Coffee houses and confectionaries

Alexander Zelikov / TASS

Coffeemania Restaurant chain always presents high-quality coffee (the baristas personally travel around the world, visiting plantations in search for the best coffee beans) and breakfasts. You can get potato pancakes with salmon and fresh herbs, vanilla-scented cream cheese fritters, grilled sausages, crepes with cottage cheese, and millet porridge with pumpkin.

At lunch, the place is swarmed with businessmen who order rib eye steak with quinoa, veal with chanterelles, catfish with baked vegetables, venison with kale-turnip, sterlet fish soup, or crab cakes with wild rice. On the weekends, regular customers change their suits for sweaters, and bring their wives and children for brunch. Children's menu has nutritious turkey meatballs, Mickey Mouse hamburger, and crepes with condensed milk. The wives usually choose tomato and cilantro smoothies and fresh yogurt with granola, maple syrup and berries.

Alexander Zelikov / TASS

The chain of Double B coffee shops was established by true perfectionists in love with coffee. The chain's baristas (the winners of many international competitions) personally visit coffee plantations to observe all stages of production: from growing and harvesting to roasting and grinding. Only the very best varieties of coffee end up on the menu. If you like the beans that were used to make your coffee drink, you can buy them to go. Baristas use different methods of coffee brewing, but orders for "slow coffee," made by chemex, aeropress, or hario methods, are among the most popular. You can also get a regular coffee or a latte, both with or without syrups. Keep in mind that there is nothing but coffee here. Sometimes, the menu may have some porridge or powerbars, but most of the time, coffee is the protagonist here.

Alexander Zelikov / TASS

People in the United States joke that the omnipresent Starbucks chain can be found even in outer space. The American coffee house is popular in Moscow too. Although the coffee is average, there is a large variety of sweet coffee drinks, such as caramel macchiato, mint mocha and gingerbread latte, all crowned with a heap of whipped cream.

A great way to accompany coffee are the sweets: Triple Chocolate cake, raspberry and white chocolate cheesecakes, and Danish pastries with berries and pastry cream. In the mornings, blueberry muffins and granola with yogurt and berry sauce are a good idea. Or you can opt for a healthier alternative in the form of thin Dutch caramel waffles or fruit salad.

Alexander Zelikov / TASS

Soft and fluffy blueberry pancakes, poached eggs with asparagus and pecorino cheese, giant bowls with porridge, hot strawberries and bananas, toast with cream cheese, honey, banana and blueberries – if you go to I Love Cake, come prepared for huge portions. Breakfasts are served from morning till night, so even if you wake up late, you can still get the best meal of the day. The lunch menu includes salads and sandwiches, which are also large and hearty: with chicken and pine nuts, with baked salmon and avocado, or with Parma ham, mozarella and pesto.

Alexander Zelikov / TASS

Max Brenner chain was created by Israeli chocolatiers and had quickly spread around the world, completely missing Europe for some reason. Max Brenner café in Russia is the first on the European continent, and its quality is on par with other establishments of this chain. The menu offers several dozen types of chocolate and chocolate dishes. Dieters would do well to avoid it, but children and sugar hounds will be ecstatic: waffles with chocolate, ice cream and fruit, crepes with chocolate and peanut butter, hot chocolate and cocktails (try the ones with salted caramel and Oreo cookies), lava cake and even chocolate pizza with berries. There is also a small breakfast menu where bread in sandwiches is replaced with waffles.

Alexander Zelikov / TASS

The Wolkonsky boulangerie chain first appeared in Moscow in 2005, created by Parisians Stéphanie and Alexandre Garese. Fresh croissants, crisp baguettes, eclairs (try the pistachio one!) are all top of the line. The bakeries are constantly expanding their menu, adding detox drinks, or re-imagining their breakfasts. There is also a subsidiary chain Wolkonsky Near Home. These are smaller cafés with shorter menus, but you can always get a coffee and almond croissant to go without any sacrifices in quality.

Alexander Zelikov / TASS

Twenty years ago, the Coffee Bean chain was one of Moscow's first coffee shops, and even then, long before smoking was banned from the restaurants and cafés, the chain's cafés were off limits to smokers, because the owners did not want to spoil the taste of coffee.

Today, visitors to these cafés are more like friends than clients. Many come here in the mornings with their laptops, and the staff, having already learned their preferences, serves them regular coffee with huge cookies. The cookie selection is quite impressive: there are oatmeal and peanut butter cookies, biscotti and double-decker cookies with white and dark chocolate. If you are looking for something more substantial, you can order a savory strudel with spinach or chicken, or a quiche with salmon or tomatoes with mozzarella.


Alexander Zelikov / TASS

Ice cream selection at this gelateria chain would make Italy proud: throughout the year, you can taste 57 varieties of gelato and a dozen sorbets. Gelato tastes depend on seasons and ingredients, and the vivacious ice cream vendor Sergio, a world gelato champion imported to Russia from San Gimignano, constantly comes up with new ones.

Gelato varieties are named after popular tourist destinations. Moscow is an extra rich creamy ice cream, while Palermo is a lemon sorbet. Visitors are given waffle cones piled with gelato balls. You can take it out, or have a seat, order a cup of coffee, and eat the sweets at a leisurely pace.

Alexander Zelikov / TASS

Everything at Granvillano Caffè is done in the grand Italian style. The coffee shop is named in honour of its chief barista Andrea Granvillano. He has been making coffee for more than 15 years, and now wants to teach the Muscovites all about the Italian coffee culture. Just like in Italy, you will be judged for ordering a cappuccino after midday, and the staff will do their best to explain that the only proper evening drink is an espresso with a glass of water on the side.

In addition to the coffee itself, there is an impressive book-crossing library, fast internet access, which makes the cafe a good co-working space, regular lectures and workshops (mostly about coffee). Plus, you can buy excellent presents: different varieties of coffee, coffee cookies that look like coffee beans, and chocolate chips that taste like coffee, all prepackaged in fancy sachets.