One of the unquestionable pluses of Russia's Soviet past is the sprinkling of restaurants serving cuisine from former USSR republics.
Of these the most popular both with locals and visitors is probably Georgian, but there are also Armenian, Uzbek, Azeri, and Kazakh places, as well as generalised “Caucasian” cuisine which appears all over the place. These cuisines provide a dash of spice and colour compared with often stodgy Russian dishes, and all are definitely worth experimenting with.
Although often characterised as quite meat-heavy - a staple of Caucasian and Central Asian cuisine in Russia is the fabulous shashliky (kebabs) which appear on every menu. Food from this part of the world is also a good option for vegetarian visitors to the city, making use of the vegetables and pulses native to that part of the world.
Typical Georgian dishesKhachapuri - cheese stuffed bread. Sometimes served with open with an egg on top (po azharsky)
Khinkali - giant dumplings, usually stuffed with meat and spices, eaten by hand
Lobio - spiced bean stew with herbs, served hot or cold
Pkhali - spinach paste with nuts
Satsivi - chicken in a creamy nut sauce, served cold
Chakhobili - Spiced chicken stew
Typical Armenian dishesKutab - flat bread usually stuffed with herbs or meat
Dolma - vine leaves stuffed with meat and spices
Matsoni - herby yoghurt based sauce, usually served as a condiment
Typical Uzbek dishesPlov - slow cooked spiced rice dish usually made with lamb
Lagman - soup with thick egg noodles
Manti - large dumplings stuffed with meat