Choosing a place to eat in Kazakhstan's major cities almost always ends up as a tour through the country's diverse and eclectic culture.

Traditional Kazakh options abound, of course, but there are just as well-established Russian, German, Georgian, Uzbek, Chinese and other restaurants representing cultures that have made significant contributions here. Muslim-Chinese, Chinese-Indian, and other blends come from centuries of coexistence. Lately, the country has also welcomed a slew of sushi joints and Thai restaurants. Kazakhstan's new foodies are keen to embrace the new and different.

Traditional national and regional cuisine also remains popular. In Astana, Astana Nury prepares favorites from Kazakhstan and the Caucuses according to strict traditional methods. At Kishlak and Ali Baba, classic Uzbek and Kazakh dishes are served by wait staff in traditional costumes. At the other end of the spectrum is Korean House, providing a taste of home to the capital's Korean population and Kazakhs who've come to love Korean food.

Choices in Almaty are even more varied. At Thai, Thai chefs prepare their food using a combination of specially imported delicacies and local products. Fish and seafood are increasingly popular in this landlocked country, and restaurants like Porto Maltese provide fresh, Mediterranean-style preparations of a variety of fresh catches. Namaste is an Indian refuge for vegetarians, which is a great find in this meat-centric region.

And you don't have to worry about the language barrier while ordering. The better restaurants offer English menus, and those that don't almost always feature friendly wait staff ready to help you figure it out. So whet your appetite and prepare for a foodie tour through Kazakhstan's multi-ethnic culture.