Good food doesn’t have to cost the earth. Much less extravagant than Russia’s capital, Yekaterinburg has plenty of options for those travelling cheap and dining out on a budget. Dig into delicious pelmeni and vareniki, feast on authentically prepared vietnamese dishes and try out classic Uzbek and Georgian meals with our top picks on where to dine without spending a fortune.
Restaurant, Russian, Vegetarian, $$$
If you’re after an authentic Russian dinning experience, Pelmeni Club is a sure bet. The menu boasts a mouth watering array of sweet and savoury pelmeni, vareniki and draniki – a meat filled potato cake that is a treat with sour cream or herrings. Using local produce and flavour combinations, vegetarians are well catered for. Don’t forget to leave room for the dessert vareniki loaded with berries and sweet cheeses – the perfect companion to their selection of herbal teas and a great way to finish a meal. You can also make and then eat your own dumplings.
Yekaterinburg’s first Vietnamese restaurant, Vietnom, is a family run business that serves up authentic meals using traditional and local recipes. Dishes are prepared by Vietnamese chefs using fresh produce and so their menu – which caters well for vegetarians – often fluctuates but can promise a healthy burst of flavour. Tuck into a hearty bowl of pho or relish the sweetness of Viet-style coffee in a friendly and casual environment.
Tucked away on the 4th floor of a mall is this unassuming, bare-bones establishment that is well known by locals who come to enjoy a good, cheap meal. As part of a chain, with other outlets in Samara and St. Petersburg, Pemmennaya Dyuzhina is a reliable choice for when you hanker for authentic Russian food. It serves up a variety of pelmeni, stuffed with various meats including goose, liver and fish. Vegetarians and dessert are taken care of with a selection of vareniki – vegetarian dumplings – to choose from, including sweet ones stuffed with berries.
This restaurant is a Yekaterinburg institution that proudly serves up hearty Czech food and ice cold beers to its punters, and on the weekends in particular, it is a good place to dine with children. While a little more expensive than other restaurants on the list, the portions are substantial and the soups and goulash (served in a hollowed out bread roll) are cheap and filling. The menu is meat heavy and so not a good option for vegetarians, however for the meat eaters there are homemade sausages, shish kebab and various cuts and offal to choose from.
With a name that translates into Restaurant Pate, this is also not a particularly good option for vegetarians. As you would expect, there is a selection of pates to choose from. The menu – in both English and Russian – boasts an array of pate along with traditional European and Russian style salads, soups and mains that are all done well. Try the herring under fur coat, a classic layered salad of pickled herring, carrot, potato and beetroot, or the pancakes with stewed rabbit and sour cream. There is also a staffed play pen on site for the children and the decor is totally kitsch.
Hand-spun rugs hang off railings and on walls, clay pots line the shelves and vintage photographs of Georgian people adorn the walls: the interior decoration evokes the Georgia of yesteryear as much as the menu does. Cooked by a chef who hails from Tbilisi and flavoured by Georgian sourced spices and products, Khmeli Suneli prides itself on serving up the authentic taste of Russia’s Caucus neighbour. Feast on khachapuri – bread stuffed with egg, cheese or meat, or try khinkali – Georgian style dumplings or tuck into shish kebab and vegetables straight from the grill.
This place does burgers. And only burgers. But they do them well. Served on buns baked at a local bakery and slathered with freshly made sauces. It is the first burger bar in Yekaterinburg and so they take their burgers seriously. With only 10 or so tables, the restaurant is den-like and intimate. It has an extensive selection of drinks to companion your burger and to fuel your night. They also offer masterclasses in the art of cocktail making.They have also opened a second venue at Ulitsa Chelyuskintsev 106.
A relaxed local that serves up pizza and pasta and fresh salads to accompany them. Satiate your hunger with thick-crust pizzas, cooked in a wood-fire oven and loaded with slatherings of mozzarella and your choice of toppings. Or, put away freshly prepared ravioli and pasta smothered in rich sauces. They also offer children’s masterclasses in pizza making and business lunches – lunchtime meal deals that offer several courses.
Another charming restaurant with a considered decor and theme. Cheap and cheerful Nigora offers authentic and tasty Uzbek fare served by waiters dressed in traditional outfits and the locations are styled to match. Well known among locals and tourists, it is popular for its friendly atmosphere as well as its meals. With a menu filled with rich broth based soups – shurpa – loaded with chunks of lamb and vegetables, succulent shashlik and manty – Ukbek style dumplings, there is plenty to choose from. It has another location at Ulitsa Lunacharskogo 31.
Another reliable and affordable chain with numerous locations in Yekaterinburg and Russia, that is well known for its laid-back and informal atmosphere. The menu is extensive and offers European, Russian, Mexican and Asian cuisine, as well as plenty of cakes and sweets for in between meals. There is also a separate children’s and vegetarian menu, insuring everyone is catered for. As a cafe/restaurant it has considerable drinks menu as well, which includes a good selection of wines.