Food is undeniably one of the most important experiences while travelling. It is one of the ways to get to know the culture, it is essential for keeping your spirits up while sightseeing for hours, it is the thing to plan days around. While it is nice to treat yourself to a fancy dinner every once in a while, most of the time a hearty portion for a reasonable price is a much more sensible option. Here are a few places to go to for a cheap, but delicious, lunch or dinner.
Fast-service bistros serving traditional dishes (stolovaya) are an absolute Russian classic. If you’d like to grab a budget lunch with the locals and try the typical, home-made local food – look no further. Some stolovayas are better than others, and Povareshka is most certainly one of those. Cosy atmosphere, delicious food – what else would a hungry traveller need?
Russian,Fast Food, $$$
Crepes (or, as Russians call them, bliny
) are an absolute staple of Russian cuisine. Stuffed with everything from potatoes to slices of roasted meat to caviar and smoked salmon, they are a filling and inexpensive option for lunch on-the-go. Blintsa-tsa is a chain of restaurants specialising in bliny
. They also serve a variety of soups and buckwheat with all kinds of toppings: another Russian staple. Be sure to pop by at least once during your visit for an authentic local lunch experience.
Brasserie, Cafe, French, Pastries, $$$
A small French bakery and deli in the heart of the city. Dom Khleba serves a variety of sweet and savoury pastries, meats and soups. On weekdays special lunch offers are available. Another fantastic location for a quick, casual lunch.
Restaurant, Russian, Asian, $$$
A small, casual Uzbek restaurant located right next to a pond in one of Kaliningrad’s biggest parks. Uzbek cuisine is a mixture of Russian, Middle Eastern and Asian flavours and is most certainly worth a try. The large Uzbek presence in Russia, along with the intertwined histories of the two countries, means the food here is as authentic as it can get outside of Uzbek itself.
A small bistro a little bit further away from the city centre. Hidden in the middle of a residential district, Kafe Karusel is the perfect place for an inexpensive lunch prepared by – and eaten with – locals. A large variety of traditional Russian soups, salads, and main courses will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. A hidden gem of authentic Russia.
Food Truck, Fusion, European, Asian, Middle Eastern, $$$
If you want to explore outside the city limits and head north towards the Curonian Spit, make sure to plan a lunch break in Zelenogradsk. Here, just by the sea side, a street food cart called Druzya (meaning “friends”) is waiting for visitors. Serving a wide array of dishes from around the world, it is a perfect place to see what’s trending in the contemporary Russian food scene. Unusual, educational and cheap: you couldn’t ask for more.