Even without the French connection, Vientiane has a great variety of foods to sample and you will find many of them in the busy Morning Market as well as in Chinatown and at the night markets. Rice and noodles are the cheapest eats, while barbecued chicken and kebabs are also cheap and tasty bets.
Nam Phu Fountain
This is the best area in town to find a bite to eat. It is between Samsenthai and Setthathirat roads and has everything from small bakeries and cafés to full-blown Western-style restaurants. In particular, there are many upmarket restaurants with French cuisine dominating.
This is the largest market in town and has some good eating as well as the shopping. It is just north of Samsenthai Road and is especially good for a cheap breakfast, although mainly on the Laotian theme. There is also a smattering of stalls doing Western food.
Fa Ngum road
Fa Ngum road is right near the river in front of Setthathirat Road and has a vast choice of eateries, both Lao and Western. This part of town is especially good in the late afternoon for an early dinner, or for sundowners. In particular, there are several barbecue huts that set up for the sunset, where tourists can snack on chicken legs and Beer Lao while watching the sun falling into the Mekong.
Ban Haysok is a bustling area in the west of town and is good for eating at night. It is Vientiane's Chinatown area and is ideal for snacking as well as for a proper meal. You can have super-cheap, yet tasty, one-dish rice meals here on the Lao or Chinese theme, followed by super-sweet banana pancakes.
Ban Anou Night Market
This fun night market is a good alternative to Chinatown and has great eating options. It is only a small market but is easy to get about and comes with a huge range of snacking options including so-called hand-pulled noodles, kebabs and chicken with sticky rice.