Before you come to Vladivostok you probably will find out, that this city is located near the sea, so of course you will think that seafood is everywhere. Well, there are way more Chinese and Korean restaurants than seafood restaurants.
I will give a list of places with very VERY tasty food, but it is not necessarily means high-end cuisine, I also included street food.
1. Burger King.
Ok, it’s a joke.
A very famous and awesome restaurant. Even though you should not always trust Trip Advisor, this restaurant was the best restaurant in a whole Russia in 2014. I’d say it is still the same. Food is DELICIOUS, service is great, prices… not too high, but above average. It is mainly asian (or pan-asian) cuisine, but there is everything there. Try sushi rolls, try seafood, try meat (don’t go for steak, I will tell you better place further) and promise me that you will try a dessert. Don’t leave the city until you went to Zuma. And I recommend to book a table.
• Hlopok (“Cotton”)
Don’t know if you are very familiar with a country Uzbekistan, but there are many people from Uzbekistan who come to work to Russia. And food of Uzbekistan is AMAZING! Mostly it is meat, rice, bread and super tasty spices and sauces in different variations. Hlopok’s cooks have definitely mastered their skills and food there is very very good. You can pick one of a few locations (check the website). I suggest you go to the one on Svetlanskaya Street or Prospekt 100-letiya Street. You can also smoke a shisha (hookah) there.
• Pizza-M Grill
Make sure you go to the Grill version of Pizza-M. The regular one is ok, but if you like meat, obviously you can guess where to go. I have tried ribeye steak in about 25-30 restaurants in this city and I must say here it is the best. I wouldn’t say it is a very crowded restaurant, usually it is quite, but meat (and other food) is very tasty here.
• Iz Brasserie
• Coffeemolka (former Kafemania)
Even though owners really want to point out that they have good coffee, nobody goes there for coffee, people really like the food. This is not a very big place (has two floors though) and it is always crowded (always make a reservation). There are different types of food there (mostly western) and it is not very expensive. Has great breakfasts, English menu (not on a website at the moment I type this) and it’s generally a good place to eat.
• Tokio Kawaii
• DAB (Drinks And Burgers)
• Any Chinese restaurant
Chinese food in Vladivostok is different from Chinese food in other places of the world, but like everywhere, it is super tasty. Most of the time (if not all) restaurant will not have a nice interior, actually it will be pretty bad, be prepared. But nobody cares since food is great and cheap. There are really a lot of look-a-like Chinese restaurants so you can go to any random place you see, they all are the same. To get a full experience get this four things:
1. “Go-ba-jo”. They will not have an English menu 10 out of 10 times so just pronounce these sounds and you’ll be understood in every Chinese restaurant in VL. This is a pork meat in sour-sweet sauce. Great thing.
2. Rice with eggs and vegetables. Tasty.
3. “Harbin” salad. Harbin is a city in China and many Russians were there because it is a popular tourist destination. Harbin salad is just a good salad that everybody knows and likes.
All these dishes are big and good for two persons.
• Any drive-through kiosk (“pit-stop”)
You didn’t rent a car like a recommended, right? Great. Oh you did!? Ok, now you have to do something that all people from Vladivostok do. You have to get a coffee and a sandwich-wrap from a random drive-through booth. I will explain. For many years, we had here only cars from Japanese domestic market with a steering wheel on the right side (it has to be on a left for Russian roads). It is easy to stop on a road and get something from a kiosk when wheel is on the right and you drive on the right side of a road. Also, cars are very popular in Vladivostok (partly because they were very cheap from Japan for many years) so cruising around is a popular thing and therefore we come to the idea of the “pit-stops”. You just stay in line, get a coffee, tea or sandwich and then go cruising. Why do you have to do so? Because that’s what everybody does for fun. Why “pit-stop”? Because first kiosk had this name. Now we even have chains of this type of auto-street food. There are bunch of them around the city, but place with the most concentration of them is Prospekt Krasoty (“Street of Beauty”), official name of it is Vsevoloda Sibirtseva street.
• Pyongyang – North Korean restaurant
This restaurant is run by North Korean government and only North Koreans work there. It doesn’t have super special interior but has very tasty food. It might seems to be a strange idea to go there, but actually sometimes, they don’t even have tables available. Doesn’t matter if you are from South Korea or USA, you can come, they don’t care.
• Any Caucasian restaurant.
For most people of the world caucasian basically means white. For Russians Caucasian means something from Caucasus and in this case, it is Caucasian food. Caucasian cuisine includes food popular in Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Russian provinces like Dagestan, Chechnya and others. It is very tasty and includes a lot of meat. The most popular dish is shashlik. Shashlik is a meat on a skewer and when people go out for a picnic to the forest or lake or beach they always cook it. There are many restaurants throughout the city that offer Caucasian food and like local Chinese restaurants also usually don’t have beautiful interior but have fantastic food. You can find many Caucasian restaurants on a shore of Shamora beaches.
• Zolotoy Brtutch (Golden Brtutch)
If any locals ever read this, they will think that I am mentally ill for recommending this place. However, everybody in the city knows this place and ate there at least once (I personally ate there about fifty times). This is not really a restaurant, more like a place with tables, doesn’t look good at all. It has variety of food (Caucasian mostly), but famous for only one thing – Brtutch. If you don’t know, and I am sure you don’t, brtutch – is a roll made of very thin soft bread (lavash) with lot of stuff inside (like meat, tomatoes, eggs, etc.). Basically it is just a very tasty (and very big) roll. And it is also very cheap. And very tasty. And very big. Unfortunately the place is far away and you can’t get there without a car, so if you have somebody to drive you there, ask them, they will be very surprised. By the way, sometimes people think that it is not safe to eat there (like all street food), but this place has been there for at least ten years and population of the city didn’t decrease.
• Stolovaya N1
It is not a restaurant – it’s “stolovaya”, place where Russians eat lunch. It is cheap and has a line where you pick dishes or tell a person behind the counter what you want (in your case, point a finger). There are many types of soups, meats, sides, salads, etc. You can have cheap and … well, I wouldn’t say very tasty, but fairly good food.
• Del Mar
Other good places, but not my first pick: Moloko&Med, Pazzo Coffee Lab, Syndicate, Billy’s Pub, Ogonek, Studio.