17 Restaurants Changing the Dining Scene in Tashkent, Uzbekistan

The best restaurants in Tashkent are leading the way for a totally new culinary scene in the city.

While traditional Uzbek food has always been readily available in the country’s capital, the recent expansion of tourism visas and an influx of Russian immigrants have allowed restaurants in Tashkent to diversify and innovate.

Crispy eggplant salad at Cafe 1991, one of the best Uzbek restaurants in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Cafe 1991’s crispy eggplant salad is a highlight amongst other Uzbek restaurants in Tashkent.

Despite Tashkent having some of the best restaurants in Uzbekistan (they’re definitely better than restaurants in Samarkand), I found myself frustrated when researching them before my trip. I was mostly met with restaurants that had poor reviews when reading through articles and forums.

So, I hit the ground running when I landed in the city, uncovering what are truly the top Tashkent restaurants (with reviews that back me up).

Tracking down the best places for food in Tashkent is an adventure of flavors mostly rooted in cuisines from Central Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe, though others are slowly churning into the mix.

If it’s any indicator that Tashkent is changing, vegan and vegetarian food is now found much more easily than before. Vegan street food tours in Tashkent even exist now.

From comforting traditional Uzbek cuisine like plov, samsas, and manti to eye-opening bites of Afghan and ultra-fresh Italian cuisine, I ate at so many incredible restaurants while in the city. I found so many more that I didn’t have time for—these are among the best you’ll find.

Best restaurants in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

16 Best Restaurants in Tashkent, Uzbekistan

1. Cafe Forn Lebnen

Cafe Forn Lebnen is the spot in Tashkent for authentic Lebanese cuisine. Most loved by frequent guests are its large falafel, creamy hummus, and manakish (Lebanese flatbread). 

This restaurant is an oasis for vegetarians and vegans in the city. Menu items that fit these diets are clearly indicated, and options are plentiful.

Prices are extremely reasonable for the quality. Expect to pay 40,000 to 70,000 som ($3.20 to $5.60) per person.

Manti at an Afghan restaurant in Tashkent.

2. Zaytoon

Uzbekistan’s proximity to Afghanistan lends itself nicely to restaurants in Tashkent and across the country. Amazing Afghan cuisine can be found at several restaurants, Zaytoon being one of the best.

I ordered ashak (40,000 som) here, Afghan dumplings filled with leeks and scallions topped with lentil tomato sauce, yogurt, and dried mint. A new dish to me, I absolutely fell in love with them.

Finish your meal with Zaytoon’s sweet sheeryah (30,000 som), traditional Afghan ice cream flavored with cardamom and rose water.

Zaytoon is a short walk from the Museum of Applied Arts—stop by for lunch before or after your visit.

3. Merhaba Steakhouse

Modern Merhaba Steakhouse is a feast for meat lovers in Tashkent. Entrées like Filet mignon and T-bone steak live alongside Uzbek offerings like shashlik (kebabs) at this Turkish spot, ranging in price from 70,000 to over 130,000 som ($5.60 to $10.30 USD).

Appetizers are just as heavy on red meat, including beef carpaccio, steak tartare, and beef sushi.

Turkish tea is complimentary, but don’t expect to find alcohol on the menu. If you want to enjoy a beer or glass of wine, you must bring it.

Syrovarnya, one of the best restaurants in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

4. Syrovarnya

It’s all in the name at Syrovaryna. The Tashkent outpost of the popular Russian chain of Italian restaurants translates into “cheese factory,” reflecting exactly what the restaurant does best.

In an industrial-chic dining room with sky-high ceilings and a lofted space, diners can watch Syrovarnya’s cheese-making process play out in real-time as cheesemongers stretch and pull fresh mozzarella, burrata, stracciatella, and scamorza.

The restaurant’s extensive menu includes everything from multiple bruschetta variations to rustic Italian entrées, seafood-topped pasta, fresh salads, and wood-fired pizza. Cheese is, of course, essential to most of these.

I ordered focaccia with burrata and tomatoes (98,000 som), paired with a tarragon-lemongrass lemonade (60,000 som). The bar menu is nearly as long—if not longer—than the food, packed with freshly squeezed juices, cocktails, several spirit options, and one of the most robust wine lists I came across while in Uzbekistan.

Syrovarnya is one of the best restaurants in Tashkent—its crowded dining room proves it. If you want to visit, make a reservation well in advance by submitting the form on the restaurant’s website or by calling them directly.

5. QUADRO

Self-describing as Lebanese and Uzbek cuisine, QUADRO is much more, highlighting dishes influenced by Italy, Turkey, Greece, and Japan.

Live music often fills the air, making this restaurant a top choice for special occasions like anniversaries and birthday dinners in Tashkent.

Heaping portions of steak are the main attraction for many diners at QUADRO, though salads and appetizers—like Spanish flamenquin and halloumi with sliced almonds—also receive high marks.

QUADRO is a little pricier than most restaurants in Tashkent. 100,000 to upwards of 250,000 som per person is realistic ($8 to $19.90 USD) depending on the quality and weight of your entrée.

Samsas (somsas) at Cafe 1991, a restaurant in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Flaky, crispy samsas at Cafe 1991.

6. Cafe 1991

A short walk from Amir Timur Square and Hotel Uzbekistan, Cafe 1991 is one of the best restaurants in Tashkent for Uzbek and Lebanese cuisine.

Though you could sit inside the restaurant’s dining room, vaguely reminiscent of One Thousand and One Nights, when the weather is warm, the best seats in the house are to be found on Cafe 1991’s outdoor patio, which is where I sat after a short walk from my hotel down the street, the InterContinental Tashkent.

Service is punctual and willing to resolve any issues easily (like when translation confusion caused double the pumpkin and vegetable samsas I ordered to show up at the table).

Order the crispy eggplant (40,000 som), which is among some of the best I’ve had in the country. Also, don’t skip the cafe’s fresh-pressed juice.

Vegans and vegetarians need not worry at Cafe 1991. This restaurant has a separate vegetarian menu with extensive options bridging traditional Uzbek cuisine and dishes from the Middle East, East Asia, and North Africa.

7. Besh Qozon

Not to be confused with pilaf, plov, Uzbekistan’s national dish, is a big deal in the country. Though it can be found in nearly every city, Tashkent’s Besh Qozon remains a favorite for locals, churning out industrial amounts of the rice dish daily.

Much to the delight of diners, the giant pots where Besh Qozon makes its plov can be seen thanks to the restaurant’s open kitchen concept.

A bed of rice is loaded with carefully cooked meat and sweet carrots before being whisked away to an eager audience, along with fresh-baked bread and achik chuchuk (a salad traditionally served with plov consisting of tomatoes, onions, and hot peppers).

Besh Qozon offers three variations on plov, ranging from 36,000 to 40,000 som ($2.90 to $3.20 USD). The restaurant typically tops the dish with horse meat, though lamb may be available for the Tashkent wedding plov.

Avoid coming to Besh Qozon during rush hours, like peak lunch and dinner hours, or you’ll fight to get a seat. Come early for the freshest food.

Tofu bowl at Ember, one of the best restaurants in Tashkent.
The yasai bara chirashi don at Ember was a light, welcome break from hearty Central Asian cuisine.
Ember restaurant in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

8. Ember

Ember is totally unlike any of the other best restaurants in Tashkent.

Perched atop the new InterContinental Tashkent, the swank restaurant is accompanied by Embar, a rooftop bar and top Tashkent nightlife spot, on the 22nd floor of the hotel. It’s easily the most stylish restaurant in the city, with an unbeatable atmosphere.

Ember serves pan-Asian fusion and USDA prime steaks, drawing heavily on Japanese cuisine. I ordered the yasai bara chirashi don (180,000 som), a tofu and rice bowl packed with fresh ingredients like edamame, pumpkin, and avocado and topped with soya jelly.

The cocktails at Ember are the best I had in Uzbekistan. I ordered The Most Famous Tini, a play on the pornstar martini with vanilla vodka, sparkling wine, passionfruit, and lemon. The passion fruit was served fresh atop the drink, designed to be scooped out and poured in.

Though Ember is far more expensive than most restaurants in Tashkent, it’s well worth the steep price tag for its ambiance and view alone.

9. L’Opera Ristorante

There are several restaurants in Tashkent serving Italian food, but very few are run by chefs who are actually from Italy.

L’Opera Ristorante is the exception. Centrally located next to Park V Tashkent, which lends itself to a charming atmosphere, the whitewashed restaurant is led by Chef Giorgio from Rome. He’s been known to come out to the dining room to greet diners and provide recommendations.

The lasagna and tiramisu are top picks here, though Chef Giogio often recommends fish entrées to diners who ask.

10. Khiva Restaurant

Most traditional Uzbek restaurants in Tashkent reflect the country’s humble approach to its cuisine. Khiva Restaurant breaks the mold.

The restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Tashkent serves some of the country’s most well-known dishes, such as plov, shashlik, and manti, in a polished environment. Not to be forgotten, round loaves of obi non (lepeshka) are baked from scratch.

Notably, vegetarian plov is available at the restaurant—nearly unheard of in the country. A few vegetarian options accompany it, though the menu overall is heavy on meat.

Expect to pay high prices by Uzbek standards at Khiva Restaurant. A meal ranges from 100,000 to 300,000 som ($8 to $23.90 USD) per person.

11. Bosphorus Qorasaroy Family Restaurant

There are a few popular Turkish restaurants in Tashkent (Köşebaşı comes to mind), and Bosphorus Qorasaroy Family Restaurant is one of them.

The manicured restaurant serves all types of Turkish plates, from street food like menemen (scrambled eggs with tomatoes) in the morning for breakfast and pide (flatbread, often called Turkish pizza) for dinner.

As the name suggests, Bosphorus Qorasaroy Family Restaurant welcomes diners of all ages. It probably isn’t the place for you if you don’t want to encounter young children—the restaurant has a playground.

Crispy eggplant appetizer at Silk 96 Wine&Lounge restaurant in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

12. Silk 96 Wine&Lounge

Silk 96 Wine&Lounge has become known as one of the top things to do at night in Tashkent because of its comparatively large wine list, food, shisha, and cozy atmosphere.

I visited on my last night in Tashkent, ordering the burrata with nuts in flaze and tomatoes (106,000 som) and crispy eggplant salad (43,000 som). The crispy eggplant, topped with dollops of cream cheese, is really a must-order.

The lounge’s other food offerings include several bruschetta options, Georgian dishes like adjaruli khachapuri, several salad choices, wood-fired meat, pasta, pizza, and entrées including options for salmon, trout, veal, and chicken.

The only drawback to Silk 96 Wine&Lounge is that it allows indoor smoking (and obnoxious groups of men commandeering the television). I’m a little sensitive to cigarette smoke, so this hindered my experience.

An English menu is available for guests who don’t speak Uzbek or Russian. Silk 96 Wine&Lounge has several vegetarian options, but vegans might have a tough time eating anything other than salad without the cheese.

13. Eco Café

Eco Café is a safe haven for vegans and vegetarians in Tashkent. The health-focused café strictly serves organic, plant-based food—a practically unheard of—concept in Uzbekistan.

It’s good food, too. Eco Cafés menu includes several vegan executions of Uzbekistan’s most popular dishes like plov. Vegan khanum (floury dough stuffed with filling) is served every Tuesday, samsa (filled flaky dough pastries) every Wednesday, and lagman (hearty noodle soup) every Friday.

Those looking for a break from Uzbek cuisine can find it here. Protein bowls, pita rolls stuffed with soy meat and tofu, avocado toast, and the like are also available.

14. MANDU MANTI – Hadra

Manti is a must-try dish in Uzbekistan. The steamed dumplings, stuffed with meat or vegetables, can be found at multiple outlets nationwide and is a staple dish along the Silk Road. In Tashkent, locals point to MANDU as being the best.

As the name suggests, this institution specializes only in manti. Several large wooden steamers cook the large dumplings at the restaurant, often serving its mandu with a cream sauce.

Manti is available in a few varieties, ranging from 5,000 to 6,000 som ($0.40 to $0.50 USD) per piece. For future meals, manti can also be purchased frozen in bulk.

Chorsu Bazaar, one of the best food markets in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

15. Chorsu Bazaar

Chorsu Bazaar isn’t just a must-visit market for shopping in Uzbekistan. Tashkent’s largest market is surrounded by many street food vendors who whip up authentic Uzbek delicacies.

Take your time exploring the market inside, then venture outside to the food area where you can find döner (kebabs cooked on a vertical rotisserie), khasip (mutton sausage with liver) naryn (noodles made with horse meat known as qazi), and shashlik (kebabs with skewered cubes of meat) among other local dishes.

Locals claim the best döner in Chorsu is to be found on the narrow path next to Kukeldash Madrasah.

16. Sette Restaurant and Bar

There are few outdoor rooftop restaurants in Tashkent, which makes Sette Restaurant and Bar stand out.

Skip the restaurant’s trendy indoor dining room at the Hyatt Regency Tashkent in favor of the outdoor terrace, which overlooks the city from the seventh floor of the hotel. Ensure you make a reservation in advance to secure a sunset table.

Sette serves strictly Italian cuisine, with the restaurant’s chef hailing from Turin, Italy. It’s among the closest you’ll come to authentic Italian food in Uzbekistan, and the high prices reflect this (though the sunset experience justifies them).

If you aren’t in the mood for a bite, come for a drink. Sette has an extensive wine list spanning the globe, and shockingly, some of the wines I purchase at home are on it.

17. Alfa & Bakery

Surprisingly authentic Korean food awaits at ALFA & Bakery.

Savory Korean favorites like kimbap and tteokbokki are on the menu, served for lunch and dinner, but dakjuk (porridge made with chicken) is Alfa & Bakery’s speciality. Banchan (Korean vegetable side dishes) are frequently refilled at no additional charge.

Alfa’s chef holds a Korean governmental license for the bakery, which lends itself to the restaurant’s pastry case, filled with pillowy cakes and bread. The restaurant holds a small table of fruit and desserts for sit-down guests as a complimentary treat at the end of their meals.

Burrata with focaccia at Syrovarnya, one of the best restaurants in Tashkent.

How Much is Dinner in Tashkent?

Dining in Tashkent is generally affordable. Dinner at a casual, inexpensive restaurant in Tashkent is typically $3 to $6 USD per person. Mid-range restaurants usually cost $5 to $8 per person, while dinner at an expensive restaurant in Tashkent ranges from $10 to over $25 USD per person.

Obi non, traditional Uzbek bread.
Freshly baked loaves of obi non, traditional Uzbek bread.

Best Food to Try in Tashkent

If Tashkent is the only city you’re visiting in Uzbekistan, make sure to try the following national dishes before leaving:

  • Obi Non (lepeshka): Thick, round tandoor bread, often seen on street carts and served in traditional restaurants
  • Plov: Rice-based dish topped with meat and carrots
  • Achichuk: Salad made of tomatoes, onions, and hot peppers often served with plov
  • Shashlik: skewered and grilled chunks of meat, similar to a shish kebab
  • Samsa (somsa): flaky, baked pastries filled with meat or vegetables 
  • Manti (mandu): Steamed dumplings
  • Khanum: Meat or potato roulettes wrapped in pasta dough and steamed
  • Lagman: Soup served over pasta, made with meat, onions, carrots, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, onions, and spices
  • Naryn (norin): Noodles topped with horse meat
  • Qazi: Sausage made of horse meat
  • Khasip: Mutton sausage made with liver
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