Enter at your own risk
What? You was in some different Russia than one I live in for 40+ years. The standard Russian lunch is salad, soup, main course and beverage.
It means that they serve very little food, and most likely you have to pay too much.
Well, in big-city cafes and restaurants they sure do. But there are always places that have plenty of inexpensive good food served, usually situated near office buildings, factories, other workplaces. They do not advertise themselves much though.
I’ve known about two such places in Kharkiv, Ukraine, when I studied in University. One was behind a signless door in a big supermarket and was meant for employers. Non-employers could also come in, if they knew about it. The food was 3 times cheaper than in an restaurant upstairs, as well as having bigger portions (shorter menu, but as everything there was of a homemade quality food it didn’t matter much). Another one was in a sub-basement near the office building I worked in. Not as cheap and much more crowded (since it’s located on one of main streets), but still cheaper than a “proper” restaurant, the food is great and the place is open untill very late, so even people who worked evening and night shifts could go get proper dinner.
Yep, once in 1990-s i was hanging out with book sellers. I kind of watched their stands for them and was reading without buying. Well, they showed me where they dined – the place was also the end station (round-about) of trams, and they have a cafe there. Would you manage to sneak past the door with any tram driver though, people would not give a damn. Would not say ti was very tasty, but abundant and cheap it was. in 2000-s i was living in the opposite part of Moscow but there was bus/trolleys end station too. And – there again was such a drivers-oriented cafe 😀
You must’ve fallen into a tourist trap, same as in every other big city 😀
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