Another one of my favourite time capsules

I remember this place at the intersection of Devyataya Parkovaya and Izmaylovsky Boulevard (Metro Pervomayskaya) was there in late 70s, when I was old enough to explore what’s around.

Plentiful cheap Soviet style food. A standing room only section for those who are there to drink only. Some aluminum forks were still in use I was there last time.

Eating at the water pumps factory

This stolovaya is one of the starts of my Recommended list. Still there, still “Soviet”. The sign “Stolovaya” literally means “a place with tables” (стол/stol is table, related to English “stall”). No “business lunches”, “happy hours” or other marketing tricks. Just a place to eat, which is a welcome relief in Moscow, where at least 20% of active population are “marketologists”, and finding a product not accompanied by informational clutter is unusual. Prices are a tiny bit higher than in my 2010 review but food is just as 70s and 80s as before, and 300R ($10) will still get you full.

Metro Alexeyevskaya. When in the area ask for Ulitsa Novoalexeyevskaya and “Zavod Vodopribor” (“Plant WaterDevice”).

That’s the factory. Typical 1880s industrial construction.


Renting an apartment near Metro Alexeyevskaya. Available Summer 2013 and possibly after that.

Categories > Neighbourhoods > Alexeyevskaya in this Guide

Второе дыхание – Second Wind

2nd_windSecond Wind is still around and probably now qualifies as a cultural heritage site.

So I’m opening a separate page dedicated solely to this time warp.

It is behind Metro Novokuznetskaya. Open from 10am, when a lone alcoholic may wonder in for a hair of that dog. Full of rough looking men from 5-8pm.  Closes at 9pm I think.

Second Wind is generally acknowledged by connoisseurs of anti-glamour as the dirtiest and stinkiest of Moscow’s low-life drinking establishments. Standing room only. Hole in the floor toilet. Smoking permitted and expected. A classic.

Here is a true-to-life set of photos of Second Wind >>

My favourite places to eat and drink are here >>

A proper and correct vodka establishment

By Alexandra
Edited by Pasha

Happy drunks are nearly extinct in the 2013 Moscow.  On seeing several old-school inebriated individuals staggering out of this basement establishment that calls itself “Rumochnaya” (“Shot-glass place”) at Ulitsa Bochkova 5, ten minutes walk from Metro Alekseevskaya, we had overcome out distaste for neon lights and other signs of glamour which are a must these days, and ventured down and in.

Although called “rumochnaya”, same as Pasha’s favourite famous Второе дыхание (Second Wind), it is on the opposite side of the spectrum. You can invite women or business partners to this one without suffering consequences.

As all proper drinking establishments, it is below street level. It took some work to get Pasha in. A promise of vodka with no nagging attached was an effective motivator.  After the first shot of “hrenovuha” (horseradish-flavoured – and very much so – vodka) his mood improved and we proceeded to celebrate what life still has to offer to old losers like us.


Being a true alcophile (note the subtle difference from “alcoholic”), Pasha proceeded to sample garlic and pepper vodka, ginger vodka, and then anise vodka, and then vodka with such a strong flavour that even the barman issued a warning that it is but for the toughest, and our hero of course loved it even more than others.

Shots were 70 roubles for 50 grams (roughly an ounce and a half). Khamovniki beer I ordered was 90 or 100 roubles ($3).


Snacks were just right for “rumochnaya”. Not so many as to turn choosing into work. Not too large to change focus from drinking to eating. Made with care. Priced.. No, not “cheap” but “proper”.

The bill to turn us into yet two more happy clients staggering out was 1100 roubles.

Here is the menu:

10002 10003
click to enlarge)

Definitely recommended if you are too much of a wimp for Second Wind but want to partake in the drinking ritual.

Make a note of this establishment if renting an apartment from Alexandra. It is about 10 min.  walk.

See Neighbourhoods: Alexeyevskaya >>   and Drinking >>