Where to eat in Moscow
When in Russia, one should not miss the chance to sample Russian cuisine. Before going to Russia I have heard people saying very different things. Some say Russian food is amazing. Some say Russian food lacks variety and is dull. Anyway, one has to try everything! The question is, where to eat in Moscow? The answer depends on your budget and here there is a place for all wallets.
If money is not a problem for you, there is Bolshoi (Большой), which according to food critics is the most expensive restaurant in Moscow. It’s located behind Bolshoi Theater, hence the name, and boasts an art collection inside, so you can admire the art while having your meal. Two courses with wine will set you back about 5,000 rubles.
If you want the best, there is White Rabbit (Белый кролик) with photo below, the best restaurant in Moscow and the 15th best in the world, if you believe food critics. Want to see if they are correct? You can sample some salad which alone can cost 1320 rubles (!). A full meal will compete with White Rabbit for price.
If you are an average person in Moscow, perhaps that is too much! Luckily, in Russia there is a tradition since Soviet times of cafeterias, where you can find meals at good prices. Today, there are many restaurants like this.
Top 3 Cafeterias
Mu-Mu (Мy-Мy) is a popular chain in Moscow. The core menu is the typical meal combination in Russia. This means that you choose one salad, then one soup, then one main course. Drinks and sweet dessert is an option, too. There is a great variation here so do order completely new things each time. A lot of the food is typical Russian food. They have added more foreign options, so you can also find sushi, pasta, and pizzas.
Mu-Mu has a nice and casual vibe. They also have regular special offers. All in all, you can definitely have a full meal and not worry about your wallet afterwards.
You can have dinner for 350-450 rubles. Lunches are 240-290 rubles. Breakfasts are 100-160 rubles. It is also easy to find special offers.
Grabli (Грабли) is also a popular chain, available in Moscow (and Voronezh). It is similar to Mu-Mu, and there are many of both in Moscow so it is easier to find a place that is within reach for you. I would say that Grabli is a little more upscale, as prices are higher. You will notice that the interiors in Grabli are unique. They like nature and landscape so there are trees inside and a lot of green.
You will find more or less only Russian cuisine here. No sushi or pasta. That said, I have never had these since moving to Moscow as there are plenty of Russian food here. Being in a new country I want to try new things so I try to eat only what I cannot find abroad.
You can have dinner for 400-500 rubles. Lunches are 210-280 rubles. Breakfasts are 130-160 rubles. Dinners cost less after 9PM.
Stolovaya 57 (Столовая 57) where dining is not just about having food. Located in GUM, the restaurant brings visitors back to the Soviet era, by having the same interior design and menu. Several small touches give this “back in time” feeling, from tables and plates to the restaurant staff outfits and signs, as you see in the photo. Eating in this restaurant is therefore a very nice experience and the recreated history feels authentic. You get to eat in Moscow in the very center, and prices are fair.
The restaurant is popular with locals and tourists. As a result, it is better to avoid typical lunch and dinner hours as you may wait in a long queue. So come at a good time.
You can have dinner or lunch here for 400-550 rubles. No set lunches or breakfasts so prices are constant.