Put aside your preconceptions: Russian food is not all about cabbage soup and caviar. Russia’s restaurant scene is in the midst of a gastronomic revolution, with St Petersburg at the centre of it all. From traditional tsarist institutions to modern fusion cuisine, these are our recommendations for the best Russian restaurants in St Petersburg.
Nevsky Prospect, 57, St Petersburg
Universally accredited as one of the finest Russian restaurants in St Petersburg, the prestigious Imperial Restaurant does not disappoint. Delectable portions of European and Russian cuisine, including traditional classics such as borsch and beef stroganoff, are framed against elegant windows overlooking the Nevsky Prospect below.
Sadovaya Street, 12, St Petersburg
It goes without saying that Tsar does Russian fine dining like no other. This opulent establishment comprises beautiful rooms of gilded grandeur, where traditional Russian appetisers are served with a pleasant humility.
Radishcheva Street, 10, St Petersburg
Inspired by the famous household cookbook of Yelena Molokhovets (Russia’s answer to Mrs Beeton), Mechta Molokhovets serves up traditional specialties that will make you miss your babushka.
Tverskaya Street, 12, St Petersburg
Named for sonorous, turn-of-the-century Russian opera star Feodor Chaliapin, this St Petersburg restaurant serves fine dining fare suitable for the most preening of primadonnas. Start with caviar-topped blinis and house-smoked sturgeon before indulging in porcini-topped chicken Kiev
Petropavlovskaya Street, 4, St Petersburg
While its name may impart associations of literary glitz, Chekhov is actually pleasantly rustic (no white tablecloths or over-the-top chandeliers here). You can just imagine the city’s literati filling its cosy wooden booths or having a go at the piano in the corner. Or dining on hearty fare such as beef stroganoff and magret de canard.