Top End Laksa Festival returns in 2020

28th September 2020 | Eativity editors

After a successful inaugural festival in 2019, the Darwin Laksa Festival will return for 2020 on October 26. It will once again celebrate Darwin’s multicultural community, the awesome weather and one of the Top End’s favourite pastimes – eating amazing laksas.

The Territory’s laksas are recognised as among the best in the world, and in its second year, the festival competition will once again be open to any restaurant, eatery or stallholder from across the Darwin, Palmerston and rural area. The month-long festival also includes a Laksa Food Tour for laksa lovers to vote on their favourite laksa and laksa-inspired dishes.

Eva’s Botanic Gardens Cafe‘s laksa toastie.

Last year’s tour featured iconic dishes such as laksa ice cream, laksa pannacotta and a laksa toastie, alongside the traditional soup dish. This year’s tour will once again encourage people to use a special Laksa Festival app, developed by the NT Government, to try as many dishes as possible throughout the month, before voting for their favourite.

The 2020 festival will culminate on Sunday, November 29 in Darwin city – where the winners of the People’s Choice laksa and laksa-inspired dishes and the Judges’ Choice Best Laksa awards will all be announced.

The Good Times Bar and Grill laksa colada.

For the overall Golden Bowl winner, top secret “Laksa Ninjas” will be visiting registered eateries throughout the month and shortlisting the best of the best. Businesses will not know who the ninjas are and will only know their dish has been tasted after the fact.

Each venue will be visited by multiple Ninjas at different times, and scores will be tallied to determine the top 10 venues. The top 10 will then participate in a blind tasting by an expert panel of judges, to decide on the ultimate 2020 Golden Bowl winner.

Besser Kitchen and Brew Bar‘s laksa chicken burger.

“The coronavirus crisis has changed a lot of things for us in the Territory, but we would never let it get in the way of our love for laksa,” says NT Chief Minister, Michael Gunner.

“Because the Territory is the safest place in Australia, we are the first in Australia to get back in business, back to work, and back to enjoying the great Territory lifestyle – and that means smashing a laksa for brekkie, lunch or dinner.”

“But this isn’t just about laksas, this is about jobs. The Laksa Festival puts us on the map, boosts tourism and supports local jobs.”

To register your eatery or to learn more about the festival, head to