Laos Food – The Country’s Culinary Specialties From the “Land Of a Million Elephants”

Each country and region in the world will have its delicious dish or specialty bearing the imprint of the national culinary culture, making visitors after enjoying it all without appointment but nodding their heads in praise of deliciousness. The delicious dishes you try when you arrive in Laos below will surely surprise those who love tourism in general and Laos food in particular because of the variety of colors, spices, and other utilized ingredients. Each is different in each country.

Laos Food Overview

Laos Food Overview

It is famous for a thousand elephants, but Laos also conquers travelers by its distinct festivals, tenderness, and culinary culture. Take a peek at Lao cuisine’s qualities.

People remember when it comes to food experiences in Laos. Laos is known as the country of many delicious dishes with rustic ingredients and unforgettable, unique flavors.

Coming to the government of Laos, you will enjoy the fragrant taste of lam rice, sticky rice, the attractive sweet and spicy taste of lap, a little bit of hot shrimp, a little yeast of wine, etc. That is also the taste that visitors feel from the gentleness and kindness of the Lao people.

As a landlocked country bordering four directions with different countries, this unique geographical position has dramatically influenced the culinary culture. Lao cuisine with neighboring countries such as Thailand and Cambodia has a similarity in that they are very fond of dishes made from insects.

Lao people can process many insects into fried dishes stuffed with peanuts, steamed rice, soaked in vinegar, etc. The insect dish that Lao people especially love is ca Cuong.

Powered by the mighty Mekong River, the source of freshwater shrimp and fish to serve meals in Laos is abundant, so shrimp and fish are the staple food of the people here. The forest land area is quite large, and the plateau is rich, which is also a rich source of natural food such as wild animals, vegetables, etc.

The culinary culture characteristic here is rustic in processing. The ingredients are not expensive, so the dishes almost keep their traditional flavor intact, impressing visitors with a very authentic Lao food experience.

In Laotian culinary culture, fish sauce is the most commonly used condiment, and most dishes include fish sauce. There are many types of fish sauce similar to Vietnam, but what must mention that it is still buffalo skin mixed with satay.

In addition, spicy is also a favorite taste in daily Lao dishes. This fact can explain why most Lao people do pretty hard work, and spicy dishes will help stimulate the taste buds and increase labor.

Featured In Laos Food Style

Northeastern Thai-style food is actually derived from Lao cuisine. These dishes are unlike any other style of Thai cooking, but they’re made with flavors that have been adapted for use in Northeastern Thailand’s climate and geography. Whether you eat at home or travel abroad to experience this regional specialty firsthand, make sure not to miss out on these delicious features in Laos food-style recipes!



The ingredients for grilled dishes in Laos are mainly meats such as fish, chicken, pork, beef, etc. Processing and enjoyment are also very diverse, and visitors can try grilled dishes such as grilled snakehead skewers, fish.

Grilled seabass on charcoal fire, chicken, sandwiched on bamboo skewers, etc. Lao people often use lemongrass for processing, typically grilled fish; people clean fish with intestines and then stuffed with lemongrass shavings, salted and peppers, and then grilled.

A typical dish of Laotian barbecue is a pork sausage made from pureed pork, seasoned with many other spices. It can be eaten by frying or grilling on charcoal, and the taste is quite similar to Vietnamese sausage.

Laap Dishes

Laap dishes

Lap is a traditional dish in Lao festivals with the meaning of good luck. Usually, beef, deer, buffalo meat, fish, minced or thinly sliced meat, blanched until cooked, then mixed with spices and chopped mint. Mix well with chili, galangal, lime juice, sticky rice, and especially no added sugar.

When eating, it can be used with lettuce, lettuce, cowpea, and feel the irresistible sour taste from the ingredients. Lap is a dish that Lao people treat guests to express their blessings and luck to the visitor.

Mannequin dish

Mannequin dish

Tam Maak Hung, a Laotian green papaya salad, is quite similar to the Thai Som Tam salad. The papaya is washed, grated into fibers, together with eggplant, cowpea put together in a small mortar and pounded, then add spices including chili, garlic, salt, lemon juice and mix well.

When eating, you will feel the aroma of spices, the sour taste of lemon, and the taste of shrimp paste, creating a unique flavor. After processing papaya salad in Laos, water is mixed with dummies to make a delicious dipping sauce for side dishes. The side dish of the sap is usually sticky rice, or you can drink beer.



The famous drinks in Laos are Lao beer, toasted coconut water, and beer. Laura is a type of wine made from fermented glutinous rice, mixed with lemon and pesto, very easy to drink and, when drunk, has no headache. Grilled coconut water is baking the whole coconut, then peeling and chilling; when drinking has a fragrant, very delicious, and strange taste, grilled coconut is very flexible and transparent.

Lao beer is a trendy drink made from local rice and malt. The beer has a golden amber-like color and a mild taste served with baked goods. In addition, other beverages include, such as fan things (quite like can wine), names (light tea), coffee, etc.

Laos Food Near Me

If you are looking for some good Lao food near you, there are plenty of great options to choose from. One of the most popular and well-known Lao restaurants is called The Laos Kitchen, which is located in Arlington, Virginia. This restaurant offers an array of traditional Lao dishes, as well as a few Americanized options for those who are not quite as adventurous with their food choices.

Another great option for finding Lao cuisine near you is to check out your local Asian grocery store. Many stores like this will have a small section or aisle dedicated specifically to Lao food items. This can be a great place to start if you are looking to try some new and different dishes. Plus, it’s always fun to try something new!

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Must-Try Delicacies In The List Of The Best Dishes Of Laos Food

When traveling through the country, we recommend trying a variety of Lao dishes. Not only will you be able to experience new flavors and textures, but there is also no substitute for exploring local markets when looking for something unique!

Savanakhet Grilled Chicken

Savanakhet Grilled Chicken

Savannakhet grilled chicken is considered a specialty in southern Laos. The dish is famous near and far for its attractive aroma. But it is unnecessary to go to Savannakhet to enjoy this dish. Still, diners can find places selling this grilled chicken right in Vientiane, Luang Prabang, and many other localities in Laos.

This dish is a beautiful dish made from free-range chicken, fragrant, delicious, and firm meat. The chicken will clamp on bamboo sticks, place on a charcoal grill until cooked. Savannakhet chicken is served with white sticky rice, rounded to the size of a fist, and dipped with Cheong (a spicy, sour, aromatic dipping sauce), making it hard to forget when you try it for the first time.



Khausoy is a famous dish in Luang Prabang. It looks similar to Vietnamese pho, but the ingredients are much simpler, and the taste is also very delicious. The Khausoy broth is filtered water, boiled, and put in the noodle soup. Then, pour water and pho for khhausoy on top. This dish includes vegetables, raw water, spinach, dried onions, pepper, and chili sauce.

An essential ingredient of the dish includes pureed pork mixed with garlic, tomatoes, and other spices. A unique feature is that there is no need for bone broth, but when combined with water-soluble Khao soy, it is still enough to impress diners with an attractive aroma and rich sweetness. Diners can eat this dish on the road along the Mekong River in Luang Prabang.

Laotian sticky rice

Laotian sticky rice

Laotian sticky rice is a traditional dish of the Lao people. Some people think that Lao people eat sticky rice more than rice and sticky rice.
This dish is almost their daily food. In addition to cooking sticky rice, Lao people also use it to plaster on Buddha statues or on the walls of houses to serve the worship of the gods.

The traditional way of cooking sticky rice in Laos is to put it in a bamboo tube and cook it with spring water. People put glutinous rice and a little water into a bamboo tube and then bake it on charcoal. When the bamboo tube is scorched, the sticky rice runs out of water, brew it until it’s cooked, and use your hands to pick it up.

This dish includes grilled chicken, boiled vegetables, and the deck, a typical Lao dipping sauce. The characteristic fatty taste of Lao sticky rice makes diners feel that if they haven’t chewed, the sticky rice has melted in the mouth.

Sien Savanh

Sien Savanh

This dish is a Laotian dried beef dish suitable for eating along the way or as a side dish when drinking beer. Laotian dried beef has a pretty simple way of making it. After selecting delicious pieces of meat, people will marinate them with soy sauce, oyster sauce, garlic, chili, palm sugar, pepper, and some other types. When beef is soaked and then boiled until the meat cook, it is dry in the sun for many days.

This dish is sold at many sidewalk shops and along the banks of the Vientiane River. You sit sipping a cup of wine with dried beef and watching the activities of local people is very excellent. If you like, you can also buy some as gifts for friends and relatives.

Or Lam

Or Lam

Or Lam is a special dish of Laos that stews with vegetables, dried gourds, black balls, beans, and fresh chili. Then the chef sprinkles a little more herbs to enhance the aroma of the dish. This dish is very familiar to the Lao people, and it has become one of the main dishes in the daily meal that the Lao people love.

Or Lam is similar to Vietnamese mixed stew soup. The soup with the delicious taste from the tubers will stimulate the taste buds of the people who enjoy it. On the other hand, you will not be bored and digest it very well when eating this vegetable dish.

Watching this video for more detail:


Above is a list of specialties of Laos food that you must try once to experience the beauty of the culinary culture of the people here. Although it is not a unique or sophisticated dish, it will surely make you more attached to this idyllic land.

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