Hipster cafés and bars
In Moscow, facilities for trendy youth and bookish types grow in number from year to year. All sorts of coffee shops offering free Wi-Fi are particularly popular among those looking to kick back with their computer and sip on a cup of barista-made coffee. One of the best locations for hipsters is the Starbucks Coffee Company. The Russian DoubleBeRussian: ДаблБи network is also highly popular in Moscow. Notable for its unusual conceptual design, the Coffee Shop (31, PokrovkaRussian: Покровка Street) owned by the Chorny Co-opRussian: kooperativ «Chyornyi» or кооператив «Чёрный» sells exclusive coffee and is also very popular among hipsters.
In addition to coffee shops, inexpensive noodle shops serving up authentic Asian noodles are very popular among hipsters. At the family-run Doodles Café at 17, Pokrovka Street, you feel as if you have been transported to Hong Kong; the owners cook real Chinese food while maintaining a great atmosphere. Yammy, a small noodle bistro (close to the Flakon Design FactoryRussian: Dizayn-zavod «Flakon» or Дизайн-завод «Флакон», at Block 2, 5A, NovodmitrovskayaRussian: Новодмитровская Street), cooks Wok food served in small boxes. They do not pretend to be 100% authentic, but they do have authentic Chinese and Singaporean beer.
Since there are many vegetarians, vegans and raw food lovers among the hipster crowd, vegetarian cafés are gaining popularity in Moscow. SokRussian: Сок, a great vegetarian café (Bldg. 1, 15, Lavrushinsky LaneRussian: Lavrushinskiy pereulok or Лаврушинский переулок) opposite the Tretyakov GalleryRussian: Tretyakovskaya galereya or Третьяковская галерея, is designed to resemble a studio apartment. This location is somewhat expensive, but guests rate the quality of the food highly. If you are looking for something really chamber-like and original, you can pay a visit to Fruits & Veges (Block 12, 10, Nizhnyaya SyromyatnicheskayaRussian: Нижняя Сыромятническая Street), an inexpensive café located on the premises of Artplay, which is reminiscent of a birdhouse. This is a good example of a unique facility affiliated with an art cluster.
Strelka barRussian: Бар «Стрелка»
Opened seven years ago at the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and DesignRussian: Institut media, arkhitektury i dizayna or Институт медиа, архитектуры и дизайна (the former Krasny OktyabrRussian: Красный Октябрь Factory), this bar has since gained popularity among creative people in Moscow. This comfortable urban venue is ideal for informal meetings. Visitors come to the bistro to have lunch in the daytime and to relax in the evening. The eclectic interior combines Art Deco and Scandinavian design elements from the 1960s and 1970s. The bar has a long cocktail list and an international seasonal menu focused on the use of local produce. Prices are above average. For example, bruschetta with tuna and tomatoes, duck spread or baked sweet pepper and artichokes will cost you 540 rubles, and a flank steak with Burgundy sauce and mashed potatoes with horseradish will cost you up to 980 rubles. Their cocktails are popular, ranging in price from 500 to 600 rubles.
The bar hosts parties on weekends, so it’s best to come early. Wine and craft beer parties are held here on Wednesdays and Thursdays respectively. In summertime, the bar features an open-air veranda overlooking the Cathedral of Christ the SaviourRussian: khram Khrista Spasitelya or храм Христа Спасителя and the Moskva RiverRussian: Moskva-reka or Москва-река. Concerts, lectures and film screenings are also held at the Institute’s venues.
Address: Bldg. 5A, 14, Bersenevskaya EmbankmentRussian: Bersenevskaya naberezhnaya or Берсеневская набережная. Nearest metro station: KropotkinskayaRussian: Кропоткинская
Enthusiast moto caféRussian: Мотокафе «Энтузиаст»
In the very heart of Moscow, this place combines a motorcycle and bike workshop, a café and a vinyl store. If your vehicle requires major repairs, you will be redirected to a specialised repair service, but they can do some basic repairs while you grab a bite to eat, listen to music or chat at the bar. Sergey Krylov, a vinyl collector and DJ, is in charge of music, which is the focus of the cafe. Live concerts by well-known music groups are shown on the big screen on Sundays. The moto café also hosts flea markets and sales for bikers.
The menu offers all kinds of beers, coffees, sandwiches and snacks. Prices are pretty reasonable; lunch, including soup, one mini sandwich, one salad and one drink, costs 350 rubles. 500mL of Fuel draft beer and larger sandwiches cost 200 rubles and 300 rubles respectively.
Address: 7/5, Stoleshnikov LaneRussian: Stoleshnikov pereulok or Столешников переулок. Nearest metro station: ChekhovskayaRussian: Чеховская, PushkinskayaRussian: Пушкинская.
Mayak café-buffetRussian: Кафе-буфет «Маяк»
In the past, this was where the buffet of the Mayakovsky TheatreRussian: Teatr imeni Mayakovskogo or Театр имени Маяковского was located. It was later replaced by a club famous for its parties frequented by actors, musicians, artists and journalists. Today, the premises contain a bohemian café-restaurant, and now, as in the past, most of its regular visitors are Moscow’s creative folks. Among the interior’s main features are ancient carved sideboards and dressers, wall and ceiling stucco moldings, a piano, along with a toilet disguised as a cabinet. Discos featuring DJ sets are regularly held here, as well as rock, jazz, soul and funk concerts.
Mayak’s menu features both French and Italian dishes. Prices are moderate – stroganoff with mashed potatoes and broccoli costs 690 rubles, salad made with smoked salmon, wild rocket, cucumbers and pickled fennel costs 450 rubles and turkey fricassee costs 380 rubles. Cocktails vary in price from 300 and 450 rubles.
Addresss: Bldg. 1, 19/13, Bolshaya NikitskayaRussian: Большая Никитская Street. Nearest metro station: ArbatskayaRussian: Арбатская.
‘ApartmentRussian: Квартира no. 44’ café-clubs
In Moscow, there are three ‘Apartments No. 44’. The interior is, indeed, reminiscent of an apartment, with wallpaper, paintings, books, vintage furniture and lampshades. Pianists perform here on Sunday to Thursday evenings, and poetic readings are held on Wednesdays. The café hosts regular concerts and themed parties. The music styles featuring most often tend to be jazz, blues, soul, funk, waltzes and tangos, along with Russian and Jewish folk songs.
The café serves traditional and European dishes. Prices are not exorbitant; you can try fried Black sea king-mullet for 380 rubles and a hamburger steak with eggs for 550 rubles. Cocktails range in price from 300 to 400 rubles and beer from 180 to 300 rubles.
Addresses: 24/8, Malaya YakimankaRussian: Малая Якиманка Street; 22/2 Bolshaya Nikitskaya Street; 24, Malaya OrdynkaRussian: Малая Ордынка Street.
Jean-Jacques CafeRussian: кафе «Жан-Жак»
This network of French bistros recreates the spirit of Paris in Moscow. French designer Muriel Rousseau created the café’s interior, with mirrors on the walls, bottles in display cabinets and small tables surrounded by light chairs and covered with paper tablecloths, on which visitors are invited to paint.
French melodies playing in the background add to the atmosphere of a Parisian café, and musicians play the piano and the accordion in the evening. In addition to music nights, Jean-Jacques cafés hold vocal performances, painting and photograph exhibitions, games and classes (for instance, drawing classes). The café celebrates Bastille Day every year on July 14, with prizes including tickets to France.
The menu, updated by chef David Hemmerlé, offers traditional French dishes as well as more unique things to try. Prices are not too steep; soup costs 290 rubles, whereas escargots à la Bourguignonne will cost you 530 rubles. On the wine list are all kinds of wine, champagne, calvados, apple wine and cognac. A glass of red wine costs 240 roubles and prices for 500mL of apple wine start from 300 rubles.
The best-known cafés in this restaurant network are located at Bldg. 1, 24, Tsvetnoy BoulevardRussian: Tsvetnoy bulvar or Цветной бульвар (Tsvetnoy Boulervard Metro Station) and at 12, Nikitsky BoulevardRussian: Nikitskiy bulvar or Никитский бульвар (Arbatskaya Metro Station).
This café, reminiscent of a small home restaurant, was established by Ivan Shishkin (creator of the menu), Vyacheslav Lankin (a specialist in cocktails), Yevgeni Samolyotov (waiter) and Pavel Lisyukov (receptionist). The owners are very customer-service focused and create a convivial, homely atmosphere by communicating informally with their guests. This is a great place to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The interior features an authentic fireplace, bookshelves filled with books, cozy plaids, chairs and a bar menu written on the wall with chalk.
The café serves international dishes and offers a new and unusual dish on a weekly basis, because the owners travel a lot and integrate interesting recipes from all over the world into their menu regularly. As well as delicious food, visitors enjoy a unique collection of homemade liqueurs, prepared by the owners – the handmade liqueurs include cherry bourbon, raspberry gin and quince citron whiskey. There is no permanent bar menu, since the dishes change almost every day. Prices are slightly above average; you can get steak tartare for 490 rubles, grilled tongue with black chanterelle cream for 550 rubles and whitefish in beurre monté for 650 rubles.
Craft burger bars
Moscow hipsters tend to be interested in trendy items from the USA and Europe. The same is true of their food preferences. Craft burgers are just coming into fashion, and Moscow has many locations that experiment with burgers creating delicious, unusual and more natural equivalents of what is usually sold in fast food restaurants on every corner.
The Burger Brothers is extremely popular. In the past, The Burger Brothers were only in Moscow’s food markets, but later they changed their format and are now operating as two booths selling, among other things, lingonberry burgers with butter and vegetarian burgers with beetroot cutlets. These cafés serve breakfasts, soups and desserts.
Another network of cafés, BB&Burgers, offers a wide range of 380-ruble classical and custom-made burgers. They also own a food truck which is often present at various festivals. The burgers have quirky names, for instance, A Disgusting GuyRussian: Otvratitelnyi muzhik or Отвратительный мужик or A Drunken GrannyRussian: Pyanaya babushka or Пьяная бабушка. The menu also offers sandwiches, French fries and ribs.
Burger Heroes is yet another network that serves up 280-ruble classical burgers and custom-made gourmet burgers priced at 330 to 380 rubles. The black mambaRussian: Chyornaya mamba or Чёрная мамба burgers with bacon and cherries and Agent 007Russian: Агент 007 with a special sauce are particularly popular. The staff never tire of playing around with recipes, so don’t be surprised to see burgers with rocca salad, olives and feta cheese or burgers with goat cheese and elderberry jam.
Food and street food festivals
Hipsters are fond of enjoying themselves in a relaxed atmosphere while trying out new gastronomic delights, and there is no better place to do this than at food festivals.
The Taste of Moscow, an annual festival held in many European capital cities, is a very popular restaurant event in Europe attended by dozens of well-known Russian restaurant representatives every year. The festival hosts over 200 interactive venues, cooking classes, wine tastings, a rich entertainment programme featuring performances by both amateur and well-known artists and a jazz lounge. Children’s playgrounds are also available. Visitors can try culinary delights and learn to cook them under the supervision of celebrated chefs, taste wines, purchase all kinds of products, attend fashion shows, get some advice from beauty experts or just relax and listen to some good music. The festival has its own official ‘taste currency’; 1 taste is equal to 100 rubles. Admission to the festival is ticketed and the prices are moderate to high.
The Local Food MarketRussian: Market mestnoy edy or Маркет местной еды, regularly held from spring to autumn in the courtyard of the Museum of MoscowRussian: Muzey Moskvy or Музей Москвы, is a completely different kind of event designed for people to come and test their ideas in the food business. The Market’s mission is to contribute to the establishment of as many great locations offering delicious and original food in Moscow as possible. This market attracts food connoisseurs who come here to enjoy burgers and fresh juices, pies with unusual fillings, hummus, barista-made coffee and homemade ice cream – it’s a new generation of street food. Stall holders are happy to answer any question you may have about their products or the industry in general. The market also features Grocery, a department store open at all times where small family businesses sell fresh produce unavailable in supermarkets. In addition to food, every Market offers a large variety of urban activities targeting hipsters, such as bicycle workshops, a bookstore and drawing schools for adults. Fledgling music groups and musicians give performances, and visitors are welcome to attend a lecture at the local lecture hall. Every Market is centred around some topic (coffee or Asian food, for example). Check the schedule!
Food truck festivals are gatherings of fast food trucks. One of them is regularly held by the organizers of the Local Food Market on the territory of the VDNKhRussian: ВДНХ, or Exhibition of Achievements of National EconomyRussian: Vystavka dostizheniy narodnogo khozyaystva or Выставка достижений народного хозяйства. Here, food truck owners gather to serve wheeled pizza, burgers, barbecues, lemonade, ice cream and coffee.
The Food Truck PicnicRussian: Piknik fudtrakov or Пикник фудтраков takes place on the premises of the Flakon Design Plant. The festival’s theme in 2017 was the Soviet period, hence its motto ‘Peace.Work.MayRussian: Mir.Trud.May or Мир.Труд.Май!’ Visitors were welcomed at the pioneer camp, which featured an unusual menu and lectures on waste paper and scrap metal collection, a pioneera pioneer movement was an organization for children operated by a communist party induction ceremony and a retro disco. At the festival, guests had the opportunity to step into the shoes of a real pioneer guided by the best Moscow stylists.
O, yes! Food!Russian: O, da! Eda! or О, да! Еда! is a two-day fast food festival usually held in Krasnaya Presnya ParkRussian: park Krasnaya Presnya or парк Красная Пресня, where visitors can try dishes listed on the festival menu, such as street food including burgers, noodles, burritos and much more. Guest speakers give lectures on street and urban culture, and indie, funk, pop and jazz musicians perform on the stage, adding to the atmosphere of a summer picnic.
Moscow’s Central TelegraphRussian: Tsentralnyi Telegraf or Центральный Телеграф building regularly hosts Omnivore Moscow, an international festival aiming to discover new tastes, provide young chefs with an opportunity to set new trends in modern gastronomy, to reveal their professional secrets and to share their techniques during cooking classes. Up to 150 people attend each class. Pop-up suppers are able to host only 80 people, so make sure you buy your ticket well in advance if you want to get in and enjoy cocktail bars and dancing. Also don’t forget to pay a visit to the local market selling food, books, accessories and kitchen utensils.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com