Call Central Asia a walhalla for foodies and we’d have to brand you a liar, or an idiot. On top of the limited choices and bland flavours, Central Asia’s food philosophy also goes against every possible dietary rule: dishes are drenched in fat or deep-fried, too sugary and too salty, heavy on red meat, dairy and empty carbs and generally devoid of vegetables.
Things are evolving fast, though. A decade ago, there were no coffee bars, craft beers, gourmet burgers, Indian or Chinese restaurants, health shops or halal food. You can now find all of these in big cities.
We haven’t made the time yet to detail all your options, but there is already a good amount of information in the forum threads we link to below.
Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free
Most questions we get regarding food on the Silk Road are about vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Nomadic food cultures are built around dairy and meat, with pasta and bread as the fillers. If you are a gluten-free vegetarian, it’s not easy: you can eat nothing in most Central Asian restaurants outside of the cucumber-tomato salad.
What are your options?
- Gluten-free vegan Q&A
- Kazakhstan for vegetarians/vegans
- Uzbekistan for vegetarians/vegans
- Kyrgyzstan for vegetarians/vegans
- Tajikistan for vegetarians/vegans
- Turkmenistan for vegetarians/vegans
- Iran for vegetarians/vegans
Trekking food, oats and muesli
All info at Silk Road Halal travel.