaurants in Luang Prabang, but the one I found serves both meat and tons and tons of vegetarian dishes (marked seperately on the menu). You can get all sorts of Laos dishes made veg there, and they wont mix fish sauce into your meal. Its really really good.

    The night market has 2 veg stalls that are vegan. They are pretty good, but i wish the food was served hotter. The dishes are excellent, but the hygiene not so much.

    There is also a guy who does fried dumplings in the night market. He has 2 kinds, one veg, one meat. He does a good job keeping them completely separate.

    Lao-garden is a fancy restaurant that can do Laos bbq with tofu, as well as good red/green/yellow curries. Its a bit pricey but the food is really good.

    There is also Nisha indian restaurant, and also Nazim indian restaurant – both good options.

    • Stuart Edwards January 14, 2014 at 8:12 am #

      Huge thanks Owen! Great tips. We didn’t have much luck at the night market – There was a bit of cross-contamination from meat going on so we gave that a miss πŸ™‚ Ahh Lao-Garden was great, didn’t see BBQ tofu though! Hopefully next time they’ll have more vegan options.

      Thanks again Owen!

  3. karin feltman March 3, 2019 at 9:36 am #

    i am currently in luang prabang and am vegan (when at all possible). utopia has a good snack menu with lots of vegetarian options, even marked with a “v” to know that they are, in fact, vegetarian and don’t just sound that way. things like plantain chips and salsa, fresh spring rolls, fried river weed, bouddha bowl, mango caasar salad, and a black bean burger. i also had a really delicious veggie burger (quinoa based, if i remember correctly) with fries and a salad at Buong Asian Cafe. i also had their trio of dips (banana flour, roasted eggplant, and grilled tomato) with sticky rice. SO good. they had other vegetarian options including curries, too. i had falafel and hummus (they also have as a wrap) at a place on the main street that said “kebab and BBQ” on the sign. they have lebanese food and are on the same side of the street as buong. today i ate lunch at cafe toui on a side street just around the corner from the main drag and it was arguably the best curry i have ever had (in 52 countries, and i live in asia). yellow pumpkin curry with a coconut, kefir lime, and galangal root sauce. they have a whole page of vegetarian items. i found many others with pages of vegetarian items too- you literally just have to stop and look at each menu as you pass by. unfortunately, there isn’t a comprehensive list anywhere on the internet that i can find. i saw one place down on the river just to the left of the “hot pot” restaurant that had a big stand up sign and one entire sign was for vegetarian dishes. i haven’t tried there yet. bamboo tree restaurant has a vegetarian “lao set” and so does another little restaurant on a more minor street but i can’t remember the name. hope this helps- i have been here several days and am having more trouble figuring out where NOT to eat than where TO eat!

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