Shymkent has a decent amount of good quality restaurants running the gamut from Asian to local to Turkish and Italian cuisine (often all at the same time), and a couple of good coffee bars. Anyone should be able to afford a decent meal here. For more, see the city guide to Shymkent. Find locations on the Shymkent map.
Icons: sleep – eat – see and do – going out – tours
Kazakhasia: The best place for Kazakh food, as well as Pan-Asian and Japanese. 3 open kitchens and a bright interior add to the positive atmosphere. Recommended. Mains 1000-2000 tenge.
Kok Saray: Very good Uzbek food for simple prices. Beautiful interior and a terrace, centrally located. Recommended if you are not heading to Tashkent. Mains 1000-1500 tenge.
Turandot: Not in the center, but recommended for its large choice of very well-prepared Chinese and Italian dishes. A decent, but loud band entertains on weekend evenings. Mains 1200-2500 tenge.
Bar Villa: With a good location in Abay park and tastefully designed, you can eat well-prepared Italian cuisine in style here. Not expensive by Western standards, it is by Shymkent standards. Mains 1500-3000 tenge.
Ladushki – Usadba: For budgeteers, Ladushki (2 locations in town) offers a large selection of decent cafeteria food. Good for vegetarians. A coffee and tea bar is attached. 30% off after 9pm for the real cheapos. Mains 100-400 tenge.
Wok Wok: Decent Asian cuisine in a stylish decor. Mains 1200-2500 tenge.
Eldoro: A 24/7 place that does breakfast, Central Asian staples, decent pizza and a variety of salads and meat dishes. Mains 600-1500 tenge.
Istanbul: If you really like Turkish food, you will enjoy Istanbul. Otherwise you won’t. Mains 800-1500 tenge.
Karavan: Inside the centrally located Ken Baba Ethno Park, Karavan serves up mediocre Central Asian classics (shashlik, lagman, etc.). A plus is the lovely setting, with Uzbek topchans to relax on for hours. Mains 1000-1500 tenge.
Coffee and tea
Koritsa: Across from the Ken Baba Ethno Park, Korean-run Koritsa serves up good coffee and a decent pancake breakfast. Strong wifi, but no terrace.
Madlen: Quality coffee and cakes and a terrace to see and be seen out front make Madlen a Shymkent favorite. There’s another branch inside Ken Baba Ethno Park.