St. Petersburg Bars
St. Petersburg is a Russian city renowned for its art and architecture. In numerous travel articles, you’ll find photos of icy canals and brightly colored palaces. And you’ll hear talk of hearty borscht and tasty dumplings. But the city also deserves recognition as a cocktail capital of the world. The best St. Petersburg bars will redefine what you thought you knew about the Venice of the North.
Most people think only of vodka when they think of Russia. But Russia’s drink culture is rapidly evolving in St. Petersburg thanks to the young and the bold. You will find many mixologists pushing the envelope with creative mixes of ingredients from around the world. Here is a list of the bars doing just that. Included is my favorite bar, which was also ranked in the world’s top 10 best bars.
9 Best St. Petersburg Bars
There are a lot of great bars to find in St. Petersburg. You could just stumble around Rubinsteina Street or the Zhukovskogo-Belinskogo region to find a spot to drink. But let me tell you the ideal places so you can get a taste of St. Petersburg’s finest.
Let me introduce to you my favorite bar in the world. Rated the 8th best bar in the world, El Copitas is a secret, Mexican-inspired bar. It’s located in a non-descript courtyard near Vladimirskaya metro station. You need to call ahead by a couple weeks to reserve a spot, and then call again when you arrive. Only then, will you be allowed inside. It’s a funky experience.
Once you step inside, you’ll see why I love the bar so much. El Copitas embodies Mexican hospitality. They welcome you with a complimentary copita (“tiny cup”) of tequila, and invite you to sit at a large, communal table where everyone can drink and chat. The staff and owners are incredibly friendly and generous. During my last stay, they gave me a free round of drinks and a spiked hot cocoa on my way out.
As for the drinks themselves, El Copitas has a wonderful collection of agave spirits unrivaled by any other bar in the country. They routinely change up the menu so no experience at their bar is the same. One night they might stun you with a Melon-Rose Margo, and the next they might treat you to a delicious Rhubarb Paloma.
El Copitas is on everyone’s list of the best bars in St. Petersburg, so it has become super popular. If you have trouble getting a reservation, go to Paloma Cantina. The bar is owned by the same people, and you’ll have an easier time getting in.
Dead Poets Bar
Dead Poets is a popular bar among expats. In fact, the bar features several talks and events in English. So English-speaking travelers will feel right at home. But the bar is just generally a cozy and quiet spot. So it’s a great place for anyone to drink and chat.
Other than a great place to hang out, Dead Poets also has a wide selection of spirits. They have over 80 whiskies and a rotating selection of house-infused vodkas. As you can imagine, there is a great collection of cocktails to match.
Similar to El Copitas, Apotheke is one of the secret St. Petersburg bars. The only sign is a red cross like you’d see at a pharmacy. To get your liquid medicine here, you just need to ring the bell and someone will let you in.
Apotheke has a distinct vibe. It really plays into the secret bar aesthetic by creating a classy, cozy, and intimate atmosphere. Once you step inside the small bar, you feel like you’re in a different era. As refined as the décor is, the drinks are just as good. So you should definitely come visit.
Mishka Bar is a local favorite, especially for younger Russians. It’s a café by day and a bar/nightclub by night. The prices are budget friendly, and the mood is light and fun. Whether you want to drink or dance, you can have a nice time at Mishka Bar.
If you really want to get the night off to good a start, have some of their shots. They’re cheap, but still creative and delicious. If hard liquor isn’t your thing, try their cider. It’s a homemade brew with bright notes of lime and citrus.
Union Bar has got it all: drinks, music, and hamburgers too! When you walk in, you’ll see a long bar where they serve cocktails. But they also have a great selection of beers and ciders at a bar in the backroom. And while you drink, why not have a bite to eat? Union Bar has its own grill, so you can treat yourself to some awesome bar food.
Another amazing thing about the bar is the music. Every week, Union Bar has a lineup of local musicians and special guests. It’s a fantastic way to hear what’s new in Russia’s music scene while also enjoying some tasty beverages.
Beer lovers take note. Redrum Bar is the headquarters of St. Petersburg’s leading brewery, AF Brew. The company’s Redrum IPA became an immediate success and triggered a craft brew revolution in the country. If you’re curious to see what the buzz is all about, you should stop by.
Like many of the St. Petersburg bars, Redrum doubles as a nightclub. So come for the beer, and stay for a good time. That’s what most people do.
Sidreria is a cider bar with ten delicious draft ciders to choose from. Not only will you get some Russian favorites but also some classics from abroad. In addition to these, Sidreria has a collection of rarer ciders imported in small quantities from around the world.
Scrumptious ciders aside, the interior is stylish and funky. It’s a perfect reflection of the bar’s bright staff and dazzling drinks. It also makes for a relaxing place to spend your evening.
Khroniki Bar takes pride in their Soviet wine bar style. The white interior and classic Soviet dishes remind you of the early 20th century when St. Petersburg was still Leningrad.
The classic style of Khroniki Bar is paired with a set of classic cocktails. But they also have a couple shots, which are staples of the bar. The shots are simply named North and West. The first is a vodka shot flavored with mors, mint liqueur, and cranberry. The second is a mixture of gin, aperol, lemon juice, and black currant syrup. Yum!
My final entry for the best St. Petersburg bars is Imbibe. Both trendy and classy, Imbibe is another fantastic option for your night out in St. Petersburg. It’s also a real treat for the taste buds.
Imbibe produces some of the most creative cocktails to please the more adventurous drinkers among you. Bruce Lee, for example, isn’t just a famous martial artist. He’s also a rum cocktail with lychee puree, lemongrass syrup, lemon juice, and coconut milk. Come by to see what other concoctions they have.
Wherever you choose to go, I’m confident you’ll enjoy St. Petersburg’s flourishing nightlife and rich drink culture. There are many things to do in St. Petersburg. But every day of your trip will end better with a drink in hand.
For more fun adventures in Russia, take a look at my Moscow travel guide. There’s always been a rivalry between Moscow and St. Petersburg for the best Russian city. Let’s see where you stand on the divide.