The variety of cultures in Yangon mean that a delicious host of cuisines are available – from native Myanmar cuisine, including popular Bamar and Shan dishes, to the staples of Chinese, Thai, Indian and western food. The many teahouses in the city don’t only offer tea – they are great places to eat and mingle with locals or just people watch. And Yangon’s nightlife, after years in the doldrums, is beginning to take off.
Below you will find an overview of the best restaurants and teahouses in Yangon (suiting a variety of budgets), as well as some information on Yangon’s bars and nightclubs. To find out more about food, eating out, drinking and bars across Myanmar, go to things to do.
Great places to eat can be found by simply wandering around the streets of downtown Yangon; Chinatown, centred around 19th Street and Mahabandoola Road, is a particularly good place to find restaurants and stalls selling dishes from all over Asia. And Shwe Bon Tha Street and its surrounds in Little India are host to hundreds of vendors selling a range of tasty chapattis, samosas and other Indian fare. Below is a selection of some of the best restaurants in Yangon.
Cheap and cheerful
- Anya Ahta is a characterful restaurant/beer station serving quality central Burmese food, and always has a good mix of foreigners and locals.
Price: K3,000-K5,000. Location: 37th Street, between Mahabandoola and Anawrahta Road (downtown, near Sule Pagoda).
- 999 Shan Noodle Shop is a little street restaurant with helpful staff and tasty, inexpensive food, including Shan noodle, rice and tofu dishes. Closes 7pm.
Price: K1,000-K3,000. Location: 130 B 34th Street, between Se Pin Street and Anawrahta Road (downtown, near Sule Pagoda).
- Ingyin Nwe South Indian Food Center has a very friendly English-speaking manager and excellent goat’s brain curry. For those with a healthy appetite, they will keep topping up your food at no extra cost.
Price: K2,000-K3,000. Location: corner of Anawrahta and Bo Sun Pat (downtown).
- Lotus Myanmar Food House won't win any style awards but provides a delightful and very well priced range of traditional Bamar dishes.
Price: K3,000-K5,000. Location: corner of Mahabandoola and 42nd (downtown).
- Nepali food shop is a simple downtown vegetarian place selling a variety of Nepali and local dishes (for more information on vegetarian food in Myanmar, go to food and eating out).
Price: K2,000-K4,000. Location: 29th Street (lower block, east side).
- Friendship restaurant has a good range of simple Asian dishes and a pleasant mix of expats and locals in its (sometimes noisy) outdoor roadside location, outside of the downtown area to the north.
Price: K3,000-K7,000. Location: 135 Dhamma Zedi Rd, Bahan Township. K2500 taxi from downtown.
- Pansuriya is a café and gallery hosting a wide variety of old Burmese photos and serving beautifully prepared, classic Burmese cuisine, located on one of downtown's most elegant thoroughfares - a great place for lunch.
Price: K3,000-K7,000. Location: 102 Bogalayzay Stree, Botahtaung Township. Phone: +95 9778 949170
- LinkAge is a downtown restaurant and art gallery which operates as a social enterprise. The food is delicious (Burmese, Chinese and European fare), it is well priced, and the are staff friendly – but be prepared for slow service.
Price: K4,500-8,000. Location: 141 Seik Kan Thar St, Kyauktada Township. Phone: +95 9 495 83618, +95 9 430 52 916
- Nourish Cafe is an almost exclusively vegan restaurant serving mainly western style dishes and snacks with a big emphasis on healthy eating; part of Yangon Yoga House (located next door).
Price: K3,000-K10,000. Location: 36/38 Alan Pya Pagoda Road. Phone: 09 973 802714
- House of Memories is set in a colonial building that once housed independence hero Aung San‘s office (the room can be seen and is preserved in his honour). It serves a range of Myanmar and international dishes.
Price: K8,000-K15,000. Location: 290 U Wisara Road, Kamaryut Township; K2,500 taxi from downtown. Phone: + 95 1 525195, 534242. Email: [email protected].
- Feel Myanmar is a popular and atmospheric spot (and part of a chain of ‘Feel’ restaurants) that serves a wide variety of local Myanmar fare, including curries, vegetable and soup dishes, which are laid out on a counter for easy pointing and ordering! Closes at 8.30pm.
Price: K2,500-K8,500. Location: 124 Pyidaungsu Yeiktha Street (just around the corner from the National Museum); short K1,500 taxi ride from downtown. Phone: +95 1 725 736
- Happy Café & Noodles provides a great variety of local noodle dishes in an elegant location near the Inya Lake. Indoor and outdoor garden seating.
Price: K2,500-K12,000. Location: No. 104-B Inya Road, Kamaryut township, Yangon; K3,000 taxi ride from downtown. Phone: +95 536985, 705620
- Monsoon is a stylish restaurant located in a colonial town house that serves a variety of tasty dishes from around Southeast Asia, including Myanmar specialities – as well as western food.
Price: K8,000-K20,000. Location: 85-87 Thein Byu road, just off Strand Road between 44th and 45th streets at the eastern end of downtown. Phone: +95 1 295224.
- Shan Yoe Yar is Yangon’s number one spot for Shan cuisine; this large restaurant is located at the west end of downtown, and occupies a grand teak building with general seating downstairs and private rooms upstairs.
Price: K15,000-K20,000. Location: 169, War Dan Street, Lanmadaw Township; K1,500 taxi from the centre of downtown. Phone: +95 1 221 524.
- Shwe Sa Bwe serves a wide variety of high quality cuisine in cultured surroundings – it is also a social enterprise founded by a Frenchman which provides underprivileged young Myanmar people with culinary and service training.
Price: K10,000-K25,000. Location: 20 Malikha Street, Mayangon Township; K3,500 taxi from downtown. Phone: +95 1 661983, 9 421 005085. Email: [email protected]
- Seeds Restaurant & Lounge is a stylish new place on Inya Lake, with a large outdoor area inspired by Balinese design. Run by a Swiss Michelin-star chef, it offers wide range of contemporary dishes fusing European and Asian influences.
Price: K30,000-K80,000. Location: No.63 A, U Htun Nyein Street, Ward 10, Mayangone Township; K3,000 taxi from downtown. Phone: +951 655 900, +959 972 784 841. Email: [email protected]
- L’Opera is an upmarket Italian restaurant, also with beautiful grounds on eastern side Inya Lake; it serves a number of quality western dishes.
Price: K20,000-K50,000. Location: 62D U Tun Nyein Street, Mayangon Township; K3,000 taxi from downtown. Phone: +959 7303 0755, +951 665 516. Email: [email protected]
- Pyongyang Koreo is a restaurant with a difference: owned by the North Korean government, it offers a glimpse into the Hermit Kingdom, featuring a fascinating mix of deep bowing, loud singing, and giving bouquets of flowers (the food is overpriced and average).
Price: K25,000-K40,000. Location: A-5, Saya San Road, Bahan Township. K2,500 taxi from downtown.
Teahouses and cafés
As with restaurants, there are fun and lively teahouses to be discovered on many streets around the city; they often make a great place to head for breakfast. There are also a growing number of western-style cafés dotted around town.
Here are some teahouse and café highlights:
- Lucky Seven is a relaxed and authentic local joint; a great place to hang out, and also try Myanmar’s favourite dish, mohinga. Lucky Seven is a chain of teahouses; the most conveniently located is at the east end of downtown.
Location: 49th Street (middle block).
- Thone Pan Hla is another great example of local teahouse culture, and serves lots of Myanmar dishes.
Location: 454 Mahabandoola Road, downtown just to the west of Sule Pagoda. Note that this teahouse has no English signage.
- Rangoon Tea House is a characterful and stylish interpretation of the classic Burmese tea house, with an extensive list of Myanmar teas and a fantastic, diverse menu of curries and local dishes. Also open in the evenings for dinner and drinks.
Location: 77 Pansodan Rd, (Lower Block, just north of Merchant Street on the west side). Phone: +95 (0) 9 517 8329.
- Acacia Tea Salon is an upmarket place situated in a beautifully restored old villa, comprising tea rooms as well as a restaurant, and offering local and western food.
Location: 52 Saya San Road; K2,500 taxi from downtown. Phone: +95 1 554 739.
With the changes that are taking place in Myanmar, Yangon’s nightlife is now flourishing. Until a few years ago, there was little to do after 10pm, but there are now an increasing number of bars and clubs open late – although for most locals drinking still centres around street-side beer stations, so don’t expect a scene anything like Bangkok or Hong Kong.
19th Street (in Chinatown, west end of downtown) not only offers an eclectic range of food, but is also a colourful and atmospheric place to find inexpensive local beers and cocktails and soak up Yangon’s atmosphere at night. There are many lively beer stations up and down the middle block of 19th Street; the most foreigner-orientated in terms of decor and menu is Kosan (108, 19th Street), but a lively time can be had wherever you find yourself.
A similarly vibrant, but less touristy, area to head for a local drink is Sanchaung Street to the north west of downtown (K2,500 taxi from downtown). There are a number of large beer stations that line the eastern section of the street, the most popular of which is Win Star ; for a late closing option try Terminal 5 bar.
A less conventional, but no less lively, drinking spot can be found even further out of town at Thiri Mingalar Market. Few foreigners make it out to this huge place, which has a number of teahouses and beer stations located at the very back (near the river). Like the market itself, they are open 24 hours a day. Thiri Mingalar Market can be found on Bayint Naung Road in Hlaing Township, K3500 taxi from downtown.
Western bars and nights out
Yangon has an increasing selection of more upmarket options, and you can find a list of some of the best listed below. Most high-end hotels in Yangon also have a bar attached that is open till late; the Strand Bar at the famous old Strand Hotel is the most well known.
Yangon's best bars…
- Gekkõ is a atmospheric bar/cocktail lounge/restaurant set in a charming colonial-era building. It has an open kitchen with a Yakitori grill and also serves Vietnamese and Korean dishes.
Location: 535 Merchant Street, Kyautada Township (downtown). Phone: +95 138 6986
- The Penthouse is a stylish rooftop place with an indoor restaurant and outdoor lounge. Great range of cocktails and Mediterranean-influenced food, plus views of the Shwedagon Pagoda and across Yangon.
Location: 271-273 Bagaya Street, Parkside One building, 8th floor, Sanchaung township. K3,000 taxi from downtown. Phone: +959 771 239 924.
- Union Bar and Grill offers the closest downtown has to a regular upmarket western-style bar/restaurant, with good food and wide choice of drinks.
Location: 42 Strand Road, Botahtaung township (downtown). Phone: +95 9420 180 214.
- 50th Street Bar is Yangon’s longest-standing expat hangout. Set in a colonial building, it has a pool table, multi-screen sports and and happy hours (including all day Sunday) .
Location: 9-13, 50th Street (east downtown). Phone: +95 1397060.
- The Envoy provides an elegant downtown setting. Its best feature is its large balcony - a respite from the busy streets below where you can indulge in a beer or cocktail.
Location: 108, Bo Aung Kyaw Street (downtown, near the corner of Merchant St). Phone: +951 380 362.
- Vista Bar is a pleasant, mostly open air, rooftop hangout with the best views of the Shwedagon in Yangon. Simple beers, mixers and food.
Location: 168 West Shwegonedaing Road, Yangon. K3,000 taxi from downtown. Phone: +95 1 559 481
- 7th Joint run by a Jamaican expat, this is Yangon's first and only reggae bar! Lively atmosphere, often with live music and one of the few places downtown open till late. Good range of food and drinks.
Location: Mahabandoola Street and 48th Street (downtown). Phone: +95 9260 600552
If you’re after something a bit different, there are regular Saturday sunset boat parties on the Yangon River during the dry season that leave from Botahtaung jetty or Wardan jetty (monthly on Saturdays, check local listings) and occasional Friday and Saturday DJ nights at the Institut Francais.
Yangon’s clubbing scene is pretty limited, and entrance fees and drinks can be pricy. However, there is fun to be had – although male travellers should be aware that many local women at these places may be ‘ladies of the night’! Here are some of the nightclub options, all of which are a taxi ride to the north of downtown:
- The Vibe is perhaps Yangon's most foreigner-oriented nightclub. Open till late, generally there is a good selection of tunes, drinks and a mix of locals and expats. Located to the north of Inya Lake.
Location: 31 Kanyeikthar Road; K3500 taxi from downtown.
- Mbox and Pioneer. MBox has occasional DJ nights at the weekends which cater largely to the expat crowd; it also has karaoke rooms. Pioneer has good music, lighting and new décor, although a large number of the women there tend to be professionals. Both venues can all be found in the Yangon International Hotel compound.
Location: 330 Ahlone Road; K2000 taxi from downtown.
- GTR and DJ Bar more locals and a bit rougher around the edges than Pioneer, but all the more fun for it. Located next to Inya Lake Hotel.
Location: 37 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road; K3500 taxi from downtown.