Food is of course important in any culture, but in Russia it takes on soulful dimensions. Russians enjoy eating out, and they like to spend the whole evening in a restaurant. The choice of dining in St. Petersburg - from super cheap to very fine and indulgent - is enormous. In fact eating out is likely to be a highlight of your stay in Russia.


Restaurant "Palkin" is one of the oldest dining establishments in St. Petersburg and one of the few that have retained its original name and location. Its roots go back to the St. Petersburg restaurateurs, the Palkin family, the first mention of whom dates back to 1785.

Restaurant "Palkin" counted many a famous St. Petersburger among its regular clientele. A brief list might include poet Alexander Blok, scientist Alexander Butlerov, writers Nikolai Gogol, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Nikolai Leskov and Anton Chekhov, painter Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin, as well as composer Petr Tchaikovsky. The chefs of the restaurant were among the first in Russia to adopt certain elements of French cuisine into the traditional Russian cooking. Those who enjoyed distinguished cuisine often patronized the restaurant; in addition, visitors were attracted by the club atmosphere of the establishment, which later became its particular quality.

Since welcoming its first guests in the summer of 2002, "Palkin" has sought to revive St. Petersburg's traditional atmosphere of "bread and salt" hospitality fashioned to the end of the 19th century. A visit to restaurant "Palkin" is an authentic, proper acquaintance with the cuisine of Russian aristocracy, much of which has, sadly, been lost elsewhere.

As in the bygone days, stars of the arts and the business worlds alike frequent the restaurant. A visit to restaurant "Palkin", which has a panoramic view of the Nevsky Prospekt, ranks as a must of a stay in St. Petersburg for Russian and foreign guests. The restaurant's halls often cater for official talks and meetings.

Address: Nevsky Prospekt, 47

Tel: 703-5371

Open: daily from 11:00 until the last guest leaves

Average bill: $70 - $100



This classical Russian restaurant revives the atmosphere of old Russia. Demidov's takes its name from the famous Russian family of entrepreneurs and industrialists. The restaurant lives up to its great name. Here you'll find an atmosphere of peace, stability, and well-being. The aristocratic atmosphere at Demidov's is a throw back to the glorious days of 19th century Russia. The large boyar hall, one of three separate halls, gives one the sense of colorful old Russia, the Russia before Peter the Great's reforms. Guests at Demidov's are treated to live Russian and Gypsy romantic music in the evenings accompanied by guitars and grand piano.

Address: Fontanka River Embankment, 14

Tel: 272-9181

Open: daily from 11:00 to 24:00

Average bill: $10 - $20


Amazing as it may seem, you can walk up the modern and stylish city's main thoroughfare Nevsky Prospekt to where it intersects with the scenic and historic Moika Canal and find yourself in a genuine Russian style Izba (peasant's hut). This hut, better known as the Sverchok restaurant, provides a warm and authentic atmosphere and prepares and presents hearty and tasty Russian fare according to Old Russian traditions. You'll even find your menu wrapped in natural birch bark! Enjoy a rich assortment of wines with your meal, which includes an extended list of wines from France, Italy, Georgia, Bulgaria, Spain, and Chili.

Sverchok's chef skillfully prepares not only Russian cuisine, but also European cuisine and tasty Georgian shashlik or kebabs. After visiting the Russian Museum or State Hermitage Museum, take an entertaining walk along Nevsky Prospekt and stop at Sverchok for a fine authentic Russian dining experience.

Address: Nevskiy Prospekt, 20

Tel: 312-9160, 312-8919, 312-1689

Open: daily from 12:00 to 23:00

Average bill: $20 - $30



The restaurant, which is located on one of the city's main thoroughfares Liteiny Prospekt, is named after the famous Georgian Prince and General Bagrationi whose heroic leadership helped the Russian Army defeat Napoleon. Bagrationi has a comfortable and stylish interior chockfull of attractive attributes of the war of 1812. The antique weapons, dress coats, and carpets add something special to the place to be sure, but nevertheless take a back seat to the renowned Georgian hospitality and delightful taste of traditional Georgian cuisine. The rich menu includes all the favorites of Georgian cuisine including tasty kebabs, which are prepared entertainingly and interestingly on a spit-roast in full view of the guests of the restaurant by one of the city's most renowned Georgian chefs. Bagrationi also features a menu of traditional European cuisine, and guests can enjoy a fine selection of Georgian and French wines with their meal.

Address: Liteiny Prospekt, 5

Tel: 272-7448

Open: daily from 12:00 to 24:00

Average bill: $30 - $50


Kolkhida is a historical region of Georgia on the Black Sea coast, which is famous as the place where heroes of ancient Greek mythology sought after the Golden Fleece and acquired the love of mysterious beauties of Georgia. The restaurant's interior is splendidly decorated with motives of the adventures of Argonauts who traveled between the ancient European civilization and the mysterious Orient. Kolkhida features three separate halls, two of which may be used for small and medium-sized business meetings or negotiations. Guests at Kolkhida can choose from a wide selection of fine Georgian wines. After your visit to the beautiful and historic Alexander Nevsky Monastery take a short walk to Kolkhida for an entertaining and genuine Caucasian dining experience.

Address: Nevsky Prospekt, 176

Tel: 274-2514

Open: daily from 12:00 to 24:00

Average bill: $20 - $30

Valhall Restaurant

The Valhall restaurant serves hearty and tasty Scandinavian, Russian, and European cuisine in a warm and pleasant atmosphere. The restaurant has three halls brilliantly decorated in the themes of Scandinavian mythology and cultural traditions. House specialties include tasty steaks, hearty soups, and salads. Valhall also features a separate vegetarian menu with several dinner and appetizer choices. Enjoy a bottle of French or Georgian wine with your meal. In season, visitors can enjoy the Valhall's outdoor cafe, which is only a few steps from the city's main thoroughfare Nevsky Prospekt and offers spectacular views of landmark Kazan Cathedral. After visiting the Russian Museum or Shostakovich Philharmonic take a short walk over to Nevsky Prospekt and the Valhall restaurant for a long leisurely lunch or dinner.

Address: Nevsky Prospekt, 22/24

Tel: 571-0024

Open: daily from 12:00 until the last guest leaves

Average bill: $10 - $20


Pogreba Monakha

The owner and staff of the restaurant (whose name translates as "Monk's Cellar") are very hospitable, courteous and attentive to all of their patrons needs. The staff has also put together special lunch and dinner menus for tourist groups that are visiting the city. Moreover, the Monk's Cellar regularly plays host to guests from the US, Germany, Israel and Moscow in addition to distinguished government leaders and local residents who keeping returning for the excellent cuisine and warm atmosphere. Indeed, the staff of the Monk's Cellar has gone to great lengths to create an especially warm and pleasant environment for your dining enjoyment. You'll immediately notice many interesting clay sculpted figures, vases and other intriguing items. Designers have arranged handmade oak tables and chairs, stained glass windows and many other interesting odds and ends that add soul to the dining halls. Guests are treated to live blues and jazz performances on Friday and Saturday evenings. After your visit to the Hermitage and walk around Palace Square, consider taking a few more steps down the narrow street which begins next to the Winter Palace and relax from a busy day of sightseeing and enjoy a fine meal in the pleasant surroundings of the Monk's Cellar. You'll be glad you did!

Address: Millionnaya st., 22

Tel: 314-4398, 314-1353

Open: daily from 12:00 to 23:00

Average bill: $10 - $20


This cozy little restaurant is located in the center of the city, right next to the Nevsky Prospekt metro station. The main room has been decorated to look like a ship's stateroom, and is adorned by model steamships, a collection of sailors' knots and antiquarian knick-knacks. The banqueting hall could come straight from the time of Peter the Great, with its walls covered with antique tiles. Most of the dishes on the menu are traditional German cuisine. In April 2001, Vladimir Putin and Gerhard Schroeder dropped in here for lunch.

Address: Griboedov Channel Embankment, 14

Tel: 312-4631

Open: daily from 12:00 to 03:00

Average bill: $20 - $30


Dvorianskoye Gnezdo

Dvorianskoye Gnezdo is truly the finest restaurant in St. Petersburg located in the Trianon of the splendid Yusupov Palace. Designed in 1751 by Vallin de la Motte, the architect of the Small Hermitage and many other important buildings, the Trianon has been restored to its original splendour. "Dvorianskoye Gnezdo" translates into English as "The Noble Nest": it served as a tea pavilion where the Yusupovs, the richest, most powerful, and the most decadent noble family of the Empire entertained their peers. Today Dvorianskoye Gnezdo offers an innovative menu that combines variations on traditional Russian dishes with modern French cuisine. Dinner is served in dining rooms where the aristocracy who once were guests and owners are represented by their portraits. Located in the historic city center, just a two-minute walk away from the famous Mariinsky (Kirov) Theatre, Dvorianskoye Gnezdo restaurant is the ideal location for special business receptions - as well as for a stylish luncheon, an intimate dinner or an elegant after-theatre supper.

Address: Dekabrisov st., 21

Tel: 312-3205

Open: daily from 12:00 to 24:00

Average bill: $70 - $100


Russkaya Rybalka

The gimmick at Russian Fishing is that you catch your own dinner. It's set in a charming wooden house overlooking a lake full of trout, sturgeon, and beluga sterlet. Tackle, bait, and expert advice are provided, and your catch is prepared before you on the grill. There are several other options on the menu as well, including a baked eggplant dish that is quite good.

The honorable guests of the Russkaya Rybalka were Vladimir Putin, Jacques Chirac, Vladimir Yakovlev, Alexander Pochinok and many famous Russian actors and singers.

Address: Krestovsky Island, South Road, 11

Tel: 323-9813

Open: daily from 12:00 to 09:00

Average bill: $20 - $30


New Island

New Island is St. Petersburg's only luxury restaurant ship with seasonal cruises along the Neva River. European cuisine, seafood delicacies, live music in the evening.

Address: at the crossing of Universitetskaya Embankment and Line 1 of Vasilievsky Island.

Tel: 963-6765, 943-8416, 320-2120

Open: daily from 14:00 to 24:00

Average bill: $20 - $30

The Literary Cafe

A tour of St. Petersburg would definitely be incomplete without visiting a place where Russian legends used to routinely lunch - the famous cafe, where the Russian Poet, Alexander Pushkin, made his last visit in the evening of January 27th, 1837, just before his fatal duel. Dostoyevsky liked to eat here as well as many other famous Russian writers who sat in contemplation about the subjects of their works while savoring a cup of coffee. A century earlier, these walls would often see the Russian Emperor, Peter the Great, who used to pay visits to his friend Admiral Kruis who lived there at the time.

Today "The Literary Cafe" is loyal to the traditions of almost two centuries of Russian culture. One can enjoy listening to the sounds of violins and pianos. In the evenings you will be charmed by the beautiful voices of soloists singing Russian romances. You may share the presence of the "great Russian spirit". One finds here a peculiar blend of two national treasures - Russian cuisine and Russian poetry.

Address: Nevskiy Prospekt, 18

Tel: 312-6057

Open: daily from 11:00 to 01:00

Average bill: $20 - $30


The restaurant offers a variety of contemporary and classical Russian fares in a superb atmosphere, which features an authentic 18th century Dutch music box. Austeria also features a wide selection of drinks, a special selection of budget dishes for lunch and dinner and regular live music varying form classical to contemporary.

Address: Peter and Paul's Fortress, Ioannovsky Ravelin

Tel: 230-0369

Open: daily from 12:00 until the last guest leaves

Average bill: $50 - $70

Old Customs House

In the historical part of the city next to the Kunstkammer there is the Old Customs House Restaurant. The interior is of a typical customshouse of Tsar Peter the Great times. Corresponding furniture and details conveying the atmosphere of the 18th century were carefully selected, and even the new wooden floor was artificially made to look older. Portraits and genre paintings, copies of customs documents of the 18-19th centuries add to the atmosphere. Wax figures of customs officials greet the guests. Every detail in the restaurant is thought over to create an ideal setting for a refined dinner.

The guest are offered European menu with French stress. Exquisite European cuisine, award-winning French chef, live music and marvelous interiors are the reasons why the restaurant is really worth visiting.

Address: Tamozhennyi side-street, 10

Tel: 327-8980

Open: daily from 13:00 to 01:00

Average bill: $50 - $70


The restaurant enjoys wide popularity with the residents and guests of the city. There are always many guests but at the same time the restaurant isn't noisy. It should be specially marked that the recipes of most dishes stated in the menu have been taken from the original cookery book by Elena Molochovetz published in 1909 and were very popular at that time. On the basis of the recipes of the pre-revolutionary Russian cuisine the chefs create real masterpieces of culinary art. The interior, where each detail is imbued with nostalgia for the culture of the first decades of the 20th century, is designed in Art Nouveau style.

The 1913 is not an elite restaurant. A very democratic establishment, it is the ideal place for a quick bite to eat with friends, a leisurely business lunch or a romantic candle-lit dinner. You will taste the most mouthwatering dishes of truly St. Petersburg cuisine cooked with love and creativity.

Address: Voznesensky Prospekt, 13/2

Tel: 315-5148

Open: daily from 12:00 to 01:00

Average bill: $30 - $50



Very popular with tourists and enjoying a good reputation among locals is this paean to the Soviet glory days. The kitsch here is quite stylish - kind of designer Soviet - but it seems to have stuck a chord. The 1920s were a post revolutionary epoch, controversial epoch when the most romantic dreams were tightly connected with the most destructive ideas.

The restaurant is decorated according to the aesthetics of the 1920s that denied bourgeois way of life and pomposity. Rough and heavy furniture, homemade lampshades, metal constructions are the main elements of the restaurant interior. The guests not accustomed to the proletarian minimalism are likely to be surprised at table-clothes. They are disposable, made from rough wrapping papers and are kept on an old industrial paper-machine. The distinctive feature of the restaurant is the large bookshelves where you can find quite a surprising collection of books.

The menu of the restaurant is international. There you'll find Japanese harmony, Kamchatka steak, Mexican fiesta salad, Arabic dumplings and Farmers treat as well as other dishes. At day time the salad-bar is open. The wine list is quite multifarious. Try truly Russian cocktails Tereshkova, Gagarin, Baikonur, X-ray or Propeller. For tourists and tourist groups the restaurant offers special menus like Samovar, Babushka, Matreshka, Window on Europe, Tsar's Dinner. They are comprised of traditional Russian dishes that enjoyed a wide popularity in the Soviet period: pelmeni, borsch, Russian vinaigrette salad with Mustard sauce, red caviar with blini (pancakes), etc.

Address: Fontanka st., 40

Tel: 275-35-58

Open: daily from 13:00 to 03:00

Average bill: $70 - $100


Na Zdorovye

The decor is a colorful mini museum of old objects culled from nearby villages and Soviet-era posters and soft drink machines. As if a group of Marxist-Leninist extremists set up a shop in a village house. The menu too is a combo of traditional Russian and Soviet cuisine.

Address: Bolshoy Prospekt, 13

Tel: 232-4039

Open: daily from 12:00 to 23:00

Average bill: $20 - $30


Nikolay Gusarov +7 (964) 762-47-92
Olga Bogoyavlenskaya +7 (985) 766-20-43
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