Something is going on behind St Petersburg’s elegant but inscrutable classical facades. While Russia’s former capital has always had the looks, its personality has been, at best, enigmatic and, at worst, dull. But now, characterful creative spaces and cafes serving top-notch street food are giving the city some edge. Ground zero for this transformation is the strip of land between the rivers Moyka and Neva. Recently rejuvenated by the new metro station at Admiralteyskaya, the area – also home to big-hitters like the Hermitage museum – is easy to explore on foot and a perfect introduction to the future of St Petersburg.

One of a brand-new spot on the Moika embankment Moyka 3 serves up re-invented Russian cuisine in an elegant dining room setting. Drawing on local ingredients and flavours, the presentation at Moyka 3 (is playful and contemporary, with colourful salads, homemade breads and dishes such as truffles a la Kiev with mushroom sauce, and crab, shrimp and scallops in cabbage rolls. Service is friendly and prices are reasonable too.

Location: Moika embankment, 3. Phone: +7 812 9311333

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