Best Places in Moscow to Drink Like a True Muscovite
Wineglass on White and Brown Surface
While St. Petersburg may have been hailed as the official bar capital of Russia, Moscow comes a close second, with an enviable drinking scene. Read on to discover the city’s iconic bars, where you can drink Moscow-style.
Bar, Cafe, Restaurant, European, French, Italian, Beer, $$$
Mayak, Bol'shaya Nikitskaya Ulitsa | Image courtesy of Cafe Mayak
This legendary bar shares the building with Mayakovsky Theatre, hence the name. Here you can expect to meet the local art society – actors, journalists and musicians. One of the oldest bars of post-Soviet Moscow, it’s a buzzing party place during the weekend.
If you plan to hit John Donne on a game night, be sure to get there early as it gets packed. Latecomers won’t be able to squeeze their way in. On regular days, there’s less of a crowd, making it an ideal spot for beer connoisseurs and pub-lovers.
One of the most interesting bars in the city and the go-to hangout for Moscow’s hipsters, Strelka has it all – inventive cuisine, an amazing view and occasional live music. Come here for some of the best cocktails Moscow has to offer. This popular bar tends to attract a crowd at weekends.
Kamchatka is a well frequented Soviet-style bar with nostalgic food, Stolichnaya vodka and local beer. What initially began as a tiny room has transformed into a multi-story drinking den, where you’re still likely to struggle finding a seat. No-one seems to mind, since it’s one of the most authentic places in Russia’s capital.
Founded by a beer geek and a musician, Sosna and Lipa is a small spot with a big personality. Here you can choose from an extensive selection of bottled beer or sample a few of the 10 varieties of Russian craft beer on tap, all at ridiculously low prices. There’s no snacks, but who needs food when you can have beer for dinner! The perfect place to spend a warm summer’s evening.
This iconic bar was founded in 2004 by the two-time world champion bartender Dmitry Sokolov, who redefined Moscow’s bar culture. The place had a refurbishment in 2015 and now boasts a state-of-the-art cocktail list with a sublime food menu to match.
Bar, Gastropub, Wine Bar, European, Cocktails, $$$
This is the chicest of the four Simple Things, located in an elegant two-storey mansion. Just like the others in the popular restaurant chain, Simple Things New Vintage keeps the food standards high, offering simple and honest dishes like Black Sea garfish baked with potatoes and capers or beef tataki with foie gras. On the cocktail menu there are lots of “gastro-cocktails” and drinks made with sparkling wine.
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Wine Bar, American, European, Beer, $$$
Lumberjack has everything you’d expect from a bar with such a manly moniker – staff in checkered shirts, hefty burgers and bourbon-based drinks. This is the place to spend a chilled evening catching up with friends.
This atmospheric English-style pub is unsurprisingly the unofficial meeting place of the city’s Manchester United fans. Favoured for its beer selection and hearty food, Bobby Dazzler will win you over with its friendly staff and warm ambience.