Some travelers say that Russian cuisine is quite peculiar, as it fuses culinary influences from its neighbors within Central Asia, the Middle East and Central Europe. But if you go to reputable restaurants and cafes in Moscow, you will surely have an enjoyable and memorable experience with tasting Russian food. In no particular order, here are the ten best places to eat in the heart of Russia’s greatest capital. For non-Russian speakers, not too worry - these restaurants will provide menus in English!
1. Cafe Pushkin
Food you must try: Borscht (beetroot soup with smoked goose fillet and sour cream)
This gastronomic restaurant was founded in June 1999, and although the Russian public thought that it was named after the legendary Russian poet, Alexander Pushkin, the story behind its establishment went beyond that. A French chansonnier, Gilbert Bécaud, wrote and performed a song called ‘Natalie,’ which was dedicated to his Russian tour guide after visiting Moscow. The song included Café Pushkin, however, it was a fictionalized place at the time. So his fans searched for this restaurant everywhere! The story and song inspired the founder and restaurateur, Andrei Dellos, to establish the real Cafe Pushkin in 1999.
The dining atmosphere at Cafe Pushkin feels as if you are eating at a fancy library, although the owners actually claimed that it was a place of recreation for aristocratic men, who gathered for business lunches in this Baroque mansion. Cafe Pushkin has two different dining halls, the Pharmacy Hall and the Library Hall. Each of these halls feature different menu items to one another, but the one Russian delicacy in both menus that you need to try is their hearty and delectable borscht.
Address: Tverskoy Boulevard, 26А, Moskva, Russia, 125009
Website: Cafe Pushkin
2. Mari Vanna
Food you must try: Russian Napoleon (cake with three layers of puff pastry, and two alternating layers of pastry cream)
As you enter Mari Vanna, it really feels as if you’ve entered someone’s home. The decor is similar to the likes of a family dining room, so it immediately brings out a warm and cosy ambience. Diners have raved about the authenticity of Russian homemade food, friendly waiters and the amicability of the restaurant’s very own cat! If you still have enough room for dessert, you need to try their scrumptious Napoleon cake, which is actually the Russian version of mille-feuille, a French pastry.
Address: Spiridonyevskiy per., 10a, Moscow, Russia, 123104
Website: Mari Vanna
Food you must try: white truffles
If you’d like to dine in style, or if you have just finished watching a concert or ballet at Bolshoi theatre, then dining at the elegant restaurant, Bolshoi is perfect to end the evening. What makes Bolshoi’s decor so classy is the crystal chandeliers, modern art paintings and lush leather furniture, which was made by renowned designer, Ralph Lauren. The food fuses Russian and French influences.
Address: Petrovka ul., 3/6, Boulevard 2, Moskva, Russia, 125009
4. Grand Cafe Dr. Zhivago
Food you must try: Beef Stroganoff
Only a stone’s throw away from the Kremlin, Grand Cafe Dr. Zhivago is a must-visit restaurant for all tourists. It offers a lavish atmosphere that intertwines modern interior and Soviet elaborations. The chefs have used a modern concept of turning traditional Russian cuisine for the commoners, into tasteful delicacies that even the rich can appreciate.
The accomplished restaurateur, Alexander Rapoport, who is the mastermind behind this concept, claims that exquisite food should be made affordable, and Grand Cafe Dr. Zhivago proves just that. The prices are both reasonable and value for money. Visitors will be overwhelmed by the vast range of food, but we recommend you to try their hearty beef stroganoff with thick creamy sauce.
Grand Cafe Dr. Zhivago
Address: Mokhovaya St, 15/1, Moskva, Russia, 125009
Website: Grand Cafe Dr. Zhivago
5. Restaurant C.D.L
Food you must try: Golubtsy (stuffed cabbage leaves)
Although it is located at one of Moscow’s busiest areas known as the Arbat, Restaurant C.D.L is tucked into a much quieter street. It is managed under a private club and presents an elegant atmosphere for its diners. You cannot miss its large glistening chandelier, plush furniture and grand piano as you walk into the restaurant. The variety of dishes on the menu are a mix of Russian and East European, and though it’s tempting to try all of them, you must taste golubtsy, which are delectable cabbage rolls stuffed with mince meat.
Address: Povarskaya St, 50/53, Moskva, Russia, 121069
Website: Restaurant C.D.L
Food you must try: Vareniki (stuffed dumplings)
If you’re looking for comfort food and a cozy atmosphere, then Odessa-Mama will meet your expectations. It boasts having a diverse array of traditional Odessan dishes. We’d recommend you to try their comforting and tasty varenki. Although this dish originated from Ukraine, it is a very popular dish in Russia.
Address: Krivokolennyy per., 10с5, Moskva, Russia, 101000
Food you must try: Stroganina (slices of frozen, raw, long and thin-sliced fish)
The word, ‘chemodan’ literally translates to 'suitcase’ in Russian. And the metaphor is quite amusing, as the restaurant transports you to taste Siberian cuisine. Located a block away from the famous Arbat Street, Chemodan is perfect for any foreigner who seeks to taste Siberia’s delicacies without being in the region. If you’re brave enough, try stroganina, which consists of frozen freshwater whitefish with only salt and black pepper, and is a popular dish for most Siberians. But if you want to taste it with a true Siberian spirit, drink it with vodka.
Address: Gogolevsky Blvd, 25, стр. 1, Moskva, Russia, 119019
8. Lepim i Varim
Food you must try: any dish with pelmeni (Russian dumplings)
You cannot leave Russia without trying pelmeni. They may taste similar to its Italian distant cousin, the ravioli, but the main difference is the shape. Pelmeni is made into shapes of purses and stuffed with either juicy meat fillings, mushrooms, cheese, or Russians’ beloved vegetable - potatoes.
But Lepim i Varim proves to be experimental with their fillings and apparently colors. From venison to scallops, crab and cherry, each dish has a unique quality to it. Diners have raved about its freshness and exceptional taste.
Lepim i Varim
Address: с, per. Stoleshnikov, 9с1, Moscow, Russia, 125009
Website: Lepim i Varim
Отметить Новый год — дело нехитрое. Прийти в себя на следующий день — бесценно. SAVVA обеспечивает обе возможности, но с...Posted by SAVVA on Monday, 26 December 2016
Food you must try: Caviar
Fancy dining in style? Then you have to taste caviar at SAVVA, which is located inside Hotel Metropol. The interiors are embellished with marble and Renaissance pictures on the ceilings, so you’ll feel that you’ve entered a hub of royalty. Taste any of their caviar served on buckwheat blinis (thin pancakes) with sour cream and egg.
Address: Metropol Hotel, Teatralnyy pr-d, 2, Moskva, Russia, 109012
10. Farmers Restaurant Lavkalavka
#LavkaLavkaПетровка #LavkaLavkaЮг Первомай-первомай, кого хочешь - выбирай!Posted by LavkaLavka on Monday, 1 May 2017
Food you must try: Kamchatka (red king) crab salad with cream cheese
The concept of food for Lavkalavka brings a breath of fresh air to Moscow. “Food is not just eating,” as they quote, as it is also a culinary journey with Russian cuisine that all their diners must experience. You can expect to see well-presentable dishes, and taste high-quality food made out of the freshest of ingredients from their own, local farmers. Each of the dishes has its distinct flavors created by a different chef. If you love seafood, you’ll need to try Kamchatka crab salad served with apple jam.
Farmers Restaurant Lavkalavka
Address: Petrovka ul., 21, Boulevard 1, Moskva, Russia, 127051
Taste the finest Russian dishes
No matter how peculiar the flavors of Russian cuisine are to you, it’s definitely worth trying in the heart of Moscow. As long as you visit any of these top 10 restaurants, then you’re not only guaranteed a great quality of Russian food, but also an unforgettable and gratifying dining experience.
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.