For a country whose main cuisine is based on a variety of meat and flour combinations, you would be surprised to learn how diverse Ulaanbaatar’s gastronomic offer is. Whether you are visiting for business or you are a traveller who just came from a trip throughout the countryside, this list of the best restaurants in Ulaanbaatar is exactly what you need.

In order to create this list of restaurants I asked fellow residents to vote in a poll for their favourite eating joints so I believe the results are pretty solid and trustworthy. Pick your choices and enjoy!

Check the table of contents to navigate all the options and be sure to download the map I have created at the bottom of this extensive list.

This is the only list of the best restaurants in Ulaanbaatar you will need. Whether 
 you are visiting for business or you are a traveller who just came from a trip throughout the countryside, ditch hours of research and stick to this list curated by the foodie residents of the Mongolian capital.

A few pieces of advice from an expat in Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar is a city in constant change and that extends to the restaurant scene. Many businesses come, go or change chefs and waiting staff, which results in unpredictable changes in the quality of food or service. I have a couple of acquaintances who own restaurants and have told me of their struggle to keep their staff for long periods of time. Consequently, more often than desired, restaurants find themselves in an ongoing process of staff training. Therefore, take the following into account:

  1. Service can be below expectations at times, especially during hectic periods like Naadam Festival.
  2. Always check the latest restaurant reviews online to give you a better perspective; what’s great now might not be so in a few months.
  3. Find the Facebook page of the restaurant you want to try and check their latest news, such as special menus or opening times.

Far from discouraging you, I want you to be better prepared for the experience, so please, give these restaurants a try, I am 99% sure you will not regret it ;).

The 10 best restaurants in UB in order of popularity

1. Rosewood Kitchen Enoteca

Rosewood is one of the most popular expat joints and was voted the best restaurant in Ulaanbaatar. It was my favourite restaurant when I first arrived in Mongolia. For one, they have a delicious brunch, but most importantly they are dog friendly (and that is a big plus in this country).

Rosewood has a solid menu based on Italian and US cuisine with a number of pasta dishes, steaks and salads among many other fantastic bites. They offer vegan and vegetarian options although their kitchen is not vegan free.
Occasionally, they offer Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.

The customer service in Rosewood and any other business ran by Rosewood Hospitality Group is outstanding and, in my opinion, one of the best in the whole city. Everyone who works here is very well trained, the waiting staff generally speaks fluent English and their communication skills are above average.

This is a place for everyone, the atmosphere is welcoming and is great for a family gathering, a friend catch up or a date with your other half. You can make reservations but usually walk ins are fine.

Rosewood at a glance:
Cuisine: Italian, American
Open for: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Price range for main courses: 28,000 to 55,000 tugrik
Come here for: brunch with bottomless mimosas, custom cut steaks and their classic burger.
Cool little things: they have home brewed kombucha, sometimes made with local seabuckthorn – it is seasonal, so it may not always be available.|

Photo credits: Rosewood Hospitality Group

2. Veranda

Veranda is the first Mediterranean restaurant that opened in Mongolia – in 2006 – and was voted second best restaurant for good reason. Their highly trained chefs consistently deliver high quality dishes that do not disappoint, and you can pair them with any wine from their extensive wine menu. If you go for dinner make sure you make a reservation a few days in advance. Everybody raves about their pasta dishes. I don’t eat pasta, but I rave about their thin crust pizza, one of the best in Ulaanbaatar.

Veranda at a glance:
Cuisine: Italian and Mediterranean
Open for: lunch, dinner
Price range for main courses: 38,000 – 55,500 tugrik
Come here for: thin crust pizzas, a small little terrace in summer, an intimate date.
Little cool things: if you go to the Fat Club, the jazz club just downstairs, you can order food from Veranda and eat it before or during the show.

Photo credits: Veranda Restaurant

3. Namaste

Namaste has become everyone’s favourite Indian restaurant in Ulaanbaatar with currently three branches. Shamefully, I have to admit I have never been to any of them; I have only ordered online. The most popular location is the original venue in the Flower Hotel – my friend Guenia who has lived in Mongolia for over 10 years swears by it – but there is a more centric location south of Sukhbaatar Square, near that leaning man statue. Before you order, take into account that dishes will not be as spicy as you would expect in other parts of the world.

Namaste at a glance:
Cuisine: Indian
Open for: lunch, dinner
Price range for main courses: 21,000 – 37,500 tugrik
Come here for: delicious Indian curries

4. La Rosa Tapas and Tequila Bar

La Rosa is the newest restaurant by Rosewood Hospitality Group, the same people who own Rosewood, the number one restaurant on tis list. I knew I was going to love this restaurant from the minute Cliff, chef and owner, told me that he was going to open a Spanish and Mexican fusion restaurant. The menu offers tapas and shared dishes with traditional and fusion plates from those two countries.

This place is great for a fun, social gathering or an exquisite dinner. Every time there was something to celebrate I would organise in La Rosa. My birthday, my friends’ birthdays, my farewell, my friend’s farewell, after work get togethers… and many other nonspecial dinners that would become special just because the atmosphere is always bubbly.

They do not take reservations unless you rent their private room, so be sure to arrive early or you will be waiting to get a table.

La Rosa at a glance:
Cuisine: Spanish, Mexican fusion
Open for: dinner
Price range for their tapas: 6,000 – 22,000 (seafood items are the most expensive)
Come here for: the taco platters, their mezcal and margaritas, and the churros.
Little cool things: a billiards table, housemade Mexican tortillas and hot sauces with imported chilies and dried corn.

Photo credits: Rosewood Hospitality Group

5. Millies Cafe (also Millies Espresso)

Millies is probably the first foreign cafe that opened in Ulaanbaatar. Run by Cuban resident Daniel Correa, Millies is a family business that has been active for over 20 years. The menu offers a wide range of breakfast and lunch easy dishes at a great price; they have a wide variety of breakfast options, both savory and sweet, and many combo dishes, soups and salads for lunch. While I would not visit Millies for a foodie experience, I really enjoy the comfort of the place and the atmosphere. For me, however, the highlight is their relatively recent creole dinner menu, with most of the dishes being very interesting and flavourful. For a small dinner plate, try the soup and if you are hungry go for the fajita.

Millies at a glance:
Cuisine: International, Cuban creole
Open for: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Price range for main courses: 14,000 to 24,000 tugrik
Lunch menu price: a la carte
Come here for: cheap comfort food, dinner
Little cool things: they offer homemade baked goods like dulce de leche – rated as the best in UB by most of the Southamerican expats I know – or natillas. It’s off the menu, and they go fast, so make sure you get your piece before the evening crowd comes.

6. Choijin Temple Restaurant

If you get hungry after visiting the Choijin Lama Temple and are up for healthy fine dining, this is your spot. Right behind the temple, you can find the Choijin Temple restaurant, an elegant venue established in 2016 that offers a tasty Mediterranean menu with a Mongolian twist. You can find a wide variety of dishes from antipasti to different meats and fish, pastas and risottos. Everything is great and you cannot go wrong, but let me point out that their salad bowls are probably the best in the city, they are huge and great for sharing.

They pride themselves in their marrow risotto and bone marrow soup, two dishes you can only try at their restaurant. You can get vegan versions of some dishes upon request.

If you need to further detox from your countryside diet, get one of their healthy teapots.

Choijin Restaurant at a glance:
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Open for: lunch, dinner
Price range for risottos: 23,000 – 34,000 tugrik
Lunch menu price: a la carte
Come here for: upscale healthy food, marrow dishes, signature pizzas
Little cool things: catering services and special events at the Choijin Lama Museum gardens

Photo credits: Choijin Temple Restaurant

7. Brussels

Brussels is a beer bar with an extensive beer menu and it is located at the back side of the Shangri-La Mall, where the Shangri-La Hotel access road is located. The food has progressively been getting better and it has been my outdoor dining choice during the hot summer nights of Ulaanbaatar. They have many finger food favourites like fish and chips or sharing nachos (the tortilla chips are quite unique). They are currently serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, but I honestly find lunch very uninteresting.

They are quite active on Instagram, so be sure to check them out to see their latest news and events.

Brussels at a glance:
Cuisine: European, pub food
Open for: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Price range for main courses: 21,900 – 39,000 tugrik
Lunch menu price: 23,000 tugrik
Come here for: wide variety of Belgium beers and one of the best burgers in UB
Little cool things: big outdoor area during summer

8. Loving Hut

A well-established vegan restaurant with several locations in the city, the most popular one on Tourist Street, opposite the Zanabazar Museum. I absolutely love everything on their menu, especially their vegan twists on Mongolian traditional foods. The staff does not speak English, but the menu comes with pictures and it should be easy enough to order. The venue is pleasant and ample but it can get crowded during lunch. They have a small shop where you can buy their vegan products, including vegan eggs which are surprisingly good. This is your stop if you want to get some vegan items for your trip to the countryside.

Loving Hut at a glance:
Cuisine: vegan
Open for: lunch
Price range for main courses: 10,900 -13,900
Come here for: vegan khuushur and buuz
Little cool things: they have their own vegan line of products that they sell in the store

9. MACU

MACU is the acronym for Mongolian Artisan Cheese Union and I am beyond excited that this modest venue made it to the top ten of best restaurants in Ulaanbaatar. Their main business plan revolves around operating cheese plants and distributing Mongolian cheese. Their shop and cafe became very popular among locals when it first opened and that used to be my to go place before Covid hit. Since then, they struggled to get back in business but it looks like they have finally picked up. They currently have a Russian chef that makes the best borscht soup I have ever tried. Check their facebook page for updates and to see some of their menu items.

MACU at a glance:
Cuisine: cheese and a little bit of everything (European, Russian, Mongolian…)
Open for: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Price range for main courses: 20,000 – 38,000 tugrik
Lunch menu price: 22,000 + tax
Come here for: a taste of European style cheeses made with Mongolian milk.
Little cool things: cheese platters with wine pairings

Photo credits: Macu Fromagerie

10. Nazca Restaurant and Lounge

The one and only Peruvian inspired restaurant in Ulaanbaatar. With a rather limited menu, this restaurant is a great place to enjoy some Southamerican style dishes and their signature Peruvian cocktails with pisco sour. Nazca, owned by Peruvian natural Antonio, is still in its baby stages, but it is gaining popularity among residents for its great atmosphere, delicious food and salsa nights. Although Nazca is can be a quiet place to have dinner, every Friday, the dining area becomes a dance floor where everyone is ready to show off their best moves. My personal choices are the empanadas, lomo saltado and seafood rice.

Nazca at a glance:
Cuisine: Southamerican inspired
Price range for main courses: 24,000 – 42,000 tugrik
Lunch menu price: 19,900 tugrik
Come here for: pisco sours and salsa nights
Little cool things: special events with themed menus (eg. Valentine’s Day) occasionally.

Photo credits: Nasca Restaurant and Lounge

Honorable mentions:

Some of the following restaurants were voted for in the poll but did not make it into the top 10 and some others I chose because they deserve a shoutout in some way or another. So here you have some more choices of restaurants in Ulaanbaatar!

Caucasia

Have you ever tried Georgian food? Well, don’t wait to go to Georgia and give this restaurant a try, you will not regret it. Caucasia is in an inconspicuous corner close to the Circus but a simple Google search -and the map below – will put you in the right direction. The decoration of this restaurant is very elaborate, with many regional artifacts on the walls that will keep you busy looking around you while you wait for your food. During evening hours the light is dim with a tint of red in the main dining area. I personally don’t enjoy dim light when I eat, but it hasn’t stopped me from coming back to Caucasia. The staff doesn’t always speak the best English but you have a menu with mouthwatering pictures that you can point at. If you go, try their delicious khachapuri.

Mongolians

Although Mongolians ranked very low on the list of best restaurants in Ulaanbaatar, it certainly deserves to be mentioned as the venue has unbeatable decor that matches a museum’s. It is located on the top floor of the Shangri-La Mall and it has an outdoor terrace you can enjoy in the summer months. During winter they set up the terrace with a few gers (yurts) where you can enjoy a Mongolian fine dining experience. Their menu has a little bit of everything, and of course, they offer some of the most famous Mongolian dishes, like goat head.

The Green Zone

Over the years, the restaurant Green Zone has earned the heart of both young tourist and expat crowd with its unassuming and good vibes atmosphere. And probably their parties, too. Owned and operated by French chef Jessie, this restaurant offers a fresh taste of Mediterranean staples like hummus, falafel or gazpacho and other Western dishes like pastas, pizzas or sandwiches. They have recently opened a second restaurant called The Reef, on the street parallel to Sukhbaatar Square on the west side. Their look is more polished than Green Zone but the menu is still the same.

Sakura

Sakura is famous for its bakery products (OMG! That fluffy Japanese cheesecake) and for its ridiculously cheap yet delicious katsus. If you are around the State Department Store during lunch, give them a try, but be sure to get to the line before you get hangry since the place gets really busy and a line will form outside the restaurant. Be sure you don’t sit around after you are finished eating, people waiting in line will be giving you the death stare.

Dony Pork

Pork is starting to become a popular meat in Mongolia and Dony Pork is a place where you can find it, Korean style. This Korean BBQ restaurant is a bit off the main tourist areas but if you are nearby the Chinggis Khan National Museum, it’s less than ten minutes away northbound. It really isn’t that far, but having so many other options more visible to you, you might not feel compelled to go up the road if there is nothing particular in that direction.

Escobar

A very recent addition to the night scene of Ulaanbaatar, Escobar has quickly gained positions as one of expats’ faves because of its salsa nights. I went there for dinner once and never again, but having said that, Escobar makes it to the list because you have to take it for what it is, a fun place to be. I hear chile relleno is a safe option to choose from the menu. Stay clear of the nachos if you have high standards like me. This place is great for the youth and the young at heart who are looking to have some fun.

Miko sushi

I have been to Miko Sushi once in my life and it was probably during the first week of my arrival t the city. I never went back because I didn’t know how to get there (I know it’s dumb) but I guess I have never felt super compelled to back. Having said that, most expats think it is the best sushi restaurant in Ulaanbaatar and so here it is on this list. Their new location is on Beatles Street, where Sakura Restaurant is, so it is hardly unmissable these days. Besides sushi, they have a variety of bento boxes and hot soups like ramen.

People complain that Miko Sushi prices have gone up, but what hasn’t? Especially sushi in a landlocked country where they have to fly the fish from Korea.

Are there any more vegan restaurants in Ulaanbaatar?

The answer is yes! In the land of meat and dairy, more and more vegan havens are appearing in the restaurant scene to provide an exciting option to the rather dull cucumber and tomato salads. These are my personal options based on my experience but be sure to look on Google since more vegan options will undoubtedly become available in the near future.

Foodie Cafe Lohas

This restaurant is owned by Loving Hut and they have a different menu based more on bowl combinations. They have daily menu options that offer a soup and an entree with dishes that are very similar to Loving Hut. It is located on the second floor of the Shangrila Mall and it is a great healthy option when you are on the go. You can buy snacks like their home baked goods like cookies, raw cakes and healthy crackers – my absolute favourite ones – and other bars from international brands (upon availability).

The Oneness Fountain Heart Restaurant

I will be honest, this restaurant is new and I have only been to it once, so I do not know how long it will last. All I can tell you is that I had a delicious and filling lunch set with a friend at a great price. The place is small but clean and cozy and the hostess at the time was delightful and she spoke very good English. I hope this business does well. It is located on the east side of Sukhbaatar Square, but a bit further, crossing the road after the Government Palace Gardens. I believe the sign just says Vegetarian Restaurant, but when you look it up on Google Maps, it is tagged as Oneness Fountain Heart.

If you have read until the end, congratulations! you are truly a foodie expert looking for the best experience, so here is your map of the best restaurants in Ulaanbaatar for your convenience. Enjoy your meal!

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3 Comments

  1. If you remain some more time in Mongolia I suggest you The Broski restaurant for casual fast food such as ny thin crust pizzas and homemade burgers.

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