Russia Restaurant Tips and Verbiage
Each week, two students from this year’s BRIC cohort- BRIC 7-will share an update from their travels. This week, Roberto Sanabria (’17) and Jessica Carson (’17) describe their experiences dining in Russia and have provided a series of tips and useful vocabulary for your use!
Let’s start with the basics!
Hello – Privyet (Pree-vyet)
We have found that a simple hand gesture revealing the same number of fingers you have in your party to be the simplest way to let the host know the size of your party.
Manners matter everywhere. The universal please and thank you are a must to be polite!
Please – Puzhalsta (Puh-ZHAL-stah)
Thank you – Spasiba (Spa-SI-ba)
When ordering your food, the fastest and most accurate way to identify what you would like is to point. This will prevent any confusion. Please remember to say thank you after doing so!
Russians follow standard European etiquette at meal time. This means the basic napkin on your lap, fork on your left and elbows off the table will keep you in the Russian’s good graces. One important differential is the Russian portion size. You will find your meals come in plenty and it is often a sign of the host to present great quantity in honor of their guests. Do not fret if you are unable to complete your meal – you aren’t expected to!
Getting the bill at any Russian restaurant can be a true challenge! Meal time in Russia is for socializing and just as you will not be shoved out the door for an average of one to two hours after you finish your meal. If you find yourself pressed for time and needing to flag down your waiter for the bill. Here is how to proceed in this instance:
Check please! – Proveryat puzhalsta! (Pro-ver-ya puh-ZHAL-stah)
Tipping is not standard practice in Russia. If you feel you were given excellent service your waiter will appreciate a small (10%) tip like anyone else in the service industry!
We hope you find these quick tips useful the next time you find yourself hungry in Russia! Check out some of the foods we got to try during our time in St. Petersburg, Russia!
For more stories from the 2015 BRIC study abroad program, please click here.