Irkutsk is not famous for its nightlife — there are a few clubs there, but most of them are quite ordinary. Sometimes there are interesting events, but not as often as, for example, in Novosibirsk.
See a list of some clubs, cafes, and restaurants below:
Recommended Restaurants and Cafes
An Italian pizzeria, a Chinese and Japanese restaurants, and Swiss bakery. There are also many places along the central Karla Marksa street, the fastest and cheapest is "Siberian Bistro" (on photo above).
Address: Irkutsk, a corner of Karla Marksa and Sukhe-Batora streets, opened daily 10.00-20.00. Map: B1 - square #5.
Nice, well-designed Chinese restaurant with very polite waiters serving tasty Chinese food. The average bill is about $10-$15 per person, the meals are quite big. People from nearby offices like to eat here. Opened 12 to 2 daily.
Address: Sverdlova St., #28 (opposite the Circus and UralSib bank) Map: B1 - square #8
24 Hour Pizza
Not the very best pizza in town, but being one of the few places opened 24 hours, it is great option if you arrive early in the morning. Pizzas start at 100R ($3) served day and night.
Address: Lenina st., 19 (corner of Karla Marksa and Lenina st).
Kioto. An expensive Japanese restaurant. Business lunch (soup, sushi, rice, fish) for 520 R ($17). Go there if you can't live without Japanese food, or want to see what Irkutsk "new Russians" look like.
Address: Irkutsk, Karla Marksa St., 15a (in the courtyard). Tel.: 55-05-05. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Map: B2 - square #9
Authentic Russian Food
The thing to try in Irkutsk is "Bliny", which is the name for Russian pancakes. They're made of pastry with eggs, and often have delicious fillings inside, like cottage cheese, jams, baked fuits.
Here are the best Bliny places we found in Irkutsk:
Baikal Business Center Cafe. Yes, it's strange to list this cafe first, especially that it's a part of a business centrum. But Russia itself is strange, and this cafe is the champion in the quality of Bliny, at our opinion. Besides, it has a very stylish modern interior. Surprisingly, the prices are very very low: you can get a plate of Bliny for 15 R ($0.5), and have a full meal for 70 R ($2.3). Maybe they'll read this and raise the prices, so it's valid as of 08/2002.
Unfortunately, it's located not very close to the centrum, but if you're going to Listvyanka (a popular village on Baikal), staying in Baikal Business Hotel or Sun hotel, or just took a tram #5, a bus #2, a trolley #2 from the centum, it's very worth trying it out.
For those, who'd like something more substantial, there's a good, but expensive restaurant in Baikal Hotel next door.
Address: Irkutsk, Baikalskaya st., 279. Open: daily 10.00-19.00. Map: D4 - circle #1
Blinnaya means a place for pancakes in Russian. This is the REAL "local" bliny place, as authentic as it can be. It seems like it stayed in the Soviet
The Blinnaya is located in the very centrum, on Sukhe-Batora street, so it should be a must-visit on your list. You can have a full meal for about 50 R ($1.7) there.
Address: Irkutsk, corner of Sukhe-Batora and Sverdlova st., Open: 10.00-18.00. Sat: 10.00-17.00. Sun – day off. Map: B1 - square #1
Gastronom #1. A typical Soviet style shop which has a good choice of food. There’s also a section of inexpensive salads and take-aways (baked fish, cheesecakes, potatoes). Opened 9.00 to 22.00 daily.
Address: Irkutsk, Karla Marksa 21. Map: B1 - circle #16
Come here to stock for your further travels -- great variety, good prices, credit cards (Visa, MC) are accepted. The supermaket is located on the central Karla Marksa st. and is opened daily from 9.00 until 23.00.
Address: Bogdana Khmelnitskogo, 1 (entrance on Karla Marksa street, opposite to Gastronom #1 )
Lastochka. A small eatery in the center of Irkutsk that is opened 24 hours a day. Snacks, salads, fish, meat and drinks for fair prices. There's also a phone and a TV. Favourite among tired taxists, "night" people, and hungry tourists.
Address: Irkutsk, Lenina, 22 (close to Rus’ hotel). Map: B1 - circle #15
Rus Hotel Restaurant. Completely Soviet style place, but interesting if you want a trip into the 80s, or arrived early and need to eat somewhere. It's opened quite early (7 or 8 am), so it can be a good option for those, who just got off the train.
Address: Irkutsk, Sverdlova st., 19. Map: B1 - triange #3.
Party Places: Clubs and Chill-Out Cafes
Here we list two clubs, that are considered to be the best in Irkutsk (by locals), plus the only cafe in the centrum that's opened late:
Club 01. The most famous dance club in Irkutsk. Not worth it if there’s nothing special on, however, sometimes hosts interesting local parties.
Address: Irkutsk, Baikalskaya St., 241a. Tel.: (3952) 245-125 and 247-367. Map: D4 - square #2
Fortuna Night Club. Nothing special, unless there’s a special event organized by local DJs. Look for afishas throughout the city.
Address: Irkutsk, Karla Marksa St., 53. Tel.: (3952) 28-10-98. Map: C1 - square #3
Havana Café. The café is interesting, because it’s the only place on Karla Marksa street where you can have a good restaurant meal even late in the evening. Be prepared to pay about 150 R ($5) for a full meal, however, if you just want a salad, some baked potatoes and a drink, it’ll cost you only 50 R ($1.7). They also have their own bakery with inexpensive tasty cakes and a bar. A nice place to spend a few hours in the evening before taking the night train or plane. There’s also an ATM at the entrance.
Open from 9.00 till the last customer (usually 0.00).
Address: Irkutsk, Sukhe-Batora St., 18 (entrance from Kalra Marksa St., 2nd floor). Tel.: (3952) 33-43-84. Map: B2 - square #4
Maradona Sport Café. Everyday football shows, hi-tech design. Expect to spend about 150 R ($5) on a meal and about 30 R ($1) on a drink.
Address: Irkutsk, Kievskaya St., 1 (just next to Karla Marks street). Tel.: (3952) 240-750. Map: B2 - square #6
You can find some information about what's on in Irkutsk on this website: http://www.irk.ru (in Russian).
Irkutsk is located on Angara river. Along the embankment there's a street called Gagarinsky Boulevard which is a very calm and green boulevard
Another interesting place is the squat place for young people and students is in a square in front of Drama Theater of Okhlopkov (close to “Trud” stadium and Karla Marksa street — see Map, square B2, star #1). The area around Trud stadium has a lot of open-air cafes, see Map, square B2, star #6.
If you feel like having a nice time outside in the city, we recommend these places.
If you want to meet drunken young people or drink yourself, there are a lot of open air beer bars on Konny island — see Map, square B2, star #2.