There is no better plan for a first night in Moscow than zooming out on it from above. Whether its a round of drinks, fine dining or finger licking good comfort food — here is our the list of top picks of Moscow’s spots with a superb view of the city.
354 Exclusive Height
Moscow City, the latest and most dramatic addition to the city’s skyline, is a new district combining business, residential and entertainment zones in a single development. The area includes 6 skyscrapers, exceeding 300 meters in height, including the tallest building in Europe — the Federation Tower.
“354 Exclusive Height” is located in one of the six skyscrapers — the 85-storey OKO Tower. The space is divided into three zones — “Ruski” restaurant on the 84th floor, “Open Air” terrace on the 85th floor, and “High Port 354” observation deck upstairs — making it the highest terrace and observation deck in Europe.
A visit to the observation deck alone costs $25 for adults and $13 for children (aged between 7 and 14, children under the age of 7 are not permitted on the observation deck). Tickets are sold at the door and include a professionally guided tour.
Guests of “Ruski” restaurant and “Open Air” terrace still have to pay to access the observation deck, although they get a 50% discount.
As you could guess from its name “Ruski” serves an authentic (and extensive) Russian menu with borscht ($8), cod with cauliflower ($18) and farm chicken with lentils ($20). Breakfast menu is available from 11 am daily.
Dress code: the pocket square
+7 495 777-71-11
Located on the rooftop of Ritz-Carlton hotel and overlooking the Red Square, O₂ is a must-go place. Walking through the Red Square can be an unforgettable experience but seeing all of it from above right in front of you is rad.
The menu is dominated with seafood and Japanese: sashimis and makis, lobsters, mussels, prawns, sea bass, and especially Kamchatka Crab making an appearance in many variations. The best view of the Red Square is included in the prices — a glass of Pinot Grigio costs ($25) which is about double the regular price. When it comes to food there are more affordable and less affordable options: California roll ($20) or Mediterranean seabass with green asparagus, tomato confit and coriander sauce ($48).
A slightly more budget-friendly option is the Sunset terrace overlooking Tverskaya street, claiming to be perhaps the most premier gourmet food truck experience in the world serving hot dogs or nachos ($11) and burgers with the headliner — Kamchatka Crab ($24).
Perfect for: first-time visitors, romantic dates, taking your most “liked” Instagram picture from Moscow.
Worthy of the view on Kremlin
Mon–Wed: Sun: 12pm–last
+7 495 225-88-88
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If you’re after a gastronomic experience rather than just a “city view”, White Rabbit is your best choice.
Chef Vladimir Mukhin’s Alice in Wonderland-themed restaurant located on the 16th floor and overlooking Smolenskaya Square through the glass-domed ceiling landed number 18 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants of 2016 — the only Russian establishment that made it to the list. Netflix’s Chef’s Table ran an episode on Mukhin on February 2017 and got foodies around the world excited about his moose lips dumplings.
The restaurant offers a tasting set ($150), à la carte menu with dishes like Murmansk cod with sea asparagus and tomatoes ($18) and boar cutlets with puree of celery and rowan jelly ($15). It also has a casual gastrobar, so you can go different levels of crazy with your gastronomic experience — all while enjoying a stunning view of Moscow.
Dress code: The pocket square
+7 495 663-39-99,
+7 495 782-62-62
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Georgian cuisine (and wines) is almost a religion. You will also get converted once you try. Kazbek is one the best Georgian restaurants in the city bringing together scrumptious dishes from a celebrity Georgian chef, elaborate interior decor and an excellent view.
Georgian food is usually ordered to share. Don’t limit yourself to salad and main course, instead order a selection of appetizers and something from the grill. Must tries in a Georgian menu is anything that has the words: “khachapuri” (a traditional cheese-filled bread) ($8) and “pkhali” (a mix of minced vegetables, walnuts, vinegar, onions, garlic and herbs) like beet leaves or spinach pkhali ($7). Kharcho soup and lobio (a dish made from cooked beans with coriander, walnuts, garlic and onions), both around ($7), should also be your top choices. Khinkhali ($1.7 per piece), a Georgian variation of a dumpling, are also a staple.
Georgian wines are a topic on their own but the distinct rock stars are Saperavi Dry and Kindzmarauli Semi Sweet ($55 each).
Perfect for: Family celebrations, romantic dates, weekend brunch.
Dress code: The pocket square
+7 495 651-81-00
It’s exactly what it sounds like. A two-storey Mercedes-Benz brand’s embodiment in the form of a restaurant located on the 31st floor of Radisson Royal Hotel (one of the iconic Seven Sisters buildings) is designed as a luxury yet ironic art déco variation of the 30–40s Manhattan theme with brand memorabilia subtly interwoven into the décor.
“500-horsepower double-row Biturbo engine is encoded in our cocktail list”, claims the menu and delivers on its promise with four whole pages of cocktails named mostly after Mercedes-Benz car models. We picked the two traditionally most favorite Benzes in Russia: Geländewagen with bourbon, bitters, sugar and basil ($13) and Mercedes-Benz S with tequila, grapefruit sorbet, ginger mix, grapefruit juice, lime juice and maple syrup ($14). Rather surprising that the all-time classy S-class turned out to be a tequila-based cocktail interpretation.
The food menu has everything from oysters to burgers to Tom Kha Gai soup which can be either a good or a bad thing. We’re also not sure whether Caesar salad on the menu should be viewed as cute and nostalgic or alarming.
Mercedes Bar offers a stunning view of Moscow and a chance to explore the Benz range from a completely new perspective.
Perfect for: Drinks after the Radisson Moscow River cruise, a quiet business chat, sunsets.
Dress code: Slim-fit shirt
All week: 6pm–6am
+7 495 229-83-09
Two-storey Italian restaurant is right next door to Mercedes Bar on the 29th and the 30th floor of the same hotel. The atmosphere here is very different from Mercedes Bar — Buono is equally luxurious yet romantic and relaxed with most of its seats lined along panoramic windows sinking in green trees.
The menu offers quite a selection. No Caesar salad detected, instead some rather creative combinations like salad with borecole (fancy name for kale) and smoked monkfish, dressed with pistachio-yogurt sauce, rather pricey for this kind of creativity ($45). Don’t panic though as there are some more familiar and budget-friendly options like minestrone soup ($12) and pappardelle with ceps ($22). I recall paying the same $22 for pappardelle in Little Italy NYC without the luxurious interiors or stunning city views.
The suggested game plan is to take the Radisson Moscow River cruise, followed by a drink at Mercedes Bar, followed by dinner at Buono. You will make the most of your day spent in the area and overdose on city views.
Dress code: The pocket square
All week: 12am–1am
+7 495 229-83-08
Unlike any of the locations described so far, Strelka calls for no dress code whatsoever. Strelka Institute, where the bar is located, is an institution focusing on urban disciplines and taking them beyond architecture and infrastructure to include experience, interaction and economics. In other words, Strelka bar is a place of interest for the creative, modern and progressive kind, which makes it a natural extension of the Institute and a place of interest after classes.
Brooklyn vibe with a traditional Moscow backdrop: The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and the Moskva River.
Strelka bar serves all-day breakfast (always a winner), a glass of Pinot Grigio costs ($7) here and a Bellini to turn that breakfast into brunch will set you back ($11). The Main Course menu surprised us with tuna ($14) or salmon ($13) Poke, duck broth borscht with duck pie ($9) and a selection of tapas. Mind you those are not Spanish tapas but rather chicken and beef skewers or hummus with pita bread. Bistrot menu, i.e. business lunch menu, offers a two-course meal for ($7) or a three-course meal for ($8). The selection of dishes is very limited though.
Every summer weekend night Strelka bar hosts parties with different music agenda ranging from DJ sets to live performances and is packed with creatives and hipsters.
Dress code: Latest collection sneakers
+7 495 771-74-16
Located in Lotte Plaza, Kalina Bar is the perfect place for a crowd who can’t agree on a place. Here, everyone will find something they like on the menu, choosing from wok, pasta, risotto as well as Russian-themed dishes like Kiev cutlet ($15) and veal cheeks with spinach and black rice ($25).
A balcony for the summer nights and panoramic windows for when it’s cold allow to enjoy the views of the lit-up Smolenskaya Square and the bend of the Moskva River any time of the year.
Apart from the view, Kalina bar has karaoke which makes it suitable for both the pre-party and the main party.
Dress code: Flirty
All week: 12pm–6am
+7 495 229-55-19