Vientiane food: The 8 best food you must try before you leave

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The Land of Smiles not only attracts visitors with the welcoming and friendly demeanor of its people but also with its simple yet flavorful and unique cuisine. Perhaps it’s why Laos has become an attractive retreat for anyone who wants to escape the rat race and return to their natural inner peace. After visiting the natural and manmade wonders of this charming country, you can feast your senses upon its culinary gifts. Vientiane, the capital of Laos with countless delicious dishes. Let’s find out the best Vientiane food with Ftrip in the article below.

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Overview Laos food

In Laos, eating is the most important activity of the day. In the local language, people usually greet each other by asking: “Have you eaten?” (“Kin long lao bor?”). Food is often the subject of much conversation, especially when it comes to eating and sharing dishes between friends and family. In addition, Laotians are very passionate about sharing traditional dishes with curious visitors.

Here is a list of the 8 most famous foods in Vientiane. If you’re adventurous, we recommend exploring the local markets for a truly unique dining experience!

8 Vientiane food you must try

Meat Salad- Larb

First of all, the national dish of Lao must be mentioned: Larb, a meat salad. The name means “good luck” and “prosperity” – perhaps inherently so because the meat was expensive and occasional food. It can be eaten raw or cooked, but raw lamb comes with many health risks. First, pork, chicken, or beef is minced, then seasoned with galangal, chili, and lime juice in perfect proportions to create enticing aromas and delicious flavors. If cooked, it will be poached or stir-fried until just done.  

Read more: 12 Famous Temples in Luang Prabang

 Vientiane food  Meat Salad- Larb
Source: Internet

Laotian grilled chicken

Savannakhet boasts a unique take on grilled chicken. For a better texture and flavor, the chicken roams free before being processed. Instead of being oven-grilled, the birds are held flat by bamboo skewers and roasted over a charcoal fire until they are golden and radiate an alluring aroma. Pairing it with cheo boong hot sauce and white sticky rice makes for a delightful experience. 

Laotian grilled chicken
Source: Internet

You can explore more tours from Ftrip: Saigon To Mekong Delta Tour Package (4 Days)

Sticky rice- Klao niaw

Speaking of sticky rice, there is another variant that’s a must-try. Klao niaw is made from sticky rice grown on rice paddies with an appealing ivory-white color. They are often served in adorable little bamboo containers. Diners can roll them into little balls in their palms without getting sticky hands. 

Sticky rice- Klao niaw
Source: Internet

Papaya pok pok

Tum mak hong has also been called “papaya pok pok”, after the sound the mortar and pestle make when this papaya salad is being pounded. The star attraction is green papayas (which can be grated or thinly sliced, but many people argue that only thin-slicing can bring out the true flavor of the papaya) mixed with lime, chili, salt, sugar, shrimp and fish paste, and other flavorings depending on the roadside stall selling it. Customers can watch it being prepared and specify exactly how they like it. Locals have it with up to eight chilies; for beginners, two is enough. 

Read more: Best of Vietnam and Cambodia Tour Package (14 Days)

Papaya pok pok Vientiane food
Source: Internet

Lao Sausage

Each country has its own type of sausage with its own characteristics and so is Lao cuisine, they have extremely attractive Lao sausage (Sai Oua Kuang). Lao sausage is a popular dish in night markets.

Lao sausage is made from finely ground pork, adding lemongrass, lime leaves, chili, and galangal, before stuffing it into the skin. In the dry sun roasting everything, Lao people bring sausages to dry each stall or squeeze into strands to dry in the yard. Sausages are naturally dried, so when you eat them they won’t feel too dry.

Lao Sausage Vientiane food
Source: Internet

Crickets, grasshoppers and other insects

It may sound weird and get goosebumps, but insects are a genuine specialty in Laos. There are many interesting forms of processing such as frying, baking, ram, and… even cooking soup. Some insects are used by the Lao people for processing such as grasshoppers, crickets, spiders, etc. 

Have your taste buds been stimulated yet? If you have the opportunity to travel to Vientiane, don’t hesitate to try this specialty. The first try will seem a bit difficult but from the 2nd, 3rd, … nth time you will become addicted to this foods.

Crickets, grasshoppers and other insects      vientiane food
Source: Internet

Mekong catfish

The Mekong River passes through the territory of 6 coastal countries, including Laos. The Mekong River offers this land abundant resources. Along the river, visitors will notice shops, restaurants, and goods selling products made from ingredients taken from the river. It is fish, eggplant, zucchini, and dragon fruit…

With hundreds of variations and many ingredients, the Lao people give diners many different flavors of fish dishes, but in general, fish meat is always soft, fragrant, flexible, and dense – features rarely seen in any other country. which land. You can try lemon trout, Mekong fried fish, roasted snakehead fish with coconut water… with rustic ingredients, fresh fish, and sophisticated processing, all creating unique dishes.

Mekong catfish
Source: Internet

Sien Savanh

Sien Savanh is a typical dish of Lao cuisine or in Vientiane, this dish or dried beef is favored by Lao people. Beef, after being mixed into small vermicelli, will be marinated with black sauce, oyster sauce, garlic, pepper, jaggery, and roasted white sesame, then cooked and dried in the sun.

The dish is usually eaten on its own, with beer, or with sticky rice. The smoky, chewy, delicious taste often makes visitors remember it forever.

Seen savanh vientiane food
Source: Internet

Although Lao cuisine shares many dishes with its neighbors, the excellent chefs of this humble, peaceful country have put their own spins on these recipes and turned them into national treasures. If you travel to Laos, don’t forget to enjoy the food in Vientiane. Surely the cuisine in Vientiane will give you an unforgettable experience.

Reviewed by

Diep Van

Phone: +84901166884


Diep Van

Founder & Photography Guide

Specialties: Culture, landscape, portrait, hiking, active and adventurous tour

Besides my unlimited passion for traveling, a professional tour guide for over a decade, I have been taking photographs since sitting at Hanoi of the University of Culture in the early 2000s. Photography started as a hobby but it was seriously taken due to my work relations and my significant passion for the beauty of our world, especially in Southeast Asian parts such as Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar.

Within a few years of taking photographs, my works began to be recognized by many reliable international publications such as AFAR Travel, The Times, and The Daily Telegraph newspaper. In addition, I continuously add to my growing profile by winning numerous major awards: 3rd Position of The Independent Photographer 2018, 1st Position of Amateur Photographer of the year 2018, Grand Prize Winner of the AFAR Travel Photography 2019, and a Gold Award of San Francisco Bay International Photography 2020.

I photograph a wide variety of subjects, from travel to landscapes to street scenes. I enjoy documenting the East’s rich cultural heritage and its land soaked in glorious sunrise or sunset light in remote and secluded spots. And, I am very happy to share my knowledge and experience with you. You can visit Luminousvietnamtour to explore tour!

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