When in Uzbekistan: 11 Traditional Dishes to Eat in Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand, and Tashkent

Food is often closely tied with a country’s geographical makeup and history, and nowhere did I find that to be more true than when I was traveling across Uzbekistan. The land-locked territory, known for her ties with the historic Silk Road, boasts an eclectic cuisine that is heavily influenced by Turkic culinary traditions across Central Asia.

Here are 11 traditional Uzbek dishes I sampled during my one-week trip across Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand, and Tashkent, that you shouldn’t miss if you’re in any of these cities!

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When in Shiga: 7 Local Delicacies to Eat Your Way Around Shiga, Home to Japan’s Largest Inland Lake

We visited this place in November 2019, prior to Covid-19. Do check for pandemic-related updates and precautions before making your visit.

Though overlooked by travellers in favour of her more famous neighbour, Kyoto, Shiga 滋賀県 also has her own undiscovered charms to offer. Aside from being home to Japan’s largest inland lake, Lake Biwa, Shiga also presents a bevy of culinary treasures, many of them exclusive to this humble and peaceful prefecture.

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If you’re taking a trip off the beaten track, here are some of Shiga’s local delicacies to feast on!

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When in Shiga: Yokarou 翼果楼 @ Nagahama, Shiga – Savour A Time-Honoured Local Delicacy with Parental Loving Roots

We visited this place in November 2019, prior to Covid-19. Do check for pandemic-related updates and precautions before making your visit.

Other than a bustling town square and vibrant port, Nagahama, Shiga is also home to a wholesome and delectable local delicacy – yaki-saba somen. But even if you have not heard of this delightful dish prior to visiting Nagahama, you would definitely pick up on its distinct aroma walking past Yokarou 翼果楼, one of two eateries that specialise in it this quaint castle town.

yokarou-nagahama-Saba-Kaido-with Yakisaba-Sushi

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When in Shiga: Station Front Bar Okura 駅前酒場 御蔵 @ Otsu, Shiga – Japanese Style Izakaya Located 10 Min Walk from Lake Biwa

We visited this place in November 2019, prior to Covid-19. Do check for pandemic-related updates and precautions before making your visit.

There is something charming about the experience of walking into a nondescript hole-in-the-wall, ordering local delicacies off the menu, and watching your food being prepared in front of you while soaking in its unpretentious atmosphere. Station Front Bar Okura 駅前酒場 御蔵, a Japanese-style izakaya that was highly recommended by the hotel’s staff, served as my pit-stop for a late bite during my stay in Otsu, Shiga.

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When in Shiga: Honke Tsuruki Soba 本家 鶴㐂そば @ Otsu, Shiga – 300 Year Old Soba Restaurant; English Menu Available

There are long-standing businesses that you grow up with as a child. Then there are those that have been established long before your parents’, or your grandparents’ time.

Honke Tsuruki Soba 本家 鶴㐂そば has been serving up traditional hot and cold soba in Otsu, Shiga for close to three centuries. Located a brief 10 minute walk Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine, the restaurant is housed in a sizeable building overlooking a quaint neighbourhood.

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7-Eleven x Coca-Cola Crossover Store @ The House of Eden, Raffles Place – Two-Storey Store with Retro-Themed Photo Ops

7-Eleven has come a long way from being an ordinary neighbourhood convenience store, to an exciting chain boasting its own line of snacks and ready-to-eat meals that are unexpectedly palatable. And now, the convenience store chain has partnered with Coca-Cola to launch a collaborative store meets experiential space for just about anyone to hang out at.

Here’s what you can expect!

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When in Kyoto: % ARABICA Arashiyama @ Ukyo Ward – Touristy and Overrated? Iconic Kyoto Coffee Shop Overlooking the Togetsuko Bridge

Togetsuko Bridge. Tenryuji Temple. Bamboo Forest. These are just some of the must-see spots for any tourist worth his or salt at Arashiyama, Kyoto. But for coffee aficionados, there’s one more item on the checklist – %ARABICA.

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Opened in 2014, %ARABICA is the brainchild of Kenneth Shoji,  a coffee farm owner and coffee machine distributor whose love for coffee sprouted during his time in the “unique fusion of beach hippie culture” in Venice Beach, California. Since then, the coffee chain’s minimalist stores have sprung up around locations ranging from historic to iconic, as well as fashionable cities like Shanghai and Abu Dhabi.

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