This month, American Airlines begins nonstop service to Russia’s capital from Chicago O’Hare. So we thought what better way to introduce you to the city than to have a few local luminaries show you around.
Press representative for the Moscow Zoo
| “The Moscow Zoo was founded in 1864 and is probably the only zoo that officially opened in winter. We have 1,000 species of animals and 6,000 specimens. We’re also the only zoo in the world that has the long-nosed echidna. I like our night house, which [features] nocturnal animals such as the Russian flying squirrel, chinchillas, and harvest mice.”
Music journalist and editor of Legioner Weekly, the newsletter for chain music store Purple Legion
|“It’s really strange, but the ‘best’ restaurants in Moscow, in terms of prices, don’t offer the best food, so I strongly recommend some national food chains. The best are Yolki-Palki and Moo-Moo. Yolki-Palki has slightly more Russian-oriented food and a national ambience, and Moo-Moo has more simple and democratic eateries.”
Music promoter, Irond/Nuclear Blast Records
|“If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, you might [have a problem finding food] in Moscow, so visit Avocado café. It has great food, a nice interior, excellent service, and a rich [selection]. My favorite shop in Moscow is the Tea and Coffee House, the oldest one in the city. … It was built in 1896 and is remarkable for its traditions and unique outside and inside decor: a pagoda, dragons, snakes, and Chinese lanterns.”
Art historian, lecturer, and researcher at Moscow State University
|“Over the last couple of years, Moscow has experienced growth in new private and state museums, including Burganov’s House, a museum of the contemporary sculptor Aleksandr Burganov, known for his monument of the Russian poet Aleksandr Pushkin in Washington, D.C. The museum offers a collection of sculptures from the last 20 years, including portraits of famous Russians such as ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev and filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky.”
Director of the American Center
|“You’ve called me on the anniversary of the day that I moved to Moscow nine years ago! My favorite museum is Gorky House, an incredible art-nouveau mansion. Also, go to Leo Tolstoy’s Moscow residence [Tolstoy House], and the house where artist Viktor Vasnetsov lived -- you can see his paintings of Russian fairy tales. I like the Georgian restaurants Tiflis and Genatsvale. The most popular food here is sushi. It’s so bizarre. Every restaurant, even if it’s Italian, has a sushi menu.”
Editor in chief of the Moscow Times
|“Everyone who comes to Moscow has to go to Café Pushkin. It’s in a very old mansion, so you get a lot of atmosphere. The food is traditional Russian cuisine, and it’s served by a waiting staff [dressed] in traditional Russian clothing. Visitors should also go to Manezh Square, which is next to Red Square. In Gorky Park, you can board a water taxi in summer and go up the Moscow River to the Kievsky train station. You can see an awful lot of Moscow that way.”
Chief conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre
|“Novodevichy Convent and Kolomenskoye, a park on the bank of the Moscow River in the south, are a couple of remaining examples of the Moscow of the Middle Ages. Zamoskvorechye, which means the part of Moscow beyond the Moscow River, is a traditional merchants area that was inhabited in the nineteenth century. I also like some of the old park areas, like Lefortovo and Kuskovo. … These places allow one to feel the spirit of old Moscow.”
Owner of the Union of Composers Club
|“I like the Pushkin Museum, which is a museum of not only fine art but also of the Russian story. Go there and you will understand more about the Russian soul. We have seven special houses [Stalin’s Seven Sisters] that were produced in the Stalin era, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hotel Ukraina, an apartment house on Kotelnicheskaya quay [Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building], and Moscow State University. They’re very beautiful. And Sparrow Hills [Vorobyovy Gory] has a great view of the city.”
William J. Burns
United States Ambassador to Russia
|“I am a big fan of Moscow’s Oblomov restaurant, which is housed in a beautiful three-story, nineteenth-century mansion in the city center. Named for Ivan Goncharov’s famous 1859 novel, the restaurant is reminiscent of imperial Russia, and the food is superb. … My favorite dish is the pelmeni -- Russian dumplings filled with meat and mushrooms. I always recommend that visitors stop by the Yeliseyevsky food store, a 100-year-old supermarket on Tverskaya, Moscow’s main street. It always makes me feel like I’m shopping in a palace.”
|global traveler that you are,
you surely have favorite places
in all of the cities you visit.
why not share them with others?
send us an e-mail with your picks to firstname.lastname@example.org
or go to www.americanwaymag.com/favorites
and join in the discussion.
look what's new
want to sign up for free e-mail notification of word of mouth or to see past columns?