Tashkent has, in the last few years, seen a serious café boom. Ten years ago, there were approximately three places that had a casual atmosphere, a pleasant interior, and a modern menu. Today, Chaykof is a popular local mainstay. There are four locations, each providing similar pleasing elements for the eyes, ears, and taste buds.
One of the first Tashkent cafés to offer vegetarian as well as healthier options, it has a selection of vegetable-based dishes, as well as the traditional plates of pizza, pasta, sandwiches, and meat dishes (this is Uzbekistan, there has to be meat!). Salads with berry jam, falafel bowls, and pepper steak can all find themselves on the same table at Chaykof. To drink, order any type of coffee, a selection of teas with fresh berries or fruits, lemonade, or a milkshake. To top it off, their desserts really are something – try the macarons! All the ingredients feel natural and nothing is over the top.
What is equally attractive is the atmosphere, with low-key music and a loft-like interior design. The creative director is an actor in the Ilkhom theater, so, unsurprisingly, the approach to design captures all the senses. Waiters wear t-shirts with van Gogh paintings and the table dressings change with the season.
Finally, (arguably) the best part: Chaykof not only sounds like the last name of the Russian composer Chaykovsky, but also sounds like the Russian words for tea and coffee put together!