Lao cuisine is the cuisine of the Lao ethnic group of Laos and Northeast Thailand (Isan). Lao food is distinct from other Southeast Asian cuisines.
The staple food of the Lao is sticky rice. Galangal and fish sauce are important ingredients. The Lao national dish is laap (Laos; sometimes also spelled larb), a spicy mixture of marinated meat and/or fish that is sometimes raw (prepared like ceviche) with a variable combination of greens, herbs, and spices. Another characteristic dish is tam mak houng (Laos; related to som tam in Thai and bok l'hong in Khmer), a spicy green papaya salad.
Lao cuisine has many regional variations, according in part to the fresh foods local to each region. A French influence is also apparent in the capital city, Vientiane, such that baguettes are sold on the street, and French restaurants (often with a naturally Lao, Asian-fusion touch) are common and popular. Vietnamese cuisine is also popular in Laos.