Vasilievsky Island is one of the oldest areas in St Petersburg. The buildings here are perfect for setting up cafés and coffee shops tucked away in a less crowded part of the city. When exploring the island, look out for these places when in search of a pit stop or a quick meal.
A safe haven for all vegans and vegetarians out there, Ukrop takes pride in a very healthy menu that presents old-time favourites with new ingredients. A special treat is the variety of desserts made using raw ingredients, some dairy-free. It’s almost like they’re not a guilty pleasure at all.
A Soviet-style café, designed to look like the typical Russian apartment of the previous century. Everything to the last detail has been thought through to bring a feeling of nostalgia. The menu is thoroughly Russian, and even if you’re not coming for a full meal, there are traditional desserts to be had with tea or coffee.
During the day, Vasilievsky Island is inhabited for the most part by students due to the proximity of St Petersburg State University. This café is an ode to the students, aptly named ‘facultet’, meaning faculty. Expect the crowd to be studying by day and drinking by night, but better yet – join in. There is a European menu with very reasonable prices. Nothing fancy, but a good deal.
If you’re not pedantic about carrying a tray around, the Marketplace is a great place to grab a quick bite. The whole café works on a self-service basis, where you can either pick items from a buffet or order at the different food stands where the dishes are prepared as you wait. There is also a coffee area where you can get your brew of choice as well as a dessert.
Coffee and Belgian waffles – a perfect combination, especially when board games are added to the mix. A small café in which to spend a lazy afternoon enjoying either sweet or savoury waffles. Flavours range from Nutella to Bolognese and are limited only by the customers’ imaginations – a delicious snack at a reasonable price.
A few years back, Korean food was not very popular in St Petersburg. Now the city is finally finding a place in its heart for kimchi, and businesses have been quick to reply to the demand. BabJib serves easy Korean meals in a modern, simple interior. But what the café lacks in décor, it makes up for in authentic food. A real find when craving a bowl of bibimbap.
This is not your typical overpriced museum coffee shop. Erarta Café is, in fact, a popular place to meet up and hang out in a stylish coffee shop. Of course, visiting the museum is also a recommended part of the itinerary. Erarta has a large modern art collection, definitely worth the time if you are already there.