As the unofficial capital of the Ural Mountains, Yekaterinburg is the place to try the region’s cuisine. A dynamic urban centre, its glut of cafes, restaurants, bars and bakeries is a foodie heaven, and Ural cuisine is well represented. Get stuck into freshly prepared old favourites and contemporary takes on time-old dishes with these picks of where to eat Ural food in Yekaterinburg.
A quirky cafe that is decorated with the creations made by local blacksmith, Alexander Lysyakov. Full of authentic Russian and local flavours, the menu is filled with mushrooms, sour cream, fish, potatoes and hearty soups including the local rassolnik, and a selection of pelmeni that includes some stuffed with both salmon and pike perch, The cafe also serves lemon vodka, and the portions are big – what’s not to like?
Head chef Michael Arakelov does his best to bring the taste of the Urals and Russia into his gourmet Americana steak and burgers. It offers the Yekaterinburger, a burger made entirely from locally sourced produce, including local mayonnaise kings, Provansal. Housed in the Iset Hotel, one of Yeketerinburg’s iconic constructivist buildings, even if you don’t get the all local burger, all the meat here is locally sourced as well. Also on the menu are the Ural’s most iconic dish, pelmeni.
This is another great restaurant that hits the mark with both Russian and Ural foods. A fairly kitsch and sentimental setting, filled with Russian flavours such as smoked salmon and beef stroganoff, as well as many of classic Russian soups, the restaurant also has an extensive dumpling menu. Ural three meat pelmeni are stuffed with beef, lamb and pork, or you can also try sweet vareniki drizzled in a cherry jelly.
In the Yeltsin centre, a shiny modern complex built to celebrate the achievements of local boy and the first president of the Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin, is Cafe 1991. Named after the year of the USSR dissolution, it is said that Naina Yeltsin, the former first lady, gave the founding head chef some of her reputable dessert recipes, including one for bird cherry cake, which you can enjoy while looking out across the city ponds and onto the Church upon the Blood.
Decorated with ornate ironwork, a handicraft speciality of the region, and Ural artists hanging on the wall, this cafe is a rounded experience in Russian and Ural culture. Using local produce, it fuses regional cuisine with wider Russian fare. Multiple styles of pelmeni and vareniki ensure you’ll satiate any craving for local cuisine here.
A popular joint, Pelmeni Klub is open in two locations and is cheap, cheerful and friendly restaurant that has become somewhat of an institution. As the name would suggest, the restaurant offers all kinds of pelmeni and vareniki, some of which have bird cherry ground into their dough. You can even have a go at making your own.
A relative newcomer to the Yekaterinburg restaurant scene, this hipster haven is led by chef Vladimir Olkinitskiy, a local trailblazer of contemporary cuisine in the Ural tradition. Rather than new takes on old favourites, Olkinitskiy takes ingredients and flavour combinations and creates ingenious new meals such as savoury eclairs with mushroom mousse.