Russian cuisine is really diverse due to historic and geographic factors. There are a lot of interesting Russian national dishes that we highly recommend to try when visiting Moscow. Here is a beginner’s list to the best of Russian food in the best Russian restaurants in Moscow.
Soups are traditionally the most outstanding representatives of Russian cuisine. It is a broth with different combinations of vegetables and meat.
was a favorite soup of Empress Catherine the Great, and nowadays it is still popular among Russians. The invariable basis of this dish is three main vegetables – beets, cabbage and carrots. That is why it has characteristic red color and thickness. Usually, borsch is served with sour cream. You can taste it in the wonderful restaurant “Pushkin” named in honor of the great Russian writer. The interior is made in the spirit of a noble manor. Waiters can even quote some passages from Pushkin’s poems!
Restaurant: Pushkin. Tverskoy Boulevard, 26А.
is another famous Russian soup; there are only three ingredients – fresh fish, carrots and potatoes. However, boiling is a long process. In addition, only special non-oxidizing capacity is used for cooking. The most common types of fish that are used to make ukha are carp, perch and crucian. You need to go to “Beluga” in downtown Moscow, if you want to taste really delicious ukha, because the restaurant specializes in seafood. The place is truly unique: twenty varieties of caviar, the best Russian delicacies, an elegant and witty version of Russian cuisine, a stylish interior and reasonable prices.
Moscow Restaurant: Beluga. Mokhovaya St, 15/1, bld 1.
Most popular Russian food – First course
Pelmeni (meat dumplings)
is without exaggeration the most famous overseas dish of Russian cuisine, which started in the Urals in the late 14th century. Classic “pelmen” is a small piece of minced meat, consisting of beef, lamb, pork, wrapped in unleavened pastry from flour, eggs and water. It was a family tradition nationwide to mold a lot of dumplings together. Restaurant Varenichnaya №1 is the best place for tasting different dumplings: there are more than 20 types of them with different fillings in the menu. Frequent visitors advice to order Siberian pelmeni, you certainly should check it outю
Moscow Restaurant: Varenichnaya #1. Various locations.
not quite a national dish, but it is called Russian in the nomenclature of international restaurant cuisine. It got popular in the end of XIX century and called after the rich Count Stroganov. According to the legend, the wealth Count, like other rich noblemen, held the so-called “open tables” which meant “dinners for everybody”. So, cooks of the count invented a special meal for such dinners: finely chopped pieces of beef, filled with hot sour cream sauce. It had a special taste, it was easily divided into portions of different sizes and was simply prepared.
If the description made your mouth water, go to restaurant Ermak, where you will can try Beef Stroganoff and much more. The interior and exterior of it are stylized as a 14th century house: massive logs, wooden flooring, shutters and platbands on the windows, household utensils of ancient times. Just like in museum! Moreover, folk-musicians play Russian songs on Saturdays.
Another interesting place – restaurant “MariVanna”, which was so in demand that it even came to three cities in the US and London. The interior of the restaurants is stylized as a Soviet apartment with many pets: a cat, a canary and a fish.
Moscow Restaurants:: Ermak: Nizhniye Mnevniki, 41, bld 1, Moscow. MariVanna: Spiridon’yevskiy Pereulok, 10a.
is something which Russian cuisine is inconceivable without, originally, porridge was a symbol of fertility, prosperity. Russians (usually in their childhood) eat porridge for breakfast – it is useful and nutritious, but you will most likely be offered porridge for breakfast at a hotel or a cafe regardless of age. There are a lot of types: manna, pearl, oat, buckwheat and others. However, the most favorite porridge in Russia was buckwheat, which was in the menu of both the poor and the rich family.
Buckwheat combines perfectly with almost all products as a garnish: meat, fish, mushrooms, other vegetables, also it can be cooked with milk. Popular proverb “You cannot cook a porridge with someone” means “it is difficult to deal with somebody”. In ancient times there was a custom: if two enemies wanted to get along, they cooked porridge and ate it together. It was a peculiar form of the peace treaty.
So, if you would like to feel the taste of harmony, go to the legendary “Stolovaya 57” Soviet cafe in GUM for a gastronomic trip to the Soviet Union. Here everything is prepared by skilled professionals with love and knowledge of the matter.
Cafe: Stolovaya 57. Red Square.
is an acidic Russian drink, prepared on the water from bread with malt, as well as from berries and fruit. Kvas is one of the oldest Russian drinks that everyone from peasants to loved. It was first described in 1056, and in the 15th century there were over 500 varieties of kvas in Russia. Some Russians still infuse homemade kvas. People drink it chilled, because it is very refreshing and replaces sodas and lemonades.
Ttraditions and peculiarities of the dishes of Russian cuisine were largely influenced by the plants cultivated in these areas. So, big amount of fruit trees and shrubs allowed people to use juicy harvest for food and beverages. Mors is a cool sweet drink from the juice of berries or fruits diluted with water.
To enjoy the true taste of kvas and mors, you need to visit the trapeznaya (refectory) in Rogozhskaya Old Believers’ settlement. There is always a time-tested assortment of its own production: berry and sea-buckthorn fruit drinks, breadless beers kvass, ginger tea, lemonade, tea mushroom. Exclusive drink and the specialty – oatmeal jelly. Moreover, the Rogozhskaya Trapeznaya offers over three hundred Russian dishes made in the best traditions of Russian cuisine.
Moscow cafe: Rogozhskaya Trapeznaya. Rogozhsky poselok 29, bld 9.
in Russian cuisine has about the same importance as pizza in Italian. Russian pies baked mainly from unsweetened dough with various fillings – from meat, eggs, fish and mushroom to fruit, curd and jam. Many Russian traditions are associated with pies. No important event could begin without a pie on the table, whether it was a holiday, a birthday, a wedding or a funeral. Usually people baked big pies for celebrations.
A rich variety of Sweet pies are in the menu of a modern Moscow restaurant “Valenok”, which is really easy to find due to the huge art-object near the entrance. The giant, the largest in the world (6 meters), hand-rolled boot symbolizes Russia with its wide soul and boundless expanses. Pay attention to the desserts, because they are made by the Vogue Café’s confectioner.
Moscow restaurant: Valenok. Tsvetnoy Blvd 5.
the oldest Russian desserts and the most recognizable part of Russian cuisine, which started in the 9th century. Bliny is crepes – a liquid dough poured onto the oil heated in a frying pan. It is believed that the thinner the pancakes, the higher the skill level of the cook. People in Russia often use the proverb “the first pancake is always lumpy,” which means “the first step is always troublesome”.
Usually hot crepes are served with honey, butter or sour cream, or wrapped with various fillings – vegetable, fruit, meat, fish and others. Special luxury option – bliny with caviar. All of them are tasty, so it is up to you to decide! However, waiters in the fast-casual restaurant “Teremok” can offer both savory bliny and sweet. If you’re on a budget and still want to try Russian food when in Moscow – hear to Teremok, good taste and quality are combined with fast service.
Moscow cafe: Teremok. Various locations.
is a homemade dessert. It is similar to jam, but more liquid-ish and with whole berries or pieces of fruit. Varenie is most often made from ingredients grown on people’s private gardens, or collected in the forest. It is known that before the beginning of the XIX century, Russia did not have its own sugar production, and imported sugar was very expensive. So varenie was cooked with honey. Traditionally, it was not boiled on an open fire, but simply put in a heated oven that could hold heat for several hours. This product was not only a delicious dessert – people even treated cold with it. The most delicious varenie is not for sale in shops, ask your Russian friend to present you a jar of homemade varenie!
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