It is easy to miss places which existed long before the recent glut of gastronomy in Moscow. These places in the list became real classics for foodies. Our selection of cafes and restaurants has been proved both by time and by thousands of their fans.
A small but always crowded restaurant is run by chef Ivan Shishkin, an enthusiast of modern Russian cuisine who specializes in seasonal menu. Dishes on the menu sometimes appear spontaneously depending on what the supplier and the fantasy of the chef brings: green cabbage soup, poppy seed cake, skoblyanka with chicken. The bar deserves some special praise as under the leadership of Slava Lankin it always has a vivid choice of drinks. Here you can try tricky tinctures (say, on flowers of dill), liqueurs (such as honeysuckle ones) and spectacular cocktails (e.g., Bukowski).
Yet another project by energetic Isaac Correa who is trying to bring a bit of New York to Moscow. The interiors are full of restraint and industrialism. The menu serves all types of food: burgers for hungry businessmen, soups and vegetable snacks (spring rolls, cobb salad and lobster soup) for healthy-eaters, and treacherous and unpardonably tasty desserts (brownies and traditional American cobber pie with blueberry and plum) for everyone else.
One of the best places in town with Georgian cuisine. The are two restaurants in the chain, on Kurskaya station and on Baumanskaya station. The one on Kurskaya has a small but very sensible menu with the best examples of the genre: two types of hinkali, two kinds of hachapuri, kharcho, kebab and lobio. The waiters Roma and Nasir love to joke as much as they love their job and they have been serving tables here for quite a number of years. The two-floored restaurant on Baumanskaya is more spacious and has a longer menu with regional dishes and homemade wine.
A cozy place with laid-back service giving the place a certain charm. The menu's courses are cooked exactly as they should be: the salads are fresh, eggplants with parmesan and tabbouleh are gentle, sandwiches are served on a wheat tortilla. The smoothies menu has been adopted from the popular club "Propaganda" just a few blocks away; both places share the same owner.
The bar was originally opened to finance Strelka Institute for media, architecture and design, and from then on all of its profits support this purpose. The bar as well as the Institute itself is one of the most tourist-friendly places in Moscow: everyone here speaks English and guys at the bar might give you a couple of ideas on what’s hot in Moscow right now. Come here for lunch and you might get a chance to chat with Strelka’s students and program leaders, althogether extraordinary, creative and influential minds in the sphere of urbanism, architecture and social sciences. Main courses have suffered much criticism recently, so we just have to wait for the new chef to come. However do try local student lunch and pick two courses and a desert, altogether just for 300-350 roubles (around $10). Breakfast menu also deserves special attention, especially, yummy omelets with various fillings. Come here on a weekend night and make friends with local fashionistas on a loud funky party. Or just come for a cocktail or Wednesday night wine specials and have a drink or two enjoying a gorgeous view over the Moskva River.
An amazing example of how a cafe at a cultural centre can be transformed from a simple attachment to a gallery into a self-reliant place. People come to Garage cafe even when they don't plan to visit the center itself. It is run by a young chef Denis Kalmysh, who has just come back from an internship in London, and who promotes the principle of simple and seasonal cuisine: roasted vegetables, rabbit in sour cream in summer, mushrooms and berry desserts in autumn, and great crispy pizza on a thin crust whole year round.
Caterers Mitya Borisov and Dmitry Yampolsky, the duo behind Jean-Jacques, John Donne, Mayak and Kvartira 44, opened House 12 club in Mansurovsky pereulok. Nearby there is the Russian Academy of Arts, so you can combine your visit with going to an exhibition, a lecture or a concert. Apart from the main space they have a veranda, a terrace and an inner yard. The people responsible for the cuisine are Sveta Keosayan (former food critic in "Afisha" and editor of "First. Second. Third." magazine), chef Marco Cervetti and a caterer and editor-in-chief of "Afisha" Alexey Zimin. The restaurant should be favoured by the matured audience of the OGI Project, another place by Mitya Borisov.
A Korean restaurant with Korean, Chinese and Japanese food. The person responsible for the food is a chef Kim Kwan Juno. Each dish here easily substitutes a full dinner. On weekdays you can get a bento lunchbox with soup, salad, rice and cool mushroom tea for just 280 rubles. The main course varies depending on the day. You pay only for the main course and can choose a salad, rice and tea for free, which is very nice.
A restaurant by Yulia Vysotskaya in Aptekarsky Ogorod. It has a wonderful milti-level terrace, a bar, a summer kitchen and a small vegetable patch with greenery and a secret passage to the garden. The prices are low and the menu is simple. For example, they have an English fish pie or Cobb 192 salad from green lettuce, avocado, white radish and cucumber in seasoning made of vinegar, honey and mustard. The kitchen is run by a Brit Daniel Phippard, the bar - by a trendy barman Alexey Zastavnyuk. He serves milkshakes in milk bottles, ages drinks in oak barrels and serves berry lemonades.
Aleksandr Oganezov, William Lamberti and Glen Ballis have come together to open this cafe with modern Australian food on Sadovaya-Samotechnaya street. Usually people come here with company, sit on the stairs and taste food. The windows are always open to attract new customers. Among the appetizers especially popular are baked eggplants with olive tapenade, edamame with mint and aioli, carpaccio with salmon and ponzu sauce, charbroiled pears with tomato jam and chicken brochettes on toasts with goat cheese and onion jam. The drinks include wine, beer and cider.
A cafe with Russian cuisine next to a farmer's shop. The owners are considering opening a large summer terrace with a small market, activities for children, a green lawn and a vegetable garden. Boris Akimov, who runs the place with his colleagues, has vast experience in searching for organic products, and he used it in the restaurant. Here they bake nettle pies, cook fish straight from Volga or Onega rivers, make buckwheat noodles and prepare tartar from fresh herring. There are evenings for expats and reconstructions of dinners from classic Russian literature, from Gogol to Dostoevsky.
The first restaurant with modern Chinese cuisine in Moscow and a new project by a well-known lawyer and caterer Aleksandr Rappoport. It isn't just a restaurant, it is a place with real Cantonese food, which is practically unknown to Moscow while being extremely popular ouside of China. One of the things that make it special is, for instance, that all products undergo a minimal thermal treatment, and special attention is given to the healthyness of the food and the way products match. Every small detail counts – the order in which you cook the ingredients as well as their color. The menu features ducks, geese, chicken and quail, and also ribs prepared according to ancient Chinese technologies. The noodles and dim-sams are cooked by a special chef. The interior combines elements of a classic British pub, sculptures of Han and Tang dynasties, art from the Cultural Revolution era and modern Chinese art.
Haggis Pub & Kitchen
A new project by a caterer Dmitry Zotov ("Wing or Leg", "Chugunny Most") and somelier Segrei Krylov appeared on the place of "22.13" bar and now serves the best giblets in Moscow with good ale. The interior of the "22.13", now bankrupt, was supplemented with vintage furniture, a portrait of a sheep above the entrance and a lamp above each table to add to intimacy. The food is tasty and truly rural: the above mentioned giblets, fat pork, barley porridge, beetrout soup, veal liver pate. They now have 11 sorts of ale in the pub, including casked Rev. James, Scottish stout Balhaven, succesfully substituting Guinness, and Belgian Barbar (all at 310 rubles a pint).
Tacky walls, holes in wallpaper exposing brick, uncovered pipes and hanging wires – here, the brutal interior goes together with fabulous food and great care. Chef Anton Kovalkov and chief bartender Denis Kryazhev used to work in Lyubimye Mesto 22.13 (now closed) and they have prepared an original menu with local specialties – it can look strange but tastes awesome.
Some say it would be impossible to open this authentic Greek restaurant if its chef Stamatis Tsilias weren't a biker, and thus a risk taker. That's why he accepted the offer to cook in Moscow. He is a perfect chef who made the food really authentic. Among other things they serve cacık seasoned yogurt, Greek horiatiki and roka salads and the main courses – katsiki goat meat with baked potatoes and xtapodi grilled octopus with spinach sauce and faba beans.
They first announced the opening a year ago, but it took a while to complete the construction and then to find a chef. Now this Scandinavian place is run by a Dane Kasper Gaard and Russia's Herman Medvedev (he came from Schastye restaurant). The menu hasn't been settled yet, but they offer interesting stuff like veal and plan to endlessly expand it with seasonal offers and deals. Check the interiors – beautiful minimalism in pastel greys and the name of the designer is kept secret.
The second floor of Ugolyok restaurant is taken by Leveldva gastroclub. Their motto is a flow menu, so every 2 or 3 weeks they have a new chef. Their residents were Ugolyok chef Mikhail Gereschenko, TV host and cook Elena Chekalova, Dom Carlo chef Carlo Greku and other masters. The man behind the project is Italian Luigi Mani, who has three two-starred restaurants athome.
A new restaurant of Alexander Rappoport was opened in Moscow's central Hotel National. The idea was to make it another Russian cuisine hotspot like Café Pushkin, but more affordable. The menu is rather traditional (starters, soups, second courses) and has special sections with julienne, herring, cutlets and dumplings. And their goose with whortleberry is a must try. As for drinks, they have a wide range of vodka and distilled liqueurs – try them to feel the Russian spirit though all alcohol here is really good. The interiors were inspired by abstract paintings of Malevich and Petrov-Vodkin and are all white and red. Maybe the only flaw of the place is its popularity which means tables are hard to book – give it at least two weeks to get something for New Year.
Coffemania on Nikitskaya St
Next to the Conservatorium there is one of the oldest cafes of the chain. Those who prefer coffee made according to old recipes will love the place. It feels great both indoors and on the outside terrace. Coffemania is popular among famous actors who meet here with journalists for interviews, among nearby office workers who come here for business lunches, and terrificly beautiful girls branching on Saturdays looking like scenes from Sex and the City.
Started by chef William Lamberti and restaurateur Ilya Tyutenkov, Ugolyok is a restaurant in Bolshaya Nikitskaya street that became popular unexpectedly quickly even for Moscow – so book a table here well in advance. The place's highlights are antique blast furnaces which have a pleasant smell of smoke. Ugolyok also features concrete walls covered with real moss, wooden furniture as well as irregular glasses and cups. It also boasts an open kitchen and rich portions. The menu is regularly updated, but the Black Caesar salad and Chile Sea Bass have already become the place's favourites.
You will enjoy your time at Ugolyok at any time of the day but we still recommend coming here at night when it has a very special vibe - every other man and his dog has compared the spot to a NYC bar. If you want to take the evening to the next level, go upstairs and check out a party at Bobo bar and enjoy your fav cocktail.
Cafe opened on Malaya Bronnaya in 2011 by William Lamberti and since that moment has won the praise of one of the main points on the map of Patriarshie Ponds. Lamberti here not only the chef and co-owner, he is responsible for literally every detail: for example, his idea is a red kitchen middle of the main hall. The kitchen is open, so you can follow the magic of cooking of each dish step by step. The menu is not very big, but the chef welcomes proposals by any visitor. By the way, be aware, that you'd better book a table in advance. In the summer here the locals meet for the breakfasts, lunchs and dinners, having won the most popular seats. Surprisingly, but the most popular and wanted seats are the stairs with pillows at the entrance, not the tables. It can be characterized as a place with a special "European Moscow" atmosphere.
Having a twin restaurant & bar in Manhattan with the same menu and interior decor, Saxon+Parole suprised Muscovites in the first place with its cuisine: the dishes here are impeccable. Beef Tartare, Grilled Octopus and Moroccan Spiced Lamb are NYC favourites which are also popular with people in Moscow. Surprisingly, the bar is worth a visit as well - here you can try classic cocktails and their variations. The place's speciality is Manhattan on Top served with a supplement in a separate flask. As you can expect, the place is rather pricey, however, you will hardly find a better dinner spot near the Patriarshiye Ponds. The locals are already well aware of that, so booking a table in advance is advisable.