Cafe Mamochka (Кафе Мамочка)
ул. Карла Маркса, 41
Open from 10am to 9pm every day
Meals from $5-6
Cafe Mamochka is a cafeteria-style cafe on Karl Marx street, not far from the central market. It’s a very inviting place, both inside and out, with fairly standard Russian buffet fare. The food offerings vary from day to day. Some days it can be great, with lots of different options (typically on weekdays) and other days it can be less exciting, with less options available (more typical on weekends, it seems). But the atmosphere of Cafe Mamochka is what makes it worth a visit, any day of the week. It’s decorated like a warm, old-fashioned kitchen with small tables and booths, so you feel like you’re in your own private room while you eat with friends. Old newspapers line the walls alongside a display of old radio equipment, records, and small model airplanes.
For lunch, I had fried rice and vegetables (80 rubles), a greek salad (70 rubles), tea (10 rubles), and for dessert, a pastry called “слойка с орехами” (35 rubles). This all came out to a total of 195 rubles. The highlight of my meal was definitely dessert, which I was surprised to find turned out to be a delicious cinnamon roll, flaky and filled with syrup and nuts and topped with powdered sugar. It made a great end to lunch and I would go back just for dessert. Cafe Mamochka provides a nice place to sit with tea and lunch with friends and recharge from the cold.
For groups and faculty-led tours, seating-wise, the place could accommodate a fair size group, it’s just a question of how crowded it might be on a given day. On weekends it could be easier to get in. Also keep in mind that the place has small, secluded booths so the group would have to be split up among these.