As I could discover, gastronomy in Vladivostok is a very eclectical one: not only russian food but japanese, chinese, italian, etc. I don't really know if quality is a normal thing everywhere here, but the places I visited were fine all of them! Despite I discovered Vladivostok is not a cheap city, prices are not too expensive because this is a quality level you may find at occident but paying unless 50% more than here -or more- so I got very satisfied at last.
Near Admirala Fokina I had dinner at a japanese restaurant, very clean and quiet, with good drink -good wine- and food. A thing I found amazing was something I saw here at every restaurants: despite the may be oriental, they are managed by russian people, over all russian women. If you see a japanese or a chinese man, he may be inside the kitchen or doing something specialized -at Spain every personnel inside a chinese restaurant is chinese too, of course!-
In sum, good food, good drinking, good service -despite once time more nobody seems to speak english here- and not very expensive prices.
Favorite Dish: I like japanese tempura very much and this place didn't dissapoint me.
I was on a tour from a cruise which included lunch..usually a dismal affair..However this restaurant was not only clean, and had ambiance the food was remarkably good. I am Russian although grew up in San Francisco. The borscht was excellant, the "podjarka" , kind of a stew was very good and desert blini were fine, just ask for some jam. The service was very good and friendly. The outside and the street was a bit dirty, just like most of Vlad however go inside it was a treat.
Favorite Dish: borscht
Good restaurants did not seem to be in abundance in Vladivostok. -- perhaps I did not look hard enough. But I prefer to live like the locals as much as possible when travelling.
Except for a couple of meals, I ate mostly at street vendors and local outdoor cafes. Prices were 50 cents to $1.00 for a blini stuffed with meat or a piroshikii (accent is the last syllable in Russian).
Favorite Dish: I can recommend only one trendy restaurant, Paparazzi (just a block over from the sea side main road) look up the address in The Lonely Planet guide for Russia.
Its a basement boutique cafe -- only the drink menu is in English but you can order pasta, ratatouille, potato dishes and a decent wine. Each dish comes with its own fork -- so you have to ask for an extra if you want to share dishes (as we did).
For two kinds of medium large pasta dishes (both with cream sauce), a potato dish (grated with cheese, and ratatouille -- nice presentation and ceramics) and a bottle of wine -- it cost about 120 rubles each ($4.00).
The bartender has a very dry sense of humor -- maybe that is one of the cultural features of modern Russians. There was a very humorous photo collage of two of their staff (both male) pretending to be fashion models -- mimicking the same artsy photographic poster next to it (two female models). Got the impression that the place was at least gay friendly or at least tolerant of diversity.
Central Asian food (Uzebekistan or even Near East dishes) seemed to be very popular at such places -- can't recall the names without looking them up -- sharba? shlapka? whatever . Some of your will probably recognize these -- lamb or chicken grilled on a stick (70-80 rubles), pilaf (fried rice) or a stuffed crepe with lamb, veggies and sour cream sauce (35-50 rubles). Beer was cheaper than water -- 14 - 100 rubles depending on the brand. If you want to pass as a Russian (mainly only saw the men doing this --then just dress very casual -- tee shirt and old pants (jeans were less common than anywhere I have ever been), carry a large glass bottle of beer and take liberal swigs on it as you walk, and dangle a cigarette from side of your lip. You'll be mistaken easily for a Russian. Women, on the othe hand, fell roughly into two types: the frumpy, heavyset middle aged housewifes and the tall dyed hair vixen types with short short skirts, wearing neon-bright colors and long legs. I know this is stereotyping, but it was amazing to see the almost 'characiture' nature of people on the streets.
Beers in the 30 ruble range had the most character and best tastes - imported beers were popular but cost 40-60 rubles. Despite its legendary reknown, I did not see many people drinking vodka. Wine and balzam (local cognac-like whiskey?) were more often seen than vodka.
For lunch or breakfast, the baked bread dishes mentioned above were very satifying and very cheap - available on almost every corner from little kiosks that had only small 40 cm square vending windows. Every "stealable" product in Vladivostok was behind glass -- shops, kiosk, grocery stores and of course department stores too -- making it necessary to point a lot or try to speak English or broken Russian to get what you want. Most sellers were at least accommodating to foreigners - although few could communicate in English -- many tried to help you out and some in fact could speak enough to take your order.
Favorite Dish: Central Asia (almost same as Middle Eastern foods) were very common. There are lots of foreign workers staffing these outdoor vendors (Mongolians, Uzbeks, Georgians, etc). Lamb seemed to very popular -- one of my favorite meats.
Seafood was just OK and more expensive than expected although not bad (note there are fresh water crayfish as well as shrimp.
Seafood is sold by weight and also usually comes frozen unless you "gesture" that you want to eat now ("obe-yedatch = to dine) and then they'll give you thawed crab or shrimp.
Hard to get good coffee at most kiosks-- usually instant and often they don't sell anything but individuals packets of instant coffee ( no hot water). I once stppped at 6 kiosks one morning look ing for one with "instant" coffee to drink -- "peetch" = to drink
How to say 'cofffee with milk and sugar, please' in Russian = kafyeh cmalakom i csakharom, pazhahlsta
African-themed located a basement shop, the bar and cafe is patronised by mostly young people, and there is a terrarium built-in a wall with a live iguana!
A decent place to cool down (or warm up depending on season) with drinks and light meal, with English menu which is helpful.
Past the cafe room is the entrance to the Internet room. A good place for you to catch up while on the road, or to try to browse Internet info. about Russia in your language.
There are street musicians which perform there, on the right side of the photo. Usually, I'm not particularly inspired to comment on them, but one day I heard a woman (not glamourous - dressed grunge-style) on acoustic guitar singing modern haunting Russian folk music. She was remarkably talented, and I wish I could have heard more or her music, if she has recordings available for purchase, do let me know who she is please!
I just loved this place. Up stairs is an art gallery and souviner shop. Pricy but its quality stuff. Downstairs is the coffee shop and behind the coffee shop is the dinning room. Great food! I would go to the coffee shop and read in the evenings. Again, if your an American, you'll get alot of attension. The staff there were very friendly and helped me make some local calls there. I had some problems making calls at the pay phones. This place is not far from the city center. May be a three minute walk up a small hill.
Favorite Dish: I can't remember what I ate but it was good.
This place is a Russian take on Chinese cuisine.
Not too bad, and reasonably priced.
Business lunch too is between 150-200 roubles, or USD5-7.
This place is fairly similar in style to Munchen really.
Good pub food and good beer.
I especially liked the pineapple flavoured variety. I recommend giving it a try.