The Scandinavian Bakery is a great option for breakfast in Vientiane, serving a variety of Western breakfast combinations – from salami, cheese and croissant, through fruit and muesli, to fried egg and bacon – all for around $US3, as well as excellent coffee. It’s easy to find, one block up from the river, and within touching distance of Nam Pu, the iconic fountain in the centre of town.
The smell of freshly ground coffee and baked bread pervades throughout and everything is spic and span; spotlessly clean. Set meals are displayed on menu boards behind the counter but feel free to browse the fresh goods in any of the several display cabinets, chocked full of delicious doughnuts, danishes, cookies, and cakes. Even though the lunch menu is a somewhat limited, though tasty, selection of sandwiches, burgers and baguettes ($US2-4), the baked treats on offer more than make up for it.
The bakery has been in Vientiane since the 1990s and has built a loyal following for good reason – visitors to Vientiane often find themselves drawn back to the Scandinavian Bakery day after day. Don’t expect to find noodle or rice dishes here though as there’s no Laos food on the menu.
The interior is practical and homely, but still retains a unique vibe that is reminiscent of Europe and Asia in equal parts. Once you have ordered at the counter, your best bet is to head up to the second floor, which is usually busy with tourists lounging on the sofas, taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi, or watching the world go by on the quaint outdoor deck. There’s a pleasing attention to detail such as a complimentary glass of water with every coffee, but you might have to wait a while for your order – despite the waitresses buzzing about like happy bees – as this place tends to get busy. Another popular element to the Scandinavian Bakery is the notice board in front of the café which is usually covered in interesting information and upcoming events or attractions.
With the quality of the baked goods, Western pop music playing on the radio and the general cleanliness of the place, you could almost think you were back home – if it wasn’t for the waitresses giggling and playfully chatting with each other as they whisk another tray of coffee and cake upstairs. They also have a branch in Luang Prabang.
Scandinavian Bakery Shop
- Opening Hours: 07:00-21:00
- Address: 74/1 Rue Pangkham, Vientiane
- Tel: (0)21 21 5199