Lenin's Vodka Bar

For vodka fans with a fondness for Mother Russia - without the gulags, cossacks, exile to Siberia and minus temperatures - Lenin's Vodka Bar is your Maboneng home. From its moodily lit interior, comfortable couches, excellent flatbreads with toppings, steak sandwiches to its skinny sweet potato fries and, of course, exceptional menu of vodka cocktails this is a great after-hours hangout.

Try the Caipiroska - vodka, fresh limes, sour mix and Sprite - or for richer tastes, the Siberian, an "interesting" dessert-like mix that includes fresh bananas and Kahlua. We like the Vlad - creme de cassis with some Stoli Raspberri. On the Russian list there's also the Chernobyl, Gorky Park and KGB. The drinks are reasonably priced with most cocktails around R38 and for non-Vodka drinkers (we are sorry for you) there's plenty of other drinks on the menu to choose from.

Owner Roman Slepica has a superb bar pedigree, having opened and operated bars from Melville (the original Buzz 9 Cafe and Ratz) to San Francisco. His long list of previous crowning achievements also includes having opened a bar in Post Cold-War Prague in the early 1990s, allowing Czech people and their many international friends to toast the fall of the Berlin Wall. They are still saying Na zda-ró-vye!

Lenin's stocks vodkas from around the world, at last count 42 brands including a handcrafted South African variety, Polish, Swedish, French, American and Russian brands. The priciest is Russian Beluga at R85 a tot. Each week he selects 10 brands for the freezer and you get to choose from those.

Ironically Lenin was no fan of the stuff - according to Moscow's Vodka Museum he would "refuse Russian strong drinks flatly and hated drunk people. In his view, only sober proletarians of all countries could unite." But for Slepica the only good revolution is a vodka revolution, and vodka lovers everywhere will stand to order and salute him for that.


Social Links


Outside seating




Open 16:00-late, Sun 12:00-late. Closed Mon, Tue. Closed 01.01-14.01

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