Yangon Street Food

Yangon Street Food

Yangon Street Food is mad fusion of tastes and ingredients, heavily influenced by its immediate neighbours of Thailand, China, India and Laos. Within Myanmar itself are 135 distinct ethnic groups grouped into 8 national tribes, each with its own culture and cuisines. As the commercial hub of Myanmar, the city of Yangon is a melting pot of all this fusion cuisine, and a large majority of food from the different tribes is available here.

Food in Yangon is typically found in small restaurants or cafes along the street, usually serving 1, or at most 2, types of cuisine. The most common ingredients in Burmese cuisine are rice in either grain or noodle form, pork, mango, banana, fish and tea leaves. Burmese salads are popular starters, and typically consist of vegetables and 1 main ingredient like chicken or pork. Burmese curry is also popular, and tends to be thicker and less spicy than other curries, with a gravy like consistency. Burmese curry is commonly also referred to as a soup by locals.

Paying for food in Yangon is typically done in cash, as few places accept credit cards / debit cards. Breakfast in Yangon is normally a bowl of noodles or porridge, and meals in Yangon typically revolve around rice or noodles served with other dishes. Actual traditional Myanmar / Burmese cuisine is noted for its liberal use of oil, thus, few shops sell this type of traditional food, and most locals tend to only eat it at home. If sold in restaurants / cafes, the recipe is typically tweaked to make it healthier, or more appealing to foreigners.


The famous Myanmar Beer is brewed locally at the headquarters of Myanmar Brewery Limited (MBL), right here in Yangon. While frowned upon by the more conservative members of Myanmar society, the light golden beer with a taste of grain has won over many fans in Asia.

Beer Myanmar 01

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Beer Myanmar 03

Beer Myanmar 04

Salads are a common appetizer served at the beginning of a traditional Burmese meal, and one of the most famous is the Burmese Chicken Salad. It's made with thinly sliced chicken strips tossed in a mix of cabbage, onions, fried shallots, peanut oil, lime juice, coriander / cilantro, salt, chickpea flour, chili and mint leaves. Burmese Chicken Salad has a light and fresh taste and a mix of crunchy and chewy textures.

Burmese Chicken Salad

Jaggery is a simple sweet of concentrated palm sugar, served by the older generation of Myanmar people to visiting guests in their homes. Jaggery is also served in traditional restaurants in Yangon as a dessert at the end of a meal. As Myanmar modernises, Jaggery is gradually 'going out-of-style', and is less commonly served by newer restaurants.


Khayan Dhi Pope Thote / Burmese Eggplant Salad is a baked salad served as an appetizer. It's a traditional dish made from baked eggplants, onions, garlic, peanut oil, salt, soy sauce, toasted peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, lemon juice, coriander and dried shrimp. Sometimes, fish sauce or chili powder is added. Khayan Dhi Pope Thote / Burmese Eggplant Salad has a complex flavour profile, both savoury and sweet at once.

Khayan Dhi Pope Thote / Burmese Eggplant Salad

While it's a popular Burmese dish adapted from Chinese cuisine, Kyay-Oh can only be found in Myanmar. It consists of thin rice noodles / vermicelli, lean pork / chicken meat, chinese firm dry tofu, eggs, sesame oil, salt, kai-lan / chinese broccoli, pork / chicken meat balls, fried garlic and scallions. Kyay-Oh can be served as a soup, with a thin but flavourful pork soup base, or dry, with a fish sauce and sesame oil gravy. Soup Kyay-Oh is more popular than Dry Kyay-Oh. Most Myanmar people don't cook this at home, as such, Kyay-Oh is normally served in fast food franchises.

Kyay-Oh 01

Kyay-Oh 02

Lahpet is the most popular vegetable in Yangon, and is essentially pickled tea leaves. A dish unique to Myanmar, Lahpet is considered one of the iconic dishes of the country. It can be served in a variety of ways. The most common is Lahpet Thohk, which is a salad mixture of pickled tea leaves, sesame oil, and fried garlic. Various other ingredients are sometimes added including shredded coconut, peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, dried shrimp, shredded ginger, shredded cabbage, diced tomato, peas, fish sauce, lime juice and chili. If the components of the salad are served separately, then the dish is called Lahpet A-Hlu. This dish may be served as an appetizer, as part of a main meal, or as a dessert / snack.

Lahpet 01 / Lahpet A-Hlu

Lahpet 02 / Lahpet Thohk

Considered to be the national dish of Myanmar, Mohinga is commonly eaten in Yangon for breakfast. It consists of thin rice noodles / vermicelli, chickpea flour, garlic, onions, boiled eggs, lemongrass, banana tree stem, ginger, catfish meat, fish cake, fish paste and fish sauce in a rich, sour fish soup / broth. Mohinga is garnished with coriander, lime juice, chili and fried chickpea fritters. Mohinga has evolved from pure street food, and today is served in many street cafes and restaurants. Traditionally eaten only at breakfast, Mohinga is served throughout the day now as an 'all-day breakfast' dish.

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Mont Lin Ma Yar is also known as 'The Couple Snack', or 'The Husband And Wife Snack', because it is cooked and served in pairs. The plain version of Mont Lin Ma Yar is made with rice flour, water, salt, baking soda, sugar and ginger. 2 other variations of Mont Lin Ma Yar exist, a version with quail egg, and a version with chickpeas. It is a popular street snack in Yangon.

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Nga Acho Chin / Burmese Sweet And Sour BBQ Fish is a Burmese fish dish adapted from the Chinese Sweet And Sour Fish. A whole fresh fish is coated with a thin, mildly spicy, sweet and sour sauce, wrapped in tin foil, then grilled / barbecued. This makes Nga Acho Chin / Burmese Sweet And Sour BBQ Fish an incredibly flavourful and fragrant dish. The aroma of the sauce hits you the moment the tin foil is unwrapped, and the firm, fleshy meat of the fish is extremely succulent. This dish can be found along the famous 19th Street in Yangon, in many of the street side barbecue stalls.

Nga Acho Chin / Burmese Sweet And Sour BBQ Fish

Nga Pyaw Thi Bohn is a Burmese Banana Pudding, which consists of local fresh red bananas stewed in a gravy of milk, coconut milk and sugar, then garnished with sesame seeds / poppy seeds. Nga Pyaw Thi Bohn is served as a dessert.

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Nget Pyaw Thii Shwe Gye is a Burmese Banana Cake, typically found sold in the streets in large round pans. It's made with mashed red bananas, sugar, all purpose flour, butter, coconut milk, shredded coconut, salt and poppy seeds. Small pieces of chopped red bananas are added to the mix which is then steamed or baked. Nget Pyaw Thii Shwe Gye has a unique reddish hue which is a natural result of the cooking process.

Nget Pyaw Thii Shwe Gye 01

Nget Pyaw Thii Shwe Gye 02

Considered an iconic dish of Myanmar, Ohn No Khao Swe is a typical example of Burmese Curry, with a thick consistency, rich in coconut milk, and only mildly spicy in taste. Ohn No Khao Swe consists of thin wheat noodles in a coconut milk soup / curry, garnished with sliced chicken, boiled eggs, ginger, garlic, chickpea flour, fish sauce, onions, cliantro, lemon juice, chili and shallots. It is sometimes garnished with fried chickpea fritters. Ohn No Khao Swe is typically eaten during breakfast in Yangon.

Ohn No Khao Swe 01

Ohn No Khao Swe 02

A typical bar snack in Yangon, a dish of Salted Fried Peanuts makes you want to drink more beer.

Salted Fried Peanuts

Shwe Kyi is a Burmese dessert cake / pastry, made with semolina, sugar, butter, water, eggs, shredded coconut, poppy seeds and salt. Shwe Kyi is sometimes also called Sanwin Makin, depending on whether additional ingredients like walnuts or raisins are added. Shwe Kyi is typically sold in the streets in large round pans.

Shwe Kyi 01

Shwe Kyi 02

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The Royal Lake Martini Cocktail is a bar drink in Yangon inspired by Kandawgyi Lake. The Royal Lake Martini Cocktail consists of fresh apple juice, vodka and a simple sugar syrup, garnished with slices of fresh red apples. True to its namesake, it is light and refreshing.

Royal Lake Martini Cocktail