As most people arrive into Yangon, I would highly recommend a street food tour by Anglo-Burmese Marc Shortt of Sa Ba Street Food Tours offers a variety of different tours, all of which give you an in-depth introduction to the culinary delights of this wonderful land which will equip you perfectly for your time in Myanmar.
We’ve been chosen by Travelscams.org as your go to specialists in Yangon for negotiating the tastiest and safest street food places in town.
Travelscams.org is the largest crowdsourced database of tourist targeted scams, crime and key safety issues globally so that travellers can travel anywhere in the world safely and confidently.
We recently had British blogger Imogen Steinberg join us on our tri-shaw tour. Check out her great photos and see what her favourite things about the tour were on her blog - Myanmar Ginger
I don’t know how we would have chosen somewhere as every shopfront was busy to bursting. There were market stalls, tables and people chatting and laughing all along the street. We took a seat and ordered some BBQ fish"
Did you know Lotus seeds have anti-aging properties?
They're currently in season and available in the markets of Yangon so let us know if they leave you feeling any younger.... Join us on a tour and we'll lead you to the fountain of youth... (Web link to health benefits below). Email or give us a call to book a food tour in Yangon.
During May Sa Ba Street Food Tours are supplying some of our vendors with paper bags as an alternative to the plastic bags they're currently using.
A lot of plastic waste comes from takeaway food containers so let's see how we can tackle this problem at the source and keep this beautiful city beautiful.
We welcome any suitable environmentally friendly solutions we can share with the vendors as alternatives to plastic bags. Plastic bags seem to be the cheapest and easiest way at present.
ယခုအပတ္ ေမလအတြင္း ကၽြန္ေတာ္တို႔SaBa Street Food Tour ကုမၸဏီမွ လမ္းေဘးေဈးသည္မ်ားလက္ရွိအသံုးျပဳေနေသာ ပလပ္စတစ္အိပ္မ်ားအစား အျခားေရြးခ်ယ္အသံုးျပဳစရာတခုအျဖစ္ စကၠဴအိပ္မ်ား ကို အခ်ိဳ႕ေသာလမ္းေဘးေဈးသည္မ်ားအား ေပးေဝေထာက္ပံ့ခဲ့ပါသည္ !!
အစားအေသာက္မ်ားကိုထုပ္ပိုးေသာအရာအမ်ားစုမွာပလပ္စတစ္အိပ္မ်ားျဖစ္ေနပါသည္!! ယခု စကၠဴအိပ္မ်ားေပးေဝခဲ့ပီးစတင္အသံုးျပဳခ်ိန္တြင္ မည္သို႔ မည္မွ် အက်ိဳးျပဳႏိုင္မည္ကိုေစာင့္ၾကည့္ပီး လက္ရွိသာယာလွပေသာၿမိဳ႕အား ပိုမိုသာယာလွပလာေစရန္ထိမ္းသိမ္းၾကပါစို႔ !!
ကၽြန္ေတာ္တို႔အေနျဖင့္ ပတ္ဝန္းက်င္ႏွင့္ရင္းႏွီးကၽြမ္းဝင္ပီးသင့္တင့္ေလ်ာက္ပတ္မည့္အျခားေျဖရွင္းနည္းမ်ားကိုလည္း လမ္းေဘးေဈးသည္မ်ားအားေဝငွပညာေပးႏိုင္ရန္အၾကံျပဳမႈမ်ားကိုႀကိဳဆိုပါသည္!! ယခုလက္ရွိအခ်ိန္တြင္ေတာ့ပလပ္စတစ္အိပ္မ်ားကိုအလြယ္တကူဝယ္ယူရရွိႏိုင္ပီးေစ်းအေပါဆံုးျဖစ္ေနဟန္တူပါသည္!!
Visitors to the recent Singapore Street Festival on Bogalay Zay Street in down-town Yangon were treated to art, entertainment and delicious food from the island nation. Alongside 10 Singapore food hawkers you might have noticed 10 Yangon vendors chosen by Sa Ba Street Food Tours to represent and serve the many tasty snacks of Yangon.
For the first time Yangon's humble street food superstars were able to flaunt their cooking skills under the spotlight alongside famous Singapore street food vendors like Hakwer Chan with his chicken rice (first street food vendor to win a prestigious Michelin Star). As part of the 500kyat Food Festival, visitors were able to snack their way along the length of Bogalay Zay street over the course of three days without breaking the bank.
Ma Htay Htay Win who was serving mont lin ma yar (husband and wife snack) next to Hawker Chan said: “it's a huge honour to be chosen to cook and sell our snacks alongside a world famous chef who started out with street food just like us”.
Marc Shortt from Sa Ba Street Food Tours says: “This event is a proud moment for Yangon's street food scene. Singapore street food is well known around the world and held in very high regard. We think the world should also know about Yangon's amazing offerings.
We're doing our bit to to help Yangon's scene achieve the same respect as Singapore. We work together with the vendors we visit on our tours to explain best hygiene practices, tourist’s expectations and together with YCDC we helped create rules for our vendors to follow.”
Sa Ba's hand-picked food vendors from the Singapore Festival are now available for ongoing street food catering, events and private dining. You can treat your guests to Yangon's finest street food and support the hard-working independent vendors. Bring the life, lights and ambiance of downtown to your events.
According to akyaw seller Ko Myo Lwin: “It is a great new opportunity for us to freshly prepare and serve our snacks at the homes of customers for their parties or events. We get a welcome break away from our usual selling locations and we have a lot of fun cooking for the customers and sharing our food!”.
World traveler and travel blogger Carlo tells all about what he says is “the best country i have ever visited”. It was a pleasure for him to join us on and evening tour when he passed through Yangon. Check out the full guide of Myanmar and his experience with Sa Ba Street Food Tours here
We have also sorts of customers passing through Yangon and joining our tours. Nilar has possibly been the smallest and sweetest. She was pretty quiet but that’s probably because she was so busy eating all the delicious street food we introduced her to.
Thanks to the team at Hla Day for joining us with Nilar to see what’s good and cooking in Yangon and if you’re looking for beautiful hand-made products that support socially responsible causes you should get down to their store on Pansodan street.
You can read Nilar’s full story here.
Travel blogger Laugh Travel Eat passed through Yangon and joined us for an evening street food tour. Check out her article to see why she thinks Sa Ba Street Food Tours is a must-do when visiting the city.
We were recently asked by travel blogger Miss Filatelista to show her what's cooking and tasty in Yangon. Walking around our favourite spots we had a great time showing her all the various and delicous vegetarian/pescetarian dishes Yangon has to offer. Check out her full article here.
We were recently asked by the editor of Balance Magazine, Issy D'Arcy Clarke, to show her all the tasty dishes and fascinating neighborhoods we encounter on our evening street food walking tour. Checkout what she wrote in their latest issue!
Many of our customers are as intirgued by Yangon's colonial architecture as they are by the food we share with them. Both the food and the cityscape of downtown tell the story of difficult decades past, colonialist lifestyles and the transition into modern times.
Ornately designed government buildings left behind by the British, luxury department stores, flotilla company headquarters to the quaint balconies of the residences of civil servants and wealthy merchants. All of these buildings pepper downtown and add a fascinating aspect to this South East Asian former capital city.
Anyone interested in exploring more of Yangon's architecture still standing from the colonial era, check out this Blog with a map and information on some downtown highlights. Some of the beautiful buildings mentioned along with many others we will also come across on our tours and often can take the time to eat while pondering the lives of these buildings.
Sa Ba Street Food Tours guide Mi Mi was recently asked by the travel and lifestyle website, The Matador Network, how travel boycotts could effect the ordinary people of Myanmar. Here is an excerpt below but to read this very insightful article in full click here
Tourism funds locals whose livelihood depends on travelers.
The tourism industry in Myanmar is nascent. Although the borders in Myanmar were never closed to foreign visitors, tourism has only spiked in recent years. Soe says that “over the last 5 years, tourism has been a very positive force, creating many jobs and opportunities that never previously existed in our communities. I work as a street food tour guide and this type of job never existed before tourists started visiting and wanted to discover our local food. On our tours, we visit family-run places to be sure that all of the money is being spent responsibly at a local level.”
Tourism is vital to the local economy in Myanmar, especially among the lower class. Marston has seen this first-hand, “tourism is helping alleviate poverty in Myanmar by creating new jobs in tourism, hospitality, and infrastructure-related industries because of the need to accommodate tourists.” The Oxford Business Group reports that employment from tourism in Myanmar will rise by 66% between 2015 and 2026. The potential for tourism to impact the country is immense.
A journalist from Escape magazine recently came along on our evening street food tour and we showed him around the most interesting and delicious places of downtown. Click here to read the full article discussing the top things to do in Yangon and why Sa Ba Street Food tours is one of them.
"To cover serious foodie ground – and to give your stomach a workout – join Sa Ba Street Food Tours. Led by expat Marc Shortt, who was raised in the UK by a Burmese father and has since returned to his ancestral homeland, the three-hour walking tours cover all the essential local dishes. Freshly stuffed Indian paratha, Shan-style noodles, sugar-filled falooda (yoghurt dessert with rose syrup, sago balls and pistachio ice cream) and, to finish, an ice-cold beer and barbecue feast on Chinatown’s 19th Street." Written by Paul Ewart from Escape.com.au
Frontier magazine based in Yangon has a great reputation for cutting-edge and quality journalism covering local issues. Recently they took a look at what's new on the tourism scene and we had the pleasure to show them around on our breakfast tour. Click Frontier Online to see it.
An ode to Myanmar street snacks written by an 80yr old local. I like the sound of the singing contest between vendors held in 1942. Still today I hear some beautiful voices walking amongst the vendors.
"Problems loom for street vendors: The authorities in Myanmar's big cities are pushing them away. In Yangon, around Chinatown, at the corner of Mahabandoola street, hawkers are on the YCDC’s radar. This is regrettable. Not only are they the lifeline of many families, but they feed a large part of the population. This is especially true for workers with long hours, and often with several jobs, who cannot afford to sit down in a restaurant or tea shop, but much prefer snacking on the go.
Oldies like myself will miss the street vendors, their soups, their snacks, their sights and their cries."
Checkout the full article here on the Myanmar Times Website
Recently Amber and Ben from Ayinsa based down in the south of Myanmar, Dawei, joined us on a evening food tour and here's what they had to say:
The best food tour in Yangon
August 10, 2017
Last time we were in Yangon, the Ayinsa team had the absolute pleasure of taking a street food tour with Saba Street Food Tours. Ayinsa has been on many food tours in cities all around the world and very few come close to our experience with Sa Ba.
If you're looking for an insight into the food and culture of Yangonites, then Sa Ba Street Food Tours are the way to go.
We kicked off the evening tour around 5.30pm with a quick snack on some lotus seeds (pictured). None of us had ever tried them before. Their flavour is subtle and tart all at the same time with a pleasant aftertaste that lingers. A great healthy snack for any time of day.
From their the tour was a whirlwind of flavours, tastes and experiences that we simply could not have managed on our own. And that's the point of paying for a tour right? To have an experience that you couldn't replicate yourself. Sa Ba delivers this in spades. They know every nook and cranny of Yangon. From the best mohinga stall in Yangon to where to find the most delectable Indian desserts in downtown. We sampled more than 15 different snacks and meals. Pro tip - make sure you arrive with an empty stomach.
The most insightful part of the tour was the huge amount of knowledge that the Sa Ba guys had on every aspect of food, street life, culture and history. They simply opened our eyes to a Yangon that we didn't know existed.
Any great tour exceeds expectations - and for us, it was the little things that took this tour from good to great.
Takes about 30mins
- Vermicelli rice noodles
- 4 chicken thighs with the bone
- 10 ripe red whole tomatoes
- 5 cloves of garlic (3 cloves minced)
- 2 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 inch nugget of ginger
- 1 onion minced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Spring onion greens thinly sliced
- 8 tablespoons of crushed peanuts
First fill a cooking pot with about 2 litres of water, add the chicken thighs, 2 whole cloves of garlic, nugget of ginger and boil.
Then add the whole tomatoes to separate pot, cover with water and simmer for about 10 mins or until the skins become loose and easy to peel (this is the secret to a sweet and rich tomato sauce without relying on lots of sugar). Carefully remove tomatoes from water and set aside to cool.
Once the chicken loosens from the bone, lift them from the water and put aside to cool (keep the water-we'll use this for soup). Pull the meat from the bones and dice meat roughly. Now put the bones back into the water along with the nugget of ginger, 2 cloves garlic, and continue to boil (add more water if necessary), salt and pepper to taste – here is your soup.
For the tomato sauce:
Pull of the skins and crush tomatoes with a fork in a bowl.
Heat pan, add all the oils and gently fry minced garlic, onion, and ginger with fish and soy sauce. Add the tomatoes, sugar and simmer until the tomato sauce is rich and thick (add a little water to help it stew but not too watery).
Add rice noodles to boiling water until limp then divide between bowls. Spoon tomato sauce on top, followed by the chicken then garnish with spring onion greens and crushed peanuts.
Strain the soup and serve as a side dish. Pickled mustard greens or kimchi and dried chilli make a perfect accompaniment.
We were recently asked by streetfoodi.com to name three foods you really must try when coming to Yangon. When you know the food scene here well, it's not any easy task to choose just 3 but for first-timers to the city, here are our top choices!