We were a little sticker shocked when we first landed in Luang Prabang. Landlocked Laos was a bit more expensive than it’s neighboring countries. It’s all relative, but a cheap meal now and then can help balance out your travel budget.
Below you’ll find some of our inside tips for eating cheaply in Luang Prabang. Many eateries do not have websites or even official names for that matter, so we will give you directions but it’s up to you to find them! That’s all part of the fun, right?
Instead of a Western-style breakfast, which typically starts around 40,000 Kip ($5.00), try khao piak khao, rice soup. It will only cost you 10,000 Kip, maybe 12,000 Kip. This dish is a large bowl of rice soup filled with minced pork, crisped garlic, cilantro, and sometimes a fresh vegetable or egg.
Our favorite place for
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Another worthy place you can eat
Lunch / Dinner:
Noodle soup or baguette sandwich, which do you prefer? That’s the best thing about Luang Prabang- these are two of the most inexpensive lunches you can find.
Baguette sandwiches start at 10,000
A bowl of noodles in Laos is always a great bet. The two most popular kinds of noodle dishes are
Where to eat noodles: Again, you’ll find noodles in several locations all around Luang Prabang. Some of our favorite noodles were at Nang Ae Restaurant, on the corner across from the Dara Market. For dinner, we recommend finding some of the small popup noodle stands at the night market. Many people venture to the eastern, quiet part of town to Xieng Thong Noodle. It’s quite well known, but we can’t say it lived up to the hype.
Lao Lao Garden makes a conscience effort to provide affordable menu options for those travelers on a budget. They offer fried rice, fried noodles, noodle soup, papaya salad, or a baguette with 2 eggs for only 19,000 Kip. All other dishes on their menu start at 45,000
Two doors down from Nang Ae Restaurant you will find a hidden gem! Some businesses grow in popularity while others remain quiet and you wonder why. While there’s absolutely nothing fancy about this joint, we felt the need to go in because the little girl dancing outside was the best non-invasive marketing tactic we’ve found on the road. We realized the family that owns the restaurant lives in the back. This is life for many locals. Their food was incredibly tasty and affordable. Almost all the dishes go for 15,000 to 20,000 Kip. While we don’t even know the name of this place, it’s located two doors down from Nang Ae Restaurant. The walls are white and the tables have Coca-cola table cloths. Hard to miss!
By far the cheapest option for a budget dinner in Luang Prabang is the vegetarian buffet at the night market where a full plate of grub goes for 10,000 Kip. There’s an incredible amount of choices and you can eat as much as you like. It seems too good to be true.
Another recommendation for a cheap dinner is eating street food at the night market. Our favorite is the women, pictured below, who sets up shop on Kitsalan
We hope you enjoy eating your way through Luang Prabang. Please share any other cheap eats in the comment section below!