Cocktails and Cozy Interiors on Kazanskaya
Where to find the perfect Negroni in St. Petersburg….?
Deliciously strong and bittersweet, dark gold glinting on the rocks, served with a twist of orange rind –the Negroni, admittedly isn’t a Russian drink, but its absence from a menu is the definitive sign of a bad bar. That perfect combination of gin, vermouth and campari is a hard one to get right, and after extensive searching I can confirm: the best ones are to be found on Kazanskaya.
Kazanskaya isn’t famed for much other than access to Kazan Cathedral, its certainly not renowned for being one of the cities main bar districts – but then, that’s a good thing. It means you can come here to escape the tourist hoardes and sticky dancefloors, and indulge in a beautifully crafted drinks in artsy interiors. On those days when you want to avoid the chart music and Soviet kitsch of Dumaskaya, the tripadvisor croud and English signage on Nevsky or the hipster self-regard of Rubenstein– head to Kazanskaya for a selection of quirky, cozy drinking nooks off the tourist track, each of which serve espresso by day and Negronis by night. Here’s my pick of the best:
- Варшава (Warszawa) Kazanskaya 11
Tucked away in a basement, this cozy little nook is one of my favourite spots in the city. Brasserie rather than bar captures the spirit of the place, with its mahogony antique interiors, vintage wallpaper and atmospheric lighting. The cocktail cart is reassuringly devoid of mixers – tasteful twists on hard liquor are their thing here, so treat yourself to some throat-burning Ukrainian pepper vodka, colourful Czech spirits or the classic Polish Zubrowka.
- Борода (Boroda) Kazanskaya 11
Think spectacular street art, restored furniture and industrial breeze blocks, the clientelle as well as the interiors here can only be described as ‘creative’. Local tattoo artists were hired to create the graffiti on the walls and music is provided by an array of eclectc, experimental DJs in this studenty spot. Their excellent drink selection is served in vintage glasses – try the aperol spritz to complete that Berlin vibe.
- Стирика 40 (Stirika 40, aka ‘laundry bar’) Kazanskaya 26
This bizarre bar is truly one of kind; started as a graduate prject by an art student, it makes use of a renovated old laundromat. By day you can wash your clothes and sip coffee, and by night the tumble dryers are turned into DJ decks. You can get a Club Matte and pretend you’re in Kreuzberg or, even better – try the local beer: Vasileostrovskoe.
- Где-то (Gde-To – Somehwere) Grivtsova 6
Ok, strictly not on Kazanskaya, but, just round the corner on Grivtsova, – this classy gin joint has a minimalist, dark ambiance. They have strong, homemade liquors, cider made from Russian bilberries and one of the most creative food menus in the city. Try their pate with onion marmalade, tartar beef and popcorn from buckwheat, or for dessert – homemade waffles with cranberry ice cream and brownies with tarragon sauce.
This blog was brought to you by Kamila, student and intern at Liden & Denz St. Petersburg