10 Best Russian cuisine restaurants in Moscow
You can always find a tourist who would believe that a classic Russian lunch is a borscht with a glass of vodka. Believe it or not, but both are not even originally from Russia. All jokes aside, Russian cuisine restaurant is truly fascinating and has a lot to offer to any tourist. The best way to explore it is to eat (or drink) like a Russian.
For many Russians, it would be an apartment of their grandmother or something that reminds of it. We are very nostalgic. If you think about it, in the Soviet Union most of the people couldn’t afford dinner at a restaurant, it wasn’t simply a part of the culture. Even though things have changed today we would often still look for a cozy place that would remind of the old times. A number of restaurants today follow this concept. A good example to show that it’s already a trend is a budget restaurant chain Varenichnaya. Inside you will feel like you are back in the USSR. You can find around many popular tourist attractions in Moscow. We decided to create a list of our favorite authentic Russian cuisine restaurants that are not so easy to find if you are a tourist.
Kvartira 44 (Flat 44)
The name speaks for itself. All the interior makes you feel as if you are in a great Moscow’s apartment. It’s not exactly the Russian cuisine place but rather what we love to eat in Moscow in general. Such as long conversations (there is a reason why Russian novels are so long), dates and reunions. Simply great atmosphere with small jazz and rock-n-roll concerts in the evenings. And on weekdays, pianists, accordionists, and even a balalaika play! Enjoy your evening with a plate of Russian marinades (400 RUB) or homemade jam (80 RUB). On the working days don’t miss an amazing business lunch for about 5 dollars only.
Bolshaya Nikitskaya 22/2 (entrance from street Khlynovsky tupik), metro Arbatskaya.
Dacha On Pokrovka
You might have heard about the Russian dacha phenomenon. It’s a country cottage that about half of the Russian population go in the summertime. For many, it’s truly a sacred place. Even though it’s a big part of our culture, usually, it’s something that most tourists are not able to see on their own. The good news is that you don’t need to go far away from Moscow and even wait for the summer to feel the atmosphere of the Russian Dacha.
Dacha on Porkovka is in the city center of Moscow inside a mansion built at the beginning of the nineteenth century, known as the “House of Teleshev.” Indeed, it’s a historical place where many Russian writers would come, such as Maxim Gorky, Vladimir Mayakovsky, and the Nobel Prize winner Ivan Bunin.
Here you will find all sorts of traditional cuisine (soups, appetizers, main courses). This might be the right place for a shot of vodka with good zakuska (appetizer), try eggplant rolls (330 RUB) a traditional Stolichny salad (280 RUB), vareniki (330 RUB).
Pokrovsky Boulevard, 16-18, building 4 (entrance from Podkolokolny lane)
Odessa Mama (meaning mother Odessa in Russian) is a Ukranian restaurant named after the city of Odessa as it was perceived as a Jewish city. You may ask why did we decide to include it in this list? First, it represents the Russian-Jewish tradition. Interestingly, in the USSR was the highest Jewish population in the world at the moment. Second, it could be interesting to compare a Russian and Ukranian food tradition. Despite the current political situation, we have a long history together. Third, it’s just a trendy place for young Muscovites where they can eat, drink and talk. Try a truly very Russian-Jewish dish called forshmak, which is a starter made of salty, minced fish. In the summertime, you can enjoy a lovely terrace, but keep in mind that on the weekends the place is very busy. No matter when you go, you will be surrounded by the locals. The place is a little bit hidden but you certainly won’t miss it on our ‘More than just vodka spirits tour’ as it’s one of the options we have. Yes, it’s a perfect place to explore the Russian drinking culture or to continue an evening after a tour with us.
Address: Krivokolenny Lane 10, str. 5
White Rabbit is probably the most famous Russian cuisine restaurant. There are two big reasons for that. First, It’s already annually in the list of the top 50 best restaurants in the world. Second, it was on Netflix’s Emmy-nominated series Chef’s Table (Season 3, Episode 2 if you’ll decide to watch). Moreover, in 2014 and 2015, TripAdvisor awarded White Rabbit the title of “Winner of the Year” among the Moscow’s restaurants.
The great panorama view opens from the 16th floor where you can see the city center. But White Rabbit is definitely more than a great view on the Ministry of foreign affairs (one of the famous well-known Moscow city skyscrapers) and the historical city center.
The chef Vladimir Mukhin is simply phenomenal. He is a fifth-generation cook, who began his career at the age of 12 and trained in Spain, Japan, and France. Mukhin, as well as his restaurant specializes in modern Russian cuisine and experiments with the local products.
He became a chef at White Rabbit in 2012, and in 2017 he founded the first international gastronomy festival in Russia.
We believe you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the prices. In many Western cities like London or Paris, a bill at mid-level restaurants will be equal to what you pay in White Rabbit. We recommend you to try borscht with fried crucian carp (670 RUB)and marinated Sakhalin shrimp (590 RUB).
Address: Smolenskaya square 3
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Однажды шеф-повар Владимир Мухин @muhinvladimir, будучи на гастролях в Бангкоке, обнаружил текстурное сходство мякоти молодого кокоса с салом – так появилось вегетарианское сало коколардо, приправленное чесноком, солью и перцем. ⠀ В White Rabbit мы подаем коколардо с белужьей икрой и ароматным бородинским хлебом. ⠀ ~~~ ⠀ Once, when chef Vladimir Mukhin was in Thailand, he realized how similar the texture of young coconuts was to lardo – and coco lardo was born. We serve this vegetarian lardo seasoned with garlic, salt and pepper, with beluga caviar and sourdough rye bread. ⠀ #whiterabbitmoscow #whiterabbitrestaurant
Patriarshiye Ponds is for decades an area with a bohemian reputation. These days it also turned into a foodie’s heaven where you can meet many expatriates and young Muscovites. But if you are looking for a Russian home style cuisine Mari Vanna should certainly be on your list. It’s a good place to have breakfast before you start to explore Moscow . We recommend trying the cottage cheese pancakes (syrniki in Russian), the Russian specialty that can remind you of a cheesecake, although it’s not that sweet. Mari Vanna also offers a good variety of traditional Russian drinks. A huge hit right now is any buckthorn drink, which is sweet and sour at the same time. If you visit, don’t forget to say hello to the resident cat Venya, the fish Petya, and Pavlik the canary.
Address: Spiridonevsky per., 10a, Moscow
It’s another popular place among locals and guests of Moscow. At first, it was founded in 2009 as a farming cooperative. Even today, the idea of offering farm products is quite progressive in Russia. This is the so-called modern Moscow. At first, Muscovites took the concept cautiously. Why do you have to pay three or four times the price of what you pay in a regular supermarket for farmer’s vegetables, milk or meat? It certainly took time to understand how a farmer’s products can fundamentally different from ordinary ones. However, already in 2011 LavkaLavka opened its own restaurant in Moscow. Today it has around a thousand regular customers and followers that also work with organic food.
One of the goals of the project is the revival of agriculture and the lost gastronomic traditions in Russia and other countries. So here you will find authentic dishes based on domestic culinary traditions, including long-forgotten ones, such as spelled and bird cherry flour. It’s worth mentioning that the Washington Post recently published an article about the place.
Address: Petrovka 21 b. 2 ,Moscow
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Even though cafe Pushkin is mentioned in the most tour guide books and articles about places to eat in Moscow, we still have to include it. The place is simply legendary and everything made to perfection. It was opened in 1999 and because of the big changes in our country turned out to be among the oldest Russian cuisine restaurants in Moscow. Interestingly, it had a history even before it was founded. It is believed that the name of the restaurant was inspired by the French song “Nathalie” by Gilbert Béco, in which he sang about Moscow, his love for a Russian girl and hot chocolate in Café Pouchkine. No wonder why French love this place so much and even opened cafe Pushkin. And the hot chocolate became one of the best in Moscow. Prepare your camera as it’s the whole ceremony. We must admit you can’t go wrong with any dessert at Pushkin.
Everyone who wants to feel like the Russian nobility of the 19th century will love this place. The philosophy of the restaurant is the aristocratic Russian cuisine and atmosphere. Russian literature is here to help you, as Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin, or War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.
Address: Tverskoy Blvd, 26A
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Lepim i Varim (Sculpt and cook)
There are many versions of dumplings around the world, in Russia, we have pelmeni (with meat) and vareniki (vegetables or berries). Both are the perfect food for the long winters. Indeed, there is an opinion that it’s the heart of Russian cuisine. If you want to try the best ones in Moscow, without any doubt go to Lepim i Varim. So far we haven’t had a single tourist who wouldn’t like pelmeni or vareniki at Lepim i varim.
Before dumplings were simply frozen food that you cook when you are lazy. Lepim i Varim turned it into art. A good variety of pelmeni and vareniki may make want you to come to this place. It’s a fantastic option for those who don’t have enough time for lunch but still want to have a healthy and delicious lunch. On the menu you will also find traditional Russian drinks, soups, and salads. Don’t forget to order sour cream as a true Russian!
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Another place that can bring you back to the 19th century and the glory days of the Russian literature. The restaurant is at a former merchant’s mansion house with a renovated aristocratic interior.
Oblomov is the eponymous character of the novel written by Ivan Goncharov who spends all the time on his couch pretty much doing nothing. He is probably the most Russian character in our literature. Everything about this restaurant is very Russian. The menu is a real encyclopedia of Russian cuisine. Here you will find dishes from a traditional Russian oven or based on ancient recipes. We recommend trying taiga delicacies (1190 RUB), soup grey schi (690 RUB), black sea sturgeon (980 RUB). We must add that one of the best food historians
Pavel Syutkin recommends this place.
Address: 1-Y Monetchikovskiy Pereulok, 5
Matreshka is another great Russian cuisine restaurant to try our main hits in the luxury style. The interior is a modern interpretation of the late twenties, the end of so-called Russian La Belle Époque.
The menu focuses on the best products from different parts of the country which are brought all the way from the different regions. You will find a lot of caviar and fish, something that we are very proud of. We recommend different types of Russian pirozhki (from 90 to 210 RUB), a gourmand version of the number one Russian salad Olivier (990 RUB), fish pie (990 RUB).
If you are in Russia during one of our holidays, you may also have a chance to get a special menu. And don’t miss an incredible Monday 50% off offer on the menu from 12 pm to 5 pm.
Address: Kutuzovsky prospekt, 2/1, p. 6
If you are looking for the best restaurants in Moscow with a view, ready our article. Want to find cheap and fast food in Moscow? Jump here to see the list. Looking for the best bars to try Moscow mule cocktail? Read the list of best Moscow Bars.