So which one is the best Luang Prabang bakery? There are two, very different bakeries in town, one French, La Banneton Cafe and the other Scandinavian, simply named Scandinavian Bakery.
So once we arrived to the picture perfect Luang Prabang, one of my top 10 things to do was to explore the food scene. And with the French influence in this ancient royal capital of Laos, I could sense that at least one Luang Prabang bakery will not disappoint.
Luckily I found two! So lets have a look at what each of the bakeries have on offer…
Luang Prabang Bakery and Cafe – Le Banneton
Once we arrived to Luang Prabang after slowly cruising the Mekong river for 2 days, I did consulted my ever resourceful Lonely Planet Guide and headed to Le Banneton Cafe. A French bakery must have good coffee, right? And it really did. Espresso here is divine, so smooth and tasty. However, being on a budget, I had to limit myself to 1-2 cups per day due to high prices.
Americano coffee was ok, but when I asked for a take away, I only got half filled cup… I’ve learnt the lesson and ordered cafe latte the next day. The cup was heavier meaning it was full, but it was more like white coffee rather than a latte… tasted nice though and it got me trough a couple of blog posts.
The Yummy Pastries
If you are heading to the cafe, make sure you order a pastry. They bake beautiful Pain aux Raisin (Charlie’s favourite) and my favourite Pain au Chocolat and because it’s so hot outside, the chocolate just melts… delicious!
The prices are just about affordable on a budget at around 11.000 LAK per pastry ($1.37 USD).
Paired with a good coffee and a nice pot of tea it is all you can possibly need for your birthday pre-lunch! And that’s what we did for Charlie’s birthday. Total cost for espresso, black tea and pastries came to 49,000 LAK ($6,11 USD).
Apart from other western food on offer, this Luang Prabang bakery also makes fresh and really tasty looking, but mega expensive sandwiches at 75,000 LAK ($9,35 USD) which we haven’t tried as we were already breaking our budget in Laos nearly every day.
Le Banneton Cafe
46 Sakkhaline Road | (main high street opposite Wat Sop)
The Scandinavian Bakery
Fresh and Tasty Sandwiches
Just a few doors away from Le Banneton Cafe you will find Scandinavian Bakery, the bakery where we got our seriously delicious baguettes for 29,000 LAK ($3.62 USD). You can also buy a small one for 20,000 LAK ($2.49 USD). The large sandwich was so large we ended up sharing one for lunch, very cost effective!
The cafe is not as beautifully decorated as the French bakery and it certainly has less room, but it’s still lovely. Every time we ate in, we were served free cold water, which never happened at Le Banneton. A nice touch!
Undeserving Bad Reviews on Trip Advisor
Unfortunately this Luang Prabang bakery has a number of bad reviews on TripAdvisor saying that the staff is rude and unfriendly, luckily I read the reviews after we’ve been to the place. Maybe it was their bad luck, but we received good service every time we had lunch.
The staff were friendly and very helpful. When I asked if they could make me a sandwich without ham (I know I am annoying like that…), they added extra cheese to make it up, yippee! I thought that was a very nice gesture and I really enjoyed my double cheese croissant.
The sweet treats at the bakery were so fresh and scrumptious! We enjoyed our freshly baked banana bread (10,000 LAK – $1.25 USD) and a massive Viennese Whirl biscuit (10,000 LAK – $1.25 USD) on the terrace back at our Oui’s Guesthouse!
We had to eat the biscuit immediately as the chocolate was melting fast in high temperatures, can you think of a better excuse for eating biscuits?!
Sakkaline Road, Luang Prabang, Laos
Both bakeries are lovely and bake good quality bread and sweet treats. I’d say, keep your costs down and get a sandwich at the Scandinavian Bakery, but for coffee and pastry go to the posh Le Banneton Cafe. By the way, if you are heading to Vientiane, both bakeries have branches in the capital of Laos.
Which bakery in Luang Prabang is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below…