For many of us, Sochi, Russia, didn’t land on the map until it became the host of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Now the city is on lists of the top places to travel in 2014, but it seems we may be late to the game. Sochi (pronounced “so-chee,” with a long “o”) was once the favored resort behind the Iron Curtain, a Soviet spa town and the city where Stalin himself chose to build his dacha. It’s one of the few places in Russia that can call itself a beach town during the summer, while the nearby Caucasus Mountains make it a haven for skiers in the winter.
Sochi is also notable for its cuisine. The food in Sochi has a mix of influences particular to this region of the country. Its location on the Black Sea means you’ll find plenty of fresh seafood, while the climate allows for excellent produce, ideally sampled at the city’s Central Market. Sochi is a great place to explore a wide range of ethnic cuisines, thanks to its proximity to the Georgian border as well as neighboring Turkey and Armenia.
We’ve uncovered the best restaurants in Sochi to help you explore the city’s edible offerings. We’ve ranked Sochi’s restaurants by critical acclaim, service, and value, holding both the luxury dining rooms and home-style eateries to the same high standards. From the glamour of hotel restaurant Black Magnolia to the rustic hominess of Belye Nochi, the superb seafood of Sinee More to the Italian specialties of La Terrazza, there’s something for every appetite here in the capital of the Russian Riviera. Thanks to all of the attention Sochi is receiving as the next Olympic host, we wouldn’t be surprised if Sochi soon became the next hot spot for culinary pilgrimage. But why wait until then?