You follow a special diet and worry to travel on the Trans-Siberian and starve ? Have no fear, feeding yourself in Russia or on the train won’t be an issue.
There are cafés, stolovaya (canteen), street food markets and plenty food stalls in every street corner in Russia. However, if you follow a special diet it can be a bit tricky to eat your way around.
I have no particular diet (only picky tastes) but I do have friends all over the world who are vegetarians, vegans, Muslims eating halal or Jews kosher, so I totally understand that you don’t want to break your diet nor starve yourself for the next 9000 kilometres.
In this short guide you will find informations about halal, kosher, vegeterian and vegan food in Russia.
This post is only for informative purposes, I do not claim to know each and every rule of halal & kosher diets.
Last updated : 13/02/2024
In any cities or small towns you can find a supermarket or small food store named “produkty” selling all the basics like bread, jam, oatmeal, veges, fruits, eggs etc
Islam is the second most practiced religion in Russia, counting more than 20 millions Muslims accross the country. It may be a minority religion, but there 9 republics with Muslim majorities in the Federation : Tatarstan, Bashkiria, Dagestan, Chechnya, Ingushetia, North Ossetia (kind of half with Orthodox Ossetians), Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay-Cherkessia & Adygea. And many more Muslims living all accross the country.
Basically, if there is a mosque, there is halal meat selling somewhere in town.
Note : you don’t need to be Muslim eat halal food nor to enjoy shashliks and plov !
The Jewish community in Russia is the largest in Europe and there are an estimated of one hundred thousand Jews in Moscow itself. But if you’re an observant Jew, you might have a bit of a tough time eating your way around. I’d recomment to bring your own cooking utensils to prepare your kosher food.
Note : you don’t need to be jewish to enjoy schnitzels or challah bread.
Being a vegeterian in Moscow or Saint Petersburg is no issue nowadays, there are plenty of restaurants and cafés with vegeterian options, but it might be odd in some parts of the country for some people who are daily meat eaters like in the Caucasus and Yakutia for example.
However vegeterian food is widely available everywhere in the country and it might come has a surprise but many (can’t certainly said all) restaurant wagons on the Trans-Siberian have a full page of vegeterian meals available on their menu !
Veganism is gaining popularity in Russia too. I have notice in my travels that vegan restaurants/cafés and vegan food is becoming more available in the country. Obviously it’s mostly in big cities but there are commun russian food that is vegan even khough it is not explicitly stated like it.
Vegan or not, the best is to bring your own food on the train. Stock up from the supermarket before hand, also check the health stores Vkusvill it has many branches around Russia and has quite a lot of vegan options.
Tip : if you can’t find any real vegan restaurant, try a georgian one (very popular accross the crountry), they will have vegan friendly meals. If you can only find a traditionnal russian one, order side dishes like fried potatoes with mushrooms, mashed potatoes, grilled veges, kasha etc
Let me know in the comments if this guide is helpful & don’t hesiste to share more tips and restaurant addresses !
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