Saint Petersburg and its Cafés

Saint Petersburg, Russia

10 places
Saint Petersburg and its Cafés

Yulya Kalanchëva

Three French bistro and bakeries of this chain are located in places where you don't expect to see such cafes and come handy when you need a bite or a full-fledged lunch, breakfast or dinner. I would doubt the French atmosphere but their croissants, chaussons and quiches are great even without it.

St Pete’s Centrale differs from its Italian counterparts by its simplicity both in interiors and cuisine . Homemade pasta, pizza, risotto and, certainly, gelato – that’s what they offer. The walls are decorated with bikes as if claiming that not only posh things can bring you happiness. The staff is not just formally friendly but really hearty. The biggest challenge, so far, is to spot this tiny place walking around Karavannaya and afterwards go to check the latest movie release in Dom Kino.

The famous St Pete chain of bakeries sell more than pastry and candy – in many locations around the city you can eat a hearty breakfast or lunch not just meringues. Their trademark confectionery is perfect – all signature cakes (one gave the name to the place), pies and rye bread of all kinds.

The famous Soviet heritage, this place has three and a half tables and divine Russian doughnuts (pyshki) – greasy and powdered to be consumed with tea or coffee. It used to be our grandmothers' favorite and still is. One doughnut is 12 roubles, so everyone takes at least a dozen.

A decade has passed since its opening, but Zoom’s frequenters are the same old folks standing by the place as their second home. With piles of books and board games, it is always packed and reservations are available to club card holders only, so you will have to wait. And everyone waits. There is always a mini line to enter the venue and people are patiently waiting to finally eat their favorite ratatouille, quiches and pies.

This venue in Loft Project Etazhi used to be a fancy organic café but now is simple and affordable, which made it a local attraction. Their meat and vegetable manti dumplings draw lines even during the week and all tables and veranda seats are taken by visitors of exhibitions, family workshops or passers by in search of place to work. Prices and menu are simple, for example, buckwheat with mushrooms but atmosphere, photogenic interiors and Etazhi energetic vibe are worth it.

Vegetarians, it's time to chill: you can have your vegetable samosa with a say sausage right in the city center. Go to Sadovaya-Sennaya metro, Gorokhovaya Street – Rada & Co is welcoming you. It is a buffet, so you will not wait in long lines. Staff is really nice and the place is decorated with photos of the famous vegetarians – enjoy your meal in the company of Tolstoy, Lennon and Gandhi. And sometimes a concert.

Botanika hasn't just opened but is still the best vegetarian place in town. A small hall and a summer veranda are always packed as their international menu is cooked with so much love and care for customers. Try traditional Spanish tapenade (puréed or finely chopped olives, capers, anchovies and olive oil) or their Indian offers (aloo gobi, dal and others) or just have a carrot cake. Ayurveda doesn’t ban spices so even the simplest food becomes the feast of taste and health.

It's just a perfect place for a quick and yummy breakfast before a train trip. Located in a three-minute walk from Moskovsky Railway Station it is small but well-lit and offers freshly made sandwiches, salads, yogurts with granola and super good soups (salmon cream, tomato with ginger or beans and beef). The place is not packed and staff is great. They can also help to pack a picnic basket if you need.

The place was opened by Mishka bar founders, one of the hottest St.Pete night spots. It is also crowded and packed with friends but people come here to eat and drink not to freak out. They serve huge salads and original burgers. A lunch option is a goat cheese salad with italianoburger with beef, dried tomatoes and pesto. And the dessert is their famous passion fruit soup. As for drinking, try their Ginger Basil or Dushes Samogon.

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