Here is a list of restaurants and cafes that former Colby in St. Petersburg Students and Language Assistants have recommended.
Located at 22nd Gorohovaya St., in the core of St. Petersburg and near the Admiralty and the Palace bridge, the cafe attracts members of the new generation of creative intelligentsia. If you are walking on Nevsky prospect turn toward the Kazan Cathedral and go past it along the pavement of the Griboedov Channel. You will see stunning historical buildings and tourist boats in the channel on your way to Zoom. The cafe will charm you with its European democratic atmosphere. The walls showcase the artwork of contemporary St. Petersburg painters that one can purchase. Board games and books are also available throughout the cafe. In addition, the prices at Zoom will delight you. “Poor students” often order Fried Vegetables and Rice for only 90 rub ($3) and Red berry drink for 60 rub ($2). Everyone will enjoy a piece of cake with a mysterious name Call Your Parents Pie, which costs 120 rub ($4) and a cup of Cappuccino for 90 rub ($3).
Another small cafe located just off of Bolshoi Prospekt on Ulitsa Lizy Chaikinoi, Kvareli specializes in “Gruzinskaya Kukhnya,” or Georgian Cuisine. Although the cafe’s seating is limited to six tables, the atmosphere is quiet and laid-back, unless you happen to be dining after a Zenit match. The hachipuri here is marvelous, and the shashlik is some of the best you’ll find in the city. But the real kicker is their eggplant sauce- mild but tasty and delicious over fried cheese. Show up a few times and the head waitress/proprietor treats you like family. Prices range from 200-400 rubles per person. Don’t be afraid to spend a few more rubles on house wine; you won’t be disappointed.
This Greek restaurant is a bit more expensive due to its center-city location on Bolshaya Morskaya and its status as the only Greek restaurant in town, but the food here is plentiful and tasty. The colorful walls and Mediterranean decor make Oliva a nice place to pass the time on a cold, dreary day. The baklava are a welcome change from the creme-filled cakes that are so popular to the Russian palette.
is a bar at 9th Belinskogo on the Fontanka River, about a 10-minute walk from Nevsky prospect. Even though The Hat is a newly opened bar, it has already become a legend. The owner of this bar is Billy Novik, a rock singer and the front man of the group Billy’s Band, famous throughout all Russia and behind its borders. Almost every night sounds of live jazz come from The Hat: Jazz Philharmonics musicians or other invited quests, including international jazz stars, play music, sing, and improvise. The entrance is free, the only limit is the size of the bar. The drinks are rather expensive: a tall glass would cost 400 rub ($14). However, the drinks are absolutely unique: you can explain to the barmen what you want your drink to taste like, as in “I want it to be sour, with mint, and some sweet liqueur,” and the barmen will do exactly what you imagined it to be, or even better. It is a place of pure creativity in every way. Come and find lots of interesting people there!
This chain of coffeeshops offers high-end coffee and pastries and is popular with business travelers and students. Although the mochas are excellent, the hot chocolate is by far the signature drink. The two locations most convenient to Colby in St. Petersburg students are on Nevskii Prospekt (between the Hermitage and Gostinii Dvor), and near the Peter and Paul Fortress at the Gorkovskaya Metro.
Located throughout the city, usually outside Metro stops, blini (Russian crepe) stands offer a quick, inexpensive snack for under 50 rubles. Try the chicken curry blini, or, if you are looking for a sweeter treat, chocolate banana.
Internet cafes in St. Petersburg are quite popular now, due in part to higher levels of tourism. You can usually find a few reliable internet cafes close to city’s high-end hotels, but expect to pay Western prices. An hour of computer use at a moderately priced Internet cafe should cost somewhere from 60-100 rubles, depending on the time of day.
Conveniently located on Nevskii Prospeckt near Gostinii Dvor, this bustling Internet cafe offers basic service for a decent price. This place is frequently loaded with tourists from neighboring hotels, so the staff speaks excellent English. If you bring your ISIC card, you can save up to 20 percent.
This small but elegant movie theater on Bolshoi Prospekt is home to “Hot English Movie Nights” every other Friday, where you can watch American movies in their original language. Because the movie nights are geared toward students of English hoping to improve their language skills, the films are usually followed by coffee and an informal discussion. Check out the fliers in the front window for the monthly schedule.
The city’s premiere arthouse cinema, Dom Kino is located in beautiful building close to the Circus. The three-story climb up the stairs to the showing room is well worth it, due in part to the beautiful architecture, which is strangely reminiscent of Catherine’s Palace at Tsarskoe Celo. You will find independent English-language movies here every now and then, subtitled in Russian.
For additional fun places to visit see Top 10 Hidden Gems in St. Petersburg