The Ultimate Bar Guide to Moscow 2019
You've been looking for good bar recommendations for Moscow you're saying? Good. Your search is officially over because this is the best and most recent guide that shows you all the best bars in Moscow, which you absolutely must not miss.
Bars are aplenty in Moscow and you won't be able to possibly make it to all of them. So I broke it down for you into different catgories, allowing you to make a quick and easy choice. Here are the bars that I'm covering.
The Best Cheap Bars in Moscow
Ryumochnaya Buchuchet (no worries if you don't know how to pronounce that) translates to "vodkaroom of accounting". If this sounds like a good plan and a place like fun, you're right, it is!
I went there because a couple of clients requested it and it did not disappoint. You may or may not be familiar with the concept of a "stolovaya". These are basically old, Soviet style canteens. Well, a Ryumochnaya is the same, only with booze. A "ryumka" is literally a shot glass.
There's a couple of them in Moscow but the one on the map I can fully recommend. It's a very cozy, small bar with a lot of Soviet memorabilia on the walls and old Soviet movies running on mute on the TV's. It was fairly quiet the evening I visited but I've been told it's usually very busy and people go there to party and get smashed.
You can vodka as cheap as 60 Rubles for a shot and they serve Russian food as well (bear dumplings for example). Not only will you not spend a lot there but you're guaranteed to make a bunch of new drinking friends. This is not a place that foreigners usually go to a lot, so speaking English will make you very interesting for everyone. The best cheap bar in Moscow for a Soviet party.
There are actually two Kamchatka Bars in Moscow but the one on Kuznetsky Most is much more fun. It's a "democratic" bar where you can get beer for as little as 120 Rubles. They serve burgers and other fast food as well.
During the week it is fairly quiet but you can always give it a try because it might actually attract more people than expected. On the weekends it's a proper party place with a mix of Russian hits and international music. Predominantly students visit Kamchatka but anyone is welcome. People get very drunk and it's very high-energy as well.
In summer there's also a big crowd of people drinking and smoking in front of the bar. The best cheap bar in Moscow if you don't have a lot of money and want to meet some "real Russians".
1929 Bar used to be a staple of my student days in Moscow and we often hit it up to start the night. Not because I liked it so much but it was a cheap and high-energy option to start your night (and not only start...).
1929 Bar is full with students and is a smaller and more basic version of Rolling Stone Bar. On weekends it's pretty packed from midnight on and everyone gets crazy smashed until the early morning hours. I think Long Islands are about 300 Rubles, so you can imagine what kind of face you'll have when you walk out of there.
Just remember to bring your ID because, like a lot of low-end bars in Moscow, they will not let you in without ID, even if you're clearly older 25. The best cheap bar in Moscow for student parties.
The Best Lounges in Moscow
Mandarin Combustible was the very first bar in Moscow where I took a date to...talk about memories! And as far as an intimate dating spots go, you cannot go wrong with Mandarin. It's a cool and loungey bar with dim lights, a very generous bar and a slight hint of an Asian atmosphere. Truth be told, it's probably the only real lounge on this list.
I like the drinks and the seating in Mandarin but I do have to say the food is not quite up to par. I was expecting better from such a classy place. Another thing that could take it to another level would be turning it into a cigar lounge. It has by far the most fitting interior and ambiente for that, unfortunately smoking cigars is unheard of in Moscow.
Luch Bar is a classic high-end bar that is packed with hot women and well-dressed gentlemen on the weekends. An excellent spot to start the night, which I do myself occassionally as well. The cocktails are decent but you're coming more for the high-class atmosphere. It's also a great place to meet in company because it just hits the sweet spot in terms of the music being neither too loud nor too silent. During the week it's pretty quiet and you won't have an issue getting a table.
Cafe Moloko is less a lounge than more a Paris-style, cozy restaurant. You can come here for an informal dinner date or just drinks and you cannot go wrong with your choice. The menu is extensive and delicious, yet rather inexpensive. This is hands down one of my go-to spots when I'm planning to see a beautiful woman for a date.
The Best Rooftop Bars in Moscow
Mercedes Bar is located on the top of one of the Seven Sisters buildings, above the Radisson hotel. Needless to say that the view from up there is amazing. Apart from that the bar is generally not very crowded (although you can meet the occsaional hottie up there). That and the quite steep prices but it behind the other two choices for my personal taste.
The O2 lounge is located on top of the Ritz Carlton right in the heart of Moscow on Tverskaya Street. It's not so much a rooftop bar (at least in comparison to the other two spots on this list) as a high-end lounge. The 15th floor it's located on is still good enough for a nice view of the Red Square. In summer this place can get quite lively thanks to DJ bookings and its terrace. It never turns into a proper party spot though.
City Space Bar
This is my personal favorite, located on top of the Swissotel hotel. On the 37th floor you get a great view of Moscow. Plus the bar has an interesting round shape which makes for great views to all cardinal directions. The drinks on the menu are good while not being overpriced. It's open every day but naturally weekends are the busiest.
The Best Cocktail Bars in Moscow
The Mendeleev Bar is hidden but not really hidden cause just about everyone knows where it is. The entrance is tucked away in a little Chinese hole-in-the-wall restaurant and you won't have any problems getting in. The bar itself is downstairs in a vault. This gives the bar its unique mystic atmosphere.
The drinks in Mendeleev are nothing short of fantastic and it's a personal favorite of mine, especially on weekdays when it's not really busy (except for Jazz on Thursdays). On weekends it's a decent preparty spot but I personally don't dig how crowded it can become.
Santo Spirito could also just as well have gone in the hidden bars section cause it's really not easy to find if you don't know where to go. You have to enter Haggis Pub and walk all the way through it and down the stairs to find this minuscule basement bar (you can also ask staff).
The bar itself isn't bigger than 30 to 40 square meters. It doesn't feature more than the bare minimum, meaning a few chairs (but not many), a DJ and a tiny bar. The candle lighting and the red curtains make for a great atmosphere and the big screen behind the bar showing 50s and 60s movies without sound really gives the bar that "special something". This is personally one of my favorite bars in Moscow, especially because it's not very well-known.
The Best Hidden Bars in Moscow
The entrance to Shroedingers Cat is hidden in a yard where you'll have to find the sign, go down a few stairs and ring at the bell cause you can't see the door. Sounds complicated? It is. Inside you'll find a quirky little bar that's often really busy. Their catch is that every drink is served in an unusual way. For example the popcorn drink will come with a small bag of popcorn and in a typical cinema type of cup. Personally I think it's a decent bar even though the cocktails are nothing to write home about. All of my guests and clients have loved it though and it's definitely something unusual.
Chainaya Tea Room
To enter this bar you'll need to give them a call beforehand. Upon arrival give them another call and someone will open the door for you because you'll not be able to find it. This bar is hidden behind a door that you normally wouldn't even notice. The stairs take you downstairs to a spot with "minimalistic design and a menu inspired by pop art".
The cocktails are really unusual and I dare to say I had no effin' idea what I was drinking. The interior and atmosphere is great though. The owners really nailed the minimalistic design while still maintaining a charming and cozy note. One of my favorite places and practically unbeknownst to the general public.