Berlin International Restaurant Project: Laos

Berlin restaurants have a bad habit of closing down only a few weeks after they open. There’s one place near our favorite Mexican restaurant that was four different restaurants in about six months. Now when we see someplace new, we don’t always rush in to try it. We’d rather wait a few weeks and see if they stick around.

The new restaurant on the corner

So towards the end of 2016, when yet another Asian restaurant opened up on a busy corner in our neighborhood, we were hesitant. We already have a few Thai and Vietnamese places we like, and there are soooo many Asian restaurants that feel like they have to offer sushi, despite being a Thai or Vietnamese restaurant.

In true Berlin fashion, this restaurant closed within a couple weeks of opening. But then shortly after, another one called HangMee opened. Or maybe it was the same people who decided they needed a little rebranding, I’m not sure. But their menu caught my eye. Thai and Laotian cuisine, and no sushi. And almost everything was under 5 euros. We decided to give it a try.

best Laotian restaurant in Berlin

Laotian and Thai food, tapas style

We learned the reason for the extremely low prices was that they serve smaller portions, kind of like Spanish tapas. I liked this idea because I didn’t have to pick just one thing. I have a bad habit of finding one dish I love at a particular restaurant and sticking with it. I’m always afraid if I order something else, I won’t like it and I’ll regret not ordering my sure thing. (I know, live a little, right?)

So this was fun for me. We chose four different dishes, and I specifically picked a couple that were listed as Laotian on the menu. It’s not so common to find a Laotian restaurant, so I wanted this one to count for my Berlin International Restaurant Project. Since most dishes are meat (or fish or tofu) and veggies, we ordered a bowl of rice and a bowl of rice noodles as well.

best Laotian restaurant in Berlin

I realized the noodles are tricky because they stick together too much without sauce. But besides that, the food was amazing. The flavors were so different from what we usually find. Most of the things we ordered were spicy but had great tastes as well, not just heat. And it was fun being able to have a variety of dishes.

The Laotian dishes we ordered were Laotian pork sausage with herbs and chili, and Laotian crispy chicken with veggies, coconut milk and curry. We also ordered a few dishes that weren’t specified as either Thai or Laotian, so it’s possible they exist in both places.

best Laotian restaurant in Berlin

The best Laotian restaurant in Berlin

This is now one of my favorite restaurants. I love being able to have a few favorite items and try new ones at the same time. I no longer order noodles, but we each get our own bowl of rice to go along with our main dishes, usually four different dishes to split between the two of us. One of my favorite things to order, one that I have to get no matter what other options we choose, is a beef dish with an incredibly tasty and spicy sauce and lettuce, onion, mint, and cilantro/coriander. Yum!

I definitely recommend HangMee in Friedrichshain! This has been one of my favorite Berlin International Restaurant Project spots, and one of the few we continue to go back to on a regular basis. This is definitely the best Laotian restaurant in Berlin. It’s been open for at least 6 months now, and I don’t think they’ll be closing anytime soon.

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best Laotian restaurant in Berlin
best Laotian restaurant in Berlin