Кофейка / Kofeika
Cafeteria / Coffee-Cocktail Bar
Светланская ул., 23
Hours of Operation: Open 24 hours a day (круглосуточно)
Price: $4-$8 (as low as 100 rubles for business lunch)
Usually when I ask locals for advice concerning a cheap place to eat, they either tell me to cook for myself or point me to a restaurant where you can’t get a meal for fewer than 15 dollars. However, Кофейка was recommended to me by a few people and it turned out to be the ideal Vladivostok place to grab a cheap bite. They serve traditional Russian fare for outrageously cheap prices, as well as various coffee-based and alcoholic drinks.
Located on Svetlankskaya Street, just a block away from the movie theater Океан, Кофейка can act as a either a café, restaurant, bar, or just a place to relax. The interior of the restaurant is split into 4 different sections, the cafeteria and 3 separate eating areas, one of which includes a coffee-cocktail bar. In terms of the atmosphere, the restaurant is warm and welcoming. One of the sections seems to always be filled with 16-21 year olds, while another usually holds a couple of navy sailors enjoying a meal.
When you walk in, you simply grab a tray, get in line, and ask for (or point at) whatever it is you want to eat. And there’s no need to worry about your dishes as they clean them up when you leave. Кофейка’s menu is pretty standard, including a variety of salads, soups, pastries and deserts, entrees, and drinks. I was personally amazed by the variety of soups and salads they had. There were upwards of 10-15 different types of salad, and bean, fish, chicken noodle soups, as well as traditional borsch. The main entrees were exactly what you would expect from such a restaurant: fish, meat, potatoes, etc.
I went with Joss (another American student) for dinner, and we both ate for about 200 rubles each. My meal included a small potato pasty (8 rubles), chicken noodle soup (45 rubles), potatoes (24 rubles), a piece of halibut (117 rubles), and a sugary pastry (8 rubles). The food was simple, yet absolutely delicious. I left feeling very full and satisfied. If you really need to save, they have a good deal in their two business lunches, the эконом (economy lunch) and traditional бизнес-ланч (business lunch). The economy lunch, which costs 100 rubles, consists of soup, salad and tea, while the business lunch adds on an entrée for an extra 50 rubles.
Кофейка is an all-around great place to eat. The food is tasty and fresh, and the people that work there are generally friendly, making it a comfortable place to eat traditional Russian food. The fact that it’s one of the few cheap places to eat that is open past 10 o’clock makes it a perfect place to relax if you are out after curfew, perhaps visiting the city’s night clubs. And, if you are really pinching your pennies, the business lunch options are ideal.
For groups and faculty-led tours, Кофейка is a great option. The central location, fast service, and low prices should make this an ideal location!