The best coffee shops in Fergana
Beans and Brews
Beans and Brews – or B&B to its loyal fans – is often dubbed the best coffee house in Tashkent. Feruza French of the Hoteliers Association of Uzbekistan was ecstatic when she discovered it: “My coffeeholic soul could not stand it. I ordered myself a huge americano – it was divine!” She reflects on the café’s popularity, and highlights its international offering: “Why is it worth coming here? After a time, every foreigner in this country wants something familiar, and the Western dishes at B&B are incredibly tasty.” Come for the smell of freshly ground coffee, and stay for Italian-inspired pasta dishes and frittatas, American waffles and sumptuous patisserie-style desserts.
The city’s literati and students from the nearby campus of Westminster International University in Tashkent flock to BookCafe. Most of the space, as the name hints, is given over to shelves of novels and magazines (including English-language titles), with tables nestled between them. Pop in for a coffee and to find some new reading materials or to attend one of the café’s discussion events or film screenings. There is also a menu of snacks with plenty of tasty vegetarian and vegan-friendly options, which is a welcome sight in Uzbekistan.
Cookbook Workshop is both a cookery school and a patisserie, so if you want to learn how to make crème pâtissière as well as sampling it, this is the place to come. Thanks to the chic environment, Tashkent’s Instagrammers make up the bulk of the clientele. The most decadent item on the menu at Cookbook Workshop is undoubtedly the quadruple chocolate cake, which has chocolate filling plus chocolate frosting and sauce, and is topped with slabs of chocolate and Ferrero Rocher – did someone say death by chocolate?
A relaxed coffee shop and bakery with an ambience akin to a Parisian café, Breadly is – unsurprisingly – known for its exceptional bread. For British diplomat Michael Baum, it is the baguettes that keep him coming back. “The bread has a good crust, and it is soft in the middle, not sweet, crumbly or dry,” he says. In addition to the buckwheat, brioche and sourdough loaves, the breakfasts also make Breadly worth a visit – try the California breakfast with avocado, a poached egg and cream cheese. Prices here are a little high by Tashkent standards, but it still feels like a bargain for anyone doing the currency conversion from pounds or dollars. The air conditioning is effective – a big plus in the scorching summer months – and the Wi-Fi is reliable, making Breadly a popular spot for digital nomads.
Local TV chef Bahriddin Chustiy is nicknamed ‘Uzbekistan’s Jamie Oliver’ and is recognised by the Guinness World Records for making the world’s biggest plov: 7.36 tonnes of Uzbekistan’s national dish. The best place to taste Chustiy’s food (including plov) is from his kitchen at Kafe Aksu – a laid-back café-restaurant serving coffee and local cuisine. For a particularly cosy cuppa, curl up on one of the sofas on the charming indoor terrace, surrounded by greenery.