Mayak is one of the restaurant legends of Volgograd, with its history of rebuilding itself after the city was obliterated during WWII and built anew in the 1950s. The first restaurant in the restored Volgograd, Mayak was truly a cult place. Today, this panoramic restaurant is a time capsule in a prominent riverside location, offering a Soviet inspired menu and a rich bar selection to tourists and locals alike.

The chef offers all the staples of traditional Russian menu of the Soviet era. The cold appetizers that best go with vodka shots — deli meat platter (≈$7), assorted fish platter (≈$10) or home-made pickles (≈$5) work great for a party. If you’d rather go for a beer, there’s a section of beer snacks, like crawfish (≈$15) or a set of fried calamari rings, cheese sticks and garlic bread (≈$6).

Cast your eye over the soups — sturgeon and pikeperch fish boil (≈$5) is amazing, and cold okroshka (≈$3) is the best refreshment on a hot summer day. For the main course, try the sturgeon steak with pomegranate sauce (≈$11) or beef stroganoff with mashed potatoes (≈$9).

The Russian cuisine dominated menu still pays homage to the flavors from the former USSR nations, like Ukrainian borsch (≈$2), Tatar chebureki with thin dough and minced meat (≈$4), and Georgian chicken tabaka in Caucasian spices (≈$4).

When the weather allows, it’s best to be seated in the patio, although a picturesque view of the Volga opens from the dining room, too. Venture to this Soviet classic off the river embankment for rich Russian food, Armenian cognac, people-watching, and immersing yourself in a traditional post-Soviet dinner experience. As a cherry on top the restaurants hosts live entertainment shows with dancers and live music. They might seem naive in this day and time, but definitely create the authentic ambiance of the Soviet era dining.

  Address: 1 Naberezhnaya 62 Armii
  Hours: daily, 12 PM–12 AM
  Average check: ≈$20