Photo: Pak Ou caves.

Best Western breakfasts in Luang Prabang

When you've had enough soup

Best Western breakfasts in Luang Prabang

After a week of noodle soup with fish sauce and grilled bananas, there’s no shame in wanting to sink your teeth into a breakfast that you may be more accustomed to. We gave you a list of must-try local breakfast eats in Luang Prabang. Now here are some of the best spots to kick start your day with Western fare. French toast, omelettes and bacon, oh my.

Bite me.

Bite me.

After 12 hours spooning with a stranger on an overnight bus, Joma Bakery Cafe is a godsend. It smells familiar, it tastes familiar and who can deny the joy of a freshly baked bagel with cream cheese. Joma is the closest thing to fast food in Luang Prabang – though much of it is freshly prepared and getting your order still requires some patience. This place has the whole gamut of earthly Western breakfast desires, such as breakfast burritos with sour cream, waffles and scones.

All hail the mighty breakfast burrito!

All hail the mighty breakfast burrito!

The 26,000 kip bagel-egger is a particularly good morning-after-bowling hangover cure. It’s loaded with enough grease, calories and carbs to absorb the alcohol and fuel you on. Luang Prabang has two locations, the flagship cafe beside the post office and the other opened in 2014, on the Nam Khan riverside. Find Joma spawns in Vientiane, Hanoi and Phnom Penh. Open daily 07:00-21:00.

Saffron Cafe boasts a Mekong terrace, as well as some of the best coffee to be found in Luang Prabang and perhaps all of Laos. The beans will certainly be the freshest, as they are grown right in the province. The menu is a what’s what of coffee, from piccolo to flat white, be it siphon brewed, Hario V60, aeropress, French press or cold drip, the latter setting you back a cool 30,000 kip. Breakfast is basic (bacon, eggs, granola) though there’s a touch of flair in the gingerbread pancakes and mango coconut French toast. All items hover around 30,000 kip.

Cafe Ban Vat Sene is a main street mainstay. While reading their copies of Le Monde is not mandatory, come with an appetite for a French breakfast, whether you’re craving sweet or savoury, hot or cold, a nibble or a full set (starting at 40,000 kip). You can get pastries, croissants, baguette sandwiches as well as a killer quiche. We suggest grabbing a picnic lunch to go-go for your trip to Kuang Si. Find it across from the primary school in Ban Vat Sene. Open daily 06:30-22:00.

The French cafe, a favourite pastime in Luang Prabang.

Sitting and eating, a favourite pastime in Luang Prabang.

A Western breakfast round up wouldn’t be complete without Le Banneton. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to France. Once a quiet spot, at times Le Banneton can feel as busy as Joma – try visiting at off hours. Offering buttery croissants, crusty baguettes and pastries that will make your heart sing, simply pick your pleasure from the counter, grab a sidewalk table and watch the world putter by. This cafe refreshingly does NOT have WiFi. On the main street, near the end of the peninsula. Open daily 06:30-18:00.

Luang Prabang can’t seem to get enough bread and Zurich Bread Factory & Cafe is the latest addition to keep you well carbohydrated. It’s a chain with a handful of locations in Phuket and the Thai-style cafe does feel a bit out of tune with the rest of the town. We don’t normally write about chains unless there’s something worth mentioning and tourists flock here for three reasons: it has a convenient, can’t-miss-it main street location across from the temples, there’s a wide variety of fresh baked breads and there’s air-con.

Apricot danish at Le Banneton. It's healthy because it has fruit on top.

Apricot danish at Le Banneton. It’s healthy because it has fruit on top.

Want a spot in the heart of the main street/tourist strip? Head to Novelty Cafe, or to Indigo Cafe which boasts many vegetarian options. Need a vegan, gluten-free blueberry chia seed muffin? Well, Luang Prabang’s not quite there yet.

Indigo Cafe: Sisavangvong Rd, Ban Pakham; T: (071) 212 264;; open daily 06:30-10:00.
Joma Bakery: Phothisalath Rd; T: (071) 252 292; plus Nam Khan, Kingkitsarath Rd;; open daily 07:00-21:00.
Le Banneton: Sakkaline Rd (across from Wat Sop Sickharam); open daily 06:30-18:00.
Le Cafe Ban Vat Sene: Sakkarine Rd; (071) 252 482; open daily 06:30-22:00.
Novelty Cafe: Sisavangvong Rd, Ban Xieng Mouane; (020) 5519 5023; open daily 08:00-22:00.
Saffron Cafe: Mekong Road, Ban Vat Nong; T: (020) 5539 9557;; open Mon-Sat 07:00-21:00.
Zurich Bread Factory & Cafe: Sakkarine Rd;; open daily 06:00-21:00.

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