But with coffee or without, life goes on. We had an amazing 2 day tour on the river Mekong (check out day 1 and day 2 posts) the day after we arrived to the new country and I was hopeful that the UNESCO World heritage Site Luang Prabang will save me.
But for now, Nescafe all the way! But with the gorgeous views of the river and lovely food on board, even the infamous powdered coffee was a welcome option. Any kind of hot brew will do on a boat at sunrise.
Le Banneton Cafe
Once we arrived to Luang Prabang, I did my research 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 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.
If you are heading to the cafe, make sure you order a pastry. They bake beautiful Pain aux raisins (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, the French 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)
Just a few doors away from Le Banneton Cafe you will find Scandinavian Bakery where we got our seriously delicious baguettes for 29,000 LAK ($3.62 USD). You can 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 water, which didn’t happen Le Banneton.
Unfortunately the place 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 them if they could make me a sandwiched without ham (I know I am annoying like that… but I don’t eat pork and I really craved cheese), 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.
We also enjoyed freshly baked banana bread (10,000 LAK – $1.25 USD) and a massive Viennese Whirl biscuit (10,000 LAK – $1.25 USD), so delicious! 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 places 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 Le Banneton Cafe.