If you are looking for a decent cup of real coffee and in a quirky setting try the place our guide took us to. It was a little restaurant slightly underground and in the middle of Alexander Park. It had a range of coffees including Italian and Ethiopian and a small selection of cakes and pastries. The chocolate was thick Italian style. On the walls were 1920s memorablia and a small television playing old 1920s movies. The one they were playing when we were there featured Charlie Chaplin. Two coffees, chocolate, two muffins and cinnamon scroll 500 roubles.
iKea has two big stores in St. Petersburg in proximity to other shops. They made a Stockholm coffee shop with fresh pastries that you can enter from the store or from the shopping mall. It is nice to sit when walking in such large places and pleasant to find the tasty freshly baked rolls.
Favorite Dish: Fresh baked cinnamon rolls. Not many bakeries make cinnamon rolls in Russia and these fresh baked rolls really hit the spot.
Kafe Marko is a small cafe with a wide selection of cakes, bisquits and warm drinks. It is the perfect meeting point to start a nice VT meeting.
Kafe Marko is centrally located and not too busy.You have to serve yourself at the counter, therefore prices are reasonable.
Update Summer 2006:
Unfortunately, Kafe Marko has closed down. There seems to be a branch of Schokoladnitsa in this building now.
Early in the morning this coffeehouse is the only one open near metro station Gastinitsi Dvor in the centre of St. Petersburg. There is wireless internet available and the interior and coffee is similar to the big American rival coffeehouse, which still has no branches in town. Actually, with this local variant you won't miss them ;-)
Favorite Dish: The coffee is really nice after a rough, sleepless night on the train and arriving in deserted St. Petersburg at 5 o clock in the morning. I think we arrived there at about 7 o clock.
Coffee house culture is blooming in here and there are many around and in every corner. Is all the coffee places I visited the coffee was good and the service was reasonable. Waitresses was able to communicate in English with was helpful as well.
I have travelled quite a bit and surprisingly, the best cappucino's I have ever had in my life were in St. Petersburg. Both at our hotels and even small cafes that we found!! Who knew???? Borcsht & cappucino?? Very cheap, except at the hotels of course.
"Coffee House" is silly. I mean, come on... "Coffee House"? Couldn't they be a little more Americanized...
Actually, it's not too bad. The various places in the Coffee House chain do not look exactly the same. The one near Palace Square reminded my friend of coffee shops in Vienna. This is Russia's answer to Starbucks, which doesn't seem to exist in Petersburg. One hot summer day, we felt the need to stop in for iced drinks with real, purified-water-ice cubes in them. You learn to appreciate the little things when you're in Russia...
...iLi... (which means "...or..." in Russian) is this yuppie fancy shmancy cafe/bar on Nevsky prospekt. the menu is up on the wall in the style of the periodic table of the elements... the decor is orange and silver and industrial. there is a bar upstairs with overpriced drinks. the food is decent but also a little pricey. but there is one reason you MUST visit ...iLi... and that is for the bathroom.
You will find yourself on Nevsky at one time or another desperately searching for a public restroom. Russia is getting better about making these available, but that's not saying much. Here is where ...iLi... comes in:
-Walk right in, head up the stairs and turn right, you'll see the bathrooms.
-Since the place has two levels, they will never know whether you are a customer or not.
-Enjoy the COOLEST BATHROOMS IN ST. PETERSBURG.
They are blacklit, so you can't see if they're disgusting or not. The toilet, sinks, etc are silver. The doors are glass. It's an experience.
This is hotel food...so convenient - they have buffet lunch that cost 450 rubles, or you can have cke and coffee almost all day dining ar 150 rubles. if you have more time, on Sundays they have a Jazz Brunch at the L'Europe restaurant instead...lots of caviar
Life music isn't loud
Just gorgeous view out of the window
Placbe itself is 3-storey platform on the Neva river
Favorite Dish: Salmon fillet
Cheapest and doesn't look like that at all
Nice design on the plate
not to mention its pleasant taste
This place is as close as it gets to the American "Starbucks Cafe"...or the other way around ??!! It has more than 40 coffee blends, (way beyond then one should need if you ask me), a cool and unusual interior with a friendly atmosphere. They also feature a permanent exhibition of pictures by young Petersburg "avantgardists".
Open noon to 11pm
The coffee-shop trend which took '90s America by storm is just now finding a niche in St. Petersburg. While there are still no Starbucks in sight, there are several copycats and virtually no cozy places to sip a cup of java, while you digest the latest in current events. Cafe Idiot is an exception. Founded by an immigrant named Fedor Dostoyevsky, who later turned to writing and was never heard from again (or so says the menu, which boasts a delightful and reasonably-priced listing of completely vegetarian food), the cafe is a cozy underground set of rooms furnished with antiques, dark wood tables, couches, armchairs, a number of used books (most of which are in English), and a very pleasant atmosphere. You can pick up a copy of the English-language newspaper, the St. Petersburg Times, to read while you wait. The staff speaks English as well as Russian, and the menu is printed in both languages. The Idiot does seem to attract a number of foreigners and ex-pats, but you will find Russians here as well. The coffee is quite good (a large cappuccino is only 30 rubles), the food is excellent, and the bar is well-stocked, if a bit pricey.
Favorite Dish: Everything I've tried here is delicious. All items are vegetarian (although a Russian acquaintance insisted that you can't make vegetarian golubtsy (cabbage usually stuffed with meat)!). It's a bit on the pricey side if you're on a Russian student budget (read: your lunch generally consists of 2 ruble pirozhki and korean-style carrot salad at your local cafe), but it's worth every kopek!
Try your hand at the 'Big Liosha' (40 thimbles full of vodka, which must be consumed at no greater than 3-second intervals. The prize? More vodka, of course! (By the way, we never did see the real 'Big Liosha'...) For those with lower tolerance, the complimentary vodka shot given to all patrons of the cafe may suffice.
Zhili Bili (once upon a time) is in the middle of Nevski Prospekt, and like as not, you will stumble across it if you walk up and down Nevski enough times. Its on the side opposite of Kazan Cathedral, i.e. on the side of Dom Knigi.
Spencer and I came here after a nights drinking and recommended it. Its not especially fantastic, but something funny happened when I was there last.
I basically fell upon the counter and slowly moved my hand across the top as if to get the menu, but struck my hand upon the glass holding billions of straws which, obeying the laws of gravity, fell to earth. The devushka behind wasn't amused and had to clear up whilst I apologised in English.
Favorite Dish: Ice-cream? I can't remember. Its all good.
Mocco Club serves up a range of soups, salads and hot dishes. More importantly, they also have a great selection of cakes and tarts ~ our main reason for dropping in while walking along Nevsky Prospekt.
You order and pay at the counter, then your food is delivered to your table (marked by a numbered sign you are given).
I met a young woman named Christine in line ~ a business student from the university ~ who asked about my visit, talked about her studies, then help place our order. She was incredibly friendly. . .a challenge to thoughts of Russians as stand-offish.
Excellent espresso ~ fantastic cake.
Soups, sandwiches, desserts are the basic fare offered here. The best reason for stopping off though is the location ~ right on the side of the Griboedova Canal. It's an excellent people-watching spot, but less hectic than Nevsky's patio cafes.
We can testify to the quality of the borscht and dessert perozhkis.