Despite being an important cultural feature of some countries and cities, street food is not particularly popular in Russia, perhaps due to the harsh winters. That being said, these days many young entrepreneurs have established street food venues throughout cities like St Petersburg. Hungry citizens and visitors now have easy access to delicious cuisine from around the world at affordable prices, as well as fast service. These street food eateries and street-food inspired restaurants are some of St Petersburg’s best.
Cafe, Northern European, $$$
Waffles are one of the many delicious staples of Norwegian cuisine, and that is just what Vaffel & Wine specializes in. Don’t confuse these delights with waffles from Belgium or Vienna; these waffles set themselves apart with their savoury flavours. Since the flavours aren’t sweet, the fillings can range from fish to various salads. Just one waffle can be very filling, so consider it as a great breakfast or lunch option. Pair it with wine and you’ve got your dinner sorted as well.
Bar, Israeli, $$$
Bekitzer has become a beloved spot in St Petersburg. Specialising in Israeli street food and serving artsy cocktails, this place is busy on any given night. It is well worth the wait though, and if you’re looking for a unique atmosphere, this is the place to go. The restaurant is very cosy with large windows opening onto the street in the summer and an open kitchen with a large furnace to keep guests warm in the colder months. Every little detail in the design complements the experience.
Cafe, Mexican, $$$
It’s really hard to go wrong with Mexican food, although good Mexican food can be challenging to find in St Petersburg. Bros Burritos is a good place to go to find delicious Mexican street food that is cheap and healthy. The cafe gets a regular delivery of some of the world’s spiciest peppers to make the most authentic, flavourful sauces. With this kind of effort going into each order, you know you’re in good hands at Bros Burritos.
HotDog & Brut
Gastropub, American, $$$
As implied by the name of this gastro bar, the bulk of the menu consists of hot dogs and champagne – an eclectic mix that entices curious crowds to have a look and a taste. The owners were inspired by similar existing places in London and Berlin. The hot dogs here are not your typical street vendor dogs. The sausages are all made from scratch ensuring quality and top-notch flavour. The sauces are also anything but ordinary. Don’t forget to wash it down with a glass of fizzy. You can’t call yourself a hot dog connoisseur until you’ve snagged a snack from HotDog & Brut.
Cafe, Vietnamese, $$$
Vietnamese food is yet to truly find a place in the St Petersburg market, and eateries like Joly Woo are brave to be among the first. The city is grateful to them for having the courage to start the trend and introduce the best of Vietnamese cuisine to citizens. For all the pho and noodle fans out there, this is the place to satisfy cravings.
Cafe, Japanese, $$$
Warning: you will not find sushi, rolls or ramen here. This is not just another Japanese eatery serving California rolls. Takoyaki-Mise is focused on authenticity, so you’ll find only one traditional Japanese snack: takoyaki. Takoyaki is a ball of seafood, ginger and onion covered in a wheat-flour batter and fried. The owner of the cafe tried takoyaki once on a trip to Japan and instantly fell in love, but couldn’t find anything like it in St Petersburg. So he took the matter into his own hands and created the first takoyaki bar.
Restaurant, Fast Food
Shawarma is definitely one of the most popular street foods in St Petersburg. There are kiosks all around the city that serve up these calorie-heavy wraps, although many are suspect due to a lack of hygiene standards. Pita’s, on the other hand, is a risk-free experience. Here you can order shawarma with all sorts of fillings ranging from traditional meats to vegetables drizzled in cranberry sauce.
Kim & Chi
Cafe, Korean, $$$
Kim & Chi is the first cafe in St Petersburg to specialise in Korean street food. Try new exciting dishes that are hard to find anywhere else. Don’t worry, there are also conventional foods in case you find yourself in a less adventurous mood. There is also a great lunch menu for those eating on-the-go.
Gastropub, Fast Food, $$$
Burgers are, of course, an essential part of the street food scene. They go well with a pint of beer and have many delicious sides that can be ordered. Buro Burgers goes the extra mile and makes this experience fun. Here you can mix and match different types of buns, meats, sauces and sides to create your own custom burger. There’s also a selection of delicious craft beers that have been attracting a very hipster crowd recently.