The best restaurants & bars in Yangon
23rd May 2019 | by Guest author
Yangon’s dining scene is a rising star, with innovative restaurants, lively bars and creative coffee shops bringing new life to the city’s historic streets. Head out to explore what’s on offer with our Myanmar Specialists, who relish every chance to meet Yangon’s residents and discover what’s on the horizon.
Mu Ai Kachin restaurant
This tiny eatery in the Hledan district only has six tables, allowing its chef to focus on incredible attention to detail. His highly affordable Kachin dishes are beautifully presented in traditional tableware, and their flavours are simply fantastic - a perfect balance of sour and spicy, cooked using the freshest ingredients and minimal fat or stodge.
From its original incarnation as a pop-up on a jetty by the Yangon River, this popular spot has grown into a Yangon stalwart, with a permanent home on Strand Road. It offers the trendiest (in a good way) international suppers, from kimchi quesadillas to Cuban sandwiches made with Korean condiments, and is much loved for its quality cocktails and DJ sets.
A Japanese restaurant in the beautiful Sofaer building on Merchant Road, this is a slick operation with a relaxed ambience. The coal-fired grill serves up a delicious range of yakitori and robatayaki, and it’s also an excellent spot for a drink, with a wide range of sake, shochu, and Japanese cocktails designed by Singapore’s famous 28 Hong Kong Street bar.
Newly opened but already a hit with our team, this brasserie sits within the former Bank of India building on historic Pansodan Street, and serves up timeless Burmese flavours with contemporary flair. Open all day, it’s perfect for everything from a hearty brunch to evening cocktails with intriguing local flavours.
An unassuming spot just off Maha Bandula Road, the Green Gallery is a cosy Thai restaurant run by a local woman who used to live in Thailand. Her delicious dishes are exceptionally fresh, authentically flavoured and very nicely priced - we find it particularly welcome when travelling with kids.
Also run by the owner of Green Gallery, this funky little spot is attached to a boutique hostel, and serves a selective menu that fuses local, Thai, Western and Middle Eastern flavours. The cafe is right by the Shwedagon Pagoda, making it the ideal place to pop in for an affordable, generous and delicious lunch while you’re sightseeing.
This is very popular with tourists, but don’t let that put you off, as it serves the best Myanmar food in the country - according to our resident Yangonite, who spends a lot of time travelling around Myanmar! Enjoy comforting curries, perfectly prepared tea leaf salad, delicious thick noodles and grilled fish, with (if you have any room) not-so-traditional chocolate samosas for dessert...
Kipling’s Restaurant at the Savoy
As you might expect, this is one of the pricier places in our list, but in exchange you’ll get an exquisite taste of classic Yangon. The food is excellent (and accommodating for special diets) and the prestigious heritage setting is graceful and relaxing - ideal for tranquil time out from your travels.
Located in a leafy suburb, this stylish terrace restaurant offers superb meat and seafood prepared in a European style. Chef Orng grows his own herbs and veg in a nearby garden, and his restaurant’s open air setting, overlooking a small lake, makes for an atmospheric evening meal.
SEEDS Restaurant & Lounge
SEEDS is run by a Swiss Michelin-starred chef and his wife, who take fine dining to a higher echelon at this romantic lakeside retreat in Ward 10. Enjoy views across the lotus flowers while you relax with a cocktail and savour excellent contemporary cuisine. Special diets are catered for, and the attentive service wins hearts and minds.
A rather sad name for a bar at first glance, but the piratical cartoon tiger in question is a fitting ambassador for this cool cocktail joint, with its cheeky attitude and edgy art. The delicious cocktails use regional fruit, and we love the speakeasy menu of short eats, burgers and salads (try the grilled honey pumpkin with feta cheese!).
Atlas rooftop bar
360 degree views of Yangon are the standout feature of this stylish skyline lounge bar, with its laid back beach vibe and good selection of cocktails. The tapas is a little hit and miss, so you might choose to dine elsewhere, but this is the place to be at sunset after a day spent exploring this extraordinary city.
One to watch...
You may have noticed that we haven’t included the Strand Hotel’s bar – whilst the building itself is iconic, the cocktails can be rather average, and don’t offer the best value. For a more tempting alternative, we have our eyes on the Rosewood Hotel, set to open in 2019, in Yangon’s superb 1927 courtroom building. The bar will be in the old courtroom, and we’re expecting it to be top notch. Watch this space!