Food prices in Pakse
Most Lao dishes in town start at prices about LAK20,000; this will probably be a bit higher if you’re eating in a higher-end restaurant. There are a lot of options in Pakse for eating Western food, and the prices on these will vary – on average, a burger will run about LAK30,000, but depending on where you go (and the size of the burger!), you are likely to end up paying more or less than that price. In addition to the Lao food options in town, Pakse also has a fair range of other cuisines available, including Indian, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and even some Italian-inspired spots.
Daolin, located on Road 13 near the main tourist area, is one of the most popular restaurant options with travellers and backpackers in Pakse. Their menu items include not only Lao and Western food but also Thai and Vietnamese dishes, all of which run around LAK20,000-LAK50,000.
Cafes and coffee houses
There are quite a few cafes in Pakse, which makes sense when you consider how close Pakse is to the main coffee growing regions in Laos.
Sinouk Cafe, located close to the Champasak Shopping Center, is a popular spot that maintains a French colonial feel in the building and offers some fancier coffee drinks featuring Sinouk coffee, one of the most popular coffee brands in Laos. It’s a good place to relax and enjoy some free wifi while treating yourself to a pastry or coffee.
Vida Bakery Cafe, located just north of Road 13, is another popular cafe spot with breakfast and lunch menu options costing about LAK15,000, burgers for LAK30,000, or pastries as low as LAK5,000. Smoothies and other coffee drinks run between LAK10,000-LAK15,000. Vida Bakery Cafe is a great option if you’re looking for nice Western food.
Diner with a view
Because Pakse is located right along the Mekong River, many travellers here enjoy watching the sunset while having beer or dinner along the riverside.
Louk Sai La is one spot along the river where you’ll not only get great views of the sunset, but also of the Japanese bridge when it is lit up at night. You can get both beer and food here.
Another good spot for views of the river as well as the surrounding mountains and scenery can be found at Le Panorama, a rooftop restaurant on top of Pakse Hotel. Like most other restaurants in Pakse, you can find a good mix of Lao, Western, and Thai dishes here, and prices start at about LAK45,000.
Dao Heuang Market is one of the largest markets in Laos, and a great way to feel like you’re getting an “authentic,” local Lao experience. Of course you’ll see plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and fish for sale, as well as other household goods, but there is also a “food court” of sorts in the market, where you can purchase noodle soups, fried sausages, spicy papaya salads, and other traditional Lao snacks and dishes. In addition to Dao Heuang Market, there is also a central market that is closer to the tourist area of town (across from Pakse hotel); this is also a great spot for purchasing Lao food.