You can dispel any unfavorable ideas you may have of Russian cooking; St Petersburg is packed full of interesting and diverse restaurants.
The dining scene is a mixture of traditional restaurants recreating the atmosphere of Imperial Russia and modern, trendy establishments appealing to the new generation of affluent Russians.
Francesco was the first real Italian family restaurant in St Petersburg. The restaurant’s menu is designed in a peculiar way.
It consists of exclusively original home recipes which distinguishes it from other restaurants. It is not only the rare spices but also the spirit of sunny Italia that add to the flavor of each dish.
The heart of the restaurant is its warm atmosphere. The restaurant resembles a cozy dining room perfect for gathering together relatives and family friends. Francesco is first and foremost a large hospitable house with its own well-loved and time-honored traditions. The interior of Francesco was created by the Instudio design studio in Moscow, with furniture brought specially from Italy. Everything represents the concept of the establishment with its unique homelike coziness – large soft couches, beautiful chairs, mirrors in heavy hand-made wooden frames, golden candlesticks and wrought iron lamps.
Francesco is a place where you can find delicious meals, celebrate glorious events and feel part of a big friendly family.
Open from: 12pm until the last guests leave
Cards accepted: MasterCard, Visa, Maestro
+7 812 275 0552
Suvorovskiy Prospect 47, St Petersburg
Style / Ambiance: Situated in the Hotel Moika 22 Kempinksi, Beau Rivage has earned a reputation for flawlessly creating the experience of dining in France.
This elegant and sophisticated establishment provides exemplary classical French cuisine to the city’s wealthy patrons, who turn up for the intimate atmosphere and classy décor which perfectly complements the fine food on offer. As you would expect from a top-class eatery, the wine list is excellent and the service impeccable. The restaurant also offers a fantastic breakfast menu for those who like to start their day with some delicious French cuisine. A place for romantics, this restaurant is as popular with critics as it is with the well-to-do Russian society.
Anna Khanina, Director of Revenue and Marketing
+7 812 335 9111
Moika River Embankment 22, 191186
Style / Ambiance: One of the leading restaurants in St Petersburg, L’Europe melds elegant turn-of-the-century décor with impeccable haute cuisine.
Located in the lavish Grand Hotel Europe, the restaurant has established a reputation for dining excellence. The sumptuous dishes on offer blend European and Russian cuisine, and combined with the fantastic Art Nouveau interior, create a dining experience fit for a Tsar. Live music, including the trademark Tchaikovsky night which takes place every Friday, makes for a memorable dining experience. Don’t miss the spectacular Sunday caviar and champagne brunch, an event which attracts the city’s elite.
Irina Khlopova, Public Relations Manager
+7 812 329 6000
Nevsky Prospekt, Mikhailovskaya Ulitsa 1/7, 191186
Style / Ambiance: The announcement that world-famous chef Alain Ducasse would be opening a miX restaurant at the W St Petersburg hotel was met with widespread enthusiasm from the city’s food critics.
The arrival of a top-class chef meant that the city could be now considered as a center of culinary excellence, which will in turn encourage restaurateurs to establish themselves in St Petersburg. MiX restaurant blends art and contemporary design to create a stylish atmosphere that appeals to a young, trendy crowd, while the large chandelier and open kitchen add to the sense of modern luxury. The food is French Cuisine, and unsurprisingly of a high quality.
Samantha Hunter, Director of Beverages and Food
+7 812 610 6161
Voznesensky Prospekt, 6
Cuisine: Japanese / Italian
Style / Ambiance: As a popular destination for the city’s social elite, Ginza is one of the trendiest restaurants in St Petersburg.
The restaurant offers an eclectic mix of Japanese and Italian food, with a primary emphasis on Japanese culinary influences, although traditional recipes have been tweaked to perfectly suit European tastes. Since it opened in 2003, the restaurant has been the choice of the St Petersburg jet set with a taste for high-quality food. The atmosphere of the restaurant is laid-back, with a simple interior design and friendly staff. It’s not just fine dining on offer at Ginza, however; the restaurant has been known to throw some of the hottest parties in St Petersburg.
Cuisine: Modern European
Style / Ambiance: With the reputation of a threetime winner of the most luxurious restaurant in St Petersburg, you could be forgiven for expecting something a little special from the Taleon.
After all, in a city well known for its opulence, luxury in St Petersburg has a different meaning to that of other cities. Thankfully, the Taleon club does not disappoint; the rooms are inspired by the reign of Louis XVI and the Russian Empire, and with renaissance paintings hung on the ornate walls, the grandeur of the room would have suited Catherine the Great herself. Chef Alexander Dregolsky provides innovative European fare, presented beautifully by the immaculately attentive staff. The wine list is one of the finest in the city, and includes several fine cognacs and cigars. It is worth visiting the restaurant during the day; the Sunday morning caviar, lobster and champagne brunch is famous throughout the city.
+7 812 324 9911
Nevsky Prospekt 15, 191186
Style / Ambiance: Russkaya Rybalka or the ‘Russian Fishing’ restaurant is one of the most charming eateries in St Petersburg.
Set in a picturesque wooden hut overlooking a lake teeming with fish, guests catch their own dinner. Trout, sturgeon, carp, crayfish and starlet are among the options, and once caught the chef will prepare it for you in a number for different ways, such as smoked or baked on charcoal. Bait, tackle, rods and expert advice are all provided by the friendly staff, and the restaurant also offers the option of renting small heated wooden huts as well as eating in the main building. Fishing is even possible in the winter due to heated pools, and there are plenty of fish in the restaurant for those unlucky enough not to catch something. The restaurant’s atmosphere is fun and family-oriented, and the food is delicious, homecooked fare of such a standard that Vladimir Putin and Jacques Chirac have both been guests.
Cuisine: Traditional Russian
Style / Ambiance: Naming a lavish, luxurious restaurant in St Petersburg Tsar may be akin to naming a similarly-styled eatery in London Queen Victoria’s, but fortunately this restaurant is not another attempt to recreate the splendor of the Tsarist times.
While the décor of the restaurant will bring to mind late 19th and early 20th century Russia, the enthusiasm of the waiting staff and the innovative menu help to transform the restaurant into a welcoming and classy dining facility. Elegant, sophisticated food is on offer with a modern twist, and clientele inside are usually cigar-smoking businessmen completing multi-million dollar deals and stylish women dressed in the latest fashions. The wine list has been expertly concocted by the sommelier, and there’s even the option to try vodka the way Alexander III preferred. The success of the restaurant lies in that it does not make you feel like a Tsar, more like the modern equivalent.
Style / Ambiance: Situated in one of the trendier districts of St Petersburg and with a roof top view to rival Bellevue, the Terrassa is one of the city’s most stylish restaurants.
A place to see and be seen, the restaurant is supremely elegant, providing guests the chance to dress to impress, and many other guests will be clad in the latest fashions of Russia’s cultural capital. The food is an exciting blend of fusion cuisine and traditional European, and with the open plan kitchen, it is possible to watch the dishes being prepared. The wine list and service are equally excellent. Popular with locals and visitors alike, it is always best to book ahead at Terrassa; the top seats near the windows provide stunning views over the Kazansky Cathedral, and while sitting on the terrace that the restaurant is named for may not always be possible in the colder months, it provides a delightful option in the summer.
Cuisine: European / Russian
Style / Ambiance: As with many of the top restaurants in St Petersburg, Davidov provides contemporary European fare alongside traditional Russian dishes.
What sets the Davidov apart is the culinary attention to detail; traditional European and Russian dishes are transformed into exquisite delicacies worthy of the elite of Russian society. Trendy yet sophisticated, the elegant décor is based around simple, pale colors and comfortable furnishings. With an excellent wine list and wonderful views over the majestic St Isaac’s Square, the Davidov is popular with the St Petersburg elite.
Lars Heemann, Food & Beverage Director
+7 812 494 5757
Bolshaya Morskaya, 39, 190000
Cuisine: Mediterranean / Russian
Style / Ambiance: The Bellevue may just be the most aptly named restaurant in the whole of Russia.
Situated at the top of the Hotel Moika 22 Kempinksi, the restaurant boasts an unparalleled view over some of the finest buildings in the city; the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, the Hermitage Museum, the golden-dome of St Isaac’s Cathedral and the Church on Spilled Blood are all visible from the breathtaking 360-degree window. The food is just as spectacular as the view; Chef Philippe Boussert mixes classic European fare with Asian influences in addition to more traditional Russian dishes. The wine list is impressive and the décor modern.
Anna Khanina, Director of Revenue and Marketing
+7 812 335 9111
Moika River Embankment 22, 191186
Cuisine: Traditional Russia
Style / Ambiance: One of the oldest restaurants in St Petersburg is also easily one of the city’s finest.
The modern day Palkin is built on the site of the original, legendary restaurant, a place that became a haven for aristocrats and intellectuals such as Tchaikovsky, Chekhov, and Dostoyevsky, who are all known to have visited the restaurant. Nowadays, the restaurant is still the place to be for the city’s elite. Palkin features sumptuous interior designs that recall the bygone era of Russian decadence under the Tsars and food of the highest quality, with chefs able to re-create opulent dishes from the past. This highly popular establishment is always likely to be busy so it is best to book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Style / Ambiance: Offering classic, authentic Armenian cuisine, the restaurant – named after the Armenian capital, matches its menu with simple, traditional interiors.
While in Russia, Erivan is the perfect place to explore the culinary traditions of Armenia. The restaurant consists of three halls, each having its own ‘face’.The small hall is ethnic, filled with ancient Armenia. Walls are covered with handmade carpets, ornamented cloths, clay utensils, and interior subjects, all The big hall is with a little of the European style, with convenient served tables, made in light golden tones.The VIP-hall is a small cosy drawing room with a library, a fireplace, and 19th century furniture.
There is also a wine bar with the best sorts of wines from all over the world, and from the Armenian winemakers.
+7 812 703 38 20
Leningrad Oblast, Russia, 191011