By special request, here is a list of some decent restaurants in Vientiane. Of course there are others that are good as well, but these are ones to which I go on a regular basis and know are good. Many of these allow you to byo wine for a small corkage or in some cases no corkage at all.
For good quality Lao food
Amphone - in the small lane next to the Jazzy Brick Bar. This serves really good quality Lao food in a very pleasant setting. Not expensive and can BYO
Kua Lao and Tamnak Lao serve good quality Laos food. Kua Lao is just a bit better. Both have a floorshow of Lao music and dancing, which sounds kitschy, but is in fact not so at all. These are both excellent places to take visitors. Can BYO
Street Food: try the food stalls near the That Luang market. The food there is better than at the oft mentioned Sihom area.
The restaurants along the Mekong are cheap and good for meeting the locals and for a cold beer.
Best Fried Chicken
KFC - no not that one! Khouvieng Fried Chicken on Khouvieng Boulevard.
BBQ - the best sindad without a doubt is Poysian Bulkokee, as evidenced that it is always full of Lao. This offers a good variety of food for your steamboat and is very pleasant in the warmer weather. It is a bit out of the centre of town, but is definitely worth the trip.
Chez Philipe. No longer exists I am afraid, though will open again soon in a smaller place.
L'Adresse de Tinay
Probably the best restaurant in Vientiane. Excellent French food from a Lao chef trained in France. Not cheap, but top quality.
A very pleasant setting and has excellent beef. getting expensive though.
La Terrace. This used to be my staple, but it has gone upmarket and is now expensive, though the food hasn't changed. They charge a ridiculous 50,000kip corkage. Good location.
Big range of food, well cooked. Nice atmosphere.
Good food, and a strong wine list. A bit expensive for what they offer though.
Every time i have been here the place has been packed with westerners, tourists and Lao. The food is very good and not expensive. This is a very nice setting as well. Can BYO
On Nam Phou square. This is a real bistro style french restaurant with good pizza and very good steak. Can byo for no corkage. It is a very good place to meet people as well. Avoid the other restaurants in this area; they are overpriced and/or not great..
Rashmis is still by far the best Indian in town. The prices are a bit higher than other Indian restaurants in town, but you get what you pay for. Very nice ambiance as well and no corkage charge for wine.
La Scala has very good Italian food and an excellent wine list with the emphasis on Italian wines. The ambience is very pleasant. Definitely a special night out. This is by far the best Italian restaurant in Vientiane - ignore the TA reviews. It is on the road that goes to the Australian Embassy.
Ok but the food is a bit bit hit and miss at times. Lacks the ambience of the above as well. Certainly nowhere near as good as its TA reviews. ( I wonder why.)
used to be the no. 1 in town but is living a bit on its past glory. You can still get very good food there though.
Kop Chai Deu. While there are better places to eat, the food is not bad at all, and it is certainly a good place to sit, have a beer and people watch.
Good place to go for a drink
A bit expensive but a good night out. See how the rich Lao kids spend their time.
Scandinavian Bakery. JoMa is full of backpackers. Scandinavian Bakery gets the expats. It is cheaper and the cakes are better.
Good and cheap Turkish food. No corkage charge.
Excellent range of beers. The Belgian food is not bad either. Charges no corkage for wine.
Hare and Hound
English pub food. They make a great steak and kidney pie.