She has been feeling it for awhile – that sense of awaking. There is a gentle rage simmering inside her, and it is getting stronger by the day. She will hold it close to her – she will nurture it and let it grow. She won’t let anyone take it away from her. It is her rocket fuel and finally, she is going places. She can feel it down to her very core – this is her time. She will not only climb mountains – she will move them too.”
― Lang Leav
I put this post off for as long as possible. I edited all the photos, I noted the places, I set up this post with all the links. And yet, it took me 3 weeks to start writing. I find it hard to grasp Moscow. It’s vibe and people and culture. Though, it should be familiar to me. I was born in the former GDR and the country’s relationship to Russia was strong. My parents and family used to tell me about their adventurous trips to Moscow and St. Petersburg. They talked about their beauty and pomp and glory. But they also remembered Moscow as a lively city with an amazing bar scene. For them travelling to Russia was like a dream come true. It was one of the only countries they were allowed to visit, though not everyone went or was allowed or could afford it like my mum.
For me, Russia is still a riddle. Just like the early days of my childhood. It’s hard to comprehend what it meant to live in a communist country that regulated its citizens, spied on them, mistrusted them, didn’t allow them to travel, punish them for having different opinions. Travelling to every country in this world has always been my dream. So visiting Russia wasn’t only a tick off my bucket list but a very personal journey too. If I had to describe Moscow in three words it would be: pompous, enormous and cool.
Yet it seems that there is this creative, warming, visionary force that is slowly spreading all over the city. And it is exactly that energy that I love about Moscow. It is local Coffee Shops that have set themselves to make good coffee and establish a culture that did not exist in the Soviet Union. It is old chocolate factories and abandoned market halls that now exhibit art and sell deli food. And it is a dumpling place that sells very traditional Russian food yet the recipes and the interior are contemporary and minimalistic.
You feel that there is a crowd in Moscow that has itching feet. They want to explore their own city, they want to hustle things along, yet they want to stay true to their Russian culture. This mixture of old and new is interesting, charming and exciting. We spent our days in Moscow mostly walking around different neighborhoods. Though there are so many historical sight we kept it to a minimum and rather explored places where new things were happening. We ate traditional Russian food and healthy vegan food. We drank vodka and third wave coffee. A good mixture of both worlds is key when visiting Moscow. The key to understand this majestic city, its culture, its people and its amazing food.
Moscow Food & Travel Guide
Fresh [vegan bowls + fresh smoothie & juices]
Green Go [Delicious green juices, smoothies + fruit snacks]
Fruits & Veges [Vegan daily lunch menu + sandwiches + smoothies]
Juicy Lab [Cold pressed juices + healthy snacks]
Breakfast + Coffee
Double B [Soy cappuccino, hip interior + home-roasted coffee with various brewing methods]
Uilliam’s [Cozy breakfast spot, almond cappuccino + sea buckthorn buckwheat porridge]
Nude Coffee & Wine Bar [Minimalistic coffee shop, almond cappuccino + avocado brioche toast]
Coffeemania [Several locations + delicious coffee + almond cappuccino & croissant]
Cafe Pushkin [Aristocratic restaurant with traditional Russian cuisine + great wine list + homemade baked pies with cabbage or mushrooms ]
Lepim i varim [Russian dumplings (pelmeni) with delicious dips + local beers and soda – try my favorite with mashed potatoes, fried onions and mustard dip]
United Kitchen [Local and seasonal ingredients + international cuisine]
Любовь Пирогова [Savory + Sweet Pies filled with local and seasonal fruits, vegetables, meet and/or cheese]
Moscow Metro – [most beautiful metro stations in the world (think pompous chandeliers + impressive wall paintings]
Artplay – Design & Architecture center
Danilovsky Market – Beautiful market hall serving deli food and fresh produce
Red October Chocolate Factory [Converted factory complex with shops, bars, restaurants, various galleries + views of the Kremlin and the Moscow River]
Izmailovsky Flea Market [Souvenir paradise + ancient relics + a lot of other Russian curiosities]
Agami Ceramics [Handmade ceramics + modern and minimalistic design]
Душистый Горошек [Gorgeous flower bouquets]
GUM [Located on Moscow’s red square + building dates back to the days of the tsars]
Natura Siberica [Russian organic cosmetic brand + Products made with Siberian herbs and plants]