As Russia’s cultural capital, St Petersburg is renowned for its architecture, museums, and dream-like canals. But it doesn’t stop there: St Petersburg’s gastronomic scene has flourished in the last few years, with restaurants opening up all over the city and offering anything from traditional Russian dishes to the latest food trends taking the world by storm. One of the main questions for those visiting a new city is where to eat. So where can you find 10 of St. Petersburg’s top restaurants? In no particular order:
Photo from http://blok.restaurant/
Blok is the brainchild of award-winning Muscovite restaurateur, Aleksandr Rappoport. It specialises in what it calls ‘Russian provincial cooking’, dishes of the highest quality Russian meat and fish. Diners can choose from 60 expertly cooked dishes: over 20 types of steak; veal, duck, and lamb prepared in styles from around the world; oysters and crab from the Far East. Blok’s decor is characterised by striking geometric designs and sweeping lines, an imposing bar filled to the double-height ceiling with Russian and international wines, floor-to-ceiling windows, and decorated with avant-garde paintings. Located on the roof of the Leningrad Centre, Blok’s terraces overlook the Tauride Gardens.
Mains are in the range of 8.5 - 14 euros, steaks from 12 - 100 euros; wine by the glass is from 5.5 euros, bottles from 35 euros.
Location: Potemkinskaia Ulitsa, 4
Photo from https://www.bobospb.ru/
This award-winning restaurant is owned by the Grebenshchikov brothers and focuses on transforming simple ingredients into something unique, paired with wines from local producers. Diners can choose between the day or evening menu, which changes regularly and focuses on seasonal ingredients. The a la carte menu consists of five sections of small plates: two cold, two hot, and one dessert section. Each section is arranged ‘in order of increasing intensity of taste’, and each plate itself is a tiny work of art. Dishes include venison fillet with artichoke puree, sea bass with leek cream, and burrata with sundried tomato, fig and mint. The evening menu consists of a 9 or 10 course tasting menu which can be paired with wines. Visitors dine surrounded by fuss-free decor - large windows, white and emerald walls, willow trees in large pots - simple but stylish, just like the food.
Dishes from the a la carte menu range from 5.5-13 euros. The evening tasting menu costs 40 euros, with an additional approximately 30-35 euros for wine pairing.
Location: Vilensky Pereulok, 15
Photo from http://hamletandjacks.ru/
Located in a former jewellery workshop between the luxury department store DLT and the Hermitage, Hamlet + Jacks pioneers modern Russian cooking and shows off the wealth and potential of local ingredients. The menu is divided into two sections of artfully beautiful dishes. The ‘Ours’ section uses ingredients solely from Russian farmers, creating dishes such as Sakhalin scallops with ceps and pine nuts, charcoal-grilled Voronezh beef with artichokes and horseradish. ‘Ours+Theirs’ complements local ingredients with international products in fusion dishes like quinoa with langoustines, coconut and coriander, and pike and foie gras dumplings in a creamy mushroom sauce. Exposed stone from floor to ceiling and elegant glass chandeliers decorates the inside, and in summer a leafy terrace spills onto the street.
Dishes cost between 4-13 euros; wine starts at 5 euros for a glass and 27 euros for a bottle.
Location: Volynskiy Pereulok, 2
Photo from https://www.restorating.ru/
Mindal (which means ‘almond’ in Russian) is located in a mansion on the glamorous English Embankment of the River Neva. Diners enjoy Georgian cuisine in a fine dining setting, surrounded by elegant decor, white tablecloths and chandeliers. Authentic Georgian ingredients are used in dishes such as juicy khinkhali dumplings, veal with porcini mushrooms, rich beef brisket stew with walnuts and tomatoes, and the enormous portions of food are perfect for sharing. Mindal is the ideal setting for a romantic meal or a family gathering, and live music and attentive and friendly waiters round off the ideal dining experience.
Starters and salads range from 3.5-11 euros, mains from 8.5-20 euros. Wines start from 4 euros for a glass, and 25 for a bottle.
Location: Angliiskaia Embankment, 26
Photo from http://bekitzer.ru/
One of St. Petersburg’s most popular restaurants is located on one of its most fashionable streets. Bekitzer’s name means ‘succinctly’ in Hebrew - a fitting name, as the restaurant serves incredibly flavourful Middle Eastern street food, tapas-style plates jam packed with flavour and perfect for a quick bite or a long sociable meal. Dishes include probably the best falafel and shakshuka in the city, as well as unique combinations such as lamb with harissa kimchi, tahini and mango pickle, and Israeli-style fish and chips. The menu comfortably accommodates vegetarian and vegan tastes and has a handy glossary for unfamiliar food items. After a night spent sharing small plates, listening to live music, and enjoying the bustling city centre atmosphere, you will leave glowing. It is even possible to purchase Middle Eastern spices to take home with you. Bekitzer’s decor perfectly complements the atmosphere: a sleek wooden bar, graffiti, colourful panels bisecting the walls, and table arrangements giving a sense of communal dining.
All dishes cost between an incredibly reasonable 2-6 euros; cocktails from 6-8 euros, and wines from just over 4 euros for a glass.
Location: Rubenstein Street, 40/11
Photo from http://birchrest.com/
The birch tree is the symbol of Russia. It is interesting, then, that Birch’s menu combines many different cultures from around the world - from Italian, to barbecue, to Chinese - effortlessly concocted by four innovative chefs. In 2018, GQ designated Birch as one of Russia’s best restaurants. The menu is reasonably priced with unpretentious dishes such as ravioli with pumpkin and black truffle, veal with morels and caramelised onion, and salmon ceviche with avocado and radish. There is also a two-person twelve-course set menu offered daily. Smooth wooden tables, a warm grey interior with polished metal sidings and stylish ceiling ornaments adorn the restaurant; Birch has also won a prize for its interior design. As well as the main dining hall, diners have the opportunity to eat at the open kitchen and observe the chefs work their magic.
Starters and soups range from a very reasonable approximately 3-8.5 euros; mains from 7-9 euros; wine by the glass from 4.5-7 euros, and 37 euros for a bottle.
Location: Kirochnaia Ulitsa, 3
Photo from https://www.restoran.ru/
Tartarbar is the second restaurant of the famed chef couple behind another of St. Petersburg’s best restaurants, the aptly named Duo. Chef Dmitry Blinov explained their dedication to providing dishes that diners cannot find in other restaurants, but also that are not too fussy to be appreciated. Dishes are primarily meat-based: tartars, ceviche and tataki, meat, fish and seafood; unique combinations such as venison tartare with sulguni, duck with hummus and shiitake, or halibut with goat’s cheese. Tartarbar provides an authentic dining experience - there is no WiFi, and there is a large open kitchen. Decor is warm, with wood, exposed brick, and a huge chandelier.
Starters range from around 5.5-9 euros, mains from 6.5-10.5 euros. Wine by the glass costs 4.5-9 euros, 27 euros for a bottle
Location: Vilensky Pereulok, 15
Photo from https://www.the-village.ru/
CoCoCo was included in the Forbes’ list of the 10 coolest places to eat in 2019. And quite right: seasonal ingredients from the Leningrad region are crafted into something truly special by award-winning chef, Igor Grishechkin. He narrates the twists and turns of Russian history through his dishes, from Imperial splendour, to Soviet simplicity, to his present-day revitalisation of Russian cuisine. The breakfast menu offers simple buckwheat porridge as well as crab omelette and quail’s egg shakshuka, and the a la carte menu beetroot gravlax with farmer’s cheese, rabbit dumplings, and catfish with seaweed sauce. For extra luxury, indulge in the 11-course tasting menu with complimentary wines, or even the once-per-week chef’s table. Luxurious interiors of velvet, gold and crystal accompany CoCoCo’s splendid dishes.
Starters are between 3-13.5 euros; mains between 9-18 euros. Cocktails cost between 8.5-10 euros, and wines from 7 euros by the glass and 38 euros by the bottle. Tasting menu is 60 euros, plus 45 euros for wine.
Location: Saint Petersburg Admiralteysky Canal Embankment, 2
Photo from https://www.the-village.ru/
Duo Asia is the prizewinning creation of the chefs behind Tartarbar, Dmitri Blinov and Renat Malikov. The menu is a fusion of many different cuisines influenced by fresh Asian styles. Mouth-watering dishes include scallop sashimi with watermelon radish, shrimp tacos with tomatoes and lemongrass, and octopus in black-bean sauce, as well as poke bowls, tempura and dumplings. The restaurant decor is gorgeously sleek, minimalistic and monochromatic, save for subtle wall art by world-famous local artist, Pokras Lampas. The open kitchen occupies pride of place in the restaurant’s centre.
Smaller dishes range from around 5.5-8 euros, whilst meat and fish mains range from 7-13.5 euros. Wine by the glass is from 4.5 euros, and by the bottle from 27 euros.
Location: Ulitsa Rubensteina, 20
Photo from https://tomesto.ru/
Named after the famous opera by Rimsky-Korsakov, Sadko is suitably located opposite the Mariinsky Theatre. Some of Sadko’s staff are students at the nearby St. Petersburg Conservatory, who break into song for diners on weekends. Iconic Russian dishes fill Sadko’s menu, a delightful introduction to Russian cuisine for those visiting. Diners can enjoy traditional Russian salads such as Olivier and ‘herring under a fur coat’, luxury dishes like grilled sturgeon and venison medallions, or even unusual items like bear dumplings and grilled elk. Zhostovo designs inspired by traditional Russian folk art adorn the arches and furniture of the restaurant, and red flowered chandeliers made of Venetian Murano glass hang from the vaulted ceilings. Sadko is a truly special and impressive restaurant, ideal for special occasions such as after watching a performance at the Mariinsky Theatre.
Starters range from 3.5-14 euros and mains 7-18 euros. Wine by the glass costs from 5 euros, and from 31 euros for a bottle.
Location: Ulitsa Glinki, 2
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