“This is Brno, my friend!” – Russian food, products, and events in Brno
“I’ve got Stoli and Bolly and Molly, so I’m jolly, and I’m always off my trolley, so I never say sorry, There’s a doll, inside a doll, inside a doll, inside a dolly…” Photo: @BrnoDaily
In 1866, Russian poet and statesman Tyutchev Fyodor wrote a poem which describes the complicated and controversial Russian nature in its first sentence:
“You cannot understand Russia with your mind.”
And he was right because to understand Russia and its people, you have to feel them.
And to be born Russian.
Or at least Slavic.
If you are outside this group, you could try to feel the culture through literature, food and maybe… some vodka!
Brno is rich with a dozen of things and habits, such as “taking off the shoes when entering the house” habit and “I never ever smile unless I’ve something to promote” attitude, that remind me of Russia.
For example, while I was trying on some clothes in the changing room of one big shop at the Vankovka shopping center, I heard a very familiar melody that brought me back to my Russian childhood and the Soviet animated movies I had been watching on repeat.
I thought that a Russian mom might have let her child watch a cartoon on Youtube so she can try her clothes without any interruption.
You can’t imagine my surprise when I went out of the changing room and some young visitors were sitting in a corner and a small TV screen was playing “Nu! Pogodi” at the full volume above them!
Even if there are a lot of cultural things to do in Brno that have a Russian touch, the food part is the one that needs improvement. I took some help from our Ukrainian brothers as Ukrainian delicacies are similar, if not better, than Russian.
The list of “RussUkrainian” food is not long however, it should be enough to satisfy anyone who wants to try the main dishes of these two countries or remember his or her home country.
- Samovar Restaurace & Obchod (link): Samovar, which could be translated as a “self-boiler”, is a device traditionally used to boil water for tea.
With a traditional Russian-styled interior, this restaurant has Russian and Ukrainian dishes such as borsch or pelmeni on offer. In addition to that, it has a shop where you can find Russian goodies like sweets, buckwheat, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
As the owner, Natalya, says: “Customers are 50% Czechs, 40% from the ex-Soviet Union, and 10% English-speaking customers”.
You can find Samovar restaurant at Kolište 5 (map) and by calling 731 103 292.
- Tryzub Restaurant (link): is a Ukrainian restaurant with some Russian influences that offers (common to Russian) dishes such as borsch, pelmeni and vareniki!
Opened in 2003 it was the first Ukrainian restaurant in the city.
“We decided to open a restaurant for us and our compatriots who were growing more and more in Brno,” Angelika, one of the owners, says.
Most of the customers are Ukrainians, Russians, and Czechs. Also, there are many students learning the Russian language and their friends.
“Favorites are borsch, solyanka, vareniki, pelmeni, and golubtsi. From the desserts are sirniki (something like pancakes) with cream,” Angelika adds.
You can find it on Koželužská 9 and you can call 543 422 775.
- Pizzeria Domazzi Restaurant (link): Described on Facebook reviews as the “The best Ukrainian cuisine in Brno,” people really seem to love pelmeni and borsch here and we are sure that you would like to visit it too.
Bonus: The restaurant is not focused only on Ukrainian cuisine but also offers you Czech and Italian food. So if anyone from your friends isn’t a fan of trying different cuisines he can go with the sure option of calzone!
The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks. You can reserve a table, make your birthday party or just take your favorite pelmeshki on the way and enjoy them at your place.
You can find this restaurant at Vodní 258/13 (map) or by calling 723 339 595.
Everyone knows that only an authentic Russian can have and understand the Russian soul, but there is a belief if you read Russian literature you might get the gist.
- Library of Russian literature in Brno (link): Find some of the best Russian writers at the library of Russian literature in Brno. You can borrow books on Saturdays from 9 to 12 pm.
The building is located at Křenová 224/67 (map).
- School of Russian language and culture in Brno – Russian language for children (link): If you want your kiddo to start learning the Russian language to please your babushka you can do it here as the youngest group is 3-4-year-old toddlers.
The School of Russian language and culture in Brno teaches children from 4 to 17 years.
In addition, it offers not only one but several programs of Russian language, your child can learn Russian as a mother tongue or as a second language.
The School of Russian language is located at Křenová 224/67 (map).
- Russian Cultural and Educational Society of Moravia (link): is an organization of Czechoslovak-Soviet friendship but without politics.
The society organizes cultural parties, concerts, lectures, conferences, and festivals! In addition, they celebrate Russian holidays together. The members come from different groups, such as teachers, students, artists, historians, translators and ordinary people who are interested in the Russian culture.
- Festival Russian spring in Moravia: Every year from March to May takes place the festival Russian spring in Moravia.
The festival is organized by the Russian Cultural and Educational Society of Moravia, the Czech – Russian Society, the Department of Russian language and literature of Masaryk University, and it is supported by the mayor of Brno.
Every year the festival offers its visitors many different forms of entertainment such as Czech children’s ensembles singing in Russian, Russian artists, the opportunity to participate in a Russian wedding, book presentations and much more!
You can check about updates for the festival on the event calendar that BRNO_RU Live Journal (link) provides you.
Russians love all kinds of mind-breaker games and are used to all kinds of enigmas since childhood.
Luckily Brno offers two places to train your mind.
- Club 60 seconds (link): Is the first place that gives this opportunity to everyone who wants to try their mental limits.
The games are every week. At the game teams of three to eight people must find an answer to a difficult question. In reality, it is a logical enigma. You can answer using your scholarly knowledge and add humor and fantasy!
If you want to test your Russian knowledge and your mind’s limits follow the page on Facebook and check out when the next game will be!
- Russian Quiz (link): is another interactive game presented in both Russian and Czech languages. It takes place twice a month at Paradox pub (map) and will make you brain squeeze!
How to play? Easy. You come to the pub, alone or with a team, you order a beer, something to eat, sit on the table and you look at the monitor in front of you.
In this monitor, during the night 50 questions will appear that you with your team must answer by writing answers into a notepad. The quiz is divided into five rounds and each round consists of two thematic categories. Categories and questions are very varied.
At the end of the quiz, the winning team will get a 500 CZK discount on everything they ate and drank. The second-place winner gets 250 CZK.
After these 50 questions there is the last one, a “bottled” question. The answer to this question is always a number, for example, how many people live in a city which was mentioned in the 4th question.
Everyone starts guessing and the person who says the answer closest to the correct one will get a prize a bottle of a unique drink.
The organizers try to make the questions not difficult, but tricky.
“Often people tell us ‘I will not come, I’m stupid, I don’t know anything’ and our answer to this is that every single person keeps in his head some really useless for normal life knowledge. Information that you learned, heard or saw somewhere. But this quiz is not normal life… For the quiz it is a benefit that you know that Bach had 20 children and what a penguin’s skeleton looks like”, Мilan Vocílka, one of the organizers and presenters, says.
If you know any of those two languages and something about Russian culture or if you just want to practice your language skills and your knowledge you definitely have to visit these games!
It is usual in Russian culture that the cup of tea in the evening at your friend’s house can turn into dinner and into midnight conversations about poems and soul. Maybe it is not something that people can see but Russians really love to talk about things that have value.
- Russian meetings: You have the opportunity to get some vibes from these long spiritual Russian conversations by attending Russian meetings.
Twice a month there are Russian meetings where all the Russian-speaking people from all around the world come, talk, listen and generally have fun. They are even organizing nature walks to get inspired for the next Russian meeting!
The organizer says “I started to organize Russian meetings five years ago to practice and improve my Russian language. I didn’t have the opportunity to meet Russian people before, therefore I decided to organize such a meeting so people with the same passion can join me”.
You can know when the next Russian meeting will be by following the following page on Facebook (link).
If walking in nature is not for you then maybe you would like to try Yoga classes in the Russian language.
- Yoga Classes for beginners and advanced in the Russian language: Even if you never tried yoga before it isn’t a reason to not start it now.
The lessons are every Tuesday and Friday, from 7 pm to 8 pm, at Masarykova 430/25 (map).
If you want you can contact via personal message the instructor Ksenija Živkovič (Facebook page).
Do you want to make a traditional Russian or Ukrainian New Year’s Eve and Christmas day?
- Odessa market: You can find Ukrainian and Russian products at the Odessa market, which is located on Cejl 487/18 (map).
For ladies, Brno offers you the well-known Russian cosmetic series Natura Siberica, the first Certified Organic beauty brand.
- Natura Siberica (link): the products at Natura Siberica are natural and organic, made from unique ingredients sourced from the unspoiled region of Siberia. These products became elixirs of health and beauty for the Russian Royal family.
You can find the shop at Plotní 688/75 (map).
Spasibo for your attention!