Vegetarian In Kazakhstan?| Your Backpacking Survival Guide

Vegetarian In Kazakhstan? | Your Backpacking Survival Guide


Vegetarian In Kazakhstan?| Your Backpacking Survival Guide

If you are vegetarian and heading to Kazakhstan, then you need to read this guide. When you’re a backpacker, it can be hard in certain countries to get vegetarian/vegan food daily. I’m Ian, and I will help you narrow down your search with a complete vegetarian guide of Kazakhstan.

Central Asia is meat central, but you can travel around the area and be a vegetarian and eat well. But if you’re a vegan, I would say you’re going to be in trouble as a lot of food is cooked with different types of stocks and dairy.

You will always find vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the major cities with fresh and decent food. But still do some research before leaving to go to Kazakhstan because the culture is meat-driven, and the people might not understand it.

Below is my guide of what to do if you’re a vegetarian, and this will keep you afloat while you’re discovering this charming land.

Research, Research, Research-  in 2021 you have fast information straight to your phone in seconds.

Their are two websites to look out for Happy Cow &, which give you a list of Vegetarian restaurants in the cities you visit.

The Vegman has a app (Download here @ This app allows you to search vegetarian restaurants in your area with Maps, hours, and food reviews.

Again if you’re a serious vegetarian or vegan, then this app is vital.

Vegetarian In Kazakhstan?| Your Backpacking Survival Guide

Vegetarian Options

Here is a list of dishes to keep an eye out for while in Kazakhstan that are equally as delicious as the meat options.

Gutap- Kazakh deep-fried herb fritters

Chrov Plav- Rice Pilaf with fruit and nuts

Kazakh Noodles- Traditional noodles (Ask to be modified not Veg)

Kazanzhappai- Baked bread cooked in a cauldron

Millet Porridge with Pumpkin

Sabzi piez- Herb Quiche

Taba-Nan- Traditional Bread

Zhuta- Pasta Stuffed With Pumpkin Or Carrot

Hotels Will Serve Vegetarian Food

In the major cities, you won’t have a problem finding vegetarian or vegan options with a great selection of foods. The water is a lot safer in the bigger cities compared to towns & villages. You have to be careful with water as this is one of the highest reasons for food poisoning in Khazastan.

When you get outside the most significant cities, you have many more obstacles like the language barrier, the locals speak Kazakh or Russian only, which makes things more challenging. If you’re vegan, you can always order bread and possibly vegetable soup. You might have to bend sometimes and go vegetarian, but that depends on you.

The larger hotel chains will cater to western people and always have veggie options. But if you stay in a homestay, your only option will be meat.

Most of this is common sense but handy to know if youl find yourself in difficult situations, especially outside the cities.                                                                     

Vegetarian In Kazakhstan?| Your Backpacking Survival Guide

Pack Meds Just In Case

I was advised to take some medication just in case. Taking diarrhea tablets or probiotics will strengthen your stomach so it can handle more. As I stated before, water is probably the biggest issue in Kazakhstan when washing salads and stuff, so being a vegetarian, you a bit higher on the list of getting sick.

Imagine you’re travelling on buses all day, and you want something to help you out if you are sick, especially if its diarrhoea! One time I got food poisoning in Thailand, and that night I had to go to Bangkok, which was 3 hours away, to catch a flight home, and it was the longest journey of my life, and I didn’t have anything to help me with my food poisoning. My head was out the bus window most of the journey, put it that way.

Just be wary that some countries are a bit funny when you take your drugs through customs so maybe get a prescription from your GP just as a backup.

Meat May Come If You Like It Or Not

As I stated before, as soon as you leave the big cities, language barriers come into play, and things get a little bit more challenging to order with your meals. You have to understand that some of the meals are prepared with meat, so even if you ask them to remove it they might not. It is then up to you; you can pick around the meat and eat your meal or decide to go with the flow and eat it. One thing you can say is the meat is sustainable in Kazakhstan, unlike many western countries.

Many local dishes will also be cooked in fat, such as Plov and Laghman, which have little meat, but if you’re desperate, you can pick the meat out and crack on.

Don’t panic if meat arrives on the plate. Sometimes, it’s just a cultural thing where the locals haven’t met many vegetarians and won’t see the big deal. Try to have a viewpoint of “it is what it is”

List Of Vegetarian Restaurants

Below is a list of some of the best vegetarian restaurants in Kazakhstan. Please have a look.

Manga Sushi- Top quality sushi with high presentation skills and quality food standards. The service is of high quality, and the waiters speak a bit of English.

Address: Gogolya St., 201/92, Almaty Kazakhstan

Phone: +7 701 952 8000

Website: Click here

Opening Hours:

Mon-Sun 12am-12pm

Chechil Pub Almaty-  Italian American themed restaurant with vegetarian-friendly options. These pubs are great for western food when you’re craving it this restaurant one of the best burgers in Kazakhstan. Service is good also.

Address: Tulebayeva st., 38/61, corner of Makatayeva, Almaty 050065 Kazakhstan

Phone: +7 707 273 7447

Website: Click here

Opening Hours:

Mon-Sat: 2pm-12am

Sun- 1pm-12am

Daredzhani Kunaeva- If your western, this place is worth looking at Eastern European Georgian food style. Georgian wine is impressive, so if you’re after a few drinks, this place is perfect.

Address: Kunaeva 85 Corner of Kunayeva St., 85, Almaty 050000 Kazakhstan

Phone: +7 727 313 2415

Website: Click here

Opening Hours:

Mon-Sun 11am-11:45pm

Hard Rock Café: Wellrenowned franchise all around the world Hard Rock cafe always offers decent quality. The food is consistent, and the service is excellent with English speaking staff. Vegetarian and vegan available.

Address: Karasay batyra 85, Almaty 050012 Kazakhstan

Phone: +7 727 313 1311

Website: Click here

Opening hours:

Sun-Thurs 12pm – 1am

Fri-Sat 12pm-5am

Coffeedelia- Nice friendly atmosphere and an excellent place to chill for a coffee with good food, and an outside terrace to sit down on nice summer days.

Address: Kabanbay Batter St, 79, Almaty 050000 Kazakhstan

Phone: +7 727 272 6409

Website: Click here

Opening Hours:

Mon-Fri 8am-12am

Sat-Sun 9am-1am

Ziploc Bags

I just thought I’d add this at the bottom, but Ziploc bags are ideal for taking leftover food home from restaurants.

The next day you may be on the bus traveling five hours. You could pack away the food and eat it tomorrow, saving you money and not wasting food.

Food Safety

In Kazakhstan, you’re more likely to get ill from drinking contaminated water, which potentially restaurants could rinse your salad with, so you’re always better off trying to buy cooked food than raw.

You want to be looking at food like steamed dumplings, roasted vegetables, and samosa’s, which for the most part, will be safe in Kazakhstan. Another option is to buy food from supermarkets outside the major cities, and if you’re staying in a hostel, you can always use the cooker.

Don’t get me wrong, there are worse places to get food poisoning than Kazakhstan but having this knowledge always helps avoids sickness.

Vegetarian In Kazakhstan?| Your Backpacking Survival Guide

Bread Is Your Last Resort 

One of the world’s best places is Central Asia for bread and normally cooked on the grill, making it crispy and fresh. You’ll get street vendors selling fresh bread every morning, so you could buy some peanut butter or marmalade while your’re on the go.

I’m not 100% sure Kazakhstan sells oreo’s, but they’re vegan and made with soya, so if you can, stock up on some snacks.

Food Supermarkets

it’s always a good idea to go the supermarket and get a few bits if you’ve got a kitchen at your hostel. I usually get cereal, bread, fruit, and cheese to make a few snacks as and when.

The supermarket is relatively cheap and can save money from eating out all the time.

Cooking Oils

Some of your food will be cooked in pans with oils thats had meat in them. Depending on how sensitive you are, you might want to ask a waiter or waitress the question. But don’t expect a clear answer.

Vegetarianism and Veganism In Kazakhstan

You might come across a few blunders in Kazakhstan and find out that you bought something vegan that wasn’t Vegan at all. You have to have a little joke about it and write it in your journal. You can’t compare Kazakhstan to Western countries who have been making Vegan food since the 1970’s

It goes by the old saying, you have to take things to a pinch of salt.

Pack Extra Supplements

 Supplements were designed not for meal replacements but to cover all the nutrition your missing to a certain degree. I’d always take vitamin C and multivitamins to make sure your covering all bases, this can help fight off infections if you have any.

Probiotics will give you more positive bacteria that will serve better if you’re having issues with certain foods. Keeping your gut healthy will make you feel better and produces more serotonin and dopamine to keep you happier.

Pack  Utensils

Before you go traveling, you can buy fold-up travel utensils that are high quality and  handy to have. Many travel utensils will fold up and have a case for you to put him back in.

Sporks are useful because their two in one a spoon and fork, which you can use for many dishes and yogurts. If you can, try and buy a BPA free just because of quality.

You can get Swiss army knives with cutlery sets inside and a tin opener. If you travel around Kazakhstan a lot, this is a convenient tool. Just remember, when you’re packing, make sure it goes in your main luggage and not you’re hand luggage for obvious reasons.

Vegetarian In Kazakhstan?| Your Backpacking Survival Guide

Social Media Vegetarian Groups

I can guarantee you’re not only vegetarian in Kazakhstan, so look out for some social media groups and join them before you travel. If you search on Facebook and then post questions, people are always willing to help.

Expat groups are also perfect for just general tips.

Ask A Local To Write Down Some keywords

If you meet a local in the hotel, and your’re getting on, maybe ask them to write a few things down on a piece of paper.

Another simple idea is to download Google Translate, which is simple to use and has a recorder for your voice.

Eat Tons Of Eggs

Eggs are the most versatile type of food globally, and every country has them. One of the things you can always do is live off eggs if you’re concerned. I love an omelet it’s one of my favorite meals for breakfasts, and I also like a frittata.

Order Two Starters

When you go to many restaurants in hotels, always under starters, you get vegetarian options. Ther always tends to be some flat slices of bread or salads. If you find the mains all have meat, then order two starters instead.

Learn Some Basic Phrases

While in Kazakhstan, try and learn some local language or Russian. You don’t need to learn the whole language, but some key phrases will help go along way.


Kazakhstan is a country where its not impossible to be a vegetarian or vegan. But for comparing it to Western countries then it is a lot harder. The key to a successful holiday will be to do research before going Kazakhstan. If you’re thinking about going to Kazakhstan do it’s a beautiful country.

Hi, I’m Ian

I started traveling in 2006 when I was 21 and still today it’s the best experience of my life! I grew up in a rural town in England and I couldn’t wait to get away and explore the big wide world.

My first destination in 2006 was Singapour. After I visited Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos the dream continued and every day was a new experience with new foods, temples, lush countryside, and quirky boutique hotels. The variance of my days was tremendous from waking up in Jungles to a tropical island sipping an ice-cold beer 24hrs later.

With all this travel experience I started traveltin to help people who want to take the plunge into travel and seek advice. I really want to help people live their dreams and share knowledge and tips to help you have the best trip possible.

If you need anything just ask! I’ll get straight back to you.

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