Food, glorious food. I couldn’t even begin to write anything comprehensive about the food of Laos.  Instead I’ll just share some of the food I ate.  (And if you are only interested in the “gross” stuff then just skip to the bottom of the post.)

Lao Food

The food of Laos was described to me as equal mixes of Thai, Vietnamese, French, and uniquely Lao.  Like most countries, the cuisine varies by region and my time was spent in the north in the Luang Prabang region.

Laos dinner 2
Oua Si Khai – Chicken stuffed in lemon grass
Lao food
Lunch family style – noodles and vegetables including riverweed plus sai oua (Lao pork sausage), deep fried pork skins, and steamed fish.  And Lao beer.
mok pa
Mok Pa – Fish steamed in banana leaf
vegetable tempora
“Tempura” vegetables
chicken in noodles
Lunch – rice noodles and chicken.  So simple yet so good.  And Beer Lao.
Meal in Laos
Dinner time – starting on top and going clockwise: Lemongrass stuffed with chicken and fried, minced chicken salad, fried spring rolls, bamboo shoot salad, (in the center) cut green beans

I mostly ate in recommended restaurants and cafes minimizing the street food I ate.

Luang Prabang Grilling
Lots of grilled food everywhere

So much of the street food looked and smelled good, but I know the tolerances of my GI (gastrointestinal) system, as you hopefully know yours.  Never once did I have any “bathroom issues” my whole time in Laos.

More than any other meal, breakfast at the tourist hotels had the most French influences.  Egg, baguette, and fruit.  All fresh, probably picked, laid, and baked that morning.
Mango sticky rice
Mango sticky rice and Lao coffee.  The dessert sticky rices where always a highlight


Field to Farm

Coming from a country where so much food is processed, frozen, or ripened in transit, eating guaranteed fresh food makes me regret what has become of our supply chain. The food of Laos is always “farm to table” because that is their way of life.

Laos Garden
Backyard garden in Laos
Rice drying
Drying rice and peppers in front of the house
peppers drying

Bugs and Insects

Yes bugs, insects, spiders, and river snails are a regular part of the Laos diet.  They are a good source of protein.

fried crickets

Consider the amount of bombing and war this country has seen, and you too would eat protein where you can find it.  Plus we eat plenty of “gross” things where we live (see Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs or simply think of what caviar really is). “Just remember, what’s normal for you might be strange to others.”

Laos storefront
Crickets at a roadside cafe in Pak Mong. Sai oua (Lao pork sausage) is in the bin on the left.



Lao food was delicious, fresh, and healthy full of vegetables and fruits.

I am thankful I have plentiful food to eat.  I recognize plenty of people around the world don’t. I am also thankful for the opportunity to experience different cuisines around the world and happy to share those experiences with you.  Bon Appetit.

If you were interested in the food of Laos, you may also be interested in:


Street Food:  A Few More Thoughts

As I mentioned above, you know your body best and its tolerance to street food.  I was careful where I ate in Laos.  But then again, I am careful where I eat everywhere.  Unfortunately I am one of the unlucky one’s to run into problems with food quickly.   I used the word “run” intentionally.

And like I also said, I had zero issues in Laos.  But I was also very careful. And just in case I did I was prepared as I wrote about here:  Vaccines and Prophylactics Before International Travel

Happy traveling and happy eating.