Rubinshteyna is a centrally located melting pot of all sorts of restaurants, bars and cafés. There are over 50 establishments on the street, all bringing a new and exotic flavour to St Petersburg. On any given night of the week, or during the day for that matter, the street is brimming with locals and tourists. If faced with a choice, here’s an overview of the street’s best bars and what they offer.
Restaurant, Israeli, $
Commode may not have extravagant cocktails or creative snacks, but the bar has found a new approach to running a business. They named themselves a self-cost bar, which means they sell all the drinks at cost; they just want to break even. The drinks are dirt cheap, and the cost of one hour at the establishment comes down to 180 roubles (two pounds) per person, still making the experience worth the money.
Restaurant, European, Japanese, $$
St Petersburg may not boast many jazz bars, but the ones that do exist are very good. 48 Chairs is no exception and provides a wide selection of shows every night of the week. Naturally, arriving in advance is advisable for better seats or even an opportunity to sit down.
Cocktail Bar, Pub Grub, $
Tsvetochki is a cocktail bar boasting a menu of 70 drinks. Some of them are perfected classics, while others are inventions created by trial and error. The drinks menu is divided into shots, tini-cocktails and long drinks that cost 200, 300 and 350 roubles respectively – a very democratic and convenient pricing scheme.
Bar, Mediterranean, Wine, $
Wine and Mediterranean food – surely nothing can go wrong. Vinostudia is the place to enjoy a great combination of wine and culinary delights, placing special importance on the wine. The wine list hails from all parts of the world and features affordable prices of 180–250 roubles per glass (two to three pounds). They offer other types of alcohol as well, but a smaller selection.
Restaurant, Russian, $
Geography stands out as a bar with a more sophisticated vibe. The cocktails are mixed to perfection, placing much importance on both ingredients and appearance. There is also a list of aged cocktails serving strong spirits in the most unexpected combinations.
O! Cuba is the first restaurant in St Petersburg to import the Cuban lifestyle to the heart of the Venice of the North. The menu is the creation of a Cuban-born chef and transports the restaurant’s patrons straight to Havana. A special twist to the interior is a 1956 Buick parked right inside the hall, which is a symbol of the establishment now.
Bar, Pub Grub, Cocktails, $
The Poison karaoke bar has a very low-key setting. The interior is close to non-existent; drinks are dirt cheap, and the light is very dim. It’s set up to get the crowd singing. The DJ is in control of all song requests, which are always free, but it’s limited to only foreign-language ones. No Russian pop songs – only the best classic hits from around the world.
Bar, European, $$
Tesla Bar certainly enters the race for originality. The metallic interior with eccentric street art on the wall welcomes the fashionable crowd of St Petersburg. House music is the call of the day here, and the dance floor opens up on Fridays and Saturdays. Get experimental with the in-house original cocktails and fancy bar snacks.
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