Restaurants on the river
Cheap and relaxing
What we say:
The banks of the Mekong make a great place to sit and enjoy a meal.
Along the riverfront you'll invariably find plenty of barbecues and make-shift restaurants, and the smaller streets intersecting Fa Ngum, the main river road.
Most are hastily assembled just before sundown and stacked away around 22:00, though some open earlier and close later. The food is simple but tasty, and the staples are grilled chicken, fish, spicy papaya salad and spring rolls, served with a basket of sticky rice and delicious dipping sauces. Menus are beginning to diversify and some offer "hot pots", a vaguely fondue-like experience of cooking meat and veggies in a pot of boiling broth.
The ramshackle restaurants lack names, so it's hard to recommend one over another or even tell them apart. Fruit shakes or big bottles of BeerLao complete the experience, and a meal on the Mekong is a must. Some of these places don't have menus (you simply point at what you'd like) and prices may fluctuate, often unfavourably for tourists, so do ask prices before ordering.
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