Restaurant: Costa Coffee
Address: 5 Pushkin Square
Open 24 hours
It seems 1971 was a banner year for coffee chains: That’s when Costa was founded, according to the oddly familiar round logo hanging in its window. Creepily, Starbucks traces its origins to the same year. But before you call the chains fraternal twins, there are some important differences to note: Where Starbucks is green, Costa is burgundy. And if you don’t score an armchair, it’s OK: All the chairs at Costa have upholstered seats.
There is unobtrusive music and fast, friendly, English-speaking staff. Just steps from the metro, Costa is smoke-free, despite an impressive-looking system of air vents (that and the ice coffee on the menu bode well for summer). Plus there are several tables near electrical outlets.
Let’s forget the anodyne selection of panini and pastry and get down to brass tacks: Costa has good coffee, they have it in large quantities, and they have it to go. And if you get the largest size to stay, it’ll come in an Alice-in-Wonderland-sized cup. A cappuccino will run you 140, 165, and 180 rubles for a primo (340 ml), medio (450 ml), and Massimo (560 ml), respectively. It’s a little hard to find at first, but they’ve installed a Jumbotron screen above the building’s entrance to address this. So look for it — it’s worth it.