Explore Laos Culinary Art through Vientiane Street Food
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Vientiane possesses the appetizing street food which tickles gourmets’ taste bud by its simple decoration but delicious flavor. This drives almost all of the tourists never ignore this culinary art when traveling to Laos. The first impression that lingers in your memory is that the locals are very hospitable and friendly. Furthermore, whether you enjoy dishes in restaurants or small shops, everything is well arranged in order while garbage is always put in the right place.

During a visit to the capital, you will be surely amazed by the diversity and incredible taste of the Vientiane street food, which is not as sophisticated and meticulous as European or Japanese cuisine. Instead, you easily find a host of eye-catching, simple but creative, and delicious dishes. Here are the best things to eat in Vientiane that you should not ignore.

#1: Steamed Sticky Rice

In fact, rice is the foundation of all Lao meals. Put in a bamboo basket, the white steamed sticky rice becomes one of the favorite dishes for both locals and visitors. During a trip to Vientiane, it is possible to see a small basket of sticky rice at every meal. Just enjoying one basket, you can feel full all day. Generally, the dish is made from fragrant and glutinous sticky rice and is usually served with boiled vegetables, grilled chicken, and typical Lao sauce, namely “Cheo Boong.” Amazingly, this steamed sticky rice just costs you about 15,000 kips per basket only!

White steamed sticky rice - the foundation of all Lao meals

White steamed sticky rice – the foundation of all Lao meals

#2: Grilled Dishes

There is no sea in Laos. For that reason, the seafood is usually replaced by fish in the river. Grilled dishes with fish and other types of meat as ingredients are also what hold visitors’ feet from leaving. You can find such dishes in night markets or food stalls. While going around the market or even stepping into one small restaurant, you can easily catch the panorama of grilled dishes in skewers overlapping each other in tables, such as snapper, blotched snakehead, grilled chicken thighs, grilled chicken wings, or a whole grilled chicken, grilled pork side, grilled bird, etc. All of them are placed on the green banana leaves and covered with the gold color.

Besides, there is nothing greater than enjoying the grilled sausages in cool days, which are made from pork and then supplemented with rice, spices, and lemongrass.

Tradional fish and chicked grilled street food, Laos.

Tradional fish and chicked grilled street food, Laos.

#3: Bread

Another favorite street food in Vientiane is bread. What leaves a strong impression on gastronomes is its crispy crust while the filling is attractive as well, with pork sausage, liver paté, spinach, carrot, cucumber, mayonnaise, and chili paste. Often, the, bread is consumed as breakfast, but many roadside food stalls serve the dish all time of the day.

Big bread in Luang Prabang, Laos

Big bread in Luang Prabang, Laos

#4: Papaya Salad

The daily meals of the Laotians will be incomplete without green papaya salad. It is up to you to choose to try the dish with a special sauce, called a fermented fish sauce. Unlike other version found in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, this Laos papaya salad does not contain palm sugar. It can easily be seen in lots of food stalls and restaurants throughout Vientiane.

Tam Mak Hoong - Spicy Lao papaya salad

Tam Mak Hoong – Spicy Lao papaya salad

#5: Dishes from Insects

Believe it or not, many insects in Laos (such as cricket, spider, or ant eggs) can be used to make fried, steamed or pickled dishes. However, sampling these dishes require a little courage as they may become weird obsession for some foreigners. To enjoy the thrilling insect food at affordable prices, you are advised to access Vientiane night food market. Vangthong and Vientiane night markets are the two typical examples of places for eating.

Dishes from Insects in Laos Food

Dishes from Insects in Laos Food

The list of the best street food in Vientiane above becomes highly handy when you question what to eat in the capital of Laos during the walking along the streets. Take time relishing any of the recommended dishes.

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