Stolovaya No.57 (Cafeteria No. 57)

Alexander Zelikov/TASS

This replica of the old Soviet stolovaya (cafeteria) is situated on the top floor of the GUM department store. The queues are always long, with local shop assistants, curious foreigners and nostalgic Muscovites keen to revisit their childhood. The interior recalls the stolovaya eatery, as diners take a tray, dishes, food, and pay at the till.

On offer here are buckwheat with meat sauce, vitamin salad with cabbage, Moscow borscht, chicken Kiev, sausages with potato, egg fruit jelly, bliny (crepes) with Smetana sour cream, stuffed peppers, baked apples, carrot and beetroot patties. The dishes are all delicious, with no hint of those gloomy old establishments that used to skimp on everything. The service is friendly and fast, which is a real bonus.

For seasonal holidays, Stolovaya No.57 offers special menus. On Defender of the Fatherland Day, for instance, visitors could order soldiers' fare such as barley with canned meat or potatoes with pickled cucumber. And Maslenitsa is, of course, pancake time.