Here are five highly acclaimed dining options for business travelers who want to sample the very best in the St. Petersburg restaurant scene.

Palkin, one of the few St. Petersburg restaurants remaining from the 1800s. Photo: Palkin

St. Petersburg is no longer a sleepy backwater when it comes to cuisine. In the last ten years the culinary scene has exploded and the options have expanded exponentially in seemingly every direction. While there are tastes for every budget, we have focused on restaurants for business travelers who may only have one or two nights to make an impression or be impressed. Please note that none of these restaurants are for those on a tight budget, although they are worth every ruble.

Belmond Grand Hotel Europe

The Sunday brunch here is legendary among expats, with only the well heeled among them that can make this a routine on their weekend itinerary. Featuring live jazz, numerous meat and fish stations and unlimited drinks it is probably the city’s most lively party on Sundays between 13:00 and 16:30. Try the Peking duck, foie gras and “blini” (Russian pancakes) with red caviar. However, if for some reason you cannot make it for brunch, saddle up to the Caviar Bar & Restaurant, one of the few restaurants dedicated to caviar in the world. Caviar here comes in blacks and reds or even shades of golden, and is served with “blini” and other signature Russian appetizers. They claim to employ the only full-time vodka sommelier in Russia.

Open for breakfast (7 a.m. till 10.30 a.m. daily), dinner (6 p.m. till 11 p.m., Monday-Saturday) and brunch (1 p.m. till 4.30 p.m., Sundays).

Address: 1/7 Mikhailovskaya Ulitsa , St. Petersburg (Metro Gostiny Dvor).


With the influx of ethnic restaurants in St. Petersburg, Russian food has become a less prominent cuisine option in the city. Head chef Roman Vasiliev has battled this trend by concocting a menu composed of traditional delicacies that historically have filled discriminating bellies throughout Russia. The wine selection has been widely praised; therefore it is no surprise that Tsar keeps its own sommelier on the premises. The menu, fit for a Tsar, leaves almost nothing that was invented on Russian soil off its pages. The Olivier salad with smoked sturgeon, the assorted caviar plate, the black “pelmeni” (dumplings) filled with lamb and the duck breast served with stewed cabbage and a berry sauce all come recommended. Tsar is run by the Ginza project, one of the largest restaurant holding groups in Russia with 21 outlets in St. Petersburg alone. Featuring gilded and decadent interiors, this restaurant lets your party dine like noblemen at the turn of the twentieth century.

Open daily from 12 a.m. till 12 p.m.

Address: 12 Sadovaya Ulitsa, St. Petersburg (Metro Gostiny Dvor, Nevsky prospekt).


Palkin is one of the very few St. Petersburg restaurants remaining from the 1800s. The Palkin family, perhaps St. Petersburg’s first powerhouse culinary dynasty, first opened its doors at the present location in 1874, although beginning in the late 1700s they owned numerous eateries throughout the city. Chekhov, Dostoyevsky, Gogol and Tchaikovsky are all rumored to have eaten in the Palkin family’s restaurants, and in pre-revolutionary times this location was a popular destination for the after-theater crowd and for a Sunday lunch accompanied by live music. While a largely Russian menu, it also heavily accented by what the aristocracy was fond of in the late 1800s, thus it offers a sophisticated selection with a notable French influence, while also featuring a number of modern favorites. The rib-eye steak with a green onion sauce, the truffles, the Beef Stroganoff and the “pelmeni” made from boar and venison and served with sour cream are all popular dishes. Jutting out over Nevsky Prospekt, the city’s main thoroughfare, this is perhaps St. Petersburg’s most enviable culinary address.

Open daily from 12 a.m. till 11.30 p.m.

Address: 47 Nevsky prospekt, St. Petersburg (Metro Mayakovskaya).

Il Lago

There are numerous Italian restaurants in St. Petersburg, but Il Lago, which opened in fall 2013, is a cut above the rest. Located at a pond’s edge on picturesque Krestovsky Island, the interiors feature a large chandelier in the center of the main dining room, which glimmers on the water making Il Lago sparkle from a distance. Italian chef Vincenzo Verdoscia, who worked at a number of Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe earlier in his career, sources his ingredients in Tuscany, Piedmont and Sicily to ensure the food is authentic and delectable. The fish, meat and poultry are all prepared on a wood grill, while the pastas and risottos are served with sauces thick with fresh ingredients. The wine cellar is stocked with over 600 varieties, including numerous vintages and a wide assortment of champagnes.

Open daily from 12 a.m. till 12 p.m.

Address: 21B Krestovsky prospect (Entrance from Severnaya Doroga)Krestovsky islandSt. Petersburg (Metro Krestovsky ostrov).

Stroganoff Steak House

If meat is what you are after, then look no further than Stroganoff Steak House. Imported beef and lamb are flown in from Argentina, Australia, the United States and New Zealand and is vacuum aged for 21-28 days, while Angus steaks are dry aged for 28 days. The chefs believe in simplicity and salt and pepper are the only spices used to flavor the steaks. Besides steak, the Kamchatka Crab and oysters are popular choices, as are the burgers and grilled sausages. Unlike a number of other steakhouses in Russia, Stroganoff clearly understands a discerning customer’s desire for internal temperature perfection. The food here is simple, but the results are exquisite.

Open daily from 12 a.m. till 12 p.m.

Address: 4, Konnogvardeysky Boulevard, St. Petersburg (Metro Admiralteyskaya).