Бизнес Ланч, the Russian solution to a short lunch break
Moscow is known for being a busy city with people always in a hurry. Whether they are students or employees of important companies, Muscovites have little time to eat their lunch sadly ( trust me, in France, we never appreciate it when we cannot fully enjoy our meals). Therefore, nearly every restaurant in the capital offer a Бизнес Ланч, and what a wonderful invention it is! A business lunch is served generally from 12:00 to 16:00 on weekdays. It includes a starter and a main course and also sometimes a drink (the choice is often limited to tea or juice). All of this cost only from 300 to 600-700 roubles depending on the restaurant you chose. The great thing about business lunches is that you can eat a real tasty meal (tastier than a sad old sandwich) for a really bargain price. It also allows you to enjoy more upper-class gastronomical restaurants, whose dinner menus only include dishes at sky high prices.
Here are some of my personal favourite restaurants in Moscow to enjoy the traditionally Russian бизнес ланч.
An all vegetarian restaurant in Moscow, a very unusual sighting! In its business lunch, the restaurant offers a starter and a main dish as well as a juice. The business lunch is fixed, which means that you have absolutely no choice of the food you will be served. Worry not, they always have very original, tasty and healthy dishes. I would personally recommend you to treat yourself with a little dessert at the end: the poppy seed strudel (маковый штрудель).
If you stick to the business lunch, then you will pay no more than 300 roubles. I doubt that a more competitive price exists….
Chistoprudny Boulevard, 12-2
Khachapuri is a type of Georgian bread and also the name of a Georgian cafe, very popular in Moscow. It has been such a success that the restaurant now has 4 addresses in the centre of the capital. The restaurant offers various options of business lunches, ranging from 210 roubles to 500. You can choose for example the combo khachapuri and compote (a sort of juice made from cranberries), salad/soup and main dish… Needless to say, there is an option for every budget and appetite. In the business lunch, you can choose from nearly all the dishes on the regular menu. This is great place to try georgian specialities like Chahobili (a dish made of chicken), chachliks, eggplant caviar and of course khachapuris. I would really recommend the khachapuri po-adjarskiy, without a doubt one of the tastiest breads on earth.
For the restaurant’s addresses, please visit http://hacha.ru/en/address/
Mr Lee is a relatively fancy restaurant compared to the two above. It is situated right in front of the TSUM (ЦУМ) so a “rather” chic area of Moscow. The restaurant serves absolutely delicious Asian dishes such as sweet marinated port, dumplings, Asian broths… The rooms are beautifully decorated, as fine balance between European and Asian, tradition and modern is found. The business lunch menu is set and changes every day. You will be able to enjoy the restaurant’s fine cuisine for about 600 roubles, maybe half of what you would have payed for dinner. If you do have the pleasure of going there for dinner, I very strongly recommend you to order the dumplings platter. Trust me you will not regret it.
ul. Kuznetskiy Most, 7
On this note, приятного аппетита!