We all know wine is for lazy people, cocktails, on the other hand, are for those of us out there who appreciate complexity. It’s almost like a musical symphony…in a glass…Here is our pick of time-proven bars in Moscow that are guaranteed to deliver a top-notch drink.
Delicatessen is a veteran of Moscow’s gastronomic and party scenes. Enough said. But we will say some more since you might not have been to Moscow yet. The dishes here make an appearance and then a disappearance on the menu — seasonally, but the bar is the solid rock of this place serving classics and originals. No wonder it landed on «World’s 50 Best Bars» list in 2014. Treat yourself to the fennel flowers nastoyka, honeyberry brandy or a signature cocktail. The average check here is usually under $30.
Tuesday – Thursday 12 pm – 12 am
Friday-Saturday 12 pm – 2 am
Sunday 12 pm – 10 pm
Nikuda ne Edem
Nikuda ne Edem means ‘We’re not going anywhere’ in Russian and is a spot on name for this place. This basement gastro-bar is the brainchild of star chef Dmitry Shurshakov and mixologist Alexander Kahn offering creative drinks and dishes made from regular ingredients. The menu is a blend of Russian and international concepts that result in original cocktails and inventive food. Try the pear with chicken pastry (≈$8), pumpkin soup with shrimps (≈$6) or duck breast with apple pie (≈$11). The house cocktails are equally bizarre – their main ingredients are… vegetables (pepper, beetroot, carrot, cucumber, etc.). They even have a special name – foodtails. Have a glass of Baltic Breeze (Finland Grapefruit, BlackBerry liqueur Shambor, carrot juice, grapefruit beer) or Saffron Minch (Brandy de Jeres, beetroot juice, chestnut liqueur, chokeberry, saffron) for ≈$8. If you are a classics fan, choose Bras Arme (Henessy VS, cherry brandy, dry vermouth) for ≈$12.
If you only have time for one place and one drink, pick Noor Bar, it is THE iconic spot. This place with bright yellow walls and tiled floors is a second home to many of the Moscow’s rich and famous, as well as hip and creative, as well as — pretty much all of us who are not sober for life. Noor Bar is known for using natural ingredients in its cocktails and pouring lots and lots of liquor. One of the first and most famous Russian bartenders Marat Shaddarov runs the bar, just about everything in Noor Bar is legendary. Come here and enjoy an original cocktail (like cucumbers tini for ≈$8), dance with friends and listen to live music or a DJ set. Or visit the place in a free-from-performance evening for a calm chat in a small company with a glass of classic Irish Coffee (≈$10).
Pinch is one of the star spots in the Patriarchy Ponds. Once you try dishes from its chef Luigi Magni, you’ll want to come back again and again. Have a quail salad (≈$15) and an octopus ravioli soup (≈$11), then treat yourself to the strawberry dream (≈$8.5) or white mushroom ice-cream (≈$7.5). Vegan options are also available. The drinks here are equally creative and elegantly served. Try the Lemon Pie or Contrabandista for ≈$10.
Saxon+Parole is the “twin brother” of a well-known American restaurant with the same name, so this is just the place to experience signature American service and hospitality. Regulars love the place for its mouthwatering dishes: Guinness braised beef cheek, polenta with chimichurri sauce (≈$14) and sticky toffee pudding, salted caramel ice cream (≈$6) for a dessert and others. As for the cocktails, there is a huge choice of strong classic ones with special ingredients, like Stinger (martel VS, creme de menthe, lemon bitter) for ≈$11. You are always welcome to order your own cocktail recipe — the bartender will be happy to execute it for you. On the weekends you are encouraged to make your own Margarita (at extra cost) — various ingredients are placed on the table for you to choose.
One of the hottest spots in the summer, large open terrace located in an art cluster with a view of the Moskva River and Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. You can have a reasonably priced breakfast or lunch in Strelka bar (≈$5-≈$6) or treat yourself to a signature cocktail (≈$8-≈$11) or wine (≈$7-≈$10 per glass) choosing from a big seasonal menu. During weekend Strelka turns into a big party with live DJ sets and crowds of creatives pouring in to dance the night away.