Every weekend the city gets a new bar – for you to check it out. So a Friday night resembles a council session – where are we going this time? Listing them all was impossible so we focused on those that opened during the last year.
The owners started with selling homemade hotdogs in front of the Hat bar. Later their gastronomy ambitions resulted in a small wine bar for friends only – this winter it was still hard to get. First you had to memorize the number of a backstreet in Vosstaniya, make it to the second yard and not loose your determination. Now they have a sign (Fligel), gates and fame – DoImmigration is the most popular wine evening starter in the city. Fridays and Sats the place is packed: people love the atmosphere and 150-200 rouble wine. A typical practice is to get the booze and go out. It is really stuffy in the summer inside, so the owners made a kind of veranda on the bridge-balcony linking the nearby buildings .
Once I asked for a cacao and the bartender said they are a whiskey bar not a coffee shop. They serve classical cocktails and strong drinks – 80 sorts of whiskey alone. Soft options are dandelion lemonade that will make you look like a drunkard. The kitchen works all night and breakfasts start at five am. Appetizers feature pâté sets (a good dining option for one), fish and chips (to share), salads, pasta and burgers . Now they disguise as a gastrobar and plan to expand the menu.
Apart from alcohol you can get some culture the famous Lev Lurye Lectures about St. Pete, booze, traditions and personalities. Come prepared: reserve a table and get a drink.
The bar is the child of ex-participants in the Restaurant Day driven by the success of their tarts – now they are part of the menu (tomato one is great). Clients and friends are locals, bartenders – amateurs, and parties go wild till the sun rises.
Order homemade liqueur or signature cocktails with crazy names and ingredients. Waiters are slow, so the challenge is not just to grab the bartender's attention but try to keep it so better order two shots at once. The interiors boast of RGB-wallpaper, changing with the light. So don't fear you had too much booze, when seeing green and red people .
On weekday nights the place is strangely empty and family-like. You can dine with plat de jour, it is the only thing served.
1 ½ Komnaty
This is so far the youngest Vosstaniya Square bar with designer servings – each shot is accompanied with a small appetizer to reveal all the hidden flavors. Thus white port wine is served with sliced cucumbers and basil, kava goes with raspberry and ribbons of cucumber in Vasileostrovsky cider appear quite good. They serve no food but promise a cold kitchen soon.
The name hints at tiny size – the first hall is good for friendly chats (overheard by Dovlatov, Brodsky, Pushkin and Blok looking from the wall), while the second hosts a bar – be ready to relinquish some privacy and chat with bartenders, they are pretty easygoing. Or you can send your friends a postcard with the writers from the wall posters, but use it as a drink mat before for atmosphere.
The bar from the guys who opened Fartuk in Rubinsteina Street has a brutal interior: a moose head inside (the hero of all instagrams), massive furniture and a small stage housing local and overseas bands and DJs. The owners wanted to bring dancing, drinking, sports bar, concerts and burger joint in one – so every night the venue becomes a different place. On Fridays and Saturdays, the Union is packed with a diverse crowd, where you will definitely see all your friends. The noise makes any talk impossible – just dance, drink and laugh. Ordering in such a hustle is quite challenging so use your pushing skills.
Let it bar
Entrance to this arched brick walled basement is not so obvious. St Pete bar owners seem to believe that if you're craving a drink you don't need a bar to have a fancy sign. What I love about this place is friendly staff – they would recommend you wine, help to her rid of too obtrusive or treat to a complementary shot. If you order a bottle they will bring you to the local cellar to give several options to choose from. Unlike many bars, the food here is taken care about and is good. The chef being part of the team and is pretty good. What is bad: no precise closing hours and freezing cold bathrooms (can be easily used as sober-up cells) and people in cardboard bunny ears popping in from time to time (from the nearby Purga).
Pass a huge faux apple and take the stairs down. Inside figure out which of over 98 ciders to drink. Barman will sympathetically ask – sweet , dry or super dry? They are always eager to advice or let you taste various sorts: from Altay GloryWood to Irish John Kepplers, or if you love classics take St.Anton but you can have it anywhere. When it is hot the place gets impossible to stay inside, so ask for a bottle or two out, but be ready for a line. Then take your cider and head along Fontanka towards Neva – kraft paper will save you from the police.
Тhis is a typical port tavern: hot inked girls and boys on the walls, stools screwed to the floor (just in case of storm) аnd when you are looking for the menu the bar guy says he is the menu and asks what you will be drinking. In this case, if you planned to have just one cider, everything can end in perfect ("got it just two weeks ago") calvados and something to eat. Every day the cook makes one hot meal and that is what you get – no delicacies – just filling and yummy. The food is served in a metal bowl and should be eaten with a spoon and a concentrated face. Afterwards get back to the booze, that is what you sailed here for. You will get your receipt on a boarding pass positively saying "one way".
This modest bar rarely sees strangers. Its waveform bar counter (reminds of the bay) attracts pale crème de la crème of St. Pete intellectuals – from movie critics to reporters and mathematicians. They share not just poker faces but a well-defined goal – they come here to have a drink. So forget about food, they have appetizers only: four types of sandwiches (100 roubles each) and that's it.
Their cocktails are thoroughly and rightly mixed classics without any extravaganza. Try their Free Ingria (250 RUR ) fenberry liqueur and Severny shot with the famous Minttu you all know from Finnish duty free. If you can’t make up your mind, ask the bartender for his pick and be ready for surprises.
Unpretentious interior is great for both gang fun and intimate tête-à-tête with aquavit. But the best thing is to come alone take some port wine and feel the Leningrad splean.