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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Retro Ryumochnaya

MTRyumochnaya provides a blast from the past with prices to match.
It's safe to say that Ryumochnaya is the stuff of legends, having reportedly worked on and off as a tavern for more than 125 years. It has garnered a reputation as a refuge for artistic types, thanks to its proximity to the Conservatory and the Mayakovsky Theater. Renowned poets have read here; famed actors and musicians have drunk here.

But still, Ryumochnaya, which is Russian for shot bar, is a simple affair, seemingly unchanged in more than a decade -- or maybe even two. Sadly, such watering holes are a dying breed, having been squeezed out by German-style beer halls and flashy sports bars.

With only about 10 tables, Ryumochnaya is small and cozy. Beneath painted portraits of the owners, pot plants share the windowsills with matryoshki nesting dolls, samovars and other knickknacks. On the walls are humorous signs, such as "free beer tomorrow," and funny retro admonitions, such as "By carefully chewing you help society." In one corner there are numerous newspaper clippings recounting Ryumochnaya's colorful history.

The food is on display across the top of the bar: trays of salmon and pork steaks, meat patties, macaroni, fried potatoes, buckwheat and other such dishes. Prices are more than reasonable: an open sandwich with cheese or sausage costs 35 rubles, a salmon sandwich is 50 rubles and 80 grams of boiled prawns go for 50 rubles.

This being a shot bar, vodka is affordable to say the least, starting at 30 rubles for 50 grams. Draft beer is also inexpensive, with a half-liter of Nevskoye costing 70 rubles and unfiltered Baltika No. 8 selling for 75 rubles -- probably the lowest price for unfiltered draft beer in Moscow.

For those sick of straight-from-the-catalog prefab pubs, Ryumochnaya is a genuine blast from the past.

22/2 Bolshaya Nikitskaya Ul., Bldg. 1, 291-5474, 11 a.m.-11 p.m., M. Okhotny Ryad.