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Food & Drinks
Food
In Vientiane and major cities of Laos you can find a great variety of food on offer. Local stalls sell barbecued pork, chicken and duck, sometimes goat, beef; countless roadside stalls and restaurants serve bowls of different varieties of steaming noodles with meat, and other local delicacies are seen everywhere. Apart from traditional Lao eating places, there are also Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese , Japanese, Indian, French, Italian… tucked away in corners somewhere. Tourist and Western food restaurants in Laos have fast food like sandwiches, burgers and pizza; French fries are common and served in many pubs. Excellent bread from local bakeries is available everywhere.
Leading hotels and better Lao food restaurants serve a variety of local and Asian regional dishes, many of which appeal to Western palates, as well as European food. Meat may be locally produced, but more expensive establishments use produce imported from Thailand or further afield such as Australia, New Zealand and the USA.
Note that many offerings from roadside restaurants, food stalls should be treated with caution. This becomes less important after one has settled in, and develops immunity to local bugs and bacteria, but an upset stomach is a common occurrence among both locals and foreigners.

Drinks
Water from the mains is not recommended for drinking unless previously boiled. Bottled water are available cheaply everywhere, the most popular brand being Tiger Head from the BeerLao factory.
Freshly-made fruit juices and soft drinks are sold in most populated areas.
Spirits, both locally distilled and imported, and wines are sold quite cheaply in shops, and at higher prices in hotels and restaurants of course. Due to an extremely low liquor tax or excise duty, alcohol costs considerably less in Lao than Thailand, and is much more readily available.
Except for drinking water, the most popular drink in Lao is the famous Beerlao made by the joint venture of Lao Brewery Company Ltd and Danish brewers Carlsberg.
Beerlao has a clean, crisp flavour and is affordable by almost everyone. A large BeerLao costs about 8-10,000 kip ($1.20) in Lao pubs and restaurants; it can be considerably more in bars, more upmarket hotels and nightclubs where small bottles may cost $1.50 -$2.00.
You can also find Beerlao Dam (black), a 6.5% stronger brew, Beer Lane Xang, BeerLao Gold, Carlsberg Lager though they are not as popular as Beerlao.
Tiger Beer, also 5%, is quite popular and sold in many beer shops, bars and restaurants, usually at a slightly lower price than BeerLao. Tiger is slightly sweeter than Beer Lao.
Lao people drink beer with ice regardless it warm or cold. You may prefer the cold one but in case cold beer not available why not try as they do. Anyway, restaurants used to serving tourists may ask foreigners if they want ice added to their glasses.
Lao people traditionally drink from a shared glass. There is a 'ritual' where a 'pourer' chooses how much to fill the glass and must drink first by saying 'sanur deur!' (me first), then emptying it. Then he or she refills the glass to the same level and hands it to the next person, followed by each one of the group.
Two or more glasses may be used for larger gatherings, so the time between drinks is not too long! After a 'round', someone else acts as pourer and the ritual continues until there is no more beer. Drinking with Lao people can be a lot of fun and provides amusing and quite intimate interaction between people
Popular more with country folk in the villages is a strong, clear spirit called lao kao with 40% or 50% alcohol content. They make it themselves from rice or it can be bought in any shops. Lao khao is a very cheap way to get drunk quickly, but it's not a very pleasant one as the taste can be quite raw.