For many Russian vegetarians, the adventure with meat-free cooking began with trips to India. Those enamored with Indian culture vouch for the restaurant’s authenticity, with its food prepared in front of customers, organic spices straight from the subcontinent and an informal atmosphere reminiscent of southern India’s tea shops. Leave your shoes at the door and settle back for whatever the chefs have cooked up each day.
7 Yermolayevsky Pereulok. Metro Mayakovskaya. facebook.com/MoscowDelhi
Jagannath is serious about vegetarianism, healthy eating and all things Indian. Apart from eight central, vegan-friendly cafes, the franchise offers cooking classes, an online vegetarian and vegan store specializing in hard-to-find ingredients, and a range of cultural events, often coinciding with Hindu festivals.
The staff is proud of the selection of handmade sweets and desserts, some even prepared with weight-watchers in mind. Be sure to check out their website to find out what special menus and programs are on offer during the winter holidays. If you are looking for soy products of all kinds, nutritional yeast, legumes, and specialty products from all of Asia, look not farther than Jagannath.
11 Ulitsa Kuznetsky Most (and other locations throughout the city). Metro Kuznetsky Most. jagannath.ru
For vegetarian cuisine, Avocado is something of a Moscow institution. With two restaurants —the second one is just off of Tverskaya Ulitsa — it lifts the spirits of Muscovites and visiting herbivores with a mouth-watering range of soups, salads, tofu steaks, rich juices and teas.
There are many vegan and raw options, as well as meatless variations on Russian cuisine. Not very long ago, it was almost impossible to find a meatless entree in Moscow, to say nothing of meatless restaurants. That’s changed significantly, and Avocado has been at the forefront of the movement. Check out their website and find out about the exciting new things on their menu, as well as information about yoga programs.
12 Chistoprudny Bulvar, Bldg. 2. Metro Chistiye Prudy, Sretensky Bulvar. avocadocafe.ru
FRUITS AND VEGES
Affectionately known as “the bunker,” this inexpensive vegan cafe is nestled by the entrance of an old bomb shelter in the middle of the Artplay Design and Architecture Center.
But the location is not the only thing that makes Fruits and Veges stand out. Fans swear it is the best falafel place in town. Besides being in one of the hippest art-places around, Fruits and Veges also has an egalitarian aspect to it. It professes that income and labor are more evenly distributed between staff and owners.
10 Nizhnyaya Syromyatnicheskaya Ulitsa, Bldg. 12. Artplay Design and Architecture Center. Metro Kurskaya. facebook.com/fruitsandveges