Yangon has seen an explosion of restaurants in the last 10 years and almost any type of international cuisine – eclectic Western, Italian, Japanese, Thai, Korean – is available. Local cuisine reflects the multi-ethnic nature of the city and the country and, along with Bamar food, there are a large number of Indian and Chinese restaurants as well as a few places specialising in Shan food. Fast food restaurants (usually with table service) serving burgers and pizza, and a few cafés complete the scene.
Biryani, a rice and meat dish with roots in the Mughal Empire, is a speciality and there are many Biryani restaurants in the downtown area, especially along Anwaratha Road. The three main competing restaurant chains (all halal but vegetarian biryani is usually available) are Yuzana, KSS (Kyet Shar Soon), and Nilar.
Places to Dine
Sandy's (290 U Wizara Road, at the bottom of Kandawgyi Lake), is by the lake and probably the only place in all of Myanmar where you can get traditional Burmese upscale cuisine. It has an extensive menu and the servings are large so it is best to go in a group.
Sabai Sabai (Dhammazedi Road), is the best Thai restaurant in town. Expect to pay about K7,000 per person for drinks, soup, starter and main. This clean and atmospheric place is a favourite amongst expatriates and businesspeople.
Oriental House is a chain with branches in Yangon and at the airport. It is known for its Guangdong-style dim sum and Cantonese cuisine. For Indian cuisine, head to New Delhi Restaurant (Anwaratha Road, opposite Sunflower Hotel). It is a large Indian restaurant serving quick and good food. Very popular amongst the locals and you may share your table with the locals.
Le Planteur Restaurant and Bar (22, Kaba Aye Pagoda Road, next to Golden Hill Tower), is undeniably the best restaurant in Myanmar. It specialises in fine French cuisine with an Asian touch. The location of the restaurant (a former Australian Embassy) is spectacular, and the service is as impeccable as that of a top-notch restaurant in Paris.
L'Opera (C62, D, U Tun Nyein Street, Mayangon Township) is most certainly the best Italian restaurant in Yangon. In the relaxed garden atmosphere, one can order from a wide range of fresh and delicious courses and wines.
An interesting experience is to have 'High Tea' at the Strand Hotel, on 92, Strand Road. High Tea is around $15, astronomical for normal Burmese folk, but is served in the restaurant of one of the classic examples of the Colonial Hotel in Southeast Asia. One can choose from either Burmese or English high tea.