As a tour guide in St. Petersburg, I often get to work with people who come back to Russia after having travelled there back when it still was the Soviet Union. One thing I often hear from them is that they had an amazing cultural experience, but the food was just terrible! And I get it. They were probably fed bland overcooked meets accompanied by boring unseasoned grains. I bet vodka was the only thing that made their meals fun!
Imagine their surprise when I take them to my favorit restaurants now. Today, local restaurants have a lot to offer, whether you seek something traditional or off-the-beaten path, hearty or vegan, a good quality cup of coffee or a bottle of craft beer. You just need to know the right places!
A new take on the classics
When locals go out for Russian food, they realize that they can enjoy a traditional bowl of borscht at home made by their grandma. If we go out for Russian food, we want to be wowed, and some of my favorite restorateurs really understand that. Take, for example, COCOCO bistro, where the best ingredients are combined with impeccable presentation. Or stop at Duo gastrobar, where you can order beetroot with baked pumpkin, chevre and raisins or cabbage with homemade cheese sauce and truffle that will tickle your tastebuds.
Discover Georigan cuisine
You have to try Georgian food when visiting Russia! This is an essential part of our diet. Juicy tomatoes, cilantro, cheese, eggplant, and delicious wines are at the core of this. You definitely have to order khachapuri (cheesy bread), khinkali (meat dumplings), and lobio (bean stew). My favorote Georgian restaurants are Rustaveli and Cat.
It’s all about the areas
The best way to have a good gastronomic experience is to go to an area where you can bounce around try a bunch of different foods. The new top destination in St. Petersburg is called Vasileostrovsky market, and though it’s undoubtedly hard to pronounce, you have to be there if you like food markets with artisan pasties, local farm-to-table cheeses, and other delicious but affordable food. If markets feel a bit too noisy and crowded for you, then try a restaurant street! Rubisteina street in downtown is the place where you can hop between restaurants and bars and be sure every place you go is top quality. This is where locals eat! Finally, to combine dining with relaxation and entertainment, visit New Holland Island, where after your meal you can catch an outdoor concert or relax in a comfy lounger in the open air.
Craft been revolution
The stereotype that Russians only drink vodka is just that – a stereotype. Millennials in St. Petersburg appreciate a good glass of wine and spend Friday nights with their friends in craft beer joints. If you want to try local beer, check our Jawsspot or Bakunin brewery.