How is the food in Afghanistan? Turns out its pretty good.
Afghanistan is not known as a famous destination for food. Afghan food is simple and filling, and heavily reliant on meat. One problem with a country like Afghanistan is that when people go out to restaurants, they want good tasty meat and lots of it, so it’s also not the most vegetarian friendly destination.
Food in Afghanistan post-Taliban
Food in Afghanistan in 2023, as in post-Taliban is not so different to before. With that being said though there are now less “independent” options, as well as women selling tea. There is also no hope of pork, or booze, should that be what you are thinking.
To read about the current Taliban click here.
Breakfast in Afghanistan
Breakfast is a very very simple affair in Afghanistan. Don’t expect anything special – you won’t be able to get smashed avocado.
For breakfast expect some flat bread, simple cottage cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggs (usually boiled or fried), some jams, sweet biscuits and of course tea. Afghans love their tea and drink it with lots of sugar.
Lunch and Dinner in Afghanistan
The biggest meal of the day for Afghans is traditionally lunch, however there usually isn’t much of a difference between the two meals, just the sizes. There are 3 main dishes that you’ll be able to find almost everywhere for either meal. Afghans love these dishes and thus you’ll end up eating a lot of them.
Dumplings consisting of beef or lamb mixed with onion and spices. Very similar to Manty in Central Asia, however the Afghan Mantu comes with a tomato based sauce and lentils. There is also a vegetarian variety called Ashak, made from leek/spinach and spices, but this can often be difficult to come by.
Kebabs (best food in Afghanistan)
Meat skewers usually chicken, beef or lamb. Some traditional spices will be served beside the kebabs and one usually breaks off a piece of bread, dips a piece of meat in the spices and then shove it all in your mouth. The locals make it look graceful but you’ll just make a bit of a mess.
Rice cooked in a meaty broth, topped with either lamb or chicken with carrots, raisins, and a few other items depending on local tastes. If a local suggests ordering a whole serve to yourself, insist on sharing with someone unless you have a massive appetite.
Drinking in Afghanistan
As many of you will know Afghanistan is a dry country meaning alcohol is illegal. In fact you are more likely to come across hash than alcohol. Likewise they don’t have much of a tradition of non-alcoholic drinks. However there are two beverages that you’ll get offered at every opportunity they have.
As most of you will know, Afghanistan is a dry country. Alcohol is officially illegal so you can’t get a beer with dinner. Afghans’ drink of choice is tea. Their addiction to tea makes the Brits, Indians or Chinese look like tea haters. Every meal comes with tea. They usually drink black tea in winter and green tea in summer. Lots of sugar.
Similar to Ayran, this is a yoghurt based salty beverage, often flavoured with mint to give it a really refreshing finish.
Can you get western food in Afghanistan?
So, one thing you would have thought would change with the Taliban coming in to power would be that western food would be vanquished, but this is not the case at all. In fact knock-off western food in Afghanistan from pizza to burgers and fried chicken is rife.
Although much like Iran, or North Korea the brands are knock-off and you won’t find KFC or McDonalds in Afghanistan.
And the best western food in Afghanistan? For us it is the pizza which is quite good. Although it is not exactly Rome either…
Do Afghans drink?
It should be remembered that for a time Afghanistan was very secular and drinking was relatively normal. This of course has changed as the country has become more Islamic, partciualrly when ruled by the Taliban.
So do Afghans drink? Previously yes, nut now one can say that largely Afghans do not drink and if there is a market for it, we do not know about it. We do not drink on tour in Afghanistan and you should not, even if invited to.
You will not though go hungry whilst traveling in Taliban Afghanistan in 2023, YPT will make sure of that.
You can check our Afghanistan Tours here.