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St.Petersburg: restaurants

I figured that it would be right to start with the city I know best, my hometown.

The Saint Petersburg restaurant scene has significantly changed and grown over the past ten years or so, with more and more interesting, innovative and absolutely delicious places opening throughout the city.  Whereas previously, the cuisine options were all quite similar, unoriginal and, let’s face it, significantly lacking any international flair or understanding of very foreign dishes. (I remember back in the early 2000s, being excited about a Mexican restaurant finally opening up in the city and taking my friend from the US that was visiting me for a Tex-Mex experience that has stayed with her through this day, where their interpretation of a mojito was basically vodka with some mint syrup (or mouth wash,  in the version that my friend recalls).

Rubenstein street is overall an excellent street for excellent restaurants and bars! Almost nothing is bad there and it is the most trendy street in the city! So the food is usually excellent!

Bekitzer – excellent israeli food/ wines/ cocktails

Duos Gastrobar  and Tartar bar are two of the best restaurants (in my opinion) in the city and very hip, so be sure to book a few days in advance. Recently just opened Duo Asia on the previously mentioned Rubenstein street, which is the chef’s interpretation of asian flavors and textures.  All three are definitely a must do/ see/ and most of all – TASTE!

KoKoKo at the W Hotel ( a Russian cuisines restaurant opened by a scandalous Saint Petersburg Rocks Star (Sergei Shnurov of Leningrad group ) which serves excellent Russian food with a modern twist, that is all locally sourced.

Hamlet and Jacks – excellent food with a very cozy atmosphere

Severyanin – traditional and excellent Russian cuisines

One of my favorite places in the city, not only for the delicious food, but for the absolutely peaceful and cozy Petersburg-esque atmosphere.  This has been my go to spot for both a dinner/lunch out, as well as a haven during the day for when I need to sit somewhere and work. The abundance of natural light with soft music from the 20s and 30s, which periodically gets broken up with a lulling reading of poetry creates the most inviting and stimulating atmosphere for any intellectual endeavor, or for just to taking a break from the hustle of everyday life.

The restaurant is a play on words of Buterbrod (Бутерброд) – sandwich in Russian, and the name of one of the great 20th century Russian poets (and Saint Petersburg native) – Joseph Brodsky.  Their specialty is, as the name indicates, sandwiches. They have very successfully integrated the Danish smørrebrød into the Saint Petersburg gastronomic environment. They also created a new concept called Smooshi (a play on smørrebrød and sushi) – small bite size smørrebrød, which allow you to create your own tasting menu, so to speak. Aside from the sandwich assortment, they serve wonderful soups (like traditional borscht (Russian beet soup) served in a rye bread bowl with a piece of rye bread with salo (cured pig fat)), salads and main dishes, and for the chilly Saint Petersburg afternoon – they have a good assortments of nastoiki (delicious vodka infusions made in-house).  (Try a smooshi + nastoiki tasting set for a full experience!)

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