Azerbaijani Tonight?

Moscow has plenty of restaurants, most with the exact same menu: beef cutlets (for Soviet nostalgia), sushi rolls (Muscovites are mad—and frighteningly indiscriminate—about sushi), Caesar salad. Luckily, it’s also home to tucked-away kitchens serving some of the world’s most obscure cuisines.— Alexei Munipov, deputy editor, Bolshoi Gorod

The Interesting


4 1st Kazachii Sidestreet

Possibly the only restaurant to feature the food of Yakutia, a region in Siberia. Things to try include fish soup made with milk and vodka.


10 Kazakova

Moscow’s gourmands worship khinkali—large Georgian dumplings filled with meat, cilantro, and scalding broth. The cult’s epicenter is this shabby shack behind the Kursky railway station.


6 Bolshaya Bronnaya, Building 3

An unmarked restaurant atop a synagogue. The food is, remarkably, Azerbaijani, albeit kosher. In the summer, when it puts tables on the rooftop, Jerusalem quietly acquires one of Moscow’s best city views.

The Weird


6 Pevcheskii Sidestreet

Putin and Medvedev celebrated their 2008 election victory at this hunting-themed fantasia: A glassed-in “mountain river” flows under the diners’ feet, and you can take your meal inside a real Mi-6 helicopter.


22 Bolshaya Yakimanka, second floor

A spectacularly ill-advised marriage of restaurant and nail salon, serving lots of smoothies. The target audience appears to be concubines.


26/5 Tverskoy Boulevard

A triple fake—a 2005 construction pretending to be a czarist-era palace pretending to be eighteenth-century French pretending to be Chinese. When it opened, this restaurant bested even jaded Muscovites’ notions of garish folly.

Azerbaijani Tonight?