Best restaurants in Moscow

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Zamoskvorechie

    Danilovsky Market

    A showcase of the city's ongoing gentrification, this giant Soviet-era farmers market is now largely about deli food cooked and served in myriad little eateries, including such gems as a Dagestani dumpling shop and a Vietnamese pho-soup kitchen. The market itself looks very orderly, if a tiny bit artificial, with uniformed vendors and thoughtfully designed premises. Even if you’re not shopping, it’s entertaining to peruse the tables piled high with multicoloured produce: homemade cheese and jam, golden honey straight from the hive, vibrantly coloured spices pouring out of plastic bags, slippery silver fish posing on beds of ice, and huge slabs of meat hanging from the ceiling.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Meshchansky & Basmanny

    Darbazi

    The vast majority of Georgian restaurants focus on the most popular, tried-and-true fare, such as shashlyk (meat kebabs) and khinkali (dumplings). This classy place goes far beyond these, listing less well-known delicacies with almost encyclopaedic meticulousness. Our favourite is chakapuli (lamb cooked in white wine with tarragon) and megreli kharcho (duck in walnut sauce). Definitely go for one of the desserts, such as pelamushi (red grape mousse).

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Zamoskvorechie

    Mizandari

    Georgian restaurants in Moscow tend to be either expensive or tacky. This small family-run place is neither. Come with friends and order a selection of appetisers, such as pkhali and lobio (both made of walnut paste), khachapuri (Georgian cheese bread) and kharcho (rice with beef or lamb soup). Bless you if you can still accommodate a main course after all that! A bottle of Kindzmarauli red wine might help to increase your consumption capacity.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Arbat & Khamovniki

    Elardzhi

    Moscow's Georgian restaurants are all very tasty, but this one is also tasteful. You'll be charmed from the moment you enter the courtyard, where live rabbits and lambs greet all comers. Sink into a sofa in the romantic dining room or on the light-filled porch; then feast on delicacies, such as the namesake dish, elarji (cornmeal with suluguni cheese).

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Zamoskvorechie

    Björn

    A neat cluster of fir trees on a busy street hides a Nordic gem that deserves a saga to glorify its many virtues. This is not an ‘ethnic’ restaurant, but a presentation of futuristic Scandinavian cuisine straight out of a science fiction movie. From salads to desserts, every dish looks deceptively simple, visually perfect and 23rd century.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Presnya

    Cafe Pushkin

    The tsarina of haute-russe dining, offering an exquisite blend of Russian and French cuisines. Service and food are done to perfection. The lovely 19th-century building has a different atmosphere on each floor, including a richly decorated library and a pleasant rooftop cafe.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Arbat & Khamovniki

    Chemodan

    A unique opportunity to sample Siberian cuisine (rare, that is, for those of us who don't frequent Siberia). The menu highlights game meat, regional seafood and wild fruits and berries (and pine cones). The dining room is decorated with old photos and antiques, creating a romantic atmosphere that any adventurer would be happy to return home to. Highly recommended.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Presnya

    Stolle

    The entire menu at Stolle is excellent, but the pirozhki (savoury pies) are irresistible. A ‘stolle’ is a traditional Saxon Christmas cake: the selection of sweets and savouries sits on the counter, fresh from the oven. It may be difficult to decide (mushroom or meat, apricot or apple?), but you really can’t go wrong.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Meshchansky & Basmanny

    Dukhan Chito-Ra

    It's a blessing when one of the most revered Georgian eateries in town is also one of the cheapest. The object of worship here is khinkali – large, meat-filled dumplings – but the traditional vegie starters are also great. The rather inevitable downside is that the place is constantly busy and there is often a queue to get in. Beware – there is a lot of delicious broth inside the dumplings, so bite a little and suck it out before proceeding with the rest.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Meshchansky & Basmanny

    Kitayskaya Gramota

    Ignore the fact that the waiting staff are dressed as Mao's soldiers; this is the place to try outstanding Cantonese fare in an atmosphere echoing that of the Opium War's decadence. A true culinary magician, the Chinese chef turns any ingredient – from hog paw to octopus to simple milk – into a mouth-watering delicacy. The sumptuous 'fried milk' dessert is to die for.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Presnya

    Khachapuri

    Unassuming, affordable and appetising, this urban cafe exemplifies what people love about Georgian culture: the warm hospitality and the freshly baked khachapuri (cheese bread). Aside from eight types of delicious khachapuri, there’s also an array of soups, shashlyk (kebabs), khinkali (dumplings) and other Georgian favourites.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Presnya

    Twins Garden

    Swoon-worthy identical-twin chefs Sergei and Ivan Berezutskiy bring their contrasting tastes and creative talents to this delightful restaurant. The brothers take a thoroughly modern approach to Russian cooking, with most ingredients now procured from a farm of their own.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Arbat & Khamovniki

    Varenichnaya No 1

    Retro Soviet is all the rage in Moscow, and this old-style restaurant does it right, with books lining the walls, old movies on the B&W TV, and Cold War–era prices. The menu features tasty, filling vareniki and pelmeni (Russian-style dumplings), with sweet and savoury fillings. Bonus: an excellent house-made pickled vegie plate to make you pucker.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Presnya

    AQ Kitchen

    AQ stands for Adrian Quetglas, the Argentinian chef who is the brains behind this creative endeavour. With huge windows and stressed-wood details, the shabby-chic interior is a perfect setting for the eclectic menu. Look for Moroccan chicken with couscous, grilled squid with romesco sauce and other unexpected delicacies.

  • Restaurants in Presnya

    Gran Cafe Dr Zhivago

    An excellent breakfast choice before visiting the Kremlin, this round-the-clock place mixes Soviet nostalgia with a great deal of mischievous irony in both design and food. The chef has upgraded the menu of a standard pioneer camp’s canteen to near-haute-cuisine level, with masterfully cooked porridge, pancakes, vareniki (boiled dumplings, like ravioli) and cottage-cheese pies. Dr Zhivago occupies the premises of the historic Cafe Berlin inside the Hotel National.

  • Restaurants in Zamoskvorechie

    Vay Me

    Georgian food has never been known to be fast, but this fledgling chain is bringing about a revolution. The stylishly designed little eatery has all the famous staples, like khachapuri (cheese pastry), kharcho (beef or lamb soup) and khinkali (dumplings), but you order at the counter and eat in the discomfort of tall bar tables and stools. That's not quite how they do it in Georgia, but it fits into Moscow's crazy lifestyle just fine.

  • Restaurants in Meshchansky & Basmanny

    Levon's Highland Cuisine

    You might be distracted by the crazy wall paintings, which depict Darth Vader and Chewbacca mingling with characters from the Soviet comedy Prisoner of the Caucasus, but the main part in this film-themed mayhem is reserved for brtuch – a wrap made of Armenian flat bread and chicken with a choice of gravy – pomegranate, walnut or garlicky yogurt. Drinks available include pomegranate or tarragon fizzy drinks or craft beer.

  • Restaurants in Presnya

    Pushkin Konditerskaya

    If you want to impress your date, but you can’t afford the Cafe Pushkin for dinner, head next door to the konditerskaya (confectioner) for dessert. It’s every bit as opulent as the restaurant, from the crystal chandeliers down to the marble floors, with plenty of embellishments in between (not the least of which is the glass case displaying the sweets).

  • Restaurants in Arbat & Khamovniki

    Usachevsky Market

    An old market has been taken over by hipster foodies, who instantly filled the premises with little eateries serving Georgian, Uzbek, Italian, Israeli and you-name-it cuisine, as well as shops representing small-scale Russian food producers, such as Kostroma Cheese. The sushi spot, Ryba, is one of the best in Moscow. It’s a great place for lunch and shopping, if you happen to be nearby.

  • Restaurants in Meshchansky & Basmanny

    Yuzhane

    A carnivore stronghold, Yuzhane (which means 'the Southerners') gets its meat from the Kuban area in southern Russia, hence the name. The chef's philosophy is to utilise every bit of an animal's body, so in addition to juicy steaks, the menu features all kinds of by-products. The southern theme is backed by seafood and a wealth of vegetables, including meaty tomatoes.