During summer time, you can hardly miss the ice cream vendors of Moscow. They usually offer both prepacked ice lollies as well as simple cones with one scoop of a certain flavour.
One of the most popular and even typical flavours in Russia seems to be Creme Brulee (Russian: krem-brule). A cone with one scoop of Creme Brulee cost between 25 and 30 Rubles (0,80 Euro, 2005).
You find the ice cream vendors all over Moscow, especially near the tourist sights and parks, but also in the GUM department store.
One of the best things in the GUM department store is the food court on the uppermost level.
Several fast food places, which share a common area with tables can be found here. The cuisine on offer ranges from Asian and Italian to Japanese and Russian.
Some of the tables are located on the bridges between the three building wings. From here you can enjoy fantastic views of the GUM department store, while enjoying your meal.
The prices are slightly above average, but if you don't speak Russian than this food court is probably an easy and comfortable option for a lunch break.
The food court of the GUM department store can be found on the 3rd level of the building. The GUM department store is located on the eastern side of the Red Square.
Almost all big shopping malls in Moscow have so-called food court. Many fast food points are located in a common space with tables. So, if you came with a family or just go all togather, it is possible that each of you could buy what he wants to, but you all will be eating at the same table.
Favorite Dish: Usually there are from 5 to 10 different options. Some of popular are:
- Teremok - Russian (mainly blinees with different fillings) My favourite one!
- Kroshka-Kartoshka - Russian (giant potatoes boiled in their jackets with different fillings)
- Sbarro - Italian
- McDonalds and Rostic's - no need to comment - American
- Kebab House - Middle Eastern
- Sushi - no need to comment - Japanese
and many others
On the photo from the left: Kebab House, Rostic's and small piece of Teremok.
If you are one of those people that can't seem to get away from eating at McDonald's, KFC, and Starbucks... Ulitsa Arbatskaya has a Sbarro's just for you. They have pizza by the slice as well as having an area for self-service. You pay according to how much your food weighs, so be careful what you choose.
Favorite Dish: For American style pizza in a Russian setting, this is a great place!
If you can, find some of the really dirt cheap eats. You can get greasy pastries stuffed with meat & onion, or cheese, for 10-13 rubles (less than $0.50 USD). Kvas is the budget beverage of choice, served from large metal containers at outlying metro stations. It's made from rye bread and raisins, and you can get a 1/2 L for 12 rubles. No need to pay western prices for lousy pizza or mailed-in Russian food.
There is pretty good street meat wherever you go. It is best enjoyed without any consideration to hygiene. It's your basic meat on a stick cooked over a flame and eaten with sauce. The meat is pork. It is actually pig neck. This is tender meat with tasty fatty marble.
Shorma is also worth trying. I term it the Russian Burrito. You'll know what I mean when you see it.
Russian ice cream is pretty killer. Lots of fat and really cheap.
In Moscow, as in St. Petersburg, you can hardly go ten feet without running into an ice cream vendor. They are not only on the street, but in the department stores, in the underground. . .
It was heavenly. . .you can have your pick of a fancy Nestle creation, or a simple vanilla and chocolate cone. . .whatever you pick, you can consider it a true "local custom" to be enjoying the same treat that the Russians do.
Favorite Dish: A plain, old-fashioned ice cream cone.
I've written about Koshka Kartoshka separately, but there are plenty of other fast food kiosks as well. They may not be the healthiest fare you can find, but they are convenient, inexpensive and very tasty. For anyone who is concerned about eating cheaply, this type of food could easily supplement grocery store supplies and the occasional bistro meal.
Favorite Dish: This row here is in the Zamoskvoreche area and is neighboured by a juice bar, a chicken kiosk and another local chain. The juice here was fantastic. . .and we had blinies (crepes) from another fast food stand near the Theatre Square.
We fell in love with these fast food kiosks, which offered cheap and tasty food. They were very inexpensive ~ about $3 for two jacket potatoes ~ and very filling (for us). I wish I could find one of these in downtown Toronto, instead of hotdog vendors for a change.
Favorite Dish: Baked potatoes mashed with butter, cheese and your choice of various toppings (sour cream, mushrooms, etc.). Somtimes the simplest food is the best. . .mmmm. :-)
There are numerous Sbarro outlets to be seen in Moscow (this one at Okhotniy Ryad mall, plus one in GUM).
It's certainly not what you've come all the way to Russia to eat. . .but this patio offered a fantastic vantage point for people watching and enjoying the beautiful weather. A cheap meal, decent (if not exceptional) food, and the bonus of location, location, location!
Favorite Dish: We had salads, pizza, beer and took our time eating it all and enjoying the view.
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