Larb (Laap) 

I have to admit that Larb is one of the most savory Laos street foods that you have to try at least once. Larb means fortune and good luck, symbolizing the wish for a joyful and tranquil life. It’s also deemed to be the unofficial national dish because Laos people really enjoy this food. So that’s why you can find it everywhere from street stalls to restaurants in Laos. 

Laos Street Food

Laos meat & eggs salad

Basically, Larb is made from a minced meat salad, and people usually use various meat for this food like beef, pork, chicken, and duck. This salad is a perfect combination of sour, spicy, salty, and sweet. For those who are vegans, there is also a vegetarian version of larb with tofu and mushrooms. The average price of larb is about 20,000 LAK (~0.97 USD) 

Here are some places where you can find this food:

  • Bamboo Garden Restaurant: 49/3 Wisunalat Road, Luang Prabang 0600 

  • Ban Lao Beer Garden: Rue Francois Ngin, Vientiane 0100

  • Café Toui: 72/6 Th Kingkitsarath (Kiridara Villa Ban Khili), Luang Prabang

Khao jee

Laotian consume more sticky rice than any other country in the world and one of their favorite dishes is Khao Jee. Lao people often jokingly say that they are “children of sticky rice”.

Laos Street Food

Laos Traditional Grilled sticky rice on a stick

This delectable treat is crafted by shaping small patties from cooked sticky rice and affixing them to sticks, allowing for easy flipping during grilling without the risk of scalding your hands. Typically, these rice patties are coated with a delicate layer of egg, which makes the outer layer acquire a crispiness and a golden brown hue while maintaining a tender interior. 

The average price of Khao Jee is about 6,000 LAK (~0.29 USD). You can find this food in Khao Jee Nar Pasa or you can find them in every market.

Sai kok

Believe me! This Laos sausage will provide you with an unforgettable culinary experience. Sai kok is prepared using finely diced fatty pork infused with a blend of lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, red chilis, garlic, shallots, and fish sauce for its distinctive flavors.

Laos Street Food

Yummy Laos pork sausage grilled with lemon grasses

It's worth noting that Sai kok originates from the Isan region of Thailand, which is home to a significantly larger ethnic Lao population than even Laos itself. Fortunately, Sai kok has gained widespread popularity and can now be savored in both Laos and Thailand, as it has been warmly embraced by both nations. 

The average price of Sai kok is about 10,000 LAK (~0.49 USD). Here are some places where you can find this food:

  • Restaurant Fah- Sai: Chao Anou Road Haisok Village, Vientiane

  • Belle Époque Brasserie: 6 Pangkham Street, Vientiane

Khanom Krok

If you are a fan of coconut, you definitely cannot miss this special Laos street food. The soft sizzle and enticing aroma that wafted from the cooking pancakes had me hooked. I couldn't resist trying this local specialty.

Laos Street Food

Laos coconut pancakes on street

With a pair of Khanom Krok in hand, I took my first bite, and my taste buds were met with a delightful blend of flavors - the subtle sweetness of coconut, and the savoriness of the pancake. The textural contrast between the crisp edges and the soft center added to the experience. 

The average price of Sai kok is about 37,000 LAK (~1.80 USD). You can find these little pancakes at food stalls in the markets in Laos

  • Luang Prabang night market: 16 Chaofa Ngum Rd

  • Vientiane night market: Chao Anuvong Park, which is near to the Mekong River and the lively Quai Fa Ngum

  • Morning market: next to Andrew McConnell's other Gertrude Street locations

Khao soi 

Khao soi comes from the northern region of Laos, where thua nao (a fermented soybean paste) originated in a town near the Chinese border. This is one of the components of the soup that gives it its characteristic flavor. 

The average price of Sai kok is about 15,000 LAK (~0.73 USD). Here are some places where you can find this food:

  • Khao Soi Noodle Shop: Sakkaline Rd, Luang Prabang

  • Pha Khao Lao Garden:  Kuangsi Waterfall Road, Luang Prabang

Laos Street Food

Delicious Laos Khao Poon Curry noodle soup

Tam Mak Hoong 

You might be familiar with som tam, the Thai version of a zesty papaya salad. Interestingly, this nutritious salad, known as tam mak hoong, has its roots in Laos and was brought to central Thailand by Lao immigrants. 

Laos Street Food

Laos green Papaya salad

I bet this Laos street food will satisfy even the most demanding diners because of the delicate blend of the finest components. Tam Mak Hoong is made from shaved green papaya with a cucumber-like consistency, lots of lime juice, garlic, dried shrimp, chili, palm sugar, tomatoes, and the fermented fish sauce called Padaek. 

The average price of Sai kok is about 10,000 LAK (~0.49 USD). Here are some places where you can find this food: 

  • Belle Époque Brasserie: 6 Pangkham Street, Vientiane

  • Han Sam Euay Nong: Chao Anou, Vientiane

Sakoo yat sai 

Sakoo Yat Sai, a beloved Laotian snack, offers a delightful blend of textures and flavors that captures the essence of Laos street food. These bite-sized dumplings are made from tapioca pearls, which are filled with a savory mixture typically of minced pork, shrimp, garlic, shallots, and various seasonings. 

Laos Street Food

Tapioca steamed dumplings

This is an excellent Laos street food for those who dislike fats because it is steamed instead of fried. They're generally topped with cilantro and dried red chiles, while sometimes served wrapped in lettuce. The contrasts in these small balls of yumminess will absolutely delight you. 

The average price of Sakoo yat sai is about 15,000 LAK (~0.73 USD). You can find this food easily in every Laos market. 

Khao Niew Mak Muang Sii Faa  

Mango sticky rice is the ideal dessert to chill down after eating many spicy Laos street food. It is made by heating glutinous rice in coconut milk with sugar and presenting it with fresh, ripe mango slices. This meal is frequently garnished with sesame seeds in Laos. 

Laos Street Food

Laos dessert Mango sticky rice

Sometimes black or a mix of black and white rice is used to form purple sticky rice, which looks especially lovely when edible flowers are used as a garnish. If you need something sweet after a savory meal, a decadent dessert that isn't overly sweet is still the best idea. 

The average price of this food is about 3,100 LAK (~0.15 USD). It is also found in every corner of the Laos market. 

Dining Tips in Laos

Here are some dining tips to keep in mind when dining in Laos to enjoy a seamless experience:

  • You should carry change because some vendors do not have change.

  • Don't be concerned about the sanitation of Lao cuisine too much because the street food stalls are regularly inspected by the Ministry of Health

  • When negotiating prices with street vendors, maintain a polite and respectful tone. Bargain with a smile, and avoid being too aggressive.

Find additional insights in our Laos travel guide!

Whether you're a seasoned foodie or simply a traveler seeking new experiences, trying Laos street food is an unforgettable journey that should not be missed. Aside from the unique cuisine, this enchanting nation has many more pleasures to uncover. Please contact the New Asia Tours for more information about interesting itineraries in Laos.