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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Eateries That Offer Affordable Fare




Dining out in Moscow -- in many ways one of the world's most expensive cities -- can take a bite out of your wallet.


But can people living on a shoestring find restaurants with good food and reasonable prices? Some experts in the restaurant business say no, that if the food is inexpensive, it can't be good.


"You can't expect something extraordinary and pay absolutely nothing," said Svetlana Kesoyan, a culinary expert at Stolitsa magazine.


But many small beaneries in Moscow offer budget diners both a good meal and acceptable service. Many such restaurants feature ethnic cuisines, including Georgian, Chinese and Tibetan fare.


In Russia, perhaps the most popular non-Russian cuisine is Georgian. An interesting place to tempt your taste buds with food from the Caucasus is Kabanchik, The Wild Boar, a restaurant and bistro that offers great service and good food. The menu for both restaurant and bistro is the same, but the prices are marginally lower in the bistro due to the difference in type of service.


For an appetizer, try suluguni, a salty hard cheese. At Kabanchik, it is served smoked, fresh or fried on a ketsy, or frying pan. Appetizers start at around 60 rubles ($10). Soup, either mushroom or fish -- the ukha boyarskaya is a winner -- is available for 40 rubles. And for a true taste treat, try khachapuri, the famous Georgian bread stuffed with cheese, for 66 rubles.


Main dishes cost around 80 rubles. One of the more tempting items at Kabanchik is dolma, grape leaves bulging with meat and rice. Determined carnivores might want to order a special dish: pork ribs cooked over oak charcoal.


One warning: If you come to Kabanchik shortly before 9 p.m. or after, expect to pay an extra 100 rubles per person for the show, an eclectic potpourri featuring Gypsies, belly dancers and old Russian pop music.


If you're in the mood for Chinese food, the Junk Boat, centrally located on Tverskoi Bulvar, is a good bet. For openers, try the hot and sour soup, for 28 rubles, or a variety of appetizers that include fried frog legs, for 75 rubles, or simple Chinese vegetable salads, for 35 rubles.


Instead of ordering a whole meal, you can choose an assortment plate, which includes a couple of salads and meat (beef or poultry) with rice. The price is a hefty 150 rubles, but the portion is ample. As with many other restaurants in town, the seafood is expensive, but there's enough poultry, beef and pork on the menu to satisfy anyone's protein requirements.


And no Chinese meal would be complete without rice or noodles, though the menu does not offer a particularly wide variety of those. Noodles in beef sauce, along with Chinese broccoli, are a good choice at around 50 rubles.


The Junk Boat serves desserts that might not be considered traditionally Chinese -- ice cream, cheesecake -- but at 30 rubles, the price is right.


The Tibet Himalaya, a well-known Tibetan restaurant, offers meals that include soup or salad, entree and dessert for as little as 100 to 150 rubles per person. Both carnivores and herbivores can find inexpensive main dishes on the menu, but if you want seafood, you'll have to shell out more clams.


For those who like it hot, the Tibet Himalaya offers a very spicy sauce perfect with either a meat dish (salted pieces of beef) or a vegetable selection (Tibetan mushrooms). Either meal will cost you no more than 40 rubles. Fresh bread called cocke-baklab, similar to Indian bread, is served with the meal.


If the main meal leaves you full, try some Tibetan tea instead of dessert. The tea -- the ordinary green variety -- is spiced up by the addition of mare's milk, which is first mixed with butter and then added to the hot beverage.


Kabanchik, 1 Krasina Ulitsa, Korpus 27. Tel. 254-9664. Nearest metro: Belorusskaya. The restaurant is open noon until midnight; the bistro, 9 a.m. until 11:30 p.m.


The Junk Boat, 22 Tverskoi Bulvar. Nearest metro: Pushkinskaya. Tel. 203-9420. Open noon until midnight.


Tibet Himalaya, 19 Ulitsa Pokrovka. Nearest metro: Chistiye Prudy. Tel. 917-3985. Open noon until midnight.