One of the joys of visiting Almaty is sampling its growing, diverse and well-established restaurant scene. Almaty is Kazakhstan’s business capital which means it attracts visitors from all over the world looking to capitalize on the country’s relatively new-found freedom and growing energy wealth.
As a result, Almaty’s restaurant scene has kept pace with a slew of new establishments designed to meet the ethnic, traditional, fusion and casual dining preferences of it visitors. You can find great Italian, Korean and Chinese food in Almaty along with a strong selection of Indian and traditional Central Asian cuisine. The restaurants also vary greatly in price with everything for Sushi for a few dollars to exquisite French cuisine served on silver platters beneath elaborate chandeliers.
Among our must-try recommendations is the Uzbek-styled Alasha. It serves some of the best traditional plov in the city and imports from Uzbekistan the ingredients for the dish. It’s also decorated with exquisitely colored tile, elaborately carved wooden doors, streams and fountains. And they put on a show while you eat featuring tightrope walkers, acrobats and dances.
You’ll also want to check out Bellagio – reputed to be the choice of Bill Clinton, Vladimir Putin and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Its location is spectacular, facing the Malaya Almatinka River in the foothills of the Tien Shan mountains and it offers a diverse Italian menu.
More and more restaurants – particularly the more upscale places – are beginning to offer English language menus. But even those that don’t usually feature friendly staff willing to help you out with a combination of pointing, simple phrases and a few descriptive hand gestures. And remember that tipping in Almaty usually runs about 10 percent of the bill.
So don’t let the language barrier keep you in your hotel. Almaty’s restaurant owners are more than happy to see visiting faces and to give you the help you need to enjoy a great meal.
Price Key (per person):
$ = 3000 tenge-6500 tenge
$$ = 6500 tenge-9500 tenge
$$$ = 9500 tenge-13,000 tenge
This Uzbek-styled restaurant is great fun and a wonderful experience. Located on a side street on Dostyk Avenue, its entrance resembles a traditional tiled mud brick mosque. Diners can eat Central Asian style on raised platforms or tapchans. The cuisine, like the décor, is classic Uzbek. Spectacular entertainment every night starts at 9 pm and includes music, dancers and acrobats. If you can’t visit Uzbekistan on your trip, this is the next best thing.
The restaurant’s motto – an individual approach to each guest’s preferences, comfort and quality service. Assorti Shymbulak is a visiting card of Assorti network. There is a view of the ski resort and an indescribable atmosphere of Zailiysky Alatay. There is a huge selection of different kebabs, extensive wine list and dessert menu.
This restaurant is distinguished by its brilliant cuisine, perfect service and unique design. If you are not hungry, visit its Karaoke and have fun!
Named after an Armenian district in Tbilisi, Avlabar is known for its Georgian hospitality. Located at Tau Dastarkhan in the Alma Arasan Valley, Avlabar is one of six restaurants in this complex that sits in the foothills of the Zhailiskii Alatau mountains. Avlabar’s Georgian kitchen has people from Almaty raving. The restaurant offers all the traditional classics – from fresh khachapuri (cheese-filled flat bread) to lobio (kidney bean salad) and pkhali (beets in a garlic and walnut sauce). Finally, no Georgian meal is complete without a few toasts, so try a bottle (or two) of Georgian wine from their wide selection.
Bellagio has a presidential reputation – quite literally. Bill Clinton of the United States and Vladimir Putin of Russia have both dined there and it’s also said to be a favorite of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev when he dines out in Almaty. The location is spectacular, facing the Malaya Almatinka River as it cascades down the foothills of the Tien Shan mountains and at the entrance of Ili-Alatau National Park. The restaurant is famous for its Italian menu and a regular haunt of Almaty’s elite. Reservations are recommended.
Even Marco Polo from Venice would feel at home here. Borgo Antico boasts vaulted red brick ceilings, warm tiles and a rustic Tuscan atmosphere that has made it a favorite gathering place of the Almaty elite. We recommend the prawn and salad steeped in balsamic vinegar. Its salmon, sea bass, lobster, red snapper and calamari are also all flown in fresh twice a week from Dubai.
Boudoir is a stand-out and the ultimate experience in global fusion dining. We’re confident in saying it is unlikely any other restaurant in Kazakhstan serves live mud crab from the creeks of Australia. Chef Shane Brierly from Australia and his Thai wife previously starred at Lotus One in Dubai and their creative range and quality is extraordinary. Even the cocktails are mixed by a maestro flown in from London and utilize local ingredients like Almaty’s classic apple. (The Almaty region is believed to be the genetic homeland of all the apples in the world).
Luxurious, comfortable and respectable complex China Gold in Almaty is a unique project of a Chinese premium restaurant, spacious green terrace and karaoke. All directions in China Gold presented with the highest quality of service and comfort. Every rest zone has a bright and unique design. The Chef’s Special menu China Gold was created by famous Moscow Brand Chef Mark Statcenko, Dim Sum’s menu – the Chef from Hong Kong Yiu Wing Kan, the main menu of Japanese and Chinese cuisine – the Chef Alexandr Uchenko, Chef from Beijing Lu Dzanpin and Shi Dganhong. The complex is located in the exclusive area of the city, in the territory of Villa Boutiques & restaurants. Total capacity – 400 persons.The complex has a large and comfortable parking.
This is the first crabhouse and seafoodbar with an open kitchen in Kazakhstan. The menu also contains spicy soups and salads. The most popular dishes are black and white burger with crab meat and lobster.
Chef Edward Henschel lived for a long time in Brazil, so a love to the country is reflected in the kitchen. There are a few traditional Latin American dishes, such as spicy soup Chili con carne, feyzhao (chicken with rice and beans), walleye ceviche, tacos in menu. Craft burger made by a special recipe is a specialty of the house.
The menu is a mix of European, Asian, Kazakh and Middle Eastern cuisine. Located in the heart of the city, the restaurant has bakery and coffee shop. The distinctive quality of the place is the maximum use of local goods and products, and it is not only seasonal fruits and vegetables.
The restaurant’s menu is inspired by trips to the Caucasus. The interior and the Caucasian cuisine create the atmosphere and mood of the Caucasian countries.
The restaurant’s menu is inspired by trips to the Caucasus. The interior and the Caucasian cuisine create the atmosphere and mood of the Caucasian countries.
For all lovers of beauty, fish and wine. A variety of dishes with the author’s supply of food will not leave you indifferent. Gorgeous panoramic windows and glass windows on the ceiling create a perfect background for a romantic date, the inspiration for business ideas, bohemian vacation with your loved ones. Interior design in a marine style, privacy, an endless list of expensive wine are specially created for the sophisticated guests.
This is a premium-class fish restaurant on the Turkish franchise. Menu is personally designed by chef Mustafa Uzun. All the fish are directly delivered three to four times a week. Fish in the menu of G Balık is unique which is impossible to buy in retail stores.
Hard Rock Cafe
This famous restaurant offers a choice of American and Mexican cuisine and is located in the center of Almaty. Enjoy live music on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday after 9 pm. Experience three floors of authentic dining and entertainment when you visit Hard Rock Cafe Almaty. With room for 400 guests, our spacious restaurant and lounge boasts a large bar, state of the art stage, and exclusive lounge areas. Enjoy freshly prepared American cuisine like our Legendary® Burger. Our chefs are the best in the business, and it shows on every single plate. Experience the difference of Hard Rock’s service with energetic, hardworking staff of music enthusiasts, ready to provide you with everything you need to enjoy the perfect meal.
Melodic music during the day time is replaced by Jazz hits in the evening. Free Wi-Fi, VIP zone and a children’s playground is offered. Its interior is classic one and very elegant. This restaurant is not cheap, but it is worth it.
This conveniently located restaurant is designed to make you feel like you are in a Central Asian village. You enter through a brick gate, into a courtyard and into the restaurant where you’ll find a little foot bridge over a man-made stream with fish, as well as fake greenery and exposed Uzbek pots and pans on the walls. It all gives the quant feeling of visiting a neighbor’s home. As for the food, you’ll find hearty standards at reasonable prices.
Kok-Tobe offers one of Almaty’s most unique dining experiences. To get there you can take a tram up the mountain and catch amazing views of the city. Kok-Tobe is divided into three restaurants with its main eatery named Yurt because its sections are shaped like a traditional Kazakh yurt. Yurt serves up Kazakh staples such as beshbarmak, lagman and manty as well as any place in town. And, in a nod to its growing international clientele, the restaurant has added non-Kazakh cuisine to its menu. A trip to Kok-Tobe offers a unique combination of good food and great atmosphere.
Korean restaurants in Almaty go back to 1937 after Josef Stalin forcibly transported more than 200,000 Korean settlers from Russia’s Far East to Central Asia because he feared they could become spies for Japan. Today, more than 400,000 Koreans live in Central Asia, including 70,000 in Kazakhstan, and the Korea House’s chef is one of them. He produces all the traditionally spicy dishes and the restaurants decor resembles an indoor East Asian garden with lots of green and bamboo plants placed on its dark Asian-style furniture. Waiters bow to their guests and deliver their dishes with both hands to display respect.
Restaurant is located in the old city center where you can escape from the noise of the streets and the endless stream of townspeople. The cozy restaurant is located on the fifth floor of a business center, a terrace offering a panoramic view of Ili Alatau mountains. It specializes in Swiss and central European cuisine. Only seasonal products of the highest class are used for cooking. It has a modern, stylish, elegant design of the Swiss chalet which satisfy even the most hard-core conservatives.
Conveniently close to the Hyatt, Aiser and Astana International Hotels, Namaste’s Thai-trained Indian chefs deliver tandoori dishes cooked in a clay oven and a wide range of first-class vegetarian dishes. The atmosphere is loud and chaotic with Indian music videos and Bollywood movies being played but don’t be deceived, the cuisine is first class.
Namedni attracts Kazakhs, Russians and a diverse mix of expats alike with its large menu and signature dishes. Among its most popular are Namedni’s Russian beet soup and Pelmeni — a dumpling filled with a combination of meats, pepper, onion, garlic and spices. The decor is also interesting and could be defined as Soviet retro with artifacts from the 1930s through 1980s. Among the owners’ favorites are several transistor radios from the 1950s and 1960s.
The menu includes the most popular dishes of European, Russian and Asian cuisines. The summer terrace with a fascinating view of the most vibrant Almaty street will delight the guests.
Restaurant’s chef Giacomo Colombu is not just a professional, he is also truly one of the best. This is shown both by the prestigious awards Giacomo has received and the phenomenal popularity of all the restaurants where he has worked in the past. Since the very opening of Parmigiano, Giacomo has been bringing joy to its guests with dainty dishes of the highest quality. He personally chooses the top quality ingredients.
Piano Bar Mardi Gras
Palladium’s Piano Bar Mardi Gras proudly displays Kazakhstan’s transparent Schimmel grand piano. Operating in the centre of Almaty’s Business District, the Piano Bar is a popular lunch attraction for embassy employees, businessmen and international executives. Palladium offers an extensive wine list, a full bar and a first-rate selection of cigars making it an attractive afternoon gathering spot.
This remarkable restaurant offers opportunity to relax in ancient world of pirates. Experience freshly prepared fish, shrimps and lobsters on board of pirate ship! The best wines, whiskeys and music ensure a fabulous meal and evening.
Pomodor offers a breath of Italy and serves some of the best Italian comfort food in town. Small-scale, it’s still a family-run restaurant that delivers superlative quality. Chef Patron Giorgio Palazzi knows his regulars by their names and favorite wines. Palazzi also travels each year to his native Le Marche, Italy to bring back cargoes of fresh, highly prized white truffles. Pomodor uses local ingredients and its mozzarella is made by Italians living in Almaty. The restaurant is also known for its great desserts.
Another first class fish restaurant in the Mediterranean tradition, Porto Maltese offers its clientele their choice of fish from a display at its entrance and a variety of preparation styles including “grilled”, “salted”, “in bergamot pepper”, or “steamed.” The regular available selection includes mullet, sole, dorado, sea bass, john dory and turbot. The waiters wear long blue aprons, as if they’ve just come fresh from a seafood market, and will fillet your fish dish at the table.
Located in a giant glass globe on the 13th floor of the Koktem (Kazakh for spring) Business Center, Primavera presents one of the most stunning views in the city. We recommend the panorama at sunset (The view is also worth seeing at night when the city is lit up.) Primavera also offers views of the Tien Shan mountains to the south and the steppes to the north. The over-the-top décor includes crocodile-skin wall coverings and velvet chairs. Primavera features European and Japanese-fusion cuisine and an impressive wine list chosen by the restaurant’s own wine club.
This place offers a great selection of dishes prepared by unique Georgian recipes and an exclusive wine cellar. All wines available at the restaurant are brought from the Georgia plant with a mark ‘Especially for Racha Chacha Restaurant’.
The world’s most discriminating gourmets say the crème de la crème cuisine is French – and Almaty’s Rixos Hotel is the only fine-dining venue in Kazakhstan to boast not just one but two French chefs.
The restaurant serves gourmet international cuisine, and benefits from an outdoor terrace during the summer months. Grills and original cocktails prepared from local and exotic fruit, berries and vegetables are served on the terrace from midday to midnight in summer.
Sadu Concept Store
This restaurant/boutique offers the convenience of following lunch or dinner with boutique shopping on the same premises. With its green- and brown-striped chairs and menus, olive sofas and soothing earth tones, the cool interior of this sunlit restaurant offers a refuge from the noise, crowds and heat of an Almaty summer. Secure in his older, elite clientele Sadu’s Italian chef Simone specializes in simple Mediterranean dishes, including a variety of hand-made pastas and sauces and his original limoncello.
At night, this Middle Eastern style restaurant displays an illuminated white façade with Arabic script. It offers Moroccan, Turkish and Georgian cuisines. Specialties include lamb served in a tagine with dried fruits and chestnuts on saffron rice, salmon-spinach falafel rolls served with wasabi and tahini sauce and the famous Turkish dish, Imam Bayildi. Its Arab-style coffee is brewed from a special recipe blended with cardamon and harissa and served with a pitcher of mint-flavored water.
If you’re a fan of kitschy theme-style restaurants you’ll love Schwabsky Domik. This place is designed to look like a European village with little pitched roofs everywhere, lederhosen-clad staff who greet you with a smiling “guten tag”, and plenty of German beer on tap. And they have plenty of sausages and meat dishes with which to wash down all those draughts. An extensive wine menu is also available for those who aren’t quite in the kitschy spirit.
Located just round the corner from the InterContinental Hotel, Sumo San is popular with Japanese expatriates living in Almaty. The extensive menu offers sushi and teppyanaki among other dishes. The restaurant is also adorned with photos of sumo wrestlers. Its inviting maze of dining rooms offer a tasty bento lunch with a delicious miso. And in the summer, Sumo San offers a great outdoor seating area.
This is one of the best and favorite places of Almaty citizens, because in this restaurant you can not only have a good European and Kazakh meal, but also take a fish, to be more exact a char. After you catch your fish professional chef will cook it and serviceable waiters will serve it to your table.
Caffe del Teatro
Located immediately west of the Abai Opera and Ballet Theater, you can dine in the restaurant’s terrace garden during the warm months to the sounds of operatic rehearsals. The elegance of opera is carried into Teatralnoye’s dining room where you’ll find stately columns, silver serving trays and ornate chandeliers. A frieze of an opera also lines one wall. The menu is largely international with a French focus.
Horsemeat wrapped in pandan leaves is an unlikely but widely popular favorite here. It’s one of the best Thai restaurants in town offering first class Tom Yam Goong (spicy prawn & lemongrass soup) and Tom Kha Gai (chicken & coconut milk soup). The chefs come from Thailand and many of the delicacies are flown in every day from all over the world, delivering reliable authentic flavor and freshness. The restaurant also includes ‘Zen’ – a minimalist Japanese sushi and sashimi bar, offering popular maki and sushi.
Villa dei Fiori
This is an upscale restaurant with sophisticated design, is taking Italian cuisine in Kazakhstan to another level, providing everybody a unique culinary journey.
This remarkable restaurant offers a choice of Central Asian, European, Russian and East Asian cuisine with different dining areas and decors for each. Zhety Kazyna means Seven Treasures and it lives up to its name. A Kazakh apa or grandmother directs guests to the rooms of their choice. The main restaurant has an Uzbek theme with an open, tiled kitchen on one side with beautifully carved Uzbek columns, painted ceilings, marble fountains and arched windows with paranjas (latticed screens with a geometric designs). It offers Kazakh, Uzbek, Uighur and Dungan dishes of the highest quality. We recommend the besparmak, which is the Kazakh national dish made with meat and ribbons of home-made pasta. Zhety Kazyna also features the Zi oriental emporium which serves Japanese and Chinese dishes. A purple corridor with oriental clouds painted on the red ceiling and a dragon looping its way over the doors guides guests to private, oriental style rooms where guests squat on the floor and waitresses enter on their knees.
Opened in 2015, the restaurant has managed to establish itself for Almaty citizens as a place where the steaks can be and must be eaten. Spacious, but cosy halls, revived by various elements, summer terraces and atmospheric Arabic-style shisha bar perfectly combine classics and modernity. Ziyafet Steak House is a perfect place for lunch and dinner as there 10 original recipes of steak and a vast wine portfolio.
The menu includes European and vegetarian dishes as well as sushi and rolls. The restaurant also offers an excellent Eastern hookah and handmade fine tobacco.