Cover photo © Credits to alenvl/iStock
Cover photo © Credits to alenvl/iStock

Where to try besbarmak, a Kazakh national dish in Almaty

2 minutes to read

Kazakh national cuisine fully reflects the history, culture, and traditions of Kazakh people. Since hospitality is very important for us, our guests are always treated with honor. If you are a guest at the Kazakh house, be sure that you won't go home hungry. You will certainly be offered besbarmak, a Kazakh national dish. However, if you don't have a Kazakh host, I will tell you where to try besbarmak in Almaty. 

Two most important ingredients of our cuisine are milk and meat (exclusively lamb, beef and horse meat). Concerning the milk, it is important to say that the assortment is really unique because Kazakh people use the milk of a sheep, mare, camel, and cow. The drink that is made with horse milk is called koumiss and the one with camel's milk is called shubat. 

Picture © Credits to Armastas/iStock
Picture © Credits to Armastas/iStock

Bezbarmak is all about the meat

Besbarmak is the most popular dish among the Kazakhs. This is the main dish of our national cuisine. Besbarmak in Kazakh means "five fingers" because you should eat it only with your fingers. Of course, it's just a thing of the past, and nowadays everyone uses a fork. It usually consists of boiled meat (often several types), noodles cooked in large rectangles, and a broth.

Picture © Credits to alenvl/iStock
Picture © Credits to alenvl/iStock

Restaurants that are specialized in Kazakh cuisine are not very popular in Kazakhstan since locals love to cook it at home. However, for you, I have selected the best ones in Almaty.

1. Restaurant Gakku

Restaurant Gakku is considered one of the most popular restaurants of Kazakh national cuisine. A special highlight of this place is the appropriate combination of old traditions and new trends in cooking. Ancient Kazakh delicacies and classic nomad food are the basis on their colorful menu. Also, you will notice that the interior of the restaurant and national costumes worn by the waiters create a special impression. The restaurant has one hall, four separate booths and a room for special guests for 10 people, a real Kazakh yurt. By the way, Gakku is a typical Kazakh name for a girl. 

Restaurant Gakku in Almaty
Restaurant Gakku in Almaty
Keremet Microdistrict, Almaty 050000, Kazakhstan

2. Restaurant Zheti Kazyna

The menu in the national restaurant Zheti Kazyna is rich not only with dishes of Kazakh cuisine but also of all Central Asia. Regarding the interior of the place, the restaurant has a spacious hall that harmoniously combines elements of Uygur, Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Chinese and Kazakh national decorations, creating a certain mood and revealing the spirit of Asia. Almaty residents say that this place makes the best and the real Kazakh besbarmak in the city. Zheti Kazyna in Kazakh means "seven treasures". An old Kazakh legend says that a real Kazakh nomad has seven treasures. 

As you can see, the food in Kazakhstan is very simple, just like besbarmak, our national dish. So, if you want to feel the unusual taste of free nomadic life, now you know where to do it in Almaty.

Ресторан Жеті Қазына
Ресторан Жеті Қазына
Абылай хана, 58 А, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Picture © Credits to Skinfaxi/iStock
Picture © Credits to Skinfaxi/iStock

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The author

Heewon Jang

Heewon Jang

My name is Heewon. My interests are travelling, photography and literature. I know how to do things right but I'll always do like i want to :).

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