This Pelmenya St. Petersburg Review is from our most recent annual visit to St. Petersburg, my favorite major city in Europe. Pelmeni are Russian dumplings, most often filled with meat, but Pelmenya takes an “around the world” approach and offers Italian ravioli, Chinese dim sum, Georgian Khinkali, Uzbek Khanum, Japanese gyoza, and even German maultasche.
Visiting the Venice of the North? See our 10 Travel Tips for St. Petersburg, Russia.
Pelmenya Locations and Hours
There are 6 Pelmenya locations in St. Petersburg, Russia, all of them open 11am-11pm. Apparently the franchise is also expanding to Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, other Russian cities, and even Tallinn, Estonia.
- Fontanka Emb., 25 (Metro: Gostiny Dvor)
- Razezhaya St. 10/15 (Metro: Vladimirskaya)
- Marata Street, 8 (Metro: Mayakovskaya)
- Kronversky Pr. 55 (Metro: Gor'kovskaya)
- Sredniy Pr., Vasilevskiy Ostrov (Metro: Vasilyeostovskaya)
We visited the Pelmenya on Marata Street:
There was a front room, where the popular tables are by the windows; both times I've dropped in, all five of those tables have been occupied, so I've sat in the back room. Furniture is simple and the chairs rather hard and uncomfortable, but the wooden tables are quite handsome for a fast casual restaurant.
As is often the case at more casual restaurants in Russia, instead of individual place settings, napkins and utensils are provided in a wooden box:
Pelmenya Menu and Food
The menu is printed in Russian on one side, and English on the other. The Russian dumplings are Pelmeni, which are exclusively offered with a meat filling, and Vareniki, which are offered with both savory and sweet fillings.
Manti originated in the Central Asian republics but have been popular in Russia for a long time; they're bigger than pelmeni, and as such, take ~25 min. to cook, so those in a hurry should stick with the faster cooking pelmeni, vareniki and ravioli.
At Pelmenya, as at many other fast casual places in St. Petersburg and Moscow, you can order fresh squeezed juices. On the left was my son's fresh squeezed orange juice, and mine is a mixture of fresh squeezed orange and grapefruit juice. Each was 200 RUR, or ~$3.
First to arrive was our order of 5 ravioli stuffed with salmon, in a mascarpone sauce. Delicious and filling, and only RUR 400 (~$6).
Next we shared 15 pelmeni dumplings, served traditionally, with sour cream. These were very good, juicier than many others I've had, and only RUB 250 (~$4).
Somehow I missed trying khanum during the brief time I was in Uzbekistan many years ago. These spinach ones served as our vegetable, and were excellent. I liked that there was plenty of filling, and would like to try the other vegetable varieties on offer. This would be a great choice for vegetarians.
Last we tried the manti. The skin for these is a bit thicker, which I don't normally care for, but the delicious lamb and pumpkin filling more than compensated.
On another occasion I tried the cherry vareniki, which would be ideal as a sweet finish. The only awkward thing about these is that they contain cherry juice, so even though they're a bit big for a single bite, it's best to eat them whole so as to not lose the cherry juice–they're like soup dumplings in that way.
Pelmenya is ideal for dumpling lovers who want to expand their horizons beyond ravioli and dim sum, and try Russian and Central Asian versions: pelmeni, vareniki, manti and khanum. While I'd love the seating to be a bit more comfortable, the dumplings are great quality for the price, at least the pelmeni, vareniki, ravioli, manti and khanum that we tried. Service from the young English-speaking staff was brisk but friendly.
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