Top ChoiceMongolian in Irkutsk


Take your taste buds to the Mongolian steppe for some yurt-size portions of mutton, lamb and steak as well as filling soups and buuzy dumplings, sluiced down with a bottle from the decent foreign wine list....

Top ChoiceRussian in Irkutsk


Arguably the best eating addition in the 130 Kvartal, this retro restaurant serves up a 100% Soviet-era menu (think upmarket pelmeni, okroshka, shchi, kvas and grandmother's pickles) in a plush Stalinist...

Bakery in Irkutsk

La Boulangerie & Patisserie

This is the kind of place Siberia's earliest Francophones, the Decembrists, must have dreamed would emerge in Irkutsk one day. Believe us, no freshly baked croissant feels more invigorating than the one consumed...

Buryat in Irkutsk

Poznaya na Lenina

With a stylishly dark interior and Buryat-themed modern paintings on the walls, this otherwise unpretentious cheapie is possibly the best place to sample pozy (R40 per person) and other Buryat-Mongolian fare in...

Buryat in Irkutsk

Baikal Love Cafe

For a quick introduction to native Siberians' food, check out this little eatery that serves Buryat buuzy dumplings, bukhlyor meat broth and suguday (Siberian version of ceviche) as well as Russian bliny pancakes...

Seafood in Irkutsk

Dom Rybaka

You might have already been introduced to Siberian fish, but for fundamental ichthyology head to this upmarket restaurant on the outskirts of the old town. Nelma, chir, taymen and a dozen other fish varieties are...

Pastries in Irkutsk

New Zealand Pies

Blown into central Eurasia by Pacific winds (along with myriad secondhand Japanese cars), this tiny joint churns out delicious pies with unusual fillings, from Pacific salmon and giblets in sour cream sauce to...

Cafeteria in Arshan & Tunka Valley

Zakusochnaya Khamar Daban

Located opposite the Sayan Sanatorium, this pleasant canteen serves up a large menu of Buryat comfort food, including boukhlyor (lamb broth), buuzy, khushuur (fried dumplings) and chebureki (juicy Tatar meat and...

Russian in Listvyanka

Listvyanka Club

This new airy lakeside place focuses on Baikal fish, with omul cooked in cedar-seed juice (Russians call it cedar milk), bringing together the two most iconic local staples. There is also an ample list of meat...

Asian in Irkutsk


Like a nomad galloping through the steppe, the menu of this large modern restaurant carries goodies poached from all over Asia, from authentic tom yum and East Asian noodles to Siberian specialities, like muksun...

International in Irkutsk

Design Bar

On the 2nd floor of a large interior design store and decorated with a multitude of red Chinese lamps, this intimate eatery-cum-bar serves inventive fusion food as well as cocktails. A great place for lunch (set...

Italian in Irkutsk


It’s pretty obvious from the outside that Figaro is no ordinary Siberian eatery. The glass-fronted dining space peppered with works of art and graced with unpretentiously stylish laid tables fills daily with...

Fusion in Irkutsk

Gastobar Kamchatka

This casual fusion eatery has a bit of everything from everywhere, with the actual Kamchatka peninsula represented by kizhuch (Pacific salmon) steak served with Thai salad. You can also have khachapuri (Georgian...

Belarusian in Irkutsk

Belaruskaya Gleba

The lengthy menu may apply to Guinness World Records as the longest list of meat and potato combinations, but that's what Belarusian cuisine is largely about. Folksy interior design and oom-pah-pah music are...

Cafe in Irkutsk


With its menu of imaginative salads, filling soups and (almost) healthy mains, this is no ordinary point-and-eat canteen. Swab the decks with a Slovak lager then sit back and admire the interior, a mishmash of...

Vegetarian in Irkutsk


Irkutsk’s only meat-free restaurant is a small self-service affair with a half-hearted Indian theme and a menu of soya sausages, basmati rice, spicy soups, mild curries, quorn chilli con carne, imaginative...

Russian in Listvyanka

Proshly Vek

Listvyanka’s most characterful eatery has a nautical theme, a fish-heavy menu and Baikal views. The upper floor is filled with fascinating old junk, which you can admire while tucking into omul done any which way...

Burgers in Irkutsk


A gastropub with comfy leather couches, Paradnaya serves gourmet burgers and salads to its hispter clientele. Perfect for beer-fuelled chats with friends and travel companions.

Cafeteria in Irkutsk


When it’s midday feeding time in the city centre, this gaudy self-service canteen, with red leatherette seating divided into cubicles and a menu of meatballs, pasta, pancakes and the odd healthy option, is the...

Supermarket in Irkutsk


Supermarkets are surprisingly rare in central Irkutsk so this centrally located, open-all-hours store is a godsend. Stocks a lot of ready-to-eat meals (meatballs, steaks, salads), ideal for long train journeys.