As the former capital of the Burmese kingdom, Mandalay is a cultural melting pot of Chinese, Indian, and Burmese influences. Of course, this is also reflected in the food and dining scene, for which Mandalay, Myanmar, is justly famous.

Mandalay is home to the Shan cuisine, the type of food found in upper Burma that’s similar to the cuisine found in the mountains of northern Thailand. It is characterized by heavier dishes of nuts and beans, with flavors like sesame and tumeric.

Many of the dishes contain fish from the nearby Inle Lake, as well as chicken, pork, and beef. You can also find spicy curries, fresh chapatis, and plenty of noodles and rice. And at the end of your meal, don’t forget to try the local dessert, htou mon, which is sold only in Mandalay.

To help you find the best places to eat on your trip around Myanmar, here are some of my favorite spots in Mandalay.

6 Best Restaurants in Mandalay, Myanmar - Frayed Passport

Photo by ray rui on Unsplash

Too-Too Myanmar Cuisine

27th Street, Between 74th and 75th Streets

Here you can find traditional Burmese dining, where you can choose a curry dish and then select three cold vegetable dishes to have on the side. Most of the curries feature lamb, chicken or prawns, so it may be difficult to find vegetarian options.

Lashio Lay

No. 65 23rd Street, Between 83rd and 84th Streets

This buffet-style restaurant offers an introduction to Shan cuisine through heaping portions and low prices. There are usually 20 dishes on offer, including Mandalay-style fried potatoes and quail eggs with watercress. An excellent choice for those looking to taste the local food on a backpacker’s budget.

Usman’s Chapatis

Corner of 28th and 82nd Streets

The unassuming food stall on the corner offers cheap and tasty Indian specialties, including curries, soups, rice and delicious fresh chapatis. Vegetarian options are also available.

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Super 81

No 582 81st Street, Between 38th and 39th Streets

Here you can sample Chinese-influenced dishes, such as pork in coconut curry and chicken simmered in a clay pot. It’s also conveniently located near the Moustache Brothers, the famous comedy group that the government has allowed only to perform for tourists.

A Little Bit of Mandalay

413(B), 65th Street, Between 27th and 28th Streets

Situated in an outdoor pavilion, this popular spot offers traditional Burmese cuisine without the trademark copious amounts of oil or too much spice. You can sample local specialties like hot and sour chicken, beef curry, and banana cake. Just remember that last orders are at 8:30, so make sure you get there early. Reservations recommended.

Vegetarian Option: Marie Min

 27th Street, Between 74th and 75th Streets

If you’re a strict vegetarian in search of a delicious meal, then look no further than Marie Min. Here you will find a wide array of Indian dishes made from local, cruelty-free ingredients, as well as a friendly, English-speaking staff willing to make adjustments to accommodate a wide range of dietary needs.

About the Author

Sophia Guida has been living in Lima, Peru off and on since the beginning of 2012, where she works as a freelance writer/photojournalist and takes every opportunity to explore the areas left out of the guidebooks. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.

Featured image via Unsplash.

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