History of St. Petersburg cuisine

The bus excursion route «History of St. Petersburg Cuisine» introduces the history of culinary of the Northern capital. The gastronomic phenomenon of St. Petersburg cuisine which is being formed in the 18th century in the Petrine era, attracts with its diversity, brightness and Russian classical literature and drama allusions.

The route begins on the Vyborg side from the Bread Museum and passes through the historical center of St. Petersburg, Nevsky prospect and Vasilievsky Island. The excursion ends nearby the new city gastronomic space «Vasileostrovsky Market», thereby illustrating the historical path of St. Petersburg cuisine from the foundation of the city to the present day.

 

 

  • restaurants 1 ,
  • hotels 1 ,
  • souvenirs 1 ,
  • markets 1 ,
  • museums 3 ,
  • streets 1 ,
  • points of interest 1
11 km, 368 m
The museum of bread

The museum of bread

St. Petersburg, Ligovsky pr., 73

The St. Petersburg Museum of Bread was opened in 1988, and in 1993 it received the status of a state museum. Despite its «young» age, this museum is unique just by being the only one museum of this thematic orientation in Russia and being one of only 13 around the world. The museum is located in a 19th-century mansion built for the merchant I.A. Pastukhov. The second floor of the house is wooden, which is very rare for St. Petersburg. 

The interest in bread, a familiar and at the same time genius invention of mankind, is easily explained. In the era of technical achievements, bread is not just a food product, but it symbolizes the harmonious relationship between human and nature. The history of bread is inseparably linked with the history of all mankind. What hymns, songs are composed in honor of bread, what rituals and festivals different nations have associated with the sowing season or harvest. Let us recall also the ancient slavic tradition of welcoming guests or newlyweds “with bread and salt” on the doorstep of the house. All these folk traditions and customs comprise human wisdom, respectful treatment of bread from generation to generation. Bread is a kind of cultural phenomenon that enables to present the life of human civilization, the way people live in educational way from an unusual perspective. 

The exposition shows astonishing exhibits beginning with the tools used to bake bread in antiquity found during archaeological excavations ending with various things that can be used to show the history of the St. Petersburg baking business.

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The coffee museum was founded in 2008 and is located in a picturesque one-storeyed brick house overlooking the Neva river. This house remains from the time when numerous Voskresensky shops were located here in the 19th century. Earlier before that was a location for stone breweries where beer and mead for the Chevalier Guard regiment were brewed. 

In the exhibition halls and showrooms of the Museum of Coffee visitors are introduced to the history of the drink and listen to the story of traditions of using coffee in various periods of history in different countries. There are a lot of rare items among the museum exhibits: a copy of Ludwig Beethoven’s favorite coffee maker, equipment that was used to brown coffee beans in the 18th-20th centuries, and tableware for a coffee ceremony. 

The museum staff organizes workshops on the preparation of coffee followed by tasting sessions. Visitors can learn about the benefits of coffee, different ways of grinding and browning. They may follow all the coffee way: from the birth of berries to its magical transformation inside the cesve coffeepot (“turka” in russian). Here one may buy unusual souvenirs and enjoy coffee on the terrace overlooking the Neva.

3 km, 419 m
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The Saigon cafe existed in the period of 1960-1980s on the corner of Nevsky and Vladimirsky prospects in the hotel building (at that time – hotel «Moscow»). Here was a meeting point for the members of different unofficial organizations, underground heroes and representatives of contemporary art unrecognized in their own country during the so-called «stagnation» period. 

At different times, Saigon was visited by such rock musicians as Viktor Tsoi, Boris Grebenshchikov (Aquarium), Konstantin Kinchev (Alice), Yuri Shevchuk (DDT). The great actor Innokenty Smoktunovsky, the famous artist Mikhail Shemyakin, the writer Sergey Dovlatov and many others appeared here. Rock music reflected the spirit of the generation, and nowhere but over tea in Saigon one could simply talk to the legends of St. Petersburg rock. 

Nowadays the building is occupied by a five-star hotel. A memorial board on the wall of the hotel bar reminds of the legendary cafe.

1 km, 648 m
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Ulitsa Rubinshteyna

Ulitsa Rubinshteyna

Saint Petersburg, ul. Rubinshteyna, 1

Rubinstein Street starts from Nevsky prospect and ends with the famous Five Corners crossroad, where an apartment house, the most remarkable building of the entire architectural ensemble is located. This 6-storey house is crowned with a turret at the top decorated with miniature figures of caryatids (over 40) and garlands (constructed in 1913 by architect A.L. Lishnevsky in Neoclassicism style - Zagorodny prospect, 11 / Rubinstein street, 42) 

There are forty houses and more than fifty cafes, bars and restaurants for any taste and budget along the Rubinstein street. But if you decide to walk along it, you will find that even such a small street has much to brag about, since a good number of houses located here have a rich history. For example, there was one of the first communes of Leningrad on Rubinstein street in house number 7, and in the building of the «Zazerkalye» theater located in house number 13 

there was previously the famous Leningrad rock club, where iconic musicians such as Boris Grebenshchikov and Victor Tsoi began their career.

136 m
4
Eliseevy Merchants' Shop

Eliseevy Merchants' Shop

Saint Petersburg, Malaya Sadovaya ulitsa, 8

Delicacy in every sign: in architecture, interior and inimitable confectionary. 

On Christmas Eve 1812, a laborious gardener named Peter Eliseev, Count Sheremetev’s serf, delivered fresh raspberries for his master’s guests. The astonished Count asked his serf how to thank him for such a treat. Peter didn`t hesitate and asked for freedom. Sheremetev kept his promise and set Eliseev and his wife free awarding them with a small fortune. It turned out that the former serf possessed an extraordinary aptitude for commerce. Peter Eliseev became famous all over St. Petersburg, thanks to his ability to surprise the most demanding customers. That is where the story of the Eliseev Merchants’ Shop began. A few decades later, Peter`s descendants would open the Eliseev Emporium in St. Petersburg, the most opulent food hall in the Russian Empire, which is still open for customers. 

From the very first moment of its history the store is not just a food store: it also includes fine dining restaurants, a theatre and in some cases can serve as a grand hall for celebrations. 

Here one may buy edible souvenirs and gifts of St. Petersburg; fish and meat delicacies, gourmet alcohol, aromatic spices, natural oils and sauces, French desserts from the pastry chef, handmade chocolate and fresh pastries from our own bakery.

571 m
5
Taleon Imperial Hotel

Taleon Imperial Hotel

Moika river, 59

« He bends his course to Talon's, where 

He knows Kaverine will repair. 

He enters. High the cork arose 

Like comet champagne foaming flows... » 

«Eugene Onegin» by Alexander Pushkin 

Talon Restaurant was one of the most fashionable and expensive places in St. Petersburg at the beginning of the 19th century. Therefore, is not surprising that it was there that Pushkin sent Eugene Onegin to dissipate. 

The restaurant occupied several floors of the house and belonged to the French chef Pierre Talon. There is less than ten minutes' walk from here to the Pushkin’s apartment, so the menu was likely familiar to Alexander Sergeyevich. 

A restaurant was called "restauration" in Russia. This emphasized the benefits for the stomach, people went there in order to "repair the stomach." The restaurant served hot food, which was 

completely impossible to serve in other places, where kitchens also existed. In taverns and cheap cafes food was cooked in advance and it always got on the table a little warm. 

In the novel, Onegin is served with a roast beef all bloody, a Strasbourg pie – a pate, Limburg cheese and pineapples were named so at that time – all gourmet and expensive, as it should be on the table of a wealthy aristocrat in the best restaurant of St. Petersburg in the first quarter of the XIX century. 

In 1825, Pierre Talon went back to France, the restaurant was closed. But, thanks to Pushkin, it remained in history. Over the past 200 years, this building belonged to a pastry shop and a bank, an art house and a cinema. Now there is a five-star hotel here.

1 km, 105 m
6
The Literary Cafe

The Literary Cafe

At the beginning of the XIX century, the building belonged to the confectionery "S. Wolf and Beranger", which was considered the best in St. Petersburg. In 1834, the “Chinese cafe” was also opened in the house, and the confectionery became a club restaurant. 

The restaurant has become a meeting place for famous people of the era: it was visited by Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, Taras Shevchenko and Fedor Dostoevsky. It was here that Pushkin met with his second Konstantin Danzas before going on the fatal duel on the Black small river with Dantes. 

As long ago as 1983, the restaurant reopened as a Literary Café. Nowadays it occupies two floors - the rooms are decorated with portraits of writers, there are many bookshelves around, and there is a wax figure of Pushkin in the corner.

112 m
7
Museum of Spices

Museum of Spices

St. Petersburg, Vasilievsky Ostrov, Bolshoi prospekt, 6

The Spice Museum is an unusual museum that opened its doors to visitors in June 2015. The museum is unique in Russia and the third official museum of spices in the world. 

The museum’s mission is to share knowledge about the incredibly rich world of spices, to show how this world has influenced the mankind, to contribute to the development of gastronomic culture. 

The exposition tells about what spicy plants are, how and where they grow, how they are harvested and processed to produce fragrant spices that accompany a person daily throughout his life. 

During the tour one can rediscover the usual spices and get acquainted with completely exotic species. All exhibits can be touched, sniffed and even tasted, and after the tour guests can enjoy coffee or tea in the coffee shop, make purchases in the spice shop, sign up for various museum events.

2 km, 275 m
8
Vasileostrovsky Street Market

Vasileostrovsky Street Market

After the extensive reconstruction, the Vasileostrovsky Market has become a modern space whose mission is to present an urban cuisine in all its conceptual diversity. At the same time, the traditions of St. Petersburg, which consist in the combination and interaction of different cultures from all over the world, are perfectly manifested in the new project. 

The Vasileostrovsky market occupies two spacious pavilions adjacent to the historic Andreevsky Market, built in 1959 for the needs of the collective farm market. Market trading at this place was continuously conducted, starting from the first half of the 18th century. At first, wooden benches were located here, and after the fire of 1763 a new stone market was built subsequently rebuilt and expanded several times. Actually, the emergence of the Vasileostrovsky collective farm market was the last major expansion of the sales area. 

During the reconstruction, the maximum of existing elements was preserved: marble slabs on the walls, granite floors and vaulted ceilings, whose volume was emphasized by the contrasting gray details. For the rest, during the reconstruction, decor elements in a recognizable St. Petersburg 

style (wrought iron fencing, street lights), and Soviet-style techniques (white tiles, glass blocks, concrete and minimalist plafonds) were used. The main change in both buildings was superstructure on the second floor, occupying about a quarter of the area. 

The food-court space is now almost completely occupied. There are 15 corners on the territory of the gastronomic market, each specializing in one certain thing. 

There is also a classic food market offering farm products. 

Vasilestrovsky market has become a fashionable place and center of attraction, where many interesting events take place.

351 m
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