Cafe Lubimiy Gorod / Кафе “Любимый город”
ул. Ленина, 18, inside of Байкалкредобанк building
Hours: 10am – 6pm, Monday through Friday
Lyubimiy Gorod is a hole-in-the-wall café located inside a larger building complex. To get there, you have to go inside the Байкалкредобанк building, then head down the hallway and find it on the left. Signs will point toКафе “Любимый город”, which is on the right side of the hallway. Without some other reason for entering the building, you would never know what a small, comfortable, and quiet café is located within its walls. But Lyubimiy Gorod is reliably there on weekdays as a great place for lunch, being one of the closest cheap eateries from the Irkutsk State Linguistic University.
I have never seen more than two tables full there. When you enter, you place an order at the counter and find a seat while you wait for your food. They feature a daily menu with prepared foods for quicker orders, and a standard menu of foods which are available each day, but take longer to prepare (usually no more than 20 minutes, and well worth the wait). The food is quite standard Russian café fare, but high quality and very affordable.
Last time I went with three friends and ordered драники(draniki – fried potato pancakes, four for 90 rubles), blini with condensed, sweetend milk (65 rubles), and tea (15 rubles). The draniki are some of our favorites yet in the city, with good flavor without being too oily. The blini are also very delicious, a simple classic very well done. We all finished our meals feeling very full and satisfied with the unhurried atmosphere and prompt service of our food.
I would highly recommend this place as a nice lunch place with reliable service and a calm environment to bring friends and enjoy a delicious and cheap meal.
For groups and faculty-led tours, seating here may be an issue. However, if you order ahead, a smaller group of 12 or so could likely be easily served in this quiet and very comfortable Russian establishment.