Budget dining - Low-cost restaurants in St. Petersburg

Dining out in St. Petersburg is not hugely expensive by European standards, but nor is it particularly cheap. Filling, good-value meals are readily available in any number of Caucasian and Central Asian restaurants, but finding real budget options takes quite a bit of effort and imagination.

What St. Petersburg really lacks in this regard is much in the way of reasonable-quality street food. Pancakes and pirozhki (buns stuffed with sweet or savoury fillings) can still be found, but either in a few surviving Soviet-era venues that have gained a cult popularity, or in local fast-food chains. Otherwise, budget restaurants in St. Petersburg are exceptions to the rule.

Selected budget restaurants:

European, Russian $
A cafe-club with a great central location on the Fontanka River Embankment and an active social calendar of concerts, literary and artistic events, PirO.G.I. is part of a renowned Moscow-based chain offering low-cost drinks and food (Russian soups and pies, pasta, salads and sandwiches) to a young, bohemian clientele.
Chinese $
Although it's a fair walk from the eastern end of Nevsky Prospekt, this Chinese restaurant is worth seeking out for a cheap, filling and very tasty dinner. There are plenty of low-cost dishes on the extensive menu, which gets the seal of approval from large numbers of Chinese tour groups, and portions are very large, so the bigger the company the cheaper it gets.