Anything to Eat Around The Hermitage
I will be visiting a St Petersburg during he white nights on a cruise and my understanding is that you may only leave the ship to visit St Petersburg if you are on a shore excursion, thus I plan to visit the Hermitage and hope to be able to eat somewhere in or around the hermitage Museum and experience some good or at least decent Russian cuisine. Any help and are my assumptions correct?
Stolle is a good place to start, although it always reminds me of Souplantation.
If you do want authentic, meaning cheap:
1. The tiny pastry shop on Griboedov Kanal (next to the "wedding cake cathedral").
2. "Teremok" chain kiosks that sell excellent pancakes and hot tea.
3. If you walk across Neva river from the Hermitage on the nearby bridge, you'll be next to the SPB University and Academy of Sciences buildings, they have some cool coffee shops, etc.
I'm an American living in Moscow and St. Petes is one of my favorite destinations. Restaurant wise Moscow and St. Petersburg has a lot to offer. However, my guests to St. Petersburg have always enjoyed these places: for a quick lunch (perfect when you are in between tour destinations) close to the Hermitage is a cafe called Stolle. They offer salads and sandwiches but the main attraction are the "stolle" something like a strudel fillled with a choice of savory and sweet stuff, from cabbage, fish, meat and fresh fruits. (A Russian version of "fast food") They come in long logs and you pick what flavors you want and you get a slice of it. Perfect with coffee or a cool drink and a side order of green salad. There are several outlets of this cafe all over the city, just mention the restaurant to your tour guide and I'm sure he/she can direct you to the one near the Hermitage
If you have not tried Georgian cuisine, St. Petes is a good place for an introduction. The Cat Cafe is an old favorite of the locals and expats alike. It is run by this wonderful Georgian lady and offers a delicious selection of Georgian food. The Cat Cafe is on 22/3 Stremiannaya St.
Another great place for lunch and dinner is Kavkaz Bar, another Georgian favorite. Make sure you try the "khatchapuri" a kind of bread stuffed with balkan cheese that goes well with the unique Georgian salads like "lobo" a mixture of greenbeans and walnuts, eggplant salads and their grilled meat dishes. The restaurant is at 18 Karavannaya St.
Hope you have a wonderful trip.