In recent years there has been quite an expansion in the cuisine available in Yangon and these days the variety matches that of many other large cities in Asia, western cuisine included. Local dishes have been influenced by the contact the former Burma has had with other countries in the region, especially India and China. Everyone on a Myanmar travel package is certain to try Shan food during their Myanmar tour with rice, vegetables in a number of side dishes enough to fill every table.
There is impressive, if fairly old, architecture with restaurants making use of some old buildings, occasionally in poor areas, but once inside diners will usually be impressed with their surroundings.
While you have some of your meals already booked as part of your Myanmar travel arrangements made by your travel agent, here are some ideas to try on a free night:
• Le Planteur Restaurant and Bar in Kaba Aye Pagoda Road, close to the Golden Hill Tower is regarded as one of the best restaurants in the whole of the country. The speciality is fine French cuisine though there is a touch of Asia as well. The building is the former Australian Embassy.
• Signature Garden Restaurant on the corner of Kaba Aye Pagoda& Kan Yeik Thar Roads is another place that is highly regarded.
• If you enjoy Italian cuisine go to L'Opera in U Tun Nyein Street to see a menu that will include many of your favourites.
• The Strand Hotel offers afternoon tea in classical colonial surroundings; think scones, cakes and tarts rather than what would be typical Burmese at a similar time of the day. That would be spring rolls, samosa and sweets.
• Monsoon in Thien Byu Road serves Myanmar, Laos and Thai cuisine.
• Sabai Sabai in Dhammazedi Road is regarded as the best Thai restaurant in town. There is a great atmosphere and it has become a favourite amongst expats and local businessmen. It does close relatively early; 9 pm.
• Mandalay Restaurant at Belmond Governor's Residence has its tables in the garden where peacocks strut around. It’s a great setting for brunch or dinner. There is an excellent curry buffet but it is not cheap.
• Seeds Restaurant & Lounge in U Tun Nyein Street is Swiss owned and at the end of the meal, the cheese board is spectacular. Before that there is plenty to enjoy on the menu.
• Manana in Kabar Aye Pagoda Road offers Mexican and Latin American cuisine in a pleasant atmosphere; the margaritas are authentic.
• Gekko Co. Ltd. In Merchant Road is the place for Japanese food lovers though there are plenty for Asian dishes on offer as well as western dishes.
• 999 Shan Noodle House in 34th Street is often very busy which is a good sign of its quality. If you go, you must try the noodle soup to begin with then on you go with other local favourites.
• LinkAge Restaurant and Art Gallery in Seikkantha Street serves excellent Burmese food with proceeds helping disadvantaged children and youths.