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Grand Hotel Europe St. Petersburg: Vodka + Caviar + Birthplace of Beef Stroganoff

Grand Hotel St. Petersburg is part of the Quest Around the Globe Trip Report.

This is not a Hotel Review. It’s a lifestyle review. And nothing says lifestyle like Russian caviar and vodka. And the place to go while you are in St. Petersburg to experience caviar and vodka tasting is the Grand Hotel Europe.


Like all liquors, there are different levels of vodka quality ranging from rubbing alcohol to insanely expensive. The vodka connoisseur can distinguish one from the other much like TPOL knows a good cognac versus a bad brandy. My palette was not as sensitive when it came to vodka tasting. While I may be able to differentiate between Popov and Belvedere, I could not tell the difference between expensive Beluga and really expensive Beluga. After a few samples, everything tasted like Tito’s. Nonetheless, it was a worthwhile experience.

a group of glasses with food on it a group of glasses on a tray


My first memory of caviar comes from the movie Big.

“It’s Beluga. Macmillan orders it every year.”

“Could I have a milkshake or something?”

For years, I stuck to eating baby corn until I tried caviar on my first Emirates flight (see Sheikh Dubai’s Chariot: First Class on Emirates Airlines A380). Now, caviar is on the list of life’s small joys. Like champagne, it is nicer when it is free but sometimes you have to pay.

a tray of food and glasses

Beef Stroganoff 

When I used to think of beef stroganoff, I used to think of canned pasta or the frozen food section. It was not until I had a beef stroganoff at the Grand Hotel Europe, that I appreciated how scrumptiousness the dish is. While there is debate on its true origin, the waitress defiantly lauded that beef stroganoff was originally invented in Russia at the Grand Hotel Europe. a plate of food on a plate


I challenge you to have a more upscale evening in your life. The cost of indulgence was 9450 rubles or $150.

TPOL’S TIP: Grand Hotel Europe is located at Mikhaylovskaya Ulitsa, 1/7, St Petersburg, Russia, 191186.



    • At University of Michigan, we had spring break before all other universities at the end of February. The winters were spent eating pizza. Then the snow would melt and it would be time to travel. It was obvious who wasn’t ready for the change of season.

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