Where Lon Bounsanga Goes to Eat & Drink

The chef and owner of SAAP, downtown Cary’s Laotian eatery, shares his favorite local guilty pleasure, happy hour spot and more.
by Catherine Currin

For our 2024 Guide to Where to Eat and Drink in the Triangle, we asked ten food and hospitality industry folks to share their tried and true spots for everything from a casual lunch to happy hour to a place that’s worth hopping in the car and heading out of town. One of those people was Lon Bounsanga. Born and raised in Vientiane, Laos, Bounsanga moved with his family to North Carolina in 2007. In 2012, he was hired to open critically acclaimed Laotian restaurant Bida Manda, and later Brewery Bhavana. He opened his own Laotian restaurant, SAAP, in downtown Cary in November of 2023. Here are his picks.

Where do you like to go for happy hour?

Woody’s at City Market

What’s your local guilty pleasure?

The steak fajitas at El Rodeo in downtown Raleigh

What’s somewhere that’s worth the drive for you?

Futo Buta Ramen House in Charlotte

Photo Credit: Lauren Vied Allen

Where’s your go-to lunch spot?

Beasley’s Chicken + Honey for the hot chicken sandwich

If it was your last meal in the Triangle…..

Pho Far East

What’s your favorite local coffee shop?

Sir Walter Coffee

Where do you go for a quick bite to go?

Our family loves takeout from Vic’s Ristorante & Pizzeria. We order a white pie with no sauce: only olive oil, garlic, parmesan and sliced tomatoes and onions

Char-Grill or Snoopy’s?


What are you most excited for?

Doc B’s Restaurant opening at Fenton

This article was originally published on December 28, 2023 on waltermagazine.com