If you’re in the mood for some excitement, check out your local district market for a wide selection of local produce, meat, fish, dairy, and baked goods. Every district has one. The typical market is open 7 days a week from 9:00 to 18:00, although hours may vary by district. Markets provide a good selection of low-cost, quality products. Food purchased there is generally considered safe, although the cautious Muscovite will check the expiration date before buying dairy products, and use good judgment when choosing a meat vendor.
Bargaining is not required, but acceptable in some cases (for example if you’re making a very large purchase, and/or buying at the end of the day when the vendor is eager to finish up and go home). Bargaining is more likely to be successful with immigrant vendors, who are more receptive to it than ethnic Russians, and for purchases of clothing or consumer goods, as opposed to grocery items. If in doubt, don’t bargain – prices are generally set at the appropriate value.
You may also want to try one of these three large markets that specialize in groceries:
24 Koptevskaya Ul
Closest metro: Voykovskaya
Hours of operation
Summer: Mon-Sun 7:00 -19:00
Winter: Mon–Sun 7:00 -18:00
39 Aviamotornaya ul
Closest metro: Aviamotornaya
Hours of operation: Mon–Sun 7:00 – 19:00
- Palashevskiy (Fish Market)
Closest metro: Pushkinskaya or Tverskaya
Hours of operation: Mon-Sa 8:00 – 19:00; Sun 8:00 – 18:00
Because of Moscow’s harsh winter, indoor markets that are much the same as open-air markets are also popular. The following two have an especially large selection of food and an upgraded appearance compared to your typical district market.
- Basmanniy (1st floor groceries; 2nd floor consumer goods)
47 Baumanskaya ul
Closest metro: Baumanskaya
Hours of operation: Mon-Sun 7:00 -19:00
10 Mozhayskiy Val
Closest metro: Kievskaya
Hours of operation
Summer: Mon-Sat 7:00 -19:00; Sun 7:00 – 18:00
Winter: Mon–Sat 7:00 -18:00; Sun 7:00 – 17:00
For a real adventure, drive out of town to the small villages in the Moscow region, where you can buy fresh dairy, eggs, produce, and local specialties such as home-made honey and birch juice from small farmers who set up stands along the road or in their villages. This is the best way to obtain organic foods, although no guarantees are given. Also note that dairy products, in unmarked and typically recycled containers, will be truly homemade, without western-standard sanitation and pasteurization.