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Budget Chain Cafes

There are many affordable restaurant chains in Moscow, with nearly 1,000 restaurants to choose from across all parts of the city. Visitors can choose from Russian, European or Asian cuisine at a reasonable price in a friendly atmosphere. A typical meal costs between 400 to 800 RUB, with breakfast and lunch options available for 250–400 RUB. There are many different types of budget-friendly restaurants in Moscow, including self-service cafeterias, classical full-service restaurants, and coffeehouses that specialise in desserts and hot beverages. Some restaurants are open 24/7.

SELF-SERVICE CAFETERIAS (BUFFETS)

In buffet (or free flow) restaurants, diners move past food displays, place items onto their tray, pay at the cashier counter, and take any vacant table.

Mu-MuRussian: Му-Му (https://www.cafemumu.ru/) is the largest chain in this category of restaurants (38 locations in the city). The most central location is in Okhotny RyadRussian: Охотный ряд Shopping Mall, overlooking the Kremlin from the side of Alexander GardenRussian: Aleksandrovskiy sad or Александровский сад. Mu-Mu restaurants can also be found near the Tretyakov GalleryRussian: Tretyakovskaya galereya or Третьяковская галерея, in Klementovsky LaneRussian: Klementovskiy pereulok or Клементовский переулок (see photo), in Old ArbatRussian: Stary Arbat or Старый Арбат Street, and in other neighbourhoods. The impressive menu offers homemade style Russian food and signature dishes. The restaurants are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, offering main courses of meat, chicken and fish as well as soups (there are ten soups to choose from). They even have sushi, pasta, pizza, desserts, and pirozhkia generic word for individual-sized baked or fried buns stuffed with a variety of fillings. Drinks include coffee, tea and traditional Russian beverages, like kissela viscous fruit dish, popular as a dessert and as a drink, morsa non-carbonated Russian fruit drink prepared from berries, kompota non-alcoholic sweet beverage, that may be served hot or cold or kvassa traditional Slavic fermented beverage commonly made from rye bread. The interior is designed in a farmhouse style; a logo featuring a black-and-white cow, welcomes guests at the entrance of each restaurant. Breakfast (9–11.30 am, 99–150 RUB) and lunch (12–4 pm, 275 for soup, main course, salad, and bread) options are available.

Just as Mu-Mu, the GrabliRussian: Грабли chain of restaurants (www.grabli.ru, 10 locations) feature a country-style design: with artificial flowers, orange trees, arbours, garden benches, garden seats, mosaic tiles, etc. Within the major tourist routes, you can find Grabli restaurants at 18/1 Tverskaya StRussian: ulitsa Tverskaya or улица Тверская, near the Kremlin, as well as close to the Tretyakov Gallery, at 27 Pyatnitskaya Stulitsa Pyatnitskaya or улица Пятницкая. Another Grabli restaurant is located at the Central Children’s StoreRussian: Tsentralnyi detskiy magazin or Центральный детский магазин Shopping Mall near the Bolshoi TheatreRussian: Большой театр (5/1 Teatralny PassageRussian: Teatral’ny proyezd or Театральный проезд). You can choose from over 200 dishes and drinks from Russian and European cuisine. Lunch and breakfast options are also provided. Breakfast includes porridge/omelette/fried eggs, a drink, and a choice of syrnikifried quark pancakes, garnished with sour cream, varenye, jam, honey or apple sauce, casserole or salad; the price varies from 130 to 195 RUB. The lunch set includes a light salad, soup, main course, drink and a bread roll for the price of 270 RUB. The offer is available from 12-4 pm on weekdays.

Obed BufetRussian: Обед Буфет is a new-comer to the restaurant scene (with 4 buffets in Moscow, including one in New ArbatRussian: Novyi Arbat or Новый Арбат Street), and has already seen success. The restaurant offers 350 dishes from seven cuisines around the world, and has an open kitchen where sushi, wok and grilled foods are prepared in front of guests. The restaurant also has a bar serving milkshakes, alcoholic drinks, and other beverages. Salads, side dishes and desserts can be purchased by weight; a price per 100 g is specified for each dish. Soups are sold at fixed prices (70 RUB per portion). A typical lunch will cost you 600 RUB. Fresh food is prepared every day, and 30–50% discount is applied after 10 pm. Vegetarian food, frozen yoghurt, and ice cream are also on the menu. Visitors with children receive a 30% discount for cold and warm salads. Discounts for breakfast are offered too, and you can save up to 50% between 8 – 9 am. The restaurants are open from 8 am to 12 am on weekdays and 10 am to 12 am on weekends.

Diners can have a similar experience at Marketplace, a St. Petersburg chain with just one restaurant in Moscow so far (Bld. 3, 13 Myasnitskaya StRussian: Myasnitskaya ulitsa or Мясницкая улица).

FULL-SERVICE RUSSIAN CUISINE CHAIN RESTAURANTS

Yolki-PalkiRussian: Ёлки-Палки is the oldest Moscow restaurant chain in this category (9 locations). Its restaurants are situated away from the main tourist routes, but some are located close to railway stations (KievskyRussian: Киевский, BelorusskyRussian: Белорусский, LeningradskyRussian: Ленинградский, YaroslavskyRussian: Ярославский and KazanskyRussian: Казанский). The menu offers national Russian cuisine: blinyRussian pancakes traditionally made from wheat or (more rarely nowadays) buckwheat flour, pirozhki, syrniki, varenikidumplings that are filled with sweet or savory filling, pelmenidumplings consisting of a filling wrapped in thin, unleavened dough, and traditional soups (ukha a clear Russian soup, made from various types of fish, borsch, etc.). The signature feature of Yolki-Palki restaurants is their TelegaRussian: Телега Smörgåsbord, which offers an unlimited buffet option for 600–800 RUB (depending on the drinks chosen). Restaurants are designed with a Russian rustic, home-style feel. Lunch (including soup, pelmeni, pirozhok, and coffee) will cost visitors 600–700 RUB.

RESTAURANT & SHOPS

These smaller restaurants offer quick meal options presented in display cases, which can be either consumed inside or taken away. As a rule, such restaurants have comparatively small menus.

At Bratya KaravaevyRussian: Братья Караваевы (Karavaev Brothers), food is prepared in a huge kitchen factory and delivered to restaurants every day. The chain has 13 locations in Moscow. Food is always displayed in large cases, so you can see what you order. The menu contains fresh pastry, salads, meat and fish dishes. Hot sandwiches, porridge, omelette, casseroles and syrniki are offered for breakfast. For a main course, you can order minced collops, beef, chicken or pork (roast or stew). There are no soups available. The beverage menu features coffee, tea and traditional berry mors. The design is deliberately simple. All restaurants are open from 8 am to 11 pm.

StolleRussian: Штолле is a chain of pie bakeries (20 locations). The restaurants emphasise that they make pies, not pirozhki, because pies are larger in size (‘pie’ translates as pirog into Russian, hence the possible ambiguity). Pies are sold either individually or in 250 g pieces, so one piece will definitely be enough to load up. Some of the restaurants also serve soups, main courses of beef, chicken and fish, and morses. A piece of pie costs 130–320 RUB (meat fillings are more expensive than sweet ones). The choice is impressive: sweet pies include those with apple, cherry, lingonberry, and quark. Savoury fillings include meat and cabbage, chicken, and various types of fish including salmon. Tea and coffee are offered to accompany your meal. The owners say they were trying to recreate the taste of pies that used to be made in pre-revolutionary Russia. They use Old Russian recipes and signature interpretations. You can place your order at the counter and proceed to a table, where a waiter will bring your food. The interior design features bentwood chairs, wooden tables with cast iron legs, and photos of Russian cities dating back to the early 20th century. An average lunch (including soup, salad, a main course, and mors) will cost you 850 RUB. However, one or two pieces of pie with a cup of tea for only 410–700 RUB will suffice to make you feel full.

Even if you are in a beautiful historic area or a tidy park, walking around the huge city takes up a lot of energy. For you to have a rest in the best way, on the pages of our website there is a lot of information about the best restaurants, best bars or best nightclubs in Moscow.

PIZZERIAS

Papa John’sRussian: Папа Джонс, an American restaurant chain, has been available in Moscow since the 1990s (58 locations). The chain has over 4,700 restaurants in 37 countries around the world. Their menu offers pizza, salads, snacks and desserts. The choice of pizza is extensive, with more than 20 types available. Snacks include nuggets, chicken wings, cheese sticks, rustic potatoes, etc. You will pay 700–800 RUB for a 35 cm pizza, 329 RUB for a salad, and 159 RUB for a drink. A typical meal for two will be around 800 RUB (including a pizza, two salads, and drinks).

Domino’s PizzaRussian: Doмино’с Пицца, another American company, has been represented in Russia since 1998. The chain has taken-off in recent years, with nearly 80 locations in Moscow today. There are more than 20 types of pizza on the menu. The price of a Margherita, the cheapest pizza, is 580 RUB, while the most expensive pizza will cost you 840 RUB. Nuggets, chicken wings, potato wedges and other snacks are also available for around 250 RUB. Pizzerias can be found in almost every part of the city. The average cost per meal is 800 RUB.

Pizza Hut is yet another American restaurant chain with pizzerias all over the world. There are few locations in Moscow centre, and most stores are found in residential neighbourhoods. A basic Margherita pizza costs 400 RUB here, while others are priced between 500 and 620 RUB (for a 30 cm pizza). Various sandwiches, quesadillas, crumbed chicken, hot dogs, potato wedges, chicken wings and Caesar salad are also available on the menu. A typical lunch including a 30 cm pizza and a drink will cost you 700 RUB.

COFFEE HOUSES

Coffee HouseRussian: Кофе Хауз and ShokoladnitsaRussian: Шоколадница are the largest coffeehouse chains in Russia. They used to be fierce competitors for quite a while, but became part of the same restaurant company in 2014.

Coffee House first appeared in Moscow in 1999, and pioneered the industry of coffeehouse chains. The menu offers a wide selection of drinks (coffee, tea, cocktails), desserts, pastry (pancakes, oladyismall thick pancakes or fritters common in Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian cuisines, syrniki, croissants), ice cream, toast, and sandwiches. Breakfast, lunch and dinner options are available. However, the choice of meals for lunch and dinner is rather small, since this is a coffeehouse. The soup menu only contains one item (the soup of the day), while main courses include pasta, grilled chicken breast, and various sandwiches. The salads include the most popular Olivier, Caesar, vegetable and tuna types. Waitstaff are available, but you can order at the counter as well. Takeaway coffee can also be ordered. The restaurants are open 24/7, and menu options are available at any time of day. Having a meal here will cost between 300 RUB (breakfast) to 600 RUB (lunch or dinner).

Shokoladnitsa has 240 coffee shops in Moscow and the Moscow regionRussian: Moskovskaya oblast' or Московская область. They can be found at nearly every turn in the historical centre, as well as in residential neighbourhoods and at airports. Their menu focuses on desserts (cakes and tarts) as well as pancakes with a huge selection of fillings and toppings available (sour cream, meat, fish, chocolate, etc.). Unlike Coffee House, Shokoladnitsa offers a wide selection of main courses, including a few types of soup and main courses with meat, poultry and fish, as well as pasta. There is also a large selection of sandwiches (focaccinas, quesadillas, burgers, etc.) and wraps. Table service, a kids menu and free Wi-Fi are also available. The restaurants are open 24/7, and menu options are available at any time of the day. The price of a meal ranges from 300 RUB (breakfast) to 600 RUB (lunch or dinner).

MIXED CUISINE CHAIN RESTAURANTS

ToDaSe. Sushi!Russian: ТоДаСё. Суши! restaurants are most typically found in the city centre, close to metro stations. The concept revolves around bringing together the most popular dishes from some of the world’s most popular cuisines. A wide selection of sushi and rolls coexists with savoury Mexican food, traditional American burgers, and classical European cuisine. The first restaurant in the chain was launched in Moscow in 2007. The restaurant offers free wi-fi, hookahs, and live sports displayed on large screens. Each restaurant is designed in a unique way, although the menu, features, and prices remain the same across the chain. Restaurants are open 24/7.

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Gallery

Mu-Mu Cafe. Interior
Grabli Cafe. Interior
Obed Bufet Cafe near Voykovskaya Metro Station
Obed Bufet Cafe in the Metropolis Business Centre
Shokoladnitsa Cafe near Park Kultury Metro Station. Photo: M. Ulanova
Stolle Cafe in the Mitino Shopping Centre
Grabli Cafe. Card
Mu-Mu Cafe. Self-service area
Stolle Cafe. Pie and tea
Obed Bufet Cafe near Voykovskaya Metro Station
Obed Bufet Cafe in the Metropolis Business Centre

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