Top ChoiceMongolian in Irkutsk

Kochevnik

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 ChoiceCafe 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...

Top ChoiceRussian in Irkutsk

Rassolnik

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...

Natural Feature in Listvyanka

Chersky Rock

Listvyanka’s best viewpoint, overlooking the source of the Angara, is named after Jan Czerski, a 19th-century Polish gentleman explorer. It is best accessed via the cable car of the mediocre Eastland ski resort...

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...

Pub 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...

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...

Market in Irkutsk

Central Market

Very central indeed, Irkutsk's well-maintained and perfectly authentic market is the place to stock up on cedar nuts, taiga herbs and Siberian fish, notably the famous Baikal omul, which can be packed in hermetic...

Market in Arshan & Tunka Valley

Mongolian Market

Traders bring Mongolian herbs, spices, clothes and leather items from across the nearby border to this colourful makeshift market that stretches for a few hundred metres along the Kyngyrga valley inside the...

Cafe 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.

Museum in Irkutsk

Volkonsky House-Museum

The duck-egg-blue and white home of Decembrist Count Sergei Volkonsky, whose wife Maria Volkonskaya cuts the main figure in Christine Sutherland’s unputdownable book The Princess of Siberia, is a small mansion...

Monastery in Irkutsk

Znamensky Monastery

Stranded on the wrong side of a thundering roundabout, the 1762 Znamensky Monastery is 1.9km northeast of Skver Kirova. Echoing with mellifluous plainsong, the wonderful interior has muralled vaulting, a towering...

Area in Irkutsk

130 Kvartal

What does a city boasting some of Siberia’s most impressive original timber architecture do to improve the visitor experience? Yes, that’s right, recreate an entire quarter of yet more wooden buildings, some...

Museum in Irkutsk

Trubetskoy House-Museum

Irkutsk’s second Decembrist house-museum emerged from a recent renovation with English-language information, touchscreens and tinkling background music. This pleasingly symmetrical minimansion was actually built...

Museum in Irkutsk

Usadba Sukacheva

A small park on the edge of the historical centre contains a smattering of beautiful wood-lace buildings and arbours. These house exhibitions dedicated to the family of 19th-century benefactor Vladimir Sukachev,...

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...

Bar 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...

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...

Gardens in Listvyanka

Retro Park

This garden near the St Nicholas Church is full of wacky sculpture pieces fashioned from old Soviet-era cars and motorbikes. You can check out a few samples attached to the railings on the embankment so you know...