1) Saffron Coffee
Saffron is a place with great potential, with 2 beautifully designed wooden houses both near the Mekong river, they serve probably the best coffee in Luang Prabang, imho. It’s a true bean to cup coffee house as they source only the best beans from the Bolaven plateau (local beans, another reason to support) and roast them for export with their own brand. The extensive documentation on how they grow, select, roast and ensure quality really shows the quality, and when you have a cup there, you can feel the effort put into it.
The food is pretty innovative too, although slightly on the high side, as are all things western and in town. Such is the problem of Luang Prabang. But it’s still pretty worth your buck and if you’re craving something western, this should cut it! It’s hard to find any brunch better than this in Luang Prabang, and that’s why Saffron coffee tops our list of the 5 best cafes in Luang Prabang.
2) Dao Coffee
A Homegrown conglomerate, Dao coffee’s parent company also controls a whole lot of other stuff, such as instant powdered coffee, distributorship for most drinks, popular fruit chips and a host of other imported foods. Their standalone cafe, housed in a beautiful and atmospheric 2 storey colonial mansion is really in a class of its own. Even from the outside, you can feel its charm emanating from within. The nicely preserved furniture of marble tables, all-bronze fans and gold chandeliers return you to the mid-1900s.
Interestingly, not many have heard of its beauty, and given its slightly off-site location just outside of the main town, it’s usually very quiet and nice. While the coffees here are decent, their signature is the iced coffee, and in particular, the iced mocha. While you’re at it, there’s also a selection of fruit chips for your purchase inside, complete with some innovative fusion food that’s again, on the high side. But don’t miss their iced coffees!
3) Cafe de Laos at the Chang Inn
This is definitely the most beautiful cafe in Luang Prabang. Decorated with exquisite antique items such as radios, old school televisions and even a gramophone, it reeks of old world colonial charm. Yet the atmosphere is so cozy and comfortable that you can literally while your whole afternoon away, in class.
The coffees here are the most expensive, easly costing US$6 and above. The Lao coffees are cheaper, and you can choose your roast, all the way from light to medium blonde to dark espresso, with over 10 types of roast available! Besides that, you can also choose how you want it brewed. The usual espressos are of course available, as well as aeropress, french press, italian, filter, and even the very cool looking siphon method. Siphon doesn’t come cheap though!
For the full luxury coffee experience, it doesn’t get better than this. While expensive, it’s definitely worth a visit, it’s an experience in itself to visit one of the most beautiful and best cafes in Luang Prabang.
4) Le Banneton Cafe
One of the most famous old guard in town, Le Banneton has been serving up great french pastries for years! The croissants’ aroma wafts out into the street in the early morning, attracting huge crowds of tourists after the alms ceremony. There’s a ton of french breads available, and a great and dependable selection of coffees to go with it.
And this full package in all its french tradition is a great way to start your day in Luang Prabang before a classic Elephant ride and Khuangxi excursion.
The travelers’ favorite, Joma has 2 outlets, one at the centre of town beside the post office, and the other more quiet one beside the Nam Khan river. Coffees are reliable but not out of the world. Just slightly losing that oomph to be higher up the list. Its sandwiches are however great, and the chocolate croissants and banana bread are also wonderful accompaniments to your daily cup of joe.
The atmosphere and space available makes it a great place for tourists to plan their next route in comfort and in the aroma of coffee beans.