10 Authentic Places to Try Soviet Pastry in Minsk
Besides an abundance of modern cafes and fancy restaurants, here you may find something very special – soviet relicts of cafes, so-called cafeteria, where you will get an ultimate experience of true Minsk pastry and baking.
Entering these cafes is always a strange sensation – they’re sometimes empty, but more often crowded, they may smell of beer and herring sandwiches, echo voices orf fill with warm dizziness. Here you may find awkwardly decorated cakes, which taste like they used to taste for, let us say, 50 years. They may not be the newest haute-cuisine dainties, but, still, they unite people and generations with the taste and recipes. And the prices are always super nice.
Some people come to have a drink after work, cause cafeterias usually sell alcohol here, served at 50 ml plastic glasses, have a chat and enjoy simple, cheap and familiar chasers. If you really dare to opt for such an experience, we’ve picked up 10 best places at the center.
(“a potato”, a sand pastry ball rolled with cocoa-powder)
(“a basket”, a sand pastry basket with whipped cream and sometimes fruits)
(a pastry with cottage-cheese cream)
(flaky pastry tube with cream or condensed milk)
(“a nut”, a pastry with condensed milk)
(again a kind of a pizza-bun with pork and pickled cucumbers)
(yeast dough round pasty with meat filling)
(differently shaped belyash)
* The prices indicated are for information purposes only,. At the moment of publication (12.02.2019) € 1 was worth BYN 2.5.
praspiekt Niezaležnasci, 23
Mon-Sun 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Centralny is one of the iconic dive bars of Minsk, with a wide choice of food, partners in conversation and a strong nostalgic vibe. Its huge panoramic windows give a spectacular view of the main avenue, old Stalin-era assembly, and melancholic passers-by. It’s usually extremely crowded, especially in the evenings.
Check out whipped cream in a dessert bow, kartoshka, yumbrik, a spinach puff (all for around 1 BYN), and extra-quality sweets for 0.7 BYN per piece. And you may pour it up with a milkshake for 2 BYN, hot mulled wine for 3 BYN, tap beer and kvas (a drink made from fermented rye bread) starting from 1 BYN, and lots of coffee options (make sure to try the Oscar Coffee with an egg yolk and cognac).
A small room with no tables, just a bar stand, is usually crowded during the daytime by neighboring university students. Here you can get éclairs with butter cream and liquor, meringue, spongecake “Znichka”, korzinochka with milk and peanut cream, puff with cottage cheese (all for less than 1 BYN) and kartoshka for 1.2 BYN.
Coffee or tea, as well as alcoholic drinks, may accompany your meal. Tea for 0.3 BYN, alcohol for 2 BYN and more for 50 ml, prices for coffee vary on your personal options, as they can boil a mix or prepare it from ground coffee. You may take the food away and enjoy a snack in the Park Horkaha by the river just right the corner.
How to find it: One door in a pink building, shop to the left, cafeteria to the right.
vulica Kazlova, 4
Mon-Sun 7 a.m. – 10.30 p.m.
It’s a perfect place to drop in after a movie, as the famous cinema “Mir” is just next to the shop. There’s a really small bar stand inside the shop, so it may be pretty crowded. Head there to get yumbrik for 0.6 BYN, kartoshka for 1.3 BYN, eclairs, puffed cake Napoleon or brownie cake for 3 BYN. The café sells only soft drinks.
Mon-Sun 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.
A part of the shop with a row of tables at the window and in-depth of the room, with a great view of the Palace of Sports and one of the major avenues. It’s a cool place to get kartoshka for 1.4 BYN, Leningradsky cake, korzinochka with cherries for 0.6 BYN, trubochka with cream for 0.6 BYN or ice-cream (even the black-current sorbet and maple syrup ones). Beverages at the spot or to-go are tea for 1 BYN, americano and espresso for 2 BYN, and Belarusian beer for 2.1 BYN. At weekdays you may try an option “Mix the juice”: you are to choose fruits that will be squeezed for you in proportions you need.
One of the original Belarusian confectionary plants, Kommunarka, has a chain of plant shops with a cafeteria. Lakomka is the most famous location with a long history and large windows facing the main avenue of the city. Come here for exquisite interior design with red leather chairs and cool drapes, real melted hot chocolate of all kinds: milk, bitter, spicy with cinnamon, a-la-east with nuts and cinnamon, “Temptation” with ice-cream for and even a ginger one (prices start from for 2.2 BYN). They also sell various pastries at less than 1 BYN: milk éclairs and buttercream-filled ones, puff ring with cottage cheese, korzinochka with soufflé or trubochka with cream. There’re also puff with mushrooms and pie with pork and potato if you are hungry.
Except for hot chocolate, you may find coffee for 2-3 BYN, alongside with cognac, and wine. Italian tea costs 1.8 BYN, and if you’re not into tea, there’re always milkshakes with ice-cream, ginger or liquor for 3 BYN.
How to find it: The cafeteria is at the left corner of the shop.
The same hot chocolate as at Lakomka, kartoshka, puff cake “Napoleon”, éclairs with condensed milk or cream (all for about 1 BYN) and nice handmade sweets to buy or taste on the spot. By the way, here you can buy a cool local souvenir – sugar-covered cranberries for 2.8 BYN per pack.
It’s a great spot to refresh oneself and go wandering down the street. What’s to try here? Once again, hot chocolate (about 2 BYN). Here it’s pretty the same, but with different flavors, for example, you may try a spicy one with or “Sesame” with sesame seeds. Along with hot chocolate, they sell coffee and tea, alcoholic drinks served in 50 ml.
The pastry menu offers éclairs with caramel or condensed milk (1 BYN), puff rings with cottage cheese, kartoshka (0.7 BYN) and “Napoleon” cake.
Trading houses, constructed during the Soviet period, were the places of extensive work and a very long and tiresome shopping. Since the previous century, all of such trading houses are equipped with a canteen and a small bar, available both for staff and for visitors. The bar at Na Niamihe trading house is an open bar with some 6-7 tables and a bar-desk, usually not crowded, organically constructed between two trading sections. The bar offers a huge variety of pastry beloved by locals: kartoshka for 1 BYN, flaky pastry tube with condensed milk 0.9 BYN, glazed curd snacks, waffles, and Belarusian cookies.
Meat-lovers should try smazhanka with chicken and mushrooms and the one with ham (2 BYN), a sandwich with herring or with sausage (1 BYN), a puff with meat (1 BYN) or pancake envelops with minced meat (0.9 BYN).
How to find it: Go up the big stairs at the foot of the yellow church, upstairs find the second door, enter it and go straight.
praspiekt Niezaležnasci, 21
Mon-Sat 10 a.m. – 8.30 p.m., Sun 11 a.m. – 7.30 p.m.
Another classic Soviet shopping center sells amazing korzinochkas with marshmallow soufflé, puffed rings with cottage cheese, éclairs with milk filling, whipped cream in a dessert bowl and muffins (all for 1 BYN or less). If you need a more fulfilling meal, get sandwiches with sausage, ham and herring (from 0.5 BYN), Russian salad (“olivye”), a belyash or a cheburek.
As well, here you can enjoy soft and alcoholic drinks starting from 50 ml for 0.5 BYN to entire bottles. Wine and champagne originate from Belarus, Spain and Italy, but cognac is mostly from Belarus. Free Wi-Fi available.
How to find it: Go up to the second floor, turn to the left and go straight to the long hall with paintings, here it is on the left side.
The cafeteria at this huge department store cooks amazing korzinochkas with fruits for 1.3 BYN, kartoshka with peanuts for 0.8 BYN, muffins for 1 BYN and spongecake “Caramel caprice” for 1.4 BYN. And, of course, draniki (hashbrown potato) for 1.3 BYN.
Again, drink and chase: tea – 0.3 BYN, coffee – about 2 BYN, beer for 3 BYN, wine served in 50 ml portions for less than 1 BYN. Pay attention to hot mulled wine for 2.2 BYN.
How to find it: Go up to the second floor, as there are many stairs and it isn’t easy to get direction, just find a row of cash desks, turn to the left and go straight.
Read also: What local specialties to try in Minsk