Astana’s restaurant scene is like the city itself: Cutting edge and growing fast. You’ll find Indian, American, Japanese and European cuisines alongside more traditional Russian and Kazakh fare. And the restaurants themselves range from ultra-upscale hotel outlets to the fancifully-decorated Ali Baba with traditionally-clad waitresses, fountains and private cabin seating.
Chefs have been imported from around the globe to work in Astana’s finest restaurants and have brought their own unique influences. Their menus change with the seasons and with their personal preferences.
A host of international cuisines can be found at places such as Portofino, considered one of Astana’s best Italian restaurants, or the Korean House, which is popular among not only the region’s large Korean population, but many others. East West restaurant is known for its Indian cuisine and unique Soviet-era decor. And traditional Russian and Kazakh fare can also be found at the popular Epoch and Grilliage restaurants.
Those new to Kazakhstan and looking to try dishes from the Central Asian region should seek out restaurants serving the traditional shashlyk. This is a shish kabob style dish with grilled vegetables and meat. Ali Baba, located in the old city center and a short taxi ride outside the new city center, is one of the best spots to try the shashlyk. Ukrainian cuisine is also popular in Kazakhstan and for a unique Ukrainian dining experience, you can head to Melnitsa (“The Windmill”).
Whether your preference is experimental fusion or Kazakh comfort food, you’ll find it in Astana’s varied and expanding restaurant scene.
If you want to try the Kazakh national cuisine, this is the place to be. Alasha also features music bands and dancing troupes that underline the Kazakh and central Asian cultures. Definitely a go for newcomers who want to dive into the traditional Kazakh world.
Trying Kazakh national food must be on your to-do-list in Kazakhstan and Arnau restaurant will help in making this happen. The restaurant offers you a variety of traditional Kazakh meals that would mesmerize you with their taste and magnificence. Horse meat, beshbarmak, kazy are just among the many meals offered there. Adding beautiful sounds of Kazakh folk instruments will make your trip there a beautiful memory of your life.
The all-day dining venue of the Astana Marriott Hotel offering breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The world acclaimed Marriott breakfast buffet is available daily from 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. offering daily home-made bakery products. A la carte menu with a French influence, created by Benoit Letellier, Executive Chef of the Astana Marriott, is available for lunch and dinner. A wide grill selection including prime cuts, fish and seafood of the highest quality as well as Central Asia specialties are also on offer. The menu is regularly revisited to reflect seasonal products availability.
The dishes are complemented by more than 120 wines and champagnes from all over the world and a wide selection of fine spirits.
This is a popular chain restaurant, with a surprisingly impressive range in cuisine served at reasonable prices. The décor and atmosphere are only routine, but you can consistently count on good food and good service, with an amazing amount of variety in the menu. A buffet is offered during the day.
The Yessil River is one of Astana’s greatest assets and few places in the city take advantage of the waterway as much as Astana Nury Restaurant.
Nury is located directly on the right bank of the river just a few metres from the water and provides unobstructed views of the river and Astana’s modern skyline. Nury offers a large and diverse menu ranging from Azeri specials to Kazakh favourites to dishes originating elsewhere in the Caucasus, particularly Azerbaijan, and cuisines from around Europe. And the food is prepared with strict observance of national and centuries-old eastern traditions.
The idea behind the restaurant was to create a place that served high quality cuisine but that was casual and focused on family dining. With a cozy interior, stunning river views and an international menu, Astana Nury offers all of the ingredients for a beautiful evening on the water.
After the December 2010 edition of Edge, this successful Almaty chain restaurant extended its reach to Astana – and it has not disappointed. So extensive is the fare, that the restaurant’s website lists 17 different menus to cover it all. Think classic Russian dishes with a good dose of French haute influence, recreating the culinary traditions of late-Czarist Imperial St. Petersburg. Then throw in some Western taste, and you have an adult-ready, kid-friendly mesh of what the Czars may have done if they set out to create their own version of an upscale Ruby Tuesdays. Expect a menu of clay-baked lamb and veal, a steak list with more than 20 entrees, seafood, plus bar food and a children’s menu. And just when you think it’s over, they roll the dessert menu out. There’s even a hookah flavor selection that’s 50 percent off on Wednesday nights. You can enjoy phenomenal wine and spirits and live music, too. Takeout and delivery is available. Take a look at the delivery menu on their website, but it’s also worth coming here just to see the fantastic and unusual interior.
Capital Music and Pub Restaurant
For middle-aged swingers in search of a good time, you can’t do better than the Capital. Located in Astana’s spectacular new Left Bank, not far from the Baiterek Tower, it has live music featuring popular Russian and international songs. There is karaoke in the VIP room. However, the VIP room gets booked early on weekends, so call if you want to sing with your friends.
Daredzhani is restaurant that has its inspiration by travels to the Caucasus. It showcases the hospitality of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The management tried to convey the atmosphere and mood of the Caucasian countries through the interior that represents the Caucasian cuisine.
Dim Sum Chinese Restaurant
Dim Sum Chinese Restaurant, part of a well-known and extensive Good Project restaurant group, positions itself as the first restaurant in Astana offering high class Chinese Cantonese cuisine. Dim Sum gives visitors an atmosphere where they can feel comfort and warmth, not to mention gastronomic pleasures prepared by the chefs from Singapore.
Anyone who misses the Cold War or still loves old John Le Carre novels has to make a stop here. Epoch has a décor evocative of the Soviet Union – and revels in it. Old Russian-made cars are parked inside and out. This is a great theme restaurant with public and private rooms depicting Soviet-era flags and icons. It even has intelligence apparatus from the old KGB. The food is bold and innovative, including fresh fish, cooked whole, goose and rabbit, all at reasonable prices. Some areas have glass floors with memorabilia underneath. It’s a great place to party with live music and dancing on the weekends. A very good value.
Eternal Sky (Vechnoe Nebo)
The new restaurant boasts a panoramic view of the whole left bank from the 25th floor featuring the nine cuisines of Turkic peoples of central Asia. The food is excellent and the prices are moderate, which make this restaurant worth the trip and enjoy the view.
Tremendous fun, and a dream place to bring kids of all ages. Everyone loves the Ali Baba, located just off the great curve of the Ishim Embankment. It’s over-the-top festive nomad in style and décor with the waiting staff in traditional costumes. There is even a lavish play area for young children. Walt Disney couldn’t have done it better. The terrace is popular in summer, with fountains and private cabins. And did we mention? – The food is excellent, sophisticates fly up from Almaty to savor it. Try their chebureks (a pastry with meat inside); warm and fresh they are spectacular. A little pricey, but well worth it. No trip to Astana is complete until you’ve dined here.
Fat Sheep (Zhirnaya Ovechka)
A combination of the soothing zen atmosphere and delicious Chinese food makes this restaurant stand out in the city.
French Brasserie Capri
Located in the Radisson Hotel alongside the Ishim (Esil) River, this is simply one of the best restaurants in Central Asia. Cuisine is limited in scope and there is no ethnic taste to it. But if you fly in straight from Cannes, you’ll feel right at home. The Mediterranean cuisine is outstanding. This is also one of the prime locales for sophisticated swingers on a Friday night. Expensive but worth it – provided you have the money and the taste.
Another five-star location for the social set and the hard partiers, Fusion is a classy, top-level restaurant right above the Fashion night club. One unusual feature is that the restaurant sports three main rooms with a different ethnic menu in each, so select your preference before sitting down. The Japanese room is particularly interesting with small wooden bridges over “rivers” of small white stones, surrounded by a wall of glass. The VIP-Fusion room has extra-comfortable furniture and a large plasma TV screen as well as karaoke. Free Wi-Fi.
A taste of Argentinian steak has been introduced to Astana. Located about 10 minutes by car from the left bank, in the center of the Eurasia district, Gaucho’s interior puts you in the middle of a romantic Argentine “villa” with a fire place and bullfighters. The menu is Argentinian with steaks, salsa, focacca bread and right at the entrance there’s an open grill where you can watch your meal being cooked and smell the taste of it.
Coming from Moscow, Il Forno is a piece of Italy in Astana where you can try favorite Italian meals for quite good price. Il Forno will surprise the most sophisticated taste and expectations.
Japan has always been a mystery to the Western part of the world – its culture, its traditions and of course its food! Izumi Tay (rock-fish – Japanese) has showcased the best of Japan since 2005 in Astana and is considered by many to be the best Japanese restaurant in the Kazakhstani capital. Sushi, sashimi, miso soup and other Japanese tasty dishes are served in the best Japanese traditions. The restaurant is located on the left bank at the foot of the KazMunaiGaz building.
Kiku Matsuri offers high quality authentic Japanese cuisine. It is an ideal place for family gatherings. It is located right near the centre of the left bank close to Kahn Shatyr shopping mall. Lean Japanese minimalism and customer care is what characterizes Kiku Matsuri.
Kishlak is another super-comfortable Uzbek spot with a really interesting interior, with streams running inside and raised platforms and comfortable cushions. The waiting staff is dressed in Uzbek national garb. The lagman is popular, and comes in clay pots. This place is packed with business people for lunch, but is kind of a party spot during weekends.
A part of Restaurant Alley. There are now a lot of South Koreans working at any one time in Kazakhstan, not to mention the fact that there are a lot of people who simply adore Korean food, so this restaurant does a healthy amount of business. It also offers a good introduction to Korean cuisine. The restaurant says its chefs have been trained by great masters from South Korea, and the service is excellent.
This is another dining place that looks like a medieval castle from the outside (actually built in a transformed old water tower). But there’s a very cozy atmosphere inside with an open spit-grill where you can watch the meat cooking. This restaurant offers a wide range of shish kebabs. It’s popular among foreigners, yet quite pricey. Line Brew has some of the best steaks and barbecue in Kazakhstan, which are often cooked over open flame. It also has great fondue and has extensive wine list. This is also a place known for its selection of beer. It salads are made artfully. You can see some live music here, but it is not overwhelmingly loud.
The Rixos President Hotel re-launched in September 2011 its primary restaurant as the new L’Olivo Ristorante.
The idea behind L’Olivo was to add a unique dining experience with an Italian and Mediterranean feel to Astana’s restaurant scene. The restaurant’s interior reflects a classic Italian style with light but rustic colours and welcoming deep walnut- and vanilla-coloured furniture in front of the restaurant’s large front window.
The menu offers modern Italian dishes without forgetting the cuisine’s traditional roots. The Milano, Italy-born chef prepares house made pastas daily with specials rooted in Italian basics such as Parma ham. The restaurant’s Minestrone soup and beef Carpaccio on rocket leaves are also highly recommended.
The restaurant strives for authenticity in everything it does from the Italian music playing in the background to its Italian beverages to its monthly specials.
Melnica “The Windmill”
Located in Restaurant Alley, Melnica offers traditional Ukrainian country home-cooked style food. Decorated like a traditional Ukrainian farm house, in the summer the garden is used to grow vegetables, including tomatoes, corn, pumpkins and herbs. Tables and private dining areas are scattered about the garden among the vegetables. The maître d’ is well known as a character in the Astana restaurant world. When you leave, you get a small bag of sunflower seeds.
Located on the 3rd floor of the Ritz Carlton Astana, MÖKKI offers handcrafted cuisine complemented by seasonal flavors and locally sourced producers.
The chefs table where anyone can have the ultimate culinary experience features only chef recommended menus and specialty food items. Service is directly from the adjoining kitchen.
An experience that embodies freshness, skill and a sense of daily renewal.
O’Hara Irish Pub and Brewery
O’HARA – is a bit of a warm and friendly part of the Irish capital in Kazakhstan. Here one can enjoy the exclusive beers that are brewed in its own private brewery, situated directly in the restaurant, as well as a delicious fusion menu from the Chef of the Guild of Chefs. The spectacular impression makes the elegant interior, which is proud, but not arrogant sense of gentility and the opportunity to personally see the specifics of the Irish way of life.
Olivier Restaurant & Bar offers a great variety of dishes of European, Russian and Asian cuisines accompanied by the stylish interior design and the paintings of the modern artist George Pusenkoff in the hall of the restaurant. During the summer, guests are welcomed to spend their time in a summer terrace with a fascinating view to the city’s beautiful streets. Olivier Restaurant & Bar welcomes guests 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
On the Roof (Na Krishe)
In the vibrant flavors of Astana, On the Roof restaurant belonging to a well-known Good Project group offers people an escape to a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere, stylish design and unique dining experience with an extensive bar menu and shisha varieties. A breathtaking panoramic view from the restaurant’s summer terrace will be a fine addition to your business lunch or warm evening gatherings. If you would like to have some privacy, On the Roof offers a separate room.
Pane & Vino
Pane and Vino is a little Italy in the middle of the steppe — True Italian cuisine followed by imported fine Italian wines.
If you’re feeling cold or blue, this is the place to come to replenish your soul with traditionally hearty German food and beer. The restaurant is decorated in a traditional German country atmosphere, but the music is livelier. On Fridays and Saturdays, you can enjoy live Jazz and Blues. On weekdays there is an all-you-can- eat buffet.
This high-end establishment is considered one of the top Italian restaurants in Astana. It also diversifies with great confidence into the vastly different Japanese cuisine as well. Located in Restaurant Alley.
If you love to cook but hate to clean, you’ll love Most Restaurant. Most customers have access to tableside grills where they can prepare their own meat, fish and vegetables. Everything is provided, but customers are able to ensure that their steaks, for example, are cooked to the temperature they prefer. The entrees are then served with a fine whiskey or wine chosen from Most’s extensive drink menu. The mix of self service, unique interior and tasty drinks have helped Most build a loyal local following.
Most is constructed on two levels and offers a VIP hall, karaoke, Wifi and a big screen television showing sports from around the world. Managers say they are striving for a comfortable, casual style and plan to expand in spring 2012 with outdoor seating
Sadu is a restaurant and café in the Keruen Mall, offers bright and airy resting spots. An elegant dining room offers a large menu of Italian and Japanese cuisines. Snacks and fuller dishes are located upstairs.
This is good restaurant with good portions of delicious food, and they also feature special entertainment programs. The centre of the restaurant is beautifully decorated like an opera stage, and offers excellent acoustics for entertainers who sing both traditional Kazakh and popular international ballads. A host introduces the entertainment, which includes comedy and music. It serves breakfast, as well as a business lunch for 1,700 tenge, and offers a separate children’s menu. With good service, it’s a strong choice for holding special banquets. It seats 350 people, and has a VIP hall for 30.
Soul Kitchen Restaurant
Soul Kitchen Restaurant is a perfect choice for family dinners or special dates, as it immerses you in a cozy and warm atmosphere. Opening its doors last year, it has won the hearts of many people.
Tarantino Bar & Grill
Tarantino – the first restaurant of Turbo Group company in the capital Kazakhstan, which presents interesting interior design solutions reflecting the mood of legendary films director, shabby buff couches, metal, an outdoor concrete, unusual light and colors. The menu is based on Japanese, Italian and American cuisine. The restaurant hall is equipped with modern high-quality acoustic system that delivers powerful and clear sound. On weekends Tarantino will operate as a bar with live band performances and guest DJ.
Georgia is known as the “Italy of the Caucus,” although Georgian cuisine is little known outside the former Soviet Union. But is has always been famous for its hearty opulence. Tiflis is a good place to discover it.
Located in the city’s restaurant alley, this is a part of a hotel with the same name. Throughout its existence this restaurant has maintained a high standard of Russian cuisine.
There is an elegant fountain in a large private area, a garden with trees and green lawn made around, and from the summer terrace you can open a royal view to the high-status sights of Astana – Opera and Ballet Astana Opera, Khan Shatyr, residential complex Triumph of Astana and others.
Anyone dreaming of char-broiled, Latin American style grill will not be disappointed by this authentic replication of Latino fare – simply muy bueno!
Located in the Sine Tempore shopping mall, Venice is one of the oldest restaurants in “new” Astana. Fantastic pizza, as one might surmise from the name.
Vista Restaurant & Bar
Located on the 27th floor of Marriott hotel Vista Restaurant & Bar is designed for recreation, meetings with friends, family and colleagues. Feel the rhythm of the city and discover new facets of flavors and aromas in a breathtaking atmosphere. The menu of Vista Restaurant & Bar has fusion elements of European and Asian cuisine. During the weekend DJ plays tranquil lounge music, creating a pleasant mood at the bar and the restaurant. A separate VIP room for 12 persons with fully equipped karaoke system will enable you to rest in pleasant surroundings.
Selection of fine wines and champagnes includes over 120 kinds from different countries of the world, as well as wide range of spirits and cocktails.
Yakitoriya is a fairly new Japanese restaurant that can be easily rated among the top joints in the young capital. It is located along the Turan Ave. – the Restaurant Alley as the locals refer to it, and boasts some exquisite high-tech decor and lovely service.
This lively establishment is a testament to Astana’s rising taste for diverse Asian cuisine. While the overall menu includes traditional Kazakh and European fare, it clearly caters to Chinese and other mainland Asian palates. You can also rack up some billiards before or after your meal, and on select nights, your ears will be treated to themed live music. All told, the place most certainly has the stuff for a full night out.