Expert recommendations for the best places to eat in four price ranges: budget ($), moderate ($$), expensive ($$$), and luxury ($$$$)


Shchit i Mech (Shield & Sword)

“Resembles a museum to local security forces, with tons of memorabilia; unbelievably inexpensive.”—Nathan Toohey, restaurant reviewer, The Moscow Times. Located near Lubyanka Square, site of the former prison and KGB headquarters; old fashion, no-frills Russian food in a kitsch-filled setting. Bolshaya Lubyanka Ulitsa 13/16; tel. 7 495 622 4446.


“An old-fashion, unassuming café. Not much to look at but serves fantastic grilled meats and vegetables.”—Sergey Parkhomenko, food columnist, Kommersant Weekend. Popular with Moscow’s Azeri community; be prepared to wait for a table. Krasnoproletarskaya Ulitsa 14; tel. 7 499 978 9450.


Grand Bouffe

“Simple but stylish restaurant opened by the first Uzbek celebrity chef.”—Sergey Parkhomenko. Kitchen run by Stalik Khankishiev, author of a best-selling BBQ book; whitewash walls, dark wood floor, and Uzbek textiles; menu featuring plov (rice pilaf), shashlyk (kebabs), and other slow-cooked eastern fare; located in the basement of Dom Kino. Vasilievskaya Ulitsa 13; tel. 7 495 654 2122.

Mama Zoya

“The menu’s longer than a Tolstoy novel, but you’re better off sticking to the basics: khachapuri, lobio, and shashlyk.”—Irakli Iosebashvili, editor, Moscow Guide. Excellent, affordable Georgian food; located on a stationary three-story ship anchored on the banks of the Moscow River. Frunzenskaya Naberezhnaya 6; tel. 7 495 201 7743.


“The best homemade Russian-style pies in town.”—Nathan Toohey. A quaint old-fashioned café famous for its sweet and savory pastries; walls adorned with black and white photos; cozy interior encourages lingering. Malaya Pirogovskaya Ulitsa 16; tel. 7 495 246 0632.

Starlite Diner

“Who says they never heard of hamburgers in Moscow?”—Irakli Iosebashvili. Old-fashioned American-style diner with linoleum countertops and plastic booths; popular with expatriate community; extensive breakfast menu; open 24 hours a day. Bolshaya Sadovaya Ulitsa 16; tel. 7 495 290 9638.

Yolki Palki

“Cheap Russian food in a kitschy, rustic, faux-barnyard setting.”—Irakli Iosebashvili. Country cottage decor; a massive buffet stocked with appetizers and fresh salads; additional locations all over the city. Neglinnaya Ulitsa 8/10; tel. 7 495 628 5525.


Filimonova & Yankel

“Their pickled herring with onions is the perfect companion to a cold shot of vodka.”—Irakli Iosebashvili. Contemporary seafood restaurant serving a dozen kinds of fish and shellfish; extensive wine list including wines by the glass. Two locations: Kievskaya Ploshchad 2; Tverskaya Ulista 23; tel. 7 495 223 0707.


“Designed to resemble a Soviet ministerial club, this place has specialty brewed beers and retro lounge acts.”—Nathan Toohey. Elegant apparatchik atmosphere, with high ceilings and brass-trim bar; engraved Soviet slogans provide ironic backdrop; simple Soviet-style fare. Bolshaya Lubyanka Ulitsa 5; tel. 7 495 628 2591.


“Tourists love the Ukrainian countryside setting and the old-fashioned cooking.”—Sergey Parkhomenko. Country-cottage interior set around a glass-enclosed farmyard; wait staff in colorfully embroidered folk costumes; Ukrainian specialties include vareniki (dumplings), borscht (beet soup) and other peasant fare. Ulitsa 1905 Goda 2; tel. 7 495 255 0204.


“Go for the khachapuri po adzharsky, oblong cheese breads with a fried egg in the middle. Delicious!”—Irakli Iosebashvili. Interior evokes the Caucasian countryside, with grapevines hanging from the ceiling and a huge stone fireplace; often cited as the city’s best Georgian restaurant. Ulitsa Bolshaya Polyanka 42/2; tel. 7 495 238 2888.


“Divans, hookah pipes, cushions, bellydancers, and some very good Uzbek food, including expertly fried kebabs.”—Irakli Iosebashvili. One of the city’s oldest restaurants, dating to 1951; serves Central Asian fare in exotic environs, reminiscent of an Oriental palace. Neglinnaya Ulitsa 29; tel. 7 495 623 0585.


Anatoly Komm

“One of the only Russian chefs to receive a Michelin star. Bring a wheelbarrow full of money.”—Irakli Iosebashvili. Unique in Moscow for its menu of molecular cuisine; formal service; exclusive atmosphere. Kutuzovsky Prospekt 12; tel. 7 495 725 5575.

Pushkin Café

The original haute russe restaurant, serving bliny (crêpes) stuffed with caviar; thick, hearty soups; sturgeon, salmon, and steaks drenched in rich sauces. The formal dining room and the wood-panel library both evoke a lavish 19th-century mansion; popular with tourists. Tverskoy Bulvar 26A; tel. 7 495 739 0033.


About Moscow and Russia

  • Picture of Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow's Red Square in Russia


    Get travel tips, see photos, take a quiz and more with National Geographic's Ultimate Guide to Moscow.

  • Photo: The colorful onion domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, Russia


    Explore Russia through facts and photos, related features, a country map, and more.

Take a Nat Geo Trip

Select a destination or trip type to find a trip:

See All Trips »

Join Nat Geo Travel's Communities

2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

  • Picture of a volcano on Reunion Island

    Who Will Win?

    Browse photos of nature, cities, and people and share your favorite photos.

Take a Nat Geo Trip

Select a destination or trip type to find a trip:

See All Trips »

Get Social With Nat Geo Travel