Eating out on an international trip is a great opportunity to try out budget options – not only are they more wallet-friendly, they offer delicious food and a more local experience, as traditional cuisines tend to be budget cuisines. If you’re going to the 2018 FIFA World Cup
, here are the best budget spots in Saransk
Restaurant, Russian, $$$
This place is a traditional restaurant specialising in pelmeni, small Russian dumplings filled with different kinds of meat. Cosy interiors, delicious coffee and local food – what else could you want for a lazy, on-a-budget afternoon?
One of the peculiarities of Russian on-the-go food scene is the abundance of sushi – it’s a favourite for takeaways, thought the vast majority of sushi places in Russia (especially the ones on the budget side) offer a very Russian take on traditional maki and sashimi. Fast’n’Roll is one of the most popular sushi takeaways in Saransk – as an added bonus, they deliver all across town.
Russians say that students are students, no matter where in the world they happen to be – and, most certainly, nobody knows more about cheap eating than they do. Studencheskaya Stolovaya is a traditional Russian buffet located on the premises of a university, serving traditional Russian home food. Most of the dishes are out there on display, so even a beginner Russian speaker can have more than a vague notion of what they are about to eat. A wonderful spot for those who want to have a lunch like the locals, with the locals.
Pizza is the ultimate cheap-eating takeaway classic and, let’s face it: on a long, long journey in a foreign country, everyone needs something comforting and familiar every now and then. Why not pizza? Oliva Pizza is considered to be the best pizza joint in Saransk. They deliver all across town and if they take longer than their self-imposed 60-minute deadline, your pizza is on them.
Sports complex Mordovia
Another excellent spot to eat with the locals: the sports complex has its very own stolovaya Russian buffet. The stolovaya of the sports complex was voted the best stolovaya in town by cityratings.ru. Excellent homemade Russian food is provided, and exercise-dodgers will be relieved to hear that a gym pass is not compulsory.
Restaurant, Russian, European, $$$
A very multi-functional enterprise. Not only does Maska serve breakfast, lunch and dinner at very affordable prices, alongside a vast variety of teas, coffees and alcoholic beverages, it is also an art space available to a vast array of local artists. A hidden gem and a place to check out.
Restaurant, Russian, $$$
A cosy, spacious restaurant in the very city centre, Sonata is especially well-known for its lunch offers, available on weekdays from 12pm-3pm, and its summertime beer garden. The prices on the regular menu are very affordable as well, which makes it a perfect spot for both lunch and dinner any day of the week.