Bureau’s Belgian waffle

Saint Petersburg

Like all other tourist capitals of the world, St. Petersburg has cafes, bars and restaurants to suit any taste. On hot summer days, the centre is all outdoor seating. Tired tourists, looking for a place to relax, are often overwhelmed by the multitude of options. Sputnik explored the culinary map of the city on the Neva. 

Where to eat

St. Petersburg’s Bureau Burgers and Bar
© Sputnik / Eugene Odinokov
Bureau

Location: 13 Sadovaya Street, St. Petersburg

Average bil: PPPP

Cuisine: American/Mexican

Tel.: +7 (812) 906-73-05

Open: Monday-Thursday 12pm — 1am,  Friday-Saturday 12pm — 3am, Sunday 12pm-1 am

At the Bureau burger restaurant, you can get a fast and filling meal. The name may raise some eyebrows. Why "Bureau"? Simply because the word sounded funny and offbeat to the founders of this Petersburg burger chain. And their taste in names has not changed: whether it's Bureau, Commode, or Trumeau, each restaurant still bears the "Bureau" logo.

Choose among 17 burger options — with chicken, beef, salmon, or vegetarian patties — or create your own burger with choice of bun, patty and toppings. Bureau opened more than five years ago when there were only fast-food burger places in Petersburg. Now, competitors posing as ordinary customers order burgers and chop them up to see what's inside, hoping to reproduce them elsewhere.

Bureau updates its menu every new season. Some novelties will be offered by the time the World Cup kicks off. But certain items never change. For example, the Bureau burger with beef patty, fried egg, Adyghe cheese, tomato, lettuce and mayonnaise. To wash down this juicy burger, choose from over 30 varieties of beer, some of which may be tempting even for those who are not beer lovers: cherry, mango, pine-apple and other exotic flavors.

For lighter fare, try salmon salad with poached egg and potatoes. For dessert, get the delicious Vienna waffle with cream and tart berry jam.

St. Petersburg’s Smoke BBQ Restaurant
© Sputnik / Eugene Odinokov
Smoke BBQ

Location: 11 Rubinstein Street, St. Petersburg

Average bil: PPPP

Cuisine: American/Mexican

Tel.: +7 (812) 905-53-72

Open: Monday-Thursday noon-midnight, Friday noon-2 am, Saturday 10 am-2 am, Sunday 10 am-midnight

Smoke BBQ, a cozy Texas-style restaurant near Nevsky Prospekt and the Moyka River, is ideal for meat lovers. Prior to opening a decade ago, the owners spent three years studying with the best barbecue masters in the US. They also had a huge smoker specially built for them in the US, in which up to 400 kg of meat can be smoked simultaneously. It doesn’t require electricity. The smoker is fueled by birch wood.

Cooking meat in that device is not easy: there is no simple formula when you just set the timer and that’s all – no, you have to carefully determine whether the meat is done each time.  Meat is smoked for up to 10-15 hours at 135 degrees Celsius. A mobile grill for on-site events is also available.

The Black Angus beef used in Smoke BBQ’s specialty, Texas brisket, is supplied from the Voronezh Region. The marbled beef is rich in intramuscular fat that dissolves during cooking, making the meat juicy and tender. The meat is not marinated, only rubbed in the traditional Texas seasoning – sea salt and Indian pepper. The brisket comes with specialty toppings: bourbon-marinated cucumbers, onions marinated in beetroot and hot jalapeno pepper.

Also try the homemade rump roast marinated in herbs for 45 minutes and baked. It is served on a bed of nachos. For a large group, Smoke BBQ recommends the barbeque tray: juicy pork ribs, Texas brisket, handmade pork and beef specialty sausages with cheddar cheese, and assorted sides. 

St. Petersburg’s Ukrop Café
© Sputnik / Eugene Odinokov
Ukrop

Location: 14 Malaya Konyushennaya Street, St. Petersburg

Average bill: PPPP

Cuisine: Vegetarian/Pan-Asian/Healthy /Italian

Tel.: +7 (812) 946-30-35

Open: daily 9 am-11 pm

One of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales says: “In China, you know, even the Emperor is Chinese and so are all his subjects.” Well, the founder of the Ukrop (Dill) café is a vegetarian and his wife is a vegetarian and all the food there is vegetarian too. This healthy eatery serves neither meat, nor fish. There are no dishes containing sugar either. Unrefined coconut oil is used instead of refined vegetable oil. The menu also features raw dishes, including three desserts.

Although this is a vegetarian café, half of its regular customers know virtually nothing about vegetarianism. They just like the food and find it tasty and unusual, and so they come back again and again.

The most popular first course is cream soup with roasted vegetables and sun-dried tomatoes. It is fairly light, but very nourishing. For the second course we recommend black dough pizza. It is black because it contains activated carbon. Other establishments use cuttlefish ink, but that would not be vegetarian. The ingredients seem incongruous at first sight: grapefruit, arugula, onion marmalade and honey-mustard sauce. But the combination is irresistible.

For a starter, try the pear salad with Parmesan, arugula, spinach, iceberg and Romaine lettuce and raisins, with a strawberry dressing. It pairs well with wine. By the way, Ukrop serves only dry wines and a few varieties of cider, but no strong alcohol. 

Ukrop is in the very heart of St. Petersburg, on Malaya Konyushennaya Street, not far from Konyushennaya Square, which will host the World Cup Fan Fest.