It will only take you a few minutes of strolling around in Nha Trang to realize that the use of Russian language in signs, shopfronts and menus is a little more than usual. This is because the Vietnamese coast has become extremely popular with Russian tourists due to a direct flight connection that now boasts over 700 flights each year. For those that cannot go without their homeland food, a bunch of Russian restaurants have set up shop. Here are the best ones.
Always ranking high on lists regarding top restaurants in Nha Trang, Alpaca Homestyle Café is a quaint little café run by a Russian couple that really know what they’re doing. The cosy setting created by the mismatched furniture and optimistic lighthearted quotes on the wall create the perfect venue for solo diners, groups, families, or even a casual date. The menu boasts delicious American, Eastern European, and regional items, with more vegetarian options than not. The food is simply delicious and made with the freshest ingredients, and the portions are great and worth the price you pay. The chicken fajitas and ham and cheese gnocci are a favorite among patrons, and you can enjoy this either on the patio or inside. But don’t forget to take that perfect Instagram shot of you and your food first.
Story Beach Club is a great place to spend the evening, especially for a nice romantic date on the patio as you enjoy some delicious gourmet food while the sun sets over the horizon. The menu here not only offers Eastern European dishes, but there is also Mediterranean, Chinese, and Vietnamese items. There’s a great list of wine, spirits, beers, and even shisha to go with. All of this combined with the chill ambiance created by the live jazz music, will guarantee you a great time. The grilled salmon steak with creamy saffron sauce and the Olivier salad served with homemade mayonnaise are especially worth a mention. Top this all off with some coconut ice cream to finish, and you’re golden!
Yummy Mummy is a rather small, cosy space with not many tables and seats, and the menu here has only about 15 items for you to choose from. This is all part of the authentic and homey feel your lovely hosts, Uncle Gene and Aunt Olya, aim for. You will not be able to help but smile when you see the giant quote on the wall that reads “People who love to eat are the best people.” All dishes here are prepared with love and care. Try the meatballs and mashed potatoes or the pelmeni meat dumplings with their delicious vinaigrette. Undeservedly deprived by the attention of tourists, this is certainly a hidden gem, and you will find yourself coming here time and time again during your stay. Especially when you find out that none of the dishes go over VND$100,000 (US$4.50).
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Cosmos, a quirky restaurant that spans three floors with two outdoor terraces, will take you momentarily out of Nha Trang, and even Earth, and into space. On the dark walls are drawings of space and all that it entails – planets, stars, galaxies, space ships, and, of course, green, bug-eyed cartoonish aliens. This all comes with ultraviolet fluorescent lighting and staff wearing galaxy costumes, so hey, it’s the real deal. The menu is mainly Russian, with barely any English translations, but the pictures are a good representation of what to expect, so you can point to what you want. Try the Okroshka, a cold Russian soup great for Nha Trang’s hot weather, as is the ice cream made from real fruits and not artificial flavoring. Daily discounts and promotions are available, and, if you have kids, on the first floor they can watch cartoons or movies!
Esenin is another great place to get some home-cooked-style Russian food. The kitchen serves delicious Russian-Asian fusion items and has dishes made of rare exotic meats such as ostrich and crocodile. The pork knuckle and Siberian dumplings are rather divine, and what makes this place even better is that the portions are huge and the prices are affordable. Esenin is a little gem hidden in a dark alley off the main Tran Phu beach strip. Get stuffed here and then head off to the next venue to dance the calories off. Tran Phu has many clubs and bars, so take your pick.