Food is a huge part of anywhere we visit, so we made it our mission to find the best restaurants in Inle Lake and we were not disappointed. Located in the picturesque Shan Plateau, Inle Lake’s gateway town Nyaungshwe offers restaurants specialising in shan dishes alongside international cuisines such as Chinese, Thai, Indian and even tapas.
The restaurants in Inle Lake were some of our favourites from our entire 10 days in Myanmar, with our foodie finds guaranteed to please even the fussiest of eaters, offering a suitable dining option regardless of diet or budget.
If you are backpacking Myanmar you will be delighted to know that the Inle Lake restaurants offer maximum flavour even on a modest budget. Best of all, the portions were generous and dishes flavourful – perfect for fuelling a day of exploring the many things to do in Inle Lake.
We dined like kings here so felt compelled to create a guide of our favourite 8 restaurants in Inle Lake so you can too, with a suggestions for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
BEST RESTAURANTS IN INLE LAKE
Paw Paw Restaurant
Location: Between Pawn Daw Side Road and Yone Gyi Road, Nyaungshwe, Myanmar
Founded in 2016, Paw Paw is not only beautiful from the outside, but has a beautiful ethos at heart. This tree-house like building is home to a social enterprise, with all profits going towards education for young girls as well as supporting single mothers. Their staff are all women from the local area and alongside the delicious food, they sell Inle Lake boat tours and treks which also help fund their community initiatives.
Alongside the beautiful purpose of Paw Paw, it was one of our favourite restaurants in Inle Lake due to the surroundings. We instantly fell in love with the building and décor which had a relaxing atmosphere and beautiful lighting to match. We definitely recommend visiting in the evening to see it lit up.
Alongside a handful of locals, we met other people in Paw Paw who were backpacking Myanmar proving it’s a popular choice with locals and tourists alike. Serving traditional dishes such as tea life salad and curries, there are also Western dishes available such as smoothie bowls and avocado toast making it the perfect restaurant in Inle Lake regardless of taste or time of day.
Location: Kyaung Daw A Shae Street
For a taste of traditional shan food, Sin Yaw is one of the most popular restaurants in Inle Lake with locals and tourists alike. Alongside shan-style pork masala, you can also try the famous tea leaf salad (apparently the best in the area.) as well as shan noodle dishes.
For seafood fans, Sin Yaw is the spot to try local fish from Inle Lake, they are usually fried whole served accompanied with seasonings such as lemongrass and chilli or spring onion and tomato.
Not only do they offer complimentary pre-meal snacks but also free tea refills which is always welcomed on a backpacking budget. Sin Yaw is also renown for it’s friendly service and unmissable cocktails. Better yet, it’s open from 09:30am until 10:30pm so is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Live Dim Sum House
Location:Yone Gyi Road, Opposite Cassiopeia Hotel, near Golden Kite Restaurant
A strong contender for our favourite restaurant in Inle Lake, we’re sad we visited on our last night as we would’ve happily returned again and again. We’d heard so much about the food here so had high expectations all of which were exceeded, the food was that good.
We were also advised to go early to avoid queues but thankfully we didn’t have to wait as we were visiting in low season, though bear this in mind. As well as unbelievably good dim sum, the restaurant specialises in Peking duck which you can order with hoisin sauce.
We shared a selection of dishes including steamed dim sum served in traditional baskets as well as fried dim sum. The staff were so friendly and even explained they’d recently stopped selling bottled water, in an effort to protect the environment.
Please note, Live Dim Sum closes on the 10th and 20th of every month but otherwise is daily from open 12pm-9pm.
Location: Phaung Daw Seiq rad 27 Win Quarter, Nyaungshwe
Whoever is in charge of Pancake Kingdom’s marketing has it nailed – their hilarious “Are you tired of rice?” signage persuaded us in as if they’d read our minds.
You can probably guess what food was on offer but we were surprised at just how big the menu was. Pancakes were a mix of sweet or savoury, including some interesting choices such as chocolate cheese.
Darren devoured banana and chocolate whilst I ordered plain with sugar and lime juice. Your pancakes can be accompanied by traditional tea, juice or coffee. The staff were very friendly and it was one of the few restaurants in Inle Lake where we found other tourists.
Peter Tapas & Grill
Location: Face to face with Royal Inle Hotel, Nyaungshwe, Myanmar
Peter Tapas & Grill was ideally located next to our hotel (you can read about our stay Inle Lake here). We’d read many 5 star reviews online and seen some epic photos that made Peter Tapas & Grill look like the ultimate party bar, bustling with other backpackers so we were excited to visit. Although our visit was definitely 5 star, we were visiting in low season so were the only customers but the staff could not have been more kind and we were delighted to meet Peter, the man himself.
Peter Tapas & Grill is one of the best Inle Lake restaurants for a sunset view thanks to the rooftop dining and bar area. They also had an epic playlist and we loved the rooftop lighting as we enjoyed our tasty tapas. Peter Tapas & Grill also encouraged reusable water bottles (you could even buy them there) and offered free water refills as well as only offering straws if you requested one.
We would love to return in peak season as we can only imagine how much fun this restaurant would be after meeting the owner and enjoying our evening on the rooftop.
Red Mountain Estate & Vineyard
Location: Taung Chay Village Group, Nyaungshwe, Myanmar
You may be surprised that visiting a vineyard is one of the things to do in Inle Lake, well even more surprising is you can have your dinner here too! Although the food doesn’t have glowing reviews like the other restaurants in Inle Lake, the reason we recommend Red Mountain Estate is because of the view. It is the one of the best Inle Lake restaurants to visit at sunset for an incredible view over the lake and town.
We hired a bike for 1,500MMK to cycle to Red Mountain Estate from Nyaungshwe. The pleasant, 5km cycle will take you through local villages and farms before the final hurdle – the hill to the Estate. There is also a beautiful sunflower field at the bottom of the hill which is a perfect photo stop before making the sweaty walk (or cycle) to the top.
The restaurant offers traditional Burmese dishes as well as international favourites such as pizza which can only be enjoyed if you remember cash (unlike us) who only had credit card and enough cash for one glass of wine to share – oops.
One thing we did find odd was that if you are ordering food the restaurant is in a different part than the wine tasting so dine first then sample the wines later or vice versa. You can still order a glass of wine with your food however, or order snacks with your wine tasting but cannot do the full tasting in the restaurant. Regardless of this unusual set up, thanks to the view and a glass of wine in hand, to us it was one of the most romantic restaurants in Inle Lake.
Location: Kan Thar Quarter 2, Nyaungshwe, Myanmar
If you have had enough Burmese food or fancy a little change, The Garden is one of the most popular Western restaurants in Inle Lake. Located next door to the bus station, we found it by accident after checking out of our hotel. We still had a few hours time to kill before our bus to Yangon for Thingyan water festival so stumbled upon The Garden.
Turns out The Garden was an epic find, not only did we enjoy delicious pizza and a crepe with ice cream but we were able to charge our laptops and the staff were happy for us to spend a few hours here without rushing us out the door.
We are always looking for ways to travel more responsibly and their environmental efforts were truly commendable! Not only was our water delivered in a reusable metal bottle but they also banned straws and even serve their takeaway sandwiches in Biodegradable Sugarcane Boxes instead of Polystyrene packaging. It is a perfect Inle Lake restaurant to kill some time before your bus, treat yourself to some familiar food or even pick up a little takeaway to eat during your bus journey.
The French Touch
Location: No.23, Myo Lac Quater, Nyaungshwe 081, Myanmar
One of the best things to do in Inle Lake is hire bikes to explore Nyuangshwe and that is exactly how we found The French Touch as the bright orange exterior caught our eye. Once inside, we immediately loved the photography on the walls which turned out to be the work of the owner. There is also outside seating which is the perfect spot to sit and people watch.
Not only does The French Touch offer breakfast, lunch and dinner but it is one of the best restaurants in Inle Lake for coffee. During our visit, we even saw several people come in just to buy the bags of coffee.
The menu was inside an art & cultures book which was a quirky touch. We enjoyed a fruity waffle with ice cream and one of the best omelettes we’d ever had. They also had a spa next door which offered amazing deals on massages – had we not been so full from our food we would’ve loved to try!
Whether you have had a long day on a Inle Lake boat tour and you are looking for somewhere quick for dinner, or you are after a big hearty breakfast to fuel your day, we hope our guide to restaurants in Inle Lake have left you inspired. There truly is something for everyone with the Inle Lake restaurants but as our stay was short and sweet we’d love to know if you have any suggestions we missed during our visit – let us know in the comments!