Ulaanbaatar - Post Report Question and Answers

What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

I'd say Korean and Japanese are the most popular. There are a few Italian/Mediterranean, Indian, Mongolian, Chinese restaurants and a few others. There are plenty of options though very few I’d actually recommend. Eating out is much cheaper than in the US. There are a couple of delivery services but we have not used them. - Jan 2024

There are many restaurants that are popular amongst expats, including but not limited too: Hazara, Namaste, Rosewood, La Rosewood, Fat Hen, Hutong, Ikigai, Bluefin, Stokholm Sushi, Nazca Restaurant and Lounge, Veranda, Hoba Pizza, and Millies. Many of these restaurants offer take out or delivery through the Songo app. - Aug 2022

Two delivery services are common - Songo and Tok Tok. If you're in the apartments, some of the complex's restaurants will also deliver to your residence. There is a small, but growing restaurant scene here. However, new restaurants seem to focus on the Instagram aesthetic rather than the quality of food. Cliff, the owner of Rosewood, is on top of the restaurant game, in my opinion. With Rosewood, La Rosa and hopefully Fat Hen soon, he is setting the bar for international cuisine in UB. There are a few great Indian restaurants. Thai food and Chinese food are horribly under-represented here and the few that are here are not that good. Many options for Korean food and some good Japanese options. Mongolian food is not/not Mongolian BBQ that we are used to in the U.S,; rather, it's hearty meats (beef and mutton), fried breads, dairy products, and few vegetables. They prefer to slaughter their animals at an older age, which leads to tough, fatty meat. The most common spices used are onion and salt. - Jan 2022

There are two delivery apps available: Songo and TokTok. Both are good but TokTok is quicker because they use bikes rather than get stuck in the traffic like Songo. You can find any kind of food you want, except maybe Chinese and Mexican. Korean is widely available and high quality, Indian, European, American, Mongolian, Japanese, etc. I've been pleasently surprised at the availability of good food. - Sep 2020

There is a good delivery service for restaurants, though it can take a while. Many good restaurants are a short walk away. - Aug 2020

Pizza Hut, California, Rosewood and the Butchery, Xaan Deli, Millie's, and lots of coffee shops are popular places to eat. Lots of places deliver, even produce or meat shops. - Jul 2019

Restaurants can be hit or miss but some are reliably good such as Rosewood (US chef), Namaste (Indian), and Hana (sushi, yes, in a landlocked country) just keep in mind that the fresh seafood gets shipped in on Thursday evenings so it's best to avoid sushi after Mondays in UB.

There is an amazing smart-phone delivery system called "songo" (app) that allows you to order from restaurants online with a minimal delivery fee; the app also delivers grocery food items. It's game changer!

Then, there is also the very popular "greenbox“ an organic vegetable delivery service that fills a box with fresh, organic greens and delivers it to your front door for US$10. Cannot beat that. - Oct 2016

KFC and Pizza Hut are recent arrivals. RoundTop pizza, the Californian chain, is very decent. The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and Caffe Ti-amo are the only international coffee chains, but with some very decent local cafes also. There is a good selection of restaurants, with some excellent South Asian and Japanese food available. Reflecting the socialist past, one can find several Ukrainian, Cuban and Russian places as well. Of late Korean food has become popular, although the quality of the many restaurants varies widely. Prices start at about US$10/person to eat out at the more basic places, to about US$30 at a fancier place, and places with far, far higher price tags. - Feb 2015

There are currently no American fast food chains here. There is plenty of Mongolian, Korean, etc fast food. Local food is very cheap. A good, but basic, meal costs less than 5000 tugruk (currently US$4) - May 2012

U.S. prices. - Feb 2012

Fast food is unheard of in Mongolia. This country is too poor to sustain a chain of fast food restaurants. There are versions of fast food restaurants in the city, but they are not anything that Westerners are used to. However, there are reasonably-priced decent sit-down restaurants. Most restaurants are so well-priced that you could eat almost every day and still manage to save money. Service in restaurants is abysmal. Expect what should take an hour for two people to eat, to take between 90-120 minutes. The influx of mining companies and other Western companies has sped service up in only a handful of restaurants. Tipping is not expected, but I still tip in hopes of better service for future patrons. - Feb 2011

No fast food. There are a few restaurants that offer decent food. Average cost per meal in those restaurants is between US$8-10. The best restaurant in town is Hazara, an Indian restaurant. - Jan 2009

There are no U.S. affiliated fast food chains in Mongolia, just a few Chinese and Korean joints. - Oct 2008

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