Where to eat in this place? I guess this is the most vital question we ask ourselves when we are travelling. Usually, popular touristic destinations have so many different restaurants and cafes, that it is difficult to choose where to go. I have visited this city several times, so here is my list of places to eat in St Petersburg, Russia. These are the restaurants I dined at myself, and I am not paid to promote them, it is just my personal opinion. I list them here starting with the most expensive ones and ending with the cheapest.
Now, attention, a very important tip: lots of places in St Petersburg, and in Russia in general, offer fixed meal sets or, how it is called now, business lunches. I guess it is a relic of the Soviet Union, when people dined in canteens, and for lunch they had soup, second course with garnish, dessert and a drink. This tradition is still kept, so now you can have a lunch with several courses for as low as 250 rubles (around 4 EUR). Of course, the price and number of dishes depend on the place, but it is an excellent way to save on food. Usually, these meals are offered between 12 PM and 4 PM.
Let’s get back to restaurants. But before I start, I want to say that I am one of those people who do not take pictures of their food before they eat 🙂 So, unfortunately, you won’t see many photos here.
Kazanskaya ul., 3A
This restaurant is mentioned in the Lonely Planet guide, and is considered to offer great views over the Kazan Cathedral. I was there in October, the outer terrace was closed, so from the inside we could see only a small part of the cathedral’s back. In fact, I am not sure you can get a great view even in summer: it is the front of the cathedral that is beautiful, not its back. Well, the prices are far from cheap, but the service is on high level: there was even a cloakroom attendant, who took our jackets! I know, I know, expensive restaurants do that, but I don’t go to restaurants like this one very often 🙂 The selection of dishes is really huge, you will have hard time choosing what to have, but the food is very delicious!
Nevsky avenue, 18
In the times of the Russian Empire St Petersburg was the city where lots of artists and writers used to reside. This Literary Cafe is the place where they gathered to dine and discuss ongoing issues. Well, at that time it was a confectionary, but nevertheless it was probably the most popular place among the writing circle. The famous Alexander Pushkin waited in this café for his second before he went to the duel that ended his life. Our waiter told us that we were sitting at exactly the same table he used to sit. I don’t know, maybe he tells it to everyone in the restaurant 🙂
The restaurant is on two floors, and I suggest booking a table on the second one at the window: you will be closer to the stage and will get amazing views over Moyka river or Nevsky avenue (depending on the side you choose). They have live performances with singers and piano almost every evening. The food is delicious with lots to choose from, including many Russian dishes. If you need a cozy evening with cultural atmosphere, that’s the place to go!
Griboyedov channel embankment, 2B
This restaurant is not far from the Church of Savior on Blood, so if you crave something Italian, don’t hesitate to go there. The food is very delicious, and I loved the interior design.
Nevsky avenue, 28
This restaurant is special: it is on the second floor of the most famous bookshop in St Petersburg – Singer house, and offers magnificent views of the Kazan Cathedral. Make sure to get yourself a table at the window, and enjoy the sunsets. The menu has lots of Russian cuisine dishes, including a large selection of pancakes (blinys) and desserts. They offer fixed meals as well.
Griboyedov channel embankment, 5
We went there because it is just across the Church of the Savior on blood, and I was not disappointed! The prices are moderate, food was served quickly, and I still remember how yummy their cheesecake was! But to be totally impartial, I have to add that my friend did not really like it: she ordered pies, and was not delighted. I am a very picky eater, and I liked it.
Moyka river embankment, 40
This is a pirate-themed restaurant on Moyka river embankment, right in the city center not far from the Hermitage and Nevsky avenue. I am not going to lie, I have heard some really bad reviews about this restaurant, but I would have to disagree with them. I was there with a friend, and we liked everything: the food, atmosphere, and waiters. Lots of dishes to choose from, and they offer a full fixed meal – soup, second course, garnish, salad, and a drink for 290 rubles.
Fontanka river embankment, 40
This restaurant is close to the Anichkov bridge. It is in a basement, so it is a bit dark there. I liked the waiters: they are friendly and nice. The cuisine is Russian, their borscht is amazing, and prices are low! Besides, they have fixed meals for 215 rubles and it is a nice place so stop by after exploring Fontanka river embankment and Faberge museum.
April 12 (Dumplings Donuts Coffee)
Nevsky avenue, 20
This is a very atmospheric café! April 12 is a very important date in the history of the Soviet Union and Russia: it is the day when Yuri Gagarin journeyed to the outer space. The style of the café is rigid, with newspapers on the walls, nothing too fancy, just like Soviet canteens. And the most important is that it is cheap: for example, a cup of coffee is 40 rubles and donuts are 15 rubles each! For 100 rubles you can have an excellent breakfast 🙂 Well, depending on what you usually have for breakfast. The café is in a basement, and, frankly, looks a bit suspicious from outside, so I did not even think about going in, and I passed it by every evening and morning. But when I did go inside, I did not regret it: donuts are really good 🙂 Moreover, you can order pelmeni there as well.
If this is not enough, here below are three other options. I chose them basing on the Tripadvisor reviews and their proximity to touristic places.
Mytninskaya embankment, 6
You will definitely pass by this one on your way to or from the Peter and Paul Fortress. It is a restaurant in a ship, and dining there will definitely be a unique experience. The cuisine is European and Russian, prices are reasonable, so you might give it a try.
Sadovaya St, 67
This restaurant is not far from the St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral. It offers dishes of the Russian cuisine, starting with borscht, pickles, pancakes, and ending with mushroom and meat. Moreover, if you trust the pictures, the interior is very cool 🙂
Kronverkskiy avenue, 53
Another restaurant with interesting interior on Kronverkskiy prospect relatively not far from the Peter and Paul fortress. Uha is fish soup from Russian, and the restaurant specializes in fish, but they also have dishes from Russian cuisine. My friend was there and loved it.
Frankly, I am sure any place in the Nevsky avenue (and not only) offers good service and delicious food, so if I were you I would choose any of them. The restaurants in the avenue cater to tourists, so their staff speak English, and the menus are in English as well. When I was strolling along the street, I saw a restaurant stylized as a pub: I guess I will go there next time 🙂
Do you know any other cool places to eat in St Petersburg?
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