Restaurants in Ulaanbaatar
Ulaanbaatar Restaurants: Modern Nomads
Ulaanbaatar Restaurants: Luna Blanca
Ulaanbaatar Restaurants: Altai Mongolian Grill
Ulaanbaatar Restaurants: Hazara
Ulaanbaatar Restaurants: Khara Khorum
Ulaanbaatar Restaurants: Ceylonta
Ulaanbaatar Restaurants: Grand Khan Irish Pub
For many travellers before arriving into Mongolia, their idea of local Mongolian cuisine is a meal consisting of meat meat meat.
To some degree, the protein-based diet may be accurate, although within the capital diets are changing, and there are some tasty restaurants in Mongolia in the offering.
Due to the traditional nomadic living from the Ger (large tent) and Mongolia's extreme climate food in Mongolia hasn't evolved into the most exciting of culinary delights.
Mongolians living out in the countryside will consume meat and dairy products from their domesticated animals. The meat will be prepared in only a few ways boiled, steamed, or fried aside from this; the meat will be dried for future use in the winter. Milk and cream will make various drinks as well as cheese and curds some preserved for the winter months. Very few seasonings are be added in Mongolian cooking apart from salt which will also be added to tea.
Since the opening up of Mongolia, in the 1990s things have begun to change especially as the country modernises. People are becoming more affluent, and there is influence through foreign trade, TV and travel. Now, as one travels around Ulaanbaatar, they will find a growing modernising, metropolitan city. Mongolians are keen to try new things UB now has Russian, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, German, French, Italian, American and Kazakh restaurants.
To make the most of your visit we have compiled a shortlist of what we feel are some of Ulaanbatars better restaurants. Do be aware that in a developing city such as UB things do change rapidly.
The Modern Nomads is a Mongolian chain restaurant favoured among tourists and locals alike. Modern Nomads offer meals in line with Mongolia's culinary traditions as well as some with a little western spin to make them more appealing. This restaurant with reasonable success tries to encapsulate the rich taste of Mongolian food culture and appeal to the first time visitor.
We like the mix of traditional dishes and natural flavours, as well as the use of local ingredients, presented in a modern dining style. There are also western-style salads and sides to help add a mix to your meal.
All of the Modern nomads' restaurants have a modern feel, attractive décor and a laid back kind atmosphere. During peak season some of the restaurants in the city centre bay be bursting at the seams with tour groups.
Meals are reasonably priced; there is a mix of choices ranging from sheepshead though to a decent vegetarian selection.
Upon its opening in early 2008, Luna Blanca Ulaanbaatar restaurant was one of the only vegetarian restaurants in the whole country.
It started something, however, as now there are more than 30 various options. We do love Luna Blanca as it was a first, it is local, and above all else, the food is still brilliant. It was initially started by co-owners Altanzaya and Ariunaa, whose aim was to promote healthier diets and living style within Mongolia.
This comfortable style restaurant has the air of walking into someone's living room with staff always happy to try and make a little space.
The food here is excellent, and that's coming from a life long carnivore prices are reasonable and meals tasty and filling. For any vegan visitor to a country, it is lovely to try the local variations this is where Luna Blanca comes into its own serving Mongolian bansh, buuz and khuushuur.
The restaurant also servers a range of tasty teas and revitalising juices.
Do book in advance, especially during June –August as the restaurant does get very busy.
Address: 16 Tourist Street, Khoroo 1 Ulaanbaatar, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Altai Mongolian Grill is a real tourist favourite in terms of Ulaanbaatar restaurants. It opened its first branch way back in 2006, since that time it has expanded to six restaurants.
For those that have visited a Mongolian BBQ grill at home, you will be familiar with the dining concept. At Altai Mongolian Grill you pay a set price and create dishes according to your individual preferences. There are vegetables, meats, noodles, seasoning and sauces you mix these yourself, adding them to a bowl. There are suggested mixes, once you have filled your pot, one of the local chefs will cook it for you over a rather impressive hot plate.
The meal is surprisingly good and very interactive perfect for socialising. Aside from the food for self-preparation, there is a mix of local and western side dishes to keep you filled up.
Vegetarians can eat here, although one should take care as all food is cooked on a large shared hotplate. The hotplate is wiped down regularly, although it may not be to everyone's liking.
Hazara is a must for those in search of Ulaanbaatar restaurants who are craving a bit more fire in their food, great when returning from a long tour.
This bright yellow building is hidden away behind the Wrestling Palace on Peace Avenue. Hazara is one of the cities longest-standing restaurants serving real authentic North Indian cuisine. The décor is not the most impressive although it has that Indian restaurant feel Hazara can cater for large groups and those more intimate booking.
Popular choices include the chicken murgh malai, delicious and creamy chicken marinated in yoghurt and spices, or signature dish raan e hazara, a leg of lamb marinated overnight with Indian spices.
The food is good and the dishes varied, unlike some other Indian restaurants in Ulaanbaatar which seem to use one flavoured sauce for all meals!
District 13, Khoroo 6 Ulaanbaatar, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
A more upmarket affair, this stylish Ulaanbaatar restaurant is located within the Kempinski Hotel.
Named after the 13th-century Mongolian capital heart of the then Mongol Empire, Khara Khorum offers guests a modern, elegant fine dining experience.
One of five restaurants in the Kempinski Hotel - this is our top pick. Khara Khorum provides a menu featuring many traditional Mongolian dishes including tsuivan, stewed noodles and Mongolia's famous steamed dumplings. Khara Khorum's most well-known dish is khuushuur, a delicious pan-fried dumpling filled with locally sourced minced lamb.
Apart from these local classics, the restaurant serves a variety of European dishes and a good selection of vegetarian choices.
As far as we are aware, this is the only Sri Lankan restaurant in Mongolia, and the only Sri Lankan restaurant amongst the Ulaanbaatar restaurants.
Ceylonta opened in Ulaanbaatar and is popular amongst locals for its abundant use herbs and spices not common to Mongolian cuisine.
The menu at Ceylonta is unique for a restaurant in Ulaanbaatar in that it changes five times a week.
The Sri Lankan chefs designed a menu using ingredients imported from this distant island nation. Meals have included Sri Lankan malucurry (a fish curry), batu moju (an eggplant-based dish) and Maldives fish. We recommend that if you have a sweet tooth try the Sri Lankan dessert watalappam, (prepared with coconut honey and jaggery sugar). As well as the fantastic food Ceylonta has an impressive range of over 60 varieties of Ceylon tea to try.
We couldn't finish our list without adding this tourist classic.
It's said wherever you go in the world; you're bound to come across an Irish pub, Ulaanbaatar has at least three this is the most well known.
The Grand Khan Irish Pub is a perfect choice for those looking for a western blowout, or simple, Mongolia staples washed down with a few beers. Steaks, sandwiches, soups and pizzas are all offered on the menu with Irish stew and lamb shanks: Irish, Mongolian beers and a rather well-stocked bar are available.
It may not be the traditional cosy peat block burning pub you were expecting, but it does offer a vibrant modern feel as well as outdoor covered seating. Peak season the bar feels as though it's the domain of mostly ex-pats and tourists while a visit off of these times is a more mixed affair.