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A Vegetarian in Moscow

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April 29, 2014 / Vegetarian Friendly / By
Polly Barks

Even in the best situations (say, living in Southern California), it can be hard to eat out as a vegetarian. Every perusal of the menu comes with a careful grilling of the waiter. Every dish served comes with a tentative poke of the fork, ensuring no meat has found its way onto your plate. The experience is doubly difficult when abroad - the food is different and the language is sometimes unintelligible.

When I first came to Moscow as a vegetarian, I despaired. The usual answer to "I don't eat meat" was "have some chicken or fish". Upon explaining I didn't eat that either, the answer was usually a look of abject confusion or disgust. I usually ended up with nothing more than a few limp vegetables and some greasy fried potatoes.

To my delight, during the four years I lived in Moscow the concept of vegetarianism began to develop. Young, hip Russians are turning to vegetarianism in larger and larger numbers, prompting restaurants to catch up with the trend. Today there are several options for vegetarians or health-conscious people living in one of the biggest, craziest cities in the world.

If you're looking for a quick, cheap eat, try one of the ubiquitous Prime cafes around the city. A breath of fresh air from the usual stale food and dark atmosphere of Moscow's cafes, Prime guarantees their food to be fresh. They serve typical cafe fare - mainly soups and sandwiches. The soups change daily and there's always at least one vegetarian option. The sandwiches are usually a 50-50 split between vegetarian and meat-friendly options. Have one of their fresh squeezed juices or lemonades to complete your meal.

If you're willing to spend a little more money, head to one of two Jagganath locations. If you haven't guessed from the name, the restaurant offers Indian-inspired food through an amazing range of vegan and vegetarian meals. (Beware, meat lovers: there is no meat at all on the Jagganath menu!) Although moderately priced, the portions are quite large and two or three are usually enough to share among a small group. Additionally, there's a small shop next to the restaurant which is one of the few places in Moscow you can find soy products and various health foods.

If vegetarianism is the name of your game - or even if it's usually not - Moscow's march of culinary progress has produced some wonderful options for anyone's diet. Give them a try!

Prime / Jagganath

Country: Russian Federation

Province/State: Moscow

City: Moscow

Address: Metro Kuznetsky Most

Zip/Post Code: N/A

Location Tips: Both Prime and Jagganath are within 5 minutes walk of the metro!

Phone: N/A

Website:N/A

Price Guide:$$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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