I spent my first couple nights in Ulaan Baatar in a hostel with only one restaurant nearby. It was a working-class local place with a steady stream of customers – so I knew the food must be good.
When I went there, there was only a one page menu covered in Mongolian text. The waitress spoke zero English. There were no photos to point to. I tried translating the text on the menu with Google translate, but the menu only listed names, not descriptions. I was stuck.
How do you order when you can’t read the menu?
The best I could do was point to a dish being served to a nearby table and hope for the best.
Later on my trip, I visited a restaurant with a supremely useful menu. It had large selection of traditional Mongolian dishes with photos, names, and descriptions – in both Mongolian and English.
It was a Rosetta stone for Mongolian cuisine!
Never one to pass up a useful tool, I photographed each page and used them as a reference for the rest of my trip.
I packaged those photos into a PDF to make this guide – no need to re-invent the wheel. Hope you find it useful!