Guide to Sochi: Which restaurants to go to, where to walk and what to see.
The epidemiological situation in the country is still far from ideal when you can travel with might and main and go abroad every weekend. Russia is gradually opening flights with other countries, but somewhere you will have to sit out quarantine, and somewhere the risk of contracting COVID-19 is simply too great.
Once in Sochi in autumn, be sure to go to the mountains, where the perfect season begins. What to do in Krasnaya Polyana, where to stay, what restaurants to go to, and how to relax, read our separate great guide to mountain Sochi.
Yachtsmen in Sochi do not stop conquering the Black Sea throughout the year. Both the Burevestnik yacht club in Sochi and Pro-Yachting, which is based in the Imereti port, sail almost 365 days a year. Periodically, it becomes dangerous due to too high waves and extremely strong winds, or simply uncomfortable due to low air temperatures, but this is literally ten days a year in total. Therefore, whenever you come to Sochi, you can safely sign up for courses and become a yachtsman. Or, if you already have a license, rent a boat and go sailing.
Even if you do not dare to take a quick dip in the sea, when the water temperature drops below 16-18 degrees, do not deny yourself the pleasure of lying on the shore with a book under a blanket. The best and most comfortable beaches are not in Sochi itself but in Nizhneimetinskaya Bay. There are fewer people here, the coastline is longer and wider, the embankment is calmer, the sea is cleaner, the wind is weaker.
Therefore, if you want to spend a few days in silence by the water, stop right in Nizhneimetinka. There are decent hotels and restaurants here, which we will discuss below. At the same time, you will walk around the Olympic Park and see how sports facilities feel six years after the Games in Russia.
The main thing in autumn in Sochi is to enjoy nature. First, be sure to go to the Arboretum, where you can go crazy with aromas and beauty. Over 1,800 species of plants grow in the park, brought to Sochi from different parts of the world. The arboretum is located on both sides of Kurortny Prospekt. One half is called the upper part, and landscape-geographical zones are represented there, demonstrating the subtropical forests of East Asia, North America, Australia, and New Zealand.
Therefore, here you can see parrots, ostriches, swans, and peacocks that live in separate enclosures. In the second half – respectively, the lower one – you can look at flowering plants, bamboo thickets, a fragrant rose garden and take a walk along with the numerous ponds. Sculptures and small architectural buildings are also scattered throughout the park. But for us apart from the plants, the main attraction of the Arboretum is the Soviet cable car with absolutely stunning constructivist embarkation and disembarkation stations. You can and should ride in the cable car.
You can also enjoy the subtropics in the nearby abandoned Sanatorium Ordzhonikidze. A complex of Soviet buildings of phenomenal beauty and grandiose scope, most of which are in disrepair due to careless officials who allowed infill development higher in the mountains. Because of her, the soil could not stand it, and the legendary sanatorium began to crawl. The foundations could not withstand the load, serious cracks went along the walls and in the floor. It is impossible to restore the monument of Stalin’s Empire style. Which means it will most likely be demolished soon. So hurry up to see these luxurious Soviet palaces surrounded by palms and pines.
If urban nature is not enough for you, go to the Eagle or White rocks, to the Dragon’s Mouth waterfall in the Akhtsu gorge, and to the top of Mount Akhun. You will learn more about local legends (it turns out that Prometheus was chained to a rock in Sochi), see beautiful mountain rivers and lakes, enjoy panoramic views of the coast. You can also visit a trout farm and raft down the Mzymta River.
Food In Sochi
The main point of attraction on the gastronomic map of Sochi now is the London bar. The restaurant was opened in September last year by Georgy Khvistani, the owner of the London Restaurant Group, which is considered the largest restaurant chain on the Black Sea coast. Chef Alexey Shilin and brand chef Alexey Pavlov are responsible for the cuisine in London. The latter also manages the Barceloneta restaurant, which is located in the same building next door and remains perhaps the best restaurant in Sochi.
London is a smart establishment with a strict dress code (no sneakers or hoodies, a jacket is mandatory), the interior of an indoor cigar club, and a wide selection of premium whiskey. Therefore, you should also have a snack and dinner in a big way. Oysters with citruses, king crab, Moroccan octopus, wagyu beef tartare, wellington with fennel cream, beluga in butter, and cognac with black caviar and snapper (aka red snapper) in salt. We advise you to drink whiskey and cognac, which in the entourage of London simply suggests themselves. But if you are not ready to start strong drinks right away, your choice is cocktails from chef bartender Artem Talalay (formerly Sakhalin Moscow and Diageo World Class 2019 finalist). Especially for London, he developed two dozen signature drinks.
As we have already written, among the time-tested restaurants, Barceloneta is by far the best. Here are the most hearty and varied breakfasts in Sochi, only in this institution do they serve real Spanish pies and paella, there is a huge selection of tapas and Crudo.
KHMELI & SUNELI
Fried suluguni, kebabs, dolma, khinkali (and, if you want, you can even with rapan and shrimp), khachapuri, Caucasian pies, homemade pickles, fresh vegetables, endless kebabs, and, of course, tinctures and chacha. It will be an insanely satisfying, tasty, and drunken meal.
If you want to have a bite to eat with a sea view and spend the sunset, then head to the Sea Zone on the waterfront. Take mussels in white wine, Black Sea flounder and red mullet, chilled white wine, and remember the summer.
In the restaurant of Boris Zarkov, they concentrated on the fish theme – in yacht interiors, a stone’s throw from the sea, this, in general, is logical. But there are also chebureks here – reference-juicy, the size of Napoleon’s hat, as our author Ivan Glushkov reports. About the hat – not a figure of speech, they are really just gigantic, and after eating one, it is difficult to gather strength for something else. But if you can, then take Nicoise, Rapanos in cream, halibut, and crab jellied meat.
In the Nizhneimetinskaya Bay
In Nizhneimetinka, things are worse with restaurants. Nevertheless, in Magellan, you can always eat excellent fish, oysters, and mussels with a view of the sea and sunset. The restaurant is located right on the waterfront, so after lunch or dinner, head to the boardwalk.
If you want kebab, khinkali, and khachapuri, and not seafood, then you are in Novikov’s Vysota. In addition to meat and dough, be sure to take a tomato salad with tsitsmati and suluguni cheese, ajapsandal, young spinach pkhali, Megrelian lobio.
The only place where they make good coffee and serve fresh pastries and breakfasts in the morning.
The most powerful rolls are tightly rolled by severe anglers with local products. The phenomenon is completely unexpected, so it’s forgivable that they offer excellent craft beer to drink them down.
Where to live
In Sochi, choose a solid business five, which has a cool pool on the top floor with panoramic views and spacious modern rooms. Not in the hot season, it is quite possible to settle for 12-15 thousand per night.
In Nizhneimeretinskaya Bay, check into the most luxurious and huge hotel – the Radisson Collection – with several pools, a huge spa, and excellent breakfasts. The hotel in terms of the scope of the territory and the level of comfort is not inferior to the five in Soma Bay or Bodrum.