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Question: Being vegetarian in Kyrgyzstan?

I'm very hapy i have found this online community!

here is my first question:
How easy is it to be vegetarian in Kyrgzystan?

My research has shown me the Kyrgzy people can not live without meat! I Am actually vegan (no dairy or eggs) but for this trip I feel I will make an effort to come half way and eat dairy and eggs (but no meat!). I have a number of reasons why I do not eat meat, and while some of them do not apply to KG, (Factory farming, mass production) I still would never eat a sheeps head! I know this is real Kyrgyz cuisine but it is something i do not want to change. 

I am actually worried that I will really offend some hosts because I won't eat their food. I will know in russian how to explain myself, but I am worried everywhere I this will be a problem.

I am happy to live off dried fruit and nuts from the bazzars, but I feel the only thing that could be a problem will be trying to explain to them (In russian) why I choose not to eat their food.

Somebody please can you give some more infromation on this!

Thanks in advance,


Replies (4)


Alex 3 years ago

Dear Andy,

My name is Alex and I welcome to the amazing country of Kyrgyzstan!  One of the best parts of being in Central Asia is the food!  Even vegetarians love it!  It’s true that many dishes in Central Asia have meat in them, but you can enjoy countless salads and endless different types of breads and teas.  My best advice is to be flexible with your hosts and make sure to explain to your guide or hosts that you are vegetarian. 

I would not worry about offending local people because you do not eat their dishes, but make sure to have a few phrase words ready.

*First is Kyryz and the seckond is Russina.

What do you have to eat?

Эмне тамак бар?

Что у вас есть? 


Do you have any food without meat?

Этсиз тамак барбы?

У вас есть блюдо без мяса? 


I don’t eat meat.

Мен эт жебейм.

Я не кушаю мясо. 


Could you give me one portion of ………?

Бир порция …….. бериңизчи?

Дайте мне одну порцию ………, пожалуйста? 


Could you give me a half portion of …….?

Жарым порция ……. бересизби?

Дайте мне пол порции …….. пожалуйста?


Could you give me change, please?

Майданы кайрып бересизби?

Сдачу, пожалуйста? 


Could you give me a menu, please?

Мага менюну бересизби?

Дайте мне меню, пожалуйста? 


One pot of tea.

Бир чайнек чай.

Чайник чая. 


One liter of water.

Бир литр суу.

Литр воды. 

I hope this helps you on your tour here in Kyrygzstan.  Make sure to plan ahead and always keep a small bag of nuts / something to eat just incase they have no vegetarina dishes.  





Ibraim 3 years ago

Hey Andrew! It is okey if you are vegan!) Here we have o lot foods and meals, soups without meat. As Mike noticed we have many vegeratins cafe. For examlpe in Karakol you can find Ethno Cafe Dastorkon. Also we have dungan cousine, cafe, Korean cafes  e.t.c. They are making a lot vegetarian meals. Almost in every cafe should to be soup without meat.

So it is not problem)

I also heard that very often some vegetarian who visitng Kyrgyzstan become non-vegetarians during journey in KG. )

I have experiance with vegetarian tourist. When our family found out that she vegetarian we started prepare meal without meat, even popular dish Lagman ) 

Have a good journey in Kyrgyzstan! 


michael 3 years ago

Guess that your research is wrong, there are many vegetarians and quite a few vegans here.  We have tourists from all over the world and we have no problem in coping with almost any dietary requirement, vegan included.  What I would say is that give people advanced notice - nobody is happy if you tell them as the food is put on the table.


Andrew 3 years ago

I'm delighted to hear that I'm wrong! Much better situation that if I'm right! :) just to be clear though Im not really talking about Bishkek, I'm mainly talking about invitations from rural people. I can imagine the very idea of bring vegan for them is completely crazy.


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