Known for its cuisine of meat-filled pastries and creamy beef stroganoff, Russia isn’t the first country that springs to mind when planning a vegan-centric food trip. However, restaurants in St Petersburg have slowly been pandering to an international obsession with plant-based diets, and vegan cafés and eateries have been popping up all over the place.

Dine on plant-based food in Russia’s cultural capital

Fika

In St Petersburg’s Petrogradsky district, this cult café is a favourite among the city’s vegan population. Following the belief that a plant-based diet shouldn’t be restrictive, the bistro offers everything from veggie lasagnas and pies to cinnamon buns and belgian waffles. Finish off with a perfectly frothed oat-milk cappuccino.

Jiva Burgers

This vegan restaurant specialises in healthy spins on classic fast-food dishes. Choose your bun (there are several doughs available), patty (there’s a choice of lentil, chickpea, spinach or red bean) and as many toppings as can be physically piled on, before settling down around tables amid hanging plants for a meat-free feast.

Horizontal

This hard-to-find kiosk is well worth the trouble. Come to this tiny hole-in-the-wall for fresh salads, wraps and vegan burgers – it makes the perfect for a grab-and-go lunch as you explore the city. Horizontal prides itself on environmentally friendly practices, so bring your own coffee cup or tupperware for a discount.

Hood Street Food

If you’re in the market for an Instagrammable feast, you’ve come to the right place. Hood Street Food serves picture-perfect, on-trend vegan food, including charcoal brioche-bun burgers and meat-free burritos. In the mood for something sweet? Try its plant-based version of the Slavic medovik dessert, a type of honey cake (without the honey).

Baraka Café

With a name that means “blessing”, this vegan café serves comfort food made with all-natural ingredients. Cosy up on Baltic mornings with a cup of tea and a piled-high plate of Indian-inspired food. This self-titled “philosophical” café offers a pay-it-forward scheme in which customers can pay more in the hope that someone with lesser means can have a warm meal.

Botanika

Just a 10-minute walk from Nevsky Prospekt, Botanika is one of the oldest vegetarian restaurants in the city. Serving a menu based on Ayurvedic principles, the café promotes mindful eating of natural, minimally processed foods through a “healthy mind, healthy body” ethos. Choose from a vast international menu that features gluten- and dairy-free options.

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