Vegetarian food in Moscow
In our previous post we discussed old traditions in Russian cuisine, now let’s have a look at the modern times. Being a diverse and vibrant city, Moscow follows all world culinary trends. The last several years have been exemplary in developing healthy and alternative eating habits. By now probably every Instagram blogger in Russia has posted a couple of pictures with avocado toasts, hummus sauce or matcha-latte on almond milk. Vegetarian lifestyle becomes popular, and vegetarian cafes in Moscow now cover not only the city center but spread further to the neighborhoods.
Moscow Urban Adventures team will share with you the best tips on where to eat vegan and vegetarian in Russia’s capital.
If you don’t eat meat and you would like to grab a bite and continue sightseeing quickly after, our recommendation will be going to “Jagannath”. It has numerous locations, the central point is at Kuznetsky Most. It looks like a canteen and in cold evenings attracts students, who prefer a plate of vegetarian pilaf over Beef stroganoff. The food is simple but good. Try soya pelmeni, pumpkin soup and one of their desserts.
Pita’s Street Food and bar
Pita’s originally came from St Petersburg. Apparently people there adore food wraps- everything that reminds a falafel in a pita and tortillas is a blast on the Neva. Recently they’ve made an expansion to Moscow. Now, whenever in Moscow you can take a tasty big falafel with hummus or vegetarian shawarma with tofu. Those who hold a less strict diet can enjoy shawarma with mushrooms and cheese. Berry juices are another winner from the menu, our favorite is a raspberry juice.
A great example of how a sunny Tel-Aviv cuisine can find its home in Moscow. Portion sizes are good enough for 2 people. For a brunch, you can order a delicious hummus with tahini, olive oil, and pine nuts, which will go with two pitas. If you feel like eating a proper meal, take a look at a baked cauliflower with pepper tahini. Brave travelers visiting from December to March would love a cup of herbal tea with thyme. In summers, a mango smoothie will be a nice idea.
By the way, this is one of the vegetarian cafes that offer delivery services. Yandex Eda will get a veggie Israeli salad directly to your hotel.
Do you know what “khitrye ludi” means in Russian? It translates as “crafty”, or “inventive people”, which hints at originality. Indeed, the place is a part of an artistic cluster “Winzavod”, and occupies former beer stocks. During our Alternative Moscow tour, we are visiting this lovely spot. It offers both vegetarian and traditional Russian cuisine served creatively. The interior is cozy; restaurant halls look like a small old ballroom with a piano and a bar room. Ask the staff what they have for vegetarians, and they will willingly help. Our choice is a beetroots salad accompanied by a cup of warm ginger tea.
The next restaurants are for foodie experts who are passionate about having their food tasty and photogenic.
The name speaks for itself. Avocado is the main feature in this restaurant of Novikov group. Expectedly, they have guacamole, avocado carpaccio, avocado ice-cream, and a baked avocado as a second meal. The prices are above the average, all well explained by Patriarchie Ponds district.
This tiny shiny café is right next to Pushkin Square. We love “Bowlroom” because they have healthy breakfasts and two set brunches. It’s not a strictly vegetarian place but can be your choice of a day. Start your morning in Moscow with a bowl with almond milk, berries and chia seeds. For a dinner, order a vegetarian bowl with halloumi cheese and blue matcha- it has stunning color, isn’t it?
As you can see there are plenty of choices for eating healthy and sustainable in Moscow. One of the ways to explore what Russians eat is to join our Eat like a Russian tour, where we can also offer some vegetarian options. We encourage you to invite your veggie friend to explore green Moscow, take the train and embark on a foody journey. We promise you won’t regret it.
by Natalia Motorina, a local travel writer