Russian in Smolny & Vosstaniya

Image by Ksenia Elzes Lonely Planet

Attached to a renovated banya (public baths) complex, this is currently the place to sample nostalgic Russian fare at affordable prices. Everything is made in-house, from its refreshing kvas (fermented rye bread water) to dried meats and eight types of smoked fish. Don't overlook cherry vareniki (dumplings) with sour cream, oxtail ragout or the rich borsch.

There's a 20% discount at lunch. Just downstairs from the banya, Banshiki (which means 'banya masters') makes a fine setting for a post-steam feast.