It has to be said that all South East Asian food is quite similar. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it also has to be said that all South East Asian food is quite tasty. Lao food resembles Thai food in particular. Rice (sticky) is served with most meals and there is a wide range of ingredients you can add to meals to liven the rice up.
Fresh food is very prominent in most dishes. Meats like chicken, beef and pork combine with coriander leaves, coconut milk and lemongrass and sometimes some sweet chilli sauce to produce many mouth watering delights.
Some specialities served around the country include làap, which is minced meat with chicken/fish mixed with lime juice and garlic, pa ling sousi haeng which is piquant fried catfish cooked with lime, coriander and spring onion leaves and nok kho hum sai kalampi which is braised quail with cabbage.
Larger cities such as Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Savannakhet have everything from top class restaurants to budget places. There is a particularly good selection of French restaurants in Vientiane. If you are on a tight budget noodle shops and food stalls are worth trying out, but be wary of the meat.