If you’re not sure where to eat in St. Petersburg this week, zoom over to a quaint café on Gorokhovaya ulitsa: Zoom Café. Founded in 2004, Zoom Café oozes a modern, trendy atmosphere whilst serving up delicious food with even tastier prices. According to its website, Zoom “operates as a café, library, info-point, and art gallery” which is certainly true. Once you venture inside, you can waste away an afternoon reading any of the books the library has to offer. Reading is definitely encouraged as your bill is even brought to you inside a novel! Whether you want to lose yourself in a book from the library whilst enjoying tea and cake, or whether you’d prefer to indulge in the delectable dining experience, Zoom Café is definitely the place you want to be.
The only negative that can be found in this café-library-gallery is due to the fact that it has been perpetually popular since its opening; therefore you will almost certainly have to queue at peak times. It’s so popular that you can only book evening tables if a member of your party is celebrating a birthday! However, the high demand for Zoom from locals and tourists alike speaks volumes of the quality of the experience. Having waited about ten minutes for a table, (I was one of the lucky ones), I began to relive my childhood once seated – all tables are equipped with colouring pencils and your place mat is a blank sheet of paper to let your imagination run wild. This was somewhat distracting as I started to draw an abstract stick man instead of looking at the menu …I doubt my artwork ended up being displayed on the wall in the café…
There is so much to do at Zoom Café that you can easily forget you went there to eat! There are books, board-games, stuffed toys, newspapers as well as artwork. I wouldn’t necessarily say that the food is the main attraction as the overall experience overshadows the food, but it is definitely superb value for money. Main courses range from 180-580 roubles. The menu offers a variety of different cuisines from Italian pasta dishes to traditional Russian fare. I personally recommend you try the Thai chicken curry which is light but with a kick of heat from the chilli. Make sure you try the “Call your parents’ cake” which is designed from the owner’s parents’ recipe.
I can honestly say that eating at Zoom Café is like no other dining experience I have ever had before. If you want to eat in a fun, unconventional cafe, make sure you check out Zoom Cafe.