Global cuisines may be well represented in urban Russia, but when it comes to dining out, locals are still traditional, with over two thirds of restaurant, cafe and fast-food customers preferring classic Russian dishes, according to a study that RBK.research released Friday.
Following borsch and pelmeni, Italian and Japanese cuisines are the next most popular fare, with a third of diners choosing these dishes. European, Georgian and Ukrainian cuisines also scored high in the survey.
Women were more diverse in their food choices while men preferred more meat-heavy cuisines, such as Georgian, Ukrainian, Uzbek and Armenian dishes.
Young people between 18 and 24 years old had a more adventurous attitude towards world foods, whereas respondents between 45 to 54 years old were more likely to choose food from familiar Soviet bloc cuisines – Georgian, Ukrainian and Uzbek.
The study highlights Russia's expanding palate. There were over 120 chain restaurants of different national cuisines working in Russia as of May 2012, according to an earlier study by RBK.research. Together they accounted for almost 1,560 individual enterprises.
Of the 190 restaurants and cafes that opened in Russia last year, 92 were Japanese restaurants. Sushi, which experts called the driver of the market last year, remains trendy despite warnings issued in June by chief sanitary doctor Gennady Onishchenko not to eat it because local chefs don't know how to prepare it safely.
The survey was conducted online from April to June and had 4,168 respondents. No margin of error was reported.