The Top Thing to Eat: Moscow

Written: The Top Thing Staff | June 28, 2023

1. Borscht

Borscht is a traditional Russian beet soup that boasts a vibrant red color, making it visually appealing. This iconic dish is prepared with a variety of vegetables such as beets, cabbage, potatoes, and carrots, offering a wholesome and nutritious meal option.

The inclusion of sour cream on top adds a creamy texture and enhances the overall flavor profile of the borscht. The tanginess of the sour cream complements the earthy sweetness of the beets and other ingredients in this hearty soup.

When traveling to Russia or exploring Russian cuisine, trying borscht is a must-do to experience authentic flavors that represent the country’s culinary heritage. This dish not only satisfies hunger but also provides an insight into Russian culture through its food traditions.

2. Pelmeni

Russian pelmeni are traditional dumplings filled with either meat or vegetables, offering a hearty and flavorful meal option. These savory delights bear resemblance to Chinese jiaozi or Italian tortellini, showcasing the global appeal of dumpling dishes. The versatility of pelmeni allows for various fillings, from classic beef and pork to modern spins like mushrooms or cheese.

Pelmeni are typically served with accompaniments such as butter, sour cream, vinegar, or even spicy sauces for an extra kick. This variety in serving styles enhances the dining experience by providing options to suit different taste preferences. The rich flavors of the filling combined with the soft texture of the dough make pelmeni a popular comfort food choice among locals and tourists alike.

Whether enjoyed as a quick bite at a street vendor’s stall or presented elegantly in a restaurant setting, pelmeni offer a satisfying culinary experience that captures the essence of Russian cuisine. Their simple yet delicious preparation has made them an enduring favorite across Russia and beyond.

3. Blini with caviar

Blini with caviar are thin pancakes topped with luxurious caviar, making them a sought-after delicacy in Moscow. This dish is commonly enjoyed as an appetizer or even for breakfast due to its rich and savory flavors.

Caviar, known for its exclusivity and distinctive taste, enhances the blini by providing a burst of indulgence that elevates the overall dining experience. The combination of soft blini and flavorful caviar creates a harmonious blend of textures and tastes.

In Russian cuisine, blini symbolize tradition and comfort while caviar represents opulence and sophistication. When paired together, these ingredients offer a unique gastronomic adventure that showcases the diverse culinary landscape of Moscow.

The contrast between the lightness of the pancake and the intensity of the caviar results in a balanced dish that appeals to both locals and tourists seeking authentic Russian flavors. Whether enjoyed at a local eatery or a high-end restaurant, blini with caviar epitomize elegance on a plate.

4. Beef Stroganoff

Classic Russian dish made with tender beef strips, cooked in a creamy sauce with mushrooms and onions. This hearty meal is a staple food in Russia, known for its rich flavors that blend perfectly together.

Beef Stroganoff is often served over egg noodles or rice, making it a versatile dish suitable for various preferences. The dish’s origins date back to the mid-19th century and have since become popular worldwide.

A favorite among many chefs for its simplicity yet delicious taste, Beef Stroganoff showcases the essence of Russian cuisine. Its combination of savory beef, savory sauce, and earthy mushrooms creates a harmonious balance on the palate.

With its roots deeply embedded in Russian culinary traditions, Beef Stroganoff continues to be a beloved comfort food choice globally. Whether enjoyed at home or in restaurants specializing in authentic Russian cuisine, this dish never fails to satisfy cravings for something warm and comforting.

5. Shchi (Russian cabbage soup)

Shchi, a traditional Russian dish, is a hearty soup crafted from fermented cabbage. This versatile dish can cater to both vegetarians and meat lovers as it offers variations with beef or pork. During the cold winter months in Moscow, Shchi stands out as a staple in Russian cuisine.

Whether you prefer it vegetarian-style for a lighter option or opt for the rich flavors of meat-infused Shchi, this soup provides warmth and comfort during chilly days. The tangy taste of fermented cabbage combined with other vegetables creates a unique flavor profile that captures the essence of Russian culinary traditions.

In Russia, families often have their own cherished recipes for Shchi passed down through generations, showcasing the cultural significance and love for this dish. Its popularity extends beyond homes to restaurants across Moscow where locals and tourists alike savor its robust taste.

Embrace the authentic flavors of Moscow by indulging in a bowl of steaming hot Shchi; it’s not just food but an experience that immerses you in Russian culture and history.

6. Pirozhki

Pirozhki are small pastries popular in Russia, commonly filled with a variety of ingredients like meat, cheese, cabbage, or potatoes. These savory treats are versatile and can be enjoyed as snacks or street food across Moscow.

Pirozhki’s versatility lies in the different fillings they offer; from hearty meat options to vegetarian-friendly choices like potato or cabbage. This makes them an ideal option for satisfying various cravings while exploring the city.

Whether you opt for the baked version with a flaky crust or the fried variant that offers a crispy exterior, pirozhki never fail to deliver on flavor and comfort. Their portable nature also makes them convenient for enjoying on-the-go while immersing yourself in Moscow’s vibrant atmosphere.

7. Solyanka soup

Solyanka soup is a delightful blend of spicy and tangy flavors, creating a unique taste experience for your palate. This traditional Russian dish combines various meats like sausage and ham with the zing of pickles and olives.

The richness of solyanka soup comes from its diverse ingredients, offering a hearty mix that satisfies both meat lovers and those craving something tangy. The robust flavors in this soup make it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

If you’re exploring Moscow’s culinary scene, trying solyanka soup is a must-do to immerse yourself in the authentic tastes of Russian cuisine. Its distinct taste profile sets it apart from other soups, making it an unforgettable gastronomic experience during your visit to Moscow.

8. Kasha (Russian porridge)

Kasha is a traditional Russian porridge typically made from grains like buckwheat or oats. It serves as a versatile dish, commonly enjoyed both as a side dish and for breakfast. The simplicity of kasha allows for various flavor enhancements; it can be sweetened with honey or enriched with butter for added richness.

  • Nutritional Value: Buckwheat porridge, one common variation of kasha, is rich in essential nutrients such as fiber, protein, and antioxidants.
  • Cultural Significance: In Russian culture, kasha holds symbolic importance as a staple comfort food that has been consumed for generations.
  • Variety: Apart from buckwheat and oat-based kasha, there are numerous regional variations across Russia using different grains like millet or barley.

Kasha’s popularity extends beyond its homeland; it has gained recognition worldwide for its wholesome ingredients and hearty taste. Whether you prefer it savory or sweet, exploring the diverse flavors of this iconic Russian dish offers a glimpse into the country’s culinary heritage.

9. Olivier salad

The Olivier salad is a classic Russian dish consisting of boiled potatoes, carrots, peas, and pickles mixed with mayonnaise. This salad is commonly garnished with eggs and ham, adding layers of flavor to the dish.

During holidays and special occasions in Russia, the Olivier salad holds a significant place on dining tables. Its rich combination of ingredients makes it a versatile option that can be served as an appetizer or side dish at various gatherings.

This traditional Russian salad showcases the country’s culinary heritage through its simple yet flavorful components. The blend of textures from the vegetables and proteins creates a satisfying eating experience for those who try it.

Whether enjoyed in restaurants in Moscow or prepared at home following authentic recipes, the Olivier salad remains a beloved part of Russian cuisine that continues to delight locals and visitors alike with its unique taste profile.

10. Medovik (Honey cake)

The Medovik, a popular Russian dessert, is a decadent layered cake with honey-infused sponge layers. Each layer is delicately flavored with honey, giving the cake its distinctive sweet taste.

This delectable treat is filled with a luscious creamy frosting typically made from sour cream or condensed milk. The combination of the moist sponge layers and the rich frosting creates a harmonious blend of flavors that delights the palate.

Medovik is commonly served as a dessert alongside tea or coffee in Moscow and throughout Russia. Its sweetness pairs perfectly with hot beverages, making it an ideal choice for those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth after a meal.

Indulge in this heavenly dessert to experience the unique fusion of textures and flavors that make Medovik such a beloved treat in Russian cuisine.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the must-try traditional Russian dish in Moscow?

Borscht is a hearty beet soup that you can’t miss! It’s a vibrant blend of flavors and colors, perfect for warming your soul on chilly Moscow days.

Is it easy to find vegetarian options for food in Moscow?

Yes, Moscow offers a variety of vegetarian dishes like Blini with caviar (thin pancakes) or Olivier salad (potato salad). You won’t have trouble finding delicious meat-free options to enjoy!

Are there any popular dessert choices in Moscow worth trying?

Absolutely! Medovik, also known as Honey cake, is a sweet treat layered with honey-infused goodness. Indulge in this decadent dessert while exploring the vibrant streets of Moscow.

How accessible are these traditional Russian dishes for tourists visiting Moscow?

Most restaurants and cafes in Moscow offer these classic dishes like Pelmeni (dumplings) or Beef Stroganoff. You’ll have no trouble satisfying your taste buds with authentic Russian cuisine during your visit.

Can I experience a true taste of Russia by trying Kasha (Russian porridge)?

Definitely! Kasha is a staple comfort food enjoyed by Russians for generations. Dive into this warm bowl of goodness and savor the essence of traditional Russian home-cooked meals right in the heart of Moscow.