Anyone’s whose travelled away from home for a short while or a long while, I believe, at some point or another gets crazy cravings for food that is no longer readily available. This often leads you on a mad hunt to find something, anything, vaguely western that reminds you of home and isn’t noodles cooked in yet another way. Often these mad searches online through trip advisor or stopping to flick through every single menu going in a town leads you to something ultimately disappointing. Pizzas that have too much cheese, they’re practically solid with it (Malaysia), baked beans as part of a cooked breakfast that are actually baked green beans, not Heinz 😦 (India) and tomato soup, that yet again was definitely not Heinz (India and Vietnam). But sometimes, every so often you find a gem amongst all the great street food and restaurants that make up Asia.
Whilst travelling up Vietnam we were told about this restaurant in Luang Prabang, Laos, called Secret Pizza. Owned by an expat Italian called Andrea, it is essentially a brick oven in his garden that churns out thin crust truly authentic, amazingly tasty Italian Pizza. On the back of pretty much this information and the directions to get there being simply, ‘just ask a driver for Secret Pizza’ we decided that our mission before we left Laos was to find this place! And find it we did, cue lots of excitement!
After a few fruitless searches on the internet we realised that this place really is quite secret, there is no address for it anywhere online, it doesn’t appear on google maps (shock horror) and every blog mention you find tells you very little and is extremely frustrating. If you’ve found this post hoping to find out exactly where it is, I’m sorry I am about to be as unhelpful as everybody else! Turns out half the fun is in finding it and having been I still wouldn’t be able to tell you what the name of the road is anyway, as anyone familiar with Laos will know there isn’t a lot of obvious road signs around. But I do have a few tips to pass along that hopefully might smooth your way to finding and enjoying this great place:
1: it is only open Tuesdays and Fridays! Very important, don’t waste your journey.
2: you really do need to just ask a Tuk Tuk or motorbike rider for secret pizza. However, if he says, oh there are lots of pizza places, move on to another driver, the likelihood is he doesn’t really know what you’re on about. Make it clear you want SECRET PIZZA, the real place. I’m pretty sure one guy in the little cluster of drivers will know. The second guy we spoke with did. But it’s possibly always going to be a slight gamble.
3: when the Tuk Tuk/motorbike turns off the main road down a pretty dark side road (not quite an alley) don’t panic. We were a tad unsure at this point, but the restaurant is right down at the end waiting for you.
4: on reaching the end of the road you will find a lovely place for your evening meal, with a small sign on the side saying Secret Pizza.
5: Go inside and enjoy!
And that’s were the information ends, the rest you have to find out about and enjoy yourself. Don’t want to ruin any surprises! All I will say if you’re on a budget, it will cost you more than a standard Laos dinner, however if you’re craving a pizza, then this is the best I have had in a very very long time, was totally worth the cost and still miles cheaper than good pizza back home.