To Rostov-on-Don for the weekend

Rostov on Don, Russia

7 places
To Rostov-on-Don for the weekend

Anna Lavrentyeva

Our parents packed their stuff into the car and happily rushed to the new cities of the big country and we usually complain there is nowhere to go. And there is a city on the south of Russia where gastronomic pleasures, numerous cultural events, festivals and art places can be found. Rostov is in tune with the times – changing, corresponding all the trends and becoming a decent option for a weekend visit.

It is considered that the city can be known by its central market: here you have word-of-mouth, best local goods, advice on where to go, and of course you can feel the local color here. At Rostov’s “stariy bazar” there are long rows with fresh fish, crawfish (a must-buy, you won’t find the same anywhere), meat, local homemade cheese, fried butter, plenty of greenery, five sorts of potatoes, vegetables and fruits. It is a real heaven for gastrotourist: everything is fresh, tasty and without GMO. Here you can and have to bargain with all the sellers, listen to their unbelievable stories, take a free makeweight from each of them and leave happy and satisfied with a full bag of delicacies. And one hack – in case you have spent too much and don’t have money left for food – come here for tastings, and you will definitely supply yourself with calories for a day.

Wherever you go, you won’t miss the Don. This is why it is obvious that local embankment tries to be modern and nice: it has been renovated lately and now the coastal territory is improved - there are ramps for wheelchairs, interesting devices like mechanic heart, many benches and fountains with drinking water, free WiFi and even the possibility to charge the mobile phone. Here it’s great to roller skate, play the ukulele, treat your friends with homemade sandwiches, read books and get acquainted with the local youth. Among all that, there is always a cool breeze from the river, that is why it is an ideal place where to stay at day heat and where to wander in the evenings.

Art center “Makaronka” is located in the historic part of the city on the territory of former pasta factory, that is where the name comes from (in Russian “makarony” means pasta). Several years ago it became obvious that the city needs a special place for exhibitions and performances, so the territory got a new life. Nowadays there are modern theatre, exhibition space and artists’ workshops functioning under the roof of this creative space. There is a permanent exposition in the gallery, the pride of which are works of Shemyakin, Vinogradov, Dubossarskiy, Burlyuk, Shagal. When events are not held there, “Makaronka” is being rented for private cultural activities: master-classes, recitals and readings, presentations, concerts and fashion shows. All in all, in case citizens of Rostov are searching for modern culture, they come here. On the art center territory you will also find wine room with tasting room, restaurant with original cuisine, library, and even mobile office, where you can leisurely work, so it is easy to spend here the whole day.

«18+» is a new format theatre, theatre of new drama, modern play and everything that is usually associated with documentary theatre “verbatim”. The place creators always try something new with theatrical forms, try to show the local audience new theatre. The place regularly hosts trendy performances from Moscow and Saint Petersburg, such mastodons of modern drama as “Teatre.doc”, The Meyerhold Theatre Center, Theatre “ASB” from Saint Petersburg, Theatre “Paraphrase”. The artistic director of the theatre – Yuriy Muravitsky – is responsible for the program; and he is the person to have several nominations for prestigious theatre prize “Zolotaya Maska” (“Golden Mask”). “18+” is a good alternative to Rostov State Musical Theatre or The Rostov Academic Drama Theater named after M. Gorkiy.

An old two-stored homestead near the Musical Theatre and the Pokrovskiy square looks luxurious, and it really is. It is the place where grill restaurant “New York” is situated – the main party place and the status indicator. On Fridays and Saturdays you can dance here to the music sets of Dasha Malygina, DJ List and DJ project S-BROTHER-S. At all other days at “New York” the huge steaks are grilled (meat is provided by local farms), salads, risotto and pies are made, and cocktails are poured. The bartender Kirill, known to all frequenters of Moscow bar “Strelka”, is responsible for the last. All the guests are met and checked for sanity by the owner – Roman Panchenko.

Vadim Kalinich, enthusiast and restaurateur, opened “Bukovski” in the premises of former tobacco plant, that now has turned into a real restaurant cluster. Today the place has two stores, patio and terrace, and still you have to book a table in advance.
On the menu you will find many variants of meat, sixteen sorts of craft beer, fried smelt and surmullet, potatoes and fresh vegetables for side dish. Cuisine is reckoned for a meat lover, so even ladies better leave their decency and taste burger made from local beef or homemade sausages. Among other nice bonuses of the pub are: friendly waiter with dreadlocks, reciting poetry to the visitors, summer terrace with cane chairs, kindest local cat Farfor (porcelain in Russian), ready to sleep, rumble and sit still at your knees, shrimp julienne that is not on the menu, and live jazz concerts in the evenings. The average bill is quite reasonable – 1000 rubles.

In any developing city it became a standard practice to have a shop with craft alcohol. In Rostov it is “Butylochka” (small bottle in Russian), where rare sorts of cider, ale, lambic and other types of beer are sold. The place being cozy it also attracts by its prices: the minimum price is 180 rubles per bottle. It is worth visiting the place before the evening walk along the city or as the final point of the day – what could be better than heady beer on the promenade along the Don. But keep in mind the limit, or you will wake up free spirit.

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