It can be said that cuisine, especially street food, is one of the most standout characteristics of Yangon tourism. The city seems to be built for snacking with delicious dishes that are equally diverse compared to any street food heavens in Southeast Asia such as Vietnam or Thailand. You can find the best street food in Yangon at temporary carts set up by vendors each morning, and the snacks and stews are sold throughout the day, reflecting a wide cross-section of different and ethnicities and cultures. Here are the best courses of stress food you should not miss on your tours in Yangon.
This is the unofficial national dish of Myanmar. A pungent fish broth is flavored with turmeric, pepper, and lemongrass, which swirls around slippery thin noodles. If you taste the dish for the first time on your tours in Yangon, you will hardly recognize fish immediately; it’s mixed with chickpea flour to make an appetizing thick stew usually served for breakfast.
The assault of flavors in the early morning is the perfect way to start your day tour day tour Yangon. Although mohinga is sold all over Yangon by vendors, at Myaung May Daw Cho shops, the broth is brighter, thicker and pungent with ginger. In terms of food safety, it’s more comforting to know your fish broth was at least made in a kitchen with walls. The famous mini-chain of mohinga shops has several locations in Yangon, one of which is located 5 minutes walking from the Shwedagon pagoda, and it will cost you $3 to have a mohinga serving. Note that mohinga usually sells out by 9 a.m., so it’s better to you to get up early.
Myaung May Daw Cho
118A Yay Tar Shay Old Street, Bahan
Mont Lin Ma Yar
Roughly translated as “husband and wife snacks,” these tiny bites are a visual delight for your Myanmar travel. Skillful vendors add dollops of rice flour batter to a large sizzling cast iron pan which resembles a muffin tin. Toppings such as roasted chickpeas, quail eggs, scallions are added to half of the dollops, and then, the two halves, like a husband and wife are joined to make a little cake.
The Mont Lin Ma Yar version with quail eggs is the perfect breakfast food. Although you can find Mont lin ma yar vendors all over the downtown Yangon, the place you will find out the best vendor on your tours in Yangon is on Anwaratha between 29th and 30th. Here the quail eggs are cooked perfectly, not oily or dry like at other vendors, and the fried bites are extra crisp.
Nameless Street Vendor
Anawrahta between 29th and 30th Streets, near Bogyoke Market, Dagon
Located on 19th street between Anawrahta Road and Maha Bandoola Road are a variety of Barbecue restaurants, where storefronts display skewers of meat, fish, and vegetables ready to be rushed back into the kitchen and then they’re grilled over intense flames. Grab a plastic basket, fill it with raw skewers, wait your turn and it’s sure that you will have one of the most wonderful cuisine experiences on your tours in Yangon.
Kaung Myat, easily identified by its bright green interior matching the label of the omnipresent “Myanmar” beer, will first serve you a particularly appetizing skewer of peeled baby potatoes. Then there are delicate strands of enoki mushrooms, clumped together along with broccoli and okra; all are marinated in the same sweet lime chili sauce. A whole grilled fish is another mouth-watering course here. The fish is cut into sections, so you can easily peel away with chopsticks. When you run out of beer, make kissing sounds to draw the attention of waiters.
110 19th Street, Latha
The Shan state in Eastern Myanmar shares borders with Thailand, Laos and China. It has been a region of civil war and conflict since Burmese independence in 1948. Chinese factors have affected not only by the politics but also on the cuisines.
Shan cuisine has various variations of a simple noodle course with a thin broth of black pepper and fragrant garlic. The noodles of this region are usually of the thicker rice variety, and they’re tossed in a spicy and sweet pepper-based sauce with bits of pork or chicken meat. The red pepper sauce reminds of a Thai sweet chili sauce, but it’s more fragrant as if mixed with Chinese five-spice powder.
If you want to enjoy a real San noodle bowl on your tours in Yangon, go to Aung Mingalar, a bright and airy restaurant located just behind Bogyoke Market. Here there is an English menu that makes it easy to order. The sticky chicken noodle salad is extremely delicious. Thick rice noodles sit in brown sweet soy based sauce and served with a side of a herbaceous clear soup and a tiny plate of pickled greens.
Aung Mingalar Shan Noodle Restaurant
Bo Yar Nyunt Street, Dagon
Special street food has made tourism in Yangon more attractive and likely. Enjoying these dishes on your tours in Yangon, you will not only have memorable experiences but better understand Burmese cuisine and culture as well in your Burma tours.