If you have international guests who would like to try real Myanmar cuisine in a lovely setting, there are four restaurants worth taking your guest too to impress. And all are completely different:
They have eight branches throughout Yangon, with the most famous being on Pyi Htaung Su Yeik Tha Street. This is a real local hang out, especially for breakfast. They always have Myanmar specialities which can't be found anywhere eise, and all cooked to an exceptionally high standard. They us sunflower oil from Germany so their food is not oily. This is the real Myanmar cuisine done to an exceptinal standard.
Housed in a traditional teak house with wide open-air terraces. They also have a wonderful shop selling beautiful lacquer ware and rattan items. The food is very authentic and includes all the old favourities. If it is not on the menu, they will still find a way to make it for you.
Houses of Memories
The name speaks for itself. A 175 year old colonial house and family home of the owners which is packed full of antiques. There is even a room which General Aung San used as an office. The home is now turned into a lovely romantic restaurant. There is also a large open-air terrace on the second floor. The service is excellent and the Myanmar cuisine delicious.
The restaurant is in a 1920s colonial house decorated with wall paintings depicting 11th Century Bangan frescos, Shwedagon Pagoda, and the Kakkau pagodas. The restaurant prides itself on its top-class Myanmar chefs producing fine Myanmar cuisine. They also serve delicious Thai food. In the dry season, the graden is lit with lovely paper lanterns.
Acacia Tea Salon
Tea Salon and French casual dining
Who would have thought that there would be a tea room of this calibre in Yangon? The tea rooms are housed in an elegantly restored colonial house, and the patisserie is in a beautiful Glass House to the side offering lovely savoury and sweet snacks. The pastries are works of art, melt-in-the-mouth experiences eaten together with carefully sourced teas from around the world, including the black, green and the rare white teas. A casual-dining French menu is also available making this restaurant a must-come-to location outside of the traditional tea times.
Agnes at Kandawgyi Place Hotel
Modern French Fine Dining
Exquisite is the only word that can be used for this restaurant which opened in January 2012. The food by two French Chefs is mangnificent and completely faultiess. The location is exceptional, on the edge of Kandawgyi Lake with the Shwedagon Pagoda as the back drop. The décor is the epitome of French chic, with frensh flowers giving the restaurant a lovely fragrance. It was one of the best fine dining experiences we ever had.
Part of the Thai Japanese chain, this restaurant opened in June 2012 on Hantharwaddy Road. It has a fantastic and calming décor; a very balanced blend of wood, metal and ceramic tiles. There is a great range of dishes, including bento boxes, yakimimono, agemono and suishi. Fresh ingredients and seasonings are regularly shipped from Thailand. Service is exceptional and all the waiters use wireless PDAs.
Modern Europen and Indochine Fine Dining
This restaurant has been a Yangon institution since 1997 and has been run by the Michelin chef Felix Eppisser and his wife since 2011. The restaurant is know for its magnificent wine cellar, the best cheese trolley and, of course, its exquisite cuisine. The restaurant is in a lovely old, red brick building and has a great funky décor. Its lounge was designed by the creator of the famous Buddha Bar inParis. And, if you don't have car, you can get a ride back home in one of their vintage cars.
Since 1997, they have been serving great, authentic Italian food. The restaurant is set in a colonial building and has a great garden. The pizzas are wood-fired, the pasta is hand-made and very fresh, and the meat is from Australia and New Zealand. They also have a great range of Italian wines.
The Strand Grill at the Strand Hotel
An incredibly elegant dining room with its black and white floor, vaulted ceiling and chandeliers in a hotel steeped in history. It feels like you are stepping back in time. But the delicious menu brings you right up to date with its fine cuisine. Every day there will be 12 specials on the dining menu taking advantage of the freshest produce available that day. If you are here on a Friday, head for the Strand Bar where there is a happy hour; a great excuse to drink many of their delicious cocktails. Alternatively, for more refinement, come for their delicious afternoon tea – it is a wonderful treat.
Thiripyitsaya Sky Bistro
On the 20 th Floor of Sakura Tower, this restaurant has the best panoramic views of the city, day and night. The restaurant has a great range of Western, Southeast Asian and Japanese dishes, and some great cocktails.
Aung Mingalar Shan Noodle Restaurant
Famous for its northern-Shan cuisine and its Shan noodles made from sticky rice. Other favourites include tofu salad, clay pot soup, and steamed chicken dish. They also provide beef dishes which is quite rare as most Shan restaurant don't cook this type of meat.
Aung Thu Kha
One of the most well-known and much loved Myanmar restaurants in the city. Always a great range of curries on offer and their dishes are cooked in high-quality cooking oil so food never tastes of oil.Their specialities include venison curry and prawn salad.
Danuphyu Daw Saw Yee
Another much loved Myanmar favourite – always very busy and always offering great tasty dishes. There are many dishes to choose from making it very difficult to decide what to eat as everything just looks so great.
Myeik Maung Taik
Specialising in cuisine from Myeik, especially Cut Kyi Kite, a type of rice noodle dish. In the evening, they also provide a barbeque – full of flavours from Myeik.
Inle & Shan
A rare chance to eat Shan food in Yangon. They serve authentic food, mainly from the Inle region, very prettily displayed on banana leaves. Kambawza red wine, which has been made in Inle since 1999, can also be bought here. If you are new to this type of cuisine, there is a slightly different from Yangon-style; with a more glutinous texture. The restaurant has been made to look like the bamboo hoouses you see in Inle.
Min Lan Rakhine Restaurant
Very famous for Rakhine Mont Di, a rice vermicelli mixed with a thin soup made of Daggertooth pike conger. Also available is live fresh seafood cooked Rakhine-style. The restaurant first started as a street vendor, but because of its great food and its sheer popularity, they now have four large baranches around Yangon.
Yangon is the land of tea shops. They are on every corner and always a hive of activity. Our favourite are;
The tea shop which sells the best mohinga in town, which is cooked in the Bamar-style. It includes more onion and oil than the mohinga cooked by other national races.
This shop is famous for providing traditional Myanmar snacks as Kyauk Padaung Palata Salad, Monke Lone Yale Paw, Monke Bine Daung, Monke Kywal Thel etc. It is different from most tea shops who usually serve a lot of Indian-style snacks. Come early to avoid disappointment as this is an incredibly popular place.
Another famous teashop with seven branches throughout the city. They pride themselves on providing first class tea and a great range of snacks.
Great Indian food in a lovely setting provided by chefs from New Delhi. Their tandooris, naans, dahl and korma are yummy with just the right amount of spice. The dining room is the entire ground floor of a lovely colonial building, giving the restaurant a very spacious feel.
A great, fun, well-run restaurant focusing on fabulous Indian food. Their specialities include mutton and chicken barbeque dishes. This is a great favourite of all the staff at Yangon Directory Group, including our boss, U Moe Kyaw.
Kyah Oh, Chinese, European & BBQ
Known for its great coffee, it has now branched out into providing a wide-ranging menu encompassing both Asian and European cuisine, plus Myanmar favourites such as Kyah-Oh. The restaurant is also famous for its great of wine and spirits, many of which cannot be bought anywhere else.
Teppanyaki & Hot pot
A new restaurant serving Korean-style hotpot. They also specialites in seafood. Hot pots are known in Yangon for being eaten by groups of friends. This restaurant can make them just for one person. So if only one of your group fancies a hot pot, or you have no friends, this is the place to come.
The décor is mostly black with great lighting effects giving this Thai restaurant a modern and hip feel.
The colours of the food and cocktails really stand out.
J apanese food done just right. They have the most creative and beautiful sushia and sashimi in the city, with equally fabulous names. Their green tea ice-cream is just to die for. Another section of the restaurant serves hot pot with ingredients moving along a conveyor belt around the tables. The staff are very attentive staff so the service was seamless.
A great place to come for your sushi and tempura fix. Fresh seafood is used and the sushi is perfectly made. There are a number of small rooms partitioned off using Japanese-style walls, so diners can have a bit of privacy.
Myanmar, Thai, Vientnamese, Cambodian, Laos
Set in a renovated row of shop houses, this is a warm, inviting and laid-back space, with the ground floor painted a delightful yellow, and the upstairs having a more serence blue and white colour scheme. On offer is an extensive array of Indo-Chinese food covering all the dishes are beautifully presented. The small bar offers cocktails and fresh juices which combine together wonderful flavours making these drinks some of the best in town.
Dim Sum & Chinese
Known for its great dim sum, and for its lovely location on the north side of Kandawgyi Lake. They always have some specials cooking away as you enter the huge restaurant, so your taste buds are already over-stimulated before you event sit down. Luckily, the food always lives up to expectations.
Sabai Sabai @ DMZ
This is everybody's fabourite Thai restaurant in town. The food is authentic incredibly tasty. The menu has a wide selection of dishes, and includes all the favourites, such as green curry, fluffy catfish, pad thai and very fresh papaya salad.
This is known for its 'flying' noodles where the chef cooks in an open kitchen in an incredibly dramatic way. Great fun to watch and the food is also utterly delicious.
Shwe Kaung Hot Pot
There are two branches in Yangon and the one at Natnattaw Road is impressive. The building is huge, seating well over a humdred people, and it is always packed. Every table has its own hot pot and there is a great range of meat, vegetables, wontons and dumplings available. It is a great place to hang out with friends.
The Seoual at Traders Hotel
Located in Trader's Hotel. It is a small intimate place with only 14 tables and 3VIP rooms, so you always have the best service. Known for its great kimchi soup and Korean-style barbequed meat
Western Park Royal and Western Park
This great restaurant chain has three branches; two called Western Park and one called Western Park Royal. They are known for having the best Peking Duck in town and also dishing up very tasty suckling pig. The vegetables dishes are also out of this world.
Kyah Oh and BBQ
Myanmar's very first chain restaurant, with over 15 outlets, known for its great range of Kyay Oh dishes. Kyay Oh is a traditional Chinese soup given its own Myanmar spin. Vermicelli or rice flat noodles are cooked in a thick soup with fresh meat and vegetables. It is great comfort food. The restaurant also offers many types of barbecued meats. The branch on Saya San Road has been designed like and old Japanese terraced restaurant. There are also many dishes for vegetables.
50 th Street Cafe, Restaurant and Bar
Pastas, pizzas to burgers and steaks
This has been a Yangon institution for ages, and deservedly so. It provides great comfort food in a warm and relaxing atmosphere. Every night there is a special; from pasta night, pizza night, steak and wine night to its Wednesday & Friday night live band. Saturday morning brunch, and Sunday all day Happy Hour. There is also a pool table, free wi-fi and multi-screen sports.
Asian & European
All the walls are blue so the whole place feels very calm and tranquil. During the day there are coffee and cakes, and in the evening, many cocktail options. The food features well-known European and Asian food.
Delicious authentic food with a home-made feel. The side salads are very fresh and everything is presented perfectly. The chef and the owner have remained the same for ages so quality is guaranteed and they really know what dishes work best with the regulars. Their signature dish has to be the vert scrumptious lasagne.
Western & BBQ
Sadly the famous branch on Saya San Road closed down at the end of 2012. The branch on Kandawgyi
Lake is still open offering western cuisine and BBQ food. The open air dining on the bank of Kandawgyi Lake is a real treat – it is a great way to relax especially when there is a breeze.
A great hang out place, with the bar on the top floor and its terrace being the natural hub. There are also some very comfortable lounges on a terrace at the front of the building. The rambling colonial house's décor is modern and colourful; with art and antiques sourced from Bali, Indonesia and Myanmar. The food ranges from beautifully presented tapas and dips, to more sumptuous pasta, chicken and fish dishes. They also have a weekly programme of events, and regular happy hours.
Yangon's chop house – with a wide range of juicy beef tenderloin and sirloin steaks, pork chops, grilled chicken, ribs, and fish fillets. Housed in a warehouse-style building with white-washed brick walls, and steel girders, this restaurant has the right décor and atmosphere to match the wonderful food. They also have a great selection of wines.
A lovely quiet place to have your fix of western snack food. On the menu are everybody's favourites including buffalo wings, steaks, salads and sandwiches.
Pizza & Antipasti
A stylish restaurant with an equally stylish menu. The restaurant, using organic ingredients specially sourced in Yangon, shows that a passionate foodie is at the helm. This crusted gourment pizzas dominate the menu along with colorful and beautifully presented salads and antipasti dishes. They also serve utterly delicious gelato ice cream. When you have finished, you can still buy more food from the well-stocked delicatessen downstaris to take home with you.
Signature Garden Restaurant and Bristro
Europen & Asian
The Bistro has great views of Kandawgyi Lake and is a great place to have breakfast lounging on their comfortable sofas. The Restaurant is very elegant, and offers a wide menu featuring a range of Asian, western and international dishes.
19 th Street …... with a difference
We all know about the great barbeque food stations all along this road, but very few know about Kosan restaurant which sells great mojitos at a fantastic price. They are utterly delicious and really go well with the all the fabulous barbequed food.
It is well worth the trek out to North Okkalapa to get here. Champion provide authentic Malaysian food with just the right combination of spices and flavours. Very popular with the Malaysian and Asian community, who come here to eat their famous three-layered pork dish and fish-head Malaysian-style curry. At the time of press, the restaurant was thinking of moving. If you can't find them, keep trying. You won't be disappointed.
This is really hidden away in the residential area of 8-mile, but so worth the few monutes... or even hours … to try to find them. They are incredibly popular with the Chinese community who come here to eat fresh live seafood at fabulous prices. Their main specially is Singapore chilli crab, and other well-known Yunnan dishes. Lives seafood on offer include eel, lobster, mantis prawn, coral trout, turtle, and bamboo clams.
Kai Li Restaurant (Chinese Sour Chilli Chicken Restaurant)
Located in the middle of Inya Lake, this restaurant is famous for its Broiler Chicken Pot of Beer, a type of hot pot where Myanmar chicken is cooked in Myanmar beer (two bottles of it!) and your choice of vegetables, tofu and noodles. A delicious taste as well as a wonderful aroma. They also sell a wide range of seafood, pork and vegetables dishes.
This is only one of two North Korean restaurants in the world; the other is in Russia. This restaurant is unique for two things. The first is that this is a rare chance to get a taste of North Korean cuisine and its great, and very strong, plum wine. The second is the chance to listen to North Korean songs and watch their traditional dance when all the North Korean waitresses turn into performers around 7pm. This is not to be missed.
Pwint Thit San Food Centre
Myanmar & Chinese
The only 24-hour Myanmar restaurant in Yangon. They have a wide range of Myanmar traditional dishes and Chinese cuisine. Myanmar specialities are available all the time, despite some being only known for being 'breakfast' food. So if you fancy mohinga at midnight – this is where to come.
Two restaurants and one organisation are giving something back to Yangon:
Myanmar, Chinese and European
This restaurant is part of the Forever Humanitarian & Development Project, founded by volunteers in 2010. The charity provides vocational training to street children, and this restaurant trains some of them in cooking techniques. Some of children help in the kitchen and others are waiters. The restaurant is a very colorful place and doubles as an art gallery. The food was really delicious and shows what good training the children have received. The profit from the restaurant is used to help make the charity sustainable. This is a really great restaurant so make sure to pop in when you are next downtown. They also provide an outside catering service.
Shwe Sa Bwe Hotel & Restaurant Training Centre
Western and French
The food is prepared and served by students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. They are guided and supervised by the Head Chef, Pastry Chef and Maitre d'Hotel, who come from a 3-star French restaurant (Michel Bras). Not only do guests enjoy superb and creative dishes, a significant percentage of their money goes to a worthy cause. The restaurant, set in an intimate garden setting, provides lunch (bistro dining) and dinner (fine dining). Set menus are provided which change every month. Sometimes the restaurant is closed if the students are focused on learning theory so call ahead just to make sure they are open.
Myanmar Chef's Association
Not a restaurant technically, but an organisation which gathers together all the chefs across Myanmar, including chefs from Governor's Residence, Inya Lake Hotel, as well as food producers such as Quarto Products. It was founded in 1996, and provides training for chefs and service personnel to a professional standard, and conducts professional chef examinations. The Association also fundraises to provide donations to hospitals and charitable organisations. To find out more, go to their website: www.myanmarchefs.co.cc
Bars &Beer Stations
A chilled out and low lit bar, which plays great music. The second floor has a fabulous open terrace. The menu is dominated by Chinese and Thai cuisine, but there are some tasty western bar grub such as fish and chips, sandwiches, as well as the odd Malay, India and Indonesian dish.
A very stylish and colorful lounge bar offering exotic cocktails with equally names. The top floor has a blue and white club feel pumping out techno remixes. They are one of the outlets for SCOOP ice cream, a decadent Italian gelato flavoured with imported double chocolate, creamy yoghurt or ripe durian.
A minimalist red and black décor which mixes East and West influences, and this is also reflected in the food. The kitchen consciously uses less salt and sugar, and absolutely no MSG. The staff are super friendly and professional. The drinks menu includes an extensive range of coffee and cocktails.
A great open-air beer station on the corner of Pyay Road and Natnattaw Road offering super-cool draft beer. They also sell delicious BBQ snacks, marlar curries, and marlar fish. But everyone comes here for their prawn curry (pazan sup hmwe).
An open-air bar with a thatched roof for cover. It is in the middle of a tropical garden and only lit by candles so it is a very romantic setting …....... except during premier league matches when the two huge TVs bring the games to life.
A cool, calm and quiet bar giving you a chance to have a proper chat with friends rather than being disturbed by loud music. Famous for its Jagger Bomb – two glasses in one – the inner glass is upside down and filled with spirit. The outer glass has the mixer. The liquids only mix when you tilt the glass.
The coffee shop revolution has hit Yangon. This nation of committed tea drinkers is turning to the darker arts of brewed coffee.
Found in Thamada Hotel, this is a unique 24-hour hang out place. In the day, it is a great place to come for a coffee. In the evening, it turns into a cool bar. The menu is huge, offering Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Thai food. They are known for their ice-cream in 22 flavours and their double meat and cheese hamburger. And the staff are friendly – whatever the time you choose to come here.
Black Canyon Coffee Shop
Part of the chain from Thailand, they pride themselves on 100% fresh coffee from around the world. They also offer an extensive menu ranging from western to eastern dishes, and fusion dishes which combine flavours from both cuisines.
Many chains throughout Yangon. This place guarantees you a great cup of coffee in a nice, quiet atmosphere. Hamburger, sandwiches, and ice cream are here if you are feeling peckish.
A hip hang out place with nice, soft charis to lounge in. The coffee is excellent ant there is an extensive range of different coffee choices, plus a great range of juices, milkshakes and alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails. The menu offers a wide selection, from steaks, burgers, thai food to pasta. They also sell some delicious cakes.
Fuji Coffee Shop
For the last 16 years, they have regularly introduced new coffee flavours to Yangon and educated the customers about the coffee's providence. The coffee shop now has over 40 types of hot and cold coffee. Great Japanese food is also available.
Jasper House (previously Cafe Jasper)
This well-loved coffee shop recently moved to an old building which used to be the home of the British Prime Minister's hand doctor. The venue is relaxing and homely, yet very trendy and has a great outside space. Along with great coffee, they offer a range of delicious frappes and juices. A food menu focuses on great Thai food and snacks.
Master's Cup Coffee Shop
The latest coffee shop in town. A great range of coffee and American food favourites such as juicy burgers and deliciously chocolaty brownies. This is also the place to come to if you want to improve your English as there are always native English speakers around for you to have a chat with.
Zawgyi Coffee House
Great shakes, sundaes, juices and coffees at this very convenient coffee house in downtown Yangon right next to Bogyoke Market. They alao have tables outside so you can sit and watch the world go by.