Moscow - Cafe Margarita - Beer, Blinis and Fantastic Live Music

The Cafe Margarita in Moscow. Ahhh, The Cafe Margarita...what can I say about this wonderful, tiny Russian music venue? ...Well, for starters it packs a lot of punch for a tiny space. It's the size of your grandmothers TV room or library (and it looks like it too) and it's located in a corner, right across Patriarch's Pond (not very far from our hotel in downtown Moscow). The cafe comes alive in the evenings, when a trio of young, virtuoso musicians - two violinists and one pianist - begin their music sessions by playing beautiful soulful tunes for the audience to sing along.

If you go, don't forget to partake in the singing or in the "marraca" playing. Marracas, in this case, are home made percussion instruments made up of plastic bottles filled with beans. These are handed out to customers, so they can follow along with the musicians as they play. Participation, is part of the fun, so jump right in. You'll have a magical evening that you'll never forget, even long after your gone.

The cafe itself, is an adorable, small and intimate space that attracts a casual crowd. It's so small in fact, that you'd best make a reservation before you go, just in case it fills up before you make it there. The Cafe Margarita only takes cash, so do bring your rubles! In addition, they offer a simple menu of typical Russian food. I've sampled their strawberry blinis (crepes filled with fruit) and they were amazing! I would recommend them to anyone. I've also consumed a so, so fresh salad and a pretty tasty Russian soup. In the Russian tradition, the cafe also serves local and Check beers, aromatic teas, mixed drinks, and of course, vodka! Nastrovia!!! But it's the music show what you're here to experience, so sit back and enjoy.

The Cafe Margarita is an excellent choice for a late night snack or if you just want an adult beverage or some delicious hot tea to warm you up from the cold. Getting there is part of the fun. It's a very pretty walk from our hotel to the Cafe. Along the way, you'll pass some very high end residential neighborhoods that surround Patriarch's Pond. There are also a series of exclusive European boutiques (photos enclosed), French cafes, expensive and modern looking restaurants plus a Wine bar and a lovely looking Viennese pastry shop along the way making you feel as if you were walking the streets of Soho in New York, rather than a neighborhood in downtown Moscow.

Before going into The Cafe Margarita, be sure to take a stroll around Patriarchs Pond right across the street. It's like a miniature Central Park with a pond in the middle and a bench lined walk path that surrounds the water. The pond is a popular ice skating destination for the kids in the neighborhood. If there's ice and/or snow on the ground, they will be there "en force". The last time I visited Patriarch's Pond, there was an impressive ice sculpture exhibit along the water (photo enclosed). There was also an art exhibit of super large format photographs by the walking paths. Once you're done visiting the park (and pond), head to the Cafe Margarita and enjoy the experience.

By the way, The Cafe Margarita is a must experience if you visit Moscow. It is also, one of the top five recommendations of "things to do while in Moscow", posted by the New York Times's Travel Section. For additional information on the Margarita Cafe, Google it. Be sure to put Moscow in the end of the name. There are many individual posts and reviews about the place from previous Moscow visitors.

For more information on The Cafe Margarita's history, please click on the following link: http://www.passportmagazine.ru/restaurants/1073/ The cafe has gone through many re-incarnations since it's initial opening. Read it's history and laugh, it's actually pretty humorous. The name of the cafe is based on a famous Russian book authored by Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940), The Master and Margarita. Sadly, Bulgakov's brilliant literary work was suppressed by the Stalinist regime for over forty years.

If interested in reading this book, Amazon sells several English translations. You can also visit The Master and Margarita's official website at: http://www.masterandmargarita.eu/en/. By the way, The Master and Margarita's story takes place, not surprisingly, around Patriarch's Pond.

Cafe Margarita
Address: Malaya Bronnaya ul. 28
Metro: Mayakovskaya or Pushkinskaya
Phone: 699 6534
Open until midnight


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