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
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
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:
Address: 29/14 Neglinnaya ul., Moscow, Russia
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
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:
Address: 3 Red Sq., Moscow, Russia
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:
Address: 4/31 Triumfalnaya Pl., Moscow, Russia
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
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:
Address: 5/6 Kamergersky per., Moscow, Russia
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
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
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
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:
Address: 50 Povarskaya ul., Moscow, Russia
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:
Address: 10 Tverskaya ul., Moscow, Russia
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;
Address: 3 Malaya Dmitrovka ul., Moscow, Russia
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
Address: 13/6 Bolshaya Nikitskaya ul., Bldg. 1, Moscow, Russia
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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:
Address: 12 Nikitsky Bulvar, Moscow, Russia
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
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
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
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
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
Address: 1/4 Teatralny proyezd, Moscow, Russia
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Address: ul. 28 Kosygina, Moscow, Russia
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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.
Address: 4 Novodevichy proyezd, Moscow, Russia
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:
Address: 7/9 Kuznetsky Most, Moscow, Russia
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
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:
Address: 29 Pervaya (1st) Tverskaya-Yamskaya ul., Moscow, Russia
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
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