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Ordering Food & Drinks in Burmese 🍔 🍟 🍨 🍷


As a foreigner in Myanmar, you will find it very useful to be able to order food and beverages in Burmese. You will have to pick up some vocabulary used in ordering food. Secondly, you need to understand some likely answers from the waiter. That's exactly what we are going to learn in this lesson.

The phrase

xxxx ya1 ma1-la3 MP3 Audio File

is used to ask if something is available.

be2-ya2 ya1 ma1-la3 MP3 Audio FileBeer available?

The likely answers to that question are:

ya1 meare2 MP3 Audio FileYes, please wait (get + future tense)

htine2 ba2 MP3 Audio FilePlease take a seat. (sit + polite word)

ma1-ya1 bu3 MP3 Audio FileNot available. (negative + available + negative ending)

kone2 byi2 MP3 Audio Filehas just run out. (run out + present state of condition)

kone2 thwa3 byi2 MP3 Audio Filehas run out for some time. (run out + gone + present state)

ma1-shi1 bu3 MP3 Audio FileWe don't have it. (negative + present + negative ending)

Myanmar Grammar Notes: ya1 is a verb in Burmese grammar, but it is roughly equivalent to the adjective "available" in English.

ya1 ma1-la3Is it available?

The actual meaning in Burmese is: get + can be done + ?

Another example:

loat lo1 ya1 ma1-la3

is a question of whether or not something can be done. (do as this + can be done + ?)

Why is it taking so long? ⏰ 😠

If you have ordered something for a while and it is taking a long time, you can ask:

not ready yet?

xxxx ma1-ya1 thay3 bu3 la3

or, simply

ma1-ya1 thay3 bu3 la3

without mentioning the food item.


khout-hsweare3 — noodle (noun)

kjau2 — fry (verb)

ma1 — not (particle)

ya1 — get; obtain (verb); roughly means "available"

thay3 — yet (particle)

bu3 — negative (particle)

la3 — ? (particle)

khout-hsweare3-jau2 ma1-ya1 thay3 bu3 la3 MP3 Audio File

Fried noodles not ready yet?

The word

kjau2 MP3 Audio File

means "to fry" and

khout-hsweare3 MP3 Audio File

refers to noodles. So,

khout-hsweare3 jau2 MP3 Audio File

means "fried noodles".

The likely answers you will hear are:

kha1-na1 lay3 MP3 Audio File

Please wait a while. (a short while [noun] + [particle] indicating small amount)

ma1-ya1 thay3 bu3 MP3 Audio File

Still not available. (negative + obtain + not yet + negative ending)

ya1 dau1 meare2 MP3 Audio File

It will be ready soon. (available + indicating future action + future tense ending)

You can probably follow up with this response:

kja2 lite da2 MP3 Audio File

Why is it taking so long?

kja2 MP3 Audio File

means to be lengthy in time, or to take a long time.

lite da2

means to the extreme degree.

You have to be careful with

kha1-na1 lay3 MP3 Audio File

by the Burmese waiter asking you to wait for awhile. He will never tell you

kja2 ome3 meare2, MP3 Audio File

meaning it will take a long time, even if you ask him:

kja2 ome3 ma1-la3 MP3 Audio File

Is it going to take long?

It all depends on how busy they are and which eatery you dine at.

Measure Words for food and drinks ☕

You need to remember two primary measure words, also known as numerical classifiers. For food items, use

pweare3, MP3 Audio File

which can be soften to sound like

bweare3. MP3 Audio File

It means an order of something to eat. For drinks, use

khwet MP3 Audio File

meaning a glass or a cup.


khout-hsweare3 jau2 da1-bweare3 MP3 Audio File

a plate or an order of fried noodles

khout-hsweare3 jau2 hna1-pweare3 MP3 Audio File

fried noodles for 2 persons

khout-hsweare3 jau2 thone3 bweare3 MP3 Audio File

fried noodles for 3, and so on.

Please refer to Lesson 12 for numbers and measure words in details.

Similarly, you can say:

be2-ya2 ta1-khwet MP3 Audio Filea glass of beer 🍺

be2-ya2 hna1-khwet MP3 Audio Filetwo glasses of beer 🍺 🍺

Beer, alcohol, and liquors are available in a large number of eating houses and almost all up-scale restaurants that are licensed to sell alcoholic drinks. You can order local Myanmar draft beer in a glass or a jar cheaply. It is easy to remember the measure word for a jar. The same English word "jar" is used, and pronounced as ja3.

be2-ya2 da1-ja3 MP3 Audio File

means one jar of beer, and it is about 5 glasses.

In some eating places, you will notice imported cold drinks in tin cans together with local soft drinks in glass bottles and purified drinking water in plastic bottles. They are usually kept inside a refrigerator with a glass door near the cashier's counter. You can have soft drinks like Coke, Pepsi, and Sunkist imported from Thailand.

In 2013, Coca Cola manufacturing plant in Hmobi, a town north of Yangon, has started its operations. Coca Cola made a $200 million investment with a projected job creation of 22,000 over five years span. In 2014, 1.25L bottle of Coke was sold for 700 kyat (approx. US 70 cent). 1.5L bottle is 1,000 Kyat (approx. US 67 cent) in 2019. Made in Myanmar Pepsi is also available in Myanmar now. (See Pepsi Cola Myanmar facebook page)

Tiger beer brand from Singapore is also available, but if you read the printing carefully, you will see that it is brewed and canned in Myanmar. Myanmar Beer also comes in tin cans.

Measure word for plastic bottles and tin can in Burmese is

bu3, MP3 Audio File


pa1-lin3 MP3 Audio File

is used for glass bottles.

Tiger be2-ya2 da1-bu3 pay3 ba2

Give me a can of Tiger Beer. (Tiger + beer + one + can + give + polite word)

yay2-thun1 da1-bu3 pay3 ba2

Give me a bottle of mineral water. (water + clean + one + bottle + give + polite word)

If you have an urge for a stronger alcohol content, you can order Whiskey or Rum in "peg". If you want the whole bottle, then say:

Whisky da1-ba1-lin3 pay3 ba2

Give me a bottle of Whisky. (Whisky + one bottle + give + polite word)

While in Myanmar, try Myanmar made Aythaya Wine and Grand Royal Whisky. Aythaya Wine produced by a team of German experts is the first Western style wine in Myanmar made with grapes grown in the village of

ay3 tha2-ya2 MP3 Audio File

located between Inle Lake and Taunggyi at the altitude of 1,300 meter above sea level. By the way, the name of the town means quiet and pleasant. Maybe it should be translated as "Pleasantville".

Myanmar Aythaya Wine and Grand Royal Whisky

Grand Royal Whisky is the product of over 17 years of experience by Scottish Master Blender William Arthur.

Those are the affordable gift ideas. As for myself, I am always content with soft drinks or plain water for dinner.

As of April 2012, a bottle of Johnny Walker Black Label in Ocean supermarket is sold for around 20,000 kyat (around USD 25) (Note: there was no sales tax added in Myanmar at that time but tax is now included in the selling price with much higher sticker prices compared to a few years ago.)

Take Out Food 🚗

English word "parcel" is used in restaurant and eating houses in Myanmar for take out food packed in styrofoam boxes. It may not be correct English, just like "packet", which is a direct translation of "pau" in Mandarin Chinese is used in Singapore for the take out order.


khout-hsweare3-jau2 da1-bweare3 - pa2-hseare2

One fried noodles to go!

Alternatively, you can say:

pa2-hseare2 htoat pay3 ba2

Can you put it in the bag? (parcel + to pack + give + suggestion)

Halal food for Muslims ☪

You will find a number of packaged and processed food with "Halal" printing both in English and Arabic. That means they are approved by Islamic Religious Affairs Council in Myanmar. You normally don't expect a Chinese person to be a Muslim, but some Chinese in Myanmar are Muslims, and you can ask the local people where you can get

pan3-dthay3 khout-hsweare3, MP3 Audio File

a type of fried noodle similar to Mee Gorang in Malaysia and Singapore. Their spicy cooking style probably comes from Sichuan, the south-western part of China. You can also get Halal biryani rice with chicken and mutton. Those shops are usually owned by Indian Muslims, and some are wealthy enough to expand into chain-restaurants.

kjet-tha3 dun2-bout da1-bweare3

One chicken biryani, 🍗 🍛 please! (chicken + biryani rice + one + order)

sate-tha3 dun2-bout hna1-pweare3

Two mutton biryani, please! (mutton + biryani rice + two + order)

Eating Utensils 🍴

Normally, you have a choice of either a spoon and a fork or a pair of chop sticks. Go to an American KFC style fast food restaurant, and you will be surprised to be served with a knife and a fork. This will be a totally new experience if you have considered fried chickens to be "finger licking good!" In early July 2015, the real American KFC opened it's first branch in Yangon near the busy intersection of Bogyoke Aung San Road and Sule Pagoda Road.

Now, KFC not only has more branches in Yangon, but also expanded to Mandalay and other smaller towns like Bago, Pyay, and Taunggyi.

KFC in Yangon

As for eating rice, just like other south east asian countries, a spoon using your right hand is supposed to scoop up the rice while use your fork in the left hand to push the rice into the spoon in front. This makes more sense and certainly more efficient than using a fork — American style, or chinese chop sticks.

zoon3 neare1 kha1-yin3 pay3 ba2

Give me a spoon and a fork. (spoon + and + fork + give + polite word)

tu2 pay3 ba2

Give me chopsticks. (chopstick + give + polite word)

da3 ya1 ma1-la3

Can I have a knife? (knife + available + ?)

Burmese Food 🍲

For breakfast, Burmese people have

peare3-byoat, MP3 Audio File

a type of pea steamed and fried with rice, or eaten with

nun2-bya3, MP3 Audio File

round baked staple food made from dough of flour. Ethnic Shan or Kachin people eat

khau3-boat, MP3 Audio File

which is a type of black sticky rice grounded and baked or fried. Ungrounded Burmese version of glutinous rice is called

kout-hnyin3 boun3, MP3 Audio File

which is served with the mixture of grounded sesame seeds and salt sprinkled over it.

Another breakfast or lunch item favorite with the Burmese people is

mone1-hin3-ga3. MP3 Audio File

If you have ever tried Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup Pho Bo or Malay Laksa, it is the same idea, except for that the soup base is made from a type of cat fish, and the rice noodle has a distinct fermented aroma.

The soup base of mone1-hin3-ga3 contains baked rice and pea flour, banana stem, hard-boiled duck eggs, onions, lemon grass and fish sauce. The fish is separately fried with minced garlic, onion, ginger, and turmeric powder until golden brown for the appetizing aroma, and added to the soup base. It is eaten with crispy fried onions or fried melon, and garnished with fresh cilantro (parsley), lime or lemon, and sprinkle a little chili powder before serving. It is my favorite; the ingredients of mone1-hin3-ga3 seem to raise the overall endocrine system of the human body and one bowl is never enough. But I have to warn you, if you are a Westerner not accustomed to the taste of fish gravy, you might not find it pleasant.

Then, you should try

ome3-no1 khout-hsweare3, MP3 Audio File

which is another soup-based noodle, but made with coconut milk, garlic, ginger, onions, hard-boiled eggs, pea powder, chili powder and chicken. It is closer to Malay Laksa.

Another of my favorite is

khout-hsweare3 dthoat, MP3 Audio File

a kind of salad with the mixture of noodle, rice in chili oil, cabbage, bean sprout, green papaya, toufu, shredded dried shrimp flakes, mashed potatoes, fish sauce, tamarind sauce with garlic, and garnished with fried crispy garlic in oil. There are a number of decent restaurants specializing in Burmese food..

Food Poisoning & diarrhoea 🚑 😨

Be forewarned about eating in unclean roadside stalls. For some reasons, local people seem to have developed immunity to unhygienic food preparations in some roadside stalls. Is the immunity in the Burmese gene? No, even returning Burmese living abroad have lost this immunity and develop stomach upset problems. For your own convenience, bring medication for diarrhoea if you want to be adventurous. On the other hand, outbreak of e coli, cholera or hepatitis will affect local and foreigners alike. Learn how to say, "I have a stomach ache" in lesson 21.

Menu Items 📜 🍛

I think I have covered enough for you to be able to exchange a fairly good conversation with the waiter, and at the same time introduce you to the background of food in Myanmar. You will just have to build up some more vocabulary on the menu items. The main staple of Burmese is

hta1-min3 MP3 Audio Filerice

which is eaten with dishes called

hin3. MP3 Audio File

ba2 hin3 ya1 ma1-leare3

What do you have? or What dishes are available? (what + dish + available + choice word + ?)

To answer that question, I have listed the vocabulary of food menu items on the left side (or table near the top of the page for mobile users.) Visit Myanmar with Asia Pearl Travels, and enjoy your meal!

Color Codes: nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, conjunctions, particles, postpositional markers, interjections.

Read this page with Myanmar Script

Restaurant Menu with Burmese Script 🍜

If you wine & dine in expensive hotel restaurants in Myanmar, you shouldn't have any problem ordering the food because they will have English speaking waiters as well as menu in English. However, if you're one of those tourists who venture on their own eating out in smaller eating houses and establishments, you may need some help in communicating with the waiters.

Of course, the best thing is to learn to say the menu items in Burmese. The easy way out is just to point out the Burmese words to the waiter. Here's exactly what you need. Download PDF file with Burmese Script and English Romanization using 1-2-3 Tone System

Food & drinks menu with Burmese Script

Revision: D
Revised Date: 2015-01-20
File Size: 132 KB
Number of Pages: 11

This PDF file contains Burmese, Chinese, Indian, Local Ethnic and European Menu for breakfast, lunch, dinner, as well as various snacks, appetizers, sauce & side dishes, soups, vegetable dishes, dessert, sweets, drinks & beverages. 🍨 🍰 🍷


Restaurant Menu Items in Burmese (Sortable)
Chicken Biryani 🍗 🍛 kjet-tha3 dun2-bout
5 spiced Minced Pork tout-tout kjau2
Stewed Beef Curry 🥩 a-meare3-dtha3 hin3
Spiced Mutton hsate-tha3 hin3
Curry Fish 🐟 nga3 hin3
Braised Hilsa nga1-tha1-lout poun3
Burmese Prawn dish 🍲 ba1-zoon2 hin3
Steamed Crab 🦀 ga1-nun3 poun3
Chili Lobster 🌶 🦀 ba1-zoon2-doat hin3
Roast Duck 🍖 beare3 ghin2
Roasted Pork Ribs wet-nun2-yo3 kin2
Spring Rolls kau2-byan1 jau2
Sweet & Sour Pork cho2 chin2 jau2
Sweet & Sour Fish nga3 cho2 chin2 jau2
Deep fried Squid 🦑 pyi2-ji3-nga3 jau2
Crispy hot eels nga1-shin1 jau2
Fried vege + pork wet-a-sain3 jau2
Stir Fried vegetables 🥦 a-sain3 jau2
Fried Gai-lan kite-lun2 jau2
Fried vege + chicken kjet-a-sain3 jau2
Fried Chicken kjet kjau2
Fried Rice hta1-min3 jau2
Fried Noodle khout-hsweare3 jau2
Fried Rice Vermicelli kja2-zun2 jau2
Garlic Fried Noodle hsi2-jet khout-hsweare3
Fried Pork Meat Balls wet-tha1-lone3 jau2
Minced Chicken balls kjet-tha1-lone3 jau2
Gongbao diced Chicken kone3-boun2-ji3 jau2
Fried Prawns 🍤 ba1-zoon2 jau2
Fried Chinese Sausage wet-u2-joun3 jau2
Potatoes (fries or chips) 🍟 ah2-lu3 jau2
Dumpling (baozi) pout-si2
Dim Sum 🥟 wet-dtha1-boun3
Steamed rice + meat 🍚 hta1-min3 boun3
Soup 🥣 hin3 yay2
Tom-Yam (Sour) Soup yo3-da1-ya3 hin3-jo2
Shark Fins Soup nga1-mun3-toun2 hin3-jo2
Chicken Soup kjet-tha3 soot-pyoat
Vermicelli Soup kja2-zun2 hin3-kha3
Hot pot kjay3-o3
Rice Porridge hsun2-byoat
Noodle Soup 🍜 khout-hsweare3 pyoat
boiled egg 🥚 kyet-u1 pyoat
half-boiled egg kyet-u1 pyoat ma-kjet da1-jet
Omelet kyet-u1 khout-kjau2
toast poun2-mone1 kin2
French toast kjet-u1 poun2-mone1 jau2
bread 🍞 poun2-mone1
Burmese fish rice noodle mone1-hin3-ga3
Coconut chicken noodle ome3-no1 khout-hsweare3
Noodle Vege Salad khout-hsweare3 thoat
Rice Vege Salad hta1-min3 thoat
Pork Rice noodle(mixian) myi3 shay2
Pickled tea leaves Salad la1-pfet thoat
Vegetarian food 🥦 🥒 🍄 thet-thut-loot a-sa2
Muslim Halal food mu2-sa1-lin2 a-sa2
Note: The above list only shows selected menu items. For more complete list of Burmese food including various Myanmar snacks and sweets, please refer to the above PDF file. 🍦 🍩 🍮

Restaurant Food

Drinks & Beverages in Myanmar(Sortable)
Coffee ☕ kau2-pfe2
Green tea 🍵 la1-pfet-yay2 jan3
Red tea + milk + sugar la1-pfet yay2
Orange juice 🍊 lain2-mau2 yay2
Lime juice thun2-ba1-ya2 yay2
Lemonade 🍋 shout pfyau2-yay2
Grass jelly drink kjout-kjau3 pfyau2-yay2
Prune juice zi3 pfyau2-yay2
Coconut water (juice) 🥥 ome3 yay2
Sugar cane juice kjan2 yay2
Avocado drink 🥑 htau3-but-dthi3 pfyau2-yay2
Pineapple juice 🍍 na2-nut pfyau2-yay2
Passion fruit juice pin2-hmeare1 yay2
Tamarind juice ma1-ji3 pfyau2-yay2
Apple juice 🍎 pan3-thi3 pfyau2-yay2
Water melon juice 🍉 pfa1-yeare3-dthi3 pfyau2-yay2
Lychee juice line2-chi3 pfyau2-yay2
Strawberry milk-shake 🍓 sa1-tau2-beare2-ri2 no1-ay3
Fruit juice 🍒 🍌 🍈 🍇 thi3-zone2 pfyau2-yay2
Yogurt dain2-chin2
Beer be2-ya2
Wine wine2
Alcohol / Liquor a-yet
Coca-cola ko2-ka2 ko2-la2
Pepsi pet-si2
Mineral water; Purified drinking water thout-yay2 thun1
Note: For alcohols and liquors, just say out the name in English: Whisky, Cognac, Jin, Brandy, Rum, Vodka, Martini, Sherry, Champagne, etc.. 🍸 🍾