BISTROS

Another way of eating fast and clean in the city is bistros, or 'fast service restaurants'. Until recent time, this gorgeous French Russian word was used to denote middle class restaurants, like Bistro de Luxe or Byblos. Anyway, here we are talking about more casual restaurants where you can finish your meal in just 15 to 20 minutes and you don't have to book a table in advance. And, of course, the ones where no one celebrates their anniversaries at the next table, unless it's university midterms.

A lunch at such place will cost somewhere between $2 and $7 - cheaper than at a 'real' restaurant but costlier than at a canteen. You pay the price to feel clean and cozy, but you save on service significantly. The hidden trap is self service: no one will wait until you explain what you'd like or that you don't want onion in your salad. Tourists of non-post-Soviet origin often get confused when they are asked to choose between barley porridge and 'puree' (which means mashed potatoes) in a tone that would suit a cop on an arrest mission. But there is a good side to that: many bistros work till late, so you can have a late dinner at a relatively low cost. Besides, unlike canteens, bistros have a bar that serves alcohol and fresh-brewed coffee.

 

 

"Lido" at Jakuba Kolasa

"Lido" at Jakuba Kolasa
Restaurants-bistro "Lido" are, without doubt, the best in terms of food: their famous "papasad potatoes" have been glorified in poems and social media statuses. Unfortunately, these bistros are usually overcrowded with nice, sober guests, sometimes burdened with families, who cannot afford a 'real restaurant'. For this reason, "Lido" is exactly this type of a place where you need strong lungs, knowledge of Russian and determination. Also, you are not allowed to take pictures here, at least, openly.
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  • Address: 49-1 Niezaliežnasci Ave (Metro station Plošča Jakuba Kolasa)
  • Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11:00-23:00
  • Contact data: +375 29 302-59-59, +375 29 700-75-70
  • Website: Lido

"Lido" - "The Windmill"

Restaurants-bistro "Lido" are, without doubt, the best in terms of food: their famous "papasad potatoes" have been glorified in poems and social media statuses. Unfortunately, these bistros are usually overcrowded with nice, sober guests, sometimes burdened with families, who cannot afford a 'real restaurant'. For this reason, "Lido" is exactly this type of a place where you need strong lungs, knowledge of Russian and determination. Also, you are not allowed to take pictures here, at least, openly.
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  • Address: 5A Kulman St. (take a 5-minute walk from Metro station Plošča Jakuba Kolasa)
  • Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11:00-23:00
  • Contact data: +375 17 368-66-86, +375 17 760-00-76
  • Website: “Lido”

Restaurant-bistro "Staličny"

From 11AM to 4PM this place functions as a bistro, but later it turns into an old school restaurant, with sad musicians, frenetic celebrations and nostalgia for socialism. Anyway, the lunch menu is quite cheap and rich in options, even though all the yummiest things are gone well before 2AM. After you have paid just about $3-$5 for a tray full of pretty decent food, you take it to the dining hall to eat among fake Empire style decorations, plastic flowers and kitschy cityscapes on the walls. 
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  • Address: Praspiekt Niezaliežnasci 52
  • Opening hours: Monday - Saturday 11:00-23: 00, Sunday 11:00-22:00

“Praspekt” (Prospect)

“Praspekt” (Prospect)
The lively Pieramozhcau Avenue attracts a lot of lovers of late night walks, mostly non-locals (respectable citizens of Minsk prefer to walk in less windy places). This is why this bistro turns into a vodka shot place in the evening: guests are enjoying their time in both quiet and noisy manners with a little decanter of vodka (it feels more cultured this way than straight from the bottle). The traditional salad of salmon and beetroot is waiting for such guests at a salad bar, decorated with a little flag "Top Seller". The food, though, is obviously worse but not cheaper than at "Lido".  
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  • Address: 17 Pieramožcaŭ Ave
  • Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11:00 – 23:00.

Maestro

There have been rumors that this bistro was opened upon President's request - perhaps not the direct one, but indeed, in 2015 Lukashenko made a notice that public nutrition services don't cater enough meals of national cuisine to Belarusians. As a result, the Faculty of International Relationships of Belarusian State University got a pretty good canteen with shamelessly cheap food and stylized Belarusian ornaments on the walls. Still, the proximity of the main railway station has left its impression on this place, so the spirit of a cheap vodka shot bar is wandering here every night: you can notice its presence by salmon and cold meat appetizers in front rows of the salad bar.
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  • Address: Lieninhradskaja Str., 8
  • Opening hours: пн.-вс. 8:00-23:00

Pit Stop

Every hypermarket has its own bistro, it's just one of the first ones in the city, so it is kind of famous. It's spacey, clean, affordable, it has a vast variety of prepared meals from the hypermarket, but it's not particularly homey.
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  • Address: Kaĺvaryjskaja 24, the second level of the "Korona" hypermarket
  • Opening hours: пн.-вс. 9:00-22:00

"Novy Viek" (the DorORS canteen at the railway station)

You are welcome here if you are not afraid of hobos and cockroaches. You may try it if you are very short of time and your convictions don't allow you to eat at McDonald’s. Still, there is the sunny side, literally: this place has the best view at the masterpiece of Stalin Empire style - twin towers at the city gate of Prywakzalnaja Square. 
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  • Address: Pryvakzalnaja Square 3, the second floor of the North wing of the main railway station
  • Opening hours: 09:00 - 23:00