Whenever I get query about my all women group trip to Uzbekistan, the most frequent question is about availability of vegetarian food options for travellers there. This is not surprising as Uzbekistan is a Central Asian country and one which is majority Islamic. Therefore, vegetarian travellers wonder about Vegetarian food options when planning on a trip to Uzbekistan. I have attempted to write this ‘Vegetarian Travellers’ Guide to Uzbekistan’ in a FAQ type format, so that all the different types of queries regarding what to eat when in Uzbekistan for vegetarian travellers, are answered.
Uzbeki food has so much variety for both vegetarians & non-vegetarians and I had the most enjoyable gastronomic experience on my travels through the cities of Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand & Tashkent. In the pictures – Pumpkin soup & Khiva bread, Uzbeki Chai or Chõi (swipe for all pictures) . . Read my #travelogues on #uzbekistan at www.myunfinishedlife.com —————————————————- #instatravel #foodietravel #eatingout #travelfoodfinds #uzbekifood #UNESCOworldheritagesite #foodandtravel #traveleats #culture #foodheritage #welivetoexplore #discoverfood #bread #explorer #travelersnotebook #centralasia #Khiva #foodjournal #travellingthroughtheworld #journey #livetoexplore #travelphotography #eatandtravel #pumpkinsoup #loveuzbekistan #uzbekistanfood
Question 1 – Is Vegetarian food available in Uzbekistan ?
Answer : Absolutely YES! Uzbeki cuisine has a diverse variety of vegetarian recipes, comprising of soups, salads, breads and snacks. Not only that, the country has a beautiful variety of fruits available.
Recommended Read : Uzbekistan Trip : Journey to heart of the Great Silk Road.
Question 2 – What are different type of Vegetarian food/s available ?
Answer : Salads – Salads are a big thing in Uzbekistan and the variety of vegetarian salads available is mind boggling. Due to fresh and mostly organic vegetables grown all throughout Uzbekistan, the salads here are fresh and the portions very generous. In fact, the salads in itself can constitute for a whole meal at times, accompanied by breads.
Breads – Uzbekistan had a rich tradition of baking breads and each region (rather each big city) has its characteristic breads. I travelled through Khiva, Samarkand, Bukhara and Tashkent sampling all the different varieties of breads, there was never a repeat in each of these cities.
Samsa – The Uzbeki version of the Indian Samosa is a popular snack. It is available in both non-vegetarian and vegetarian filling options. I absolutely loved the pumpkin filling samsa.
Piroshki – Another popular snack available with vegetarian filling of potato, pumpkin and other vegetarian options.
Tukhumbarak – This is a kind of dumpling, with egg filling (in case anyone does takes eggs, but not meat – like me).
Soups – I absolutely loved the soups I had in Uzbekistan – Pumpkin Soup, Potato Soup and another soup I forget!
Pilaf – Now Pilaf is Uzbeki version of Biryani and Samarkand pilaf is very famous. They do make a vegetarian pilaf option at some cities (not in Samarkand though).
Read about my visit to Bukhara here.
Question 3 – What are the good restaurants in the cities of Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand or Tashkent for vegetarian travellers ?
Answer : Since I went on a curated group tour, my breakfasts and dinners were already pre-booked at designated restaurants, so mostly I do not remember the names. Also the lunches we took at the places recommended and lead by local guides, so cannot recommend good restaurants. However, Tripadvisor is a great resource nowadays for this! One Restaurant I do remember and recommend is the Italian Restaurant ‘Bella Italia’ in Bukhara.
Read about my UNESCO World Heritage city Khiva visit here.
Question 4 – What is the cost of food/eating out in Uzbekistan ?
Answer : First of all, Uzbek currency scores very much low in conversion to Indian currency (and to many other currencies). Secondly, Uzbekistan is really cheap and if you are in a group, the cost of eating out becomes for cheaper…On an average I would say around INR 1000-2000.
Read Top 10 Reasons to visit Uzbekistan here.
I hope I have answered all the potential queries for vegetarian travelers to Uzbekistan. However, please feel free to ask any questions ( in the comments section).