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6 Signature Cuisine Spots in Saint Petersburg

In the culinary sphere, a new wave of local chefs is venturing into signature cuisine based on local produce and a heady shot of well channelled creativity. There aren’t many places where you will notice such a local penchant for eating and drinking – particularly drinking – as in Saint Petersburg, like some genuinely celebratory way of life. And, as the saying goes, when in Rome, do as the Romans do.

Cococo. In the same kitchens where Alain Ducasse decided to try his luck in the city, now it is chef Igor Grishechkin and his talented crew who delight lunch and dinner guests that share their predilection for the setting and staging. Local produce in abundance and a commitment to the source of each dish. Brilliant plating up. Must book in advance. Voznesensky prospect, 6

TartarBar. Well off Saint Petersburg’s tourist track, this huge, industrial-aesthetic eatery invites you to savour chef Dmitri Blinov’s creative offerings. A profusion of raw, proximity products on a menu which makes no distinction between first and second course in a bid to foster a sampling approach throughout the meal. Vilenskiy St. 15

Hamlet + Jacks. Here you can taste chef Eugene Vikentiev’s compelling local-style dishes, as well as those of international inspiration, hard by the warmth and in full view of the kitchen fires. Short cookings, judicious combinations of ingredients and texture contrasts go into the making of dishes that bring out the finest in Russian cuisine as well as successfully exploring the culinary produce from the world over. Volynskiy per. 2

Pedro & Gómez u Larisy. If you’re into generous helpings of fusion cuisine, this is for you. Get ready to wield the chopsticks and move from America to Asia through a number of adroit dishes prepared in front of you, if you elect to sit at the bar. Large snacks, tremendous bowls of ramen and all dishes conducive to sharing. Rubinshteyna 29

Four Hands.Strike out just beyond downtown Saint Petersburg to try this warm gastropub with its characterful, minute cuisine authored by chef Cepren Fokin. Go for the bar counter so as not to miss the various preparation stages and even engage in repartee with the chef while you’re at it. Their tripe is another hallmark of the house. Prospekt Kosmonavtov, 63

Duo Gastrobar. Market cuisine with harkings of long-standing recipe books in modest-sized helpings. This quaint hangout with a bar counter and just five tables is the in spot among the foodie crowd. You’ll be caught up by the atmosphere and the ambitious wine list. Best book in advance. Kirochnaya St. 8A

Where to Sleep, Breakfast and Vice Versa

W St. Petersburg. This is the grand hotel par excellence. A pageant of modernity, warmth and good taste in Russia’s most cosmopolitan city. You will appreciate the welcome, the fireplace in the lounge in the colder months, and their spa, all year around. Spacious rooms, a roof terrace with views, a peerless location and a buffet breakfast lacking nothing, round off this charming hotel. 6 Voznesensky Prospect

Polikoff. The most functional option, sited at an intersection on crowded Nevsky Avenue, which you are bound to hit sooner or later. Housed on two floors of a former block of flats, this is the most practical and economical choice when pressed for time to sleep and breakfast. Karavannaya/Nevsky prospekt 64/11

Text by Belén Parra of Gastronomistas.com

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