To find the best restaurant in Moscow, a city with more than 15 million inhabitants, is an impossible task. Maybe a delicious one but still hard to complete. You can find a wide variety of different cuisines in Moscow and a couple of really, really good restaurants that are worth visiting.
I don't visit restaurants regularly, so asking me what the best restaurant in Moscow is will not get you very far. But I teamed up with someone that can give you a very competent answer to this question.
Dariya is a popular and well-known food and travel blogger in Moscow. She knows way more about restaurants in Moscow than I do. Dariya was kind enough to give me access to her own excellent list of the best restaurants in Moscow. Her website is entirely in Russian but you can read her original restaurant recommendations here.
In this "inofficial" guest post we cover 20 tips for restaurants to visit in Moscow. With this list you don't have to go through countless travel guides anymore but have all the best restaurants handy in one place.
The Grand Café Dr.Zhivago is the ideal place to start the day with a breakfast and a view of the Kremlin. You will find it hard to choose between the delicious crab omelet, pancakes, Russian porridge or Russian cheesecakes (syrniki). The restaurant is not only worth a stop for breakfast but is open 24/7. Especially charming is the chic interior design with a touch of Imperial Russia. Only cash payments accepted.
Strelka Bar is the Swiss Army Knife of Moscow venues since you can visit it any time and it will always be a good choice. Besides the view and good cocktails, Strelka offers excellent lunch options. My personal favorites are the lamb moussaka and the grilled chicken. Oh and don’t forget to try one of their delicious lemonades on a warm day.
White Rabbit is one of Moscow’s finest and most decorated restaurants. It made the top 25 of the 50 best restaurants in the world. The view is slightly disappointing and the service is, as so often in Moscow, sub-standard. The food in White Rabbit more than makes up for that though. On the menu you’ll find everything from sea urchins to Magadan shrimps and goat meat with dumplings. The restaurant was one of the first to heavily rely on domestic Russian products and has blazed its own trail with this strategy.
The Café Pushkin has been an institution in the Moscow restaurant scene for over 20 years now. It never fails to impress with its immaculate interior design, wonderfully polite service and premier Russian cuisine. Breakfasts, served on the first floor, are delicious here but also the Kamchatka crabs, cutlet and scallops are more than just worth a try.
The Bosco Café is only café on the Red Square and that alone makes it worth a visit. The Italian style café is spread out over two floors in the legendary GUM shopping mall. No matter whether you go there for coffee, cakes or a full-scale Italian dinner, it never disappoints. In summer you can also sit on the terrace with a view of the entire Red Square.
Located on the 29th floor of the Radisson on Kievskaya metro, this is one of the best Italian restaurants in town. The view is marvelous and reserving a table at the window is definitely worth it. The food is, could it be any different, top notch. Recommendations include the ravioli with spinach and ricotta, tiger shrimps and truffles.
This place specializes on pinzas, usually a sweet bread dish, but here more to be thought of as a minuscule version of a regular pizza. Very tasty either way. If you want to go with something you know, you can always try one of the many soups, salads or main dishes straight from the heart of Italy.
One of the most stylish Italian restaurants in Moscow. You can choose from the entire array of Italian specialties that supposedly are prepared from recipes by real Italian grandmothers! A salumeria is originally a food shop, hence why here you can also buy delicious Italian style salami and cheese.
Maritozzo is located in the elegant area around Patriarch Ponds. Downstairs is a café and upstairs the restaurant and a wine bar. The cuisine is traditionally from the heart of Italy. Much recommended are the cappelletti al brodo (you’ll have to google that!) and of course the rich selection of wines.
In Twins the menu is divided by what the dish’s main ingredient is. You’ll find a vegetables section, a pasta section and so on. Particularly tasty are the eggplants baked in kvas (traditional Russian beverage made from bread) and the tartare. The interior is wooden and simplistic.
Tehnikum is a lively and modern restaurant that fits everyone’s taste. The menu doesn’t have a particular bend, so you’ll find everything from tacos to burgers to sausages made out of rabbit meat. Ideally suited to young visitors that are roaming around the busy Kuznetsky Most area, where Tehnikum is located.
This is a restaurant by famous Russian restaurateur Arkadiy Novikov, who has more than just a couple in Moscow. Mr Lee offers a Pan-Asian menu but if you need a particular recommendation it would be the Beijing duck and the Dim Sum with shrimps.
Nobu started off in New York as a project by actor Robert De Niro. In Moscow it delights with its combination of South American ingredients with Japanese cuisine. Don’t miss the shrimps with spicy sauce and the tataka tuna.
This restaurant (in English: not-so-far East) was called a meeting place for officials for it high prices and it really is. A more than ten year old veteran on the scene, which particularly makes use of Kamchatka crabs in every possible combination, whether fried in the wok, as a wrap or steamed. Another restaurant by Arkadiy Novikov.
Brasserie Most is one of the most elegant restaurants in Moscow. From its elegant crystal and porcelain to the interior design that lets you enjoy a view of the Kuznetsky Most area, this restaurant is the ideal stop before a visit of the nearby Bolshoi Theatre. The menu is French, a rarity among Moscow restaurants, and leaves out a distinct regional accent. The salad Nicoise merits particular praise.
This restaurant boasts stylish Scandinavian interior and big windows that get opened in summer to enjoy the fantastic view of the nearby park. But MOS impresses not only with its interior but its regularly changing menu as well. It has, among others, an excellent brunch menu that doesn’t slavishly stick to traditional Scandinavian cuisine but successfully adds the occasional dash of local flavor. Monday is oyster day in MOS and must not be missed. On Wednesdays there are often wine and beer tastings, adding to the rich selection of beverages on the menu.
Winil amazes with its calm and timeless interior design, but equally with its elaborate selection of wines. Imagine yourself with a glass of wine in one hand, the smell of their delicious octopus in your nose and the fitting jazz tunes in your ears and try to find out how this doesn’t work? Impossible because it always works.
Wine Religion was awarded the Best Award of Excellence by the Wine Spectator journal in 2016. This gastro pub follows a cozy, yet minimalist design without the over-the-top bravado of some other restaurants. The 400 different selections on the wine menu should keep everyone busy for a while.
If you’re looking for game meats, look no further than GGraf restaurant. Here you’ll find a lot of Russian specialties with game meats on the menu: borsh with moose meat, ravioli with hare or pheasant. If you’re not a fan of that, you can always go back to duck liver or chicken. The interior is very spacious and elegant and cigar aficionados (like I) will be pleased to hear about the separate cigar lounge with an extra tapas menu.
Moscow offers a plethora of Georgian restaurants but few are as stylish as Didi. Georgian cuisine is wildly popular in Moscow and must not be missed. In Didi you can try all different sorts of Hachapuri (delicious cheese-filled bread), Shashlik (grilled meat pieces) and countless other Georgian specialties. In summer they open a lovely terrace as well.
When you're done with eating, head on to one the the Top 15 Nightclubs in Moscow in 2018 for a wild and fun night!