Having lived in Saint Petersburg for almost 5 years now eating out has been my hobby. I’ve been to many places, so I am confident that with this blog post I can point you in the right direction to discover many culinary treasures that the city has to offer.
Where are the best places to eat in Saint Petersburg? The best places are mostly located in the centre of the city, of course, it depends on what you can afford or desire. Check Below to see various places you can have a nice meal according to your budget.
As it is in many other countries, the dividing line between places to eat and drink is not strictly drawn in Russia, that’s why a few places I mentioned in my article “THE BEST BARS IN SAINT PETERSBURG” will be mentioned again below.
On this Page
- Affordable Meals
- Not so cheap food
As I mentioned in my previous blog post about whether Saint Petersburg is an expensive city, to have a nice meal you don’t need to spend much, but we can say the more you spend the more quality you will get. But first, let’s focus on the cheapest options the city has to offer.
Canteens (столовые) are all over the city, without a doubt this is the best option to get a decent and affordable meal in Saint Petersburg if you’re travelling on a budget. Years back canteens used to have a very horrible interior, but nowadays canteens make efforts to attract customers not only with affordable meals, but also by creating an attractive and conducive environment for customers.
Stolovaya number 1 (Столовая номер 1)
Stolovaya 1 currently operates 12 canteens in Saint Petersburg. The remarkable thing is that this establishment openly use the soviet past style of advertisement of posting posters on walls, the style which clearly reminds you of old Soviet propaganda. But it’s all done in a tongue-in-cheek way.They have in place a Soviet slogan that suits their establishment: “Nobody has cancelled lunchtime!”
Stolovaya 1 is a great place if you’re on a budget. But think twice about going there around dinnertime, it gets super busy! The food is here is safe and affordable but of low quality, which of course it would be strange to expect very high quality with the low prices they maintain. You can see some of their prices on the Instagram picture below.
Prices: partly shown on the image above.
Obed Bufet, this means “Lunch Bufet” in English. As you can tell by looking at the opening times, they don’t just serve lunch, you can also go here for breakfast or dinner. Obed Bufet is like the luxurious version of Stolovaya 1, which I discussed earlier in this blog post above. The packaging and the quality of their food are better in my opinion. But it is also significantly more expensive.
Obed bufet is part of the Ginza group, which I discuss below.
Insider’s tip: As I mentioned, Obed Bufet is not such a cheap place. However, after 21:00 hour, they offer discounts up to 50% on the food! You’d better be prepared to stand in line if you want to take advantage of this discount. It’s the time every customer is waiting for.
Surely according to the literal meaning, canteens also offer fast food. I, however, associate fast food with being not very healthy, so I put them in a separate category.
International fast food restaurant chains
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We have various famous international restaurants in Saint Petersburg. Like, McDonalds, Burger King andPizza hut. It is very likely that they are a bit cheaper here than in your country. You can go there sometime if you’re homesick, but Saint Petersburg has so much better things to offer.
Russian Fast Food Chains
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Now, the Russian fast food chains are a bit more interesting. There are a lot of them, I will briefly point out a view.
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What is the most Russian version of fast food? The answer is obvious. It is surely pancake restaurants.
Teremok is the biggest pancake restaurant in Russia. In 2017 they even made a big move abroad by opening a restaurant in New York City, but within a year they took their losses and left the American market. However, in Russia, they are still going strong.
At Teremok they are very confident about their creativity. They very much tried to position themselves as traditionally Russian and healthy. According to the founder, Mikhail Goncharov, his mother is in charge of coming up with new recipes and deciding which new bliny to add to the menu. At first, I believed this, but then my Russian friends told me that saying this about his mother was just a marketing strategy. And I think he was right. Because of the negative notions people have about fast food, Teremok claims not to be fast food. Whether they are or not is a question of semantics, more than anything else.
Chaynaya Lozhka (Чайная Ложка)
Chaynaya Lozhka, or in English “the teaspoon” is Teremok’s most important competitor. Unlike Teremok, they are only active in Saint Petersburg and the adjacent Leningradskaya Oblast. To be honest, the bliny at Chaynaya Lozhka are very much like the ones at Teremok. The main difference between the two rivals is that at Chaynaya Lozhka they have a lot of tea for good prices.
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I know that sushi is not a Russian dish. Sushi is however immensely popular in Russia and Saint Petersburg is no exception.
Dve Palochki (две палочки)
In my opinion, the issue with Dve Palochki (which literally means two chopsticks) is that, they want to be everything at the same time. The so-called Eurasian cuisine, yes! you can get Sushi here, Steak, Hamburgers and even Pizza. My advice would be to just stick to the sushi, which they do very well and decently. Ooh and be generous when tipping, the waiters are not being paid well.
Eurasia is also one of many sushi shop spots. Unfortunately, as of lately they have become a bit obnoxious in the way they try to make customers come back. The waiters always insist that you should get their loyalty card, which gives you up to a 50% discount on every item on the menu. In fact, prices without a loyalty card are just too high. For me buying loyalty card is a no, because I’m not a fan.
Street food, according to the normal definition, is food which is sold on the street. I think I should tell you that the weather condition in Saint Petersburg is very harsh and not conducive for eating out on the street. Saint Petersburg is Just like other Russian cities, street food has been merged with small eateries that serve mostly foreign snacks, like tacos, wraps and burgers.
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This beautiful city has a lot of hamburger spots. Maybe a bit too many. It becomes harder and harder to distinguish one from the other due to similarities in branding. Let me give you a little overview to different Hamburger spots in Saint Petersburg;
There are 5 Bureau Burger joints in the city, but the one on Zhukovkogo Street is the central one, which is the one I prefer. But the location on the Vasilyevsky Island is a lot more spacious and nicer.
Like Teremok, Bureau, doesn’t want to be associated with fast food. They serve what they call ‘gastronomic burgers’.
Price of a burger: from 320 rubles
Price of a beer (own brand): 250 rubles
As you may have guessed from the name, on Nevsky Prospekt 20 there used to be a bookstore. Actually, a very strange bookstore, which used to be open 24/7, I always wonder who would go there.
When the city Saint Petersburg, the owner of the building wanted to raise the rent the bookstore had to move out. It came Biblioteka. Biblioteka is an interesting place with a unique environment, great views from the windows on the first and second floor. But if you desire to have a burger, the first floor is the place to be.
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The entrance to Biblioteka on Nevsky prospekt.
Price of a burger: from 350 rubles
Price of french fries: 150 rubles
Price of a small beer: 180 rubles
Asian street food in Saint Petersburg
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Fortunately, the presence of low-quality sushi restaurants in Saint Petersburg is slow but steadily seeing that small competitors offer more interesting Asian food than they do. A good example is Pho ‘n’ roll.
Pho ‘n’ roll
Address: Ulitsa Zhukovskogo 27
Opening times: 12 am – 12 pm
Actually, Pho ‘n’ roll has 3 (soon 4) more locations in the centre of Saint Petersburg, all of which are indicated in their Instagram account below.
If you want a good Vietnamese soup with good seasoning, you will surely enjoy this sympathetic restaurant. A good bowl of Fo Bo soup will set you back at just 320 rubles. Seriously if you’re not very hungry this will be a complete meal for you. Although, apparently these parts are even bigger in Vietnam.
Price of a bowl of Fo Bo: 320 rubles
Price of a glass of homemade mors: 90 rubles
Baraka, philosophical cafe
Address: Ulitsa Kazanskaya 10 (Google Maps)
Baraka is a vegetarian restaurant. If you’re a vegetarian or if you just enjoy having a vegetarian dish, once in a while, like myself, you should visit this nice and affordable place. Actually, with the buffet, Baraka might as well be placed in the canteen category.
Price of a meal: around 300 rubles
Price of a drink: from 60 rubles
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Anywhere in the city that will cost you 1000 rubles is categorized under this.
To Ginza or not to Ginza
The restaurant world in Saint Petersburg is very much dominated by the Ginza Group. According to their own website, the Ginza Group is: an international restaurant group, owning and managing more than a hundred restaurants in St. Petersburg, Moscow, New York and London. It opens around a few new places every year and actively exploits new markets and directions.
The good thing about Ginza restaurants is that they will usually not go below standard. What I don’t like about them is that they are numerous in the city. Many of them are very similar to each other.
Ginza Group restaurants are usually located in very good locations, so if you don’t enjoy the food, you will at least enjoy the environment.
If you are not sure of the location of this restaurant, you can easily miss your way there. Mansarda is located on the top floor of one of the Gazprom buildings. The restaurant’s main asset is a wonderful panoramic view of the Isaac Cathedral. The food at Mansarda is good, it meets Ginza standards, but it is not that interesting and not the reason why many people choose to visit the place in my opinion.
Just like other restaurants that belong to the Ginza Holding, the menu is too much. You just know that it is impossible that they only use fresh products trying to maintain such a wide range menu. But, as I said, this place is worth visiting for the view.
Price of a meal: average 2500 rubles according to their website
Business lunches: no
Terasa, also one of the best views in town
Address: Kazanskaya Ulitsa, 3А (google maps)
Opening times: Mon. – Fri.: from 11.00 till 01.00
Sut. – Sun.: from 12.00 till 01.00
While Mansarda offers you a great view of the Isaac Cathedral, Teresa offers a view of the Kazan Cathedral, which is also a very interesting piece of architecture. WWhereas the view from Terasa might be able to compete with that from the windows of Mansarda, the menu at Terasa contains even more items. Which as I said, for me is not a plus. I really prefer restaurants which only offer a few dishes, but with fresh ingredients.
Both Terasa and Mansarda offer luxurious environments, although they are not very expensive either. You should be aware of ladies sitting in these places that are usually just having a drink and attractively asking you to join them. They may be scammers looking for gullible guys. Check out my blog post about the main scam in the nightlife of Saint Petersburg to find out how to recognise these scammers.
Business lunches: no
Address: Konyushennaya Ploschad 2
Monday – Thursday
Friday – Saturday
Jamie’s is part of the Ginza Holding, but unlike many other members of the Ginza Group, Jaimie’s has made a clear choice about what they have to offer and who they want to be: which is a very good Italian Restaurant.
Unfortunately during my recent visit to this restaurant, in April 2019 I noticed the quality had dropped a bit, it’s still ok anyway. Their dishes are not really exceptional; but they are good classic Italian kitchen.
Business lunches: yes, but only during the off-season
Katyusha, Russian kitch
Address: Nevsky prospekt 22/24 (google maps)
Opening times: 12 pm till 1 am
Name: As you might have known, the diminutive of the Russian name Yekaterina is Katya. Russian is a very creative language and it allows the speakers to create a further diminutive. Katyusha is further a diminutive of the diminutive Katya. You may call this a super diminutive.
At Katyusha, the waitresses are dressed in traditional Russian dresses and everything in this place is supposed to be traditionally Russian. It seems like they put every cliché they could find about Russian culture in there, but foreign tourists love it. Every Saturday night there is a show, where the waitresses dance and sing. As far as I am aware it is almost always sold out. So if you would like to see this show, you should book in advance.
Obviously they only serve Russian dishes at Katyusha. Lots of Borsch and other Russian soups. The food is good, but not extraordinary. I’d say you probably don’t want to go to Katyusha just for the food. It’s the environment that makes the place interesting.
Price of a meal (without drinks): 1300 rubles Price of a drink:
Business lunches: only during the off-season
Address: Kazanskaya Ulitsa, 3A (in the same building as Terrasa)
Su – We
12:00 – 01:00
Th – Sa
12:00 – 02:00
Name: the name of this place doesn’t leave anything in the unclear: this is a steakhouse
Service: Katyusha is not the only place where waiters can do more than serving meal and drinks. The waiters at Ribeye may be even more talented than their colleagues across the street at Katyusha. During the performance at Ribeye, the waiters sing and dance and it is actually quite impressive.
A good place, but a good steak is never cheap, you should keep that in mind. You can have burger, which is cheaper, but if you’re going to such a nice place you might want to order a good piece of meat.
Price of a steak: from 2200 rubles
Business Lunches: no
There is more than Ginza to Saint Petersburg restaurant life. Although I have to admit that I had to think hard for a moment before I came up with some names. Because in the very centre of the city Ginza is very dominant.
Locale (Italian Bistro)
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Address: Vladimirsky prospect 19 (at metro stations Vladimirskaya and Dostoyevskaya)
Opening times: Sunday-Thursday 11 am – 11 pm, Friday and Saturday 11 am – 1 am
Average Price of a Meal: around 500 rubles for a main course.
If you’re familiar with Saint Petersburg restaurant life, you’ll know that a different restaurant used to be located at this location about a year ago. Locale is an Italian restaurant and recently it was rebranded. It used to be a spot for burgers, and a good place to watch sports. It has become a brighter place.
Draft cocktails, is one of the attractions that are now available at Locale after the rebranding. The cocktails are being dispensed through a tap and are being sold for 350 rubles and more. It may be an interesting concept, but apparently the technique has not yet perfect been perfected, sometimes there is need to stir a bit more by yourself, or else all the alcohol will settle at the base of your glass.
Besides cocktails, they also have 10 different types of beer dispenses through tap. The menu is presented in a fancy way: one page for the food and the other for the drink, simple and beautiful.
If you visit this place, you absolutely must try the lemon tart with meringue dessert (290 rubles), which is just absolutely delicious.
If you’ve lived in Saint Petersburg for a while now, you should be familiar with the fruit store Fruktovaya Lavka, with stores all over the city; they offer much better fruit than any other supermarket. The Italian restaurant Amo Cuccinare, is also their project.
Like Fruktovaya Lavka, Amo also offers high-quality dishes. So you can be sure you are getting a quality meal from any order you make. The restaurant is close to two of the city halls: The Saint Petersburg Philharmonia and The Saint Petersburg Capella and is, therefore, a good place for a light dinner after a show.
What some people don’t like so much about Amo Cuccinare, besides the price, is the close arrangement of their tables which gives no room for privacy.
If you’re in way familiar with the Russian music scene you had probably seen, Mathilda Shnurova, the owner of Cococo. She recently divorced Sergey Shnurov the frontman of Leningrad, one of Russia’s most popular bands.
Cococo is probably the most interesting restaurant I have been to in Saint Petersburg. On the one hand, the place is run very professionally. On the other hand, they take a very artistic approach to preparing and presenting their dishes. You might even say a tongue-in-cheek approach, which I think is great. If you enjoy eating out in style, but are a bit tired of upper-class establishments that take themselves a bit too seriously, Cococo is the place for you.
If you’re brave we recommend you try their famous 11 course tasting menu. Here very sophisticated dishes may be alternated by a dish where you just served bread or a popsicle!
With the entire restaurant tour guide I have given, you should be able to locate where to enjoy a decent and affordable meal in Saint Petersburg. Surely, some places worth mentioning have been omitted, you can’t mention them all. But I hope this post has inspired you to go out there and try some of Saint Petersburg’s great food treasures.
If you had been to Saint Petersburg, I would appreciate it if you leave a comment below about your favorite food in the city and why.