Savouring the best food and restaurants in Sochi
If you’re looking to roam away from your resort and explore your snowy surroundings, there’s no better place to visit than Sochi, home of the 2014 Winter Olympics and gateway to the Russian Riviera. Pick your foodie destination with this handy guide to four of the city’s best restaurants.
Russia’s answer to pizza
Khachapuri, a traditional Georgian dish, is the Caucasian equivalent of all the tartiflette, fondues and pizzas you inevitably consume after skiing in the Alps. Essentially bread that’s been stuffed to the brim with cheese, it’s every bit as delicious as that sounds, and you can sink your teeth into some of the best in Sochi at Khmeli & Suneli.
The restaurant sets the tone for a relaxed night out with its comfy couches, traditional food and modest prices. The menu is packed with Russian favorites like filled dumplings, pancakes, and meaty cheburekki pasties. They also make quality pizzas, but it’s the khachapuri that steals the cheese-and-dough show – exactly what you need after a morning on the slopes.
A diamond in the rough
Khinkalnaya is a small cafe with big gastronomic ambitions. Dine with the locals at this deceptively dark bar, reliably packed with Russian gourmands. Slide into one of the booths and settle in for the evening to sample some of the tastiest chiburekki (deep-fried meat turnovers), and local beer around. The exposed brick walls, wooden beams and green tiled floor give this place an authentic tavern feel.
Hearty soups, spicy khinkali dumplings, and big grills crown the Georgian-inspired menu, which also lists some unusual regional wines. Friendly service, honest prices, and a great location in the center of Sochi make this the place to head for a taste of local life.
Something completely different
A smart, sophisticated restaurant, Nippon House serves up Japanese classics in style, with familiar dishes like yakitori, sashimi and dumplings sharing a menu with European desserts like tiramisu and strudel. The highlight has to be the sushi, with some spicy additions for the more adventurous.
For those with children, highchairs and crayons are provided by the accommodating staff. The interior is bright and spacious, with funky lighting and a trendy clientele. It’s a popular place, and gets busy on the weekends, but if you’re traveling with family it’ll tick all your boxes.
Come for dinner, stay for the nightlife
Bar Cocos‘ drinks specials, live music and dance floor make it easy to lose entire nights in its cavernous interior. The spicy food is complemented by classic cocktails from the chrome bar – try the Pisco Punch if you’re feeling brave, or go for the tropical tang of a Mai Tai. Once you’ve worn out your dancing shoes to tunes spun by leading local DJs, you can collapse onto a leather sofa or head to the karaoke room to astound the locals with your best take on a chart-topper.