Food & Cuisine in Luang Namtha
Great food is easily found in the Luang Namtha restaurants, stands and stalls. The markets are especially good places to pick up cheap and tasty local cuisine, and give you a chance to experience the local culture.
The restaurants in Luang Namtha give you a chance to get a real taste of the local life.
This Luang Namtha Restaurant Guide gives you an idea of what to expect when eating out in Luang Namtha. See the Laos Restaurants page for more details about Lao food. Get more information on what and where to buy souvenirs by checking out our Luang Namtha Shopping Guide.
Food & Cuisine in Luang Namtha
Eating out in Luang Namtha Town
The Provincial Market
Visit this market in the morning to try out the freshly made hot sticky rice, local delicacies, sweets and other specialties. The seasonal foods are worth trying too. A section of the market displays ready-to-eat food in glass cases. Unlike most places, restaurants here do not object to food being brought in from outside provided you make some purchases from them.
The District Market
For a slightly different experience, visit the smaller district market near the airport. This small village market has a different selection of ready-to-eat food and desserts. It is not easily seen from the street, but the line of tuk-tuks parked at the entrance is a clear giveaway.
Visit the town square in the evenings, mingle with the locals and try out the favourite local food and cuisine in Luang Namtha sold at the many street stalls here. The well-known scissor-cut Kao Soi noodles, grilled eggs and grilled water buffalo are some of the popular dishes served here. The atmosphere is informal and comfortable.
Push Cart Vendors
You will see push cart vendors all over the city, outside offices and schools, and even at the boat landing and the district market. The vendors offer a great variety of edibles, from Chinese dumplings to homemade ice cream and butter-smeared baguettes.
Small stalls lining the lanes and streets of the villages and towns sell freshly grilled beef, duck and pork. You may even find goat and dog pot roast in a few stalls. Other popular items in these stalls are ramen noodles, green papaya salad and a variety of other interesting dishes. Business is at its best in the late afternoon and early evening hours.
Eating out in Muang Sing
There a many local Muang Sing restaurants offering Lao, Chinese, Thai, Indian and Western style food, especially along the main road. Some favourite local dishes in Muang Sing include Kao Soi (see below for more information on these) which can be found in the Muang Sing market, Akha tea, and Jeao (chili paste). You will also find excellet local coffee and baguettes.
What's on the menu
Chinese, Thai and Lao Food
Enjoy a fantastic view of the valley along with the appetizing taste of Yunnanese food at the Chinese restaurants located above the Namtha River. Spicy Thai and authentic Lao dishes can also be found in other restaurants along the same street.
Popular dishes found in the restaurants of Luang Namtha and Muang Sing are banana pancakes, cream sauces, French fries, fried rice, grilled duck, meatballs, papaya salads, sandwiches, steaks and stir fried rice. Beer is the most common beverage served in the restaurants.
The Kao Soi noodles, or scissor-cut noodles, are one of the best-known products of Luang Namtha. Served with soybeans that have been fermented, the noodles can be added to a soup or can be cooked like spaghetti bolognese. At the periphery of every market, you will find a number of these noodle soup stands. The early morning hours are the busiest for these small stands. Kao Soi Haw is the take-away version of the Kao Soi noodles. Vendors cook the noodles the spaghetti way and wrap them in banana leaves.