St. Petersburg Restaurants

More than two decades have passed since the fall of the Soviet Union and with it the days when dining choices in St. Petersburg, or any Russian city for that matter, were limited to traditional, often uninspired, but always inexpensive Russian-style eateries. In fact, dining is among the great pleasures in the city of Peter the
More than two decades have passed since the fall of the Soviet Union and with it the days when dining choices in St. Petersburg, or any Russian city for that matter, were limited to traditional, often uninspired, but always inexpensive Russian-style eateries. In fact,
More than two decades have passed since the fall of the Soviet Union and with it the days when dining choices in St. Pe

More than two decades have passed since the fall of the Soviet Union and with it the days when dining choices in St. Petersburg, or any Russian city for that matter, were limited to traditional, often uninspired, but always inexpensive Russian-style eateries. In fact, dining is among the great pleasures in the city of Peter the Great these days. Yes, you can dine like a tsar, and in just about any other fashion and on any kind of cuisine you prefer. Top chefs have taken over the dining rooms of some of the best hotels—including the Grand Hotel Europe, the Kempinski, and the W—where they serve top-notch food in beautiful settings. You'll also find a growing number of ethnic choices, and even vegetarians, often at a loss to find a meat-free meal in Russian, have some options, too.

Traditionalists need not worry, however. Homey and jovial budget eateries serving quick, substantial, and good meals for less than 250 rubles have mushroomed around the city. Stands selling Russian blini, the hearty Russian cousin of the French crepe, are everywhere, and they make a great pit stop.

Here are a few things to keep in mind. Few restaurants in St. Petersburg have no-smoking sections; in fact, some places have cigarettes listed on the menu. But attitudes are changing and you'll sometimes be offered a seat in a no-smoking section. The dining sections of St. Petersburg Times and St. Petersburg in Your Pocket are worth checking out, for both the restaurant reviews and the ads for tempting business lunch deals, which are typically priced between 300R and 600R.

It's not necessary to plan ahead if you want to land a table in a nice establishment on weekdays, but it's generally a good idea to reserve ahead for weekend dining. Ask your hotel or tour guide for help making a reservation. Most restaurants stop serving food around 11 pm or midnight, although more and more 24-hour cafés are opening.

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  • 1. miX

    $$$$ | Admiralteisky | French

    Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse's Russian outpost has shaken up the city's dining scene with its haute-cuisine interpretation of French...Read More

  • 2. 1913

    $$$$ | Admiralteisky | Russian

    The name evokes the last days of Imperial Russia, and the era is celebrated in low-key, comfortably elegant surroundings where a menu offers...Read More

  • 3. Caravan

    $$ | Admiralteisky | Middle Eastern

    The stuffed camel, Turkish carpets, and sizzling kebabs prepared in the middle of the room create an exotic ambiance in which to enjoy what...Read More

  • 4. Grand Cru Wine Bar

    $$$$ | Admiralteisky | International

    Wine lovers can choose from a huge list of French and Italian vintages, then select a bottle from the adjacent shop. Or, they can settle into...Read More

  • 5. Idiot

    City Center

    A favorite among St. Petersburg expatriates, this restaurant serves hearty vegetarian Russian food, good seafood, and nice Italian coffee. The...Read More

  • 6. LeChaim

    $$ | Admiralteisky | Russian

    The kosher cuisine, served in the spacious basement of St. Petersburg's Great Choral Synagogue, is as popular with a nonreligious crowd as it...Read More

  • 7. Russian Vodka Room No.1

    $$$$ | Admiralteisky | Russian

    Discreet and genteel, this spacious one-room venue could come straight out of one of Chekhov's stories and is the perfect place to try various...Read More

  • 8. Sadko

    $$$ | Admiralteisky | Russian

    Ruby red chandeliers and modern interpretations of Russian folkloric motifs provide a perfect prelude to a night at the nearby Marrinsky Theatre...Read More

  • 9. Stolle

    $ | Admiralteisky | Café

    This casual eatery combines the best of the old and new: the fashionable surroundings are comfortable, clean, and spacious, while the kitchen...Read More

  • 10. Teplo

    $ | Admiralteisky | Russian

    The name means "warmth" in Russian and this popular spot does indeed make guests feel warm all over, with a country house atmosphere (a fire...Read More

  • 11. Dvoryanskoye Gnezdo

    $$$$ | Admiralteisky | European

    At the Noble Nest, tucked away in the garden pavilion of the Yusupov Palace, the attire of the guests as well as the staff is as formal as the...Read More

  • 12. Za Stsenoi

    $$$$ | Admiralteisky | European

    Steps from the Mariinsky Theatre, with windows overlooking the pretty Kryukova Canal, "Backstage" has a dramatic setting. Its floorboards were...Read More

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