Regional Dishes in Kyrgyzstan
As the most cosmopolitan place in Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek is home to restaurants with some of the best and most diverse food in Kyrgyzstan. But for the most authentic cuisine, it’s best to travel to the regions.
Osh is known for the best plov. Many restaurants will have plov available, or it can be ordered with several hours advance notice. For those that may think that plov is too a simple dish, it is recommended to to try plov in Osh. Plov in Osh often features special types of rice that make this dish especially light yet rich.
Karakol has the best ashlamfu, which is a cold and spicy noodle dish. Because of its proximity to China, Karakol and Issyk-Kul in general have a lot of Uyghur and Dungan restaurants. These two ethnic groups have large populations in China, though they are Muslim. Lagman and ashlamfu are two of the most famous dishes from these two groups, and the best versions can be found in Karakol. Ashlamfu is popular in the summer as a light and refreshing meal in hot weather.
Naryn is famous for having the best meat in Kyrgyzstan, mostly because this region is home to the most herdsmen. Naryn is almost entirely mountainous, with the central Tian Shan passing straight through the region, and so there are lots of rich summer pastures for herds. This gives the meat the best flavor of any region in Kyrgyzstan.
Talas is best known for its beshbarmak. This is the region of Kyrgyzstan that cooks the most beshbarmak, and where the dish is the most popular. Beshbarmak is the quintessential Kyrgyz dish, and this region is one of the best places to get it.