A busy city with a dynamic food scene, the diversity of food options
‘s cosmopolitan community as well as its unique position as one of the gateways between Europe and Asia, and its proximity to the Urals. The city’s cafes are no exception, filled with dishes and eclectic decor to please all cravings and tastes, as well as that much needed caffeine hit. Whatever you feel like, don’t go hungry with our guide to the best cafes in town.
Cafe, Russian, Vegetarian, $$$
A friendly, quirky little cafe with an eclectic wooden interior, made by Alexander Andreevich Lysyakov, a well known Ural blacksmith and his students. The cafe is decorated with iron and steel ornaments and bits and pieces, as well as traditional wooden folk art. Offering a business lunch, as well as regional dishes including the hearty rassolnik, a barley, potato and beef soup. While the menu is meat heavy, there are vegetarian options available.
Demidov Cafe Museum
Cafe, Russian, $$$
Another quirky establishment filled with a collection of iron ornaments, decorative arts and crafts that pays homage to the long tradition of metal work in the Urals. As suggested by the cafe’s wooden exterior, tradition is key to Demidov. Not only can guests touch and inspect the ornaments and crafts, tea is brewed using a samovar and meals are served up in ceramic pots and pottery. In winter there is even bear skins to sit on. The menu is Russian, with an emphasis on Ural specialties, so get stuck into the salmon perogis and all of the pelmeni.
Bakery, Cafe, European, Vegetarian, $$$
An up-market cafe that is the place to go when you need a sugar hit and want to indulge in a luxurious treat. Not a place to go if you are counting calories, the cakes and sweets are decadent, loaded with cream and sugar and chocolate. Tiramisu, chocolate and cheese cakes, and other good old favourites are on offer, as well as more unusual desserts like the yoghurt cake with shaved coconut and mandarins, or the Alderbaran, a custard filled meringue that is covered with almond flakes. There is also a selection of handmade chocolates, filled with mascarpone, dried fruits, nuts and liqueurs. Drooling yet?
Cafe, Russian, Vegetarian, $$$
A reliable chain that serves up Russian
and regional classics such as pelmeni
. Their pirogies
are particularly good, and there are plenty to choose from. Both savoury and sweet tastes are both catered for, with delicious bun like pastry stuffed with a choice of chicken, fish, cabbage, egg, rabbit, rice, meat, or berries. The main menu is seasonal and also includes breakfast options. There are several other locations around the city so check the website for more details.
Big Mamma's House
Cafe, Bar, European, Russian, Vegetarian, $$$
A 24-hour cafe that serves up food and drink any time of day. The comprehensive menu covers European and Russian cuisine as well as pizza. The alcohol list is just as large and covers beers, wines and spirits. Their kitchen makes cakes to order and supplies other restaurants around town. Definitely try something off their delicious dessert menu, like their salted caramel cheesecake with pickled apples, along with a mug of mulled wine.
Friends Modern Diner
Diner, European, Russian, Asian, Vegetarian, $$$
A cheap and cheerful diner on the first floor of the Greenwich mall. The expansive menu includes European, Russia, Asian meals, as well as a selection of sushi rolls and pizza to choose from. Their business lunch deals are also good, with several affordable options available. The well stocked bar ensures nights stay busy with locals having a good time, so book ahead if you’re thinking of arriving later in the day.
Cafe, European, $$$
The central location of this relaxed and causal cafe makes it a good choice when you need a break from strolling around the city. They can whip up a sandwich or coffee quick smart, so it is also not a bad option if you need to eat something on the fly. A busy cafe, it hosts family days, English breakfast chat sessions and dessert master classes, so you can brush up on your baking skills.
Cafe, European, Vegan, $$$
A family run business that bases its changing menu on flavours discovered on recent international expeditions. It’s main trade is waffles and the selection is extensive. It covers sweet options – try the caramelised apple waffle -as well as savoury – get stuck into BBQ pulled pork with slaw. There is as light lunch menu offering salads and sandwiches loaded with well considered fillings. The menu comes in both English and Russian so you can be sure you are not overlooking any of the incredible flavour combinations on offer.