Vladivostok is an absolutely unique place on the planet, the place where European and Asian cultures merge. This particularity not only was reflected in its look, atmosphere and locals’ way of life, but also made a considerable impact on its cuisine which is an absolutely unique combination of European and Asian culinary traditions. Dishes, cooked and served at the seaside capital, have vivid incomparable aftertaste which is strikingly different from any gastronomic delicacies of other Russian cities.
Local cuisine is based on traditional Russian and – considering that due to old resettlement policy many Ukrainians live in the city– national Ukrainian dishes. Vladivostok’s residents often treat themselves with fragrant borscht, golden pancakes with red caviar, appetizing vareniki, toasted pies with various stuffings, stuffed cabbage rolls (golubtsi), marinated mushrooms and, of course, crispy pickled cucumbers. However, light Asian accent and the fact that they are cooked from the products cultivated in the Far East, make them different from the typical dishes served in other regions of the country. For example, besides meat, fish forcemeat is often added in the well-known classical pelmeni in Vladivostok.
And that is quite natural because varied fish species and striking abundance of sea delicacies are the key elements of Primorsky Krai’s cookery. There is no wonder in that, considering proximity of the ocean and the fact that production of seafood is one of the Vladivostok’s inhabitants’ main occupations. The queen of every Far Eastern table is red fish, mainly salted - provided an unthinkable variety of ways to pickle it in the region.
Local cuisine’s ‘marine’ component includes fish caviar, shrimps, crabs, mussels, oysters, scallops, squids and even algae. Various tartlets and the canapés are cooked using these sea delicacies and are served as an excellent snack on festive tables of all Far East’s residents. And most importantly, seafood dishes are cooked here in a way that allows preserving not only their amazing taste in full, but numerous useful properties too.
Lately, Primorsky Krai’s residents have become fond of Japanese cuisine, as well as of culinary creations of geographically close China and Korea. Ever more original restaurants treating their guests with original Chinese, Korean and popular now Pan-Asiatic dishes appear in Vladivostok. However, locals not only visit authentic facilities, but also easily reproduce Japanese, Chinese and Korean dishes at home. The more so because almost all necessary ingredients - mainly various sea gifts, are always near at hand, and missing ones can be found in specialized stores.
Berry juices, compotes and energy teas, made from magnolia vine leaves widespread in Primorsky Krai and various berries, are popular in Vladivostok. As to alcoholic beverages, Vladivostok residents - similarly to their compatriots from other regions - prefer traditional Russian vodka and beer. However, the latter one is often produced in Japan. Various tinctures are also widespread in Vladivostok: they are made from ginseng, dog rose, hawthorn, cedar nuts.
The Far Eastern cuisine is unique, has its own exotic features and catchy color. It is notable for stunning variety of sea delicacies – that can’t be found in any other regional cuisine, unusual ingredients, various spices, original serving and an incredible range of aromas. And therefore, it stays in Vladivostok’s guests’ memory on par with its fantastic nature and unique historical and architectural sights.