Restaurants in Almaty
Dastarkhan Food Self-Service restaurant (Nauryzbay Batyr 122/124; working hours 24hr) A slightly upmarket cafeteria with a big choice including salads, laghman, plov, Uzbek shorpa (mutton and vegetable soup) and bifstroganof. Huge queues at lunchtimes Monday to Friday.
Kimep Grill restaurant (Abay 4; working hours 8am-8pm) The bright, clean cafeteria of the Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics & Strategic Research is open to all and serves out goodvalue soups, salads, laghman, manty, plov and meat dishes.
Kaganat restaurant (Abylay Khan 105); Bogenbay Batyr (Bogenbay Batyr 148); Dostyk (Dostyk 108);
Satpaev restaurant (Satpaev 7A). This very popular cafeteria chain will feed you satisfactorily and cheaply any time of day or night. Soups, salads, breads, assorted hot mains and desserts are on offer.
Zhazira restaurant (Zhambyl 175; working hours 10am-10pm). There’s very good Dungan (Chinese Muslim) food at this clean and efficient spot, at good prices. You can’t go wrong with the guyru or suyru laghman (the suyru has larger strips of meat) or the guyru-to-myan (fried laghman). Four people could share the spicy chicken-and-potato dish dapan-dzhi.
Traktir Zhili-Byli (Kurmangazy 43; working hours noon-midnight). Good-value of Russian food.
Bombolo restaurant (Zhibek Zholy between Abylay Khan & Panfilov; working hours 11am-2am Mon-Wed, 11am-4am Thu-Sat, 2pm-2am Sun) A nice place to eat outdoors in the summer, with shashlyk, pancakes and an international selection of meat dishes and salads.
Restoran Printsessa (Princess; Tolebaev 53; working hours noon-midnight). Come to this large, bustling restaurant just off Gogol for a filling Chinese meal. The menu offers a big choice including a good chicken, chilli and peanuts dish.
Namaste restaurant (corner Satpaev & Baytursynuly; working hours 11am-midnight). A small, tranquil restaurant that does excellent Indian, Thai and Chinese food – great for vegetarians.
Zheti Kazyna restaurant (Abylay Khan 58A; working hours noon-midnight) This exotically decorated, Central Asian–themed restaurant is a place to come for quality regional cooking. Old favourites such as manty, laghman, shashlyk, samsa and spicy Dungan noodles are styled for the Western palate, and there are Kazakh specialities including beshbarmak (flat noodles with meat or vegetable broth) and horse steaks. On the same premises are equally popular European and Japanese-Chinese eateries, and you can order from any of the three menus in any part. The entrance is actually on Makataev.
Koreana restaurant (Masanchi 98; working hours noon-midnight) Neat, unpretentious and entered through a food shop, Koreana is one of the best of Almaty’s several Korean restaurants, and definitely not the most expensive. Try the bulfogi (marinated beef), bibimpab (a rice, egg, meat and vegetable dish) or kimchi (marinated cabbage) and try to leave room for the tedjantige, a meat, vegetable, tofu and bean paste soup, eaten at the end of the meal. Bowls of Korean salads come free with most main dishes.
Mama Mia restaurant (Gogol 87; working hours 11am-midnight). A bright, relaxed, little pizza/pasta/salad house, with efficient service and a good choice of tasty food.
Samba Grill restaurant (Abylay Khan 83; working hour 24hr). The thing to order at this popular place is the Brazilian-style rodizio, which comprises soup, salads and grilled meats that keep coming to your table till you can manage no more. A band plays rock and samba in the evenings, and the outdoor terrace is nice on a summer night.
Safran restaurant (Dostyk 36; working hours noon-midnight) Flavoursome Middle Eastern food in a beautiful Middle Eastern setting makes Safran a great place to head when you have 6000T to 8000T to spend on dinner. Tasty dishes range from hummus and falafel to Moroccan chicken with pumpkin-and-ginger sauce.
L’Affiche restaurant (Kabanbay Batyr 83; working hours 9am-1am Mon-Thu, 9am-4am Fri, 11am-4am Sat, 2pm-1am Sun) This elegant Euro-style cafe-restaurant has large-scale Gauguin reproductions covering its ceiling. It’s good for anything from a coffee-and-dessert stop to a salad or an haute-cuisine dinner of pumpkin cream soup and baked lamb shank.
Thai restaurant (Dostyk 50; working hours 11am-11pm) A very swish restaurant with a pleasant outdoor summer terrace, specialising in high-quality Thai and Japanese dishes. The emphasis is on fish and seafood.
Self-Catering - There are plenty of large, well-stocked supermarkets with many Western imports on their shelves.
Yubileyny (corner Gogol & Abylay Khan; working hours 24hr) One of the biggest central supermarkets, with a deli. There are several quick-eat and take-away food options out the front, too, with inexpensive doughnuts, bliny (pancakes), plov, baursaki and more.
Stolichny (corner Abylay Khan & Kabanbay Batyr; working hours 24hr) Best-quality goods of any downtown supermarket, a huge wine section and a good deli counter.
Green Market (Zelyony Bazar, Kok Bazar; Zhibek Zholy 53; working hours 8am-6pm Tue-Sun) Stalls at this large, two-level central market are piled with nuts, fresh and dried fruit, smoked fish, spices, fruit jams and preserves, ready-made Korean salads, vegetables, medicinal herbs, cheeses, sausages and enormous hunks of fresh meat. You can get kymyz, shubat and freshly squeezed pomegranate juice here too. Cafes dotted around the place will serve you a bowl of laghman or plov with tea and bread.
Two good supermarkets are in the Silk Way City (Tole Bi 71; working hours 24hr) and Ramstor (Furmanov 226; working hours 9am-11pm) shopping centres.