A definite highlight of my trip to St Petersburg last month was eating my way through the city’s fabulous food scene. Thanks to my wonderful hosts at the Corinthia Hotel, I dined at some of the most unique and traditional restaurants. From hearty Russian dishes to international cuisines and inventive cocktails, I tried it all! However, I did not have to stray too far from my hotel for great food. The Imperial Restaurant and Café Vienna inside the Corinthia St Petersburg are not to be overlooked, and you can read all about those dining experiences here.
Buterbrodsky is a retro cafe-bar dedicated to Russian Poet, Joseph Brodsky, who was actually born in St Petersburg. The name of the restaurant is a play on words, combining his last name and ‘buterbrod’ which is the Russian word for sandwich. It’s no surprise then that you’ll find an excellent selection of open sandwiches, making it a great lunch spot. I really enjoyed the shabby chic interiors that fit right in with the cool vibe of most restaurants located on Vasilyevsky Island. Elements of the historic building have been beautifully preserved and the modern touches, such as the light fixtures, are the perfect mix. I wouldn’t leave before ordering a drink here, as they serve home-made fruit flavored spirits and their very own beer.
Also located on Vasilyevsky Island, Erarta Restaurant offers traditional Russian dishes with a contemporary twist. We dined here after a lovely visit to the Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art. This was, by far, the best meal I have ever had at a museum restaurant! Along with Russian food, Chef Grebenshikov also specializes in Mediterranean cuisine so I’d highly recommend trying the scallops or prawns if you’re a seafood lover. For a starter, I had the beef tartare with sour cream and kale, and for my main dish I enjoyed the sea brass with sage leafs and capers. The delicious desserts are inspired by the works of art that you can find inside the museum. During our visit, they had Lamborghini art exhibit. If you are visiting during the warmer months, I’d recommend enjoying a meal on their spacious summer terrace.
Kvartirka or, The Soviet Cafe, is a cozy restaurant which many tourists will find fascinating and delicious. Just down the street from the Corinthia Hotel, you will find this cafe on Nevsky Prospekt – St Petersburg’s main street. Kvartirka means “little apartment” and the space is made to look like an apartment from Soviet times. With its historic photos lining the walls, authentic memorabilia, and traditional dishes, I definitely felt transported back in time. For starters, we had the “Draniki” potato pancakes with mushrooms. I had the Pike cutlets garnished with mash potatoes for my delicious main course. For dessert, I highly recommend the Kartoshka pastry which is a Russian rum ball. Although it is a touristy place, the food is worth staying for!
True to its name, Geography takes you on an international culinary journey. Their impressive menu offers a variety of popular Asian dishes like Singapore-style noodles or Szechuan beef. However, you can still find Russian classics here such as homemade dumplings. For dinner, I had the caramelized chicken with baked Asian mushrooms and green buckwheat. Their cocktail menu is equally as impressive with special liqueurs and a menu that changes every season. I really liked the interiors with its vibrant colors, wood and copper elements, and vintage travel posters. If you visit on a weekend, you can enjoy some of Russia’s top DJ’s in the evening.
You’ll find Katyusha right across the street from the beautiful Kazansky Cathedral, making it a great place to enjoy a bite to eat while sightseeing. From floor to ceiling, this restaurant is styled as a late 19th century Cossack House that you’d find in the Ural Mountains. The attention to detail is incredible here and I enjoyed looking around the colorful and cozy rooms. The food here can best be described as Russian comfort food! From homemade dumplings to pies, pancakes, and stews, you certainly won’t leave hungry.
THE SOCIAL CLUB:
With its high ceilings, panoramic windows, and exquisite food, the Social Club is elegant dining at its best. I loved the Art Nouveau interiors just as much as their delicious dishes. My memorable three course lunch here was definitely one of my favorite meals in the city. I started with zucchini carpaccio with truffle sauce and Grana Padano cheese. For my main course, I enjoyed perfectly cooked cod with baked cauliflower and spinach balls with ricotta. Last but not least, I ended with an apple trifle with almond-hazelnut caramel and mascarpone mousse. The combination of the caramel with the mascarpone was to die for!
The Social Club is also a great place to host a small gathering for either a corporate event or private special occasion!
Before visiting St Petersburg, I knew I was going to be blown away by the stunning architecture and world-renowned art. However, the food scene left me just as impressed and I went home with a strong appreciation for Russia’s culinary delights!