Океанский проспект, 17
Hours of Operation: Sun – Mon – 10:00 am – 11:00 pm,
Fri – Sat – 10:00 am – 12:00 am
Meals for ~$5-$8
It’s my first time in Vladivostok, so I wasn’t exactly sure what places to check out. Of those students living at VGUES, most typically prepare their own meals, so asking them for their advice ended up being a bad idea. My first trip was to a pan-Asian restaurant called Zuma, where the cheapest snacks were at least $7 or $8 and my final bill ended up being closer to $20 – which is bit much for a single meal on a student budget. I then decided to get advice from another American student, who suggested I go to a restaurant called Republic. As it turns out, it was a perfect choice and has several locations all across town.
Location / Food / Service
The particular outlet where we ate is located just a block away from the main bus stop, Semyonovska, in the center of Vladivostok. We got off the bus, walked up the street past Vladivostok’s Subway restaurant and found the giant building with blue-tinted glass. There is no sign, so you have to look for the RosBank sign. Then, head in and find the place on the second floor.
Just like any cafeteria-style restaurant, you grab your tray and go through the line, asking for whatever it is you would like to eat. They had a great selection. The first station had 3-4 different types of broths and soups to choose from, as well as a few choices of additions like bread crumbles or an egg. The next station had salads, and Joss, the other American SRAS student who accompanied me, was happy to see an American-style salad with feta cheese. The third station had typical hot dishes like potatoes, kebabs, and different types of fish and meats with various spices. I chose potatoes and a kebab that had spices that you don’t often find in Russian dishes. Finally, Joss and I both grabbed a cheap pastry. The prices are listed in front of every food, so you can see how much you are spending as well as what exactly you are ordering. Finally, you get around to the cashier and find drinks like sodas, water, teas, and juices.
The prices were extremely cheap for the quality of food. I got a cup of chicken broth with dill and bread crumbles for $1.00, potatoes for $1.15, a kebab for $1.30, a sugary pastry for $.45, and a water for $1.00. All in all, it was an extremely filling meal for the price. Joss got a nearly identical meal, except she had a $2.00 salad in place of the potatoes, and a $.50 tea instead of water. After our meal, we noticed that most (if not all) of the other patrons had beer, so we found the bar at the back and ordered a tasty beer for ourselves. At $2.70 for a third liter, $3.30 for a half liter, and $5.00 for a liter, the beer on tap was very reasonably priced and came in three different flavors: light, red, and dark. They also sold typical bar snacks like nuts and popcorn for a few dollars.
The interior of the restaurant itself would best be described as similar to the interior of a classy bistro in America. With some big screen TVs and a great view of the city and the sea from the booth seats, the place seemed to be a common place for young professionals to hang out and drink with their friends after a day of work. The music was a bit loud at times, but didn’t ruin our overall positive impression of the place.
If you are looking for somewhere a little more upscale looking, yet with cheap prices, this is the place for you. Being able to see the food before you order is also nice for those feeling a bit iffy about ordering things off a Russian menu, which can be difficult to understand at first. Republic is also a good place if you are looking for somewhere that has cheap beer that isn’t a smoky bar.
For groups and faculty-led tours, Republic is a great option. The central location, spacious seating, fast service, and low prices should make this a definite must for any group!