San Francisco, CA

The Best Burmese Restaurants In San Francisco

Californiacalories

The country of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has many diverse culinary traditions. Similar to most of the countries in that part of world, this cuisine features everything from their traditional soups and curries to noodles and salads. Burmese cuisine is heavily influenced by its surrounding forests and tropical regions as well as coastal and mountainous areas. Though it may not yet be as popular as other Asian cuisines such as Chinese or Japanese, we are lucky to have many tasty options for Burmese food here in San Francisco. Keep reading to learn about the best Burmese restaurants in the San Francisco area.

Burma Superstar

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Credit: @oinker.eats on Instagram

This location on Clement Street serves up traditional Burmese fare. Their menu includes everything from platha and dip, a traditional bread with a curry dip, to slow-cooked pumpkin pork stew. My personal favorite is the tea leaf salad. This traditional salad mixes nuts and seeds over a bed of fermented greens. The sesame seeds and peanuts give this savory dish just the right amount of crunch. I recommend you order it with a side of their coconut rice. This dish of jasmine rice cooked with coconut milk is finished off with fried onions. Both items are gluten free and vegan friendly.

Location: 309 Clement St San Francisco, CA 94118

What I recommend: Tea leaf salad

Mandalay

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Credit: @cy_eats on Instagram

In business since 1984, Mandalay has continually been serving up exotic and unique Burmese foods in San Francisco for decades. They have a wide variety of traditional items offered on their menu. Start with balada, a traditional pancake with a curry sauce for dipping, and add a glass of mango lassi. When I visit, I start with their ginger salad. It is a tangy item made with pickled ginger and soaked chickpeas. For my main course, I order the Ong No Kaw Soi. This is a coconut milk-based noodle soup made with chicken and topped with a sliced boiled egg.

Location: 4348 California St San Francisco, CA 94118

What I recommend: Ong No Kaw Soi

Burma Love

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Offering a more contemporary take on this cuisine, Burma Love is located in San Francisco’s Mission District. They offer all of the traditional Burmese favorite from tomato chutney to a whole fried fish. Their tea leaf salad is a crowd favorite. My personal favorites are the garlic noodles and chicken curry. The noodles are fried with garlic and topped with green onions. The chicken curry is a traditional Burmese red curry and is slow cooked with onions, garlic, and potatoes.

Location: 211 Valencia St San Francisco, CA 94103

What I recommend: chicken curry and tea leaf salad

Burma Grub

Owned by Burmese chefs who came to the United States as refugees, Burma Grub offers a twist on the traditional. Located on Townsend Street, their menu has family-style offerings and a long list of must-have items. I start with their samusa, a stuffed turnover filled with potatoes, peas, and traditional spices. They offer a vegan-friendly, gluten-free samusa salad consisting of crunchy cabbage, onions, and cilantro. I also recommend their chicken curry which is slow-cooked in their traditional Burmese curry sauce.

Location: 659 Townsend St San Francisco, CA 94107

What I recommend: chicken curry and samusas

I hope that reading about the above San Francisco area restaurants has encouraged you to give one of them a try. Burmese food has been growing a lot of popularity over the years and will continue to grow because more and more people are realizing their food is very unique and also delicious. With the variety of options and flavors, I expect you grow to love Burmese cuisine as much as I do.

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