I got hungry after an hour at the Tsum store and grabbed a bite. The logotype was in some way familiar. But not the taste.
Favorite Dish: A cheeseburger and a coffe. Not delicious but OK. You get what you pay for and I paid less than 100 som.
It’s true! Many people suspected Obama was born outside of the United States. Yes, this excellent restaurant was born around 2009. It started as just a bar and I can assure you the bar is still alive and well just as you walk in. It has now grown to become a Bar & Grill and have even opened Obama 2. The restaurant has a nice décor, comfortable seating and friendly staff. The food is definitely American oriented and leans towards Tex-Mex. My favourite menu item is the delicious chicken wings that also come with a free beer. They get good reviews for their steaks. Being completely landlocked, you might want to think about whether you want seafood or not.
Obama himself greets you at the door and the staff are always happy to take a photo for you. Interestingly the White House has repeatedly said that it is not appropriate to use Obama's likeness, photos, name, etc. for promotions. Have they never seen their boss on TV!?
I love the menus here. They have them in English as well, but they are so massive that you can see exactly what you want to order. The only disappointment I had was that they only sell mass produced imported beers. Russian Baltica is the closest you will get here. Otherwise its great food at reasonable prices for the quality. They do full breakfasts in the morning, but don’t open until 11am oddly. They also maintain spotlessly clean bathrooms.
Obama also does not make empty promises here in Kyrgyzstan. He delivers up until midnight – 7 days a week. Just ring them from your hotel. Their menu is on the website linked below.
Open 7 days a week - 11:00 to Midnight
Service Charge – 12% (so don’t tip!)
Fancy a ‘Full Monty’ breakfast? Also known as a ‘Fry Up’ you are looking at a full English Breakfast – Kyrgyz style. Fatboys is a now traditional ex-pat hangout for breakfast, lunch and early evening meals and beer. Fatboys was created in 2000 by Mike Atsoparthis. He has an interesting story himself. He has a Greek father, Welsh-Irish mother and married a local lady – Jyldyzis. He volunteered to be the Honorary Consul for Britain during the civil unrest in 2000.
The interior of Fatboys looks like a German beer hall with long benches and tables when you first enter. The nice little bar is over to the right. The ladies that work here are pleasant and they speak several languages. I did not eat breakfast here, but apparently is ‘like’ and English breakfast with eggs, bacon, sausage, toast and apparently large sized juices. Or you can have pancakes, oatmeal, and even a large breakfast sandwich on a baguette.
They do have evening meals with good bar starters like loaded potato skins. If their pizzas are not enough for you, they have a grill menu and a few local dishes. They also have my favourite Central Asian beer- Siberian Corona. Perfection in a glass! This tastes very close to a German Weiss beer.
Fatboys also has a ‘sharing’ library where you can donate or borrow English literature. They also have copies of a free English language newspaper – The Times of central Asia.
A few practical notes:
* They are open every day 09:00-21:00
* There is a service charge of 10% and a minimum spend of 100 Som ($2/1.5Euro)
* A pint (500ml) of Siberian Corona – with the service charge – is 99 Som!
* A Full Monty Breakfast is 210 Som
* Main meals are 200-500 Som
* You may need to walk over to the waitress to get service. They are a little shy, but helpful
Yes its the world famous Kyrgyzstan Flavored Chicken! This little hut sells standard fast food meals - chicken and beef burgers. You can get a quick meal with french fries and a drink for 125 Som (about $3). They advertise that the have "The best burger in Kyrgyzstan". I didn't eat here, but I am sure it tastes great after a night of drinking. They are next to the Peoples Supermarket on a side street behind the Dordoi - Plaza Shopping Center.
This place is so new – it’s not even on their own website yet! Yes. It’s a DAO exclusive. I stumbled – literally due to the snow – into the new 2nd location of Obama. This place gets my vote and you will not have to fork over most of your savings like you have to do with the real Obama. In fact for the quality and service, the real one could learn a thing or 2 about affordability and actually delivering. Yes – the Obama Bar & Grill (2) delivers their delicious food as well. The staff are really friendly and welcoming here. They also were very happy to see the VT Flag.
I just stopped in for a snack later the same day I found this place. I was welcomed the second time just as the first. I ordered a large beer (Baltica being the only non-European beer they do) and a large cold one duly arrived. I had a look through the huge menu. I mean the pages are massive and laminated. Great photos of everything so language is not a barrier at all. I ordered the chicken wings with bleu cheese dressing – which I hate. Normally. I chose this because for about $5 it also comes with a free beer! Get in there! And the wings? Probably the best chicken wings I have ever eaten. Even the bleu cheese sauce was delicious. Totally impressed.
The menu leans towards Tex-Mex and has all the basic food groups:
Pizza, Seafood, Steaks, Pasta, Salads, Dessert and Beer. And if that’s not enough, they sell cigarettes as well – it’s on the menu. Don’t worry they have a non-smoking section and the smoking area is in the back.
Open 7 days a week - 11:00 to Midnight (delivery stops at 23:00)
Service Charge – 12% (so don’t tip!)
Nice place to sit back and have a cold beer while talking to friends on the patio. The inside is nice and open. The food is good. The only 2 things I can think of that would be an improvement would be the seats on the patio and lower floor of the cafe, as well as getting your check when your ready to go. But overall it's a really nice place to have a quite dinner with someone special or a group just wanting to get out over some good food and brew.
Favorite Dish: The steak that I had there was wonderful. Cooked and seasoned well. Took a little to long to get the order, but if you have nothing better to do well worth the wait. They also have a wonderful sausage dish there that was cooked to perfection.
Brand new Sierra has excellent coffee, even decaf!, (and tea, desserts, sandwiches, etc) in a comfortable atmosphere. A patio, main nonsmoking room with big windows, and an entirely separate smoking room provide something for everyone. The wifi is free and actually works.
Favorite Dish: Capucchino--the velvety foam is just right.
One of the better quick meals we had was shwarma at this small restaurant front. There's seating inside, but we were waiting for a map office to open, so didn't have too much time. I think 50 som will get you a shwarma (gyro). Fresh vegetables, but possibly worth the runs! It was for us... I don't remember what street it's on, sorry! But it's near a building with a DHL!
One of the few culinary treats in Bishkek is Bombay Restaurant. This quaint restaurant is very authenticly Indian and has quite an impressive menu. All the standard fare is available, with entrees starting at 150 Som. Beer and wine are also available.
Favorite Dish: Chicken tikka is excellent here!
The Apelsin is located in a weird shaped building right next to Spartak Stadium. It is quite posh, with a chiq bar on ground floor, and the restaurant in first floor. The food was good, but this is not for budget travelers. I advice you to check it out once if youre staying here for a while.
Beta Gastronom is located in the Beta Store (shopping centre) on Chuy prosp. It has a variety of fast-food dishes at very reasonable prices. Burgers, shashlik and a variety of grilled meat, served with chips/fries, rice etc. Mainly young people/teenagers. Good value for money! A grocery store in the same building with a nice selection of stuff too!
Navigator is a restaurant with a small bar attached to it. Its pricey, but the food is very, very good. It has mainly an expat/businessman clientele, and you might want to book a table in advance.
Favorite Dish: I ate here maybe 5-6 times, and everything tasted good, even the fish (Kyrgyzstan is land-locked). Do NOT leave Bishkek without trying the Swan Lake, a beef tenderloin...fingerlickin´good!
Old Edgar resembles a German berstube, and is located in a dimly lit basement next to the Teahre/Dubovy Park. Nice, relaxing atmosphere, with a live band playing a couple of nights a week.
Favorite Dish: The t-bone steak was a exellent, and the pizza was OK.
On the recommendation of a Bishkek native, we went to Cafe Faiza for dinner in the city and were completely satisfied. The restaurant was packed with families and groups having dinner on a Wednesday night, tucking in to huge quantities of delicious local cuisine. No alcohol is served, but you can bring in your own beer. The most thrilling part of this place was the price--we ate like pigs, and the bill for 8 people came to about $20.
No English is spoken but you can just point to things you want on the neighboring tables around you. Staff is hurried but very helpful.
Favorite Dish: The manty, lagman (several varieties are on the menu), and lepeshka were excellent (skip the plov, it was a little on the dry side).
Based on the two incredibly favorable reviews posted here from 2004 (and one mixed review), we made the mistake of trying to eat at Fatboys Cafe. Maybe it was a good place back in 2004, but it was terrible an hour ago in September 2005.
Those milkshakes that one poster raved about? Imagine watered-down skim milk.
We got third-rate, overpriced food catering to expats looking for imitations of Fridays and McDonalds (in a town with neither). Worst meal we've had in Bishkek.