Food & Cuisine in Xieng Khouang
There are numerous restaurants in Phonsavan, where you can find traditional Lao fare, as well as international cuisine. French influences are obvious in the coffee, pastries and baguettes, and the variety of food is more than adequate.
Whilst it is easy to find international cuisine, trying out the local Lao cuisine is a real treat in Phonsavan.
Use this Phonsavan Restaurant Guide to find some recommended places to eat that we've listed below for your benefit. And what better way to build up an appetite than by wandering around the local market and enjoying some shopping in Phonsavan among other Xieng Khouang travel activities? Our Laos Restaurant Guide gives more details on traditional cuisine.
Phonsavan Restaurant Guide
Where to eat
Looking for a quick meal? Head for one of the many noodles shops that can be easily found all throughout the province. These shops are popular with locals and tourists alike and you can find traditional Lao food at very reasonable prices. Ask your Phonsavan guesthouse for their recommendations.
You will also find a couple of restaurants in Xieng Khouang that serve popular Indian dishes and tasty Chinese food.
The easiest and cheapest way to sample traditional Lao food is at the stalls located in the local market in Phonsavan. Lao food is traditionally very spicy but often tempered for the foreign palate. The national dishes are Pho, which is a white rice noodle soup served with pork, beef or vegetables; sticky rice (best eaten with fingers, not spoons); Laap, which is fish, minced meat or vegetables nicely tossed in lime juice, chillies, garlic, powdered rice and served with sticky rice; Tam maak hung, which is a traditional papaya salad, and Khai phaan, which is a weed from the Mekong River. Laos's national drinks are beer lao and lao lao (rice whiskey).
Traditional Lao food is very simple - meals at most local households comprise rice and vegetables served with soup, some dried fish and sauce. Those who enjoy Thai food will also like Lao cuisine; there are many similarities between the two cuisines. Just like Thai dishes, most Lao dishes are cooked with fresh ingredients, be it vegetables, duck, chicken, beef, pork or fish.