Best restaurants in Kyrgyzstan

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Bishkek

    Supara Ethno-Complex

    This delightful though somewhat contrived 'ethno' complex is a rapid-fire presentation of all things traditionally Kyrgyz, attracting mainly well-heeled urban locals. Costumed waiters serve a full range of authentic and original Kyrgyz meals, in comfortably furnished yurts and wooden patio seating. Beware that extras are unexpectedly pricey (tea 150som, bread 120som). There's a decent mountain view from the small dam immediately behind the complex and some days there's a free archery challenge. Supara makes a good stop if you're en route to/from the Alamedin Valley. Marshrutka 318 and 373 take roughly 45 minutes to get here from Alameddin Bazaar.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Bishkek

    Shashlyk No. 1

    It claims to be the best shashlyk in town...and may actually be right. Aside from the obvious meaty treats, the mushroom (шампиньон) kebabs are a real delight, and all of it goes down well with a cold beer on the screened-in patio during warm summer evenings.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Bishkek

    Chaikana Navat

    The city-centre outpost of this expanding local chain is among the most atmospheric, with Central Asian handicrafts decorating the space and tapchan (bedlike platforms) booths lining the upstairs dining room. The menu runs clear across Central Asia, and it's all reliably good. Look for additional branches at Baytik Baatyr (Soviet) 53 and Sultan Ibraimov (Pravda) 42/1 near the intersection with Moskva.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Karakol

    Ashlyan-Fuu

    When the people of Karakol go for ashlyanfu, this tin-roofed shack off Jusaev is where they go. It's the best in the city, therefore perhaps the best in the whole world. There's no menu, just bowls of ashlyanfu and fried pirozhki bread, and one of each is 50som. Expect lines, and don't show up too late as they close when the day's ingredients run out.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Osh

    Tsarskii Dvor

    This big ski-lodge–style log chalet has heavy wooden throne seats, a rear beer terrace and a range of barbecues, fish dishes and sausages. The shashlyk is excellent, but really everything on the menu seems reliable. There's a 20som cover when musicians play (soft sax). Nightclub behind.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Bishkek

    Pur-Pur

    Perhaps the best Georgian food this side of the Caspian, gigantic khachipuri (Georgian cheesy bread) and flowing decanters of house wine keep this cosy dining room full. Very little English spoken.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Bishkek

    Vinoteka

    Classy ambience and well-executed European dishes are a hit with local expats, as is the wine list that for Bishkek approaches encyclopaedic. Service is amongst the best in town.

  • Restaurants in Bishkek

    Kulikovskii

    Long a local favourite for baked goods and sweets, Kulikovski has moved off of the supermarket shelves and into their own cafe space in the city centre. The coffee is passable but the real draw is the selection of macarons, cheesecake, tartlets and more. Order from the coffee bar for dine-in or in the attached shop to take-away.

  • Restaurants in Bishkek

    Aria

    This unassuming basement cafe is Bishkek's only Afghan restaurant, with delightfully fluffy raisin-studded plov and grilled meat heavy on the spices. Service is somnolent and they don't always have ingredients for the full Afghan or Iranian menus on hand, but it's worth trying whatever's available.

  • Restaurants in Bishkek

    Varenichnaya Korchma

    Classic Russian and Ukrainian dishes fill the menu of this diminutive cafe tucked off of Chuy, but the namesake vareniki dumplings are the standout. Savoury and sweet options are both tasty.

  • Restaurants in Bishkek

    Testo Mesto

    This hip take on common pelmeni rises to the occasion: dumplings are flavourful, filling and won't cost you a lot of dough. Popular fillings include lamb with mint and three-cheese, and the atmosphere is downright toasty. It can get busy around lunchtime, but no knead to fret. It's worth the wait.

  • Restaurants in Bishkek

    Vkys Vostoka

    A quick and cheap 'taste of the east' is available 24 hours a day at this casual national cuisine restaurant – the laghman with black mushrooms (ГГуйру уйру лагман с грибами муэр) is particularly good.

  • Restaurants in Bishkek

    Chef

    Highbrow fusion in a modern setting that feels removed from Bishkek. European cuisine with a post-Soviet twist fills the inventive (but expensive) menu, and small portions mean you won't miss the dessert menu - it's pulled off with panache.

  • Restaurants in Bishkek

    Lapsha Po-Landzhouski

    Fans of Chinese-style hand-pulled noodles should head to this authentic cafe in the Vostok 5 neighbourhood, east of Bishkek's centre. Generous portions of dumplings and Lanzhou-style lamian are favourites among the local Chinese expat community, and first-timers will enjoy watching noodles being made by hand in the open kitchen. Look for the signage in Russian and Chinese on the north side of Chuy, around 1.5km east of the Chuy/Sovietskaya junction.

  • Restaurants in Bishkek

    Plov Center

    Despite the large menu of Central Asian and international favourites, there's little reason to stray too far from the namesake plov (pilaf). The smaller portions will be enough for most, but you can spice things up with a side of quail eggs (Перепелиные яйца) or horse sausage (Чучук). Several other branches exist across the city, the most useful of which is on Frunze at Isanova.

  • Restaurants in Bishkek

    Arzu

    One of central Bishkek's most convivial upper-market eateries has delicious national cuisines, but the service is notoriously slow. Unusually tasty laghman (long, stout noodles) come in 16 varieties; for a meat-free option try the misnamed side dish 'Ratatouille', a deliciously light-cooked selection of cubed vegetables. The expensive and underwhelming international menu is better avoided.

  • Restaurants in Bishkek

    Chaikhana Jalal-Abad

    The faceted facade evokes an archetypal Central Asian teahouse with carved wooden columns, tapchan (bedlike platform) and octagonal lattice-work pavilions. The main restaurant interior has far less character, but produces a fine selection of well-priced local, Kazakh and southern Kyrgyz dishes. Outside of meal times, which get busy, it's also a relaxing place to sit around and drink tea.

  • Restaurants in Bishkek

    Fakir

    You don't need to dig too far into the menu of Kyrgyz and Russian dishes – Fakir is known for laghman, and for good reason. Wander over for a look in at the open kitchen tucked into the back corner, as well, if you've never watched the dish being made. The restaurant is a bit hard to find – swing around the back side of the Bishkek City shopping centre into the small alleyway.

  • Restaurants in Bishkek

    Buffet

    This modern version of the old Soviet stolovaya cafeteria serves up surprisingly high-quality fare at excellent prices, and the round-the-clock hours make it one of the best places in town for a 3am portion of laghman. This location off Ala-Too square is the most central, but look for other branches in the city centre at Manas/Bokonbaev and near Chuy/Turusbekov.

  • Restaurants in Osh Oblast

    Ash Borboru

    Though the name is literally ' plov centre', any of the dishes off the local-cuisine menu go well with a fountain-filled courtyard overlooking the valley below. Orders should be submitted an hour or two in advance and plov is sold by the kilo (1300som), so plan ahead and bring a group. It's just east off the roundabout on the southern edge of town.