June is one of the best months for foodies to visit the Russian capital, with numerous food festivals scheduled. Whether you want to spend your afternoon browsing stalls at an outdoor market, watching cooking demonstrations in a convention center or exploring how chefs cooked in the past, Moscow has something to tempt your tastebuds this summer.
Taste of Moscow, June 12-14
Probably the most famous of the Russian capital's festivals, Taste of Moscow gathers 15 of Moscow's top restaurants along the Moscow river embankment in a picturesque spot with views across to Sparrow Hills for three days of tasting sessions and master classes. Among this year's participants are Saxon+Parole, which features modern American cuisine; new Nordic gastronomic mecca Bjorn; and the whimsical Ribambelle, which focuses on healthy food that appeals to children.
"We are creating this festival for the gastronomic family. It means you can visit us with no fear that your child will be bored," said Taste of Moscow organizer Narine Bagmanyan. For younger tasters, there will be a special entertainment zone with a children's menu.
Other zones will be set up set up for those interested in certain types of food and drink — wine, coffee and pastries, for example. DJs will also play sets in the evening, giving the whole event a real party atmosphere.
Where: Luzhniki Stadium, Prestizhnaya Alley
How Much: 500 rubles per person, 1,000 rubles for a family (2 adults, 2 children). Tastes extra.
Why Go: It's great food with a big party featuring more than 20 entertaiment zones and 200 master classes.
Learn more: Tastefestival.ru
O, da! Eda! (Oh, yes! That's food!), June 27-28
This food festival, which originated in St. Petersburg, is set to occupy Russia's capital for the second time. One important change from last year's event is its location — while last year O, da! Eda! took place in the difficult-to-reach Park Krasnaya Presnya, the 2015 festival will be held in Gorky Park. The festival's mission corresponds to the status of its new venue: "Our goal is to present the whole gastronomic panorama of Moscow," says organizer Artem Balaev.
"For the festival, we have chosen different restaurants — from inexpensive start-ups to premium stars." The former group is represented by such snack food producers as the nano ice cream Dippin'Dots and smoothie maker "Zelen'" (Green) while legendary chefs Moscow chefs like brothers Sergei and Ivan Berezutsky and Vladimir Mukhin represent the latter category.
"The theme of the festival is 'Fair Cuisine,'" said Balaev. "It's because we don't want to keep any tricks or secrets from the guests. I think that the main trends in modern fine dining are simplicity, naturalness and value for money. So, we offer participants that follow these trends."
Where: Gorky Park
How much: 300 rubles
Why Go: This is an event for those who really appreciate good food and are interested in key innovations in food culture — not just those who are following trends. And you can't beat the setting.
Learn more: http://spb.odaeda.me/about_moscow/
Vkusnaya Moskva (Tasty Moscow), June 27-28
For those more interested in what people ate in the past rather than trends of the future, Vkusnaya Moskva is the place to be. This festival is held the same weekend as O, da! Eda!" but its aim is almost completely opposite. The goal of Vkusnaya Moskva is to reconstruct dishes that were popular in Moscow a century or two ago. Famous Moscow chefs will recreate the tastes of the past and food historians Olga Syutkina and Pavel Syutkin will present their books and give a lecture on pre-revolutionary culinary Moscow. Additionally, classic Moscow restaurants like Yar and Praga will offer set-course menus. The festival will also feature master classes, a farmer's market and an exhibition of historic photography.
Where: Park Sokolniki
How Much: 200-400 rubles
Why Go?: The unique chance to learn about — and taste — Russian cuisine of the past.