Vladivostok is known for being a European city in the heart of Asia. It also offers some pretty decent coffee at a number of modern coffee shops. Here is a list of some of the coffee shops in Vladivostok that SRAS students have tried and enjoyed.
Koffein has the feel of a traditional American coffee shop: large comfy couches, individual tables near outlets to work, and two larger tables in the middle of the room for groups. For those searching for a quieter place to work while also eating something light, Koffein is the place to go. Similar to Cafema, the baristas are friendly and attentive; though they don’t allow customers to smell their coffee before purchasing, they will speak with you about every possible drink option and will make your coffee exactly how you like it. I was especially shocked to find that they have non-dairy milk for those who, like myself, are lactose-intolerant. The desserts and snacks are also quite delicious, the chocolate cake in particular was a popular choice and everything here is also very affordable for American standards. Most drinks ranged from $2-$4 and most snacks ranged from $1-$3. One man we met there, who was soon leaving Vladivostok, said that he had been visiting the city for only two weeks but had been to Koffein 6 or 7 times already! I haven’t been as frequently as him, but if his review is anything to go by, no matter what you get at Koffein, you will be satisfied.
Ulitsa Admirala Fokina, 6
As a small, quaint sit-down cafe run by Englishman Barry Adamson, the Five O’Clock is both friendly and affordable. While it might not be the best environment for silent study, I was able to work with the great British rock in the background. Expect British rock. I ordered a cinnamon latte and a cinnamon roll (I was craving cinnamon). They also have incredibly flavorful French toast for 100 rubles. Unfortunately, the Five O’Clock doesn’t have WiFi, but because of that fact it was a happening place for Russian conversation. Everyone around me was engaged in some sort of conversation, whether it was the young couple cuddling in the corner or a group older women just chatting about their lives.
The drink prices are really nice, whereas the other cafes I went, prices for drinks were around $3-6 (220 rubles), prices at the Five O’Clock were $1-3 (40-65 rubles). They also have a nice selection of pastries, both Russian and English. Pastries are baked daily, so they vary on the day. Also, they have milkshakes (the American kind, not the runny Russian equivalent)!
The service is exceptionally fast as well with four workers and Barry working behind the counter. I also found out that there is an expat meeting the first Tuesday of every month at the Republic Bar from Barry, so I will get to meet other English speakers very soon. Sometimes the constant translating in your head can be cumbersome on your mental health and its nice to simply speak your native language.
Final rating: 5/5 I recommend the place as a nice cafe, but not a place to get a full meal. It has good pastries and drinks, but don’t expect to get full. It’s built around the social atmosphere, so it serves in that manner to fulfill the expectations of a cozy, quaint English cafe in the heart of Vladivostok!
A coffee suggestion that is very convenient for students studying at Vladivostok State University for Economics and Services (VSUES). Regulus Coffee is located across the bridge from VSUES near the main grocery store, РЕМИ. This is a great place to go alone and do a bit of work on a slow day. The interior is small and does not lend space for a large number of people, but it is very cozy and the owner, Evgenii, makes some of the best coffee you’ll ever taste. He splits his time between the university location and the downtown location. In addition to being convenient, Regulus is also very affordable; most prices range between $1-5. If you’re having a slow day and looking for a nice, calm place to relax, or you’re on the run to class or an event and just need a quick cup of coffee, Regulus is the place for you.