Sochi – Dining
The local cuisine in Sochi is considerably different from classical Russian. Proximity of Caucasian countries has made a bright imprint on it. Local people know how to cook shashlik (kebab), khinkali, khachapuri, and other spicy southern dishes, especially from mutton, and like to do that. It is also worth trying local seafood: small goatfish that is usually soft-fried; mussels and small but fatty Black Sea oysters. Trout here is not imported but local, really fresh, from a trout farm located not far from Adler, so it is also worth trying it especially cooked on a grill.
The local menus have a very unpleasant (and harmful for the wallet) peculiarity: as a rule, prices for shashlik, fish (and any other dish cooked on the grill) is given not for a portion but for 100 g. So to understand the price of a dish multiply this figure by 3 or 4. To avoid surprises, it is better to clarify this tricky moment with the waiter. Be careful about salads at inexpensive canteens (especially in the afternoon) – unfortunately the hot climate does its work. Pills against food poisoning should be with you.
However, don’t be afraid: although local cafés cannot boast of luxury interiors and well-trained waiters, but fresh air, local ingredients and the beautiful view will fully compensate that. You should be morally prepared for excessively loud music and dances in the evening – but this will let you to feel the atmosphere of the resort to the full.
Finding in Sochi an inexpensive place with good food is a difficult task even for an experienced tourist. The resort has a lot of average restaurants with overestimated prices: the many-year status of the “main resort of the country” made a negative impact both on the service and the prices, and the Winter Olympics only added fuel to the fire. However, there are nice exceptions from the rules.
Chic and luxury
One of the most well-known Sochi restaurants. It is located close to the beach and the popular Hotel Zhemchuzhina, so you will not be able to pass it by… same as many star guests including the President whose portraits now decorate the walls of the Tavern. The cuisine is southern with many grilled dishes and a clear Greek mark. The interior goes back to the 1990s, but the place is nice and cosy anyway. Prices are high, but the food is really good. The soft rack of lamb and the goatfish deserve the closest attention.
1500-2000 roubles per person.
An expensive but good restaurant with European-Russian-Georgian menu and a perfectionist cook. Classical recipes in personal interpretation claim to be called “haute cuisine”, the serving of dishes is also exquisite. The interior is nice and featureless; the customers are civilized. Dishes from the farm duck, cream-soups, and home-made chocolates are especially recommended.
1200-2000 roubles per person.
The restaurant is located near the Sea Port and specializes in seafood. The star guests who visited the café added to its high prices and luxury, but a good view over the port and nice cuisine let it slide. The menu describes the merits of the Alaska crab and cassidony mousse, but it is better to order the mussel dishes – here mussels are fresh, caught in the Black Sea.
1500-2500 roubles per person.
SeaZone Restaurant & Bar
A good place for a romantic evening with fresh fish and seafood cooked according to the haute cuisine rules. The recipes are European and Pan Asian, with a wide choice of northern fish and seafood with artful prices of charging per 100 grams. The interior in the spirit of “modern luxury” is not remarkable, but the terrace with a view over the sea is charming. Prices are high, especially for wine, but this is the right place to try fresh Black Sea oysters.
1700-4000 roubles per person.
First of all, customers visit this place to feel the atmosphere of the “Soviet luxury” that is created by the carefully restored magnificent interior in the spirit of the 1930-1950s years in the USSR, the beautiful view over the bay, and the great location on the first floor of the Sea Port. But the menu does not match the image: there is European and Russian cuisine with a notable Italian accent. The cuisine is good, but the prices are merciless and sometimes you have to wait very long time for your order. However, you can take pictures while waiting. The goatfish – a small but tasty Black Sea fish is recommended to try.
2200-3500 roubles per person.
Dignified and within the pocket
Oriental cosy, with plenty of carpets and pillows restaurant of Russian, Georgian and Uzbek cuisine with a mixed menu and forgetful waiters. Beef stroganoffs and poppy pies are especially good. The restaurant is located in pedestrian Navaginskaya Street and is a convenient place for a meal after coming to Sochi by train. However, waiting for an order takes at least half an hour.
800-1300 roubles per person.
A restaurant for those who are in southern Sochi yearning for Russian cuisine and atmosphere. It has a nice retro-style interior with large lampshades, soft sofas and… 45 volumes of the complete work of V.I. Lenin on the shelves (what could be more authentic?). The menu continues the theme of the “Russian olden times” with a nobility cast: thick soups, pancakes and stewed meat dishes. The mushroom soup and all fish dishes are especially good.
1000-1600 roubles per person.
In spite of its inelegant design with many wooden elements and not very hospitable waiters, the place is quite popular. It is a typical “resort café” in Sochi with Caucasian cuisine and a lot of grilled dishes. Customers come here for the best in the city Adzhar-style khachapuri made of dough with juicy filling and a small fried egg on top. In the evening, there is live music for which a small fixed fee is added to the bill.
1000-1500 roubles per person.
The best confectionery in Sochi with very tasty designer desserts and romantic interior. Pay special attention to all the berry pastries and the chocolate and orange dessert. Children will definitely like marzipan figures of cartoon characters sold by pieces. Main courses are also available, but the prices are very overestimated. As the place is located near the promenade it is always crowded.
600-1500 roubles per person.
A cosy restaurant with a sea view serving great Uzbek cuisine. The staff is hospitable, the dishes are simple but nourishing – it is impossible to leave this place hungry. Guests especially appreciate the local pilaf and mutton dishes. The menu also offers a bit unexpected for such a place dishes of Korean cuisine, but they are also very good. The music may seem a bit louder that would be accepted by a sensitive music lover, but at the same time you can fully feel the atmosphere of a southern resort restaurant.
800-1500 roubles per person.
A noisy place in Caucasian style with great grilled dishes and live music in the evenings. The menu is large and various; a lot of the Georgian dishes are offered. Guests especially recommend grilled vegetables – they are cooked perfectly here. Khachapuri also deserve attention. As the place is very popular, many dishes from the menu may not be available in the evening, so it is better to come for lunch or early dinner.
1000-1500 roubles per person.
A good Oriental cuisine restaurant with plenty of tasty pastries. It has a modern interior with Oriental accent. The menu is large with picturesque descriptions and the history of every dish. Everything is tasty, but the soups, salads, and Lulah Kebab are especially good.
800-1300 roubles per person.
Cheap and tasty
A legendary café popular among local people. The interior is very plain and resembles a canteen, but the cuisine is above all praise. Local khinkali (served both boiled and fried) have been called the best in the city for more than twenty years already. The food is good, the portions are large, and the prices are really great for Sochi. In high season, the place is quite noisy and customers often need to queue up in the evening.
500-1000 roubles per person.
Canteen on Roz, 119A
A very popular self-service canteen located not far from the railway station and bus station that represents the positive Soviet heritage. Queues are common here. It offers home Russian cuisine, but all the specialities of the region are also available. Guests especially recommend Solyanka (take half a portion as the standard portion is huge) and compote.
250-800 roubles per person.
A popular place from Sovient times with inexpensive and very juicy Chiburekki. There are other Oriental cuisine dishes that are also cooked well. The café is a bit far from the centre, but many tourists take the time to go there. The place has modest interior, easy atmosphere and a lot of local permanent customers. The staff is always smiling – really trying to match the name (Ulybka means “smile” in Russian).
300-800 roubles per person.
A plain café with simple 1990s-style interior and large portions is located close to the Riviera Park. The shashlik by weight is very tasty, but the minimal order is 300 grams, so it is recommended to take one dish for two. Local salads are also good. There are many budget tourists and nostalgic resort visitors. The latter, after several portions of hot spirits, often try to become the stars of the dancing floor.
400-1000 roubles per person.
A chain of canteens that has come to the Sochi center from nearby Adler. They offer common home style food, but portions are large and the prices for Sochi are really nice. Cutlets and other hot soup dishes are especially good. Like in all good canteens of the city, there are self-service and always long queues.
300-800 roubles per person.
Sochi – Shopping
Sochi is a resort town that attracts everyone who wants good living at least for the holiday period. This impacts the assortments of the shops and local souvenirs.