Dushanbe - Post Report Question and Answers
What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?
A lot of Embassy employees use Sevara's Kitchen, which makes meals three times a week and delivers them to your door. They range from okay to quite good and you can order salads, desserts, chicken tenders, and a few other things any day of the week. Restaurants are definitely getting better in Dushanbe over the last couple years. Tartin (French bistro) is new and has quickly become a favorite with a really nice outdoor garden area. People generally like Al Sham (Lebanese), Il Patio (Italian), Delhi Darbar (Indian), and Salsa (the expat Mexican/Italian hangout). Nady, a real French Bakery, is new and open on Wednesday and Saturday for those that want good baguettes and croissants. Fast food or international chains don't really exist (closest is BBQ Burger, which is quite good but still takes 20 minutes to make your burger). Coffee Moose is pretty similar to Starbucks. Foodies will find these options limiting, as outside of the few international restaurants and outside of the capital you are basically eating Tajik food (soup, salad, bread, kabobs, and plov). - Aug 2021
Sevara's Kitchen is a local home-cooked food delivery service that provides family sized portions of food 3 days per week (M/W/F) as well as fresh salads and breakfast breads. The variety of items offered has increased while we've been here. We've been eating this quite a bit over the past few years, and have not had any issues with food-borne illness. There are a few restaurants that people frequented pre-COVID, but there's a tendency for things to pop up suddenly, be in business for a short while, and then unexpectedly close. If you like the food somewhere, enjoy it while you can. Salsa is an old standby - lots of good options, and they've been here forever. Try the burritos (and the drinks!). Lots of turnover in restaurants during COVID. Couldn't say for sure what's still open... - Apr 2021
Dushanbe offers Italian, Indian, Korean, Turkish, Mediterranean, and steak restaurants that are all of decent or better quality. - Jun 2020
There are lots of pizza places. One pretty good Indian restaurant (Delhi Durbar, near the Twin Towers), a couple of decent Chinese places, a Ukrainian restaurant (Traktir), a pretty good Korean restaurant, a Turkish restaurant that delivers (Merve), a wannabe Subway sandwich place (Mazza), a Lebanese place around the corner from the national museum, a Georgian place... you get the idea. There's a food court at the Ashan supermarket/shopping mall.
Restaurants seem to open and close every few months, so don't take this list as definitive. A lot of coffee shops have opened downtown in the last year or two, so that's a thing. If you want fine-ish dining, the Serena and the Sheraton both have nice restaurants -- the top-floor Serena restaurant has good Middle Eastern food.
It's not Manhattan, but unless you need to eat out someplace different every couple of days, you won't lack for choices.
Many places deliver. However, delivery people almost never speak English, so you must have some Russian or Tajik if you want to use this option. Any place that delivers will also do take-out.
There is a meal delivery service -- "Sevara's Kitchen" -- that will deliver pretty good Western-style home cooked meals to your door. You sign up in advance and select from what's available on a particular day. I use them regularly when my wife and kids are out of town. - Dec 2016
There are very few decent restaurants. The only places I never got sick at were the Hyatt and the Sheraton. The Sheraton had really good food. There were some good shashlik places (Rokhot. Lola's, and another one all together by Tank Circle). Absract, Namaste Salaam (okay Indian food), Tracktir, Delhi Darbar (best Indian food in Dushanbe) were okay by Dushanbe standards. - Dec 2015
As a vegan, I can't really speak to the fast food options, but from what I hear they were not great. Something along the lines of "Southern Fried Chicken" that served both pizza and chicken. In terms of restaurants, there was one decent Georgian (which has since closed), one decent Chinese (whose owners tried to blackmail me so I stopped going there), and one decent Indian. People speak highly of the Salsa "Tex Mex" restaurant and the Korean place but way too many of my friends did not even make it home from those joints without gastrointestinal emergencies. Actually, that happened to most folks at most places except maybe the Hyatt (which had expensive and bland but not intestine-searing food). - Jun 2014
Sigafredos, Morning Star, Salsa. There is a really good Korean place as well, Tiga for Plov. Everything is incredibly cheap. - Mar 2014
Nothing Western at all. Dinner out is usually cheaper than the States but the quality is often iffy. - Oct 2013
A couple of chicken and burger fast food restaurants. They do not quite meet Western standards. Cost is reasonable. - Jan 2012
We have Southern Fried Chicken, Big Mac and Chief Burger. SFC is the best, but none are terrific. There are roughly 10 decent restaurants, and you will only get sick every few months. Chinese food here is outstanding, since there is a large Chinese population building roads. Also good Lebanese and Ukranian, okay "Ecuadorian," Continental and Indian. And many, many teahouses with Central Asian food. Everything is inexpensive, except decent wine costs an arm and a leg. - Jun 2009
There is basically no fast food as you know it in the West. You can buy kabobs or roasted chicken off a stand, but it is not recommended. There is a high incidence of stomach problems after eating at many restaurants, but it is hit or miss and apparently depends on the person. Some people never get sick, and others need time in the bathroom 4 out of 5 times after eating out. There is a good French place, about American prices or a little more, with a very limited menu. There are a few decent Indian places, although vegetarian food is surprisingly lacking there. There is a relatively new Lebanese place that is supposed to be good, and a Steakhouse. - Jul 2008