Whether you are vegetarian, vegan, or just doing “Veganuary”, there are a surprising amount of options for you to enjoy in Yangon.
Here, in no particular order are my favourite places for when I am entertaining vegan or vegetarian guests, or am craving plant based food.
One of my favourite local restaurants to take visiting friends, Feel Myanmar has a good selection of local Burmese vegetarian and vegan dishes and unlike some of the western restaurants listed here, won’t break the bank. Whilst they have a menu, your best bet is to go up to the food counter at the back and ask them for the “Thetalo” dishes (pronounced Tet a low – Thetalo literally means “lifeless” in Burmese”) which usually includes a selection of stir-fried vegetables, tofu, bamboo & chickpeas. The main menu does have a few other options that are worth looking at, my favourites being the pyay prata which is an Indian style roti filled with spiced lentils and peas, their Shan Tomato Salad and Lahphet Thohk, the famous Burmese pickled tea leaf salad – just be sure to mention that everything should be “Thetalo” as these can often use fish sauce/dried shrimps
Expect to spend around 5,000-8,000 mmk per person ($3-$6) & a bit more if you drink beer.
A more expensive, but good, local option is Shan Yoe Yar who have a comprehensive menu of dishes from Shan state available, including numerous local salads, “pounded” vegetable dishes (their aubergine dish is like a Burmese babaganoush) fried Shan tofu and vegetable curries. When I visit with friends, I like to start with the fried Shan tofu (which is made from chickpeas!) and the Shan tomato paste with vegetable crudités, and follow that with a vegetable curry, salad and vegetable stir-fry (their mallow leaves are a real favourite)
Expect to spend around 12,000-15,000 ($9-$11) depending on how many dishes you order
As always, there is plenty of choice for vegetarians and vegans when it comes to Indian food in Yangon. I love the dosai & puri served with tasty vegetable curries, rassam and chutneys at Ingwin Nwe, although I’m afraid I am not sure if they cook in oil or ghee so don’t forget to ask for your dish Thetalo
Well worth a visit!
Expect to spend 2,500-5,000 ($1.50-$3)
A late Yangon discovery but one of my favourites! One of the more comprehensive Indian vegetarian menus I’ve seen, service in this little family run restaurant is friendly and efficient and their food packs a good flavour punch.
My Vegetarian Thali came with Chapati, Rice, Dahl Makhani, Vegetable Kofte and Paneer in a rich, spicy tomato based sauce, and was great value at just 4,000 mmk (less than $3) whilst their Vegan Thali is a steal at just 2,500 mmk (less than $2)
Expect to spend 4,000 – 6,000 mmk with a soft drink ($3-$4.50)
Housed in a pretty heritage building on downtowns Bogalzyazay, Pansuriya has all sorts of wonderful vintage photographs and art works by local artists decorating the walls, it’s a great place to linger with a book and enjoy a leisurely afternoon. I’m a fan of their vegetarian curry set which is extremely generously portioned and great value, but they also have a good selection of local salads and more of that delicious Shan tofu.
Expect to spend 5,000-8,000 ($3-$6)
This little cafe in Yaw Min Gyi has a “build your own salad bar” and a nice range of vegetarian and vegan soups, salads and sandwiches to choose from; perfect for a quick & easy lunch.
My favourites include the Veggie Hummus Baguette (4,5000 mmk/$3.30) the Vegetarian Chilli Soup, Pumpkin & Coconut Soup (3,500 mmk/$2.60) and the Pumpkin Patch Salad with Mixed Greens, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Seeds & Feta (6,500mmk/$4.80)
Expect to spend 5,000-8,000 ($3-$6) with a soft drink
Missing your daily Acai Smoothie Bowls, Quinoa Salads and Bliss Balls? Fear not, Nourish is an entirely plant based restaurant, attached to the Yangon Yoga House, near Yaw Min Gyi, just a short drive from downtown Yangon.
Along with Union Bar & Grill & Paribawgwa, Nourish is certainly on the pricier side than the local options, but the menu here is hearty and delicious. I’m yet to finish one of their salads they are that substantial. If you have had your fill of local food, their Mezze Platters, “Naked” Veggie Burger Salad Bowl and Quinoa Salad are just the ticket!
Expect to spend 15,000-20,000 ($11-$15) with a cold pressed juice
*photos from Nourish cafe website
Whilst Union is probably better known for their burgers and steaks, the vegetarian offering has been revamped over the past few months and some 25% of the menu is now Vegetarian, with a few vegan options also available.
Start with the Za’taar Manoushe & Hummus or the Quinoa, Halloumi & Tomato Salad and follow up with the delicious Herb Roasted Cauliflower with Romesco or a hearty Chickpea Burger. The Vegetarian Roast on Sundays also deserves special mention, especially when combined with their 2 hour free-flow cocktail package!
Expect to spend 8,000 ($6) on an appetiser and up to 14,000 ($10) on mains
Just a couple of doors down from Pansuriya, Paribawga, from the company behind 50th street, is part super high end furniture shop, part veggie friendly cafe.
Open until 9pm, their menu is mostly made of of salads and sandwiches like the “Zucchini Textures” a lovely warm salad of courgette prepared in about 4 different ways with tahini vinaigrette & ricotta, Truffled Tofu & Cheddar Sandwich with honey ginger glaze (both 11,000 mmk/$9) and local inspired salads like the Tomato & Silken Tofu Salad with shiso or the Citrus Salad with Kachin honey, pistachios & mint.
The focus is more on vegetarian than vegan but most dishes should be able to be adapted for vegans, the staff speak good English & are lovely and helpful.
Expect to spend around 15,000 – 18,000 with a soft drink ($11-$14)
Are you vegan or vegetarian? Where do you most enjoy eating in Yangon? I’d love to hear more tips in the comments & as always, don’t forget more vegan friendly restaurants can be found on Happy Cow