What To Eat In Yangon, Myanmar: My 12 Favourite Burmese Food!

by - December 30, 2019

In 2019, I got to travel to almost every Southeast Asian country there is, and Myanmar was one of the most memorables ones because they have hands down the best food of all. I spent about 2 weeks in Myanmar and got to mingle with the locals, learn their language and culture, as well as devour all the delicious food the country had to offer.

Most of you may not know this, but during my poly days I had my first serious boyfriend who was a Burmese. He used to bring me to eat Burmese food at this fantastic restaurant at Peninsula Plaza, so back then I already knew that I loved Burmese food. During my time at Yangon, I got to try even more of their delicious cuisine, from the famous Shan noodles to the delicous Burmese prata we got off the side of the road.

I thought this blog post would be an interesting read since Myanmar isn't really a place where Singaporeans travel to, so here are 12 of my most favorite Burmese food sorted according to category - and I hope they'll soon be your favorite too!

The salads

1. Tea leaf salad (lahpet thoke)

I know it doesn't sound that appetizing, but trust me - it is. The tea leaf salad is made out of pickled tea leaves, and can also be served as a tea. The dish is mixed with cabbages, nuts, tomatoes, and some sauces. The taste is rather unique, with a blend of sour and sweet. Overall, it's a savoury dish that really opens up your appetite. If you're a salad person, you'll definitely love this.

2. Lemon salad (shauk thi thoke)

Tea leaf salad not sour enough for you? Try the lemon salad - an appetizer entirely made up of red onions and lemon pulp. This dish definitely gives a kick, and is super refreshing. If you like spicy, sour tastes, this is the salad for you!

The mains

3. Burmese French toast (paun mok kyaw)

This is definitely my most favorite dish of all! While it is similar to the French toast, the main difference is that sugar and condensed milk is poured over the Burmese French toast before it is served. May sound unhealthy, but worth every calories.

4. Shan noodles (shan khao swe)

Most people would say that you've never been to Myanamr if you've never had Shan noodles! Shan noodles are basically chicken or pork loaded with tomato soup and noodles. The name "Shan" noodle comes from the Shan people of Myanmar, who eat this as their traditional dish. Aung Mingalar Shan Noodle Shop is one of the recommended places to eat the Shan noodles!

The street food

5. Burmese prata (paratha)

Ever heard of sweet prata? Now you have!

(Actually I'm not sure this is called prata, but I don't know the actual name so please correct me if wrong)

While the texture is similar to Indian prata, Burmese prata is slightly oiler, and has a sweet taste. The filling is something like yam. It also usually comes wrapped in newspaper, possibily to soak the oil off. It can be a little unhygenic, but I took it anyway!

6. Fried street food - the pisang goreng, vegetable goreng, and chic-pea goreng

The locals love to fry anything they can find, from fruits, to vegetables, and chic peas! I found their fried food to be absolutely crispy and delicious. The dipping sauce is great too, especially the chili garlic sauce which is spicy and a little sweet.

The locally grown food

7. Coconuts and corn

I loved drinking the coconut juice here because the coconuts are so big and sweet. The "meat" is also nourishing! The corn also makes for a good healthy snack.

The drinks

8. Myanmar instant coffee

Vietnam has good coffee, and so does Myanmar. But personally, I feel that Myanmar has better instant coffee. I fell in love with the Premier coffee brand (pictured above, top left) when I was servied it at my guest house. It's a little on the sweeter side, and milky too. It's also an easy drink for people who don't frequently drink coffee as it lacks the bitter taste.

9. Burmese milk tea (lah pat yei)

Thick, creamy, and sweet are the 3 words to describe this drink. And I love it. Burmese milk tea usually comes in a small glass, and you'd have to mix it really well for all the different layers to blend. It tasted similar to Teh-C, but thicker. It is also usually served hot instead of cold.

10. J-cup Jelly

Perfect for a hot day, simply poke your straw in and sip on this refreshing jelly drink! A popular snack in Myanmar, J-cup Jelly can be found in convenice stalls or street stalls, and comes in many flavours such as orange, strawberry, and grape. The drink is very, very sweet and quite sticky as well, so do prepared to have some bottled water nearby!

11. Avocado milk juice

Avocado juice can cost an arm and a leg in Singapore because everything here is just ridiculously overpriced, so do make sure to drink as many avocado milk juices as you can while in Myanmar. They are affordable, thick, and for some reason just naturally sweeter than the ones in Singapore. It also works as a good detox drink!

The desserts

12. Koolfee

Yangon can get very hot even in December, so kool yourself down with some Koolfee! Koolfee (pictured above, bottom left) is basically ice cream that's done the Indian way. So yes, nothing spectacular about the ice cream, just the way it looks. I got mine at this bakery-cafe called Shwe Pu Zun in Yangon, and they also sell regular ice cream (pictured above, top right). The place is beautiful too, as it looks like a garden. Definitely worth a visit!

So that's it - my top 12 favorite food in Myanmar! Myanmar was really a great experience not only because of the food, but also because of the people. It is really heartwarming to see all the locals so excited to share about their traditional food. Many of these food can also be made at home, so if you'd like to try and make it yourself, check out this blogger here who does a lot of simple Burmese recipes.

Happy eating!

Love this post? Feel free to share and comment or check out my food review of Hai Di Lao and Beauty In The Pot here.

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