Best restaurants in Kazakhstan

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Almaty

    Line Brew

    This branch of the popular nationwide microbrewery attracts the carnivorously inclined with stone-cooked meats, an assortment of steaks, some of the juiciest shashlyk in the region and a supporting cast of salads and hot and cold appetisers. The beer on tap is the best in Kazakhstan and there's a pleasant summer terrace upstairs.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Almaty

    Tandoor

    This authentic Indian restaurant is well worth seeking out. Sultry decor and crimson ceilings combined with such classic northern Indian dishes as bhuna gosht (meat curry) and aloo gobi (cauliflower and potatoes) make for an atmospheric meal. The pudina chicken tikka (chicken marinated in yoghurt and mint) is among the best chicken dishes we've ever had, anywhere.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Shymkent

    Olivia

    Visually a sultry cross between a stone-walled cellar and a library, with plenty of books on art and design on surrounding shelves, this gorgeous restaurant serves beautifully executed pasta dishes, risottos and grilled meats from a short but sweet menu put together by the Michelin-starred chef. An excellent Euro-centric wine list and professional service make this place hard to fault.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Almaty

    My Cafe

    Yes, this place is self-consciously trendy, with pulsing ambient music, hip young staff and decor comprising giant steel feathers, but the food is imaginative and excellent. The okroshka (cold summer soup) is the best we've ever had, the flavourful lamb burger comes in a charcoal bun and the buckwheat noodles with grilled eel hit the spot.

  • Restaurants in Almaty

    Crudo

    Trendy without being snooty, this bare-brick-walled, industrial-themed place attracts meat lovers with the best steaks in Almaty. Ribeyes, T-bones, flank steaks, filet mignons and New York steaks are expertly seared to your specifications, with horse steak adding a local touch. Good-value lunch deals, too.

  • Restaurants in Almaty

    Manga Sushi

    It's worth travelling all the way to the outskirts of Almaty to sample some of Kazakhstan's most imaginative sushi rolls amid floor-to-ceiling manga art'; our favourite sushi rolls are called Ghost in the Shell. The service is young and sweet, and there are slurpable bowls of ramen as well.

  • Restaurants in Nur-Sultan (Astana)

    Myaso

    With a diagram on the exposed brick wall showing the different parts of a cow, fashion shows on the TV screen and a solid menu of (mostly) European wines, Meat is Nur-Sultan's best steakhouse. Read the statistics on the wall to discover how many cows Uruguayans eat per person, per year.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Nur-Sultan (Astana)

    Pane & Vino

    Decorated with framed recipes from different regions of Italy, this refined, contemporary restaurant really delivers when it comes to pasta, risotto and grilled meat dishes. Homemade gnocchi and prosecco and shrimp risotto stand out. Wood-fired pizzas are a bargain.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Nur-Sultan (Astana)

    Line Brew

  • Restaurants in Almaty

    Venetsia

    Popular Venetsia sits beside the little Malaya Almatinka River and its outdoor terrace is a great place to eat on a summer evening. There's a huge choice of Central Asian and Caucasian dishes, including Kazakh beshbarmak (flat noodles with meat cooked in a vegetable broth which is eaten separately), and the many varieties of shashlyk are among the best choices.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Shymkent

    Kok-Saray

    Atmospheric multiroomed Kok-Saray, with carved-wood pillars, murals and an airy front terrace, serves the best Uzbek food in town (and in Kazakhstan, claim aficionados). Don’t miss the perfect plov ( tashkentsky with white rice, andizhansky with black) or the superb samsas (samosas), which include a delicious pumpkin (s tykvoe) variety (in autumn only). You can’t miss its bright lights after dark.

  • Restaurants in Almaty

    Daredzhani

    The pick of the city's Georgian establishments, Daredzhani serves numerous favourites from the Caucasus, including pkhali (cold, fragrant, herb-rich vegetarian starter), khinkali (giant seamed dumplings), chicken in plum sauce, shashlyk, and four types of khachapuri (Georgian bread with melted cheese). The decor is all earthy colours, pottery and farm implements and there's a solid Georgian wine menu, too.

  • Restaurants in Almaty

    Zheti Kazyna

    This exotically decorated, Central Asian–themed restaurant is a place to come for quality regional cooking. Old favourites such as manty , laghman , shashlyk, plov and spicy Dungan noodles are styled for the Western palate, and it's a good place to try Kazakh specialities including beshbarmak and horse steaks. The Japanese food in the basement is missable. Enter from Makataev.

  • Restaurants in Nur-Sultan (Astana)

    Melnitsa

    The owners of this restaurant chose a 'Ukrainian peasant inside a windmill' theme and then decided to run with it a few miles. Expect hay wagons, pitchforks and a menu full of gut-busting Ukrainian favourites, such as deruny (potato fritters), golubtsy (stuffed cabbage leaves), vareniki (cherry dumplings) and salo (lard). Service sometimes moves at a glacial pace.

  • Restaurants in Nur-Sultan (Astana)

    Epoch

    Walk in past the vintage Soviet cars by the entrance and you're free to indulge your communist fantasies. The decor is OTT USSR – Stalin portraits, hammer-and-sickle emblems, red brick walls lined with books. Servers are dressed in Pioneer uniforms, and the extensive menu features such classics as borscht, Lenin-style beefsteak and meat in aspic. Live music most evenings. Kitsch fun.

  • Restaurants in Almaty

    Khodja Nasreddin

    This is one of Almaty's best Uzbek restaurants and especially nice in summer when you can sit around the courtyard. Go for the plov prazdnichny (festival pilaf), kazan kebab (lamb ribs and fried potatoes) or a good old shashlyk with spicy adzhika (hot pepper, garlic, herb and spice) sauce. The pichini (potato and cheese pies) make a good side dish.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Almaty

    Gosti

    The owners of this restaurant decided on a 19th-century Russian-country-mansion theme and then ran with it a few kilometres. Expect lots of samovars, chintzy curtains, a menu full of refined Russian standards, such as meat in aspic, pelmeni (dumplings), vareniki (other dumplings), draniki (potato fritters) and beef stroganoff, and kvass to wash it down.

  • Restaurants in Aktau

    Modigliani

    Near the promenade and the MiG plane, this Georgian place has a medieval-cellar ambience. Standout dishes include slow-cooked lamb and veal chakhushuly (spicy soup) with herbs and vegetables, lobio (beans with walnuts, herbs and spices) baked in a clay pot and manty (steamed dumplings)s. There's a good business-lunch deal on weekday lunchtimes, too.

  • Restaurants in Shymkent

    Bar Villa

    Overlooking the park behind Kinoteatr Kakakhstan, Bar Villa's two levels of mostly sofa seating have big windows to enjoy the leafy view, and there's a three-level garden terrace for summer. The well-prepared fare focuses on pasta, salads and grills including several sausage varieties, and an excellent picture menu makes up for the lack of an English-language version.

  • Restaurants in Shymkent

    KazakhAsia

    Another superlative restaurant inside the Rixos hotel, this informal Pan-Asian place features original decor with Kazakh elements, an open kitchen that serves Kazakh, Chinese, Japanese and fusion dishes. It can be a pricey treat, but the quality is excellent, the dim sum are memorable and there's a moderately priced business buffet on weekdays. Ample breakfasts, too.