In big cities people live fast-paced lives, which sometime call for a bit of multitasking. If you are looking for somewhere to shop for shoes and eat a pizza or get your bikini waxed while sipping hot cocoa, we’ve got the places for you. All of the below cafes give you the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.
Artemy Lebedev Studio: Artistic Tchotchkes
If you want to get a snack while shopping for cocktail napkins, the two cafes in Artemy Lebedev’s shops should be your first and second stops. The famous Russian artist opened his first shop-cafe in 2008 on Bol. Nikitskaya. The tiny venue has a nice outdoor patio during the summer, but in terms of selection it pales in comparison to the “big cafe” on Bankovsky Per. in the Chistiye Prudy neighborhood.
The larger location sells lots of creative ways to clutter your kitchen and living room, including very cute silicon ice trays in a wide variety of shapes, and the above mentioned cocktail napkins. For 200 rubles, you can buy napkins with colorful renderings of the Moscow Metro map on them.
250 rubles will get you a package of 10 magnets that look like Band-Aids, and 300 will get you actual bandages with cute messages from Lebedev himself. The food is edible but this is not the place to go wild with your order.
Chateau de Fleurs: Flowers
If you are feeling homesick for your grandmother’s house, head to restaurant and floral atelier Chateau de Fleurs. The restaurant refers to itself as an “art cafe” yet serves foie gras terrines for 890 rubles, so we are going to go ahead and shoot that notion down.
Instead, what you get for your money (a lot of it) at Chateau de Fleurs is the pomp and circumstance typical of aristocratic France, fancy fusion cuisine with a Mediterranean slant and the option to spend on porcelain trinkets, handmade jewelry and some sort of creepy-looking stuffed toys. If your 1,000-ruble venison burger has you in the mood for flowers, skip the boutique and head for the restaurants’s in-house flower shop. The floral atelier at Chateau can create bouquets and baskets of all kinds in most price ranges.
Coffee Piu: Salon Services
If you are looking for a place to eat Business lunch and get a manicure all in one, hop on the metro and head to Chistiye prudy. Down Chistoprudny Bul. you will find the salon-cafe Coffee Piu. The beauty and food menus are equally extensive, with the cafe serving the expected array of soups, salads and mains, and the salon offering everything from 60-minute deep-clean facials (2,600 rubles) to bikini waxes (900 rubles).
If you are interested in lunch and a make over, the venue offers combinations of soups, salads, quiches and main dishes from only 220 rubles, and the menus change weekly. Aside from serving decent food and offering a wide selection of wax procedure, Piu hosts master classes (culinary and artistic) for grown ups and children for 1,000 rubles, and sometimes even puts on free concerts.
Flei: Local Produce
The all-natural cafe-shop Flei is tucked away on Lyalin Per. near the Kurskaya metro station. Flei’s facade is unassutning, as is the interior. The small, ten-table space is filled with baskets of vegetables, refrigerators for local dairy products and shelves stocked with organic olive oils and pastas. The latter goods are some of the only ones not made in Russia, as the cafe prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients as opposed to simply “ecologically friendly” produce.
Stopping by for a bite to eat before picking up the groceries you need is highly recommended as the food at Flei, though prepared in a closet-sized kitchen, is actually quite good. If you want something small, the 120-ruble vitamin salad with cabbage, apples and carrots is ideal. A more filling meal can be had with one of the pasta dishes or the Asian-inspired beef and vegetable salad (390 rubles).
Jagganath: Health Food, Spices
Stop by any of the Jagganath locations to pick up the spices you need for that stir-fry or the coconut milk you wanted to use in a curry. But before you peruse the health shop, drop in the buffet and scope out how the cafe’s chefs get the most out of products like tofu.
To be honest, it isn’t impossible to believe that you, dear reader, have talent equal to or superior than the Jagganath chefs. That being said, sometimes you want a serving of greasy mushroom, vareniki before shopping for legumes, spices and whole grains
Jamon i Vino: Spanish Delicious
Want to get ham straight from Spain without Leaving the Tverskaya neighborhood? Easy. Head to cafe and shop Jamon i Vino where you can sample the goods in advance by ordering a sandwich with one kind of cheese and prosciutto or another, and place your order for an entire leg of pork. The shop sells all kinds of cheeses and pre-arranged cheese plates; numerous pork products; smoked boar, beef and seafood; oils and vinegars; olives; vegetable preserves and wine.
If you want fresh prosciutto as opposed to the prepackaged stuff, go for the 20-month Jamon Mangalica (405 rubles for 100 grams) on the extensive end, or try the 14-month Tello Jamon Serrano for a more affordable 216 rubles per 100 grams. The chocolates, olives and tapenades at Jamon i Vino are more reasonably priced than they are at similar cafe-shops like LPQ. If you want to skip the cafe aspect, order online and have your goods delivered to your home (the minimum order is 1,000 rubles). Delivery is free for purchases over 2,000 rubles within the MKAD, and otherwise costs 300 rubles.
Kuznetsky Most 20: Clothing
Whether you are looking for an Acne sweater, a Casio watch or a pair of Hunter rain boots, channel are you can find them at this chic clothing store. The young and fresh shop offers serious designer frocks by Hussein Chalayan as well more affordable items like Timberland shoes, and everything in between. The only drawback of shopping at this well-curated store is the staff, who can be cool to customers that do not look up to snuff.
Therefore, heading to KM20 for a shopping trip right after the gym is not recommended. Instead, bundle up in your cutest winter coat before walking over to the venue for some shopping and a snack. The cafe in the store has a menu that was designed by the famous culinary duo Nathan and Nathalie before they left the capital. The casual space serves a large and delicious 500-ruble hamburger and wok-fried noodles, a wide array of brunch dishes and even a lentil salad with hummus. There is also a short list of pizzas.
Le Voyage du The: Tea
Just in case the Patriarshiye Prudy area wasn’t posh enough, a teashop boasting hundreds of types of French leaves opened in the area earlier in the fall. The venue, Le Voyage du The, is a joint venture between a couple of Moscow tea lovers and the 300-year old French brand Mariage Freres. The cafe itself is tres francais with is tiled floor, red-painted shelves, cafe stools, white tablecloths, picture windows and working fireplace.
The place sells more than 500 kinds of tea, and you can buy Mariage Freres teas in beautiful tins or order a teapot (350 rubles) to pair with a slice of cake or sandwich. The cafe and shop doesn’t have enough space for its own kitchen, but there is just enough room for a chef to make crepes in the morning and prepare cold salads and sandwiches during the day. At Le Voyage, you can also buy tealeaves by weight, which is the most cost-effective approach.
Oldich Dress and Drink: Vintage
There are few things quite as romantic as watching a talented couple swing dance. If you are interested in the Lindy Hop or the Charleston, this is your place. The Oldich shop and bar is business upstairs and party downstairs. The first floor of the space is dedicated to vintage clothing. The store sells everything from simple 500-ruble bags to 100,000 dresses, and almost everything in between.
The best thing about the stuff for sale is that each piece comes with a brief history that addresses the whos, whens, whats and whys of the item. Stop by the store one day to get the perfect outfit, and then head downstairs the next evening to sway to vantage tunes. The lower level has a small contact bar with four seats and about as many cocktails. The menu boasts intriguing creations like crab profiteroles as well as more standard fare like burgers.
The huge but rather inconveniently located second Ragout sells more than just the Russian-inspired food popularized by Ilya Shalyov and Alexei Zinain. The space also boasts a much larger bar that serves more sophisticated cocktails, and is home to Ragout’s hugely popular cooking school.
If you don’t have the extra time or cash to participate in the eatery’s classes, settle for browsing Ragout’s collection of cookbooks and cooking magazines for inspiration. The Olimpiisky shop also sells all the fancy tools you need in order to create homemade pasta and whip up the perfect pie. Prices are about the same as at the similarly chic kitchenware shop Cook House, so don’t worry about getting ripped off.
Ruki Vverkh: Old-School Toys
There is at least one reason to visit this restaurant, bar and karaoke lounge, even if you are not a die-hard fan of the Russian rock band Ruki Vverkh: a Sega Genesis. On the lower level of this centrally located venue, guests will find a stand with a sign that reads “Tovary iz Proshlogo” or “Goods from the Past”. These vantage items include everything from rainbow slinkies to Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum.
Dr. Pepper somehow also made it onto the list of “blast from the past” items, as did pioneer’s scarves (150 rubles) and other Soviet paraphernalia. Still, the most exciting item from the section is The Sega gaming console, which costs a reasonable 2,000 rubles. The only problem you might have is finding games for the dated machine. The restaurant itself is decent though not extraordinary expect the typical Moscow selection of pasta, pizza, borsch and sushi. Of the options, the 330-ruble borsch is likely the best.
First and foremost, Vintage is a restaurant with a fabulous selection of wine. That being said, the fact that one can pick up any bottle from the eatery with a 20 percent discount for take out makes this place one of the best (and most conveniently located) wine shops in town. If you want to have a quick bite before you leave with your wares, try the beet and goat cheese salad with arugula, or the risotto with chicken and arugula.
If the spicy lettuce is not your thing, don’t worry. The menu is surprisingly extensive, ranging from French options like foie gras with figs for almost 1,000 rubles to a very Russian take on pasta with salmon and cream sauce. As for wine, you can’t go wrong with the Chilean Aves del Sur chardonnay (800 rubles). A bottle of the New Zealand vineyard Ribbonwood’s sauvignon blanc is also not a bad choice. Red wine drinkers should pay attention to the malbecs, of which there are many.