Meatball Box’s hummus

Kazan

Cityscape magnets, plates and mugs – that’s not really about Kazan. The best keepsakes to take home from Kazan are chak-chak, kyzylyk (kazy) and argamak: smoked delicacies and sweets can be easily transported over long distances, whereas peremyach, echpochmak, elesh and gubadia cannot, so better enjoy them while you are still there.

Where to eat

Kazan’s Dom Tatarskoy Kulinarii (Tatar Gourmet House)
© Photo : Tatar Gourmet House
House of Tatar Cuisine

Location: 31/12 Baumana Street, Kazan

Average bill: PPPP

Cuisine: Tartarian

Tel: +7 (843) 297 77 29, +7 (843) 292 70 70

Open: 11am — 11 pm daily

To be in Kazan and fail to partake of the local food is a grievous offence, above all, against your own self. The best place to start exploring Tatar gastronomy is the House of Tatar Cuisine. Located in the very heart of the city in a pedestrian area on Baumana Street, it is a place that you simply can't miss.     

For more than half a century, the establishment has treated its guests to the most exquisite food. Back in Soviet era, head chef Yunus Akhmetzyanov singlehandedly invented contemporary Tatar cuisine. Here, you will be offered horse (kazy) or lamb (tutyrma) sausage, bridegroom's dumplings (kiyau pilmene), Tatar shulpu broth and lamb manti, as well as delicious ethnic pastries and desserts.

For the main course, chefs recommend that football fans try kyzdyrma. This is a traditional Tatar hotpot made with different meats. In the House of Tatar Cuisine, they serve veal kyzdyrma.

The snack menu boasts a rich assortment of pastries. Try Kystybai, for example, an unleavened flatbread stuffed with delicate mashed potatoes. Or delve into the world of pies: there is peremyach, a fried meat pastry, an echpochmak, a small pie filled with meat and potatoes, or elesh, a chicken pie that closely resembles the Russian kurnik.

For dessert, try gubadia, a layered pie with fried cottage cheese, eggs, rice and raisins.

Gastro Lab “And Fish and Meat”
© Photo : Gastro Lab “And Fish and Meat”
Fish & Meat

Location: Ulitsa Dzerzhinskogo 20, Kazan

Average bill: — PPPP

Cuisine: Italian / European

Tel:  +7 987 290 01 47

Open: 8am — 10 pm daily

Not far from Kazan Arena, there is a cozy restaurant called I Ryba I Myaso (Fish & Meat). Although the name is certainly telling, it doesn't tell everything: for example, that the menu includes both river and sea fish, and all the meat on offer is marbled. What's more, this place is a real gastronomic laboratory combined with a farm fair.

Dishes are available for takeout. In Fish & Meat you can also buy food and take it home to prepare. Still, local chefs will do it far better: sous-vide (vacuum sealed) steaks according to an innovative French technology, exquisitely marinated fish baked in such a way as to preserve all of its health properties, hand-chopped salads and no pre-made food.           

Meatball Box Café
© Photo : Meatball Box
Meatball Box

Location: 20 Dzerzhinskogo Street, Kazan

Average bill: — PPPP

Cuisine: American / Mexican / Italian / European / exotic

Tel: +7 927 034 33 66    

Open: 11am — 10pm daily

Let's go back to downtown Kazan, to the Black Lake and a park of the same name. Here you will find the Meatball Box, which may sound ordinary but in fact this restaurant serves dishes with Middle Eastern flair. The establishment is frequented by students as there are many universities around, and prices are surprisingly moderate. You will see many Russian and foreign tourists here — the restaurant has a big presence on social networks.     

The main course menu offers meatballs and falafels. You can choose between two varieties of meatballs: chicken meatballs with tomato sauce or beef meatballs with curry. Falafels (deep-fried balls made from chickpeas) come in three varieties: the classic recipe, or with light yogurt sauce and herbs, or in pita bread with herbs and hummus.

Meatball Box recommends homemade hummus made according to its own recipe. This dish takes a lot of time and attention: pre-soaked chickpeas are ground and added to the dish. But don't worry: your order will come soon as all complicated ingredients are prepared in advance.