When eating at local markets or street food vendors it is important to stay mindful of health and safety. Hygiene standards are very different from those more commonly expected in Western countries.
To stay safe and healthy during a visit to the country, or anywhere across Southeast Asia, it’s recommended to remember the following tips:
- Only eat fruit that can be peeled
- Eat at stalls and vendors with high food turnover
- Avoid ice in drinks
- Ensure food is hot and thoroughly cooked
- Don’t drink the tap water
Myanmar is a real treat for foodie travelers. Delicious dishes are abundant and with the range of great food markets on offer, there are plenty of opportunities to treat the tastebuds and find some Instagrammable meals that will be remembered long after a trip.
Food markets in Myanmar offer a fascinating glimpse into Burma’s cuisine. They are a perfect place to get to know the daily life of the people living in the country and to try some of the delicious food that can be enjoyed whilst on a trip to Myanmar.
Planning a visit to one of the markets to sample Burma’s traditional food is a must for any traveler visiting the country. Whilst it is not as essential as holding a valid Myanmar visa before traveling, tourists still won’t want to miss out on some of the culinary delights and unique sights they’ll see in these markets.
Travelers wishing to try some of the common dishes in Burma or the strange dishes to eat in Burma can find the best places to sample them in this article. It details the best food markets in Myanmar, some of the most appealing dishes to experience, and essential food safety when visiting the country.
Myanmar Food Markets Travelers Should Visit
From Mandalay to Yangon and from Bagan to Naypyidaw, Myanmar is famous for its wet markets. There are almost too many to choose from. However, to greatly narrow down the options for travelers, tourists should take special care to visit the following food markets on a journey around the country.
San Pya Fish Market: Yangon
Open: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Location: Kyee Myindaing Kannar Road, Yangon
For the freshest fish and local catches, visitors should pay a visit to San Pya. It is home to over 500 vendors and is a wonderful spot to find many of the fishes, prawns, crabs, and other shellfish that are found in the Yangon river and that are enjoyed in the national cuisine.
Things get especially busy between 2 am and 8 am as local traders and restauranters tussle to purchase the freshest produce; this is also the best time to get the most attractive deals. Of course, some of the best fish restaurants in the city can be found in the near vicinity.
Zegyo Market: Mandalay
Open: 5 am – 6 pm, 7 days a week
Location: 27th Street, Mandalay
The best street food in Mandalay is found at Zegyo market. It is the oldest market in the city and is hugely popular with locals and tourists alike. Zegyo offers a great glimpse into daily life in historic Mandalay. It is also a great place to find souvenirs and traditional clothes such as Longyi.
Anawrahta Road Night Market: Yangon
Open: 3pm – 11pm, 7 days a week
Location: Anawrahta Road, Yangon
Anarahta Road is like many other busy streets in central Yangon during the day, but at night it transforms into one of the best street food markets in the city. Candles are used to light the stalls and this adds a special ambiance to the experience.
There are, of course, also delicious meals to sample. Visitors wanting to try more exotic dishes of salted fish, local sweets, and stranger dishes like crickets, will not be disappointed.
Bogyoke Aung San Market: Yangon
Open: 10 am – 5:30 pm, Tuesday to Sunday
Location: Bo Gyoke Rd, Yangon
The market formerly known as Scott Market has a long history dating back to 1926. It is probably the most important bazaar found in Yangon, which is no surprise considering its size and the variety of wares that visitors can buy.
Its food court is a fantastic spot to try local Burmese dishes as well as a few popular Chinese ones too. In addition to the great eats on offer, it is also a great place to find historical antiquities, locally produced jewelry, and art.
Nyaung U Market: Bagan
Open: 6am – 5pm, 7 days a week
Location: Nyaung U, Bagan
Nyaung U is the place to go to experience a market that’s full of local color and outside of the big cities. It is just 4km from Old Bagan, making a perfect place to stop when visiting the region’s UNESCO heritage sites.
The market is an amazing place to find fresh regional produce. Some of the treats on offer are fresh vegetables, tea leaves, and recently caught fish. It is said one of the best places in the country to get a view of local life.
What is a Must-Try Dish In Myanmar?
No one should leave Myanmar without trying the Mohinga. This is probably the most common and beloved dish the country has to offer.
It is a fish noodle soup that is usually served for breakfast. It is seasoned with aromatic herbs, lemongrass, ginger, fish sauce, garlic, and onion.
Mohinga can be found at many of the local food markets found around the country as well as teahouses, and street stalls. Expect to find little regional variations when sampling it in different parts of the country.
While Mohinga is a great dish to enjoy in Myanmar, tourists should also make sure to try the following local favorites:
- Tealeaf salad
- Shan-style noodles
- Burmese curry
- Sticky rice
How Much Does Food Cost in Myanmar
Myanmar food prices are very much on the cheaper scale of budgets. Therefore when trying some of the common food dishes from Burma it is possible to enjoy delicious dishes for only a few dollars.
A meal at a street food vendor in Myanmar will usually cost around 1000 Kyats (which is about US$1) and usually no more than 3000 Kyats (around US$2) at higher-end stalls. Eating out in the country is usually very cost-effective, making it even easier to try as many of the local cuisine as possible.