Restaurants and Cafes

Courtesy of Damas

Eat Your Heart Out

Moscow's restaurant scene has changed drastically in recent years, but only for the best. International and well-established restaurateurs like Michelin-starred Italian chef Uilliam Lamberti and the fellows behind the global Ginza Project have expanded their Moscow holdings, dabbling with new styles to offer playful food of reliable quality.

At the same, small one-chef and family-style projects are popping up around the capital, experimenting with new dishes and cuisines — like mozzarella-meatball subs and bubble teas — that, just a few years ago, were nowhere to be found in Russia.

Though the price of eating out can still add up quite quickly, customer service standards and restaurant selection are improving rapidly. Here we present the best Moscow eats across three categories: comfort cooking, creative cuts, and classic cuisine — plus our picks for the Top Three restaurants of 2015.

Comfort Cooking

Funky Lab

Everything about Funky Lab is eccentric, in the most playful and enjoyable way possible. Specializing in 'disassembled dishes'. The restaurant takes beautifully prepared food — borrowing from Mediterranean, Arabic, Russian, French, and Asian influences — and adds an interactive element, delivering fully cooked and completed components for diners to mix together themselves and individualize as necessary. Take a disassembled pumpkin soup: the broth, dried pumpkin shavings, cinnamon pumpkin compote and roasted pumpkin seeds all arrive in separate containers on a single slate slab, for diners to combine and bask in the warm glow of their own participation. With spectacular flavor, beautiful presentation, and attentive service, a meal at Funky Lab is both stimulating and memorable.

+7 (495) 951-0607

7/10 Bolshaya Polyanka, bldg. 1

Open Mon–Thurs noon to midnight, Friday noon to 2:00 a.m., Sat 2:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., Sun 2:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.

Average meal: 1,500-2,500 rubles

Funny Cabany

What more can you ask from a casual grill bar than a warm wooden interior, a variety of food at reasonable prices, and….a mini pig? Funny Cabany (named after the house mini pig, Funny) is a lively restaurant/bar with a long drink menu and quick, simple food — from wings and chicken cheese balls to spaghetti, homemade burgers, and steaks. Come here for a cheap yet hearty meal — and, of course, to pet the mini pig.

+7 (985) 220-2502

5/9 Malaya Dmitrovka

Open Mon–Thurs noon to midnight,

Fri–Sat 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., Sun noon to midnight

Average meal: 1,500 rubles

Chicago Prime

No matter how far you venture abroad, nothing makes you feel at home quite like tucking into a medium-rare cut of beef at an American-style steakhouse. The servers here speak Russian, but make no mistake, their steaks would make a Texan proud. Prices range on the higher side, but the excellent quality is worth it.

+7 (495) 988-1717

8a Strastnoy Bulvar

Open Sun–Thr from noon to midnight, Fri–Sat noon–5:00 a.m.

Average meal: over 2,500 rubles


Goodbeef is the first to admit that a properly cooked steak is hard to find. Still, they claim they've mastered the technique, and we're inclined to agree. The founders of this restaurant (a chain, but quality nonetheless, and not too expensive either) travelled all the way to Argentina to study steak preparation before undertaking this venture — and as a result, they can do amazing things with a piece of marbled beef. Ribeyes, strip loins, and filet mignon are all central to the menu — but if steak's not your scene, Goodbeef still has you covered with a selection of other offerings: beef stroganoff, burgers, racks of lamb are all available, plus a number of soups and salads.

m. Kitai Gorod, Domodedovskaya, Kashirskaya, Aeroport, Myakinino

Open daily 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Average meal: 700–1,500 rubles

Tseitlin's Catering

Sometimes, going out to eat is not an option: you need the food to come to you. This is where Tseitlin's Catering comes in. A well-priced small company specializing in barbecue (shashlyk) and European-style cuisine, Tseitlin's offers catering for everything from kid's birthday parties and weddings to corporate parties and school dances, ranging in size from 30 to 500 guests. The owner, Yakov Tsetilin, even counts former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul among his happy diners.

+7 (495) 940-7136

Creative Cuts


Chef Denis Konev has created a new menu for the restaurant, which will delight guests with great flavors and unexpected combinations. One characteristic of the head chef — a high-end professional — is that he carefully selects and evaluates products for the preparation of each dish. Konev draws inspiration from famous creators of gastronomic masterpieces of world renown, such as Allen Ducasse. In the preparation of each dish, he uses different cooking techniques, enhances or completely changes their taste, combines new and familiar ingredients. But his priority is always to preserve  the useful features of the products so that the food is not only delicious, but also healthy. This is why the menu includes a huge amount of fresh vegetables and seafood.

+7 (495) 255-1166

48 Kutuzovsky Prospekt, Vremena Goda Gallery

Open from 11:00 a.m. till last guest 

Average meal: 5,000 rubles

G. Graf

Meat and wine. This restaurant is full of meat and wine. Vegetarians and teetotalers, be aware. If you've ever been caught complaining about the lack of meals made from wild game in Moscow, come to G. Graf: it serves game dishes freshly caught from the restaurant's own wild game farm, prepared according to special Italian recipes and paired with a luxurious selection of wine. The head chef, Stefano Zaffrani, is Italian and creative, putting together artistic works of art — like a Hungarian goulash made with bear meat, kiwi, and grappa, or polenta with woodcock, pigeon, and quail — specifically for this venue.

+7 (495) 989-4649

8 4th Dobryninsky Pereulok

Open daily noon to midnight

Average meal: over 2,500 rubles


Catering to the international traveller yet staying true to its roots, Acapella (located on the 2nd floor of the Swissotel) offers modern European and Russian cuisine spotlighting local, eco-friendly, and seasonal products. Unlike most swanky restaurants, Acapella goes out of its way to explain potentially unfamiliar dishes (the average diner may or may not know what a Muksun is), include tidbits about the suppliers of their local ingredients, and spotlight the chef's specials. Savor 3-fish pelmeni baked with red caviar sauce, taste a tartare of scallops from Sakhalin in Russia's Far East, or try a more traditional borsch soup: Acapella shows off the modern side of Russian cooking.

+7 (495) 221-5358

Swissotel, Kosmodamianskaya nab., 52 bld. 6, 2nd floor

Open daily 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Average meal: over 2,500 rubles


Four dining halls, four atmospheres, four completely different dining experiences. In a courageous (and, we think, quite successful) attempt at solving the problem of where to eat, the creators of Damas have built a dining experience designed to satisfy everyone. A European coffee house, with cushy scattered armchairs; an Oriental hall with pure white carved ceilings and a waterfall; a hookah zone with carpets and soft pillows; a VIP area of sophisticated luxury — all are contained in the walls of Damas. Arab, European, Mediterranean, and Japanese cuisine are all available in this unique sampling of the world.

+7 (495) 628-8080

8 Maroseyka Ulitsa

Open daily noon to midnight

Average meal: 1,500-2,500 rubles


Stepping into Tan is like walking straight out of Moscow and into a quiet Oriental dream, gently backlit in soft pinks and blues. The interior of this modern Chinese restaurant is stunningly detailed, from the elaborate lighting and teakwood tables to the silk-upholstered chairs. With Japanese and Uzbek cuisine as well as Chinese, Tan's menu is intimidatingly long — but all the food here (including baked pigs ears and Peking duck!) is authentic. Buffets and karaoke are also available.  

+7 (495) 251-0877

Oruzheiny Pereulok, 13/1

Open 24 hours

Average meal: 1,500-2,500 rubles

Classic Cuisine

Meat Club

The first rule of Meat Club is, it's not all about steaks. Second, it's not all about beef. Third, good meat can be an affordable treat. Open since 2001, this restaurant was one of Moscow's early fashionable steakhouses, boasting imported meats like an Australian wagyu ribeye and Tuscan veal on the bone. Meat Club keeps the menu simple and classic: though meat is by far the star, diners can also enjoy pumpkin cream soups and sea bass ceviche along with their juicy cuts.

+7 (495) 625-1729

19/1 Kuznetsky Most

Open daily noon to midnight

Average meal: over 2,500 rubles


Aist, in Russian, means "stork" — and this cafe inherits its name from a trendy Soviet-era diner in the same location that once plied its hungry customers with pelmeni and Russian-style salads. One of the staples of the Novikov Group of restaurateurs, Aist is reminiscent of a refined living room (complete with dishes mounted on walls and scattered leather couches), but also boasts a broad sunny patio for outdoor eating when weather permits. If anything, the menu errs on the side of too much variety: pasta, sushi, fish, hamburgers, and khachapuri (Georgian-style pizza) are all available.

+7 (499) 940-7040

8/1 Malaya Bronnaya Ulitsa

Open Sun-Wed from 9:00 a.m. to last customer, Thur-Sat from 10:00 a.m. to last customer

Average meal: over 2,500 rubles


Combining Moscow upper-class dining with modern European club culture, this Novikov Group project fills several buildings of an 18th century mansion just outside the city's center. The menu centers on traditional Russian cuisine, presented simply and classically: the warm rabbit liver salad, Siberian stag dumplings topped with sour cream, or borsch soup will give you a taste of the Motherland, but at a hefty price. Gusyatnikoff's restaurant itself consists of two dining halls and numerous smaller private rooms — but the buildings also house a billiards room, cigar lounge, hookah bar, and a nightclub.

+7 (495) 632-7558

2 Alexandra Solzhenitsyna Street

Open from noon till last guest

Average meal: over 2500 rubles

Real Food Restaurant

Real Food, real ingredients: this simple, homely restaurant inside Moscow's World Trade Center focuses on homestyle food made from fresh and natural products. You'll find many familiar and favorite European classics, including pasta, steaks, salads, and soups, on the well-priced menu.

+7 (495) 258-1672

"Swedish Breakfast":

Mon.–Fri. 6:30 a.m.–11:00 a.m.,

Sat.–Sun. 6:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.;

Lunch and dinner by a la carte menu: from noon until 11 p.m. daily

Average meal: 2,500 rub.

Les Menus par Pierre Gagnaire

A modern take on classical French cuisine by three-Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire, Les Menus changes its menu seasonally to keep its selection of simple yet ingredients fresh and flavorful. This gorgeous restaurant showcases what it calls "culinary artistry at its finest interpretation" in its food, as well as impeccable service: the whole Les Menus team was trained in Paris.

+7 (495) 287-0515, +7 (495) 745-1000

8 Novinsky Bulvar, Bldg. 2, Lotte Hotel Moscow, 2nd floor.

Open Mon.-Fri. noon–10:30 p.m.,

Sat.-Sun. 6 p.m.–10:30 p.m.

Business lunch Mon.-Fri. noon–4:00 p.m.

Average meal: 5,000 rubles


A fine dining organic Japanese restaurant. From the antique kimono fabrics adorning the lounge to the volcanic hot stones (imported from remote Japanese mountain rivers) on which the wagyu steak is grilled, interior details are carefully thought out — and the food is no less perfected. Sushi, sake, and sea bass: MEGU spotlights premium, classic Japanese cuisine.

+7 (495) 287-0520

8 Novinsky Bulvar, Bldg. 2,

Lotte Hotel Moscow

Mon–Fri noon–10:30 p.m.,

Sat–Sun 2:00 p.m.–10:30 p.m.

Average meal: 1,500–2,500 rubles

Top Three Restaurants of 2015

Saperavi Cafe

There's something about Georgia's rich, cheesy-buttery cuisine and earthy wines that warms the soul — and Saperavi's modern take on Georgian classics promises one of the most satisfying meals of your life. The chef here manages to improve on favorites like khachapuri (a glorious bread boat dripping with egg and cheese) by adding unconventional ingredients like mint and eggplant, and adding twists like pumpkin seeds and avocado to brighten a simple watermelon salad. From lobio (baked beans with herbs) to khinkali (traditional juicy meat dumplings), Saperavi will have you begging for more of Georgia's best cuisine until you can't stomach another bite.

Locations at Belorusskaya and Kitai Gorod

Open Sun–Wed 11:00 a.m. to midnight, Thurs–Sat 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.

Average meal: 1,500–2,500 rubles


As Moscow's only North Korean restaurant, Koryo wows adventurous eaters both with unique (but tasty!) flavors as well as a memorable dining experience. The decor alone provides plenty of material for stories about your night in little Pyongyang, with murals of flying maidens and TV reels of Korean karaoke in the background. In addition to staple Korean dishes like kimchi and mandu dumplings, Koryo offers a wide variety of less-common yet authentic foods like naengmyeon — cold noodles in bouillon with add-ons like meat and eggs.

+7 (495) 232-4352

11 Ul. Ordzhonikdze, Bldg. 9

Open daily noon–11:00 p.m.

Average meal: 1,500-2,500 rubles

Mari Vanna

A cozy homestyle restaurant tucked inside a Moscow apartment, dining at Mari Vanna gives the impression that a kindly Russian housewife has warmly welcomed you into her own abode to enjoy a feast of modern Russian cuisine. Open for all three meals of the day, Mari Vanni has all the familiar local dishes, from kasha and blini at breakfast, Olivier salad and pelmeni dumplings at lunch, and borsch with meat cutlets and tea (or vodka!) at dinner. The owners add timely twists to the menu with seasonal dishes and ingredients, while the restaurant's pet cat, dog, canary, and fish only reinforce the feeling that you're right at home.

+7 (495) 650-6500

10a Spiridonjevsky Pereulok

Open daily from 9:00 a.m. to midnight

Average meal: 1,500-2,500 rubles

Lifestyle Guide 2015
Lifestyle Guide 2015
Premium-class hotels, restaurants, nightlife, spas, fitness, and city festivals - this new issue of the Lifestyle Guide proudly presents the best spots in Moscow in 2015.
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