For Kids

Here are some suggestions for family-friendly feeding:

■ Yolki Palki (p167 or opposite)

You can even pick which trout or perch you want to end up on your plate.

BISTROT GARÇON Map p92 French $$$ @ 717 2467; Nevsky pr95; meals R600-800; S 9am-1am; M PI Vosstaniya

The more casual of two outlets, this gorgeous little bistro is smart and unpretentious, with low lighting, upscale but still charming décor, and professional staff. Prices are reasonable given the excellent standard of the cooking (and Parisian chef). See p165 for a review of the other Garçon.

IMBIR Map p92 Russian $$

@ 713 3215; Zagorodny pr 15; meals R400-600; S noon-2am; (M) Dostoevskaya

Effortlessly cool, Imbir combines ornate tsarist décor with contemporary design to brilliant effect. With a great atmosphere, it's always full. The hip local crowd come here for dark coffee and creative cooking, all of which is reasonably priced. The staff aims to please, which is a welcome change of pace from the typically cooler-than-thou attitude at trendy places.

ORIENT EXPRESS Map p92 Russian $$

Vostochny Ekspress; @ 314 5096; www.orient -express.spb.ru; ul Ma rata 21; meals R400-600; M Mayakovskaya

All aboard for a taste of the romance, mystery and history of the legendary train line. Decked out like a luxury locomotive, this fun restaurant features booths that resemble train cabins and all the railway paraphernalia you can imagine. It's an absolute must for train spotters and anybody who is about to board the Trans-Siberian. Rest as sured, you won't get food like this once on board the real thing, so enjoy the Eastern-influenced menu, especially the selection of meats grilled over hot coals.

CHE Map p92 International $$

@ 716 7608; www.cafedubche.ru; Poltavskaya ul 3; meals R300-500; ® PI Vosstaniya; 0 wi-fi

Few places are cooler to hang out than Che. Come by day for good lunch specials and wi-fi access or come by night for cold beer and live music. Either way, you will enjoy the loungy furniture, friendly service and laidback atmosphere. The mostly Russian menu features rotating 'specials' suggested by the chef, as well as standard soups, salads and other European fare.

SHINOK Map p92 Ukrainian $$

@ 571 8262; Zagorodny pr13; meals R400-600; S 24hr; M Dostoevskaya

Tucked into a folksy interior filled with embroidered linens and painted wooden handicrafts, Shinok is a fun, friendly place to sample Ukrainian fare. The waitstaff may look like Ukrainian peasants, but they speak English and are eager to please. Country cooking like hearty soups and meat-filled vareniki (dumplings) will sate your appetite, and there is live folk music nightly at 7pm.

Map p92 Georgian $$

@ 571 3377; Stremyannaya ul 22/3; meals R300-500; M Mayakovskaya

With vines hanging from the ceiling to evoke the Caucasian countryside, this popular restaurant dishes up Georgian favourites: hearty khinkali (meat dumplings), decadent khachapuri (cheese bread), grilled eggplant and zucchini. At the time of research, Russia and Georgia were ironing out their trade differences, so hopefully you can also wash it down with a delicious Georgian red wine.

IL PATIO Map p92 Italian $$

@ 271 3177; Nevsky pr 182; meals R300-500; M PI Alexandra Nevskogo

There are not too many places to eat at the far end of Nevsky pr. Fortunately, Russia's favourite pizza place comes through for hungry travellers who want to grab lunch after visiting the monastery. See p167 for a full review.

YOLKI PALKI Map p92 Russian $

@ 273 1594; www.elki-palki.ru; Nevsky pr 88; meals R200-300; S24hr; ® Mayakovskaya

Prominently placed on this busy strip of Nevsky pr, this is one of several outlets of the favourite Russian chain. See p167 for a full review.

BLINY DOMIK Map p92 Russian $

@ 315 9915; Kolokolnaya ul 8; meals R200-400; Sl0.30am-11.30pm; ® Vladimirskaya

There is more than just bliny on the menu at this long-running favourite. Besides sweet and savoury pancakes of every kind, there are also soups, salads and other snacks. The place is set up like a cosy and welcoming country home. It gets very busy at noon, so come for breakfast or a late lunch.

TROITSKY MOST Map p92 Vegetarian $ @ 7151998; Zagorodny pr38; meals R200-300; M Pushkinskaya

The Zagorodny pr branch is by far the nicest of this chain of vegetarian cafés, with the Indian spiritual-style Trang Café attached, and overlooking a small park. A huge selection of soups and salads, excellent pasta (including unbeatable lasagne) and other meat-free treats round out the daily-changing menu.

BALTIC BREAD Map p92 Bakery $

Baltiisky Khleb; @ 331 3220; Vladimirsky pr 19; meals R100-300; M Dostoevskaya

Strangely enough, despite the name this is a British bakery. This branch is located in the Vladimirsky Passage shopping centre, where you can pick up fresh bread, cakes and even ready-made sandwiches on the run. You can take away or eat in the small café area provided.

BUSHE Map p92 Bakery $

@ 312 3578; ul Razyezzhaya 13; breakfast or snacks R50-100; ® Vladimirskaya

This Austrian bakery has developed a huge number of local devotees, thanks to fresh-baked pastries and delicious coffee drinks. See p164 for a full review.

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