Moscow is not only a city that never sleeps, it is a metropolis that eats 24 hours a day. So much so that venue websites often publish their “opening hours” as being: from 12 to the last customer”. Who can refuse a spoonful of caviar to those crossing the threshold at 3 in the morning or hungry customers seeking breakfast at 5 am?
The Russian capital offers top notch restaurants whose origins date back to the lavish cuisine of the Tsarist period mingled with peasant fare. But how much does it cost to enjoy the luxurious Moscow night life? In town, you can eat like a Tsar, no matter what your budget is.
Here are some tips to explore more luxurious side of the town, to discover where to eat in Moskow with some ideas for experiences you can enjoy while spending up to 25, 50 or 100 euros.
From 0 to 25 Euros
The Mercedes bar, inside the Radisson Royal Hotel, is a good place to go to get an overall impression of the city from its privileged location on the 31st floor. The interiors are furnished in the Art Deco style of New York City in the 1930s. Open from 18 to 6 in the morning, it serves signature cocktails and a few artfully prepared dishes: teriyaki salmon or chicken are particularly popular with its patrons.
But it is possible to go even higher. Try the City Space Bar&Restaurant, on the 34th floor of the Swissotel Krasnye Holmy. Here everything looks smaller and lighter seen from a height of 150 metres from ground level, including the fish and vegetable tempura with Asian sauce or barbecued chicken with rice, honey and sesame by chef Dmitry Stolbov (2 courses 1450 rubles, 20 Euros approximately).
From 25 to 50 Euros
At Lavka Lavka’s the food follows the seasons, with the maximum respect for producers and tradition. This is a farm to table restaurant. Here luxury means eating a different dish every day which bears the name of the farmer who has produced it. So, the starters include cheese varieties from the region of Smolensk produced by Lubov Gorbacheva and pickled onions from Irina Serebryakova’s farm.
Even the beer is brewed in Russia: it comes from a number of micro breweries dotted around between Saint Petersburg and Dedovsk, in the Moscow Oblast. If you are fond of free-range chicken, order a Chicken Breast of «Careful Preparation» by breeder Timofey Kravchunovskiy, with juniper sauce, accompanied with pearl barley porridge by Pavel Abramov (Tula region) with mint and cilantro leaves (approximately 10 Euros per portion).
The White Rabbit is the venue many foodies head for when in Moscow in order to experience this ambitious restaurant project which occupies the 15th place of the 50 Best Restaurants list. It is a magnificent restaurant with a view of the Seven Sisters, the seven iconic skyscrapers of the Muscovite skyline. Chef Vladimir Mukhin is one of the pioneers of new contemporary Russian cuisine, having revolutionized Borscht, the traditional Russian soup. Try it for yourself; he serves it with tossed beans, fried crucians and sour cream. You can also afford to indulge in a few tiny sandwiches with caviar, rabbit paté and foie gras: allocate about 15 Euros to each course.
From 50 to 100 Euros
It would be unthinkable to leave Moscow without having a caviar experience. Such as the one offered by the Beluga Restaurant, the Russian delicatessen & caviar brasserie on the second floor of the Hotel National Moscow, whose famous owner is Alexander Rappoport. In what is one of the most award-winning venues of the world, created by interior designer Anastasia Panibratova, you can really go to town with over a dozen types of caviar to choose from. Pricey Beluga Iranian caviar costs 9,000 rubles per portion. But the menu also contemplates a “taste” of 25 grams of caviar served on a silver teaspoon. With 100 Euros to spend, you can taste a couple washed down with a small glass of vodka. The prices are just about affordable despite the sumptuous furnishings and the lavish products on the menu.
The place where the Russian aristocracy made history is the legendary Cafè Pushkin, set in the heart of the capital, in a baroque building on Tverskoj Boulevard. Opened in 1992, it is as much an institution as the Bolshoi Theatre and the Kremlin. Its interiors are like a stage set. Black caviar, Imperial Ukha (fish soup), delicious salmon served with ginger flavoured vodka and home-made preserves: all of which is accompanied by Aleksandr Pushkin’s poetry. One of the iconic dishes is stuffed Russian dumplings served in a sauce. Be prepared to pay an average of 30 Euros for each dish and if this is not sufficiently filling, just enjoy the atmosphere.