Restaurants and Cafes

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Eating Out

If Moscow does not yet have a reputation as an international culinary destination, it is only because the cost-to-value equation — the bane of the capital's existence — is still out of kilter.

Dining out still costs too much, and the service is still not universally high quality. But restaurant ambiance and decor gets five stars, and the food is good to great and getting better every day.

And did we mention variety? It is fair to say that you can find every major world cuisine in Moscow and more than a few of the less well-known ones. You can blow your savings on a spectacular meal with magnificent drinks in a fantastic setting surrounded by the country's elite. Or you can enjoy a great dinner in a restaurant that you have been to many times without ever being disappointed.

And on those dark days of winter or sweltering summer nights, when you need a feast for the eye as well as the stomach, you can go to a restaurant where the view — inside or outside — is as pleasing as the food.

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Over-the-Top Treats

Les Menus
Les Menus par Pierre Gagnaireon the second floor of the elegant five-star Lotte Hotel, is ruled by Moscow's only Michelin three-star chef, Pierre Gagnaire. The menu is creative, balanced and fresh. The products used are flavorful and succulent, from Wagyu beef to free-range chickens and seafood flown in from Japan. And the dishes are innovative, brilliantly prepared and impeccably presented, with a wine list that does justice to the menu.
8 Novinsky Bulvar, Bldg. 2
+7 495 287 05 15
Daily, from noon to 10:30 p.m.
Average main — 2,500 rubles

Semifreddo — Mulinazzo
Russians are in love with Italy and Italian food, and Moscow now has far more Italian restaurants than metro stations. Many are excellent, but Semifreddo-Mulinazzo is in a class of its own. Chef Nino Graziano had a Michelin rated two-star restaurant in Italy before being lured, like so many of his compatriots for generations before him, to Russia. The decor is a simple, tasteful backdrop to the fresh, impeccably prepared, lively cuisine.
2 Ulitsa Rossolimo
+7 495 766 46 46
From noon to 11:30 p.m. or last guest on Fridays
Average main — 1,350 rubles

Turandot's 14 rooms of rococo, chinoiserie, imperial Russian and pan-Asian decor are as over-the-top as the fusion of Russian, European and Asian cuisine served. The food is quite good, the presentation and decor are divine, and the clientele is chic. An evening at Turandot is always celebratory and never disappointing.
26 Tverskoi Bulvar, Bldg. 3
+7 495 739 00 11
Daily, from noon to midnight
Average main — 1,350 rubles

Anatoly Komm's award-winning molecular cuisine — Russian dishes deconstructed and reconstructed in gels and foams and other odd forms — is for a particular kind of diner: one who is ready to abandon culinary expectations and try something new. Some people love Varvary from the moment they walk into the striking black, red and silver decor and try their first amuse bouche. This is haute cuisine for the adventurous. You will never think of Russian food the same way again.
8a Strastnoi Bulvar
+7 495 229 28 00, reservations only
Tasting menu — 8,500 rubles

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Oldies But Goodies

Cafe Margarita is one of Moscow's first and oldest private restaurants. It started as an inexpensive cafe and became a neighborhood legend. The small space, lined in wood and dotted with Master and Margarita knickknacks, serves good, fresh, simple Russian food and a few European dishes. Every night there is live music, usually jazz or whatever the musicians and audience is in the mood for.
28 Malaya Bronnaya Ulitsa
+7 495 699 65 34
Daily, from 11.00 a.m. to midnight
Average main — about 400 rubles


Looking like a cross between a French bistro and the Mad Hatter's pantry, Mayak — a second-floor, former actor's club — serves simple, fresh, well-prepared Russian and European dishes. Nothing is terribly fancy; everything tastes good. This is a terrific place for pre- or post-theater treats.
19 Bolshaya Nikitskaya Ulitsa, Bldg. 13
+7 495 691 74 49
Daily, from noon to 6:00 a.m.
Average main — about 400 rubles

An evening at Oblomov is like going back in time to dine at an ancient manor house, where the cook has spent the day preparing your favorite dish and the fourth-generation servants know just how to make you comfortable without hovering. Here, all is calm. The menu is what one imagines might have been served on a wealthy Russian estate with an extensive kitchen garden and forests, rivers, and fields nearby for hunters of mushrooms, game and fish. Reservations suggested.
5 1st Monetchikovsky Pereulok
+7 495 953 68 28
Daily, from noon to 5:00 a.m.
Average main — 700 rubles

Café Pushkin
For over a decade Cafe Pushkin — an artfully restored manor house, where diners feast in a beautifully distressed faux 19th century library or pharmacy — has served some of the finest Russian and European cuisine in the city. Amazingly, quality has not suffered over the years, and the presentation seems as fresh today as the day it opened.
26A Tverskoi Bulvar
+7 495 739 00 33
Open 24/7
Average main — 1,200 rubles

Photo courtesy of City Space Bar Swissôtel Krasnye Holmy

Rooms with a View

Take the express elevator to the top floor of the Radisson Royal Hotel, formerly the Hotel Ukraina, and ascend a staircase to a close-to-heaven Italian restaurant, Buono. A property of the Ginza Project, Buono serves traditional Italian fare by chef William Lamberti. The creamy decor is the perfect foil to the extravagant view of the Moscow River and skyline.
2/1 Kutuzovsky Prospekt, Bldg. 1
+7 495 229 83 08
From noon until last guest
Average main — 1,000 rubles

Kofemaniya on Novaya Ploshchad
Kofemaniya's breakfasts, snacks and sweets always hit the spot, but their new and largest branch on Novaya Ploshchad is worth visiting for the decor alone. Located in a building designed by the late 19th- to early 20th-century Russian architect of style moderne, Fyodor Shechtel, the interior space was designed by the late English architect David Collins. Everything is high style moderne, from the lights to the table edging and door handles. Order a cup of coffee and a pastry, and enjoy the view.
2 Maly Cherkassky Pereulok
+7 495 960 22 95
Daily, from 8.00 a.m. to midnight
Average main — 700 rubles

O2 Lounge
O2 Lounge is a roof-top bar serving Asian snacks and pub grub in minimalist decor — only the snacks, salads, and sushi are five-star, the vodka is perfectly chilled, and the view of the Kremlin and Red Square is jaw-dropping. It may be crazily expensive, but at midnight on a clear night, it is magical, delicious and worth every kopek.
3 Tverskaya Ulitsa, 12th floor of the Ritz-Carlton
+7 495 225 88 88
Daily, from noon to 2:00 a.m.
Average main — 1,500 rubles

White Rabbit
Chef of White Rabbit Vladimir Mukhin serves fine Russian, European and original dishes in a glass aerie at the top of the Smolensky Passazh business center. The dishes are fresh, light and playful, with Asian accents. The ambiance is lush, airy and bright. And that view — 360 degrees at 16 stories above the city — is divine.
3 Smolenskaya Ploshchad, 16th floor
+7 495 663 39 99
Daily, from noon to 6:00 a.m.
Average main — 1,100 rubles

Yar was founded in 1826 and was once Moscow's best "suburban" restaurant, the place where swains went in sleds for elegant dining and wild gypsy music. The present restaurant was re-created in the Stalinist era and more recently updated. The hall is like a cross between the Bolshoi and Caesar's Palace, and the best part of the evening is the risque cabaret show, which was choreographed and developed with the Moulin Rouge. The Russian and European cuisine is hit-and-miss, but the flavored vodka is always delicious.
32/2 Leningradsky Prospekt
+7 495 960 20 04
From noon to midnight
Average main — 800 rubles

Lifestyle Guide 2014
Lifestyle Guide 2014
The new issue of the Lifestyle Guide presents the best places in Moscow ― fine dining, bars, nightclubs, luxe spa salons, beauty centers and premium-class hotels.
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