Drink & Dranik: Where to Eat and Drink in Minsk
Arriving on a Saturday morning flight, you will get a full day in the city, you should not save money and spend time choosing a bus. Yes, only 5 BYN (approx. Ed. – hereinafter “Belarusian rubles”), – about 150 rubles. – but more than an hour on the way to the bus station. Uber works great in Minsk: the cost of a trip to the center from the airport will be 30–40 BYN, and 5–9 BYN in the city.
Now let’s search for local food and try to figure out how pancakes differ from sorcerers. There are many restaurants of national cuisine in the city, but this is the danger of running into a purely tourist place without beauty in the moment and quality of food.
For gastronomic immersion in Belarusian cuisine, the Kuhmister (Karl Marx St., 40) will be a worthy option. The interior is not without stereotypes, but its own tinctures, a voluminous menu that includes all the culinary hits of Belarus: dumplings, a variety of meat delicacies and the aforementioned pancakes, deserving of a separate ode. The dish is simple, but for some reason it is often cooked poorly, either too much butter and fried, or vice versa – inside the porridge.
Local ones are the standard, they have a tender core and a crispy crust, an impressive size and a tasty company in the form of mushrooms or brisket. If you take into account sour cream, you get about 400 g of a very satisfying and comfortable meal. With a strong stomach, it is recommended to study the menu further, for fans of lightness – carefully go out for coffee mood.
There are a lot of third-wave coffee houses in the city – a specialty grain and a certain concept – and Gastrofest.Coffee recently passed, in order to participate in it it was necessary to create a coffee pairing + dessert.
At Faces Coffee Club (Independence Avenue, 94) they came up with a set: a latte with homemade caramel, a signature cheesecake with peanuts and two vegan sweets, Coffee & Croissant (Leningradskaya, 1) – Mattoo Voodoo coffee in a skull with tonka bean and walnut meringue with raspberry dessert Candle Voodoo. These two coffee houses won the “popular vote”, as did Wake up Coffee. In general, Independence Avenue should be renamed Coffee – the concentration of this drink per square meter is too high.
A few more addresses: the White Suitcase art coffee house (house 43), the Coffee Gallery (house 18) and the charming space “Poems, coffee, kisses” (house 19). It used to be a bookstore with a spiral staircase near the legendary Lakomka cafe. At sixteen square meters, seventeen-year-old Eva Pekurova, taking money from her parents, opened a coffee shop with three concepts. “Coffee” – a bar counter where cappuccino is brewed (2.5 BYN), flat white (3.5 BYN), cocoa (3 BYN), “Poems” – installation from books and lavender on the wall, as well as creative poetic evenings, “Kisses” – you can kiss with branded covers in the form of lips, as well as with someone pleasant and animated.
They like not only to drink coffee, but also just to drink in Minsk. You can get a wonderful aperitif at the speakeasy bar “Butleger” (Komsomolskaya St., 18). First, to get into the basement of the pre-revolutionary building, you had to call a secret number: its last numbers are encrypted in the word alcohol, and then go through a flower shop and knock. It turned out that this is too complicated a game, so from the street the bar is now noticeable by the stickers on the pipe, and light advertisements were placed near the entrance. Prohibition bar: behind the counter there are handsome guys in hats with the code names Silent (girls, attention, we sit closer to the counter), Rich and, of course, the Boss. It is recommended to order “Barbara” (gin, barberry, sparkling) in an elegant turtleneck, “Irishman’s liver” (whiskey and homemade syrup from stout) and “Vertinsky” (banana rum, licorice bitter and lemon juice). However, the name “Last of the First” promises a lot.
“Banks-Bottles” (Zybitskaya, 6). A bar that captivates by the presence in the menu of tinctures made on Belarusian berries and fruits. You can’t get away from the local bartenders sober, and let the last straw be a sorrel cocktail – this aftertaste best expresses the bold spirit of the city.
If you want to spend dinner elegantly, you need to go to Foam of Days (Komsomolskaya St., 12) – a new restaurant based on the famous film from Audrey Tautou and the less popular book by Boris Vian. The inscription on the laconic menu reads: “The most real story, composed from beginning to end.” The chef composes gastronomic surrealism on plates, brilliant in its simplicity and overtones of taste. Salmon “Tartarara” on buckwheat chips with pickled cucumber, venison with goat cheese and dried cranberries, dipped in gin, beef based on Georgian cuisine and “extravagance on bread” with eel under parmesan crust and fresh champignons.