A good bar is like a good friend – comfortable, familiar and there when you need them. And Astana is a friendly place. Here you’ll be able to find a local joint to enjoy everything from Kazakh shashlyk and Russian Karaoke to French Fries and American Rhythm and Blues music.
Bars in the Kazakh capital also differentiate themselves from nightclubs in that the bars don’t usually play techno or house and are more conducive to enjoying a cold pint and good conversation than all night dancing.
Karaoke, however, remains a staple of the Astana bar scene and there are plenty of places to enjoy it. Among the favorites is the 8 Drops Music Club. 8 Drops has two locations in Astana offering Kazakh, Russian, American and European songs. They also encourage tables to compete with the crowd deciding which table sings best. It’s a good time. Orioke bar is another favorite place to test your pipes. They offer a huge variety of songs from the latest rap to traditional Kazakh folk. And, if you’re really bad, they’ll provide backup singers.
Astana also offers a host of Emerald Isle themed pubs where you’ll always find quality Guinness on tap. Among the favorites are Sligo Irish Pub, Rixos Irish Bar and the nearly Irish, Chelsea English Pub. Or if you’re looking for an old fashioned American-style bar, head to Guns N’ Roses. This place is a favorite with expats and offers live Rock’n’Roll on weekends. Its walls are also lined with black and white photos of American movie and music icons.
You’ll also be able to find a friendly game of pool or billiards at many of the city’s bars. Albion bar is popular and offers Russian billiards.
So if you have a taste for draft beer, singing in public or beating your business partner in a game of billiards, you’ll have a good time in Astana.
8 Drops Music Club
8 Drops is a karaoke club with two locations. The song list includes Russian, Kazakh, American and European numbers. 8 Drops holds competitions between tables. Those at the tables sing as teams, and the crowd votes for their favorite. The host eggs people on to jump in.
This billiards bar has 12-foot pool tables or, if you’re in the mood for a challenge, Russian billiards.
This recently opened venue, directly above the Che Guevera bar, offers rural Balkan cuisine. Since it’s new, only time will tell how Astana takes to it. But with its comfort and good food, we predict it will be popular in no time.
Beermac Bar (Khan Shatyr)
This newly opened, modern bar is a nice place to stop for a beer or snack while shopping in Astana’s largest mall. The menu includes a range of pastries and cookies.
Boulevard Grill Bar
This popular grill’s menu has European, Japanese and Caucasus meals. The Boulevard is across the street from Cafestar in the Singing Fountains alley near Baiterek Tower. It has 25 types of shashlyk (shish kebabs) and steaks. Customers can watch the cooks using an open fire, which not only adds to the taste, but also to the atmosphere. The bar has two levels with large plasma TVs and quiet background music.
Chelsea English Pub
Chelsea offers European and Chinese cuisine. Patrons can watch live sports on one of its large TVs. Its VIP room is terrific.
Cigar Bar-Radisson Astana
This bar has comfortable leather chairs that give it the feel of a traditional British study. It also has numerous TVs. There are all types of cigars, including Cubans, along with great coffee and service.
Cinzano Bar has something for everyone. It’s a place to have a good time and quality cocktails but also offers a large award-winning menu.
As a bar, Cinzano has a friendly, fun vibe and a colourful interior designed in a 1960s pop art style. You can chill on private couches surrounded by curtains or join the party at the bar. Cinzano serves cocktail favourites such as mojitos and margaritas as well as more exotic fare such Cinzano’s “Black Cosmopolitan.” On weekends, DJs offer house, beat and lounge music.
But Cinzano is more than just a party. It’s one of Astana’s best eateries with a large European and Japanese menu. The sushi is great and they offer traditional Saki. Cinzano also offers appetizers ranging from American chicken wings with barbecue sauce to European sausages to grilled tiger prawns. It’s a great place for a party and a meal.
Comfort Hotel Astana Bar
This bar is popular partly because Kazakh celebrities often stay at the hotel. Patrons linger, hoping to run into one of them. The hotel is elegant, with a feel of old Europe.
This beer bar offers great shashlyk and live music.
Fair Play Sports Bar
If you’re far from home, but don’t want to miss a match by your hometown team or any of this summer’s Olympic action, then Fair Play Sports Bar is the place to go. This Astana bar is reminiscent of an old English pub. English national team accessories are showcased in every nook and cranny. But this is a true sports bar and the staff welcomes supporters of any team or nation. Fair play Sports Bar is one of Astana’s best places to watch your favorite team because it offers six large screen televisions and two large wall screens offering a view of the action from anywhere in the establishment. The bar also has a state-of-the-art speaker system so you can hear the commentary.
Graff Lounge Bar and Karaoke
A slower, more relaxed lounge conducive to making connections and discussing serious deals. Part of the Astana Park Hotel, Graff is quiet and discreet. It offers many services and entertainment is available. Patrons can order from the big menu of the Chalet restaurant. The venue includes a karaoke bar, VIP zones, three saunas and billiards. Graff holds invitation-only VIP parties on special occasions – an opportunity to make important connections if you can get in. It has no face control, but regular clientele understand they need to be in business or business casual dress. Graff has a more mature crowd than many bars – upper 20s and older. Its DJs play a mix of contemporary music. When there are parties the emphasis is often on rock and roll classics.
Guns n’ Roses is an up-market Irish pub serving draft beer and ale. The house band, Silently Screaming, gets the crowd moving. Both expatriates and local professionals dig the music. You can spot any Guns n’ Roses in Kazakhstan easily because all have red British Telecom boxes outside their main entrances. Guns n’ Roses recently decided to add an on-location butcher. So its steaks should be some of the best in Astana. Guns is a bit pricey. But you can find some of the pub grub you enjoy in the West at an affordable price.
This place used to be a nightclub, but was converted to a bar because neighbors complained about the noise. It quickly became popular in its new role. One attraction is its reasonably-priced steaks. Its restaurant is at street level, with the bar on top.
Kega Sports Bar
This is a large venue full of big-screen TVs showing sports from across the globe. Popular among young people, it is linked to the Kega beer brand.
Good beer and tongue-in-cheek nostalgia for the days of Soviet pride and power guarantee a good time. A great location for dates or for partying with friends after a long work day. Just the place for today’s hipsters born just when the Soviet era was fading.
You can enjoy live music and various types of shows at the Krushovitsa, as well as Czech food with your beer.
Kyoto operates on a bold and original concept – a bar in a shopping mall for those who hate shopping. But it works. And of course, the bar attracts a lot of happy and grateful shoppers as well. The atmosphere is carefully designed to be soothing and relaxing.
Little Goats Bar
If you loved the 2000 movie Coyote Ugly or the American bar on which it was based, you’ll love Astana’s Little Goats bar. America’s first Coyote Ugly opened in New York City in 1993 and its hallmark quickly became beautiful bartenders who could dance on the bar, breathe fire, and beat many customers in drinking contests. And just like in America’s Coyote Ugly bars, customers at Little Goats have the opportunity from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. to dance on the establishment’s bar. And Little Goats – like Coyote Ugly – is known for its beautiful “Little Goats” female bartenders who chat and drink with the customers. The bartenders also encourage customers to keep the party going until first light at 5 a.m. and holds contests for the best dance with a Little Goat. It’s designed like an old American country garage with saddle-style chairs and a big bar. The joint also offers two VIP rooms and sofas for conversation.
Mindal is a good place for meetings. You can do business at the same time you’re relaxing. Or you can celebrate a special event.
Mojo has been open since fall 2012 and has become popular. This is a huge place with TV screens and the smell of fresh cut wood, a rich interior and walls made of glass so passersby can watch what is going on inside. Mojo offers comfortable revolving chairs and large tables for big groups to enjoy the sporting events shown on its big TVs. For more privacy clients can choose to go upstairs. The menu ranges from Italian ravioli to Greek salad and shashlyks.
In addition to having a name rhyming with karaoke, this venue is known for its huge song menu, ranging from Kazakh folk to rap. Have fun!
Pivnitsa is Russian for – loosely translated – “a place to have a beer.” And this “Pivnitsa” doesn’t disappoint. In terms of its Czech charm, the entrance is a long hallway that reminds you of a covered street in a Czech village. But the real attraction of Pivnitsa is as a place to have a beer. The bar’s signature beer is called Kelly and in 2011, this Czech brew won a bronze medal at a beer festival in its home country. Pivnitsa also provides tasty cuisine to go along with its award winning beer. The chef, who lived in Germany for seven years, adds creative twists to traditional European cuisine and offers some of the best sausages in Astana.
This is one of the newest and biggest lounges in Astana. Its classy VIP room includes karaoke and a plasma TV. It also has a cigar room, a dance floor and a water pipe lounge. This is a midrange-priced bar, not terribly expensive, but not cheap, either.
Q Night Bar
The Q Night Bar follows a Kazakhstan tradition of some bars becoming nightclubs as evening wears on. It can be a lot of fun to watch the scene evolving from subdued to people dancing like crazy. Q Night caters to the young, with loud house music and flashing lights.
Rixos Irish Pub
Rixos’ Irish Bar is spacious and has a pool table and live music. Some of Kazakhstan’s hottest bands play there. In addition to songs that everyone’s heard of, the groups perform their own originals. The Rixos is Astana’s premium hotel, so it shouldn’t be surprising that the menu is a bit expensive. There are affordable items however. The bottled beers are cheaper than draft. Depending on what brand you choose, vodka and cognac can be reasonable. The Irish Bar is a hangout for those who have attended important events in Astana, such as the Astana Energy Forum. It often is the location of a post-event cocktail party. Many event-goers end up migrating to the Rixos after other parties. This means it can be a great place to make contacts. Don’t be surprised if you see well-known faces. The food is excellent. Snacks at the cocktail parties are tastier and the presentations better than at other venues that offer this service.
Astana’s skyline is known internationally for its unique buildings designed by the world’s greatest architects. And with the vast Eurasian steppe just beyond its borders, it’s a sight to behold. One of the best places to take in that view is Sky Bar. You can enjoy this three-year-old bar’s extensive cocktail menu and techno music while taking in the full view of Astana through floor-to-ceiling windows.
Sligo Irish pub
This is a two-level pub with an Irish and continental European menu, and Wi-Fi. You can catch live music here on Fridays and Saturdays.
Staut Beer Bar
It’s hard to beat live music and quality beer for a good time. And Staut Beer Bar offers both. On Thursdays, you can jam to a live “Americano” band and on Sundays, Staut switches to the smooth sounds of the Saz Keruyen saxophone band. Weekends feature the sounds of DJ Cult.Staut is also a comfortable bar and restaurant where you can watch a football game, smoke hookah or enjoy Staut’s meat-heavy menu, including European grilled beef, chicken and lamb and spicy sausages. Staut also offers numerous types of beer and a full cocktail menu.
Staut’s crowd leans toward the under 30 set and the bar attracts lots of college students. But anyone who loves good food, good music and a laid back vibe will have a good time at Staut.
Stolichny offers a wide range of ethnic a food, including Italian, Russian, Uygur, Kazakh and Eastern.
The Wall Lounge Bar offers European style along with a down-home, friendly atmosphere. During the early evening, the venue is an upscale bar and in the later hours it transforms into a hopping nightclub with a rotating list of DJs. There is no cover charge and the dress code is casual. So just show up and enjoy.
A nice, quiet bar with background music. It has a VIP room and Wi-Fi.
Vista Bar & Lounge
The menu offers a fusion of European and Asian cuisines served in small portions. The ideal concept is to share and discover new tastes and flavors. Their menu delights your taste buds by offering a wide array of dishes served throughout the day and evening. Private dining room is available for you to enjoy privacy with a boardroom table for up to 12 guests, fully equipped with a karaoke system.
Vista also offers spectacular views of the city. The sitting consists of a mixture of dining chairs, banquettes, which are appropriate for dining, as well as a communal table to add conviviality to your experience at Vista Bar & Lounge. Their DJs play soft lounge background music at medium volume to create a lively atmosphere that is a mix between club, bar and restaurant on weekends.
The beverage selection include more than 120 wines and champagnes from all over the world and a wide selection of fine spirits and cocktails.
The Vista Bar & Lounge is located on the 27th and 28th floor of Astana Marriott and is open 7 days a week.
Smart and stylish lounge bar with a slick, streamlined interior. Many local and expat business people frequent Why Not?, so it’s a place to make business contacts as well as have a good time. Why Not? is something in between a restaurant and a lounge with a calm, subdued design. Its neutral colors, plus the comfort of its couches and dark wooden furniture, help patrons to relax, coaxing them to stay for the evening after they’ve had something to eat. Why Not?, which has been open for five years, is in the same building as the well-known Zhibek Zholy restaurant. The bar’s extensive menu includes selections from Zhibek Zholy. Why Not? tends to be popular with a professional crowd in their mid-20s and up. It has DJs pumping out lounge and house. The music, which appeals to a wide variety of people, creates a kind of calm party atmosphere. Why Not? holds Tasty Thursdays each week with special prices on cocktails and desserts. The second floor is a smoking bar filled with the sweet smells of tobacco coming from kalyan, or water pipes, which are a rage across Kazakhstan. Why Not? is moderately priced.