What We Ate in Laos

Given its geographical position, it’s not surprising that Lao cuisine is heavily influenced by its neighbours. It is easy to find a Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese flair in their dishes. However, there are delicious eats that are Laotian in origin: larb, papaya salad, and their penchant for sticky rice cooked in bamboo to name a few. Of course, don’t forget to wash it all down with a glass of national pride: Beerlao.

For more information about Laos’ food, pickup one of these books:

  • Traditional Recipes of Laos – This book contains recipes by Phia Sing, the former Master of Ceremonies and Chef at the royal palace of Luang Prabang. When he died, the American ambassador in Vientiane got ahold of the chef’s notebook and published the recipes.
  • Ant Egg Soup: The Adventures of a Food Tourist in Laos – If you’re looking for authentic Laos food, let this book guide you. The author searches far and wide for traditional dishes and does a great job of getting you excited about the country.

Note: Click on each photo to read more about the town where we ate this food.

Start your day with a cup of thick, strong Laos coffee from the Bolaven Plateau. If you ask for milk you will get a serving of sweetened condensed milk.
The Laos classic: pate baguette with all the trimmings.
Pho fo' breakfast? Pho fo' lunch? Pho fo' dinner? Oh fo' sho'. Pho is a tasty, filling, and cheap meal that's eaten any time of the day in Laos. This bowl cost us 15,000k/$1.80.
No bowl of pho is complete without adding herbs, bean sprouts, cabbage, lime, and chilli to your preference.
Noodle soup with Laos noodles - these noodles are a little thicker than regular soup noodles.
Glass noodles with pork. Noodle dishes are a go-to meal in Laos and there are no shortage of options.
Crispy noodles with chicken and vegetables.
Sweet curry with pork.
Squid is extremely popular in Southeast Asia and it comes in many forms. Here we opted for the deep-fried variety.
chinese dumplings
Vientiane has a large Chinese population. Who can resist some dumplings?
Laap Lao with Mekong river fish. Laap Lao is a cold salad made with Thai and Lao herbs, served with fish or meat.