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 Post subject: {Russian Federation}
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:29 pm 
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Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Sorry in advance for my horrid English.

I've gotten a few requests to explain how to dine/buy vegan in Russia, specifically Saint Petersburg - where I live/have always lived.

Anywho, for restaurants, there's only two specifically and strictly vegetarian, and I highly recommend them both. Thankfully one of these restaurants is chain, and you can find 18 of them dispersed (with numerous vegan options) throughout our massive city. This is...

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Troitskiy Most (Troitskiy Bridge, Троицкий Мост)
Troitskiy Most is a quaint Russian-based cafe. Most food options are of Slavic tradition, though vegetarianized since the regular Slavic diet is heavily meat-based. Or mushroom based. Take your pick.
The prices are low, but you have to mention that you're a strict vegetarian (don't say 'vegan', the word isn't in Russian vocabulary) when dining here, so if you're foreign, remember that some options have milk and cheese, but no eggs. In the Russian vegetarian diet eggs are not consumed.
Some of the menu is also usually in English, but defiantly not all of it. The menu changes daily, and they have an amazing salad bar where all salads are made with a Russian Vegenaise. The most easy-to-find location is on the Moyka River, to the right of of the Nevskiy Prospect metro station.

Recommended Vegan Dishes
Plov with Porcinis/Aubergines - Reminiscent of the American Risotto, but with a heavy and delicious Slavic Twist.
'Celedka' Salad - A vegan take on the regular Russian 'Herring Under a Fur Coat' Salad, where this fish is replaced with pickled shiitakes. The salad has beets, potatoes, carrots, onion, mushrooms, pickles and vegan mayonnaise,
Russian Pancakes with Cabbage - A lightly fried Russian pancake on Soy Kefir with a cabbage filling.
'Olivye' Salad - A vegan take on the regular Russian 'Olivye' where pork is mixed in with apples, peas, mayonnaise, potatoes, and pickles. The pork here is replaced with porcinis and the mayonnaise is vegan.
Beef Strogonov - This is done with handmade soy meats and covered in a delectable soy-cream based sauce.

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Cafe Botanika (Cafe Bottanist, Кафе Ботаника)
Cafe Botanika is another lovely (but not chain) vegetarian restaurant of Saint Petersburg, but I can't say much about it since I've only been there once in my life. The decorations are beautiful, and I heard tourists speaking in English there with the staff, so foreigners should be fine.
Now, there are many vegan options on the menu, but once again one should mention that they are strict vegetarians here due to this restaurant being milk-and-butter full. The menu here is more international than that of Troitskiy Most, and if you're a fan of Indian Food, this is a good place to dine. But for the authentic Russian experience, all of my kudos go to Troitskiy Most.
Cafe Botanika is located close to the Summer Gardens and the Muhinka Institute of Art (where I'm educatteeeddd).

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Other

The two above mentioned reservation are cool and all, but thankfully you'll not die of starvation if you can't stumble upon them. Saint Petersburg offers you refuge in many, maaanyy more ways:

Teremok (Теремок), Kroshka Kartoshka (Крошка Картошка), and Chaynaya Loshka (Чайная Лошка)

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These three are massive chains that appear on nearly every fricking. street. corner. Teremok and Chaynaya Loshka are both Russian Fast food - they offer quick, Russian go to meals, but they're a 'food for all' place - they offer meat, fish and eggs. But at the same time, you can get delicious vegan salads and Blin (pancake) combinations here - for example, the 'Vinegrette Salad' (pickles, beets, carrots, peas, onions, potatoes) is to die for. And then, you can choose amazing things from their huge Russian Blin menu - some amazing recommendations are Blin with Mushroom, Blin with Cabbage, Plain Blin, Blin with Fresh Greens, Blin with Curdled Sweetened Soy Milk.
And then, there's Kroshka Kartoshka, which is also a 'food for all' chain, but based on potatoes. What they basically do is take a potatoe, much like your Subways, and fill it with anything that you like. Highly recommended fillings are Shiitakes with Pickles, Fresh Cut Beets, Mushrooms, or the Plain 'Post Potatoes'. If potatoes aren't your thing, you can also get 'Vishnoviyi Vareniki' - A dough ball with fresh Russian cherries inside in a sour compote.

The Idiot, Cafe Literaturnoye (Кафе Литературное)
If you'd like to go out somewhere extravagant one night, go for 'The Idiot'. This is a historic restaurant that is half vegetarian due to Dostoyevskiy's own vegetarian diet, with many vegan options. The building the restaurant is located within is the house the main character from Dostoyevskiy's 'The Idiot' resided in within the novel. I've heard it's expensive, and so I've never been inside myself as a poor student. But if you're adventurous, go right ahead! The name of the Cafe is also conveniently written out in English, and it's located not far from 'Troyitskiy Most' on the Moyka River off of the Nevskiy Prospekt.
Cafe Literaturnoye is just about the same deal. This is located on the Nevskiy Prospect, close to the historic Hermitage/Winter Palace. The menu here is also partially vegan/vegetarian and rather expensive from what I've heard. However, this cafe is famous for being one of the favourite eating spots of Russia's infamous and great poet, Alexander Pushkin. So if you're fancy shmancy, love Russian food or want to try it, write, and are willing to spend at least 900 Rubles on yourself, hop on down to Cafe Literaturnoye on the Nevskiy Prospekt! Easily identified by a plaque and large portrait of Pushkin near the doorway.

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General

Don't you guys start thinking all you can do in Petersburg is eat in resturaunts! We have many, many fruit markets everywhere - you'll pass at least one with every 5 minutes of walking. Fresh produce is Russia's treasure - most of the food we sell is home-grown and imported from within Saint Petersburg or a village on it's outskirts. Trust the produce, but wash everything you buy. Strawberries, Cabbage, Cherries... you name it. The prices are inexpensive and the taste is far beyond what most modernized countries have, even when it's an old lady selling it to you in a huge market.
I highly recommend our 'rinoks'/markets, because they'll have produce as far as your eyes can see - and it's always sold at the day of pickings. Plus, the markets are eye candy. Everything is so beautiful!

For drinks - Russia is famous for Raw Beer, and Kvass. Kvass is a non-achoholic beer that is made by a bread-soaking process and it's safe to give to children. Plus, unlike some beers, it's completely vegan! I'd recommend to get it inexpensively in store - less than 30 rubles for 2 litres - but there are also street vendors selling it from huge barrels in mugs that will give you an authentic Russian experience. Drinks such as Baikal (A sugary kola made from the roots of pine trees. Waaay better than it sounds) and Tarhun (A bright green slightly sweet kola made from the grass Tarhun, also waaaay better than it sounds) are highly recommended. As are our 100% natural fruit juices.

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I know this article is rushed - Saint Peteresburg is so huge and lovely that it's hard to talk about it all in one entry.

In principle, as long as you'll not cut my throat, I also show and feed vegans around the city when requested. If you wish to have fine details on Saint Petersburg or wish to bask in the awesome of Russia's northern Venice, just private message me and ask for Vasilisa.

More coming soon.

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 Post subject: Re: {Russian Federation}
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:21 pm 
Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan
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Wow, this is awesome. I'd like to visit Russia sometime (and Ukraine, but I have a specific destination in mind there, north of Kiev and requiring special arrangements and radiation suits) and this is a cool guide. I have to admit that I think of Russia as a place that's not friendly to vegetarians, let alone vegans. Thanks for posting, and please post more when you have time!

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 Post subject: Re: {Russian Federation}
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:22 pm 
Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan
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Uh, and is my signature correct? I got it from somebody's response to a post in Livejournal and I have no idea if it's actually right.

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 Post subject: Re: {Russian Federation}
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:29 pm 
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Thanks for this information! I wish I had known all this when I was in Russia a few years ago. I ate a lot of brown bread and produce from the market and I got very skinny on that trip! The only vegetarian place we visited was in Chemal, and that is a long way from St. Petersburg. I would like to visit St. Petersburg again and I am writing down all these suggestions!

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 Post subject: Re: {Russian Federation}
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:36 pm 
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Almost - the endings on 'sexual' and 'irritated' are incorrect. 'Вы сексуальные когда вы раздражение.' is a tad more proper in the grammatical sense.

And you should defiantly come here; we have minimal amounts of human lard, pensioners with unexplainable amounts of turnips and paved roads.

It's amaazzziiinngg. :l <3

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 Post subject: Re: {Russian Federation}
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:38 pm 
So Totally Yiffy
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Couroupita, if you'd go again, feel free to PM me. :) I'd give you my phone number and if you ever get into a pickle with food, you could ask for suggestions.

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 Post subject: Re: {Russian Federation}
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:48 pm 
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PPK Russia trip anyone?! :)

This sounds truly awesome, not sure if I'll make it to Russia in my lifetime but I'd love to go.

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 Post subject: Re: {Russian Federation}
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:59 pm 
Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan
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Genesiac wrote:
Almost - the endings on 'sexual' and 'irritated' are incorrect. 'Вы сексуальные когда вы раздражение.' is a tad more proper in the grammatical sense.


Thank you! Updated!

Quote:
And you should defiantly come here; we have minimal amounts of human lard, pensioners with unexplainable amounts of turnips and paved roads.


Well! It sounds like quite a party. Can we sleep on your couch? The baby doesn't scream TOO loudly at night.

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 Post subject: Re: {Russian Federation}
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:12 am 
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Awesome, thanks for typing all of that!

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 Post subject: Re: {Russian Federation}
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:00 am 
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Wow, amazing. I assumed it would be all potatoes, cabbage, and bread in Russia, from what I've read previously. I'm embarrassed now. Thanks so much! We're going to do an epic drive across the continents in a couple of years, and this sort of stuff is EXTREMELY useful. :D

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 Post subject: Re: {Russian Federation}
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:34 am 
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linanil wrote:
PPK Russia trip anyone?! :)


I'm in!

Really though Russia is on my list of places to visit soon (erm, next 2 years soon!) & this post is SO helpful, thank you! I'll definitely get in touch with you when I'm planning my trip.

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 Post subject: Re: {Russian Federation}
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:22 am 
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Russia's on my list too - and I've always wanted to see St Petersburg. Thanks so much, Genesiac, for that great post.

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 Post subject: Re: {Russian Federation}
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:07 am 
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This is really informative, thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: {Russian Federation}
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:36 am 
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I wish any of this had been available when I lived in Russia many many moons ago. I ate dairy then but was still an object of ridicule for not eating meat or fish. Luckily although it's rusty I can still speak enough to get by, so on my recent trips to Kharkiv and Minsk I didn't starve (though didn't eat especially well either!).

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 Post subject: Re: {Russian Federation}
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:51 am 
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Cheers for the great callbacks - it's really an honour.

And yes, yes you actually can sleep on my couch. :l Believe it or not I've housed at least 6 travelling vegans within the past two months. It pays to have inherited a massive superflat.

I also give free tours to vegans at times - when I'm not working my vegetable-filled bum off at university, I work as an exkursavot/tour guide. :l So yeah, if anyone needs help surviving in or seeing the beauties of Saint Petersburg, feel free to ask.



Faaaaaccctttsss. If you spent 1 minute at each painting in the Hermitage, and you where there 8 hours a day, it would take you 15 years to get through the whole museum.

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 Post subject: Re: {Russian Federation}
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:10 am 
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I bet both St P and Moscow are unrecognisable from my time there. In St P I used to live near the Proletarskaya metro station.

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 Post subject: Re: {Russian Federation}
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:15 am 
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This is so wonderful! Bookmarked. I've always always been fascinated by St. Petersburg (I know it's cliche, but it started with Dostoevsky...) and I realllllly want to come visit! Someday!

I also totally understand the vegan tour thing. When I lived in Istanbul, I was overjoyed to meet other vegans and show them around the city!

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 Post subject: Re: {Russian Federation}
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:02 am 
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Thanks for the info! I've been in St Petersburg in 1999 (I stayed then in a strange hotel<??) on A. Blok street, very strange neighbourhood) and more recently in 2008 in Moscow. Both of those visits were great - although I caught horrible food poisoning in 1999 but I think that was a sad exception. I've heard how St Petersburg changed in last 10 years, it would be nice to see it now, because it's really unique city.

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 Post subject: Re: {Russian Federation}
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:10 am 
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Oh, wow! Sounds amazing! I'm with jojo and linalil with wanting to do a PPK visit. :)

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 Post subject: Re: {Russian Federation}
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:27 pm 
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So awesome! Russia is a definite for my next Europe trip after this year's. So hopefully within the next 3-4 years. I don't know if I can wait that long!

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 Post subject: Re: {Russian Federation}
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:39 pm 
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This is so awesome! Thank you! I was there in 2001 and sooo want to go back someday.


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 Post subject: Re: {Russian Federation}
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:22 am 
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This is fantastic and so is your English.


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 Post subject: Re: {Russian Federation}
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:38 am 
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What a fabulous post! Thank you so very much, Genesiac! I'm off to St Petersburg in a few weeks and this is super helpful!

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