Best restaurants in Ulaanbaatar

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Indulge in Flavor: The Best Restaurants in Ulaanbaatar for Food Aficionados

Embark on a culinary journey with our guide to the best restaurants in Ulaanbaatar, where authentic Mongolian dishes and global flavors are just a reservation away.

Key Takeaways

  • Ulaanbaatar’s food scene is a mix of traditional Mongolian eats and diverse international cuisines, with something for every palate.
  • You’re spoilt for choice with an array of dining options including cozy family spots, budget-friendly eateries, and high-end restaurants with unique dining experiences.
  • Mongolia’s capital caters to varied diets, offering vegetarian/vegan options and a bustling bar scene for drinks and relaxation.

Savoring Ulaanbaatar's Culinary Scene

Various traditional Mongolian dishes being served in a restaurant

The culinary scene in Ulaanbaatar beautifully combines elements of the old and the new. The city offers an array of best restaurants serving traditional dishes that have been passed down through generations, right next to modern establishments offering international delights. Whether you’re a fan of Asian food, have a taste for Cuban cuisine, or are intrigued by Indian chefs working their magic, Ulaanbaatar has it all.

Cozy restaurants offering a warm welcome illuminate the city as the sun sets. From the ground floor of the Shangri-La Mall to the Veranda restaurant offering a stunning view of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s food scene is as diverse as it is delicious. For those who prefer to stay close to home, there are restaurants right next door that offer a fusion of flavors that are sure to tantalize your taste buds with their delicious dishes and delicious food.

Traditional Mongolian Cuisine

Even though the city is a melting pot of international cuisines, traditional Mongolian dishes remain at the heart of Ulaanbaatar’s food scene. Mongolian cuisine is a testament to the country’s rich history and nomadic culture. Unlike the soy and chili-heavy dishes found in many Asian cuisines, traditional Mongolian food is simple and hearty, relying heavily on meat, particularly beef, and local ingredients.

Khuushur Ayanchin Restaurant

Among the must-try dishes are Khorkhog - a traditional Mongolian barbecue, Khuushuur - a savory pastry, and Chanasan makh - a boiled meat dish. For the adventurous, there’s even a hot pot restaurant where you can have a unique dining experience. When in Ulaanbaatar, one simply cannot miss a meal at the renowned Mongolians restaurant or Modern Nomads, both famous for their traditional Mongolian barbecue and consistent, reliable service.

International Delights

Elegant interior of an international restaurant with extensive wine menu

The food scene in Ulaanbaatar isn’t limited to traditional dishes alone. The city is home to numerous international restaurants that cater to diverse tastes. Whether you’re craving Italian at Veranda, authentic Mexican at California Restaurant - Ikh Mongol, or tantalizing Indian food at Hazara Indian Restaurant, Ulaanbaatar has got you covered.

Each restaurant in Ulaanbaatar offers a unique dining experience. For example, the Choijin Temple Restaurant, located near a historic site, offers a fine dining experience. At the other end of the spectrum, Seoul Restaurant offers a mix of Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Western-style cuisines, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Fusion Flavors

Ulaanbaatar caters to flavor experimenters with a multitude of fusion restaurants mixing Mongolian and international culinary traditions. At Route 22 Restaurant & Lounge, you can enjoy a fancy fusion dining experience with an extensive selection of over 150 wines.

Another unique fusion dining experience can be had at La Rosa Tapas and Tequila Bar, where traditional Spanish and Mexican cuisines meet. With a diverse range of tapas and shared dishes on the menu, as well as an extensive wine menu, dining at La Rosa is a gastronomic journey that you won’t soon forget.

Top Picks for Authentic Mongolian Dining

Several top-rated restaurants offer an authentic Mongolian dining experience for those eager to explore Mongolia’s unique flavors. Restaurants like The Bull Hotpot Restaurant, Modern Nomads, and the Sheep Hot Pot Restaurant are renowned for their Mongolian dishes, offering everything from hotpot and Mongolian barbecue to traditional Mongolian cuisine.

These restaurants serve iconic Mongolian dishes like Buuz (steamed dumplings), Khorkhog (mutton stew), and Tsuivan (stir-fried noodles with horse meat). Alternatively, you could visit the Grand Khan Irish Pub for a different dining experience. Each of these establishments offers a unique food menu that caters to different tastes and preferences.

A Taste of the World: International Restaurants in Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar caters to global cuisine enthusiasts, offering a wide range of dishes from around the world. The city is home to a host of international restaurants that will take you on a culinary journey across the globe. From the tantalizing Italian delights at Veranda to the authentic North Indian cuisine at Hazara Indian Restaurant, the city’s international restaurants are a melting pot of diverse cuisines.

Ulaanbaatar also houses several French restaurants that offer a true French dining experience. Establishments like The Green Zone, Le Bistro Francais, and Le Cabernet are famous for their French delicacies. But that’s not all. If you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine, you’re in for a treat. Arig & Anya, Seoul Restaurant, Sakura Bakery, and many more offer a wide range of Japanese dishes that are sure to satisfy your cravings.

Vegetarian and Vegan-Friendly Dining Options

Assortment of vegetarian and vegan dishes in a restaurant

Even with Mongolia’s meat-centric culinary tradition, Ulaanbaatar accommodates vegetarian and vegan diets. There are several vegan restaurants in the city that cater to all kinds of dietary preferences. Loving Hut, a popular vegan joint, offers a variety of delicious vegan dishes. Their main dishes are reasonably priced, and the restaurant also houses a little store where you can grab vegan goodies.

Even non-vegan restaurants in the city offer vegetarian options. For instance, Rock Salt, a popular dining spot, has a few tasty vegetarian options on its menu. Whether you’re a committed vegetarian or just looking to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, Ulaanbaatar has got you covered.

Unwind with a Drink: Best Bars and Pubs in Ulaanbaatar

Unwind with a drink at one of Ulaanbaatar’s top bars and pubs after a day filled with culinary exploration. One such place is La Fontana. With its outdoor patio and live music events, it’s the perfect spot to relax and socialize.

If you’re a fan of finger foods, you’ll love Brussels. Known for its fish and chips and sharing nachos, it’s the perfect place to grab a bite while enjoying a drink with friends. Whether you’re looking to unwind after a busy day, start your night with a bang, or indulge in a weekend brunch, Ulaanbaatar’s bar scene won’t disappoint.

Sweet Treats: Dessert Destinations in Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar echoes the sentiment that a culinary journey isn’t complete without some indulgence in sweet treats. The city is home to several dessert destinations that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Traditional Mongolian desserts like Boortsog (Mongolian Butter Cookies) and Aaruul (Sour Milk Sweets) are a must-try.

Apart from traditional desserts, Ulaanbaatar also offers some unique sweets. Baborai, an ice cream with milk, and golden gobi chocolate are some of the unique desserts you can find in the city. For a more international selection of sweets, Sweetland Dessert Boutique is the place to go, boasting a perfect score on Tripadvisor.

Budget-Friendly Eats: Affordable Dining Options in Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar affirms the fact that good food doesn’t necessarily have to burn a hole in your pocket. The city offers several budget-friendly dining options, allowing everyone to enjoy its rich food scene regardless of their budget. From The Loving Hut to Millie’s Espresso, these establishments offer delicious meals at a great price.

Apart from restaurants, Ulaanbaatar’s local food markets like the State Department Store and Narantuul Market offer affordable meals. The city’s vibrant street food scene is another option for low-cost dining. So, whether you’re a budget traveler or a local looking to save some bucks, Ulaanbaatar has something for you.

Unique Dining Experiences in Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar not only boasts great food but also unique dining experiences, making it a paradise for food lovers. From joining a cooking class to learn how to make iconic Mongolian dishes to dining at themed restaurants, Ulaanbaatar’s food scene is full of surprises.

At the Bull Hotpot Restaurant and Khuurgandaa Mongolian Grill, you can even cook your own meals, making for a truly personal dining experience. Or, if you prefer a more casual dining experience, you can visit Veranda, with its Italian, Mediterranean, and European themes, or The Green Zone, with its French and European atmosphere. All these options offer a unique take on modern dining style.

Family-Friendly Restaurants in Ulaanbaatar

Catering to all ages and tastes, Ulaanbaatar stands as a fantastic dining destination for families. Several family-friendly restaurants in the city offer special amenities and menus to make dining enjoyable for the whole family.

Restaurants like Hazara, Namaste, and Millie’s Cafe offer a wide range of foods that everyone in the family can enjoy, along with consistent and reliable service. These establishments also have special areas for stroller parking and changing tables in the bathrooms, ensuring that families with children feel comfortable and welcome.

Tips for Enjoying Ulaanbaatar's Food Scene

Approaching Ulaanbaatar’s food scene with the right mindset and information is key to maximizing the experience. From understanding local dining etiquette to mastering some handy Mongolian phrases, a little preparation can go a long way in enhancing your dining experience.

When choosing a restaurant in Ulaanbaatar, consider the following:

  • Look for recommendations from locals and expats
  • Try to find places near popular spots like Sukhbaatar Square and the Shangri-La center
  • Don’t forget to tip your waiter! The usual amount is around 10% of the total bill.


In conclusion, Ulaanbaatar’s vibrant food scene offers a diverse range of dining experiences that cater to all tastes and budgets. From the hearty traditional Mongolian dishes and the eclectic international cuisines to the unique fusion flavors and the lively bar scene, Ulaanbaatar is a food lover’s paradise waiting to be explored.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best snacks in Mongolia?

The best snacks in Mongolia include aaruul, deli sandwiches, pine nuts, and fried dough snacks like boov and boortsog. Have fun snacking!

What is the meaning of Mongolian grill?

The term "Mongolian grill" does not refer to a traditional Mongolian dish. It actually originated in Taiwan in the 1950s and refers to a dining experience where customers choose raw ingredients and sauces for chefs to stir-fry on a large griddle.

What are the best restaurants in Ulaanbaatar?

You should check out Choijin Temple, Ginger Hot Pot, Hutong, MexiKhan, and Rock Salt Restaurant & Lounge for some of the best dining experiences in Ulaanbaatar. Enjoy your meal!

What are some popular Mongolian dishes?

Some popular Mongolian dishes include Khorkhog, Khuushuur, and Chanasan makh. Try them if you get the chance!

Are there vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants in Ulaanbaatar?

Yes, there are vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Ulaanbaatar, such as Loving Hut and Rock Salt. Enjoy your meat-free dining experience!