Moscow offers an amazing variety of food and boats some of the finest international cuisine in the world. In the past, native Russian food has suffered at the hands of wanting more "refined" cuisine of Italian, French, and Japanese. Today's dining options are diverse and offer foreign delicacies as well as local flavor. An excellent site to help you navigate the dining scene is eng.menu.ru which offers guides and menus in English.
There is a growing market for mid-priced meals. One of these areas is being satisfied by small restaurants within the Sadovoye ring which are now offering business lunches around 200-250 rubles. These deals are valid from 12 until 3 pm and include a cup of soup or an appetizer, main dish, bread and a beverage (soda, coffee, or tea; beer costs extra.
Street food is a great low cost option. Hot dogs, sausages, meat pastries and doner kebab abound. Though tasty, it is not completely uncommon for visitor to need a little pepto bismal after visiting a vendor. Enjoy, but be prepared. Unfortunately, recent political moves to "clean up the city" and shut down immigrants has squashed some of these small businesses but many continue to thrive.
Muscovites are also fond of ice cream, no matter the weather. It is cheap and of consistently high quality. Kiosks can be found all over the center and near all Metro stations.
Moscow also has its share of chain stores:
As far as international cuisine, Georgian is generally spicier than Russian food and there are a number of reasonably priced Georgian restaurants in Moscow.
Japanese has been extremely popular in Moscow since the late 1990s. Japanese restaurants are probably most popular among young Russian women. The picture menus are a great help when ordering, and the names of items are basically just Japanese transliterated to Cyrillic. Don't expect a proliferation of raw fish, most of the popular rolls contain cooked items. To find some of the best, Japanese Restaurants.
French restaurants are almost always some of the most expensive and posh.
As the cost of living in Moscow tends to be high, so does the cost of eating out. The average cost per person for a middle to top class restaurant will be $30 to $200 and can be far in excess. Quick stand-up meals can cost about $3 and is generally underground, near famous monuments and subway stations. There has been a more recent movement to create more middle-class restaurants to fill the gap between the expensive and cheap markets to satisfy the growing family dynamic in the city.
Tipping is increasingly expected at restaurants. Tip 10-15% depending on service.
Krasnaya ploschad dom is located in Red Square, within the historical museum next to the Lenin Mausoleum. Quite expensive, but worth visiting; dinner is about $70-80 per person.
Pushkin is noted as one of the best places to eat in the city. (cafe is cheaper). A fake 19th century mansion, it is both a tourist attraction and a place to eat. It is one of the only places in Moscow to try true Russian cuisine. There is also a café here which has lower prices.
Carre Blanc is a French restaurant with superb food and wine. French, English, and Russian are spoken. There is an attached bar and café.
Expedition is the first and the only restaurant of arctic cuisine in Russia. Food is prepared only from natural products, delivered from the North (Archangelsk to Kamchatka). This restaurant is very expensive, but quite notable.
Ne dal'nii vostok: The name of this restaurant means, "Not far East." This pricey option located on Tverskoy Blvd building 15 hits the mark of fine dining at its best.
Roberto is a genuine Italian restaurant frequented by Italians. Located on Rozhdestvensky blvd, 20 bldg. 1, this restaurant offers a taste of Italy.
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