The Idiot

The Idiot
+7 (812) 3151675
The Idiot
nab. reky Moiky 82

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Editor's review

The Dostoevsky-inspired Idiot restaurant is a cult favourite amongst St. Petersburg's artsy and ex-pat community. Its four rooms are decorated with antique furniture, oil paintings and bric-a-brac, whilst the availability of chess and blackgammon sets, an English-language bookshelf and Russian and vegetarian cuisine create a suitably Bohemian vibe. Budding writers should bear in mind that Dostoevsky spent five years suffering in the Siberian gulags before conceiving his best stuff. Reproduce his pain by drinking five of The Idiot's 'Crime and Punishment' cocktails before opening your laptop... Hey presto, one existential novel coming right up!

Editor & St Petersburg Local


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We were there a couple of years ago and we loved it. But Putin and his war against die Ukraine spoilt our appetite. Please stop this war,

Reply Mar 2nd, 2022
Manuela Mellone

Poetico e confortevole. Luogo dei sogni per ogni " topo di biblioteca".

Reply Sep 5th, 2014
Nora Tadey

Hermoso lugar, cálido, con muy buena atención. Gracias.

Reply May 19th, 2014

I must visit it when I am in St Peters...

Reply Feb 19th, 2014
Miguel Hernandez

Very nice place and the food very good too. The place very confortable and the staff very kind. I was there with some friends and i'm planning to go there again with my family.

Reply May 27th, 2012
Ralph Neill
United States

A great place to eat. Owner served us wine on the house)finding out we were from the US. The food, a meat dish, was fantastic!

Reply Mar 24th, 2012
maida Greenberg
United States

We had a lovely dinner there and would definitely like to return there when we return to St. Petersburg.

Maida and Robert Greenberg

Reply Jun 29th, 2011
erik junberger

Stumbled upon the place a cold snowy februari night. Firat time in russia, i did not known what to expect. I was pleastly surprised by the rustik interior and friendly demenor of the staff. Ended spending a pleasant night with good food and drink. Maybe not a connesoiurs first choice, but i definetly recommend it!

Reply Oct 7th, 2010
Timo Niemeläinen

Nearly perfect experiment!

Reply Sep 5th, 2010
Maria Lester
United Kingdom

The idiot is a fantastic place. It is not however a vegetarian restaurant as advertised, but still does a wide range of veggie dishes. The food is wonderful and the staff very nice. Free vodka shot too, I would highly recommend a visit or two.

Reply Aug 5th, 2010
Nupur Gautam

I found this place decent. For me the food was not so great as my Indian taste buds require some spices to get aroused. Begin a lacto vegetarian 80%of the menu was not for me. I never felt to great about that place. Probably I'll never like to visit it again in an attempt for great food and ambiance.

Reply Jul 17th, 2010
George S
United Kingdom

The place is clearly overhyped.

They started well, in early 90s it think it was, with vegetarian menu, iced vodkas, unusual interiors, pleasant service and altogether decadence feel. The quickly became one of 'the places to be' in town, drew the expat community with above-average paychecks which raised the prices and quickly led to the inclusion on most guidebooks' lists.

The result? Well, what you've guessed. All tourists now want to go there, the prices are high, the food is mediocre, and the music is awful and the service so-so. Last time I went we first had to fight through a crowd of American students all armed with their doggy-bags, then received warm vodka shots (ok, it's still on the house), then got okeyish, but hardly impressive food at above-western prices. We also learnt that we had to listen to some western pop-music from the eighties 'because it's the only CD they've got' - and this was in 19th century-styled interiors!

The slogan they've come with recently - Dostoevsky loved this place - is complete rubbish, of course, they only opened in the the 1990's.

Don't go there, it's a tourist trap nowadays - which is sad, because it was very nice once.

Reply Jan 23rd, 2008
United States

the idiot really is a fantastic place... we would eat here and then spend quite a while perusing their library. wish i could live in st. pete again...

Reply Nov 24th, 2007
Jen Whelpley
United States

Excellent place to grab a bite. Unique Russian atmosphere and wonderful food. Highly recommended to anyone visiting the city!

Reply Jan 7th, 2007
United States

The Idiot Cafe is one of the best places in St. Petersburg. It has great atmosphere, great food and the people are really interesting. I would definitely recommend the Idiot to anyone coming to St. Petersburg.

Reply Aug 31st, 2006
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