Russia

Restaurants in Russia

On warm nights, the roof deck atop the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture & Design is the stomping ground for the city’s freethinking intellectuals and cultural elite.

Dymov opened a chain of high-quality, low-cost, instantly trendy sausage-and-beer halls called Dymov No. 1. "I'm not interested in Ferraris or the Côte d'Azur," he says. "I care about who I am and what I'm doing in life.

Order flaky pirozhki and almond croissants at this neo-Baroque pastry annex of the ever-popular Café Pushkin.

Walls are bedecked with farming tools, and wooden matryoshka dolls adorn every table at this faux-folky shrine to the motherland. The food, however, is sincere and the hearty borscht comes with fluffy pampushkas (garlic rolls).

At this raucous, democratically priced Cossack-themed chain, the food may lack finesse, but the garlic-studded cold pork, sour-creamed braised rabbit, and porcini caps pickled with black-currant leaf are just right with the horseradish-infused vodka.

Simple Things, a year-old café owned by Moscow food maven Katya Drozdova, is the capital's first venue to combine peasant cooking with a gourmet sensibility—inspired by Alice Waters, whom Drozdova met at a Slow Food festival in Italy.

In an era of bombastic interiors and overpriced sushi, locals are grateful for this hidden spot, which faithfully re-creates a 19th-century Russian estate. While Chopin is played on a white piano, waitresses in period dresses deliver exquisite dacha (country house) dishes.