Staying at the Izmailovo Gamma Hotel gave us an edge. It is cheaper and we were closer to the local cafés, restaurants and fast food kiosks. We were in search of the most local way of drinking coffee without the need to walk far or take a cab.
Eric our British tour leader who spoke Russian recommended a small café attended by a Central Asian woman and her son near the metro station. The little place is mostly for to-go food purchase. She has an array of fried food, meat pastries, sausages, kebab and hot dogs (sasiski). Without the Russian words on bottled drinks and prices in Rubles, you may think this is one of the delis in Brooklyn New York as you enter.
You won’t find tables and chairs. There were just three stools and a tiny space to place our coffee, hotdogs and chicken kebabs.
It’s an economical to eat like a local and it’s the best way to get to know the locals. Vendors and workers from the former Soviet republics are found everywhere in Moscow. Some are illegal but they still find ways to work and run a business.
Coffee was served in a plastic cup. There was just one type of coffee – black coffee. It was impossible to hold on to the cup filled with hot coffee. Hotdogs, two meat pastries and kebabs came in clear thin plastic bags.
The two hotdogs, two kebabs, one coffee and three bottles of water were $15. It is definitely a very affordable way to have a meal in Moscow. The coffee was drinkable and hotdogs and kebabs were outstanding.
Izmailovo Gamma Hotel is part of the mega-complex of three and four star hotels in the Izmailovo area of Moscow. Around the complex are kiosks, tiny stores and restaurants selling all types of food including Russian fast food and Central Asian food.
Information: Izmailovo Gamma Hotel
Note: Nearest train station: Partizanskaya – take the blue line