Как есть (a play of words: either “How to eat” or “As is”). Trekhprudny pereulok 11/13, stroyeniye 2. If you need to impress, either yourself or others, especially your new Russian g/f, that the sort of place.
Rogozhsky Val. (Metro Marksistskaya, Metro Proshad Il’ycha).
It is so good that it is managed to make it to the list of my favourites even though no booze is served. Even if it is – I wonder what’s in those little bottles in the back – the spirit of the place makes impossible to even think of having it in my habitual quantities and manner.
On many days (including every Wednesday and Friday) it is purely vegetarian/vegan but not wimpy New Age type vegetarian. Starts early (something like 7:30) and stays open till at least 10pm.
I’m regularly asked about “typical Russian” restaurants. Just got this question again from a client bent on spending money and impressing women. Some that come to mind as positioning themselves as “Russian haute cousine” and probably suitable for this type of traveller are
- Sudar on Kutuzovky, near the Victory Arch
- Cafe Pushkin on the Boulevard Ring just west off Tverskaya, on the inner side
- Godunov, right by the entrance to Metro Ploshad Revolutsii, across the square from Bolshoi, a few steps from Hotel Metropol towards “Eternal Fire”
- Red Square in the History Museum building
- Yar on or just off Leningradsky, near Metro Dinamo
Everyday eateries, if you are not averse to chains, are Yelki-Palki, Mu-Mu, and Grabli.
I am neither into glamour nor into franchises. My favourites are small hidden cafes of the Vietnamese Market type, babushka-run factory cafeterias that survived from the Soviet days, and church refractories, especially the one at the Old Believers stronghold at Rogozhskaya Sloboda. Here is one of the attempts to list my own picks >> These are just food, not “cuisine”.