Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana) is the capital of Kazakhstan is one of the world’s fast-growing capitals in Central Asia. The young capital of Kazakhstan is only 20 years old, but the things that you can do and see in Astana are endless! And as I’m one of these people who like to experience a place through its food, I really enjoyed the food scene in Astana.
I made a list of my favorite Astana restaurants, in the city that I hope you find useful when you plan your next trip to Astana!
Kazakh cuisine is known for being meat-heavy. Horse meat can be found in almost every restaurant and grocery store, as well as mutton and milk products. However, if you’re vegetarian you will still find fantastic restaurants that offer delicious veggie dishes.
This is possibly my favorite resto-bar in Astana. It’s a bar that serves food, and the decor is quite cozy and beautiful. I loved the concrete walls, and the great gatsby look and feel.
If you visit during the day, you can just order tea (try seabuckthorn tea!), and some nibbles. They also serve desserts and fruit platters. I also really loved the outside seating area in the summer especially in the evenings if you’re stopping for a few drinks.
Address: проспект Кабанбай батыра 15/1 первый этаж, левое крыло, Astana 010010, Kazakhstan.
During my visit to Astana, we dined at this restaurant twice for 3 reasons. 1) I love Georgian cuisine 2) The staff is lovely 3) The food is fresh and delicious!
Clean modern and airy decor is what makes this restaurant so special, and their live plant walls are so darn beautiful! We casually stopped for lunch there, and had a quick photoshoot for brand work. Check out my Instagram post as the picture was taken at this restaurant.
I recommend that you give Khachepuri a try, it’s a traditional Georgian dish of cheese-filled bread. The most common version comes with a raw egg on top, but I normally skip that part. There are so many different variations of Khachepuri to choose from, and many different shapes; as these come in circular pizza-like shapes or open boat shapes with different ingredients.
You should also try Khinkali which is a Georgian dumpling dish that comes in different stuffings. Normally stuffed with meat, but vegetarian options are also available such as mushrooms (these are really really good!), potato and cheese.
For vegetarians visiting Astana, this restaurant is perfect for them.
Address: здание Конгресс-Холла, Kenesary St 32, Astana 010000, Kazakhstan
Daredzhani Georgian Restaurant
One more great Georgian restaurant on the list! You will be blown away by how stunning the decor is. It’s a traditional Georgian cottage-style restaurant that serves wonderful and fresh Georgian food. In the summer, you can choose to sit outside when the weather is nice but on colder days you can enjoy the beautiful space and great food indoors.
I believe that there is another branch of this restaurant in Astana, located in Keruen City Mall at the food court floor.
Again, I recommend going for Khachepuri cheese bread as it’s a traditional dish that you shouldn’t miss. You should also try their traditional beef soup “Kharcho”, it’s quite meaty though so only if you like beef you will enjoy this.
Georgian cuisine is also very known for cooking with aubergines/eggplants, so on the menu, you will find a good collection of eggplant warm salads, dips, and dishes.
As for drinks, you could go for wine or chacha if you’re after the whole Tiblisi experience. However, in the 3 times that we visited, we just had Mors which is a traditional berry drink. It’s quite refreshing especially during summer.
Address: Круглая площадь, Qabanbay Batyr Ave 34, Astana 010000, Kazakhstan
Saksaul Kazakh Restaurant
This restaurant is probably the most “Kazakh” restaurant that we have been to during our stay. In Astana, you will find loads of nice European, Asian, Georgian restaurants. But Kazakh restaurants? We probably failed to find a really good one.
However, Saksaul is a restaurant that did not disappoint. It’s a classy fine dining restaurant that offers great food and a lovely ambiance. Again, you will fall in love with the live plant walls and modern but traditional at the same time decor.
As you probably have already heard, “Beshbarmak” is Kazakhstan’s national dish. This dish is made with boiled horse meat and boiled pasta-like dough. I’ve tried in once in Almaty in 2016, but eating horse meat is something that I don’t feel good about so I tried to stay away from that as much as possible. but if you’re veggie, and you’re in Astana, Saksul is a restaurant that could accommodate you. They have quite a few really good veggie options on the menu.
Address: Northern Lights, Dostyq St 5, Astana 020000, Kazakhstan
A lovely restaurant with a quirky design and a massive menu, I believe that their decor and feel of the restaurant is Uzbek and quite ethnic. They offer food from different cuisines, mainly Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. You can find things like Shashlik, Plov, and manti on the menu.
If you look at the desserts, you could even find Italian tiramisu. So I didn’t feel that this restaurant had a real specialty, but it’s a lovely place for friends get-togethers with great ambiance.
We loved the quirky decor, and there’s even a special area for kids to play which makes it family-friendly. In the evenings, you can expect loud music and belly dancers to entertain guests.
Address: Акмолинская область, Sauran Street 14/2, Astana 020000, Kazakhstan
Miki Piki Cat Cafe
As we took a stroll around the new area in Astana, Expo residence and found a cat cafe! Something that I didn’t expect to see in Astana. I’ve been to 2 cat cafes before, one in Bucharest and another in Budapest. And Miki Piki cat cafe in Astana was my absolute favourite!
At the time when we visited there were 14 absolutely gorgeous cats from 10 different breeds. To see more pictures from the day when we visited, follow this link to see a carousel of images on Instagram.
To visit the cafe, you pay a fixed price of around 2500 tenge per adult and a cheaper fee for children. You get 1 hot drink, 1 sweet bake or croissant and of course, you get to chill with the cats for as long as you like! You are required to take your shoes off at the entrance though, so the place is very clean and neat.
The cats are quite friendly, they even have 2 Sphynx cats and I was so excited as I’ve never seen one in real life before (I spent half of my childhood looking at cat pictures in my cat encyclopedia book!).
Next time I’m Astana I’m definitely visiting this cat cafe again, and I’m sure that my other half will be excited to go with me as well.
It’s also worth mentioning that there’s a cat hotel at this cafe, which means if you live in Astana and you need to travel you could leave your cat at the cat hotel. Think about it, you won’t have to worry about your cat as it will be in safe hands, and your cat will get to socialise with the rest of the gorgeous cats in there. That’s a win-win situation for both of you!
Address: Проспект Кабанбай батыра, дом 58 а, корпус 1, Astana, Kazakhstan
For a really good cappuccino and a good spot to spend an hour or 2 doing some work on your laptop, photobar cafe is the place to go as it’s quiet and lovely. They are also open early in the morning between 8:30 and 9. We also accidentally stumbled upon this cafe in the Expo residence area. It consists of 2 parts, a cafe, and a real studio.
Apparently you can rent out the fully equipped studio space if you’re working on some project, they have corners with different furniture and backdrops for the shoots. They also run photography workshops and masterclasses every once in a while, so if that is something that you might be interested in then it’s worth it for you to check their schedule.
In one corner, there’s a bunch of ready printed photos of Astana. We loved going through them and were very tempted to buy one but worried about how we will travel with it. Make sure to check these out if you’re into photography.
They also have a small selection of cookies, cakes, and sandwiches.
Address: Uly Dala Avenue 6, Astana 020000, Kazakhstan
Momo Japanese Cafe
Another very lovely cafe to visit in Astana is Momo Japanese cafe. I think that this is the only authentic Japanese cafe in Astana, and they serve a wide variety of Japanese main dishes, desserts, and of course tea!
We haven’t tried their food, as we just went to check the cafe out and have cake and tea. But the menu looked good and the items on the menu were moderately priced.
The decor is simple but lovely. I liked the bookshelves with different books about Japan, and the cultural items that they brought with them from Japan.
We went for a slice of chiffon cake that was served with whipped cream, and a small pot of real green tea.
Address: General Sabyr Raqymov Street 32, Astana 010000, Kazakhstan
Sorpa canteen is the place to go if you’re trying to save up some cash, but still can’t be bothered to cook at home! It’s super cheap, offers a big variety of food at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We went for lunch twice and you will find things like cooked buckwheat, pasta, rice, mashed potatoes, potato and cabbage pastries, a couple of soups, stuffed veggies with meat, and some salads.
There’s a whole station for lagman that makes different types of laghman/lagman. If you’re wondering what laghman is, it’s an authentic dish to Kazakhstan, Krygstan and Uzbekistan made with pulled noodles, vegetables and meat.
The surprising part, is that food might be a little cold especially if you’re visiting at odd times like between lunch and dinner. There are a few microwaves in there, so after you choose your food and pay. Head over to one of the microwaves and reheat your food.
It’s super cheap though, for the food in the picture above and a drink I think we paid a total of 1100 tenge.
For vegetarians the options are too limited, so you might have to go for the mashed potatoes or pasta with sauce, salad, and pastries.
Focaccia Italian Restaurant
Craving an Italian pizza or pasta in Astana? Focaccia Italian Restaurant has you covered! Opened a couple of years ago in a small space, and very basic design by an Italian chef. These guys have been feeding Astana with great pizza and pasta for a while, and have decided to expand after seeing success.
We visited quite a few times, and pizza was always delicious and Italian. Pastas are also great. They also offer good Italian wines and beers if you fancy a couple of drinks with your food.
Often you will see the Italian owner cooking in the kitchen through the window, and might even be able to personalise your pizza or pasta to suit your taste!
A margarita pizza costs 1200 tenge, a vegetarian pizza costs 1800 tenge and if you’re going with something more sophisticated like a salmon pizza then it’s around 2500 tenge. My other half and I usually share 1 pizza if we’re getting a second dish, and last time we went we asked if the pizza could be made half vegetarian and half meaty and they were happy to accommodate us. Deliveries are also available.
Address: ЖК “Новый мир” 010000 Новый мир, Dinmukhamed Qonayev St 35, Astana 020000, Kazakhstan
Hamburger Restaurants in Astana
Gourmet Burger Station
Located on the cinema floor in Keruen shopping center, there’s a London Undergound theme burger restaurant that serves delish burgers, chips, and drinks!
I had a really lovely veggie burger, in fact, it was the best veggie burger that I had during my stay in Astana. Their decor is all about London underground stations with very comfortable seats but somehow similar to American diners.
Burger Bar Astana
A quirky burger restaurant located on Astana’s right side. The restaurant is open in a basement with lots of seating areas, lovely music, and simple decor.
Their menu is all about burgers, all are meaty except for one option which is veggie but it felt like eating a salad sandwich. My OH enjoyed his double beef burger.
We have also been to the restaurants/pub below but unfortunately, I don’t always carry my camera around with me. But all the restaurants below are recommended.
- Line Brew Astana for steaks.
- Ali Baba for authentic Uzbek food.
- Skybar at Asia Park mall for cocktails and sheesha.
- Ocean Basket in Mega Silk Way Mall for seafood.
- The Shoreditch for burgers, nibbles, and sheesha.
- Hungry Rabbit for food, drinks, and sheesha.
- Cafestar for a quiet atmosphere, food, and drink.
- Mado for Turkish delights, everything from food to desserts and ice cream.
- The Grill at St Regis for a spectacular Sunday brunch.
- Chechil pub for food, drinks and a dancing club later at night.
- Uzbechka N1. for authentic food such as plov.
- London Beirut for Middle Eastern food.
- Jolly Joker for International dishes and sheesha.
- Golpas is a grill bar, great for meat lovers.
- O’Hara Irish Pub.
- The Irish Pub at Rixos hotel for drinks, nibbles, and sheesha.
- Ananas for tea and sheesha. They also serve club sandwiches and burgers.