Moscow Restaurants

American Bar and Grill (American)
$10 to $35, Tverskaya Ulitsa
One of the original American bars in Moscow, the Bar and Grill goes for the pseudo-Wild West look that is especially popular with anyone who has never been to the United States. Buffalo heads hang on walls beside leather saddles and old American road signs. The only really genuine American thing are the huge portions. The 24-hour bar always seems to be busy with clients feeding on its popular chicken wings or downing margaritas. Although the Mayakovskaya branch is more popular, the bigger Taganka restaurant has pool rooms, a larger summer garden, and bands regularly rocking its main room. AE, DC, MC, V. Metro: Mayakovskaya. Other location: 59 Zemlyanoi Val, Taganka, PHONE: 495/912-3615; Metro: Taganskaya.
Address: 2/1 Pervaya (1st) Tverskaya-Yamskaya ul., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/251-7999

German, $10 to $25, Tverskaya Ulitsa
Bavarius looks as if it has been transported straight from Munich's Oktoberfest. Oompah music plays in the background, dirndl-clad waitresses carry fistfulls of liter-size beer mugs, and the smell of sauerkraut lingers in the air. Whether you fancy a snack of knockwurst (a mild pork sausage) or just want to sample German and Czech beers, this is the place. Instead of sitting indoors, head through the arch to the left of the main entrance to reach the quiet courtyard that holds the biggest beer garden in Moscow. Food is served in both areas, but credit cards are accepted as payment only in the restaurant. Metro: Mayakovskaya.
Address: 2/30 Sadovaya-Triumfalnaya, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/299-4211

Beloye Solntse Pustyni
Chinese, Eastern European, $25 to Over $35, Kitai Gorod
Named after a legendary Soviet film, Beloye Solntse Pustyni (White Sun of the Desert) is a theme restaurant that specializes in delicious Uzbek food, which incorporates Russian, Persian, and Chinese elements. The restaurant's sun-bleached walls instantly sweep you down to Central Asia. Inside the illusion continues: a diorama with a ship marooned in the desert, waitresses dressed as Uzbek maidens, and intricately carved wooden doors. Make sure you try the salad bar's mouth watering vegetables. The Dastarkhan, a set meal, overwhelms you with food -- unlimited access to the salad bar, a main course such as mutton kebabs and manty (large mutton ravioli), plov (a Central Asian rice pilaf), and numerous desserts. Reservations essential. Metro: Kuznetsky Most.
Address: 29/14 Neglinnaya ul., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/209-7525

Eastern European, $18 to Over $35, Northern Outskirts
One of Moscow's numerous round-the-clock restaurants, Bochka, opposite the Mezhdunarodnaya hotel, is a dependable place for good Russian food, even if the prices are somewhat high. It attracts its fair share of New Russians, businesspeople, and the after-rave set. If you're brave turn up on Friday, when a giant spit is assembled for the roasting of wild game, including bulls and goats. If that doesn't appeal, the salads are all well worth a try, although the kholodets, a portion of meat served wobbling in its own jelly, may inspire doubt. Metro: Ulitsa 1905 Goda.
Address: 2 ul. 1905 Goda, Krasnaya Presnya, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/252-3041

Italian, $10 to Over $35, Kremlin/Red Square
On the first floor of GUM, this Italian restaurant has the enviable advantage of being the only place in Moscow with a terrace on Red Square. Bosco charges for the view with very expensive Italian food, but it's tasty. You can get the view as well and still escape with a full wallet by just ordering a coffee. The terrace closes once it gets too cold. Metro: Ploshchad Revolutsii.
Address: 3 Red Sq., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/929-3182

Cafe, Under $10, Tverskaya Ulitsa
Closeted inside the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall on Triumfalnaya Ploshchad, Brioche is a good pre- or postconcert stop for cake and coffee. There's always a decent selection of sandwiches, the pastries are fresh, and you can buy croissants and baguettes here as well. Ingredients are brought in from France as is, seemingly, the convivial spirit. No credit cards. Metro: Mayakovskaya.
Address: 4/31 Triumfalnaya Pl., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/299-4284

Contemporary, $18 to Over $35, Kitai Gorod
Bulvar has developed a reputation both for its clientele -- the rich and fashionable -- and for chef Thomas Chiarelli's experimental fusion cuisine. Despite the sometimes unusual combinations, dishes such as hot sashimi or lobster ravioli come out well. The restaurant is fairly small and service can be snooty, but it's well worth a visit. A covered summer veranda looks out onto the boulevard. Metro: Kuznetsky Most.
Address: 30/7 ul. Petrovka, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/209-6798

Cafe des Artistes
Continental, $25 to Over $35, Tverskaya Ulitsa
Just off Tverskaya ulitsa and opposite the Moscow Art Theater, this is the perfect spot for a pre- or post-theater dinner. The restaurant, which specializes in French, Swiss, and Italian cuisine, comes into its own in summer with its outdoor cafe. Entrees might include tiger prawns a la provencale or risotto with black truffle. The business lunch, which costs 540R for a three-course meal, is one of the best in the city center. Metro: Okhotny Ryad.
Address: 5/6 Kamergersky per., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/692-4042

Cafe Margarita
Eastern European, Under $10 to $18, Tverskaya Ulitsa
Set by picturesque Patriarch's Pond, this intimate cafe is marked by a colorful mural depicting a scene from Mikhail Bulgakov's classic novel The Master and Margarita, part of which takes place beside the pond. This has long been a favorite with tourists and locals, but not because of the basic, somewhat overpriced Russian food such as borscht soup and potato-and-mushroom dumplings. Instead, people come to hear the musicians -- some students, some professionals -- who play every night, creating a wonderful, sing-along atmosphere with a repertoire of classical music, Russian folk songs, and popular hits. A 100R charge is added to each bill for the music. No credit cards. Metro: Mayakovskaya.
Address: 28 Malaya Bronnaya ul., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/299-6534

Cafe Pushkin
Eastern European, $18 to Over $35, Tverskaya Ulitsa
Imagine traveling back in time to when Pushkin strolled the boulevards of 19th-century Moscow. That's what the designers of this high-class Russian restaurant intended when they created a replica mansion not far from the statue of Pushkin. Staff members dress like 19th-century servants; the menu resembles an old newspaper, with letters no longer used in the Russian alphabet; and the food is fit for a tsar. All the favorites can be found here -- blini, caviar, pelmeni -- and there's a fine wine list. Prices rise with each floor (there are three) of the restaurant. Open daily, 24 hours, Pushkin is popular among the business elite and the golden youth who come for breakfast after a night of clubbing. In summer you can dine on the rooftop patio. Reservations essential. Metro: Pushkinskaya.
Address: 26a Tverskoi bulvar, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/229-5590

Carre Blanc
French, Over $35, Northern Outskirts
The city's most praised restaurant, Carre Blanc has captured the hearts of Moscow gourmets. A group of expatriates established the place, which magically melds exquisite French cooking, probably Moscow's best wine collection, and a relaxed, convivial atmosphere. Try the French onion soup and if you can splurge, then go for the rack of lamb for a hefty $84. Also here are a bar and a bistro with somewhat, if not significantly, lower prices. Metro: Novoslobodskaya.
Address: 19/2 Seleznyovskaya ul., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/258-4403

Eastern European, $18 to Over $35, Bolshaya Nikitskaya Ulitsa
Inside this elegant mansion is one of the city's most beautiful dining rooms -- and one of the best places to sample authentic Russian cuisine. In the 19th century the house served as the headquarters for Moscow's Freemasons; more recently it was a meeting place for members of the Soviet Writers' Union. Crystal chandeliers, rich-wood paneling, fireplaces, and antique balustrades place CDL among the warmest and most sumptuous eateries in Moscow. The food is extremely well prepared; try the ukha (fish soup) or pelmeni (meat dumplings) for starters, and move on to the beef Stroganoff. If you're feeling adventurous, cleanse your palate between courses with kvas (bread-beer). There's also a less luxurious Italian restaurant here. Metro: Barrikadnaya.
Address: 50 Povarskaya ul., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/291-1515

Coffee Bean
Cafe, Under $10, Tverskaya Ulitsa
In a grand 19th-century building, the Tverskaya ulitsa branch is the most convenient of this coffee chain, one of the first and better of the many Seattle-style coffee chains that have opened in Moscow. Try to nab a sofa by the window for the best seat. Giant cappuccinos and some of the best coffee in town are brewed here and served with a smile. There's a sparse selection of sandwiches and lots fo desserts, though the latter aren't very good. The Pokrovka site is big and has a small summer garden ideal for watching Pokrovkans walk by. Metro: Tverskaya. Other locations: 18 Pokrovka, PHONE: 495/923-9793; MC, V; Metro: Christiye Prudy. 5 Pyatnitskaya ul., PHONE: 495/953-6726; Metro: Novokuznetskaya.
Address: 10 Tverskaya ul., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/788-6357

Cafe, Under $10, Tverskaya Ulitsa
This is one of Moscow's biggest coffee chains, and there seems to be a branch within a coffee bean's throw no matter where you are in the city center. It does all the things a good coffeehouse should and has the added advantage of Internet access in several of its branches (including the Gogolevsky bulvar and Malaya Dmitrovka branches). In addition to lattes and cappuccinos, Coffeehouse serves beer, wine, toasted sandwiches, and a huge list of coffee cocktails. No credit cards. Metro: Pushkinskaya. Other location: 3/2 Gogolevsky bulvar, PHONE: 495/923-0219; No credit cards; Metro: Kropotkinskaya.
Address: 3 Malaya Dmitrovka ul., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/299-9728

Cafe, Under $10 to $35, Bolshaya Nikitskaya Ulitsa
Tucked into the side of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, this is the perfect place to come for a snack before or after a concert or just to eavesdrop on the musicians rehearsing during the day. There's a huge indoor area, good coffee, and a decent summer garden overlooking the statue of Tchaikovsky. Apart from the usual coffee assortments, Coffeemania has a large menu with well-prepared Italian, Russian, and Japanese dishes. Metro: Biblioteka imeni Lenina.
Address: 13/6 Bolshaya Nikitskaya ul., Bldg. 1, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/229-3901

The Conservatory
Southern, $18 to $25, Kitai Gorod
Head to the top floor of the Ararat Park Hyatt to enjoy the view over part of the Kremlin and the Bolshoi Theater and a glass of wine. The balcony, very popular with tourists and open late April-mid-September, stretches around three sides of the hotel for a great panorama of the city. The food and service, however, don't always match the view. Service can be slow and befuddled, and the food -- meats and seafood grilled on an outdoor barbecue -- is unexciting. Drinks, especially cocktails, are pricey. Metro: Okhotny Ryad or Teatralnaya.
Address: 4 Neglinnaya ul., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/783-1234

Contemporary, Under $10 to $25, Bolshaya Nikitskaya Ulitsa
Originally from the United States, chef Isaac Correa has stood out throughout his long Moscow career. His latest venture is an intimate family place that's a firm favorite on the restaurant scene, especially the cozy Bolshaya Gruzinskaya address, which has only seven tables. Great pizzas, simple good Italian food, but with lots of contemporary touches, come in large portions and with very friendly service. Breakfast for 230 rubles is one of the most civilized in the city. Metro: Barrikadnaya.
Address: 32 Bolshaya Gruzinskaya ul., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/933-4684

Donna Klara
Cafe, $10 to $35, Tverskaya Ulitsa
Comfy window seats, a laid-back staff, and a selection of sticky cakes make this a cozy place to eat. The wine list may not be very big -- and you're better off sticking to the cakes, anyway -- but the friendliness of the staff makes this a pleasant family eatery in which to relax the afternoon away. Always busy, so book ahead. It's a few minutes away from Patriarch's Pond. Metro: Mayakovskaya.
Address: 21/13 Malaya Bronnaya ul., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/290-3848

Dzhagannat Express
Vegetarian, Under $10 to $18, Kitai Gorod
This new age cafe is one of the few respites for vegetarians in the heavily meat-oriented Moscow restaurant world. Also known as the Center for Healthy Eating and Living, the restaurant serves Indian-inspired cuisine that is not very spicy. Apart from the curries, the huge salad bar is the best bet, along with the various tofu and dried wheat protein dishes. In keeping with the healthful eating ethos, no alcohol is served, although nonalcoholic beer, wine, and champagne are available. There are also freshly squeezed juices and exotic fruit cocktails. No credit cards. Metro: Kuznetsky Most.
Address: 11 Kuznetsky Most, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/928-3580

Five Spices
Vegetarian, Asian, Under $10 to Over $35, Kropotkinsky District
The interior of this place may resemble an Asian house of ill repute, but the food is as classy as you can get. In addition to Chinese food, Five Spices serves a good number of Tandoori dishes. For starters try the crispy lamb or the honey-glaze pork and then move on to any of the many prawn dishes. This is one of the few places in Moscow where you can get tofu and a good selection of vegetarian dishes. Metro: Kropotkinskaya.
Address: 3/18 Sivtsev Vrazhek, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/203-1283

Continental, $10 to Over $35, Tverskaya Ulitsa
Most nights of the week, large Mercedes, Hummers, and Bentleys are parked outside of Galereya, one of Moscow's hippest restaurants. Owned by Moscow's restaurant magnate Arkady Novikov, Galereya has sophisticated contemporary food, which rarely hits a false note. The lamb dishes are always tender. People mostly come to Galereya to be seen and to watch the crowds of beautiful people who cram the restaurant. Metro: Tverskaya.
Address: 27 Petrovka ul., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/937-4544

Genatsvale VIP
Eastern European, Under $10 to $25, Kropotkinsky District
An offshoot of its neighbor Genatsvale, the VIP branch is designed to look like an old Georgian country home. After entering through a tunnel of vine leaves, you're seated at oak tables in a somewhat Disney-esque version of Georgia (the country). The food is genuine, however, and in the evenings you can enjoy an authentic Georgian choir and traditional dancing. If you come in a group, you may want to share the special kebab combination. Complement your food with one of the various Georgian wines served in 1-liter clay bottles. Service can be brusque. Metro: Kropotkinskaya.
Address: 14/2 ul. Ostozhenka, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/203-1242

Goodman's Steakhouse
American, $10 to $35, Tverskaya Ulitsa
If you have an urge for steak in Moscow, then Goodman's Steakhouse is a sure-fire bet for high-quality meat and good service. Steaks are of course the specialty, but the lamb shank is not to be spurned. Goodman's has two restaurants with the original on Tverskaya winning on atmosphere. At Tverskaya there's a small summer garden that's also open in winter; you'll be provided with coats and hot drinks to ward off the cold. Metro: Tverskaya.
Address: 23 ul. Tverskaya, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/937-4684

Grand Imperial
Eastern European, $10 to Over $35, Kropotkinsky District
Superbly prepared and often Croesus-rich Russian dishes, such as the rich meat stew a la Romanoff or fried quail wrapped in bacon, are well matched by the surroundings -- double-headed imperial eagles, gilded Empire-style chairs worthy of a tsar, original art, crystal chandeliers, bouquets of flowers, and antique silver. The dining room is relatively small, and made even more intimate by a fountain and an old grand piano. A pianist plays daily, and is joined in the evening by a guitarist singing Old Russia tunes. The Grand Imperial's secretive banquet hall is a favorite dining place for Russia's oligarchs, who cherish the grandeur and privacy it offers. Reservations essential. Jacket and tie. Metro: Kropotkinskaya.
Address: 9/5 Gagarinsky per., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/291-6063

Il Patio
Pizza, Under $10 to $25, Kropotkinsky District
An airy place to find pizza bliss, this cheerful restaurant has a huge back room with a ceiling and walls of glass, letting the sun pour in all day. This original location is a stone's throw from the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. The gamut of pizzas have a thin and dusty crust, and daily specials include such dishes as lasagna and cannelloni. There's also a salad bar. A speedy two-course lunch costs 190R and the three-course, 280R. A soft drink is included. Pop music plays softly, and the rooms are always filled with a pleasantly bustling crowd. Metro: Kropotkinskaya.
Address: 13a ul. Volkhonka, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/298-2530

Il Patio
Pizza, Under $10 to $25, Tverskaya Ulitsa
This branch sits opposite the statue of Mayakovsky on Triumfalnaya Ploshchad and is one of the most popular in the city. The menu runs the gamut of pizzas, with a real salad bar and Italian entrees. Metro: Mayakovskaya.
Address: 2 (1st) Tverskaya-Yamskaya ul., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/930-0815

Jean Jacques
French, Under $10 to $18, the Arbat
You may not be able to smoke in Parisian restaurants any more, but Jean Jacques, a cheap and cheerful 24-hour French bistro, is a copy of the old smoky Parisian classic. The cafe is nearly always busy and has one of the best selections of reasonably priced wines by the glass in Moscow. Metro: Arbatskaya.
Address: 12 Nikitsky Bulvar, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/290-3886

Karetny Dvor
Eastern European, Under $10 to $18, Bolshaya Nikitskaya Ulitsa
Popular among the new rich and the new middle class, Karetny Dvor serves an enormous selection of Azeri (from Azerbaijan) and Caucasian dishes. Waiters are quite good at recommending a selection if it all gets a bit bewildering. Do try the fresh Azeri tomatoes to accompany the dozens of kebabs, including the hard-to-find potato version. Seating is either in a rustic main room or smaller ones that resemble hideaways within an old farmer's barn. In summer there's seating outside. No credit cards. Metro: Barrikadnaya.
Address: 52 Povarskaya ul., Zemlyanoi Gorod, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/291-6376

Krasny Bar
Contemporary, $18 to $25, Krasnaya Presnya
From the 27th floor of this modern skyscraper you can see the city stretching out in front of you. Nighttime views are particularly fine. Many jokes have been made about the men's bathroom's unique view of the White House, where the government works. The restaurant serves what it calls "modern European" cuisine, which means lots of small salads and fusion. But it's a better bet to just sit with a cocktail and stare out of the window. Open until 3 AM, it's perfect for late-night carousing. Metro: Kievskaya.
Address: 22-24 Kutuzovsky pr., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/730-0808

Italian, $10 to Over $35, Northern Outskirts
Mario's has always ranked as one of the top Italian restaurants in Moscow, but some foodies say the resident Italian chef has turned it into the best restaurant in town. Using ingredients flown in twice a week from Italy, the kitchen creates consistently wonderful pasta dishes, such as a splendid tagliatelle with cream, mushrooms, and fresh truffles. The carpaccio never fails. The meat and fish dishes are also excellent. The restaurant has one of the best (and most private) summer gardens in town, favored by many a Russian star and nouveau riche millionaire, bodyguards in tow. Reservations essential. Metro: Ulitsa 1905 Goda.
Address: 17 Klimashkina ul., Krasnaya Presnya, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/253-6505

Mesto Vstrechi
Eastern European, $10 to $35, Tverskaya Ulitsa
In a cool cellar setting a few minutes from Pushkinskaya Ploshchad, this restaurant is ideal for a relaxing meal before hitting the town. There are plenty of nooks to hide in if you want to have some peace and quiet. Although never amazing, the mix of European and Russian food is well crafted and satisfying, and you'll find probably the best pelmeni in town here. The place also has an unusually good choice of foreign beers. Mesto Vstrechi, which means "meeting place," is the name of a famous Russian police film, set after World War II. Metro: Pushkinskaya.
Address: 9/8 Maly Gnezdnikovsky per., Bldg. 7, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/229-2373

Continental, $18 to Over $35, Kitai Gorod
Recalling the splendor of prerevolutionary Russia, the opulent interiors of the Metropol hotel's grand dining hall are a stunning memorial to Russian art nouveau. The nearly three-story-high dining room is replete with stained-glass windows, marble pillars, and a leaded-glass roof. The beautifully set tables and formally dressed waiters are impressive. The chefs prepare French and Russian delicacies, such as the popular fried duck with wild-cherry sauce and a baked apple. A special chef's menu has a different theme each season. The Metropol has a wine cellar, and many diners cap their meal with wine and cheese. A grand $25 breakfast is served here daily. Reservations essential. Jacket and tie. Metro: Ploshchad Revolutsii or Teatralnaya.
Address: 1/4 Teatralny proyezd, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/927-6061

Eastern European, Under $10 to $35, Tverskaya Ulitsa
Petrovich is a place that revels in nostalgia. Objets d'art from the Soviet era are scattered around the huge cellar bar-club-restaurant; the menu of filling Russian food is full of insider jokes about life under the old regime; beer is served in the old mugs that were the only thing, apart from jam jars, that beer was once served in; and Soviet pop plays in the background. Try the pelmeni, sturgeon kebabs, or Georgian dishes such as sulguni (breaded fried cheese). This place often claims to be a private club, but if you call beforehand you can usually get in. Reservations essential. No credit cards. Metro: Chistiye Prudy.
Address: 24/3 Myasnitskaya ul., head into courtyard behind kiosk at 24 Myasnitskaya ul. and look for metal door on left, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/923-0082

Pirogi na Nikolskoy
Eastern European, Under $10 to $18, Kitai Gorod
Cheap and bohemian, Pirogi na Nikolskoy is part of the O.G.I. chain of inexpensive restaurant-clubs popular among the students, the hip, and those who never grow old. The chain is open 24 hours and usually has a small, upmarket bookshop attached. This cellar location is simple but cheerful. Don't expect great service or a smoke-free zone but do expect a good atmosphere, decent food -- the beef stroganoff is worth a try -- and a pleasant surprise when you get the bill. The best O.G.I. for location is this one at the end of Tretyakovsky Proyezd, a fine juxtaposition as it's one of Moscow's most expensive streets, a few hundred yards from the Kremlin. Metro: Ploshchad Revolutsii.
Address: 19/21 Nikolskaya ul., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/921-5827

Poslednyaya Kaplya
Eastern European, Under $10 to $18, Tverskaya Ulitsa
The Last Drop, which roughly translates as "the last straw" in English, is one of the better bars in the city. Just slip into one of the leather armchairs and order a portion of the excellent pelmeni, some herring, and potatoes, plus the tipple of your choice. There's a decent menu of Russian favorites, with a few modern bar snacks thrown in. Be warned: if you ask the bartender for a shot, he will ring the ship bell and get you to down the drink in one. The bar is in a gloomy, yet cozy, cellar off Pushkinskaya. No credit cards. Metro: Chekhovskaya.
Address: 4 Strastnoi bulvar, Bldg. 3, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/692-7549

Eclectic, Over $35, the Arbat
In a handsome prerevolutionary building, a prior restaurant here once hosted Leo Tolstoy and Ilya Repin. During the Soviet era it was the most prestigious restaurant in town before slipping into near terminal decline. It now has a new lease on life with three separate restaurants -- Brazilian, Italian, and European -- operating inside. All in all, it's a vast, brash, extravagant, often tasteless, yet curiously appealing place. You could spend days wandering about the luxurious interior -- gold and marble abound (even the metal detector is covered in marble). The Brazilian buffet is the best all-around bargain. Reservations essential. Metro: Arbatskaya.
Address: 2 Arbat, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/290-6171

Project O.G.I
Eastern European, Under $10 to $18, Tverskaya Ulitsa
The original O.G.I (the initials stand for United Humantiarian Publisher), this cheap and cheerful hangout has regular concerts, a bookstore, readings, and 24-hour cheap food and drink. It's in a courtyard off one of Moscow's most charming streets. Metro: Chisty Prudy.
Address: 8/21 Potapovsky per., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/927-5366

Eclectic, Under $10, Kitai Gorod
Propaganda is one of Moscow's most popular clubs but before it opens up the dance floor, it lays out the tables for its own hearty food. The club has some of the tastiest food and most reasonable prices in the city center. The cuisine ranges over all the continents from Indian to Thai to Russian, but the dishes are kept simple and service is quick. Reservations are essential. No credit cards. Metro: Kitai Gorod.
Address: 7 Bolshoi Zlatoustinsky per., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/923-3494

Eclectic, $10 to $25, Tverskaya Ulitsa
Despite being housed in a stunningly ugly and vulgar pyramid-shape building, this is one of the trendiest restaurants in the city. Pyramida always seems to be busy (in summer look for the bikers parading their expensive motorbikes and spotlessly clean leather bike wear just outside). Inside, modern, slick lines meet pseudo-ancient Egyptian decor. The food is a mixture of the trendiest items in Moscow: a bit of sushi, some weird fusion concoctions, and lots of salads. Metro: Pushkinskaya.
Address: 18a Tverskaya ul., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/200-3603

Rytzarsky Klub
Eastern European, $10 to $35, Southern Outskirts
Under the ski jump at Sparrow Hills and overlooking most of Moscow, this restaurant has one of the best views in the city. In summer you can dine on the wood balcony. Rytzarsky Klub, which means the "Knight Club," was designed to imitate the style of the Middle Ages, with knight paraphernalia on display throughout the rooms and heavy oak chairs and a fireplace in the Knight Room. The elegant White Room displays the works of 19th-century Russian artists. As for the hearty Georgian food, start with the eggplant stuffed with walnuts. For the main course try the kuchmachi, a dish made from cow tongue, heart, and liver. It's a long walk from the metro to the restaurant. Metro: Leninsky Prospekt or Universitet.
Address: ul. 28 Kosygina, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/930-0726

Scandinavian, $18 to Over $35, Tverskaya Ulitsa
Cozy and relaxing, this is one of the most serene dining rooms in the city, with comfortable wooden chairs, upholstered benches, and dried-flower arrangements on deep window ledges. The Swedish chef mixes modern European and Scandinavian cooking. If you're out for a purely Scandinavian selection, try the herring with boiled potatoes, which comes with a shot of aquavit. The burgers are the highest ranked in Moscow. Despite being near the bustle of Tverskaya ulitsa, Scandinavia's balcony and summer beer garden are the city's most tranquil and popular places for outdoor dining. There's a slightly cheaper menu for the summer garden. Metro: Pushkinskaya.
Address: 7 Maly Palashevsky per., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/937-5630

Eastern European, $10 to Over $35, Northern Outskirts
Half-zoo, half-collective farm, the 24-hour Shinok is a faux-Ukrainian farmyard complete with goats, cow, hens, and a knitting granny. The enclosure is completely sound- and smell-proof, and the animals don't really impinge on the meal. Ukrainian cuisine doesn't differ that much from Russian, sharing dishes such as borsht, vareniki (Ukrainian-style pelmeni stuffed with cottage cheese), and solyanka (a spicy, thick stew made with vegetables and meat or fish). For an unusual taste from the Ukraine, try salo (thin slices of fat) and the Ukrainian beer Starokiyevskoye. The helpful servers can give advice, although not all speak English. Go on an empty stomach, because the food can be very filling. Metro: Ulitsa 1905 Goda.
Address: 2a ul. 1905 Goda, Krasnaya Presnya, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/255-0204

Seafood, $25 to Over $35, Northern Outskirts
There are probably as many live fish as dead denizens of the deep at this seafood showplace, a longtime favorite of the famous, including Sting and Liza Minnelli. One room has a glass floor beneath which huge sturgeon squirm; in another, aquariums surround you with numerous fish who watch you eat their brethren. Waiters dressed like sailors greet you as you enter the restaurant via the stern of a ship. The wide selection of fish main courses, such as the mixed seafood cooked in parchment, rarely disappoints but Sirena is still far too expensive. Metro: Sukharevskaya.
Address: 15 Bolshaya Spasskaya, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/208-1412

Starlite Diner
American, Under $10 to $18, Tverskaya Ulitsa
The two branches of this round-the-clock diner are identical to those back in the United States, with brightly lighted 1950s design, large portions of sandwiches and burgers, and great value for the price. In Moscow these spots are popular with late workers, exhausted early-morning party goers, and old friends getting together for a weekend brunch. It's always full of boisterous first-timers to Russia and expats looking for a taste of home. This location is busier because of its city-center location and its secluded summertime patio. Waiters are young and friendly, speak English, and serve fast. Metro: Mayakovskaya.
Address: 16 Bolshaya Sadovaya, in garden by Mossoviet Theater, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/290-9638

Starlite Diner
American, Under $10 to $18, Zamoskvoreche
A round-the-clock diner identical to those back in the United States, this branch is a hundred yards or so behind the largest Lenin statue left in Moscow. Amidst brightly lighted 1950s decor, large sandwiches and burgers are served at a great value. The speedy waiters are young and friendly, and speak English. Metro: Oktyabrskaya.
Address: 9a Korovy Val, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/959-8919

Eastern European, $10 to $18, Kropotkinsky District
Named after the old name for the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, Tiflis is one of the city's oldest Georgian restaurants. Long popular among the expat Georgian community, it's the perfect place on a hot summer evening. One of best balconies in the city sweeps you away to the romantic old town of Tbilisi. The menu has all of the best of Georgian cuisine: piping hot khachapuris or cheese pancakes, kebabs cooked over charcoal, and sweet red Georgian wine. Metro: Kropotkinskaya.
Address: 32 ul. Ostozhenka, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/290-2897

Eclectic, Under $10 to $35, the Arbat
A few yards from the controversial British-embassy building (some think it's a design miracle, others an abomination) is a plain brick building that holds this stylish Russian microbrewery. The series of bars and rooms has a brick-and-glass design. Although there are four cuisines on offer in different areas of the brewery -- Japanese, German, Italian, and modern European -- people come for the beer, not the food. Ten very different beers are brewed on the premises, with prices starting at less than $4 for a half liter. Metro: Smolenskaya.
Address: 11 Protochny per., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/777-3300

The Tsar's Hunt
Eastern European, $18 to $35, Northern Outskirts
A traditional log structure houses this fashionable restaurant designed in country style. The carved-wood decorations, bear and wolf skins on the floors and chairs, and an antique Russian stove create an environment so warm it feels as if you've just returned from an ermine-covered troika ride. Though this spot is far from the city center, diners flock here for simple and good food, like the pork ribs with hot sauce and the winter schchi, a warming winter cabbage soup. Start with zakuski -- Russian appetizers, traditionally enjoyed with vodka -- displayed on a cart. Work your way through the various wild animals offered, including seasonal Russian bear. Reservations essential. Metro: By car or train from Belorussia Station.
Address: 186a Rublevo-Uspenskoye shosse, Zhukovka village, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/418-7983

U Pirosmani
Eastern European, Under $10 to Over $35, Krasnaya Presnya
Whitewashed walls and wood-panel ceilings inside this popular restaurant named for Georgian artist Niko Pirosmani re-create the aura of an artist's studio. Copies of Pirosmani's naive art decorate the walls. Try to sit by the window in the main hall or on the balcony so you can enjoy beautiful views of New Maiden's Convent, across the pond from the restaurant. The menu reads like a Georgian cookbook. The specialties are shashlyk po-mirzaansky (shish kebab with mushrooms) and adzhakhuri (pork cutlet and potatoes, with pomegranate seeds). The kitchen also serves delightful khinkali, Georgian meat dumplings. Order a bottle of Georgian wine to accompany your meal. Metro: Sportivnaya.
Address: 4 Novodevichy proyezd, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/247-1926

Vogue Cafe
Continental, $10 to $35, Kitai Gorod
As the name suggests, Vogue is one of the most fashionable restaurants in town but it does it in a distinctly Russian way. The interior is sophisticated and understated, drawing models and the well heeled. However, the menu is a throwback to Soviet times with items such as Russian salami and kefir, a sour milk drink. It's cool to consume these retro oldies here. The rest of the menu is a mix of Russian, Italian, and French dishes. Metro: Kuznetsky Most.
Address: 7/9 Kuznetsky Most, Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/923-1701

Japanese, Under $10 to $18, the Arbat
Yakitoria has proved the most reliable of Moscow's many sushi restaurants for inexpensive, good-quality sushi. This branch is halfway down the Novy Arbat. Metro: Arbatskaya.
Address: Novy Arbat ul., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/250-5385

Japanese, Under $10 to $18, Northern Outskirts
Yakitoria has proved the most reliable of Moscow's many sushi restaurants for cheap, good-quality sushi. This branch, close to Belorusskaya train station, is one of its most popular with an enclosed terrace. Metro: Belorusskaya.
Address: 29 Pervaya (1st) Tverskaya-Yamskaya ul., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/250-5385

Japanese, Under $10 to $18, Kitai Gorod
Yakitoria has proved the most reliable of Moscow's many sushi restaurants. The food may not be the most genuine article (the real thing goes for bank-breaking prices in Moscow and you can count on the fish coming from a freezer here), but the service is quick, most ingredients fresh, and the menu comprehensive. There are several branches of the restaurant, including this one nearly opposite the Marriott Royal Avrora hotel and one on Novy Arbat. Lines are common, so reservations are a good idea. Metro: Kuznetsky Most.
Address: 16 Petrovka ul., Moscow, Russia
Phone: 495/924-0609




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