Where to Eat in St Petersburg
It's been a few years since I lived in Russia so I can't make specific recommendations, but I will say that if you see American-style prices (especially near tourist attractions) or buffets, or if you don't hear much Russian from the diners, walk away. Those restaurants are fine (and maybe some of the ritzy ones are good), but they usually cater to tourists and you won't often get spectacular local cuisine there (not the stuff that you can't find elsewhere, anyway). I had more regrettable meals that way when I was showing around American friends who were scared of the hole-in-the-wall places and street food.
I've heard that it's gotten more expensive since then, but that the good food is still usually the cheaper food.
Also, don't drink the water, make sure your tea water is thoroughly boiled, and bring giardia meds with you.
Hi - my brother and sister-in-law are taking my mum to St. Petersburg in September this year, so I too would appreciate if any restaurant recommendations could be given. As my s-i-l is a vegetarian, any recommendations where good vegetarian food may be available would also help. Cheers
sfumato is right, you should avoid the really expensive places and avoid the places where you hear no Russian.
The Stolle pie shops are terrific- they make traditional Russian pies with a huge variety of fillings (lots are veggie-friendly). There are several around town.
Kilikia Armenian restaurant is very good. they serve Armenian as well as pizza. I had some sort of soup with greens that was amazing. And around the corner from it is a total hole-in-the-wall Chinese place that's good and very cheap with nice Chinese waitresses.
For the love of all that is good and holy, skip the Idiot, which was a funky, cheap vegeterian place about ten years ago and now is overpriced and expat-oriented.
Definitely have some Georgian food while you're there. Lagidze on Ulitsa Belinskogo is good. I'm not sure if any English is spoken there or not.
Check out the St. Petersburg In Your Pocket guide for up-to-date restaurant info. Much better than Lonely Planet.