With St. Petersburg’s European flair and size, there are cuisines from all around the world, from Japanese to Italian, and at all classes of service to choose from. However, on a backpacker’s budget or with a packed itinerary full of walking tours and museums, sometimes you just need a place that’s quick, easy and affordable to fit in the middle.
While exploring the streets of St. Petersburg, I compiled a list of some quick and easy places to grab a bite when in a pinch.
Kroshka Kartoshka: You haven’t been to Russia if you haven’t eaten a giant baked potato. At Kroshka Kartoshka, the baked potatoes are ready to go. Once you place an order, they open the potato up and mash in some butter and cheese. This is the point where you get to choose some salads to place on top: anything from simple veggies to stewed meat, for a somewhat well-rounded meal.
Cafe Stolovaya: Canteen or cafeteria style dining is popular in Russia, and one canteen in particular is a chain in St. Petersburg. Cafe Stolovaya makes it easy for the traveler that doesn’t know Russian as everything is laid out in front of them. Just point and the nice ladies behind the counter will dish out what you need at a reasonable price.
Coffee House: Coffee House is like the Starbucks of Russia, and it populates just about every street corner in St. Petersburg. The cool thing about this place is the menus include English and a wide variety of food to choose from. Just be aware that the flavored coffees may come mighty sweet, so it’s best to get the plain coffee and sweeten if yourself.
Pirogi: It’s more of a sit-down place, but if you head to Pirogi (ПирО.Г.И.) and order up a simple meat pie, then the service can be quick and easy. There’s only one in the entire city and it is often packed with Russians. Just be aware that the evenings can become quite smokey with only a three table non-smoking section. You can head to Pirogi at any hour of the day, any day of the week.
Tea Spoon: Chainaya Lozhka (Tea Spoon) is another quick bite chain throughout the city. It’s comfortable and sells an assortment of food and drink from coffee and tea to blini and borscht. The cafe is easy to find on Nevsky Prospect and has many other locations.
One bonus of traveling in St. Petersburg, as opposed to other parts of Russia, is that more people here will know a word or two of English. So, if you ever want to check out a place that doesn’t have an English menu like Cafe Stolovaya, don’t be afraid to ask if your server can help explain. We were surprised with helpful service all over St. Petersburg.
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