Influenced by Indian, Chinese, and Thai cuisines as well as by local ethnic groups, Burmese cuisine varies greatly depending on where you travel. The wide variety of ethnic groups in the country makes the cuisine diverse too. Whether you are in Yangon, Mandalay or Inle Lake, you will go from surprise to surprise. Here are some culinary specialties, best food and drinks in Myanmar to try on your tour to Myanmar.

Best Food and Drinks in Myanmar to Savor

1. Mohinga – fish noodle soup

10 Best Food and Drinks in Myanmar with Addresses to Try

Mohinga soup

This is a soup of fish and vermicelli, playing an essential role in the cuisine of Myanmar, often considered the national dish. It is directly accessible in most of the country.

Probably the most popular breakfast in Myanmar, this dish is available today at all hours of the day in many cities including Yangon. Its main ingredients are fish, chickpea flour, grilled rice, garlic, onions, lemongrass, banana, ginger, ngapi, and nam pla in a rich stock cooked in a cauldron.

2. Lahpet thoke

Myanmar is almost the only place on Earth where tea leaves can be consumed not only as a drink but also as a dish! Lahpet thoke is one of the national dishes of the country. It is a salad of fermented tea leaves accompanied by cloves of fried garlic, soybeans, dried shrimp, tomatoes, peanuts, and toasted sesame seeds. We strongly recommend that you taste this dish you won’t find anywhere else!

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3. Burmese buffet

Many small restaurants and many street stalls offer this very popular way of eating for a ridiculous price. The “Burmese buffet” consists of choosing from a multitude of meat and fish dishes in sauce or curry, and vegetables. Lots of small plates which are as many colorful assortments are brought all at the same time on the table, with each guest a plate of rice. It is very friendly and allows if you are several, to taste several Burmese culinary specialties.

4. Shan noodles

10 Best Food and Drinks in Myanmar with Addresses to Try

Shan noodles soup

It is a plant native to the eastern Shan region, which borders China but it is not found only in Shan state. The sticky rice noodles are mixed with chicken or pork, tomato puree, onions, and spices, then garnished with sour or fresh vegetables. These Shan style noodle soups are one of Myanmar’s best-known dishes.

5. Burmese curry

A classic of Burmese cuisine! Whether it is meat, fish, vegetables, or eggs, curries are prepared with garlic, ginger, onions, turmeric, and lots of oil. Not too spicy, its taste is so unique! The meat offered is mostly mutton or simmered chicken, more rarely pork or beef. We avoid pork because many butchers are Muslim and beef because it is considered a working companion.

6. The barbecue

A street food stall in Yangon, Myanmar

A street food stall in Yangon, Myanmar

Barbecue is very common in Burma. It is a very local dish and an opportunity to meet people. If you are traveling to Burma, take the opportunity to visit the barbecue stands for your evening meal. You will see these stalls lining the street in many cities, including 19th Street in Yangon. Also, you can sit in the middle of this smoky atmosphere and choose the different sticks of meat you want to grill. The ideal for this kind of meal is to go there with friends.

7. Pork offal hot pot

It is certainly the most popular street food among locals. It is widespread in the night markets of Mandalay and Yangon. In a hot pot, you will find small sticks and pieces of pork, some of which you cannot even imagine: liver, intestines, ears, tongue, heart, skin, brain…. You can take the offal of your choice and dip it in the pot of hot steam. When cooking is right for you, it’s time to dip it generously in chili sauce. The meat dish will cost you barely $ 1. And for $ 0.25 more, you can get noodles to decorate everything.

8. Falooda

Falooda, best drink for your summer vacation in Myanmar

Falooda, best drink for your summer vacation in Myanmar

When mentioning best food and drinks in Myanmar, Falooda is the No. 1 dessert. It is a dessert drink, cold and sweet, which is made with rose syrup, vermicelli, basil seeds, jelly pieces, tapioca pearls – mixed with water, milk, and ice cream. It can be a very popular drink in the heat of summer, especially in beach areas.

9. Tropical fruits

In this tropical climate, there is an abundance of exotic fruits and colors. Durian, jackfruit, mangosteen, yellow watermelon, rambutan, lychees, papaya, mango, passion fruit … all are delicious and inexpensive. They can easily be found from street vendors in any city or town. A healthy and tasty snack!

10. What about drinking? A cup of tea, please!

10 Best Food and Drinks in Myanmar with Addresses to Try

Drinking tea is one of the best ways to know Myanmar well!

Drinking tea is a custom in Burma, the origins of which may date back to the British colonial era. Today it is an institution in Myanmar! Tea houses are available in all towns and villages. It is crowded with other customers (especially men) at any time of the day, watching sports or soap operas on television, or chatting. Taking the time to sip hot black or green tea in a market or across the street isn’t just a refreshing break (the jar costs only $ 0.50), it’s a cultural experience too! You can choose the Indian milk “chai”, milder type.

Top Places to Enjoy The Best Food and Drinks in Myanmar

In Yangon

1. Feel Myanmar Food

You must eat at this restaurant at least once during your trip to Myanmar! It is the obligatory stop for lovers of local cuisine at low prices. There is a choice, the dishes are delicious which makes it a very popular place for Burmese and tourists. Without a menu, you can choose your dishes directly at the counter without necessarily knowing what they contain, which promises a real culinary adventure! For the less adventurous, do not hesitate to ask the cooks what the dishes are made of. For fragile taste buds, some dishes are extremely spicy!

2. Yangon Tea House

Yangon Tea House

Yangon Tea House

If you are a fan of classic milk tea, this is the place for you. Take your time to savor a cup of milk tea and taste dishes from the restaurant’s plentiful menu. Here you will also find the real flavor of Myanmar in the most modern way. This is one of top shops serving best food and drinks in Myanmar that you should not miss!

3. The 19th street

Located in the middle of Yangon’s Chinatown, 19th Street is famous for its small stalls of local cuisine, with small plastic stools and a very friendly street atmosphere. You can enjoy delicious barbecues with a choice of meat, seafood, eggs or vegetables, all for just a few kyats!

In Mandalay

1. The A Little Bit of Mandalay Tavern

Fine gourmets will have great culinary memories while dining at the Little Bit of Mandalay. They can taste the best Burmese dishes as well as specialties specific to the city of Mandalay. This tavern nestled in a room built in bamboo offers original choices on its menus such as Mohinga (rice pasta with fish soup), Thagu (tapioca coconut pudding), chicken with Kachin curry, curry pork with Pone-Yay-Gyi, and many more. You are free to order the one that tempts you the most.

2. Green Elephant

This brand belongs to the Green Elephant Restaurant, the most famous restaurant chain in Myanmar. Located in a colonial building dating from 1930, it is an upscale restaurant in Mandalay where you can eat both Burmese dishes and Asian dishes (Thai and Chinese in this case). The specialty of the Green Elephant is beef curry with lemon leaves served with soy pasta, don’t hesitate to order it!

3. Royal lake Cafe & Restaurant

One of the most romantic restaurants in the city of Mandalay. Resting on the edge of a lake, you can recharge your batteries from your long days of visiting. The service is impeccable even though few foreigners come to eat there. The food served is varied: fish, beef, chicken, mutton, as well as vegetables cooked in various ways, always respecting the taste and your taste buds of course! There are concerts sometimes in the evening! Right next to it is the famous barge, where you eat all kinds of delicious barbecues.

In Bagan

1. Kyaw Kitchen

This hidden gem is one of the must-see restaurants in Bagan. It is a cuisine with classic Myanmar flavors but with a French touch. It offers dishes such as juicy steaks, fish curry with butter and chicken breasts stuffed with Myanmar tea leaves, and feta cheese.

2. Bibo

This restaurant is very popular for its authentic Burmese cuisine with a modern twist. In addition to traditional dishes, it offers a creative menu of burgers with matcha green tea buns and spicy cocktails. Friendly staff are an added bonus and offer quality service

3. 7 Sisters Restaurant

This romantic restaurant has it all: a bell atmosphere and delicious Burmese, Chinese, Thai and European cuisine. The restaurant is built like an authentic Tazaung (a Buddhist worship hall or a sanctuary pavilion) with fourteen massive teak pillars and large teak beams supporting the roof. You will find some of the best food and drinks in Myanmar at this restaurant.

 At Inle Lake

1. Lotus restaurant

Nestled in a very small street in downtown Nyaung Shwe, the Lotus is a very small restaurant. And yet you will not have trouble finding it because it is very easy to find from the main street. We come to eat here as we will eat at grandma’s: homemade dishes and concocted with a lot of love! Shan noodles, stuffed pineapple, and grilled fish, always well presented.

2. Innlay Hut

A stone’s throw from the central avenue of Nyaung Shwe, the Innlay Hut is a little culinary getaway. Here, the server itself is worth the detour! A big fan of Eminem and dressed in an “American rapper” style, he serves by dropping Eminem’s refrains between two smiles. The decoration has nothing to do with the very good Indian cuisine served, but that only adds to the charm of the place! Chicken korma, tikka masala, cheese naan, homemade Indian cuisine, full of flavor.

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Bich Ngoc

As a true Vietnamese enthusiast of music, books and coffee, Bich Ngoc loves researching into those typical cultural characteristics of Vietnam as well as exploring further destinations in the country of thousand years of civilization.


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