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. Terrassa

    $$ | City Center | Asian

    It seems as if you could touch the cupola of the Kazan cathedral from the open-air terrace of this stylish and glamorous "place to be seen....Read More

  • 2. Bistro Garçon

    $$ | Vladimirskaya | French

    Nevsky prospekt is St. Petersburg's version of a Parisian boulevard, and this comfortable, Parisian-style bistro fits right in. From the first...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. Dom Byta

    $$ | Vladimirskaya | Eclectic

    A lively bar serving old-fashioned cocktails up front, a quirkily decorated dining room in the back, and a menu that ranges from Asian to European...Read More

  • 5. Freeman's

    $$ | City Center | Mediterranean

    Behind an unassuming facade down a quiet side street off Nevsky prospekt is this warm and comforting room that might transport you to Italy...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. 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

  • 8. Russkaya Rybalka

    $$ | Kirov Islands | Seafood

    The gimmick at "Russian Fishing" is that you catch your own dinner. It's set in a charming wooden house overlooking a lake full of trout and...Read More

  • 9. Tandoor

    $$ | City Center | Indian

    Waiters dressed in traditional costumes and soft embroidered shoes move soundlessly in this comfortable and quiet little place across the street...Read More

  • 10. Tbiliso

    $$ | Petrograd Side | Middle Eastern

    A lot of thought was put into creating this busy and authentic Georgian restaurant, which evokes the atmosphere of old Tbilisi, the capital...Read More

  • 11. Via dell'Oliva

    $$ | City Center | Mediterranean

    Feta cheese delivered directly from Greece transports you directly to sunnier climes, as does much else about this stone and terra-cotta dining...Read More

  • 12. Vostochny Ugolok

    $$ | City Center | Middle Eastern

    The lamb, herbs, and other ingredients here are laudably fresh, and flown in several times a week from Baku, Azerbaijan. It is easy to get lost...Read More

  • 13. Tinkoff

    $$ | City Center | American

    The crowded, loftlike Tinkoff was St. Petersburg's first microbrewery. Trendy people come to enjoy beer and tasty comfort food in a relaxed...Read More

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