“Anna” and “vegetarian” do not go together, unless to express how strongly “Anna is definitely NOT, in any way, a vegetarian, cannot imagine living without regular meat intake (chicken and fish don’t even count), and would somebody please pass a sirloin, medium rare?” It’s a good thing, then, that for the last couple of years FRESH has touted not just as the best vegetarian restaurant in Moscow, but as THE vegetarian restaurant for non-vegetarians.
I had no plans to check out FRESH and its “conceptual vegetarian cuisine” flavored with “Healthy is the New Sexy” motto, perhaps ever, because eating pretentious hipster tofu goes against my very nature. I popped in there on a Sunday afternoon because it was freezing out, and also I was told I might find organic cayenne pepper there (don’t ask; also – not sold there). First I almost broke out in hives over all those bright-eyed, healthy, happy people, but I really wasn’t ready to go back out into the cold (seriously, we’re talking hurricane winds and it’s supposed to snow for the next 3 days in Moscow, welcome to April!), so I figured — better death by a salad than hypothermia.
I am cringing to report that OMG FRESH was really, really good! I cannot even believe the things I ate and drank. First of all – a “Scrub Brush shot” of cucumber, spinach, lemon and salt. Then a pint of “Spring Sun” cleaning juice — cucumber, pear, ginger, lemon and chia seeds. My guacamole appetizer came with green apple slices, chipotle mayo, hot green peppers and organic whole-grain tortilla. But the piece de resistance was my very first ever veggie burger. These words feel blasphemous to write, and yet… FRESH’s Barbeque Burger is made from a mix of grains, legumes, and vegetables (there were definitely beets and carrots in it), served on a crispy multi-grain bun (of course), with tangy BBQ sauce, fried onion rings, aioli, savoy cabbage, marinated green chili peppers, lettuce and tomato. I still cannot believe I ate it, but it was so flavorful and satisfying, I almost didn’t miss the meat!
Other things that I liked about FRESH: they have organic beer and wine, at least a couple of dozen custom juice mixes, a special City Detox program, and though the menu is already pretty diverse, you can build your own dish with various interesting ingredients. Dishes I would like to try in the future: pineapple pancakes with maple syrup and sour cream for breakfast, avocado breakfast toast, miso veggie burger, nori maki with orange, sun-dried tomatoes and sunflower shoots, and a “Beach Mix,” which is an entree salad of grilled red peppers, zucchini and sweet potato with avocado, sun-dried tomatos, sunflower sprouts, olive oil, tamari, lemon, mixed herbs and goat cheese.
So yes, while FRESH seems like a vegetarian heaven I would passionately recommend it to everyone. Even a die-hard carnivore like myself.
You can read more about FRESH, it’s history, menu, and city detox program in English here.
23 thoughts on “MOSCOW EATS: Vegetarian at FRESH”
As I read this, it occurred to me that I have never eaten a “vegetarian” anything.
The guy at the counter in the first photo is exactly what I expect a vegetarian to look like; dour, judgmental and hungry.
Just kidding of course. I’m sure they are perfectly fine people. It does actually look tasty.
I feel so wrong saying it but I actually felt amazing after that meal. And it tasted great indeed! I need to start being better to my body.
I can applaud anyone who makes tasty food. Glad you enjoyed it.
He’s just Russian 😉
Even though I am literally the vegetarian-est of all vegetarians, I cannot with those shots and health drinks. No meat – sure. But you’re brave for downing those weird green drinks!
It’s actually really good and refreshing! Especially after a weekend of drinking 😉
SO. MUCH. GREEN. My eyes! The people in the photo look very suspicious of you ha ha!
They can sense an outsider. But the crowd turned out to be pretty mainstream.
You’re an outsider?
As a carnivore at a vegetarian restaurant? Um, yeah.
They can smell the blood on you 😉
So…a) I wonder where Jerry Jerrod is, and if you’ll go home with him; b) Size Matters (we know this), but what does the rest of the sign say; and c) I feel very….uneasy…after reading how much you liked no-meat-food. Where was this girl whenever I made dinner?????
1-Who is Jerry Jerrod? And probably 🙂
2-I think my body was craving a detox after a week of stress eating/drinking all sorts of junk, so it latched on to the opportunity to recover
3-I still wouldnt touch broccoli or green beans 😛
1) SMITH JERROD! Before he’s Smith. When he’s just the poor actor/waiter at Raw.
2) I figure a day of water and veggies will get you back on the meatwagon.
3) What you don’t know won’t hurt you 😉
OMG SMITH! HOW COULD I FORGET!!!
….so where is he?
One-time guest appearances on TV shows, and some TV movies. #Sad.
I’m like you, a meal is not a meal without any meat. However, I eat veggies every day and the food you had sounds really tasty! It sucks that the vegetarian restaurants here are super expensive, is it the same in Moscow?
Fresh isnt any more expensive than any other trendy but casual Moscow place, but there arent that many dedicated veg restaurants in the city overall. Granted, during Lent, almost any restaurant offers a Lent menu, bc a lot of the country observes it and the restrictions are pretty strict.
I’m up for anything that isn’t fried. Just got back from a trip and if I see one more battered, grease-soaked item, bad things will happen…
You just got back from the Keys, didn’t you? What did you eat???????
No, no visit to the Keys this year. My friend’s back in London. Spent the past few days cruising through Extremadura, Andalusía and Portugal. What didn’t I eat!!! Oh boy…
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