Entering these restaurants be ready to explore Russian folk-shows, the traditional interiors of different and, of course, to eat tasty traditional food and try Russian drinks.
Some of the places are considered to be the “tourist ones” due to a big number of tourists sitting there and eating obligatory sets of non-extraordinary food. I would recommend you to look at the ratings of the restaurant- searching engines (including trip advisor and other good websites) and to try visiting the restaurants for enjoying the folk shows and eating a la cart (some restaurants accept exact bank cards and do not have shows on a daily basis, check that information while booking the seats).
This list of restaurants is made according to the Restoclub ratings, some places were verified by me.
1. Тройка -Troika (verified by me, I liked it!). Russian and European cuisine. Rating 9,4 out of 10. Located in Central district.
This is the restaurant with the highest rating and… the highest prices, but everything that is inside worth paying for. If you want to see a folk performance, to eat more than starters and canape, to get acquainted with multinational guests and to dance afterwards – that place is ideally suited for you.
I was there once with several foreigners of different ages and preferences and everyone loved the show.
The booking is required in advance. There is an extra fee for the show (a year ago it was 500r per person). Be sure to check that the show will be performed at the day of your visit.
The restaurant has a confectionery at the side of Razhiezhaya street, it is not expensive at all.
2) Ресторан-кабаре “Нэп” – restaurant-cabaret NEP. Russian and Soviet cuisine. Rating 8,9 out of 10. Located in Central district (not far away from Hermitage).
They have different exciting colorful shows and retro disco of NEP time and years later.
3) Хутор Водограй – Bowery Vodogray. Ukrainian cuisine. Rating 8,1 out of 10. Located in Central district.
They offer a range of food options, the meals are considered to be tasty by people who know how the traditional food should taste. The interior amazes till the moment of receiving tasty food (the oven in the photo is real).
2) Советское кафе “Квартирка”- Soviet cafe “Kvartirka” (means a flat) located on Nevsky Prospect (there are two more of the same chain but their rating is a little bit lower, you can check it). Russian and Soviet cuisine. Rating 8 out of 10. They have the certificate of Excellence on tripadvisor. Located in Central district.
They do not have shows or live singing,but they have well arranged interiors transferring you to Soviet times, tasty meals, good deals and some Soviet table games as dominoes, chess to play.
Rather expensive restaurant. It is decorated stylistically. There are no shows and live music, but the restaurant offers table games to play: such as chess, backgammon, cards, dominoes.
The interior reminds a Ukrainian cottage. There is live singing on Fridays and Saturdays. The place has a lot of good reviews.
3) Советское кафе “Дачники” – Soviet Cafe Dachniki (means cottagers). Russian and Soviet cuisine. Rating 7,6 out of 10. They have the certificate of Excellence on tripadvisor. Located in Central district.
The cafe offers a good variety of options including fish made in the private smokehouse.
The cafe is well decorated in a Soviet way with cuckoo clock, guitar on the wall and the Soviet carpets. Their TV-set is showing soviet comedies, there is Soviet music of 60s-80s, a samovar with cookies, bingo, dominoes, checkers and chess.
2) арт-кафе Сундук – art-cafe Sunduk (food and interior are verified by me, not the show). Russian, European and vegetarian cuisine. Rating 7,5 out of 10. Located in Central district. If the English page doesn’t open, try translating Russian pages on your own.
The interior is full by rare vintage things, but not overwhelmed by that.
They have shows of jazz, blues, Latin, Spanish music on the daily basis, a nice place with a coloring interior.
Корчма сало – Korchma salo (tavern lard) (verified by me, I liked it!). Russian and Ukrainian cuisine. Rating 7,5 out of 10. A very folklore Ukrainian place, that has recently got a certificate of excellence. There is a wide number of food and beverages options.
They have evening performances of Ukrainian folk musicians.
На здоровье (verified by me, I liked the interior but not the business lunch – it had nothing special in taste and was overpriced). Russian, Soviet cuisine. Rating 7,4 out of 10. Located in Petrogradskiy district.
As entertainment they have Russian and Gypsy romances; Russian folk music [balalaika, accordion].
According to the Restoclub reviews some portions can be small and the service slow and sometimes rude but the rating of the places seems to be ok, you can check other search engines if you wish.
A place that is mentioned by Restoclub with 6,2 rating but has good reviews on that search engine and on tripadvisor is Трын-Трава. That is Fast food place-restaurant with a Russian spirit, offering traditional Russian food. the place is well-decorated.
There are folk dances on a daily base there. The best food deal for a foreigner is to try their business-lunch – a decorated cart with a good variety of Russian starters, salads and side dishes – you can have a look at it before making an order.
And here is my favorite cafe from a chain that makes Russian food (especially, pies). They do not have a lot of interior things but offer traditional food. Пироговый Дворик – Pirogoviy Dvorik (a yard of Pies)- they are not mentioned in Restoclub, but have the certificate of Excellence on Tripadvisor and that means a lot. They offer kind of low-priced tasty pies with various stuffings and their interior has elements of folklore. There are no shows there, just the tasty food and budgetary and tasty business-lunches. The best location of the cafe is on Griboyedova Canal – the view over Kazan Cathedral is fabulous. On the 1st floor you can make to-go order, if you wish.
In order to revise in memory all the tasty Russian food, check the article about Russian and Ukrainian food.