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 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. Da Albertone

    $ | City Center | Italian

    More than 40 kinds of pizza are prepared by Italian cooks who know what they're doing. The house-made focaccia is also delicious, and other...Read More

  • 2. Francesco

    $$$$ | Vladimirskaya | Italian

    Politicians, businesspeople, and television personalities are regulars at one of the city's busiest and most fashionable venues, where the two...Read More

  • 3. Il Grappolo

    $$$ | City Center | Italian

    One of the city's best Italian restaurants serves deliciously fresh food, including a Caprese salad with buffalo mozzarella. Everything—from...Read More

  • 4. Macaroni

    $$$ | Vladimirskaya | Italian

    Settle into one of the plush booths to enjoy simple Italian fare in friendly and comfortable surroundings. The pastas and pizzas are authentically...Read More

  • 5. Marcelli's

    $$ | Vladimirskaya | Italian

    An unpretentious dining room decorated with Italian knickknacks and bare wooden tables is a good choice for an inexpensive lunch or post-theater...Read More

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