1. Overview

Vientiane is a city with a long history and has served as the capital of the Kingdom of Laos for over 200 years. Today, Vientiane is the cultural, educational, and economic center of Laos, with many tourist attractions attracting tourists from all over the world.

In addition, you will also experience the unique Vientiane cuisine. With a long-standing cuisine and a mix of cultures from many neighboring countries, Laos in general and Vientiane in particular have unique and exquisite dishes that surprise many visitors. From the name, the way of processing as well as the closeness make these dishes attractive.

Vientiane is a beautiful, peaceful, rustic city with many famous tourist sites, beautiful landscapes, and ancient and sacred temples, including Pha That Luang, a famous ancient temple built in the third century.

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In addition, you will also experience the unique cuisine in Vientiane. With a long-standing cuisine and a mix of cultures from many neighboring countries, Laos in general and Vientiane in particular have unique and exquisite dishes that surprise many visitors. From the name, the way of processing as well as the closeness make these dishes attractive.

2. The Top 10 Most Famous Foods In Vientiane Cuisine

2.1. Meat Salad- Larb

When traveling to Laos, you must definitely enjoy delicious food in Vientiane with a sense of peace; luckily, it is Larb. Larb is a dish made with simple ingredients, mainly the main ingredients: minced pork, beef, chicken, etc. Then, they will be mixed and seasoned with spices such as galangal, chili, and lemon juice in the appropriate proportions. When it is, the larb will be fried until it is cooked with a fragrant aroma. In particular, Larb will be served with raw vegetables, cowpeas, salads, etc. that are crunchy and fun.

Meat Salad- Larb

2.2. Laotian Grilled Chicken – Savanakhet Grilled Chicken

One of the delicious dishes in Vientiane that visitors must definitely enjoy is Savanakhet grilled chicken. This is a very famous dish that any visitor to Vientiane will enjoy a Savanakhet Grilled Chicken.

For a unique and flavorful Savannakhet roast chicken, the chicken is let loose before cooking. Instead of being oven-baked, they will be clamped with bamboo skewers and grilled over a charcoal fire until the chicken is scorched and the skin is shiny and golden, giving off a sweet scent. Savanakhet grilled chicken has a very delicious taste, adding a bit of pungent chili with Laotian Cheo Boong dipping sauce and served with white sticky rice. The cost of a plate of chicken is about 2.62 USD.

2.3. Khao Poun

Khao Poun is a famous spicy rice noodle from Vientiane, Laos. Khao Poun has vermicelli noodles made from rice that has been fermented for several days, then boiled to thicken and pressed through a noodle-shaped mold. This dish has a characteristic slightly sour taste from fermented rice. Khao Poon is cooked with chicken, pork, or fish combined with spices such as fish sauce, lemon leaves, garlic, chili, etc.Currently, visitors can find many different versions of Khao Poun in the streets, night markets, restaurants, or sidewalk eateries in Laos.

Khao Poun

2.4. Sticky rice – Klao Niaw

One of the delicious dishes in Vientiane that often appears in daily meals or during festivals is Klao Niaw sticky rice. Klao Niaw sticky rice is cooked from glutinous rice grown in the fields and has a beautiful ivory white color. Sticky rice or sticky rice often appears in baskets made from bamboo and rattan, and when eating, visitors can hold them into small balls to eat without fear of them sticking to their hands. This dish you can enjoy anywhere in the restaurant, or the restaurant at a very preeminent price. The price of each basket of sticky rice sold at restaurants in Vientiane is about 0.79 USD to 1.57 USD.

Sticky rice – Klao Niaw

2.5. Tam Mak Houng papaya salad – An attractive dish in Laos

Tam Maak Hung, also known as “papaya pok pok”, or with a pure Vietnamese name rather than papaya salad, is a typical Lao dish, appearing in the meals of the indigenous people here as well as being sold a lot on the street. On any food street, you can find this popular but extremely attractive dish. For 1.31 USD/piece.

Tum mak hong, follow the sound of the mortar and pestle as you pound this papaya salad. To make Tam Mak Houng papaya salad, Laotians must choose papayas that are not too green or too ripe. Then they will be chopped into small pieces or thinly sliced, and then mixed with lemon spices, chili peppers, salt, sugar, fish sauce, and eggplant. It is these simple ingredients that create a seductive aroma that captivates visitors when enjoyed. Tam Mak Houng papaya salad has a delicious broth, so you can eat it with bread or dipping sticky rice.

Tam Mak Houng papaya salad

2.6. Lao sausage

There are two main types of pork sausages that you can try in Vientiane. These sausages are similar to the ones you will find in central Thailand. Sui Oua is fatty pork mixed with spices like galangal and kaffir lime leaves. Sai Krok is the better of the two and is well worth a try if you like exotic foods. Sai Krok is different in that this type of sausage is fermented for a few days, so it has a sweet and fleshy taste. Simply go to a street food vendor and eat it right up the street, or you can take your food to a beer garden and enjoy it with some wine.

Lao sausage

2.7. Crickets, grasshoppers and other insects

It sounds strange and gives me goosebumps, but insects are a genuine specialty in Laos. There are many attractive forms of processing, such as frying, baking, ramen, etc, and even cooking soup. Some insects are used by the Lao people for processing, such as grasshoppers, crickets, spiders, etc.

In Vientiane, you can try some insects that are caught fresh and quickly fried with kaffir lime leaves. This is a delicious, crunchy snack to eat while drinking beer and watching the sunset over the Mekong.

Crickets, grasshoppers and other insects

2.8. Grilled fish Pa Phao Keua

Grilled fish is a specialty of Vientiane. The grilled fish here is caught directly from the Mekong River, so it is fresh and delicious. The way to prepare this dish is also quite simple, but it is considered to be the best dish made from fish in this country. Grilled fish is usually a type of plug, or carp, weighing from half a pound to 2 pounds.

After being preliminarily processed, cleaned, and gutted, it is salted for about 15 minutes to absorb. The chef will skewer the fish and grill it directly on the charcoal. Cooked fish has a fragrant aroma that people suggest by swiping along the direction of the fish clamp so that the whole fish is not broken. Grilled fish is often eaten by locals with dipping sauce and raw vegetables. The dipping sauce served with fish is made from Padek fish sauce, ground liver, chili, garlic, onions, lemon, salt, fish sauce, and roasted peanuts. Laotians often eat grilled fish with sticky rice and salt and pepper on both weekdays and festivals.

Grilled fish Pa Phao Keua

2.9. Sien savanh

Sien Savanh is a typical dish of Lao cuisine, or in the capital Vientiane, this dish is also known as beef jerky. It is extremely popular with Lao people. The beef, after being torn into small pieces, will be marinated with black sauce, oyster sauce, garlic, pepper, jaggery, and roasted white sesame, then steamed and dried in the sun or in the kitchen.

Dried beef is served with sticky rice or dipped in Jaew Maak len sauce (a sauce made from tomatoes and chili peppers). The fleshy, chewy, delicious taste often makes visitors remember forever. You can buy Sien Savanh at Vangthong Food Market Night Market – Khun Bu Lom, Vientiane.

Sien savanh

2.10. Khao Piak Sen

This dish, also known as Lao noodle soup, is a famous dish in Vientiane, with many similarities with Vietnamese pho, such as soft noodles made from rice flour, served with broth and meats. However, Khao Piak Sen fibers are usually bigger and thicker than Vietnamese noodles, and the noodle soup is slightly cloudy, not clear, without the smell of flavorings such as star anise, cinnamon, ginger, etc. A bowl of Pho Lao for Lao people is very big. The accompanying vegetables also include raw cowpeas and pickles from carrots, chayote, etc.

Khao Piak Sen

3. Conclusion

Above are the top 10 famous foods in Vientiane, suggested by Metta Voyage, that you must try when traveling here. Surely the cuisine in Vientiane will give you an unforgettable experience. If you have any questions about the itinerary for your upcoming trip, contact us right away!

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