Na Zdorovye! (На Здоровье)
Go here for a taste of real Russian culture. If you’re looking to eat some traditional Russian food in a very Russian setting, visit this little restaurant for its authentic interior and cuisine, decorated like an old Russian farmhouse. The service is fast; the menus are in both English and Russian. The food is fresh, inexpensive, and delicious; it’s probably about the closest you can get to trying a Russian grandma’s cooking without actually having one! They have a huge selection of vodkato go with your meals, as well as traditional Russian non-alcoholic drinks like mors and kvas. Sometimes you might even hear live traditional Russian music during dinner!
Address: Bolshoy Prospekt, 13. Metro: Sportivnaya
Opening hours: 12:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
This cafe is located inside a hip St. Petersburg modern arts centre which hosts exhibits, art sales, workshops and even has a bookstore and a hostel. The cafe serves relatively simple food, both Russian and international, cafeteria-style: big portions and affordable prices. It’s a little pretentious in its interior (plastic chairs and, appropriately, green accents), a little hipster-Bohemian in its clientele (people visiting the art exhibitions or sometimes even the artists themselves), but it has a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Try the blini (Russian pancakes) and enjoy a cheap beer (or a fancy cappuccino) with your meal.
Address: Ligovsky Prospekt 74, 3rd floor. Metro: Ligovsky Pr.
Opening hours: Monday-Thursday & Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.; Friday & Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m.
In the mood for something different? This cozy cafe serves delicious, authentic Georgian food. Both vegetarians and carnivores will find something delicious to eat here. The portions are generous, offering great value for money. Try the khatchapuri, the most popular Georgian dish in Russia, and be sure to order some of the fantastic Georgian house wine. The place is tiny, so be sure to call ahead (+7 812 233-87-23) to make a reservation for dinner.
Address: Ulitsa Lizy Chaykinoy, 22. Metro: Gorkovskaya
Opening hours: 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Chain Restaurants (Russian Fast Food)
There are a lot of “fast traditional food” joints popping up all over St. Petersburg, and although traditionalists frown upon them, the food there is actually oftentimes good, fresh and inexpensive! You can try all sorts of foods at these “fast-food” places, from Russian salads and soups to pies and pancakes. Here are my favorites in St. Petersburg:
- Stolle Pies (Штолле):Located on the romantic, historic Vasilyevsky Island (and several other locations throughout St. Petersburg), this bakery chain offers inexpensive, fresh and delicious filled pies – savoury or sweet, big or small. The ultimate comfort food. Address: Liniya 1-ya (1st line) 50 (M: Vasileostrovskaya); Konushenny per. 1/6 (Metro: Nevsky Prospekt) and more. Opening hours: 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
- Teremok (Теремок): This is a great place to try traditional Russian pancakes, blini, without having to commit to a full restaurant meal. The pancakes are made fresh on the spot and come with various fillings (sweet and savoury). You can also try ukha (a traditional Russian fish soup) and get a refreshing glass of kvas or beer with your meal. Address: Nevsky pr. 60 (Metro: Gostiny Dvor), Nevsky pr. 93 (Metro: Ploschad Vosstaniya) and many more. Opening hours: 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.