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Top 5 local food restaurants in Irkutsk

The most interesting restaurants with Transbaikalian food – now in one rating. Attention! Not recommended to read it if hungry, losing weight people and vegetarians.

a pizza sitting on top of a wooden cutting board

The best food in Irkutsk is either Buryat or Siberian cuisine. The most unusual and interesting of them are dishes from local fish (some types of such fish are nowhere else to try).

Buryat cuisine is a real gem of Irkutsk restaurants, because, beyond 500 km from Baikal, such dishes are no longer to be found.

What Dishes to Look For on The Menu?

a bunch of food on a plate on a table

The most important dish of Buryat cuisine is buuzy (sometimes they also call them poses). This is something like manti or ravioli, juicy minced meat of beef and pork in a thin crust.

Buuzy sculpt in the form of yurts – national housing. At first, you need to bite off a small piece of it and carefully drink the juice out of it. Now you can start to it buuzy.

Buchler is a hot, hearty, rich broth or mutton soup. Some spices, carrots, onion, and sometimes other vegetables are added to the broth. In some ways, this soup resembles a lagman.

Hushur – fried first buuzy (also called “meat pear”). Of course, there is not that meat juice like in the buuzy. But the crisp will drive you crazy, and you will order the second portion.

a bowl filled with different types of food on a plate

Quiuwan – fried homemade noodles with meat. The noodles are pre-cooked on steam, and then they are fried. There is a lot of meat in this dish, so this is a very tasty and hearty meal.

Sharbin – a tortilla with lamb. The taste (and appearance) resembles a cheburek (cheteci) with lamb. If you like Russian chebureki, then you will definitely be delighted with the sharbin!

Roe deer meat and liver, Baikal trout, duck, omul, bream, game … there is nothing to list. Better let’s go to one of our Top 5 restaurants!

“Okhotnikov” – Siberian cuisine

a bedroom with a bed and a chair in a room

For centuries, Siberians were engaged in hunting and fishing. The Okhotnikov restaurant adheres to this historical lifestyle, and the name of the place (“Okhotnikov” means “Hunters”) also speaks about this.

The main dishes in the restaurant are game and fish. You can try the homemade sausages of venison, terrine of capercaillie, soup with venison, boar loin, shank goat, boar leg… In addition to meat, they add pine nuts, wild mushrooms and berries.

There are a lot of fish, too. Salted, cold, smoked, raw, frozen (stroganina), baked with sauce… A lot of fish! The interior corresponds to the cuisine of the restaurant – horns hang on the walls, the halls are decorated with stuffed wild animals and forest landscapes. Like you’re in a hunter’s house.

Address:  Yadrintseva- st, 1g.

“Ulus” – ethno-restaurant of Buryat cuisine

a dining room table

This restaurant of Buryat and Mongolian cuisine is located in the very center of Irkutsk. Locals say that it is here that they prepare the most delicious buuzy in the city!

It serves as many as three species buuzy: traditional ones with pork and beef, a homemade version with pork and beef, and mongol buuzy with lamb and beef.

The meat for buuzy is chopped up here, and the onions are chopped very finely. Rich broth and meat fat are added to the dish.

The menu has also Buchler, khuushuur (rich broth of beef or lamb on bone), bargzha shul (Buryat dumplings of beef and lamb), salamat (the national desert of sour cream and flour).

Address:  July 3rd-st, 23.

“Ailshan” – Buryat cuisine

food on a wooden table

This cafe meets all the Michelin rules: it’s not the interior and the service that matters, but the way it is prepared. The cafe looks pretty simple, but the kitchen is just great!

The main dish here is also buuzy. They are prepared from beef, but chefs add a little pork and pork fat to improve the taste. The meat for the filling is chopped only by hand.

In addition to “classic” buuzy you will find in menu “vegetarian” ones (with vegetables) and mini buuzy for kids. Of course you can order here khushuur and buchler, and unusual dessert.

By the way, try to order a traditional Buryat tea for buuzy, which is brewed here on the stove.

Address: December Events-st, 65.

“Trapeznikov” – taiga cuisine

a living room filled with furniture and a large window

The menu of the Trapeznikov restaurant is more traditional – there is no Baikal cuisine. But there are a lot of dishes of fresh fish and meat.

Omul and whitefish, fresh Far Eastern salmon, taiga mushrooms, black and red caviar… There are a few unfamiliar products on the menu, but how they are cooked!

Main dishes to taste: pike cutlets, fish had just been caught from fresh Baikal and marinated in wild berries, a dessert of fir cones and pine nuts!

Address:  5th Army-st, 67

“Mamai” – a restaurant of Baikal cuisine

Yes, this is exactly the place where you can really plunge into the kitchen of Lake Baikal! Just look at the menu: here there is a sagudaj (have you ever heard this word before?), raskolotka, roast beef from horsemeat, sweets from fresh lingonberries and a huge number of dishes of fish and venison.

The menu itself is more like a thick book that can be studied for more than an hour – there are so many dishes here!

Choose a salad with smoked whitefish, omul and sagan-dail caviar (a special type of Baikal spice) or bambai with horse meat (a dish with Buryat cakes and vegetables).

a bunch of different types of food

Or order a peled with a crust of pine nuts – and then you will taste Lake Baikal!

Address: Sedova-st, 16/1.

It’s time to explore this wonderful world of local Siberian cuisine. These restaurants are out of our Irkursk evening city tour, but Irkutsk local guides will take you to  a very lovely cafe where you can try something special.

For more posts about Irkutsk and Baikal, visit our blog!



Written by Denis Bets