Eating in Russia

Eating in St. Petersburg is easy when you stick with the cafeteria lines. The food is good, the price is right, and you order by pointing — so you’re more likely to get what you want. Photos by Trish Feaster, The Travelphile.com.

Tepemok is a top local chain. A kind of Russian fast-food joint, you can eat here very well for just a few dollars. This is where people of all walks of life stop for a quick lunch.

Tepemok is a top local chain. A kind of Russian fast-food joint, you can eat here very well for just a few dollars. This is where people of all walks of life stop for a quick lunch.

Looking at this menu, you can get a sense for what’s cooking and the cost of eating out in Russia. Figure 33 rubles for a dollar or $3 for every hundred rubles. It’s fun to order adventurously from a menu like this.

Looking at this menu, you can get a sense for what’s cooking and the cost of eating out in Russia. Figure 33 rubles for a dollar or $3 for every hundred rubles. It’s fun to order adventurously from a menu like this.

For me, the language barrier is huge because I don’t speak Russian, and many people you deal with (clerks, salespeople, waiters, and tellers) speak only Russian. And, in Russia, there’s a culture of lousy service with a sneer. It doesn’t matter if you’re a local or a tourist, service often stinks. So, eating in a self-service cafeteria-style place with menu items featured on easy-to-identify pictures can be the key to a more enjoyable lunch.

For me, the language barrier is huge because I don’t speak Russian, and many people you deal with (clerks, salespeople, waiters, and tellers) speak only Russian. And, in Russia, there’s a culture of lousy service with a sneer. It doesn’t matter if you’re a local or a tourist, service often stinks. So, eating in a self-service cafeteria-style place with menu items featured on easy-to-identify pictures can be the key to a more enjoyable lunch.

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