Buter Brodsky

Top choice european in Vasilyevsky Island

Shabby chic has never looked so good as it does at this cafe-bar dedicated to the poet Joseph Brodsky (the name is a pun on buterbrod, the Russian word for sandwich), a super-stylish part of Vasilyevsky Island's eating and drinking scene. The menu runs from excellent smørrebrød (open sandwiches; from R260) to fulsome Nordic- and Russian-themed mains.

It's also a great place for a drink as it specialises in homemade fruit-flavoured spirits and has its own very refreshing beer. The decor is particularly cool: Brodsky's (literally) chiselled features stare down on you from where they've been hammered into the cracked old walls, while elements of the historic building have been preserved and gorgeously integrated into the design.