Big in Burma Signals Change in Syracuse Food Scene Big in Burma

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Salt City Market features 12 vendors ranging from soul food to middle eastern cuisine. Amongst the 12, sits the first Burmese restaurant in Syracuse.

Hein San graduated from Syracuse University in 2019 with a bachelor’s in chemical engineering. His parents ran a sushi franchise with Wegmans ever since they arrived in Syracuse in 2011.

Little did San and his parents know, that the his last semester at SU would mark the birth of Big in Burma. However, the process of bringing the restaurant to life was competitive and difficult.

San said that there were many other businesses vying for a coveted spot at the new Salt City Market.

” The selection process was insane. We had a less than 50% chance of getting in and there were a lot of people who tried out and didn’t even get in,” San said.

Despite majoring in chemical engineering, San took on the role of co-owner and helped his parents bring Big in Burma to fruition.  After several interviews, classes and unexpectedly, COVID-19, Big in Burma finally opened in Salt City Market.

The family’s first business venture was not only a personal achievement but also culturally significant in the city of Syracuse. San said that Big in Burma is the only Burmese restaurant in Syracuse.

“If you look at everything else, it’s more like Burmese fusion. There’s only one other restaurant, Aloha, that has one Burmese item on it… But for us, it’s mainly Burmese,” San said.

The opening of Salt City Market added new options for residents to try out. San hopes that the introduction of Burmese food will allow people to get out of their bubble and try new things.


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