Best international restaurants in Moscow
Hey dear traveler, have you already tried vareniki, bortsch, and bubliki? Did you have a cup of Russian herbal tea, a can of kvas and a shot glass of vodka? Not yet? Want to have a company to have more fun? We kindly invite you to join a drinking tour or food tour whenever you have a free evening. Are you a happy tourist who tried “The Russian salad” and even “Herring under a coat”? Congratulations! Now you’re a Knight of Russian cuisine.
If you were attentive while looking for a nice place to eat, there are in fact not many Russian restaurants in Moscow. We prefer cooking traditional food at home and go out for dinner to an international restaurant, to divert our taste buds.
Moscow food courts with Italian, Georgian, Korean, and Pan-Asian corners are mushrooming since 2017. Students sit over their books in Japanese cafes, businesswomen have a quick snack in American diners, the office staff has their after-work drink at the nearest Georgian bistro. Globalization made international food affordable and available. While maintaining the principle “eat local” in ExploRussia, we like trying new and exploring the world cuisines.
If you are done for a while with Russian meals (we know, you’re gonna miss pelmeni!), always weirdly warm and lavished with dills, it’s time to discover international cuisines in Moscow.
Best pizza place in Moscow
Unsurprisingly, Italian cuisine is dear to our hearts and bellies. It’s a universal rule: when you don’t know where to take your mum- you invite her to an Italian place; when you are hungry as a wolf- you go for pizza; when you have a date- it’s pizza and wine. Easy-peasy!
The restaurant “Il Pizzaiolo” on Volkhonka Street is a classical Italian restaurant where you find food and comfort. The menu is for all tastes, a teenager or an adult; you will find something that you like. The restaurant serves pizzas, pasta, soups, risottos, and sweet author’s desserts. We especially liked Pizza with parma and arugula and Capriciosa – freshly baked with parmesan and mozzarella- it felt like we are on vacations in Florence, and not in Moscow.
“Il Pizzaiolo” is a small branch, it has three restaurants in Moscow city. The one Moscow Urban Adventures team go to is at a foot walk distance from Borovitskaya station, and 10 minutes away from the Kremlin and the Historical Museum. So, if your stomach is growling after a Kremlin tour, “Il Pizzaiolo” chefs can calm it down with nutritious Tagliatelle Carbonara or a classic Margherita, that in Moscow we spell-like “Margarita”.
Address: Volhonka Street, bld. 6 Moscow.
Working hours: Su-Th 10:00-23:00; Fr-Sa 10:00-24:00
Best Sushi bar in Moscow
There was a real boom of sushi bars in 2009. Every restaurant that wanted to make a profit had sushi rolls on the menu. Italian restaurants served Japanese sushi, Turkish kebab shops had sushi, a night club would offer you sushi as a midnight snack. Sushi was a casual business lunch for many of us. Ten years passed, and Muscovites are still not over sushi. However, Moscow chefs learned that sushi with mayonnaise is a bad taste and now they try to keep it authentic.
To go to an authentic Japanese café, you need to take a train to “Novoslobodskaya” station. “Rusalochka” sushi bar (“Mermaid” in English) is a resident of One Door Community. It neighbors with a tattoo salon, a cocktail bar and a meateria for steak lovers.
“Rusalochka” will remind you of an Asian market. The place is decorated with paper lanterns, bamboo trees, and pictures of sakura. Neon lights light everything in red and blue. You can sit at the bar counter on one of the beer boxes, or at a table. The owners consciously placed Japanese symbols on the walls that are hilarious if translated, like “a Japanese synthesizer” or “Wash your hands before eating”. The menu boasts with some positions of molecular cuisine, sushi, sashimi, and rolls. Fish is served with leaves of Japanese mint- “Umai!” Soya sauce is home-made and is incredibly tasty. We went to the place after we read _L601LF’s review on TripAdvisor: “The ingredients are fresh, balanced, a good amount of fish, just enough rice, to hold stuffing”. It sounds like a nice example of Japanese meals – nothing extra, all balanced.
Address: Novoslobodskaya Street 16, bld. A, Moscow.
Working hours: daily from 12 pm to 12 am.
Best Ukrainian café in Moscow
Ukrainian and Russian meals are similar, yet different. Ukrainian vareniki with cherry filling are juicier, and the dough is fatter than in a Russian home-made version. Typically, Ukrainian food is heavier than Russian but no one can resist an extra spoonful of nourishing red borscht or puffy curd pancakes with small buttons of reasons.
Ukrainian cuisine is a must on a freezing day. The hospitality of a Ukrainian restaurant and all the calories will warm you up.
If you want to compare Russian and Ukrainian foods, we recommend you to visit “Odessa-mama”. There are there “Odessa- mamas”- in Sabolovskaya, Chistye Prudy and Kievskaya stations. The last two are located in the city center, Shabolovskaya is out of the usual touristy zone.
Many people come to “Odessa- Mama” for their mouth-watering vareniki. Unlike pelmeni, vareniki typically don’t have meat in it and suit for vegetarians. The author of this article adores greens, therefore chooses vareniki dumplings with a brynza sheep cheese and chopped spinach filling. Those who would like to try the most traditional recipe should stop their choice at vareniki with sour cabbage and mushrooms. And remember a rule- vareniki are served with butter and sour cream, no excuses.
Of course, there are two more things associated with Ukrainian cuisine. Their names can give you a hint- they are Kyiv cake and Kyiv cutlets. Starting from the main course, a Kyiv cutlet is made of chicken breast and stuffed with butter and greens. Mashed potatoes with marinated veggies come as a side dish for cutlets.
Kyiv cake is a meringue cake with nuts and chocolate, baked well it’s not too sweet and very delicate.
Address: Krivokolennyy Pereulok, 10 bld. 5, Moscow
Working hours: Mo-Th and Su from 10 am to 11 pm, Fr-Sa from 10 am to 2 am (need to book a table in advance)
Best Georgian restaurant in Moscow
A lot of tourists can’t resist Georgian food. It’s fresh, a bit spicy and sometimes hard to be re-created at home- Georgian herbs and cheeses are not the same as Russian. Georgian food should be sampled in Georgia.
But if you can’t visit Tbilisi this time, you can find nearly the same quality Georgian food in Moscow! In Tverskaya street and near the Bolshoy theatre, at Tsentralnyi food market and near Arbat- more or less in every Moscow neighborhood you can find a Georgian place with nice red wines and golden crunchy khachapuri bread. Muscovites love Georgian food and hospitality.
With respect to out-of-the-beaten tracks, we’ve chosen a small local Georgian eatery in Kitay-gorod, to tell you about. The place is called “Хинкали Point”. That is how the owners named it- with “Khinkali” in Russian letters and “Point” in English. Whatdoyoucallit, hipsters! Hipsters or not but the guys know their business. The place is small, friendly and informal. Young and old frequent the eatery. It can host up to twenty people, and due to everyone’s love, it is never empty. Nevertheless, usually, it doesn’t take more than 15 minutes to get a table. Plus, in summer they make more room, adding tables in the vibrant Zabelina street.
What to try? The answer is simple- khinkali, which is basically stuffed dumplings boiled in hot water. Khinkali with cheese is a local specialty. Like any other khinkali, you should eat it with your hands, holding the “crown” with the right hand.
Two more items in the menu that will make you chubby and happy are khachapuri with raised lamb and a carrot cake. Khachapuri is a spring meal. Georgian chefs, when they are in the mountains, cut fresh cilantro, parsley, and tarragon in great amounts and cook it with green plums and lamb meat.
Enough about food! The last thing to mention, if you’re a beer connoisseur, it might be interesting for you to try Georgian beer “Natakhtari”. Though we must assure you that hearty meals go better with tea.
Address: Ulitsa Zabelina, 1, Moscow.
Working hours: Mo- Fr from 10 am to 11 pm, Sa-Su from 12 pm to 11 pm.
Best Steak-house in Moscow
Muscovites go to an American buffet on two occasions: when we want a quick nosh, then we go to MacDonalds, and when we want a properly fried steak. Despite the fact that young people in Russia become more eco-responsible and avoid eating meat, steak houses didn’t disappear from the Moscow food map.
The restaurant “FRANK by Basta” in Rozhdestvenka Street is a brutal loft with well-cooked American food, informally-looking waiters and modern music. It was opened by a popular Russian musician Basta and is a place for occasional meetings of his fellow musicians. The brand keeps middle-range prices for this area, which is nice and appreciated by guests. “FRANK” also offers a big menu of food and drinks, and honestly it’s hard to narrow down your choices. They have pork ribs, cooked on Big Green Egg, obviously meat and fish steaks, wraps, burgers, and even BBQ. Everything looks appetizing. By the way, choose wisely, some ribs are of a one-kilo portion! Multiply that with apple crumble and Californian salad, and here you are- with a big shiny smile and your pants felt tight.
Address: Rozhdestvenka Street 5/7, bld.1, Moscow.
Working hours: Su–Th from 12 pm to 1 am, Fr–Sa from 12 pm to 3 am.
As you can see, there are plenty of places in Moscow serving international food if you are not a fan of Russian cuisine. Have a good day!
written by Natalia Motorina