View Full Version : Uyghurs in the U.S.

02-12-04, 11:34
I recently spent some time travelling through Xinjiang. I spent most my time in the Ili Valley Prefecture, then travelled down to Kashgar.

I've been back for some time, and am dying for Uyghur food.

Are there any Uyghur restaurants or communities on the northeast coast of the U.S.? Boston, New York, D.C.?


02-12-04, 13:29
That is really good, mate! I believe you liked ILI. If you've got some time to join our new year party this year you may have Uyghur food. I believe, there is no any Uighur Rest in DC, but I am not sure if there is any in New York.

02-12-04, 18:01
Come to Sydney and Adelaide - Australia- there are perfect Ili Uyghur Restaurants where you could enjoy!

02-12-04, 18:36
There are sizable Uyghur population in the northestern United States, i.e., in Boston, N.Y. and N.J. area. There are two (?) Uyghur restaurants in N.Y.

Shown below is a Village Voice article on the "Cafe Kashgar" in NYC. Enjoy your meal over there!

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Counter Culture
by Robert Sietsema
Marco! Polo!
What's to Eat After Spending a Dusty Day on the Silk Road?
September 10 - 16, 2003


Uighur delicacies in the making
(photo: Shiho Fukada)

Café Kashkar
1141 Brighton Beach Avenue,
Brooklyn, 718.743.3832

injiang is China's most remote province, a majestic land of mountains and deserts through which the Silk Road meanders past salt lakes and dry riverbeds. It's something of an administrative headache for the People's Republic, since the population in many areas is non-Chinese. Most numerous in the south are the Uighurs (pronounced "way-wooers"), a Muslim Turkic group who historically served as guides along the ancient trade routes. They are inordinately fond of barbecued lamb and rice pilaf, and their food has become a fad in Beijing, where numerous Uighur restaurants have lately sprung up.

Café Kashkar is New York's first Uighur eatery. It's named after Kashgar, an oasis with a famous Sunday market 100 miles east of the Tajikistan border. When Marco Polo visited there in the 13th century, he was impressed: "The inhabitants . . . have very fine orchards and vineyards and flourishing estates . . . The country is the starting point from which many merchants set out to market their wares all over the world." Though the interior of the restaurant makes a wan attempt to recall the lushness of the oasis with sprays of purple plastic flowers and a beer-sign waterfall, the food is much more effective in doing so. One can easily imagine soups like chuchuara ($5) being ladled from huge pots in a market stall, the little mutton dumplings dancing in the buttery broth, while, right next to it, a cauldron of mampar ($3) bubbles with beef and irregular pasta, sprigs of fresh dill and cilantro waiting to be tossed in each bowl. Kashkar's version of the most famous of these soups, lagman, beats any in area Uzbeki places—denser, richer, spicier, with a slick of red oil on the surface and an unruly mob of homemade noodles in the depths. The same excellent noodles are available stir-fried like a Chinese lo mein in goiro lagman. As you eat, it might occur to you that this is the pasta Mr. Polo surprised his pals with back in Venice.

Chief among Uighur delicacies is plov ($6), called "plow" on the awning, and "fried rice" on the menu. This version mixes chunks of well-cooked beef, instead of the usual mutton, with plump grains of very short rice. According to a friend who's sojourned in Central Asia, the brilliant orange hue is due to unrefined sunflower oil. Another well-executed standard is samsa ($1.50). In contrast to the kosher Uzbeki places in town that serve a big-domed turnover, the halal samsa at Kashkar consists of four miniature conjoined mutton pies, easily pulled apart and hospitably shared around the table.

Lamb is king in Xinjiang, and the kebabs prove it. Lightly dusted with cumin and an herb called zir, chunks of tender lamb arrive skewered on metal shafts, crisp around the edges and profoundly smoky from the charcoal fire. Each sword ($2) impales four to six pieces, and there's no cheaper way to eat good lamb. The advertised lamb chops are rarely available, but the off-menu rib kebabs always are. I snooped in the kitchen one afternoon to see how they managed to force the bony ribs onto the lance.

Uighur dining is filled with opportunities for conviviality. As a final gesture, a blue pot of green tea arrives ($1), poured into little Chinese cups. Lips coated with lamb grease, we gleefully toasted an amazing meal.

03-12-04, 11:01
Althought Australia is a little out of range for me now (if I had the funds to fly Down Under for Uyghur food, I'd could also afford to go to Xinjiang), I am going to be in NYC this weekend and will definately check out Cafe Kashgar. Thanks "Uyghur".

RAS, where is the New Years Party?

As a follow-up question, are any of you aware of scholarships or educational institutions that teach Uyghur language, or are acclaimed for Central Asian studies?

I'm unhappy that I never found the Boston community, because I'm leaving the east coast in a few weeks for good.


03-12-04, 13:37
Uighur community in America have a party every year in Washington Dc Metro Polititan area. It is usually held on 31st of December. If you want to join, I will make sure you will have an invitation. But, I am afraid you r leaving East- Cost soon. I appreciated that you liked ILI becuase I am from there, and I miss my commucnity in Ili very much.

And I am not sure,but I know there are inistitutions in MD and DC have Uighur language training courses. I think International Diplomatic Language Traing centre is one of them.
I believe people will forward to you alot of info about the courses in central asian studies.



03-12-04, 14:18

Kaiser Mejit studies at Harvard. You can contact him at kaisermejit146@hotmail.com.

Good Luck

03-12-04, 14:46
Uyghur - Thanks for the contact. I'll look into it.

Ras - The countryside outside Gulja is quite possibly the most beautiful place in the world. If you're feeling nostalgic, feel free to browse through some of my photos of the region.

You can find them at:


It certainly makes me yearn for the hills when I go through that albumn.


Uyghur friend
04-12-04, 13:29
Arzu Restaurant
101-05 Queens Blvd (between 102 St & 67 RD)
Queens, New York

Isik Kol Restraint
Queens Blvd & 63rd Road
Queens, New York

Kashkar (international food) Cafe
1141 Brighton Beach Ave
Brooklyn, New York 11235

06-12-04, 13:00
I am teaching Uighur and I live in Boston .
You can reach me at

06-12-04, 15:09
Thanks mate!

06-12-04, 19:51
Thanks McDisco for the beautiful pictures, I felt like I've been in to Ghulja, travelled through my birthplace. I'm from Ghulja too. Always nice to hear from my home town.

Yes, you are absolutely right - "The countryside outside Gulja is (quite possibly) the most beautiful place in the world"!

I was just joking for telling you there are restaurants in Aust (although there are restaurants in Syd. & Adel. Aust.). I know it is too 'out of range for' you, however, just wish to let you know that we - the 'Ghuljuluks = Uyghurs'are spreaded everywhere around the world, if you need, you can count on us.

Best wishes.