Discover the tastiest spots to eat and the best places to stay in Russia’s St. Petersburg, with this guide to the city’s best restaurants and hotels.
Brimming with grand architecture and the air of aristocracy, St. Petersburg is one of the most fascinating cities in the world to visit. When it comes to restaurants and hotels, the city is no less inspiring with a wealth of excellent eateries and fantastic stays to choose from.
Take a step back in time and try Soviet-era stroganoff, then relax in a resplendent hotel, to turn your stay in one of Europe’s most eye-catching cities into a regal experience. Here’s our pick of the best restaurants and hotel options in St. Petersburg.
Where to Eat in St. Petersburg
For Upmarket Dining: Literary Café
If you want to bring the regal spirit of St. Petersburg with you to dinner, there’s nowhere better to eat than the Literary Café. Located in the heart of the city, this restaurant lives and breathes 19th-century finery and history. It was here that poet Alexander Pushkin dined before heading to his fateful duel in 1837.
To dine in the restaurant is to relax as the czars once would have. The entire dining room is decked out like a 19th-century living room, complete with pretty period paintings and opulent lampshades. Peek out of the window and you’ll be met with fantastic views of the Moika River.
And of course, the food in such an establishment is as delicious as its decor. The menu here is traditional from top to bottom, with highlights including caviar, veal with beet puree, beef stroganoff, and salmon with red cabbage.
For a Taste of the Past: Erivan
For a change of scenery from the finery of St. Petersburg, try something a little more rustic at Erivan. Offering up authentic Armenian cuisine and drink, the restaurant will transport you through time to an era of Soviet rule, boasting a rich menu packed with scarcely remembered Armenian dishes.
Stepping inside the restaurant is akin to walking straight into Armenia itself. From the heavy oak furnishings and stunning stained-glass windows to the curious candlesticks and napkin holders, everything has its origins in the hands of Armenian craftsmen.
For Italian with a Twist: Francesco
You’ve probably eaten Italian food before, but you can pretty much guarantee you’ll never have had Italian food quite like this at Francesco. The menu is populated with entirely original flavors, dreamed up by chef Guiseppe Priolo, who stirs originality into the spirit of Sicily with every unique creation. From the time-honored traditions of the cozy, comfortable interior to the antique furniture filling the dining room, here you’ll feel right at home.
For Style and Ambience: L’Europe Restaurant
Among the most famous eateries in St. Petersburg, L’Europe Restaurant is perhaps one of the most opulent offerings. Situated in the Grand Hotel Europe, this is a restaurant that boasts lavish interiors and a menu stuffed with indulgent options.
There are few places to eat in St. Petersburg as eye-opening as L’Europe. The dining room, complete with balconies and an arched glass ceiling, retains the air of a ballroom fit for Russia’s elite.
Chefs bring together Russian and European cuisine seamlessly with live music adding a tantalizing twist to the art nouveau stylings. The fact that Charlie Chaplin and Queen Elizabeth II, among others, have dined here, is a testament to its quality.
Places to Stay in St. Petersburg
For Flamboyant Style: Domina Prestige
Located only a few minutes from St. Isaac’s Square and Cathedral, Domina Prestige Hotel is the perfect base for exploring St. Petersburg. Its design is so beautiful, you’ll hardly want to leave your flamboyant bedroom.
The 18th-century stately home that houses the hotel is a stunning example of period architecture. But inside, it’s the variety that really brings the hotel to life. Rooms are colorfully curated into five themes – nature, family, fantasy, adventure, and romantic – and are replete with stone walls and ornate, heavy wooden furniture.
For those looking to kick back and relax, the wellness area of the hotel offers a Finnish sauna and Turkish steam room, among other excellent facilities.
For Ultimate Grandeur: Kempinski Hotel Moika 22
Perched on the banks of the Moika River, Kempinski Hotel Moika 22 offers some of the finest views you’ll see anywhere in the city. But it’s the hotel itself your eyes are most likely to be drawn to. A shining example of a Romanov mansion, this massive hotel exudes elegance and classic Russian style.
Inside, the rooms are both large and exquisitely decorated. Carefully selected antiques decorate each room, creating an air of luxury throughout. For those exploring the city, the hotel is located just a stone’s throw from the Nevsky Prospect and all of the best St. Petersburg attractions.
For a Modern Twist: NasHOTEL
It can sometimes feel everything in St. Petersburg is pulled from the past, but one hotel that’s not based around days gone by is NasHOTEL. This friendly, modern hotel is located within the Vasileostrovskiy district.
Here, the focus is on comfort, with clean contemporary rooms designed to make the most of the space that’s on offer. This is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and the hotel’s love for everything floral only helps to give it a summery vibe that’s often hard to find in St. Petersburg.
For the Unusual: Alexander House
Away from all the pomp and aristocratic atmosphere of St. Petersburg, Alexander House is a charming hotel that’s off the beaten track. Family-run and situated in a small 19th-century house, this is a stay that’s all about attention to detail.
The best part of staying here is the variety in its design. Each room is decorated uniquely with aesthetics derived from a different world city. It’s a kitsch design quirk that only adds to how pleasant a place Alexander House is.
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