Restaurants and Cafes
There are an ever growing number of restaurants and cafes in Moscow with English speaking staff and menus, even though translations can vary! Customer service has come on leaps and bounds in the last five years and waiting staff will usually do their best to accommodate you.
Tipping in Moscow is similar to that of Western Europe i.e. 10 %. This is not compulsory though and if you feel the service you receive warrants a larger or smaller tip, feel free to use your discretion.
One thing to be aware of is that some restaurants will bring food out a soon as it is ready rather than starters, followed by mains etc. Do not be surprised if you receive your garnish before your main course. If you really cannot handle this then try to tell the waiter or waitress to bring the starters together and main courses after.
Bars in Moscow, with the exception of some British and Irish pubs, generally work on a table service basis i.e. you order your drinks and then pay your bill at the end. This saves you queuing at a crowded bar but means that having a ‘quick drink’ can be a little more time consuming!
Moscow has clubs to suit all tastes and budgets, from swanky dance clubs with immaculately dressed socialites to divey indie clubs selling cheap beer and playing live music.
There is one thing they all have in common though. Face control. Face control is an inexplicable phenomenon that can be a source of great frustration for many. Burly bouncers guard the door of the club and decide who shall pass. There seems to be very little logic on which they base their decisions! Still, they do help keep the peace and are there to keep you safe. Having a Russian speaker with you can help…but sometimes it can hinder. Saying your friends are already inside is another tactic to try. Split into smaller groups or pairs can also work. Check out dress codes before you go and try to get there fashionably early while the bouncers are still in a good mood!