If you’ve ever walked down Nevskii Prospect you’ve probably already seen the Eliseevskii emporium. If you haven’t, you’re sure to notice it the first time you do. Between its colourful window displays and its five storey high dark stone walls, adorned with green-bronze statues and detailing, you’d have a very hard time trying to miss Eliseevskii. Despite the shop’s size, when looking for souvenirs, only the first floor is really important. Here you will find one of the most ornately decorated food halls you’ve ever seen.
In fact, to call it a food hall does it a disservice. Unfortunately I’m yet to find a word that succinctly combines the concepts of a palace, a patisserie, a delicatessen, a sweet shop, a tea house, a liquor store and a café all at once.
From that you should be able to guess what kind of souvenirs you’ll be able to find here; the edible kind. If you want to bring your friends and family back a real taste of Russia then Eliseevskii has much to offer you. Zeffir, praniki, honey, tea, marmalad, kolbasa and of course vodka, as well as other Russian specialities, are all on offer here. Of course not everything in the emporium is Russian but fortunately every product has its country of origin printed on its display tag, so if you’re particularly interested in bringing back something truly Russian you won’t have any trouble.
If you find yourself tired and craving something sweet after gift hunting then I’d recommend taking a seat underneath the giant pineapple-shaped tree and ordering from their café. Many things that are avaliable in the shop can also be served to your table along with an array of fresh drinks which you won’t find on the shelves. I recommend trying the macaroons or the éclairs.