Need help?
0208 068 3176
Mon - Fri 9am - 8pm Sat & Sun 10am - 6pm
0208 068 3176
Mon - Fri 9am - 8pm Sat & Sun 10am - 6pm

My account

Deadline is 06/08/2019*
Laos - Map

Gastronomy at Laos

When you are getting ready for your trip, you will no doubt be wondering what to eat in Laos, well, this country’s cooking is very rich and tasty.  Being an Asian country, if you like vegetables and soups, we are sure you will love it, although there is also fish and ceviche.

The food in Laos has rice as its main ingredient, as with any proper South Asian country.  Rice is present in most, if not all, dishes of the country’s cuisine. Its flavour has a characteristic touch, which comes from the fish sauce.  Jeow bong, a sweet and spicy flavouring, is also used a lot which also gives a special something to the rice.

But let's see which are the typical dishes of the country and what to eat in Laos during your trip. I’ll tell you in advance that, if you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, Laos has lots of options, but if you like meat, you're also in luck.


Tam Mak Hoong

This dish of Laos cuisine is a spiced salad made of green papayas. It is served cold with tomato, garlic, chilli and dressed with fish sauce.  This salad is often served as an accompaniment to grilled chicken, Kai yang.


Phak Soup

Another of the typical dishes of Laos is the vegetable salad, which is often served as a starter.  Just like Noh May soup, a green bamboo stew, typical of the country.


Keng Noh Mai Som

With this name you will find a sour bamboo soup, which is one of the options to eat in Laos as a starter.  Other soups from Laos cooking are Tom Mak Ha, sour melon soup,  Khao Poon Nam Jaew, rice soup, or Keng Som Kai, sour chicken soup.


Khao Piak Sen

Another of the soups to eat in Laos, is noodle soup, that the locals eat for breakfast.  It contains meat or chicken stock, and is made with rice noodles, all flavoured with fresh herbs, which give a mild and pleasant flavour.



The national dish of LaosLapp is a mincemeat salad, traditionally made using either pork, beef or fish and served on a bed of lettuce and other green salad leaves. In some places, the meat is served raw, cooked only in the acidity of the lemon juice it is flavored with. Nowadays, vegetarian options are common too, with mushrooms or tofu, made from soybeans, replacing the traditional mincemeat. This dish can be found in all restaurants serving traditional fare in Laos and is normally accompanied by sticky rice and eaten by hand.


Or Larm

Or Larm is another of the typical dishes of Laos which delights locals and visitors.  It consists of a type of meat stew of buffalo, beef or chicken.  It includes mushrooms, aubergines, onion, green beans and bamboo.  You can ask for it to be spicy, or less spicy.


Khao Niaw

Khao Niaw is the name given to sticky rice which is cooked in Laos.  Laotians eat it by making a ball with the hand, it is very sticky rice which is cooked in a bamboo basket. It is served in small bowls to keep the ideal temperature.


Ping Sin y Ping Kai

One of the most popular ways of cooking food in Laos is to grill it. Ping Sin is grilled meat, whilst Ping Kai is grilled chicken.  You can also find grilled fish of course, in any case, it is seasoned with spices and sauce, and of course, served with rice.


Mok Pa

gastronomía en <em>Laos</em>

gastronomía en <em>Laos</em>

If you like fish, this steamed fish dish which is cooked wrapped in a banana leaf is one of the best things you can try. Of all of the food in Laos, this dish is one of the more refined, it is seasoned with lemongrass, onion, chilli and lime leaves.  Although its preparation is rustic, the explosion of flavours is fit for a Michelin star restaurant.


Kaeng Kalee

For curry fans, this dish is perfect for a good lunch or evening meal. Although it originates from Thailand, this curry dish is made with vegetables, along with chicken or fish.  Amongst its ingredients it contains coriander, aubergines, bamboo shoots, fresh chillies, and various aromatic flowers.

To end the culinary journey, as a dessert you must try Khao Nom Maw Keng, coconut cakes.  And to go with each dish, ask for a Laos beer, the famous Beerlao, that you will find throughout the country.  It is a craft lager-style beer, with body and colour, and with an exquisite flavour.

Now you know what to eat in Laos, remember that a real trip isn’t just about landscape and photos, the real experience is through the palate, as well as by living amongst the country’s inhabitants, from whom you will learn first-hand their customs and traditions.



Street sellers in markets throughout Laos offer these strange delicacies, which many would never think of eating in the West, although they prove to be a deliciously cheap and sustainable source of protein. The most popular edible insects are crickets, grasshoppers, caterpillars and silkworms, all of which have been important elements in Lao cuisine for many centuries. The insects are deep-fried and served with a variety of sauces, making for a tasty and nutritious snack for those brave enough to try them.



An obviously Asian dish, Kaipen is fried seaweed made from green freshwater algae that are processed into paper-thin sheets of seaweed. Once dried and ready to serve the sheets are fried and sprinkled abundantly with sesame seeds and served with a chilli dipping sauce. They make a great side dish or appetizer and can be sampled in most traditional Lao restaurants.


Khao Jee Sandwich

Found on street corners across Laos this dish is a classic fusion of the French and Lao cuisine, showcasing the abundant flavors of Laos and the traditional French baguette. The dish consists of a baguette filled with fresh salad, pork and a flavorsome spicy sauce, resulting in a simple and cheap lunch option enjoyed by the masses.


Lao Sausage

Similar to the sausages sold throughout Thailand, Lao Sausagecontains a spicy and fragrant mixture of pork flavored with lemongrass and an abundance of chilli. You will see these sausages strung out to dry on street stalls throughout Laos, where you can buy them to cook at home. Alternatively, they are on most restaurant menus and form a delicious part of a meal when served with the typical sticky rice and a chilli sauce.

Laos - Mapa
read more

Travel to Laos

Real comments from Exoticca customers
All the comments below belong to people who have travelled to Laos with Exoticca in the past 18 months.
Based on 3 reviews
Sean McManus
Secrets of the Mekong River
'We really enjoyed our holiday and are already recommend your company to our friends and family.'
8 April 2019

“All of the guides were extremely friendly and knowledgeable about their history, traditions and fellow countrymen and women. They were prompt and always on time. Always ready to advise and help in any way giving details of further visits and places to go in our own time. ”

Louise Noon
Secrets of the Mekong River
'I can only say that yet again, Exoticca excelled and we thoroughly enjoyed our trip to S E Asia.'
26 November 2018

“The hotels were all excellent and the guides very knowledgeable, helpful and efficient. In fact our group mentioned that we wanted to go to the new Golden Bridge while in Central Vietnam and this was promptly arranged as an extra excursion for those that wished to go.

June Best
Secrets of the Mekong River
‘We absolutely loved the trip’
18 September 2018

“The original party of 18 that started in Laos got on so well and enjoyed the hotels, excursions and places we visited.”

Thank you so much! A destination expert will contact you shortly.
If you want to contact us you can call us on:
0208 068 3176
Customer Service Schedule
Mon - Fri 9am - 8pm Sat & Sun 10am - 6pm
Or send an email to
Exclusive promotion to discover Laos
Secrets of the Mekong River
18 days from £ 2,249
We have other amazing trips like this one. Leave us your details to receive our best offers and a discount of £50** per person on your first booking.
Ends on 06/08/2019
Ends on 06/08/2019
*More information on the terms and conditions of this promotion can be found here
Need help?
0208 068 3176
Mon - Fri 9am - 8pm
Sat & Sun 10am - 6pm
Or leave your phone number and an expert on this destination will contact you.

0208 068 3176

Mon - Fri 9am - 8pm Sat & Sun 10am - 6pm