Beyond its historical and cultural significance, St. Petersburg is renowned for its exquisite cuisine. St. Petersburg’s food scene effortlessly blends the city’s historic past with more modern re-interpretations of classic dishes. In this guide, The Culture Trip takes you to Russia’s cultural center to find some of the best restaurants and cafés around.
The first ever restaurant of Russian cuisine in St. Petersburg was located in the building on Nevsky Prospect, where Palkin now resides. Former patrons have included Dostoevsky, Leskov, Saltykov-Shchedrin, Chekhov, Mendeleev, Tchaikovsky and other famous Russians. Modern Palkin is no less luxurious, with its palace style interior, wooden flooring, moldings, shining chandeliers and wall frescoes. Palkin’s kitchen is internationally renowned for its innovative interpretation of food. A visit to the restaurant will equal a meeting with the history of aristocratic Russian cuisine.
Nevsky Prospekt 47, St Petersburg, +7 812 703 53 71
Abajour Café is a venue that can easily become your second home. It features a cozy atmosphere, stylish interior, unobtrusive music and attentive staff to present you with the warmest and most memorable experience. Café Abajour has harmoniously blended different cuisines, with the main specialty being an unusually juicy steak made from the marble goby, prepared using a special recipe so that the meat remains extremely succulent and tasty. Lovers of light meals will be delighted with Abajour’s selection of fresh salads and appetizers with unique flavor combinations.
9-aya Liniya V. O. 20, St Petersburg, +7 812 325 2236
An idyllic rural getaway of the late 19th century Russia is represented at Restaurant Chekov. Customers are welcome to enjoy classic Russian fare: kholodets or jelly pork legs, cabbage with apples and cranberries, smoked pork ribs, fried potatoes with porcini mushrooms, fine sturgeon and ruddy pies.
Nevsky Prospekt 47, St Petersburg, +7 812 234 45 11
Art Café Kommunalka
Art Café Kommunalka is a charming venue that is full of the cozy spirit of St. Petersburg. The menu offers meals of contemporary Russian cuisine with unique names, some of which are dedicated to popular Soviet film titles. Kommunalka often holds themed events and festivals, such as the costume party on Student Day or the First of April celebration. Art Café Kommunalka promotes cultural education, and often features live music performances, such as saxophone or piano performances.
Kronverskiy Prospekt 65, St Petersburg, +7 812 232 7689
Philibert has earned the reputation of being a hospitable café, not only because of its friendly service but also because of the interior: panoramic windows, furniture made of light wood, wrought iron framed mirrors, white shelves, and chandeliers refer to classic interiors of French Provence. The menu echoes the Provençal mood of the restaurant. You will find five types of quiche, onion soup, salad Nicoise and frog legs stewed in a citrus sauce.
Kolomenskaya 29, St Petersburg, +7 812 607 4139
The first restaurant in St. Petersburg to be fully dedicated to vegan and raw diets, Ukrop is a place with delicious food. Here you can indulge on vegan-friendly dishes made from minimal ingredients, but only from natural products. Ukrop has developed an approach of austerity and minimalism, visible in everything from their menu to the interior: white walls, plenty of herbs and plants, and chalkboards are main design elements of the venue.
Ulitsa Marata 23, St Petersburg, +7 812 946 3036
Gloss Café is a trendy venue located in the heart of St. Petersburg on Nevsky Prospekt where you can spend quality time with your friends or significant other. Gloss Café’s specialty offers pan-Asian cuisine. All dishes are prepared using the freshest ingredients and will delight you with impeccable quality and superb taste. During the evening, the venue is turned into a popular hang out spot, with talented bartenders serving special author cocktails and DJs playing popular international hits.
Nevskiy Prospekt 17, 1st Floor, St Petersburg, +7 812 243 1074
Restaurant, European, Russian
L’Europe Restaurant is the oldest serving restaurant in St. Petersburg, providing one of the best classic gourmet experiences in the city. The restaurant features an Art Nouveau interior designed by architect Karl Makkenezen and built in 1905. Famous people who had sumptuous dinners here include: Elizabeth II, Tchaikovsky, former president Bill Clinton, Michael Douglas and Elton John. Without a doubt, this is one of the centers of elite life in Russia’s cultural capital. Restaurant L’Europe has won The Superiority Awards in 2008, 2009 and 2010, from the authoritative American publication Wine Spectator for having one of the most impressive wine lists in the world. The fabulous breakfast buffet served in the restaurant every morning was recognized as one of the most succulent in the world by the magazine Wow-travel for its majestic grand hall and endless buffet settings.
Grand Hotel Europe, Mikhailovskaya ulitsa 1/7, St Petersburg, +7 812 329 6622
Restaurant Na Zdorovye!
Restaurant Na Zdorovye! offers delicious dishes of traditional Russian cuisine prepared using ancient recipes. Here you can experience the atmosphere of the past and try delicacies that are rarely cooked nowadays. The restaurant is divided into several rooms, each decorated in an unique style but following the general features of the classical Russian style and including objects of décor such as patchwork napkins, wooden tables, wood carvings and objects painted by masters of Gzhel and Khokhloma. The restaurant’s menu contains a huge number of dishes including delicious hot soups, all kinds of meat and fish delicacies, traditional cakes with cabbage and potatoes, kholodets, mushroom and vegetable pickles, and handmade Siberian dumplings with beef, pork, lamb or mushroom fillings. At Na Zdorovye! you will also be able to try an authentically brewed vodka from villages all over Russia. It is made from blackcurrant, cranberries, strawberries or beets with the addition of various spices and herbs, making it not only delicious but also a healthy drink.
Bolshoy Prospekt P. S 13, 1st Floor, St Petersburg, +7 812 424 4918
Zoom Café opened its doors in 2004 and its philosophy has been focused on providing a comfortable and home-like retreat for those who spend most of their day in the city center. Zoom Café became an instant success with residents and travelers alike. The meals served at Zoom are simple; while the venue is divided into three halls, which feature comfortable sofas, wooden tables and stuffed animals. There are bookshelves with magazines in Russian and foreign languages and games such as checkers, chess and bingo – all to provide you comfortable leisure and to brighten up your mood.
Gorokhovaya 22, St Petersburg, +7 812 612 1329