Drinking and nightlife in Eastern Siberia

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Irkutsk

    Belaya Vorona

    Disciples of the bean should definitely head to the ‘White Crow’, a relaxing cellar-based coffee hang-out hiding from view in the cellar of a flower shop on the main drag. A funky soundtrack provides background for caffeine or a late breakfast as you catch up on emails or browse in the small book exchange, wishing you could read the Cyrillic paperbacks.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Krasnoyarsk

    Сhaynaya Yurta

    Literally a yurt occupying a prime riverside spot next to the city’s best museum, this place celebrates the tea culture of Siberian nomads. Try Orlan Sagaan tea, which contains the sagaan-dalya (a ubiquitous East Siberian herb rhododendron) or Tuvan tea with talgan (barley flour), milk and butter. The food menu is equally exotic.

  • Nightlife in Ulan-Ude

    Bar 12

    Capping off the Mergen Bator hotel, this bar probably offers the best views of any in Russia: the entire Buryat capital and the surrounding mountainscape are laid out dramatically below you. The bar’s party piece is to rotate through 360 degrees every 30 minutes, meaning you see the entire panorama without leaving your seat.

  • Nightlife in Irkutsk

    Brasserie BBB

    Belgian Benoit de With ended his career as beer plant manager and set up this great beer place. It has its own beer (cheap) and dozens of kinds of Belgian and other international beers. Belgian and French food is good, but expensive. Quiz shows and football broadcasts are both regular features.

  • Nightlife in Irkutsk

    Castro Cafe

    This place is cleverly divided into two areas – the downstairs bar for those who want a quick cup of brew, and a brightly coloured upstairs lounge zone with comfy couches and cushions.

  • Nightlife in Irkutsk

    Library Bar

    Russian literary celebrities stare at you from every wall, so after a few pints of Smolensk craft beer or a selection of great cocktails, you might be treating Mayakovsky as your buddy. But you can find better company than dead poets as the place is located next to three popular hostels, so English-speaking travellers are in no short supply.

  • Nightlife in Krasnoyarsk Territory & Khakassia

    Travel Coffee

    Surfboards that greet you at the entrance perhaps embody the ultimate travel dream one might conceive in a place that can’t be further removed from the nearest ocean. Great hot chocolate and cocoa, as well as unusual guest drinks such as birch tree sap, on top of competently prepared coffee standards.

  • Nightlife in Krasnoyarsk

    Zalech na Dno v Gamburg

    A vast vaulted cellar contains a German biergarten with a Siberian twist. There is a good dozen German, Czech and Belgian beers on tap, which you can top up with wurst and sauerkraut, or – more experimentally – with suguday (frozen raw fish with onion) served in a jar.

  • Nightlife in Krasnoyarsk

    Kofeynya Kultura

    As the name suggests, this is a den of coffee nerds who see the dark brew as an agent of cultural revolution and who perpetually experiment with brewing techniques and equipment. Besides that, it is a pleasant modern environment to spend some time in the company of a friend or a gadget.

  • Nightlife in Ulan-Ude

    Macondo Coffee & Store

    A bric-a-brac shop attached to the city museum comes with a hobbit-sized coffee bar that provides a welcome respite from dust, railway slime and instant coffee. It also brews by far the best latte this side of Khamar-Daban. Note the Gabriel García Márquez reference in the name.

  • Nightlife in Irkutsk

    Engineria Coffee

    These guys are nerdishly serious about the brew and if you share their passion, you can spend half an hour talking about percolate, immersion and AeroPress in barely comprehensible industry slang. But the bottom line is they just make great coffee.

  • Nightlife in Ulan-Ude

    Bisquit

    A stylish coffee-shop-cum-bar with bare brick walls and leather couches serves as coffee ambassador to Asian tea lands. Food is also available. A giant mirror at the entrance is handy for morning arrivals to examine damage after days on the train.

  • Nightlife in Krasnoyarsk

    Tovarishch

    A few dozen brands of Russian and international beers, both draft and bottled, are on offer in this dim-lit bar with crypto-Maoist subtext ciphered in the decor. Zolotoy Yarlyk lager and Black Jack stout are among the most popular brews.

  • Nightlife in Irkutsk

    Kwak Inn

    There is a bit of an American-diner feel about this supposedly Belgian place that belongs to Estonians. But crucially, it has a very good vibe, with friendly service and indeed lots of Belgian beer on tap.

  • Nightlife in Ulan-Ude

    Churchill

    A bekilted Scottish piper (well, a bagpiping dummy at least) greets you at the door of this relatively upmarket British-themed pub. The Brit paraphernalia extends throughout the two stylishly finished halls, the food is tasty and there’s an international draught beer menu at central London prices.

  • Nightlife in Irkutsk

    Bierhaus

    Upmarket Bavarian-style bierstube (beer hall with heavy wooden furniture) serving Newcastle Brown and Guinness as well as German beers and sausages. Enter from ul Karla Marksa.

  • Nightlife in Irkutsk

    Cheshskaya Pivovarnya

    You’ll smell this place before you see it as Irkutsk’s unpretentious microbrewery-pub creates its own Pilsner Urquell lager, pumping out a pungent hop aroma in the process.

  • Nightlife in Krasnoyarsk

    Krem

    One of Krasnoyarsk’s classiest coffee houses has black-and-white photography, dark-wood furniture, a belt-stretching dessert menu and reasonably priced lattes and espressos.

  • Nightlife in Krasnoyarsk Territory & Khakassia

    Kotofey

    Unusually big-windowed corner cafe with frilly lace curtains, proper European-style cafe chairs, the odd leathery bench and decent brews.

  • Nightlife in Irkutsk

    Lenin Street Coffee

    Simple, no-nonsense coffee place with a Western feel and pricey drinks. Good central place to hang out and surf the web.