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Three Keys To Eating Well In Rangoon


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Engracia Gaddy



When it comes to travel, experiencing the local cuisine is an essential part of immersing oneself in the culture of a new destination. And for food lovers, there is no better way to explore a city’s culinary offerings than through food travel. One city that is often overlooked in the food travel scene is Rangoon, the former capital of Myanmar, now known as Yangon.


Rangoon is a city that offers a rich and diverse food culture, blending influences from its Southeast Asian neighbors and its own unique local traditions. From bustling street food stalls to traditional markets and hidden gems, Rangoon has something to offer every food enthusiast.


In this article, we will delve into three key factors that contribute to eating well in Rangoon. Whether you’re a fan of trying new flavors, learning about local ingredients, or seeking healthy options, Rangoon has it all. So, let’s embark on a culinary journey to discover the vibrant food scene of Rangoon.


Key 1: Exploring Local Markets

One of the best ways to delve into the food culture of Rangoon is by exploring the local markets. These bustling hubs not only offer a wide array of fresh produce, meats, and spices but also provide a glimpse into the daily lives of the locals.


One market that shouldn’t be missed is the Bogyoke Aung San Market, also known as Scott Market. This vibrant market is filled with stalls selling a variety of goods, including local handicrafts, clothing, and, of course, food. Here, you can find traditional Burmese snacks like mont lone yay paw (glutinous rice balls) and htou moun gyaw (fried bread).


Another must-visit market is the Thiri Mingalar Market, known for its fresh seafood offerings. As you stroll through the stalls, you’ll come across an astonishing variety of fish, prawns, and crabs. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even sample some freshly prepared fish-based dishes right at the market.


For a more immersive experience, visit the wet markets where locals do their daily grocery shopping. Mingalar Market, located near Kandawgyi Lake, is a lively spot to observe the locals bargaining for the best deals on fruits, vegetables, and other essentials. The aroma of spices and the vibrant colors of the produce will surely awaken your senses.


Exploring these local markets allows you to interact with vendors, discover unique ingredients, and even taste some of the local specialties. You can pick up fresh fruits, such as mangosteens and durians, or sample traditional snacks like shan tofu and mohinga, Myanmar’s iconic fish noodle soup.


By exploring the local markets in Rangoon, you’ll not only satisfy your taste buds but also get a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of the Burmese people.


Key 2: Embracing Traditional Cuisine

When visiting Rangoon, one cannot miss the opportunity to embrace the city’s traditional cuisine. Made with a unique blend of flavors and influenced by neighboring countries like Thailand, India, and China, Burmese cuisine is a culinary delight that deserves to be explored.


One iconic dish that you must try in Rangoon is mohinga. Considered Myanmar’s national dish, mohinga is a flavorful fish-based noodle soup. It is made with a rich broth, rice noodles, and an assortment of ingredients like fish paste, banana stem, and lemongrass. Often enjoyed as a breakfast dish, mohinga is a true embodiment of Burmese flavors.


Another popular dish is the Burmese curry, known for its bold and aromatic flavors. From the savory chicken curry to the tangy and spicy fish curry, these dishes are typically accompanied by a variety of condiments like crispy fried onions, pickled vegetables, and a side of steamed rice.


For a unique culinary experience, don’t miss out on trying laphet thohk, or tea leaf salad. This traditional Burmese salad combines fermented tea leaves with a mix of crunchy nuts, fried garlic, sesame seeds, and other flavorful ingredients. It’s a refreshing and zesty dish that perfectly encapsulates the diversity of Burmese cuisine.


Apart from these traditional dishes, Rangoon is also well-known for its street food scene. Along the bustling streets, you’ll find vendors selling a wide variety of snacks, from samosas and spring rolls to skewered meats and spicy noodle dishes. Be sure to indulge in these mouthwatering street food treats for an authentic taste of Rangoon.


By embracing traditional cuisine in Rangoon, you will not only satisfy your taste buds but also gain a deeper appreciation for the rich culinary heritage of Myanmar.


Key 3: Incorporating Healthy Options

While indulging in the rich and flavorful cuisine of Rangoon, it is also important to incorporate healthy options into your food travel experience. Fortunately, Rangoon offers a range of nutritious choices that will keep both your taste buds and your well-being satisfied.


One of the healthiest and most popular options in Rangoon is the wide variety of fresh tropical fruits available. From juicy mangoes and sweet pineapple to exotic dragon fruit and rambutan, you’ll find an abundance of colorful and vitamin-rich fruits to enjoy. Whether you sample them as a refreshing snack or get a fresh fruit smoothie, incorporating these fruits into your diet is a delicious way to stay healthy.


Rangoon is also known for its vegetarian and vegan-friendly options. Traditional Burmese dishes like veggie curry, tofu stir-fries, and vegetable-based salads are widely available. Most local restaurants offer vegetarian versions of popular dishes, substituting meat with tofu or extra vegetables. Additionally, you’ll find several vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants in the city that specialize in plant-based cuisine.


To satisfy your cravings for a healthy meal, look for tea shops in Rangoon that serve nutritious snacks like steamed buns filled with vegetables, lentil soups, and fresh salads. These tea shops are not only a charming and cozy place to relax but also provide you with hearty and wholesome options to fuel your day.


Another way to incorporate healthy options is by choosing lighter cooking methods. Look for dishes that are steamed, poached, or grilled, as these methods retain the natural flavors and nutrients of the ingredients. Avoid deep-fried or heavily sauced dishes, which can be tasty but less nutritious.


Lastly, don’t forget to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and opting for refreshing coconut water, which is readily available at many street stalls in Rangoon. Hydration is an essential part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, especially in a tropical climate.


By incorporating healthy options into your food travel experience in Rangoon, you can indulge in the local cuisine while still nourishing your body and promoting overall well-being.



Rangoon, with its vibrant food scene and diverse culinary offerings, is a haven for food lovers and adventurous eaters. By exploring local markets, embracing traditional cuisine, and incorporating healthy options, you can truly experience the best of Rangoon’s food travel culture.


Exploring the local markets in Rangoon not only allows you to discover fresh produce and unique ingredients but also offers a fascinating glimpse into the daily lives of the Burmese people. From the bustling Bogyoke Aung San Market to the lively wet markets, there is no shortage of flavors to explore and treasures to uncover.


Embracing traditional Burmese cuisine is a must-do in Rangoon. From the iconic mohinga to flavorful curries and tea leaf salad, you’ll embark on a journey of bold and aromatic flavors. Be sure to also indulge in the vibrant street food scene to truly appreciate the diverse culinary offerings of the city.


Incorporating healthy options into your food travel experience is a vital aspect of maintaining a balanced diet while exploring Rangoon. Discover the abundance of fresh tropical fruits, savor vegetarian and vegan-friendly dishes, and choose lighter cooking methods to nourish your body and stay energized during your culinary adventures.


In conclusion, Rangoon offers a delightful blend of flavors, aromas, and cultural experiences that will leave a lasting impression on any food enthusiast. So, grab your appetite and embark on a food travel journey to Rangoon to savor the authentic taste of Myanmar.