World UNESCO city Samarkand is home to multiple mausoleums and monuments of historical significance. Spread across a relatively small area, the city is highly pedestrian-friendly and most of the sightseeing attractions can be explored on foot.
After a long day of walking the streets however, you’ll be more than ready to plunge into some plov or shovel down some shashlik.
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- Best Shashlik in Samarkand
- Best Plov in Samarkand
- Best Rooftop Restaurant in Samarkand
- Best Uzbek Restaurants in Samarkand
- Best International Restaurants in Samarkand
Best Shashlik in Samarkand
Inspired by Migrationology’s video on Samarkand’s 21m shashlik grill, we decided to jump in a taxi to find this mythical barbecue.
Bitterman’s guide to eating in Samarkand also mentions this top culinary experience at Ikrom Shashlik but alas, all we found was a restaurant under renovation.
Undeterred and hungry, we unintentionally found ourselves at family-owned Ikrom Choyxonasi restaurant, just across the street and to our delightful surprise, we stumbled upon a culinary gem.
Whilst this shashlik grill was perhaps a mere 10m in length, they offered something unique: Miracle Shashlik.
A chunky minced beef kebab infused with butter, tomato and cumin, and generously stuffed with locally produced cheese, this hearty kebab is unique to the restaurant and most likely the best shashlik in Samarkand.
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Best Plov in Samarkand
Plov is the national dish of Uzbekistan and each region has its own style of cooking it. Samarkand plov is different to Tashkent plov in that it is cooked and served in layers rather than cooked together like Tashkent plov.
The meat in Samarkand plov is served on top of the rice and a different, lighter oil is used. Another word for plov is osh.
Samarkand Osh Markazi is a very down-to-earth plov center which sells the best plov in Samarkand. Its simple menu and interior decor allow you to focus on the meal itself.
Staff are efficient and prices very affordable, making this a popular spot for locals. As the restaurant isn’t aimed at tourists, you might struggle to order in English but the restaurant is friendly enough to find a helpful stranger to give you a hand.
It’s out of the city center so you’ll need to get a taxi there. It’s location is just a 5 minute drive from St. Daniel’s Mausoleum.
Best Rooftop Restaurant in Samarkand – Zargaron Restaurant
If you want to dine with a perfect view, then Zargaron Restaurant has the best views of Bibi Khanum mosque you can find.
Located just behind the mosque and with a second floor view, you get a wonderful view of the mosque’s famous turquoise domes as well as its tower.
Online reviews of this place are quite mixed with the bulk of complaints aimed at the service. We had no issues whatsoever but be aware that service can be slow. You can’t pay by card so make sure you have cash.
Best Uzbek Restaurants in Samarkand
1. Manresa Restaurant
Manresa offers a delightful blend of Uzbek favorites like plov, alongside soups, salads, and even sushi. The restaurant boasts a modern yet cozy interior, accompanied by friendly staff and live music for a relaxed atmosphere and dance between meals.
While relatively pricier for locals, it’s still budget-friendly for Western visitors, with main dishes averaging between 100,000 and 200,000 Som ($8-16), providing a diverse and enjoyable dining experience in Samarkand.
What to Order: Shashlik, Samarkand plov, Russian salads. Also beautiful desserts.
Address: 56 Nodirabegim, Samarkand, 140100
2. Samarkand Restaurant
A favorite of ours for its grilled meat, salads and huge dining hall with live music. We took our whole family to the second floor and enjoyed excellent waiter service.
They have a giant menu with mainly Uzbek and Russian cuisine but we recommend sticking to authentic Uzbek food as it’s top quality. Bring your dancing shoes as the lights go down at night.
What to Order: A huge platter of grilled meat with green salads.
Address: 54 Mahmuda Koshgari, Samarkand 140164
3. Karimbek Restaurant
Karimbek offers a diverse array of dishes, with their shashlik being a standout favorite. The restaurant draws a considerable crowd, especially in the evenings with energetic live music.
To help bridge any language gap, photo menus are available, ensuring a smooth dining experience for all.
What to order: Beef and lamb shashlik
Address: 194 Gargarina St., Samarkand 140164
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International Cuisines in Samarkand
Time to switch up your palate? Discover the exciting range of international cuisines available in Samarkand, perfect for those seeking a break from meat and rice.
Italian and other European Food in Tashkent
T-Bone Cafe & Bar
Seeking variety? T-Bone is your go-to. An extensive selection from Russian and European fare to burgers and steaks. They also have a huge breakfast menu and plenty of desserts!
One of the more modern and ambient style of restaurants in the city, the restaurant also has an extensive bar with plenty of choice.
What to order: Steak with a glass of wine or a burger and a beer.
Address: 76 Mirzo Ulugbek St, Samarkand 140100
Pepperoni’s Pizzeria Lounge
Craving pizza? Head to Pepperoni’s for the highest-rated pizzas in town. A pizza lover’s dream come true.
What to order: Beef pepperoni pizza (it’s in the name after all…).
Address: 70A Lutfi Street, Samarkand
Japanese, Korean and Pan Asian Cuisine in Samarkand
A top Pan Asian spot with a mix of Pan Asian and European dishes. Diverse and delectable, it’s a culinary journey in one place.
What to order: Fried shrimp, miso soup, salmon avocado rolls.
Address: 69 Beruni Street, Samarkand, 140100
Satisfy your sushi cravings at Yaponamama. A haven for sushi lovers, it’s where you’ll find an array of sushi, salmon rolls, and refreshing Asian salads.
What to order: Philadelphia salmon rolls and teriyaki beef salad.
Address: 76 Narpay street, Samarkand
Turkish Cuisine in Samarkand
Khan Ahmad Restaurant
The best restaurant in Samarkand for Turkish food offering excellent service and immaculate interior design. Some of the best Turkish kebabs and steak in Samarkand.
What to Order: Steak, leg of lamb, burgers.
Address: 15 Ibn Sina Street, Samarkand, 140100
Indian Restaurants in Samarkand
The Indian Kitchen
A basic but modern restaurant serving Indian classics such as chicken curry, samosas and mutton bhuna. A great options for vegetarians with a full page of mains such as vegetable korma and palak paneer.
Main courses cost between 35,000 and 70,000 Som making this a very affordable option.
What to Order: Butter chicken and garlic naan.
Address: 38 Dahkbed Yui St., Samarkand
Delhi Darbar Restaurant
One of the highest rated restaurants in all of Samarkand according to Google reviews. Unfortunately we never had the chance to visit this one but we’ll be sure to visit next time. The restaurant looks very down-to-earth so don’t go expecting any fine dining.
The location is roughly a 20 minute drive out of town but the chicken biryani seems worth it to us.
What to Order: Chicken biryani
Address: 92 Mavzesi, Samarkand,140161
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