American University of Central Asia - AUCA - Eating


AUCA has Four cafeterias featuring local dishes for the cheapest prices in the city.

For those who want to cook their own food, there are a variety of bazaars and markets featuring spices from China, South Korea, and other countries.

Orto-Sai bazaar - 7th district

Ak-Emir market - Shopokova/Moskovskaya St.

Osh bazaar - 26 Zelenaya St.

There are also many restaurants and cafes throughout the city. Our favourite markets and places to eat are listed below:

Aroma Pizza

0312 87-88-88

Tynystanova/Pushkina St.


Moskva Café

0312 398 398

19 Razzakova/Moskovskaya St.


Here is what The Spectator Guide (an online magazine about life in Bishkek) offers:

Approximate price guide

(Main course, garnish, and a cup of tea)

$ - Expect change from 150 som
$$ - A little over 200 should do the trick
$$$ - Expect to pay in the region of 350
$$$$ - A crisp 500 (or more) needed in this joint


Hollywood* (Druzhba/Sovietskaya)
As you would probably guess, decorated with movie posters, photos of cinema icons and a bunch of American kitsch. Hollywood is popular with a younger crowd and is usually packed from mid-evening onwards. A fun place for a few drinks before heading off to the clubs. $$

Metro* (133, Chui)
In the impressive location of a former theatre, Metro remains the premiere drinking hole for ex-pats. A high ceiling, a long bar and friendly staff compliment a good Tex-Mex menu and a wide selection of drinks. Metro is one of the best bets for catching sporting events on TV, although thanks to the hideously late kick-off times for Champions League football matches, don't count on the staff waiting up unless it's a big one. $$$

New York Pizza (177, Kievskaya)
Call 0312 664871 for takeaway orders
Decorated with pictures of the Big Apple and serving a fine selection of steaks and other American themed dishes, NYP is sure to get New Yorkers thinking of home. Also serves what many believe to be the best pizza in town. $$$

Smokie's (Donetskaya/Zhukeyeva-Pudovkin)
Bishkek's first and only traditional American barbeque restaurant serves pit-smoked spicy beef brisket, ribs, pork shoulder, lamb legs, and chicken quarters. Well, worth the trek out to Orto-Sai market in the cooler half of the city. Enjoy a range of cocktails and spirits too. $$$


Landau (Manas/Gorky)
Fancy something a little different? If you can tolerate the arthritic service, Landau isn't a bad spot for a pork steak or some other Armenian culinary goodies. Also, treat yourself to some decent Armenian conjac whilst your here, you'll never go near Bishkek conjac again. Ever. $$$


Ak-Bata (108, Ibraimova)
This place must serve up pretty authentic dishes as it's almost always full of Chinese playing mah-jong and wave their chopsticks about. Smoky and stuffy, but in a nice way. $$

Chuchvara Hoga (117, Chui)
With this Chinese restaurant, a little out of the way and rarely visited by tourists, you really feel that you're getting the real deal. Request a hoga (your own personal Chinese boiling-pot) and randomly select a variety of unusual Chinese delicacies to throw in. Beware of the 'spicy' sauce, although delicious it may leave delicate stomachs in some distress several hours later - consider the 'not-spicy' sauce as a suitable alternative. $$

Frunze (Pravda/Chui)
Free semechki is one of many reasons to check out this lively hangout, rammed with Chinese at lunch and dinner time. The menu is encyclopaedic in terms of scope, but if you're feeling bewildered just point to something tasty-looking on a neighbouring table like we did. $$

Peking Duck I & II (Sovietskaya/Druzhba & Chui/Togolok Moldo)
Call 0312 660372 for takeaway orders
Huge portions to feed even the biggest of gluttons and an English language menu that provides plenty of amusing translations. Dancing occasionally kicks off on more raucous evenings in the Sovietskaya establishment. We recommend the chicken gun bo with peanuts and the golden mushroom salad. $$

Shaolin (Zhibek Zholu/Prospect Mir)
This tidy looking restaurant sticks out for its sheer range of oriental dishes and its large round tables that make it ideal for extended gatherings. $$


Mimino (27, Kievskaya)
Mimino is nice, cosy and serves up bowl-fulls of steaming, hearty Georgian fare with pomegranate seeds a-plenty. We recommend the Georgian cheese bread and anything that’s served in a pot. Watch out for an Uncle Joe look-a-like at the door. $$$


Steinbrau* (5, Gerzena)
Don your beer drinking trousers and head down to Bishkek’s take on a Bavarian-style beer hall. They brew their own stuff - such a relief from the insipid bilge that’s normally sold as a lager. Compliment your pint with a plate of German sausage with sauerkraut. $$$

Vienna (Moscow/Soviet - tucked away slightly off the main street on the south-east side of the intersection)
Actually an Austrian restaurant, but subsumed into our German section in the name of the Anschluss. Vienna is a cracking little place to people watch over some great European dishes and a glass of fine Austrian wine. If you didn't know that Austria produced fine wines, you can check out the adjoining shop to begin your viticultural education. Vienna is spelt BEHA in Russian. $$$


12 Chimneys (Teplikluchy village)
Wooden cabin located by a rushing river thirty minutes out of town. The overpriced food is more than compensated for by the chilled atmosphere and wild surroundings. Locally caught fish is a house special. Hotel accommodation also available. To get to Teplikluchy village, head south down Almatinskaya Street and keep going. $$$

Bacardi* (Togolok Moldo 17/1 round the back of Spartak Stadium)
Elite lounge bar affair with separate rooms for dining, dancing and whiling the night away smoking hookah pipes. Urban groove played at a reasonable volume and a full menu that includes a host of tasty platters $$$$

Blonder* (Pravda/Kulatova)
Blonder is the new brewery-restaurant to try out. Cavernous yet cosy inside, there're decent blues every night, live football, Eurogrub and a good selection of ales. Regarding the latter we recommend 'Datski Shnaffer'. $$$$

Buddha Bar* (Akhunbaeva/Sovietskaya)
Call 0553 100000 for takeaway orders
Like a Phoenix reborn from the ashes of the much missed Doka Pizza, Buddha Bar offers a taste of the East set in a Zen log cabin. Whilst the wisdom of rebuilding and relaunching a recently incinerated restaurant in a wooden house is questionable, there is no doubt that a lot of thought has gone into the menu which tempts the taste buds with some excellent Thai/Japanese inspired cuisine. The sushi is not bad at all, and if you are a little strapped, the stir fry noodle dishes (for around 150 som) make a great cheap lunch. Refined atmosphere, pleasant staff and wi-fi internet. Recommended. $$$

Coffee House (9, Manas & Togolok Moldo/Ryskulova)
Treat yourself to some of the finest coffee and cakes Bishkek has to offer at the imaginatively named ‘Coffee House’, a cosy boutique café with a European flavour. Curl up and read a book, or just drop in for a caffeine hit and a chocolate fix. $$$

Cosmo Bar* (Sovietskaya/Moskovskaya)
Board the sweet smelling elevator, ascend to the top-floor Cosmo Bar and splash the cash with your fellow free-spending cosmonauts. Elegant interior, plush sofas, fancy drinks and pretty waitresses. Huzzah! $$$$

Crostini (191, Abdrahmanova in the Hyatt Hotel)
Situated in the Hyatt Regency, this is joint to be reserved for a high-end business lunch or marriage proposal. Renowned chef Taner Erdemir serves up mouth-watering international cuisine, but at a price. $$$$

Dillinger* (Tynystanova/Gorky)
Glamorous VIP complex including a restaurant, bar, apartments and casino. A decadently decorated and peculiarly endearing homage to the notorious bank robber - we're sure he would appreciate it. $$$$

Live Bar* (Kulatova/Pravda - near Ibiza club )
24-hour sports bar with live music at weekends. Plenty of leather couches provide the ideal place to sip cocktails whilst watching the Champions league at 3 in the morning. $$

Four Seasons (116a, Tynystanova)
One of the poshest places to eat out in Bishkek. Elegant, yet modern interior and polite service. Great place to splash out on a special occasion or just for the hell of it. $$$$

Jumanji (Behind the Circus)
It's strange. This place is decorated with fake jungle foliage and is based on a crap kids' film - yet it still sort of works. You also get to roll a pair of Jumanji dice before you order for the chance to win a mystery prize. We like this. $$$

Griffon (Microregion 7)
A cosy log cabin affair with a large meat-roasting central fireplace. On one disturbing occasion the waiting staff were about as pleasant as a bunch of chavs, but hopefully, that was a passing phase. $$$

Jam* (179, Toktogula)
An underground oasis of cool. Jam is a cafe with a full menu and a lounge bar atmosphere, open till 3 am. $$$$

Lounge Bar* (338a, Frunze)
One of our favourite places to drink in the Summertime, when we can afford it. Outdoor balcony-cum-terrace high above the street with slouch couches and fine views of the circus - which you can sometimes smell in the summer. Nice. $$$

Meri (33, Gorkova)
In the summer months, Meri has one of the prettiest dining areas in Bishkek. International cuisine served 24 hours a day, more lively nights see jiving on the dance floor to all your favourite Kyrgyz pop tunes. $$$

U Mazaya (Behind ‘Zaks’ on Sovietskaya near the Sovietskaya/Frunze intersection)
Possibly Central Asia’s only rabbit themed restaurant. Descend into this underground warren and tuck in. Also, check out both the fairy-light adorned flagship U Mazaya in Asanbai micro-region, and the brand spanking new U Mazaya on Almatinskaya/Chui. $$$

Stary Edgar’s* (15, Panfilova)
The concrete monstrosity of the Russian Theatre conceals one of Bishkek’s finest attempts at a cosy basement bar. Friendly staff, a decent menu and a collection of old bits and bobs decorating the walls make Edgar’s an attractive alternative to the city’s mainstream cafés. A blues band plays most nights and a pianist adds a romantic ambience on some Sunday evenings. $$$

Vavilon (Microregion 7)
Finely presented dishes, reasonably priced beer (60 som) genuinely friendly and attentive service and a music playlist that mixes up a bit of soul, jazz, swing and classical tracks played at just the right volume. Live music from 8-ish onwards most evenings. Definitely worth the trek out to the suburbs (tell your taxi driver to turn left at the Yuzhnie-Vorota and head towards Asanbai for about 1.5km) $$$

Veranda* (Gorky/Soviet. Vefa Centre roof)
Wow, what a view. Eat a rather decent international cuisine whilst taking in a superb view of the mountains from the 4th-floor terrace above the Vefa centre. Great for outdoor summer dining. $$$$

Wooden Bar (Sovietskaya/Skrabina)
Tucked away at the back of a residential block, Wooden Bar is easy to miss. More restaurant than bar, the rustic interiors and pleasant staff make this a fine place for a quiet meal, and a pleasant change from more brash locales. European style menu. $$$


The Host (Sovietskaya/Frunze)
A varied and interesting menu including fine Indian food makes this place a real treat. On midweek days, there are also several excellent business lunch deals offering soup, salad, main course and dessert for 250-350 som. A stand out Spectator favourite! $$$$

Italian & Pizza

Bella Italia (Chui/Maladaya Gvardia)
Adriatico's former Italian chef, Walter, has moved homes and is now serving a practically identical range of dishes at this spot just behind October Cinema. Enjoy the best pizza in town, gnocchi and other typical Italian numbers, washed down with a palatable house red (600 som/litre) $$$$

Cyclone (136, Chui)
Smart Italian restaurant with a plush interior, efficient, polite serving staff and a warm atmosphere to alleviate Bishkek’s winter chills. Pasta dishes stand out among a menu of traditional Italian favourites. $$$

Dolce Vita (116a, Akhunbaeva)
Call 0312 543984 for takeaway orders
Cosy Italian restaurant with smiling waitresses serving excellent thin crust pizza. Also serves salads and European cuisine. Small terrace outside for summertime dining. $$


Aoyama (93, Toktogula)
The elegant sushi joints frequented by serious looking suited-types concluding their latest dodgy deals. The food’s excellent, though - if you can scrape together enough soms. $$$$

Watari (Shevchenko, Frunze)
A small Japanese-owned restaurant that serves sushi as well as dishes with a more Indian flavour. The refined atmosphere makes it ideal for a business meeting or just a sophisticated night out. $$$

Fusion Cafe (Vefa food court - Gorky/Sovietskaya)
Call 0312 510707 for takeaway orders
Decent (for Bishkek standards) Japanese cuisine, although a noisy food court atmosphere. Good take away options. $$$


Petel (52, Zhykeeva Pudovkin)
Operating in the back room of a Korean family’s house, this is Korean style home-cooking at its most personal. Closed on Sunday. Ring: 0543 922539 $$

Santa Maria (217, Chui)
Plush Korean restaurant offering Eastern favourites, including exciting Korean barbeques where you get to cook your own dinner, plus an extensive European menu. $$$


Restaurant Moldova (Kievskaya/Turusbekova)
If it's been a while since you last went out for a Moldovan, this wooden panelled, sturdy tabled eatery may be the answer to your prayers. Also, the Moldovan embassy is next door should you care to find out more about the world's favourite budget wine exporting nation. $$$

Regional/Central Asian

Jalalabad (Togolok Moldo/Kievskaya)
Basically the cheapest food (that won’t give you gut rot) in the centre of town. While it should stand out for its fresh lagman, Jalalabad is sometimes overlooked. Probably at its best in summer, when the shashlyk masters flanking the entrance offer their creations straight to guests sitting at Eastern-style tables – cross your legs and see how long you can last before cramp sets in. $

Arzu - I (Togolok Moldo, next to the stadium)
Offers a hearty selection of Kyrgyz and European dishes and a homely atmosphere. It’s probably a little too chilly for al fresco dining these days, but there’s also a great outdoor terrace. $$

Arzu - II* (on Sovietskaya just south of the Lev Tolstoy bridge)
Twenty-four-hour joint that’s a godsend for those who get cravings for lagman or manty at four in the morning. Sometimes smoking isn’t allowed, sometimes it is, however, the food and prices are constantly pretty good. Comfy booth style seats to dig you into after a heavy night. $$

Faiza (Jibek Jolu/Mira)
Possibly the best place to munch traditional grub in town. Their fried pelmeni and manti are so good they have often run out by dinner-time. Save an appetite and go early. $$$

Forel (Vorentsovka village)
Twenty minutes outside of Bishkek, Forel is a fish-based 'relaxation centre' set amongst babbling streams and offering fine views of the mountains. Fish your own trout out of a pool and have it deep fat fried for your pleasure. Only salads, bread, tea and juice are sold on site but you are welcome to bring and booze or garnish you desire. It's also possible to rent a BBQ. To get there take a taxi to Vorentsovka village and, if your driver doesn't know the place, ask a friendly looking local. Trout is 800som/kilo. $$$

Smile (Chui/Sovietskaya)
Despite the name, you’ll be lucky to see one on the waitresses face. Nevertheless, if it’s decent cheap food you’re after, this isn’t a bad place to look. The eggs are just as good as those at Fatboys next door, and half the price. Think about it. $

Russian & Ukrainian

Khutoryanka (Sovietskaya/Lev Tolstoy bridge - situated on the town side of the bridge on Sovietskaya St.)
Unassuming, to put it mildly, on the outside, this place is a revelation on the inside. Delicious food, reasonable service, Ukrainian brass band music on the CD player. We love it! $$$

Taras Bulba (Just west of the Yuzhniy Vorota at the end of Sovietskaya Street towards the mountains)
Like all the Ukrainian restaurants we've tried in Bishkek, Taras Bulba serves great food. We liked the potato pancakes with caviar, the delicious soups and fresh salads. $$$

Zaporyzhia (9, Prospect Mira)
Recently opened, Zaporyzhia is a cossack flavoured restaurant in a varnish-scented log cabin. Hearty rustic dishes and a homely atmosphere. Recommended! $$$


Karavan (Almatinskaya/Chui)
Excellent canteen full of timeless regional favourites. Being a Uighur restaurant its gero lagman and lagman po uighurski (noodle, mean and vegetable dishes) are particular stand outs. No smoking, sit, eat and leave. $


Huzar (Kievskaya/Togolok Moldo)
Free lipyoshki bread and good affordable Turkish cuisine. Popular with the expatriate Turkish community. $$

Ibrahim (Gorkova/Oshskaya)
Several dining rooms including private booths and a covered outdoor terrace with an extravagant waterfall fountain to help you keep cool while tucking into your kebabs in the summer. $$

Istanbul (48, Chui)
Discretely tucked away on Chui Prospekt, Istanbul is a low key cafe offering tasty Turkish cuisine. Puff away on a hookah pipe or slurp lentil soup to your heart’s content, all at a nice price. $$

Konak (Sovietskaya/Gorkova)
Call 0312 591433 for takeaway orders
This Turkish joint used to be ‘Restaurant Camelot’ hence the incongruous suits of armour in the back room, and the rather crappy castle facade. However, the food is often great, the salads are large and fresh, and the staff are always pleasant. Recommended! $$

Yusa (Logvinenko/Bokonbaeva)
Apart from boasting the chef with the most extravagant facial hair in the city - a great big bushy white beard/twirled moustache combo - Yusa also offers cracking Turkish food. Everything is tasty, but you should definitely try the Iskander - lashings of meat served with yoghurt and a tangy tomato sauce. $$$

Information was taken from (The Spectator's Guide)

American University of Central Asia
7/6 Aaly Tokombaev Street
Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic 720060

Tel.: +996 (312) 915000 + Еxt.
Fax: +996 (312) 915 028
AUCA Contacts