Eat my paintings

Moscow, Russia

13 places

Katya Trofimova

Small cafés inside museums, shops, cinemas and theatres are an intriguing format. In the Soviet times, their functions were fulfilled by canteens and their not-too-tempting smell accompanied you for a long time afterwards while looking at Bruegel’s paintings or watching Tarkovsky’s movie. Things have changed and nowadays these cafés sometimes attract more people than the actual space which they are a part of.

KM 20

A highly priced store with splendid windowshops and interior designed by the architectural bureau of Alexander Brodsky. In several years of work KM 20 has formed a mixed public of its own. Here come those who can allow buying Ashish, Maison Martin Margiela, Olympia Le Tan or Raf Simons pieces without sale, those who drop in during a university coffee-break to look through a new Monocle or those who settle in with a laptop working in an airy greenhouse-café attached to the shop. In wintertime it is a lovely place to fix an appointment in: it's warm inside, hot beverages are in abundance and any dull conversation may be turned into a lively chat about dresses.

Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center

The area of Marina Roshcha is nicknamed "Small Jerusalem". The Marina Roshcha Synagoge, International Jewish Community Center, three kosher shops and children and religious books publishing house are all located in the area. The Jewish Museum has made the area even more culturally significant part of Moscow. The museum is situated in Bakhmetevsky Garage, a monument to Soviet constructivism. The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture was operating here before moving to Gorky Park. The museum exhibition is divided into nine thematic parts and in detail shows the complex history of jews in Russia starting with the routine life of a Jewish shtetl in Tsar times, persecution of jews during Soviet era, mass immigration in the times of perestroika and present state of the Jewish community in Russia. The museum high-tech equipment has made it very popular. It also often hosts public lectures and film screenings.

Moskva bookstore

In the 1930s, the space became free of low-rise buildings and architect Mordvinov led a new construction. In 1944, the house was ready though it bore post-war mark – monumental but with quite modest decor-less facade. It used to be home to Soviet poet Demyan Bedny and singer-songwriter Zakharov. On November 5, 1958 the bookstore number 100 was opened on the first floor of the building and now it is number one spot for contemporary writers and antique book lovers who come in search of rarities.


Located on one of the main streets of Moscow "Pioneer" has a cinema hall, a book shop and cafe. The auditorium is equipped with advanced 3D and sound systems. Many films are shown here in their original language with subtitles. The cinema pays its special attention to the screenings of art house and film festival movies. However you may come across some mainstream films as well. "Pioneer" collaborates with the Cinema Museum, and together they organize regular screenings of movie classics that take place every Tuesday and Saturday. "Pioneer" is also a traditional location for the famous Artdocfest, Kinoteatr.doc and other movie festivals.


Vadim Dymov is a Russian businessman famous for starting up cultural and art oriented business projects. Among these the bookstore chain Respublika takes a very particular place. They say that sometimes even Vadim Dymov himself works incognito as a shop-assistant. It's not just another usual bookstore you might expect, but a whole universe of "big things with the accent on lovely small ones". Here you may find the three intellectual life foundations which are books, music records, movies in ideally balanced proportion. "Smart" bestsellers, architecture and art albums, comics, memoirs and biographical works are dressed with a lifestyle forming stuff. When in one of the Respublika shops, take a look at the information desk where you can always find useful tips about gigs and lectures happening around town. However gigs and lectures are frequent in Respublika stores as well.

Tsvetnoy Central Market

Tsvetnoy Central Market deserves attention literally starting from the entrance. The building created by the architect Yuri Grigoryan is unique for contemporary Moscow. It depends on the season which route to choose when in Tsvetnoy Central Market. In summer you go right up to the roof café with marvelous city view. In winter down to the basement where you will find a Christmas market with local designers stuff. The fifth floor is interesting with its farmers market and gastronomy points (one of them is really Soviet like with all those traditional salads and cutlets). The brand locating scheme is as follows: make up and mass-market goods are downstairs, luxurious brands and selective perfumes upstairs. The upper the floor the higher the prices. Acne, MM6 Maison Martin Margiela, Edun, All Saints, Maje, Sandro, Zadig & Voltair, Reiss, A.P.C., Cédric Charlier, Paul & Joe Sister, Vivienne Westwood are among the brands here. Not everybody keeps in mind a perfume and beauty corner on the third floor though it's the only place in Moscow where perfume maniacs can buy Mai Couture and April Aromatics products.

Praktika Theatre

This modern drama theatre created by Eduard Boyakov calls itself “an experimental theater center". Praktika hosts poetry nights, film screenings and philosophical and scientific talks. Theatre played a vital role in the development of modern art in cities of Perm, Voronezh and other regions of Russia. The main task of the theater is to talk about the present. Check out the Chelovek.doc project which consists of the monologues of the modern Russian culture heroes: a leading web-designer Artemiy Lebedev, a controversial artist Oleg Kulik and others. The artistic director of the theater today is Ivan Vyrypaev, laureate of the Venice Film Festival. His plays and scripts are known all over Europe and have been translated into many languages. If you have no time for the theater watch his film "Euphoria". This film is a wild but accurate insight into the Russian soul. Vera Polozkova, an actress of the theater, is now one of the most popular contemporary poets. When in town, try getting on her poetry reading night and you are promised to get a vivid picture of the cultural environment of Moscow.

Museum of Moscow

The Provision warehouses were built in the 19th century to store military provisions. Today the territory of warehouses aims to become one of the centers of cultural life in the city. In 2012 the renewed Museum of Moscow was moved here from Novaya Ploschad. The museum welcomes everyone to attend permanent exhibitions on ancient and medieval Moscow and several temporary exhibitions on the history of Russian capital. The exhibition program expands gradually, the managers collaborate with international designers and experts in museology and cultural management. Among the latest projects of the museum is the summer cultural terrace in the courtyard which offers a vast program of concerts, lectures and festivals. In conjunction with the Documentary Film Center the Museum opened the Documentary Film Centre.

The Documentary Film Center

The Documentary Film Center was established in 2012, and in the summer of 2013 moved to its permanent location in the Provision warehouses near Park Kultury underground station. The Center sets the goal to popularize documentary, scientific and educational films. Due to its unusual new program the Center has turned into a popular educational and cultural platform in no time. Apart from the daily cinema program, there are also public screenings of documentary films followed by panel discussions, themed lectures, workshops, conferences and film festivals. One of the most exciting projects initiated by the Center is the public lecture programme: the prominent politicians, journalists, artists and other public figures are invited regularly to host a lecture there. For example, in the spring of 2013 Mikhail Gorbachev gave a talk here, and anyone could attend it free of charge. In order to get to the open lectures, visitors should sign up and book a spot for themselves on the Center’s website. The tickets for the daily cinema program can be purchased at the counter.

The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography

The Lumiere Brothers Gallery in the Central House of Artists is the oldest commercial gallery of photography in Russia. The gallery specializes in Soviet and contemporary Russian photography. In 2010, the owners of the gallery also founded the Lumiere brothers Center in the Red October. The exhibition program of the new Center is focused primarily on international photographers. The Center also publishes albums that are sold at the local store; they can be really good gifts from Russia to your friends, a better alternative to fluffy hats and matryoshka dolls from Arbat. In addition to exhibitions, there is also a library with a wide selection of literature on photography of the past 80 years. Grab the "Golden Kolyma" album or maybe "From the Urals to the Ob’ river” and study Russia through prints, thoughtfully and dreamily. Books can be taken to the cafe adjacent to the library, so that one can fantasize about Kolyma over lunch.


Once opened in 1966 'Illuzion' had been working as a nonprofit institution for a long time and was the first cinema to avoid the official Soviet censorship. The press of the time wrote that 'Illuzion' became a breath of freedom during the period of stagnation for many people. After the cinema building was reconstructed in 2012-2013 its interiors lost a bit of their retro charm, however the real changes were only applied to the cinema auditorium (which has the most contemporary equipment in town to date - from armchairs to the sound system). At the same time, the film program and the looks of the hall still maintain their reputation: here you can watch rare and old movies, which can be found in no other cinema of Moscow, and enjoy the sights of the hall, heart-melting in its Soviet grandiousity with the small canteen and the old photographs of the Soviet actors on the walls.

Gogol Center

Gogol Center is based on former Gogol theatre — a place situated somewhere behind Kursky railway station and not very popular among theatre-goers. Vanguard russian director Kilrill Serebrennikov turned the old theatre into the modern cultural center with the transformer stage, lobby that looks like a Brooklyn loft, bookstore and cafe that works even when there are no performances on the stage. The main condition of the repertoire choice is topicality. Main topics of the day are provided by Ovid, Shakespeare, Lars von Trier, Reiner Fassbinder and Russian writer Victor Erofeev. One of the most interesting things in Gogol Center is to observe how young actors from Serebrennikov’s class cooperate on the stage with the actors from the former Gogol theatre.

Khitrye Lyudi

Winzavod- based place was created by the team with zero catering experience (designer Еkaterina Аkhtyrskaya, animation designer Ksenia Коlosova and sports journalist Zurab Chitaya). And they did a great job: the place is cozy and spacious – brick, plaster heads and very homely stuff. The centerpiece is their bar, while the cuisine is predominantly European with several rice and curry insertions. We recommend their grill and veggies options.


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