Literaturnoye Kafe (Saint Petersburg)

Literaturnoye Kafe (Russian: Литературное кафе), or Literary Cafe, is a historically significant restaurant on Nevsky Prospect in Saint Petersburg, Russia, that was frequented by famous writers of Russian literature, including Alexander Pushkin and Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and their friends in the nineteenth century.


In 1812–14, the mid-18th-century building at 18 Nevsky Avenue in Saint Petersburg, the capital city of Russia at that time, was renovated by K. B. Kotomin as an apartment for merchants (Kotomin House).[1] In this building S. Wolff & T. Beranget opened their confectionery, which was considered the best in St. Petersburg. In 1834, a Chinese café (Café chinois) was added. The confectionery soon became a place where writers of Russian literature, such as Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, Taras Shevchenko, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky, gathered.[2]

In 1837, Pushkin, on the way to his fatal duel with George D'Antès, met his second, Konstantin Danzas, there. In 1840, Dostoyevsky was introduced to Mikhail Petrashevsky, the Utopian socialist, there.[2]

In 1877, after the closure of the confectionery, a high-class restaurant was opened there, where musicians such as Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Feodor Chaliapin frequently visited. Tchaikovsky is said to have ordered there a cup of water that turned out to be infected with cholera, from which he died.[3]

In 1858–2001, in the basement floor opened a used bookshop, which became relatively well known. In 1978–81, the building was entirely renovated, and, in 1983, the restaurant reopened as Literaturnoye Kafe, or Literary Cafe.[2]

At present

Literaturnoye Kafe occupies two floors of the building, with many pictures of Russian writers hanging on its walls. At one table on the upper floor sits a waxwork Pushkin. According to the Russian tradition, evenings of poetry reading are held here from time to time.

The traditional drink of Russia is not coffee, but black tea. Tea in a samovar can also be served.

See also


  1. Boglachev, S. V. House of Kotomin. Saint Petersburg Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  2. Bogdanov, I. A. Wolff et Beranget Confectionery. Saint Petersburg Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  3. Literary Cafe – Since 1816

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