In recent years the number of full service restaurants in Olgii have increased significantly. From none before 2010, to more than a dozen restaurants today with varied menus, waitresses, VIP rooms, and bars, including restaurants in the bigger hotels and ger camps. These range from local Kazakh and Mongolian fare to Turkish, Korean, Chinese, pizza, doner, and other international options. The old canteens or ‘guanzes’ that existed before are still widely available offering cheap, hot dishes. They offer standard options of buuz (steamed mutton dumplings), hoshuur (fried mutton pancake), and tsavan (mutton with noodles and carrots) washed down with suutai-tsai (milk tea) or koumis (fermented mare’s milk). Between the full service restaurants and the guanzes is a range of limited service cafes that span the spectrum. The best option is always to eat with a family. Kazakhs have many delicious meat dishes that they make for special occasions.
Full Service Restaurants
- Pamukkale Turkish Restaurant: The oldest and busiest restaurant in Olgii, it offers Turkish, Kazakh, and Mongolian meals for reasonable prices from 10 am to 10pm. Wifi available, No alcohol. A coffee shop located behind the restaurant with lattes made from freshly ground coffee beans, along with smoothies, Turkish teas, and cakes.
- Arvin (АРВИН) Restaurant, Coffee and Book: Occupies 2 floors of a building directly behind the 10 story building on the Central Square. The 1st floor has a full bar and dinning room, while the 2nd has a cozy coffee shop and book store. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner from Mongolian, Kazakh, Asian, European, and American dishes in addition to coffees, shakes, and cocktails.
- Blue Wolf Restaurant: In front of the Blue Wolf Ger Camp, services Kazakh, Mongolian, and International meals catering to foreigners. Serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Live entertainment during the summer months. Located 1 km south of the center on the road to Hovd.
- Makhsum Center Restaurant: Located in a new 5-story hotel directly behind the theatre. The restaurant has a large variety of dishes ranging from Mongolian dishes to pizza, burgers, curry, and pastas. Drink menu includes cappuccinos, coffee, smoothies, and cocktails.
- Bai-Oake Restaurant: Located on the Central Square. Specializes in Kazakh and Mongolian dishes including some of the traditional Kazakh dishes not found in other restaurants. Coffee shop located on the first floor with fancy coffees and smoothies.
- Owl Sky Restaurant/ Momo Hot Pot: Located on Sagsai Road, east of AH4, between Tsambagarav Supermarket and Central Square. Serves Chinese, Korean, and Mongolian hot pot dishes cooked at your table. Cooked dishes and alcohol available.
Limited Service Options
- BES Halal Food: Located on the 2nd floor of the 7-floor blue and orange apartment building on the square. BES is a classic American-style fast food restaurant with burgers, pizza, fries, onion rings, and fountain sodas.
- BU Pizza Big: Located on the road to Sagsai, just west of AH4 road, behind Tsambagarav Supermarket. Serves variety of pizza options including cheese, chicken, Hawaiian, and meat. Take out or dine-in.
- Tolganai Restaurant: Located behind the Tavan Bogd Hotel across the street from the Theater. Tolganai has a simple one page menu of local favorites like lagman, buuz, hoshuur, and tsuivan. Its nicer than a typical guanze, but at similarly low prices.
- Uighur Guanze: Though it looks like a guanze, this small cafe serves a large menu of soups, noodle, and rice dishes from the small Uighur population. Located near the market, walk past the gate, turn left, and it is the small cafe on the right.
- Guanzes all offer the same menu for similar prices. 5 or 6 buuz or 4 hoshuur and a milk tea will cost less than 6000 MNT ($2.50). Several are in the market and one is just west of the post office in a small brick building.