While the cuisine of Ulaanbaatar may generally be associated with traditional Mongolian meat-based dishes, the city actually offers an eclectic dining scene featuring vegetarian restaurants, Irish pub grub and Sri Lankan fare. Read our updated guide to Ulaanbaatar’s 10 Best Cultural Restaurants to discover the city’s best venues.
Legend has it that no matter where in the world you find yourself, you are bound to stumble across an Irish pub – and this is true even in Mongolia. Established in 2005, the Grand Khan Irish Pub is the perfect destination for diners who like to relax in a casual, informal and welcoming environment, while enjoying some hearty pub grub and a drink or two. Grand Khan Irish Pub’s menu abounds with fare evocative of the Emerald Isle, with dishes that include traditional Irish lamb shanks and Irish stew. The pub features a covered outdoor patio perfect for enjoying an Irish or Mongolian beer while watching the hustle and bustle of Ulaanbaatar’s busy streets.
Located within the Kempinski Hotel Khan Palace, Khara Khorum offers guests a fine dining experience in stylish and opulent surroundings. The interior features bold bright pink walls complemented by gold curtains and wall hangings, while a central column is decorated in striking, intricately carved wooden dragons. The restaurant is named after the 13th century capital of the Mongol Empire, and befittingly serves traditional Mongolian fare, with dishes such as bantan cream soup – a soup of lamb, flour and onions – and the popular khuushuur, a dumpling filled with minced lamb and pan-fried. A number of vegetarian versions of Mongolian dishes and European dishes are also available.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
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When it was founded in 2008 by co-owners Altanzaya and Ariunaa, Luna Blanca was only the second vegetarian restaurant in the whole of Mongolia. During its six years in operation, it has become one of the most popular vegetarian eateries in the country. Established as a social enterprise with the aim of encouraging healthier diets amongst Mongolians, the profits made by the restaurant contribute towards the promotion of healthy food. Luna Blanca’s cosy café-style interior provides a welcoming spot in which to enjoy its tasty fare. Guests can choose from dishes such as the vegetariantsuivan – home-style fried noodles with carrot, cabbage, sweet pepper and soy protein.
*Address from 1 October: Luna Blanca, 1st Floor, FPMT Centre, Tourist Street 16, Ulaanbaatar Mongolia, +976 9907 7885
MexiKhan, a restaurant serving authentic Mexican cuisine, boasts the unique title of being Mongolia’s first and only Mexican restaurant. Serving a menu packed full of this fiery fare, all dishes are made by the restaurant’s team of Mexican and Mongolian chefs. Dishes are based around locally sourced produce, including meat from the Bulgan province in the north of the country, which is widely regarded to be the most tender and succulent meat Mongolia has to offer. Relax in MexiKhan’s warm and stylish interior, with dishes such as the camarones sureños appetiser of tiger prawns stuffed with cheese and the chile rellenos entrée – green chillies stuffed with pork carnitas and melted cheese, topped with red sauce.
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