Guest blogger Nicole shares her secrets for where to find the best meals in Bagan.
You’ll find everything you need for a fantastic meal in Bagan from French, English, Italian, Indian, Thai, Japanese, and - of course! - Burmese cuisine (you have to try the tea leaf salad)! You will find most of the restaurants in Nyaung U, a few in New Bagan and just couple in Old Bagan. Here are my picks for the top restaurants for each region of Bagan. So hop on your e-bike and get ready to explore Bagan and the cuisine.
Where to eat in Nyaung U. - Happy hour, pizza, margaritas and more.
Both of my favourite restaurants are in Nyaung U. This section of Bagan has the widest choice of restaurants. Here’s where to head for a delicious meal.
My first favourite restaurant in Nyaung U is Wonderful Tasty. As the name suggests, everything is wonderful and tasty and it is a great example of yummy Burmese food. Come for the cheap beers and stay for the delicious curries.
My other favourite restaurant is Weather Spoons. Such a funny name and I’m not sure where it comes from. This is a Nyaung U backpacker favourite but don’t let that put you off. It has really good food and it's usually packed. They offer a bit of everything but they are known for their burgers. I had one of the best burgers in Myanmar there.
Or try Cafe Bagan - either for breakfast or for their sandwiches - and stay for the aircon. This place is a oasis in the relenting heat. Enjoy your time there sipping on coffee and don’t forget to try the pastries!
If you are craving Italian I recommend La Terraza. They have great wood-fired pizzas if you’re craving Western food. Generous portions for pasta too.
If you’re looking for good food and a great happy hour head to Bibo Restaurant. The manager here really cares what the customers think and puts a lot of effort into the food and drink and it shows. 2 for 1 cocktail happy hour runs from 5-7pm.
I also want to give a special mention to Sanon, which is a cafe next to the Thante Hotel. It is a not for profit restaurant and trains underprivileged kids to work at the cafe. The cafe serves Burmese cuisine and a lot of thought is put into the food by using the best ingredients to make incredible dishes. Try their prawn curry and the pineapple chili margarita.
Where to eat in New Bagan - French cuisine and warm families.
I stayed in New Bagan because the area had the largest accommodation selection and I was able to find a few hidden foodie gems in this area. The main restaurant area is around Khayea Pin Street, along which you’ll find most of your dining options.
Silver House Restaurant is family run and the owners are extremely friendly. It's a really nice, friendly, clean place to eat that always saves the day there isn’t a lot of choice in New Bagan. The curries are authentic and original and especially delicious.
You should also try New Bagan’s best eatery, Naratheinkha. Walk down Khayae Street from the Eight Faces Pagoda roundabout and take the first left. The restaurant has both French and Burmese cuisine and is known for its fried fish. Many people say this is the best meal they have had in Bagan if not Myanmar. Its also one of the cheapest restaurants for the most delicious meals and guess what, the word is out about this place so get there early to get a table.
(Note from Vanessa: Don't despair if you research this restaurant and see that it's "closed". Our research says that's not true! If in doubt, look at Trip Advisor reviews - their title says "closed" but current reviews confirm that it is open.)
Where to eat in Old Bagan - Vegetarian paradise.
If you’re staying in Old Bagan you’ll notice there aren’t as many option or, to be more accurate, rather all the restaurants seem to follow the same formula so your options aren't as plentiful as you'd think. You need to dig a bit deeper to find a special meal. Here are the best restaurants Old Bagan has to offer.
The Moon - ‘Be Kind to Animals’ is a vegetarian cafe! Even non vegetarians love this place. There are a wide range of cheap vegetarian dishes here. It's a great place to eat healthy if you’ve indulged in too many burgers and pizzas. You can also try out Yar Pyi, a good vegetarian cafe near The Moon.
Starbeam Bistro has a bit of a pricier menu but lots of Western choices. They have a lovely outdoor seating area with great food. They're not exclusively vegetarian but there’s a whole page of salads including the famous Burmese tea leaf salad which is well worth a try.
Traveling to Bagan by boat? Looking for a guesthouse in Yangon? We've got you covered!
Check out our other blog posts about Myanmar!
Where to Stay in Bagan
The BEST Travel Experience of my Life: Balloons Over Bagan
The WORST Travel Experience of my Life: The Overnight Train from Bagan to Yangon
Min-Ga-La-Ba Myanmar! All About Mandalay Airport
Day 9 of our Round-The-World Trip: Mandalay
Besotted with Bagan: Day 10 &11 of Our Round The World Trip
At Long Last: Yangon. Day 12 &13 of Our Round The World Trip
Guesthouse Review: Motherland Inn 2, Yangon
About the author:
Nicole LaBarge got her first taste for travel when she was 16 years old. Ever since then she has been hooked and calls herself a travel-holic. She believes you can travel and have a career and she is halfway to her goal of visiting every country in the world. She is a serial expat living in five different countries to date and is currently based in Wellington, New Zealand. She loves travelling and just finished a five month trip around South America and the Caribbean. Nicole runs the adventure travel blog Travelgal Nicole www.nicolelabarge.com