Kyrgyz Cuisine in Bishkek
Visiting Bishkek and not trying Kyrgyz food would definitely be a mistake. So this piece of our Bishkek Atlas guide, which was inspired by one of the best Russian media, Meduza, we dedicate to some of the best places in town to try Kyrgyz national cuisine. The majority of Bishkek's restaurants try to include main Kyrgyz meals, so you will find mantys, beshbarmak or shorpo along with European cuisine in their menus, but in this list we are concentrating on those more focused on Kyrgyz cuisine.
This place is not accidentally in our list of 12 Must-See Places in Bishkek. Two things this place has are delicious Kyrgyz food and low prices policy. This set explains why the place is almost always crowded and the owners had to open a second spot in the upper part of Bishkek.
On top of trying Kyrgyz cuisine this place also offers to feel nomadic culture — the entire complex was built of stone, leather, clay, wood and other material available to ancient nomads. While it is not actually in Bishkek, it's definitely worth a ride. No wonder it's made it to our Around Bishkek: Going Out of Town list.
Yr Kese is a relatively new place in Bishkek and the city has waited for a long time for such a place to open. The entire concept of the place is built around Kyrgyz national flavor — from its name, which refers to a national tradition, up to its interior with Kyrgyz ornaments and Kyrgyz cuisine. It feels like you enter a huge traditional yurt in downtown Bishkek.
This chain of 'chaihanas', which translate as 'tea houses' from Kyrgyz have turned popular almost instantly. Navat serves Kyrgyz cuisine and has traditional style interior. There's one almost in every part of Bishkek, but the best one is downtown on Togolok Moldo street.
One of the oldest national cuisine chains in town is Arzu. You want to go for the one downtown on Togolok Moldo street, which is the chain's oldest restaurant. The chain is now experimenting trying to become more western-style, but we are looking for the Kyrgyz national cuisine, right? And Arzu has more than enough to offer.
Barashek means 'lamb' from Russian. As you've already figured out, the latter plays a major role in Kyrgyz cuisine. If you're in a group, make sure you try a whole grilled lamb.
This one belongs to the same chain as Barashek. Tiubeteika means a national head-wear popular in Central Asia and the restaurant has the matching interior and cuisine. There are already two of them in Bishkek, but the old one on Turusbekov street is the one you want.