Khiva, a city on Uzbekistan’s border near Turkmenistan, was once one of the most important slave-trading posts on the Silk Road. Raids from neighboring tribes and bands of criminals emerging from the surrounding steppes made this a formidable territory well into the 1800s. Today, Khiva is much safer for visitors, who come to learn about its history, see its stunning architecture, and enjoy its unique cuisine.
Culinary offerings in Khiva diverge from that of the rest of the country. Fresh herbs and vegetables appear in greater abundance. Shivit oshi, a local pasta, is a particularly noteworthy dish of bright green glory. Noodle-makers dye the dough a verdant hue using an infusion of fresh dill, then top the plate of noodles in beef stew with a side of tangy yogurt. Many of the restaurants that serve shivit oshi are housed in and surrounded by Khiva’s well-preserved ancient buildings. In addition to vibrant noodles, the fortified city is home to 250 buildings and 51 monuments that showcase some of the finest examples of Central Asian Islamic architecture.