10 dishes you need to strive in Uzbekistan not less than ONCE


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Planning a visit to Uzbekistan (or perhaps you have got already arrived) and also you wish to know a bit extra about Uzbek meals? Don’t fear, on this publish, I’ll let you know about 10 dishes you need to strive in Uzbekistan not less than as soon as! 

We travelled to Uzbekistan final December and liked it. We spent 4 full days in Uzbekistan (be sure to take a look at our itinerary for Tashkent and Samarkand in 4 days) and tried many alternative wonderful dishes. Having grown up in Russia, I can’t say that I’m a stranger to Uzbek meals. There are many Uzbek folks in Russia and much more Uzbek eating places. Moreover, my dad grew up in Kazakhstan in the course of the USSR occasions, and numerous dishes in Central Asia are related, so I keep in mind my dad cooking plov (pilaf) not less than a few occasions. However, having tried actual Uzbek meals in Uzbekistan made with native produce, I need to say that it has exceeded all my expectations! Everything was very scrumptious and finger-licking good, particularly shashlik

I need to warn you that Uzbekistan is a paradise for carnivores, so in case you have a particular weight-reduction plan, you would possibly really feel a bit restricted food-wise. However, there are nonetheless some dishes you’ll be capable of eat as a vegan / vegetarian, principally salads, pasties and a few soups. 

Before we begin with the highest 10 dishes you need to strive in Uzbekistan not less than as soon as, listed below are some incessantly requested questions I’d like to handle:

Who can journey to Uzbekistan? Do you want a visa?

If you’re questioning whether or not you want a visa for Uzbekistan, it’s higher to examine the official web site right here, as the principles may need modified because the day this text about 4 days in Uzbekistan was written. Generally, it’s fairly straightforward to go to Uzbekistan and in case you’re from the EU, you don’t want a visa as of January 2022. However, to enter Uzbekistan, that you must present a damaging PCR check taken as much as 72 hours earlier than your journey. 

There aren’t any strict guidelines about who might journey to Uzbekistan, nevertheless, it has its personal crimson checklist – arrivals from some nations must quarantine for 10 days.  

Apart from that, it’s very easy to journey to Uzbekistan – you don’t want any invites or journey vouchers. 

Can you discover Uzbekistan by yourself and not using a journey company? 

There are some challenges in relation to getting across the cities (e.g. taxi drivers don’t normally communicate English and there’s no app you should use to ask for a taxi except you have got a neighborhood SIM card) and generally lodge personnel don’t communicate English as properly, nevertheless, it’s the identical in numerous nations around the globe. If you journey loads, that’s in all probability common for you! 

What’s the perfect time to journey to Uzbekistan?

Summer is at all times very popular in Uzbekistan, so it’s not beneficial to journey there from June to early September, except you benefit from the temperatures of 38-55C levels. Winter is good, it doesn’t normally get colder than -3C, and in Samarkand and Bukhara, winters are sometimes sunny and considerably heat (5-15C) in the course of the day. However, you may count on subzero temperatures at night time. I’ve a separate weblog publish about the climate in Uzbekistan in winter and our general impressions from travelling to Uzbekistan in December.

The highest season in Uzbekistan is from March to early May and from late September to early November, when the temperatures are usually not too scorching! 

How many days do you have to spend in Uzbekistan

If you have got per week in Uzbekistan, you’ll be capable of go to a lot of the primary highlights and journey to Khiva, Urgench and Bukhara. You might in all probability do it in 5 days as properly, however that will require meticulous advance planning. For instance, you would wish to examine the times when there are flights from Tashkent to Urgench or vice versa it could most positively imply that you’d arrive in a single metropolis and can depart from one other one. For instance, you may arrive in Urgench and depart from Tashkent. 

If you solely wish to go to 1-2 cities, for instance, Samarkand and Tashkent, 3-4 days could be sufficient. 

Alright, with out additional ado, let’s get began!

Uzbek meals information: 10 dishes and meals that you must strive in Uzbekistan.

Plov (Pilaf) 

The signature dish that Uzbekistan is legendary for is plov or pilaf (it’s the identical dish, however completely different folks name it in another way). It takes round 2 hours to prepare dinner pilaf from scratch, and it’s principally completed by males in Uzbekistan. Pilaf is cooked in giant quantities and it’s all about sharing. It normally has numerous meat – both lamb or beef. 

There are over 50 various kinds of pilaf and every metropolis in Uzbekistan has its personal recipe (generally even multiple). The finest locations to strive Pilaf in Uzbekistan are normally the markets! However, in Tashkent, there’s a place referred to as “Central Asian Plov Centre” the place you may strive various kinds of plov. It’s suggested to ask for 1/2 of a portion, as plov could be very fats and the parts there are large. Make positive to go there early as this place closes at 2 pm.

10 dishes you must try in Uzbekistan at least ONCE | Uzbek Food Guide


Another dish that I positively suggest attempting is samsa. Samsa is a small triangular pie made with puff pasty and a wide range of completely different fillings, from lamb to potato and onions. It is commonly offered in bakeries and cafes throughout Uzbekistan, however the perfect samsa I’ve tried was available on the market in Samarkand (learn this publish about the perfect issues to do in Samarkand for two days). Samsa is a really heavy dish – the pasty is deep-fried in oil and the filling is commonly fried beforehand as properly. Just like pilaf, samsa shouldn’t be for the folks, who’ve weak stomachs! 

Samsa - food to try in Uzbekistan
Photo by Tamara Malaniy on Unsplash


Like many different dishes on this checklist, shashlik shouldn’t be solely Uzbek – yow will discover this dish in a wide range of nations, from Turkey to Russia and Kazakhstan. However, completely different nations have other ways of marinating meat. Shashlik is a marinated chargrilled skewer of meat, normally lamb or beef, not often – rooster and pork (pork is extra frequent in Russia, as most of Central Asia is Muslim). It’s actually scrumptious when eaten straight from the hearth, when shashlik remains to be scorching and juicy! We’ve eaten excellent shashlik within the Chaihona in the midst of the Siyob market in Samarkand. 

10 dishes you must try in Uzbekistan at least ONCE | Uzbek Food Guide

Uzbek bread / lavash / patyr

Bread is essential in Uzbekistan and it’s a necessary a part of Uzbek delicacies. There are many forms of bread in Uzbekistan – the most typical one offered on the markets is bread from tandoor, a particular oven. Another kind of bread is a big spherical piece of bread that weights over 1.4 kilos – the most well-liked one is from Samarkand, the place it’s baked close to the observatory. It’s stated that this bread by no means will get mouldy! 

There can be lavash, one other kind of bread, just like flatbread, however a lot thinner – this one is normally eaten with meat or utilized in wraps. 

Finally, there’s patyr, a layered bread with a filling, e.g. cheese and onions and it’s additionally very scrumptious! 

You can strive all these breads on the eating places or on the markets – they aren’t so arduous to seek out. 

Achichuk salad & Shakadob salad

If you’re a vegetarian, consuming out in Uzbekistan is perhaps fairly difficult, as meat is essential in Uzbek delicacies. Most of the primary dishes and even soups have meat, so your finest wager are the salads. My favorite salads from Uzbekistan are achichuk and shakarob. Both of those salads are very related, they’re tomato-based. Tomatoes in Uzbekistan are wonderful, they style very completely different in comparison with European tomatoes, they’re very candy and acidic! Shakarob salad consists of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. Achichuk, then again, consists of tomatoes, onions and basil. 


Manty is one other instance of a dish that’s frequent throughout Central Asia (and even the South of Russia), nevertheless, in every area, it has its personal variations. The ones you’ll discover in Uzbekistan are normally steamed and served in a dish that resembles a picket dim sum container. The filling is product of beef, onions and herbs. If you order manty in a restaurant, you’ll normally get a portion that consists of 5-6 items and it’s served with a sauce, sometimes yoghurt-based sauce with garlic or herbs. 

10 dishes you must try in Uzbekistan at least ONCE | Uzbek Food Guide

Lagman soup

Lagman soup is a signature Uzbek dish of Uyghur origin that’s made with lagman noodles, stripes of beef, greens and a particular meat sauce. The noodles are normally hand-pulled relatively than purchased in a store. Lagman soup is a really heat, wealthy, hearty soup that’s particularly nice in winter, when it’s chilly exterior!

10 dishes you must try in Uzbekistan at least ONCE | Uzbek Food Guide

Fried Lagman noodle

Lagman noodle doesn’t must be consumed as part of a soup solely – it may be fried as properly and be served as a primary together with fried marinated beef, sauce and greens. When you order Lagman in Uzbekistan, be sure to specify whether or not you need it fried and served as a primary or boiled as a part of a soup!


Another dish on this Uzbek meals information is Kazan kabob. This dish got here to Uzbekistan from Iran and translated from Persian it means “fried meat”. Usually, on this most frequent kind, Kazan kabob is served as fried marinated beef with a golden crust surrounded by fried potatoes. However, every restaurant and cafe have their very own recipe of Kazan kabob and generally even use completely different meat, e.g. lamb as a substitute of beef. 

Another variation of this dish solely has fried strips of marinated beef and no potatoes in any respect, like within the picture under! 

10 dishes you must try in Uzbekistan at least ONCE | Uzbek Food Guide

Uzbek halva

Finally, the final however not least of the dishes that you must strive in Uzbekistan is halva. Halva is a candy product of sesame seeds, nevertheless, in Uzbekistan it’s very completely different in comparison with the Middle East. That’s as a result of Uzbek folks add powder milk and another elements to their halva, so it tastes nearly like a nougat. There are various kinds of halva in Uzbekistan, and it’s out there at any market (it doesn’t value a lot, you will get 300 grams for one thing like $4 in Tashkent and possibly for much less in Samarkand and Bukhara).

Summary of Uzbek meals information – meals that you must strive in Uzbekistan

Alright, I hope that you simply loved studying this text about meals that you must strive in Uzbekistan. As I discussed beforehand, the meals in Uzbekistan is wonderful – it’s uncommon and really scrumptious! However, in case you’re a vegetarian or have a weak abdomen, you may need points discovering one thing you may eat, as a lot of the dishes are meat-based and have numerous fats! In some eating places, I even suggest asking half a portion or sharing a full portion with another person, because the dishes are very heavy and it’s very straightforward to overeat!

In the unlikely case you get a bit bored with native delicacies in Uzbekistan, I like to recommend heading to Tashkent – there are many eating places serving worldwide meals (e.g. Meat me in Marriott Courtyard), so that you’ll positively discover one thing you may eat there.

Some different posts you would possibly like studying:

Itinerary for 4 days in Uzbekistan: Tashkent and Samarkand (+Bukhara, non-compulsory)

Is Tashkent price it? Things to do in Tashkent

Visiting Uzbekistan in winter: what to anticipate

The most lovely metro stations in Tashkent 

Visiting the Christmas Market in Moscow

Amazing issues to do in Saint Petersburg, Russia


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