St Petersburg in November? Why the hell not? It's beautiful.
I was slightly nervous about what on earth I was going to eat, but a little internet research, map annotation, and the occasional drawing of cheese with a line through it meant that I didn't need to worry.
A good friend suggested trying Georgian and Azeri cuisine, and we happened to stumble across Kavkaz on our first night in St Petersburg. The candle-lit, cosy atmosphere made for some pretty bad photos of:
Peppers and aubergines stuffed with walnut cream. Delicious.
Herb salad that really turned out to be a plate of herbs.
Fantastic selection of home-made pickles including green tomatoes, whole garlic cloves, red cabbage, yum!
The Azeri wine we chose to wash it down with wasn't all that hot: kind of sweet. I suppose living in France has made me a bit fussy with wine.
We also made it to a branch of Troitsky Most, kind of by accident. It was a really lovely café with a relaxed atmosphere and without the extremely loud music playing in most restaurants. Everything here is vegetarian, which is as refreshing as the lack of music. You can choose from a selection of salads. By pointing, of course.
The star of my plate was a waldorf-style salad with a lemony vinaigrette rather than mayonnaise:
And my gentleman friend's plate, which contained the creamy/cheesy salads:
For our night on the town, we started at Russian Vodka Room N° 1. The place itself is fabulous - great big open rooms with free-standing chairs and tables. It makes you want to wear a ballgown. They do a couple of different plates of vodka snacks, one of which just so happens to be vegan. Sauerkraut, weirdly textured mushrooms, and two different types of cucumber: one pickled and delicious, the other salted rather too much:
Oh, and they do real food too, but the only vegan-friendly thing seemed to be these gorgeous potatoes and mushrooms:
Have you tried Russian pizza? I have. In a pizza rock bar with a side of Rammstein, no less. There's paprika in the tomato sauce, which is actually a delicious addition.
Oh, and the obligatory vegan travel shot of a hotel breakfast.
Do: learn to read Cyrillic and say a few words in Russian before you go. Don't: be afraid of finding vegan food in St Petersburg.