Burmese food is likely a cuisine you haven’t tried much if you have never been to Myanmar! We had heard some tips from friends like, ‘Try the tea leaf salad!’ and a passing mention of curry. Burmese food can be heavy on the fried stuff and the oil, so we tried to balance our daily diet with fresh fruit in order to stay healthy on the road.
What is Burmese food like?
We found the food in Myanmar to be like a mix between Indian and Thai, with some influence from Chinese food and some Western food available as well.
Most meals consist of fried noodles, with Shan Noodles getting all the fame and popularity. Shan Noodles originates from the Shan State, where Inle Lake is located.
Street food it Yangon seemed rather Indian-influenced to us, as you could pass by stands selling samosas and other fried treats. There is a plethora of fresh produce being sold on many streets in downtown Yangon, with some streets dedicated to selling fresh vegetables, fruits, fish and sausage.
Which cuisines to try in Myanmar
Throughout our time in Myanmar, we had Thai food twice (in Bagan and Yangon), sushi once (Genki Sushi in Yangon), Chinese food at a Yunnanese restaurant (Chinatown, Yangon), Indian food in Nyaung Shwe at Innlay Hut and some Western-style food at our hostels (burgers or chicken sandwiches).
In Yangon, you can find plentiful amounts of Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Thai eateries, as these are the other main Asian cuisines represented. There are a handful of Vietnamese restaurants in Yangon as well, but it’s recommended to try the Burmese cuisines like the traditional foods from Shan State (you’ll see lots of signs for ‘Shan Noodle’).
Aside from these, we saw Vietnamese, Japanese and Malaysian-Singaporean eateries around the country.
Is there Western, Foreign or Imported Food in Myanmar?
If you need foreign or imported food items while in Myanmar, you can check out City Market in the Junction City Mall in downtown Yangon. This store has the largest selection of Western goods that we came across.
Other brands we saw that were re-branded for Myanmar were foods like potato chips, Coca-Cola, several sports drinks, coffees, teas and ice cream.