While it’s wonderful to splurge on a fancy dinner every now and then, adventurous travellers often find themselves in need of a quick and affordable lunch on the go or a cosy, pleasant place for an inexpensive dinner. If you’re headed to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, happen to be in Nizhny Novgorod
for a little while and need dining options that won’t break the bank, here is your guide to the best budget-friendly eats.
Bistro, Contemporary, $$$
If you’re a meatball fan, Freakadely
is a must-try. It is a cosy, casual place that sits a little off Bolshaya Pokrovskaya, one of Nizhny Novgorod’s main streets. The simple, yet mouth-watering menu includes beef and chicken meatballs, falafel, chips and different kinds of cider. It’s a perfect spot for a quick meal on the go.
Bistro, Israeli, Middle Eastern, $$$
is the place to go if you’re craving falafel. It specialises in a variety of Middle Eastern cuisine. Despite being a laid-back, casual joint on some evenings, Noot hosts DJs and local musicians. It is a unique little place that could be right at home in London or Berlin, a breath of familiarity in a profoundly Russian city.
Restaurant, Italian, Russian, $$$
is a lovely, casual restaurant on the top floor of one of the city’s most popular bookshops, Dirizhabl. It is extremely popular among the locals, a fact that might make it difficult to find a table here during the peak lunch and dinner hours. The balcony overlooks the city’s main walking street, Bolshaya Pokrovskaya, and if you’re lucky enough to get a table there, it is probably the best place in town to indulge in people-watching. The menu consists of inexpensive Italian and Russian dishes. It’s a great restaurant for a cosy and delicious dinner.
Restaurant, Contemporary, $$$
is a unique enterprise in that it’s an art space as much as it is a restaurant. Concerts, exhibitions and political discussions happen here on a regular basis. As for food, they serve a good variety of international dishes. It’s a legendary place and the cultural heart of Nizhny Novgorod, making it a destination most certainly worth visiting.
If you’re looking for a truly local experience, try Kremlevskaya Stolovaya. A stolovaya is a traditional Russian fast-food buffet, with pre-prepared dishes usually displayed in big, heated containers. Therefore, no knowledge of Russian is necessary to order. This dining venue serves a variety of traditional Russian recipes, most of them involving some meat; it is not the best place for vegetarians. Kremlevskaya Stolovaya is especially famous for their pastries.
is an unexpected mixture of Soviet interiors and a menu of fried noodles – it could have gone very wrong, but it didn’t. It’s an inexpensive, unique place for a quick, yet delicious and filling lunch. Sowok is conveniently located on one of the city’s main walking streets, Bolshaya Pokrovskaya.
Gastropub, Contemporary, $$$
is a burger joint with great burgers (veggie options are available too) and a wide selection of craft beers. A secret bar has recently opened right next to it (to access it, you need to enter the neighbouring business centre first). On Fridays and Saturdays, you can have a great burger for dinner and then move right next door for great cocktails and an 80s-style disco.