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Russian cuisine is renowned for its hearty stews and rich flavors, generally accompanied by a glass of Russian vodka. St. Petersburg has a myriad of restaurants to tempt you, as well as gastronomic tours and cooking classes for a deeper dive into Russia’s culinary heritage. Whatever you choose, tuck into these must-try dishes.
A hearty beetroot soup loaded with meat and vegetables, borscht is on most restaurant menus around the city. The blood-red soup hails from the Ukraine, and it’s best served cold with a spoonful of sour cream on top.
You simply can’t visit Russia without tucking into a bowl of beef stroganoff, one of the country’s most famous exports. Enjoy the tender beef strips, mushrooms, and onions sautéed in a rich creamy sauce made with white wine, sour cream, and mustard over rice or noodles.
Wafer-thin crepe-like pancakes made with buckwheat flour, blini are served for breakfast or as a sweet or savory treat. Load them up with fruit jams or syrup, or top with Russian caviar.
Koryushka (smelt) are a St. Petersburg staple fished from the Neva River. They're particularly popular around spring. Try the fish lightly battered and fried with a variety of different sauces, or order a bowl of fish soup.
You can’t visit St. Petersburg without sampling Russia’s national dish, pelmeni. The dumplings are typically made from minced meat and onions wrapped in unleavened dough—enjoy your pelmeni with a dollop of sour cream or butter.
The quintessential street food snack, pirozhki are baked or fried pastries stuffed with a variety of fillings. Load up on meat, potato, and mushroom pirozhki, or opt for a sweet version, filled with apple or plum.