Coffee shop in a tram

Do you like riding trams? And having your coffee there? This monument of a horse-drawn tram on Vasilyevsky Island has no route, no driver, and no conductor, but it has a barista who will be happy to pour you a cup of the warming drink and offer some snacks. You can take a seat inside in the cozy car or climb up on the upper level to contemplate bustling crowds and listen to street musicians. The idea itself isn’t novel, there’s already a legendary retro tram turned into a coffee shop that you visit during a trip to Vyborg!

Dumpling bar in a monastery

I see why you might feel skeptical about monastery canteens, but this one in Alexander Nevsky Lavra really stands out from the rest. There’re several eateries on the monastery premises, but only Lavrskiye Vareniki serves solemnly handmade dumplings of all kinds: made with lean (if you're on a plant-based diet) or pastry dough, sweet and savory, but always hearty and home-like tasty. Frescoes and idle wooden tables add up to the cultural immersion.

Credit: Eugen Kucheruk (@fruitboykid) via Unsplash

Credit: Eugen Kucheruk (@fruitboykid) via Unsplash

Cafe in Greenhouse

In case you choose to escape from the inevitable autumn grayness to an everlasting summer, there’s no doubt that the city’s botanical gardens are the cheapest option. And in the Greenhouse of the Tauride Garden, you can complement plant-watching with a gastronomic experience. The picturesque cafe is located on the second floor and entices visitors to savor a coffee and pie above the glass-and-steel atrium. Please note that the entrance ticket for students costs 100 rubles.

Sandwich bar in a garage

A hidden gem of Lenfilm studio courtyards, the humble 37-square meter garage doesn’t catch your eye until you know about its magical insides. On the menu of this underground cafe, you’ll find its calling cards – countless sandwiches with anything you like neighboring classical breakfasts, and of course, coffee. Don’t expect to find any spare parts from your dad’s car or fishing supplies. The space is stylish and packed with creative features, like a vending machine selling the bar’s own souvenirs.