Most American students abroad eventually come to miss that staple of American comfort food culture: Mexican cuisine. Believe it or not, passable Mexican can be found in St. Petersburg, Russia. Here are some locations that SRAS students have found and would like to share with you!
57 Voznesenski Ave.
When you put a Californian, a Texan, and a New Mexican in St. Petersburg, Russia, it’s really only a matter of time before cravings for Mexican food kick in. So, we got a group together and headed to Tequila Boom.
It’s on the corner of Voznesenski and the embankment of the Fontanka. It’s incredibly easy to spot – it’s the only establishment in the vicinity with bright, multi-colored tapestries and sombreros in the window display. Really, you can’t miss it.
Walking in, we were lucky enough to stumble upon a band setting up for a show. They played covers of many Spanish-themed favorites. Audience participation was of course encouraged, and we were quite proud of our new ability to say we’ve done the Macarena in St. Petersburg, Russia.
As for our meals, we decided to start off by splitting a plate of nachos, loaded with tomatoes, olives, and jalapenos. Despite the Doritos-like powdered cheese dusting on the tortilla chips, they were quite tasty. For main dishes, we were surprised to see such a full menu including burritos, tacos, enchiladas, chimichangas, taquitos, nachos, fajitas, mole, carne asada, chile con carne, quesadillas, empanadas – and probably anything else you might expect to see. The also offer sides of Spanish rice, corn and flour tortillas, corn on the cob with butter, and, a bit inexplicably, French fries.
Tequila Boom is probably not a go-to restaurant for a quick, simple meal, but is definitely a fun spot for a special occasion (say, marking the halfway point in the semester). Most of the dishes are a bit pricier than a more average dinner run. However, it seemed worth it when considering we got much more than just some of our hard-to-find favorite dishes. We really felt treated by the entertainment and the general atmosphere of being in a place that encouraged some singing and dancing with dinner. We’re already planning our second trip.
Gorokhovaya St, 41
Conchita, which is the diminutive word for “shell” in Spanish, and bonita, meaning beautiful, combine to form the name of a friendly place that is very reminiscent of a “beautiful little shell.” The welcoming staff at the restaurant include a bartender, a hostess, a small army of waitresses, and the kitchen staff who work behind a sugar-skull-adorned curtain. The array of food offered at Conchita Bonita will satisfy Mexican food cravings, and there are many options to choose from: meaty nachos, spicy enchiladas, carne asada tacos, and much more.
The food at Conchita Bonita is incredible. The plethora of activities such as games, play-by-request music and more make one forget about the time it takes for food to be prepared, and as does the bartender’s prompt dispatch of Moscow mules, mojitos, piña coladas, and the like. The presentation of sizzling hot plates of beef fajitas adds to the magical atmosphere that Conchita Bonita so masterfully creates, and the tenderness of the meat they serve makes up the high-quality food being served. There are vegetarian options, including huge portions of nachos covered with not only nacho cheese, but also cilantro, tomatoes, peppers, jalapeños, and potentially more vegetables upon request. The food at Conchita Bonita will not disappoint, and though service can take a while given the packed nature of this tiny but popular place, the positive atmosphere in St. Petersburg’s best Mexican restaurant will be worth the wait.
After craving Mexican food, I finally decided to give this place a try, and I am very happy I did! Bros Burrito has many types of burritos and other Mexican foods. Pick up the student discount card and either of their business lunch combos are great deals!
– Katya Grigerman