Food in Kazakhstan
Meat, potatoes, rice, and pasta are all options. And plenty of it. If you’re a vegetarian, be cautious since if it doesn’t include meat, it was almost likely cooked in beef stock.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Beshbarmak – “five fingers,” a meal of horse meat and pasta with potatoes and onions. Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan’s national traditional cuisine is often offered on important occasions. This dish may also be prepared with beef or lamb. Most places that offer it will provide enough for two or three individuals.
- Kazy – a handmade horse meat sausage that may be prepared and served with Beshbarmak, but only if you ask for it on the preorder menu. If you do not, it will be served as a cold meat appetizer among other cold meat appetizers (Zhaya, Basturma, Shyzhyk). A separate fee would be levied. Kazakh cuisine.
- Laghman is a thick noodle dish with beef, carrots, and onions that is often served as a soup.
- Other vegetables may be included as well.
- Manty are huge steamed dumplings stuffed with meat and onions. Onions or pumpkin are sometimes added. Uighur cuisine at its finest.
- Plov is a delicious meal made of fried rice, pork, carrots, and sometimes additional ingredients like as raisins or tomatoes. Uzbek cuisine at its finest.
- Shashlyk or Shish Kebab – skewered, roasted pieces of marinated meat eaten with flatbread (often lavash) and onions. Various marinades may be utilized, as well as various methods of cooking, like as over an open fire.
- Baursaky is a kind of bread that is best served hot. It’s similar to an unsweetened doughnut. Kazakh.
- Pelmeni are boiling dumplings prepared from several types of meat or potato. Russian.
If you’re a vegetarian, you’re probably thinking that Kazakhstan has nothing for you. And you are correct if you eat out. However, if you prepare your own meal, you will be more than pleased. Kazakhstan offers several great goods accessible in little marketplaces all across the country. You will be astounded by the flavor and availability of fresh organic vegetables at such a cheap cost! Govinda’s, a wonderful vegetarian Hare Krishna restaurant, is a must-visit in Almaty. Malls feature food courts that provide vegetarian choices. Even tiny Kazakh restaurants can create vegetarian dishes for you if you specify it (for example, “byez myasa” (without meat), “ya vegeterianetz” (I [male] am a vegetarian), “ya vegetarianka” (I [female] am a vegetarian) in Russian). Vegetarian manty prepared with pumpkin is also available in certain restaurants (for example, smak).
Because of the heritage of Korean migration in Kazakhstan, Korean foods, especially salads, are extremely popular. Look for the Korean women selling them in the country’s numerous bazaars (independent food and products marketplaces). They will wrap a variety of tasty, typically spicy and garlicky salads in plastic bags for you to take home. If you’re a vegetarian, this may be the only good item you can eat while in the nation.
On the other side, you can get whatever cuisine you desire in Kazakhstan, although Chinese and Japanese dishes are extremely costly. The most delectable is caviar, which is extremely inexpensive; you can purchase 1 kg of caviar for less than USD300 at Almaty Zyeloniy Bazaar, but you can’t export or take it home; you’ll be detained at the airport and fined heavily.
Eating out is very inexpensive; you just order the main dish and then add rice, potatoes, and so on. Each component is priced separately, so you may purchase just meat or only rice. Prices range from KZT500 for chicken to KZT1,000 for beef and up to KZT1,500 for horse, a local delicacy. Of course, the greater the price, the nicer the restaurant. If you don’t know Russian, things are a little more difficult since the majority of eateries don’t offer English menus (with the exception of some hyped places in Almaty).
While most Kazakhs are not religious, they do not consume pig. If you’re going out to eat with Kazakhs or preparing a meal at home, keep this in mind. Many foods that are traditionally prepared with pig (such as dumplings or sausage) are also made with beef or mutton in this country.
Drinks in Kazakhstan
- Kumiss – fermented mare’s milk with up to 6% alcohol concentration. Consider tangy lemonade combined with semi-sour milk.
- Shubat (Kumyran)– fermented camel’s milk
- Kvas – characterized as comparable to root beer, it may be purchased in a bottle in a shop or by the cup from individuals on the street with large yellowish tanks of it.
- Tan. Fizzy drink produced from mare’s milk.
- Every tiny corner store sells cheap alcoholic beverages (called the astanovka). These establishments are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week; just knock on the door if the shopkeeper is sleeping. Kazakhstan’s specialty is cognac, but shops sometimes offer vodka for less than bottled water. However, some of these astanovka sometimes offer alcohol of questionable origin; for the sake of your stomach, you should purchase your beverage at a supermarket, though the price will undoubtedly be higher.
- Karaganda produces a variety of high-quality, flavorful beers. Becker, Staut, Tian-Shan, Derbes, Irbis, and Alma-Ata are some of the names in this list. Almaty’s local brands are very excellent.
- Juices in cartons are popular and tasty, particularly peach juice.
- Water. The municipal water is more or less drinkable, with no significant contaminants, but if feasible, boil it. Bottled water is inexpensive and widely accessible. In restaurants, ask for “Sary-Agash” (of the Asem-Ai brand) or Borjomi. In restaurants and shops, you may find a variety of different well-known water brands.
- Tea is readily accessible, usually of high quality, and frequently very strong. If you’re on a tight budget, this is the dish you have with your meal. Tea is culturally significant in Kazakhstan, and “shai” time is one of the most essential activities a tourist may participate in to learn about the culture.
- Coffee. Modern coffee shops and western-style cafés are popping up. They make excellent coffee. Coffeedelia (Kabanbai batyr and Furmanov) is well-liked among expats and serves decent coffee. 4A Coffee, where they roast their own coffee everyday, serves some of the finest coffee in Almaty. Gloria Jeans and Marone Rosso are also available.
- Wine. Try the local selection. A decent one may be obtained for less USD4 per bottle. “Bibigul” is perhaps the most constant excellent wine, and it is available in semi-dry red or semi-dry white. Wine should not be consumed in restaurants. It is typically prohibitively costly.
- Vodka. At USD8–10 a bottle, this is a good vodka. In restaurants that do not usually cater to foreigners you get 20(!) cl if you order a vodka, smaller servings not available. Buy a bottle of “Kazakhstan” vodka to take back. It comes in a lovely bottle depicting Kazakh hunting with a falcon viewed through a “window.” Try Edil vodka, which is made with the pantacrene of local deer antlers.