Vegetarian Diet in Moscow: It’s Possible!

Vegetarian Diet in Moscow: It’s Possible!
02 June 2016

Vegetarian Diet in Moscow: It’s Possible!

Vegetarianism as a lifestyle choice has risen significantly over the last decade, and contrary to what some may think, Moscow has plenty of options to satisfy the travelling herbivore. While some Russians may give you a funny look if you mention the words vegetarian (вегетарианец) or vegan (веган), many regional dishes are vegetarian, and even though it’s not quite as popular here as in North America or Europe, you can follow a Vegetarian Diet in Moscow.

Note: If you happen to be in Moscow in July, there is an annual vegan festival that takes place in Sokolniki Park, where local restaurants, vendors, and grocery stores, as well as purveyors of eco-friendly products will showcase their goods.

More information about GO VEGAN! Festival is available here:

Grocery Stores

While Russia isn’t as rich in fresh crops as it is in oil (fun fact: only 7% of the entire territory of the Russian Federation is arable ) you definitely can find a wide variety of grains, root vegetables, and legumes to put together a satisfying meal.

While it’s harder to find meat alternatives here than in say Germany or California, there are soy and tofu options available as well.

Azbuka Vkusa (Азбука Вкуса)

This is a huge chain of upscale (read=more expensive) grocery stores and they stock a lot of international grains, as well as spices, sauces, snacks, and meat alternatives.

Indian Spices

Here you can find a tremendous (for Moscow) variety of spices, nuts, teas and lots of interesting and vegetarian snacks and soy products. They also have an online shop for delivery.

Happy Vegan

Another great option for meat alternatives, speciality grains, and they also have a prepared foods sections!

Vegetarian-Only Cafés

Fresh Cafe


This restaurant is actually a Canadian import from my hometown, Toronto! I was ecstatic to find this restaurant here, of which there are two locations. The menu is vast, and the influences are Mediterranean and Middle Eastern. I can vouch that they’ve managed to keep the flavours consistent here. I recommend the Energy Bowl (lead picture)



Jagannath doubles as a grocery store and fast-service vegetarian restaurant, and has 5 locations across the city, with one about a ten-minute walk away from the school. We regularly partake in their business lunch option. For 200 rubles, you get a salad, a soup, a hot main dish, a fresh bun, a sauce and cranberry juice. They switch up their daily offerings. My favourite so far has been a lovely chestnut and chickpea soup, with napa cabbage coleslaw!



Ordering at a Russian Restaurant

Most restaurants will have an English version of their menu, but just in case you happen to find yourself in an establishment without one, here’s a list of usually vegetarian dishes and their Cyrillic equivalents, as well as a couple of key phrases to use with the waitstaff to ensure your dishes are meat-free.



Dumplings with Cabbage/ Mushrooms/Potatoes/ Cottage Cheese

Pelmenyi/ Varenyiki c Kapustoi/ Gribami / Kartoshkoi/ Solyonim Tvorogom

Пельмени/ вареники c капустой/ грибами/ картошкой / соленым творогом


Vegetable or Fasting Borsch

Postnii Borsch

Постный Борщ


Vegetable Salad

Salat Ovoshnoi

Салат овощной


Blini with Mushrooms

Blini s Gribami

Блины с грибами


Buckwheat Cereal with Mushrooms

Kasha grechnaya s gribami

Каша гречневая с грибами

A Few Useful Phrases

I’m a vegetarian / Ya vegetarianets (male)/vegetarianka(female)/ я вегетарианец/я вегетарианка

I don’t eat meat / Ya ne yem myasa / я не ем мяса

Do you have options for vegetarians? / U vas yest menu dlya vegetariantsov? / у вас есть меню для вегетарианецов?


This post was brought to you by Jan, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz

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