10 BEST Luang Prabang Street Food For Your First Visit

FOMO 10 Best Luang Prabang Street Food For Your First Visit

Just like Bangkok, Hanoi, and Kuala Lumpur, Luang Prabang street food has a lot of variety. Don’t let the FOMO affect your travel experience.

I have had a wonderful travel in Luang Prabang for 4 days. I love this city and deem its nostalgic culture the best experience.

In this blog post, I want to summarize the top 10 Laos street foods in Luang Prabang. Additionally, I will guide you on how to locate each of the Luang Prabang street foods with rough price information.

Where can I taste the best Luang Prabang street food?

Searching for Luang Prabang street food is very straightforward. Normally, you can find one or two food vendors near the main hotel area. If you are looking for the main clusters, most of them will be available in the night market, morning market and the Lart Leng Square near the night market.

For some Luang Prabang street foods like sticky rice in bamboo, it is mainly available in the morning from local mobile hawkers. Other than that, both night and morning markets shall have you covered.

Lart Leng Square in Luang Prabang
Lart Leng Square in Luang Prabang

How much is Luang Prabang street food?

It depends, but it shall not exceed 50,000 Kip (~ 2.5 USD) except for items like Laos BBQ whole fish or chicken. For example, some low-range Laos street food in Luang Prabang would cost ~ 5,000 Kip (~ 0.3 USD) like the coconut pancakes. In contrast, high-range snacks such as BBQ skewers, pork jerky, or fruit shakes would go to the range of 30,000 – 50,000 Kip (~ 1.5 – 2.5 USD).

1. Sticky rice in bamboo

Food hawker selling sticky rice in bamboo
Food hawker selling sticky rice in bamboo
Location:Mobile food hawkers near main tourist attractions like Wat Xieng Thong or morning market
Price:~ 10,000 Kip (~ 0.5 USD) / ~ 20,00 Kip (~ 1 USD) for purple sticky rice or with add-ons such as taro pieces per bamboo

As the most sticky rice consuming, Laos people call themselves “children of sticky rice”. For that, I would put the sticky rice in bamboo as the first Luang Prabang street food.

Unlike the sticky rice used to accompany other Luang Prabang cuisines (internal link), the sticky rice in bamboo is a Laos desert. The locals would put the sticky rice inside a bamboo and roast that with coconut cream.

As an add-on, some vendors would also add in beans, small pieces of taro, or sweet potato.  White sticky price is the most common favor but purple sticky price is also available at a slightly higher price.

With the aroma of coconut, the chewy texture of the sticky rice, and the stylish bamboo container, sticky rice in bamboo is the number one street food you must try in Luang Prabang.

2. Luang Prabang fried seaweed (Kaipen)

Luang Prabang fried seaweed (Kaipen)
Luang Prabang fried seaweed (Kaipen)
Location:Morning market/night market
Price:~ 20,000 Kip (~ 1 USD) for a small pack

Luang Prabang fried seaweed (Kaipen) is a popular local snack given its location near the Mekong River. The seaweed is usually made of dried freshwater green algae fried with garlic and sesame seeds. The drying process would take at least 7 hours under the sun.

As compared to Japanese Nori (dried seaweed), the Laos version tastes saltier and oilier. Although it is a very common snack locally, I found its taste too heavy and oily, thus only recommend a mild consumption.

Kaipen is usually available for sale in local morning and night markets. There are different packing sizes with the smallest one at around 20,000 Kips (~ 1 USD) and large packs going up to 100,000 Kips (~ 5 USD).

3. Rice Dumpling Cassava

Different flavors of rice dumpling cassava
Different flavors of rice dumpling cassava
Location:Morning market/night market
Price:~ 20,000 Kip (~ 1 USD) for all packs regardless of favors

Rice dumpling cassava is a hidden street food of Luang Prabang. You can’t search for this street food online but you can find it in most of the snack shops in Luang Prabang. The rice dumpling cassava is made of local rice with other ingredients such as sweet potato and green tea.

It looks like a pack of thin potato chips with a paper-like texture with a hint of sweetness according to its flavor. Green for green tea, brown for sweet potato, purple for purple sweet potato, and some of the shops even have coffee flavors. You notice them because of their colorful appearance.

This is probably the Luang Prabang street food that I love the most. It does not have a robust taste like others. The delightful sweetness is just alright. I tried the sweet potato, purple potato, and green tea flavors, they were all great.

In the morning market, you can even ask the food vendors to grill the cassava for you, adding extra crispy (more like potato chips).

Rice dumpling cassava tastes better after grilling
Rice dumpling cassava tastes better after grilling

The rice dumpling cassavas are very cheap at 10,000 Kip (~ 0.5 USD) per pack. You can even ask for ~ 20% discount if you buy a bulk i.e. 3 packs or more.

It is less famous than sticky rice and the fried seaweed in Luang Prabang. However, you should definitely try it during your travel to Luang Prabang.

4. Coconut pancakes (Khao nom kok)

Coconut pancakes (Khao nom kok)
Coconut pancakes (Khao nom kok)
Location:Morning market / mobile food hawkers at night
Price:~5,000 Kip (~ 0.2USD) per portion

Although, it is not unique in Luang Prabang, the fourth Luang Prabang street food would be coconut pancakes. Made with local rice flour and coconut cream, the coconut pancake has a crispy texture on the surface with a moist, smooth, and sweet taste inside. It is usually served on a banana leaf with 5 – 6 small cakes per portion.

Despite being so delicious, it is one of the cheapest Luang Prabang street foods you can find at 5,000 Kip (~ 0.2 USD).

5. Lao-style pork jerky

Luang Prabang jerky shop
Luang Prabang jerky shop

Jerkies are very popular in Luang Prabang. You can find it everywhere in most of the snack shops and vendors in morning or night markets. There are even snack shops specializing in jerkies. Porks are usually the meat used for marking jerky locally.  

Laotian people would marinate strips of pork in a mixture of herbs, spices, and other seasonings, and then dry or smoke them to achieve a chewy and delectable texture. The most common ingredients include soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, and sugar.

After marinating, the strips will then be air-dried in the sun or smoked over low heat to remove the moisture. Given the ingredients and the drying process, Lao-style pork jerky has a profile of savory, sweet, dry, and chewy. The taste could be a bit heavy for us, so I recommend you buy a small pack to try first.

6. Sweet roti

Sweet roti shop at Lart Leng Square
Sweet roti shop at Lart Leng Square
Location:Roti shops at night / Lart Leng square
Price:~20,000 Kip (~ 1 USD) per portion depending on the add-ons

Sweet roti is another common street food that you can find in Luang Prabang. You can easily find one near the corner of the street or at the Lart Leng square. It is a type of pancake made from a simple dough that is typically a combination of flour, sugar, eggs, and milk. The dough is kneaded until smooth and then rolled out into thin sheets. These sheets are then cooked on a griddle or a hot pan with a little oil until they turn golden brown and develop a slightly crispy texture.

After cooking the local vendors would then add a layer of sweetened condensed milk. For adding extra flavor, you can also choose toppings like bananas, shredded coconut, or peanut butter inside. Mixed with the toppings they will then fold the roti into a square like a French toast.

Amongst all the options, I find the egg roti with peanut butter the best. You should have one as dessert after dinner. Other than sweet roti, some shops would also offer other options such as roti with hams or other meat.

7. Laos BBQ skewers

Different Laos BBQ skewers in Luang Prabang night market
Different Laos BBQ skewers in Luang Prabang night market
Location:Mostly in the night market but also available sometimes on the street by mobile food hawkers
Price:~30,000 Kip (~ 1.5 USD) per skewer but could go beyond 100,00 Kip (~5 USD) for grilled whole chicken or fish

No matter snacks or dinner, Laos BBQ skewers are a must for every Luang Prabang visitor. Several renowned Luang Prabang cuisines such as Laos sausages, grilled whole chicken and Mekong fish can be found in the BBQ skewer shops. Other than that you can find other varieties such as chicken meat, wings, organ meats, and even grilled pigeons.

Once marinated, the meat is then threaded onto skewers and grilled over hot charcoal or an open flame. The grilling process gives the skewers a smoky and charred flavor while keeping the meat juicy and tender. As the skewers cook, they are often basted with additional marinade or a glaze to enhance the flavors and create a delicious caramelized coating.

Compared to other Luang Prabang street foods, this can serve as a great source of protein and even main dishes for your meals. The price varies according to your options and shops. Yet, most of the skewers would be around 30,000 Kip (~1.5 USD) except for the ones like whole chicken, pigeons, and Mekong fishes.

The BBQ skewers are also best served with other sweet street food such as sticky rice and sweet roti. Together they form a great meal with a balanced taste.

8. BBQ sticky rice(Khao Jee), corns, bananas & sweet potatoes and etc

BBQ sticky rice(Khao Jee), corns, bananas & sweet potatoes
BBQ sticky rice(Khao Jee), corns, bananas & sweet potatoes
Location:Mostly available in the morning, especially in the morning market
Price:~20,000 Kip (~ 1 USD)

Leaving the savory BBQ skewers at night aside, you can also find a different set of BBQ options in the morning. Similar to other ASEAN Countries, people in Luang Prabang love sweet street food. Other than the sticky price of bamboo which they usually have as breakfast. You can also find different kinds of sweet BBQ options in the Luang Prabang morning markets such as BBQ sticky rice (Khao Jee), corn, bananas, and sweet potatoes.

There are also other sweet options. From all the choices, I suggest you try the BBQ sticky rice given its chewy texture and the importance of sticky rice in Luang Prabang, The price is pretty consistent at around 20,000 kip (~1 USD) per portion.

9. Fruit shake and juice

Fruit shake and juice shop in Laung Prabang
Fruit shake and juice shop in Laung Prabang
Location:Very pervasive in Luang Prabang juice shops, morning market, and night market
Price:~25,000 Kip (~ 1.2 USD), avocado shake could be slightly pricier

Although it does not fall under the food category, Fruit shakes, and juices are a necessary part of your Luang Prabang street food tour. As a matter of fact, you can find a shop selling fruit shakes and juices on every block of the main streets. Thanks to the tropical weather in Southeast Asia, there are various fruits for mixing including dragon fruit, avocado mangos, bananas, etc.

Personally, I love the mix of dragon fruit and avocado which serve as a great source of fiber. Also, I usually would request for no sugar, so that I can taste the essence of the fruits. A single shake or juice is around 25,000 Kip (~1.2 USD). Options with avocado are generally more expensive at 40,000 Kip (~ 2 USD).

10. Ice cream!

My wife enjoying a triple scoop at Sabye Icecream Luang Prabang
My wife enjoying a triple scoop at Sabye Icecream Luang Prabang
Location:“Sabye Icecream” ice cream shop. Ice cream is also available by other food vendors but ice cream from Sabye is the best. 
Price:~15,000 Kip (~ 0.7 USD)

Our final choice of top 10 Luang Prabang street food is – ice cream! I strongly recommend you give a try to the ice cream at Goodbye Ice Cream (external. The shop has 10 flavors available at a very cheap price of 15,000 Kip (~ 0.7 USD) per scoop. If you want to try different flavors at one time, you can have a double scoop at 25,000 Kip (~ 1.2 USD) and a triple scoop at 35,000 Kip (~ 1.7 USD).

In spite of its cheap price, the quality is supreme. I love the taro flavor the most and it is probably the best one I have tasted in the 60+ Countries I have been to. The shop owner is also very polite and helpful, although the downside is the shop only opens after noon.

“Sabye Icecream” is located on the main street of Luang Prabang. Thus, the best time is for you to have a scoop after the night market hunting.

Well, our review of the top 10 Luang Prabang street food ends here. Of course, there are a lot of other street food waiting for you to discover. Also check out our 4 day itinerary for Luang Prabang for your trip planning.

Please leave me a comment for any inquiry or tell me your most favored street food in Luang Prabang!

Regulus K

A budget travel blogger passionate about exploring different destinations worldwide, while balancing a regular 9-to-5 job.

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