Silk Road Spices is a family-run spice shop in the historical city of Bukhara, one of the oldest cities in Central Asia and an important Silk Road destination. In fact, the Ubaydov family has been in the spice trade for more than 600 years. Conveniently located near the Minaret of Mir-i Arab Madrasa, this spice shop is also home to the delightful Silk Road Tea House. The teahouse is beautifully decorated with antiques that reveal the unique heritage of the area. There is a wide selection of unique ginger and saffron tea blends, as well as cardamom coffee, which can be enjoyed with a range of delicious snacks and dishes that make use of the abundance of spices available. The heady, spice-infused atmosphere and magnificent architecture all add to the spellbinding experience of this teahouse, making it a must-visit during a day of exploring the labyrinthine streets of the old city.
Silk Road Tea House, 5 Halim Ibodov Street, Bukhara, Uzbekistan, +998 65 224 2268
There are two branches of City Grill in the heart of Tashkent, both of which are decorated in a classy and sophisticated style, with a clean monochrome colour scheme and polished wood floors. As the name suggests, the restaurant specialises in grilled dishes, boasting the best steaks, and some of the best European food, in the city. The wine list also features a superb selection of imported and local drinks. The newer branch on Shahrisabz Street is less cosy than the original, but it does offer two rooms for smoking and non-smoking, as well as a children’s entertainment room and a summer terrace.
City Grill, 1 Shaykhantaur Street, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, +998 90 910 04 50, +998 241 52 02, and 23 Shahrisabz, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, +998 910 04 50, +998 977 71 16
Caravan is Tashkent’s premier theme restaurant, popular with expats and tourists for its accessible and tasty encapsulation of Uzbek cuisine and culture. Local specialties are all present and correct on the extensive menu, including the national dish plov, a mixture of rice, meat, carrots and onions, shashlik kebab and samsa. Not only is Caravan renowned for its food, it also features an art gallery, a handicraft shop full of traditional knick-knacks, and fascinating local artefacts on the walls. To round off the Uzbek experience, the restaurant also hosts live jazz performances, local folk music and cultural events. Booking ahead is recommended if you want to sit in the courtyard, especially at weekends.
Caravan Art Cafe, 22 Abdulla Kahhor Street, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, +988 71 150 6606/ 7555