Vegetarian food in Almaty: food guide

Vegetarian food in Almaty? Is that possible? Surely, when you think of food in Kazakhstan, it is primarily meat. Lots of meat. And yes, Kazakhs also eat practically only meat. A dish without meat, is not a dish. This is mainly because they have harsh winters and thus rely on livestock. Fortunately, more and more people are also becoming a little more conscious, and as a result you can eat reasonably vegetarian food in Western-oriented cafes and restaurants.

Funny detail we noticed at many restaurants and cafes: there were water sprinklers to keep you cool on the patio. So you’re having a nice dinner, suddenly a water sprinkler goes on over your head. You don’t get a splash of water over your food right away, thankfully. It is a subtle haze. Crazy though, in the Netherlands you don’t have that. Well so in Almaty. Note that there are almost to no vegetarian restaurants in Almaty. The vegetarian restaurants that do exist had short opening hours and somewhat out of route so we did not visit them. Of course, we mention them later in this article. Therefore, we list all the restaurants where there are good vegetarian options.

Our experiences with semi-vegetarian restaurants in Almaty listed:

#1. Safran


Lebanese restaurant with many choices of mezzes and hummus. Also flavorful falafel. Not to mention delicious pinot grigio! In fact, we have been here twice. We ate outside both times, but inside it is incredibly nicely decorated. So during the winter months, eating inside is not a punishment. The sweet and helpful staff does not really speak English, but again the Russian language booklet comes in handy. Definitely highly recommended!

#2. My cafe


What fun My Cafe is! And they even have on the menu that they have vegetarian options. Wow, this is the first café we came across that had this! I took a rice burger and it was very tasty. There was much more vegetarian on the menu, but unfortunately we were not that hungry. So it stayed with this burger for a while and for Sander some fries. The smoothies and coffee are also very good here. The decor is not inferior to a hip restaurant in Amsterdam or Rotterdam. Although the water sprinklers are also active here. They have a covered outdoor area, which is nice. Especially when it’s pouring rain but still 25 degrees. Highly recommended!


#3. Daredzhani


This Georgian restaurant has -wonderfully- a nice lineup of vegetarian options for non-meat eaters. Since Sander is quite fond of wine, of course we tried the Georgian wine. And yes, it tastes good! The decor is very cozy. The staff speaks small word of English. Highly recommended!

#4. Bollywood

Delicious vegetarian food in Almaty is at this Indian restaurant. A restaurant where they started singing the English version of Suzanne. Eehhm, yes really. Sitting in Kazakhstan, all of a sudden you hear Suzanne, I’m madly in love with you…. The food was good. Lots of vegetarian options as you would expect from an Indian and you get to take home the leftovers. The service speaks some English, the owner anyway, but he is from India. Funny place to eat. But we wouldn’t return there for the decor, we would for the food.


#5. Del papa

Si si prego! Near My Cafe is Del Papa. What a fantastic spaghetti pompodori I ate there. We also ate a toasted sandwich with mushrooms, cheese and truffle. I just barely licked my fingers off. So here you can eat out deliciously veg. The cozy terrace sits on a major street, which can be a bit distracting. When it gets darker outside, the lights come on and it is very romantic and cozy. Map is in English. Staff speaks mini-words of English.
Kabanbay batyra 83, Almaty 050000, Kazakhstan


#6. Travellers cafe

Café serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with a large (shaded) terrace. Fine coffee and English menu. The staff, on the other hand, spoke no English. Nice sandwiches and a fruit breakfast, though.Website


#7. Shakespeare’s pub

We were taken by a Kazakh friend to the Shakespeare Pub. We ourselves would not enter such a pub so quickly during a trip. Because while traveling, we like to seek out as few Westerners as possible. And in a British pub, well there you are so to speak in the den of Westerners.
Nonetheless, I had a delicious Indian vegetable curry on here. The pizza Sander had was not good. If you like bumping into expats, this is a great place. Or if you really suck at Russian, no worries, here you can make yourself understood with English. But for really good vegetarian food in Almaty, this is not the place to be.


#8. Rumi


Setback in terms of food but beautiful in terms of decor: Rumi. It is a feast for the eyes, but unfortunately not for your stomach to sit here. There is not much choice for vegetarians, just some salad or soup.
More info


#9. Malden

Part of a chain. In Shymkent, we had also eaten at a Malden. Although this was a completely different experience. For breakfast, this was a great place.


More vegetarian food in Almaty: vegetarian restaurants


This Indian, vegetarian restaurant in Almaty was only open until 8 p.m. And closed on Sundays. Since we were in Almaty every time on a weekend, so this did not make much progress.
More info


Eco Bar

Hard to find and is attached to a yoga wellness club. You’ll find it in a large work tower. We arrived and so unfortunately they were closed. Turned out you have to eat here before 7 p.m. It did look cozy and everything is vegetarian and based on Ayurvedic food.


The Green Choice

Unfortunately did not have time to visit this joint. Worthwhile, in my opinion. So if you have been here, let us know :). So in short you can eat pretty ok vegetarian food in Almaty

Want to know more about traveling in Kazakhstan? Then read our blogs and tips. Or read all tips for Almaty.