Noodle soup in Vientiane

Although not as popular as Vietnamese pho, the version of Laos’ cuisine, which is usually made with pork or beef, has a flavor and style of its own. To enjoy Lao pho, which is served with a massive serving of raw green beans, bean sprouts, fresh lime, basil, mint plus greens – lettuce, you will munch on after dunking into the sweet peanut satay dip.  Indochina tours Laos


Having some of the best noodle soup stalls in all of Laos, Vientiane is where you can taste every single kind of noodle soup dish that this country has to offer. Besides being open for breakfast and/or lunch, most shops are also open for lunch and dinner. You should expect steaming pots of broth, fresh looking meat and vegetables. An useful rule of thumb: it must be delicious, if the locals are flocking to eat it, even on the hottest of days. Run down to find the best places.

Vientiane’s noodle soup
Vientiane’s noodle soup -source: internet

Let’s head for Pho Zap on Phai Nam Road around the corner from That Dam stupa, which opens daily from 06:00-15:00, for an awesome pho. Coming to this shop, which was established in 1958, guests will be served large bowls of pho with a richly flavored broth with hints of toasted star anise, fennel and cinnamon. Pork and beef are available meat choices. A jumbo bowl costs 30,000 kip while a regular bowl costs 20,000 kip and a large one for 25,000 kip. Situated less than 500 meters from the central bus station and not far from the new Vientiane Centre mall, PVO Noodle Soup is a good alternative.

Kao soy
Kao soy -source: internet

Khao piak, which is the unique noodle soup to Laos, made with a fresh chewy round rice noodle, a similar shape and size like Japanese udon may be favorite choice of all the different kinds of noodle soups. They usually serve this dish with a pork broth topped with deep fried garlic or shallots. It is undoubtedly well worth venturing the 1.5 kilometer route from the center of the town to find the shop on Dongpalane Road across from All Time Travel Agency, which is always packed and reckoned to be the best khao piak in Laos. Here, you will enjoy a hot bowl coming with delicious and really tender pork short ribs with the meat falling off the bone. If you do not want cubes of blood, let them know “baw sai leua”. A soup can also be served with roasted duck and yellow noodles. Indochina travel

Khao piak sien
Khao piak sien -source: internet

Serving up crisp fried and even deep-fried yellow noodles, covered in a stir-fried beef and vegetable gravy, another joint on the east side of Khunboulom Road, just north of Hengboun Road, attracts flocks of office workers. More like noodle gravy, this Chinese-influenced dish is not just noodle soup. It will set you back 20,000 kip for a heaping plate. Expect to see the local chef with the flaming wok in front.

In terms of price, portion size and quality, these shops mentioned, which are considered expensive by local standards, are on the higher end of the spectrum. Be warned that excessive amounts of MSG can be an issue although it is possible to find cheaper soups. Nyai (large), tamada (medium) and noy (small) are soup sizes. Point at what you want if communication fails.

An essential part of the noodle soup experience is adding condiments
An essential part of the noodle soup experience is adding condiments -source: internet

For local people, an essential part of the noodle soup experience is adding condiments. The ritual seems to be endless: a squeeze of lime, a dollop of this and a dash of that. Tables are overloaded with white pepper, white vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, MSG, Maggi seasoning sauce, birds-eye chili, chili paste, shrimp paste, sweet chili sauce, pickled ginger and fish sauce, – just to name a few! Something that is sweet, salty, sour and so hot that make a foreigner cry (meanwhile locals do not even break a sweat) is the end goal for locals. However, to each their own – having a memorable experience by happy slurping!

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