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Traditional Russian cuisine has been revived, thanks to several posh restaurants like Cafe Pushkin and Oblomov, where you can feel like you are in the Tsar’s court as waiters in period costume serve you. But to get a sense of how the average Russian enjoys the abundant eating selections in Moscow, our Forbes Travel Guide editors have come up with the best Moscow food experiences not to miss:
1. Georgian food. Russia and Georgia may still be in tense arguments about breakaway regions on their shared borders, but they both agree that Georgian food is some of the best in Europe. Sample it in one of Moscow’s many small cafés and be sure to try the cheese pie, khachapuri.
2. Pelmeni. Sometimes referred to as Siberian pelmini, these tasty dumplings are filled with meat and best served with a dollop of sour cream on top.
3. Zakuski, or appetizers. Russian starters are a staple of the traditional meal. Salads such as olivie (made with potatoes, pickles, boiled eggs, green peas and mayonnaise) and the layered herring shuba salad (layers of herring, boiled eggs, beets, carrots, potatoes and mayonnaise) are typical fare on a Russian table.
4. Caviar. Russians prepare caviar on a buttered piece of bread, and you won’t have any trouble finding red caviar in many of Moscow’s eateries. The more expensive black caviar from Caspian Sea sturgeon is served at some of the more expensive restaurants and can be bought in small tins at supermarkets.
5. Blini. You can find Russia’s tasty version of pancakes stuffed with anything from cheese and ham to caviar in many places in the city.