Кazan has a buzzing bar scene. If you’re tired of the big TV screens and salty snacks of the sports bars, check out these ultra-hip locations for a serious change of pace.
Pyatnitsa looks like your run-of-the-mill provincial bar plying watered-down gin & tonics and rum & cokes on unsuspecting customers. But follow the staircase down into the basement and you’ll ﬁnd yourself in a semi-secret spot with some of the best cocktails in Kazan. Try the excellent local version of hot toddy “Olezhin chai” (Deer tea) for 260 rubles or “Kuznechik” (grasshopper) with toothpaste ﬂavor (350 rubles) and we guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
Profsoyuznaya Ulitsa, 14 vk.com/cocktailbarpiatnica
Mellow Beer & Wine
Mellow Beer & Wine positions itself as a gastrobar, with 22 beers on tap (mostly imported), 100 bottled beers and 150 different wines. Located in the same building as Fomin, it takes up the expansive basement of the bread market building as well as the ground ﬂoor. It’s perfect for wine tasting, as it offers most wines in 75 ml portions. There are also plenty of good snacks, including locally produced cheeses (from 230 rubles) and open-face sandwiches (from 250 rubles).
10/14 Ulitsa Profsoyuznaya mellowbar.ru
A dive bar.
Volna (Wave) is a proper Russian dive bar. There’s very little food — mostly pickles and buterbrodi (open-face Russian sandwiches) — since the focus is on beer, vodka infusions (try the mint one) and shots. Volna followed the example of Sol bar on the same street and introduced some Bugulma-based shots as well (from 100 rubles). On weekends you can also catch local bands playing on a makeshift stage in the corner.
Profsoyuznaya Ulitsa, 3 vk.com/ryumochnayavolna
Fomin Bar & Shop
Beer geeks welcome.
It’s not all about Bugulma on Profsoyuznaya! Fomin Bar & Shop is the place for true beer geeks. Located in a former bread market building constructed in the late 18th century, Fomin is all exposed brick and windows overlooking abandoned storage facilities. Fomin carries Russian, imported and even local craft beer from Tatarstan. Try the James Blond or sweet stout Pastila (from 130 rubles). You can also get both draft and bottled beer to go, and there аrе DJ sets on the weekends.
Ulitsa Profsoyuznaya, 10 facebook.com/aleandcraftkazan
The first on the block.
The opening of Sol (Salt) transformed Ulitsa Profsoyuznaya into party central in Kazan and changed the city’s cocktail culture forever. The people behind Sol also came up with the inspired idea to use Bugulma, a local herbal liquor that tastes a bit like Hungary’s Unicum, for various shots and cocktails.
Try “Tatarsky pryanik” (Tatar gingerbread) or Babai shots (200 rubles each). If Bugulma is not your thing, go for a regular cocktail, like hot buttered rum (300 rubles). The food here is also decent: burgers start from 280 rubles while snacks like cheese sticks start from 150 rubles. There are DJ sets and live music on the weekends.
Ulitsa Profsoyuznaya, 22 barsol.ru
Cocktails in the old Tatar quarter.
Of course, not all of the cocktail bars are on Ulitsa Profsoyuznaya, though it may seem like it at times! If you feel like exploring more of the city, Kult is located in one of the less likely places: in the middle of Tatarskaya Sloboda (Old Tatar Quarter), a short walk from the famous Mardjani mosque. Here the bartenders will create a special cocktail in accordance with your preferences (500-600 rubles), or you can order one from the menu (from 350 rubles). The food is great, too: try bruschetta with Kamchatka crab (490 rubles) or one of the pizzetas, which are small inventive pizzas (from 230 rubles). You can chat with a bartender at the bar or sit at one of the tables and smoke a shisha.
3 Kayuma Nasyri vk.com/cultbarkzn