Home Gluten free diet Eating gluten free and paleo diet travelling in Russia

Eating gluten free and paleo diet travelling in Russia


We arrived in Moscow on 16th September, where we stayed in the Volga apartment hotel. I’d highly recommend staying here if you have a family, it was very spacious, in an attractive leafy part of Moscow about 3 k from Red Square, close to Prospekt Miro, a major shopping street, and the Metro, so getting round to see the sights was easy. There was a large supermarket 50 metres down the road. We cooked breakfast at the apartment, and often dinner, although we ate out for lunch.

Here’s what the boys came back with when I sent them shopping for breakfast ingredients:

And even some delicious New Zealand Butter:

There are many great eating places in Moscow, and Japanese restaurants are common. Easy to eat gluten free and paleo, the menus are great too – not only do they list the price, but they list the gram amounts of the main foods in the dish:

I didn’t eat processed food, but looked up the Russian words for flour and wheat, so I could check if needed. If you need to be strictly gluten free – it would pay to have this written down so you could show it to the waiter /chef if you ate out.

Japanese restaurants are popular and common in Moscow, so we ate Japanese often:


We stayed 4 days in Moscow then caught the red-eye to Novokuznetsk, a 4.5 hour flight overnight.

The hotel we stayed in had gave the term we had a view of the car-park a whole new spin:

Breakfast was included, and was a buffet. Easy to eat well, salad, eggs, meat, a hot cabbage dish, and fresh fruit.

Restaurants were easy to eat at as well, most Russian food is prepared without wheat. I kept away from meatballs, as they often have breadcrumbs added, kept to meat and vegetable type dishes. Soups are generally broths with meat and vegetables and do not have grains added. Many restaurants serve fish dishes, grilled or foiled, and salmon is popular. This is a typical Russian meal from a self serve cafe / diner:

The reason we went to Siberia was to connect with our children’s Russian relatives – siblings, birth-mother and a grandmother. While there we had a meal in the grandmothers apartment, a typical Russian apartment, compact and aging. The meal was classic Russian, meatballs and mashed potato, cucumber and tomato salad with dill and Italian parsley, preserved wild mushrooms, smoked salmon, cheese and bread. I explained (via our interpreter) that I couldn’t eat wheat, so avoided the bread and the cakes that everyone else got loaded up on! Chocolates are everywhere in Russia and are often given as gifts.

So all up – paleo is easy in Russia.




  1. Welcome to Siberia!

    I live in Novosibirsk. Found your site today via Robb Wolf’s site.

    You are in luck, it’s a middle of October and it is still a little bit above freezing point during daytime. I bet some people in Novokuznetsk are saying that you actually should come in winter so that you can visit the famous Siberian ski resort Sheregesh.

    As for the food, if you are OK with rice and potatoes, then you can eat almost anywhere. Soup almost always has rice, potatoes or noodles of some sort. Cutlets, meat balls and similar dishes from ground meat also usually have bread crumbs and rice fillings.

    Actually I very often eat in self serve cafe and you can eat very close to paleo if you choose dishes wisely. But in Russia (and I think almost everywhere) potatoes and legumes are considered vegetables. So if you get a piece of meat with stewed vegetables the chances are you’ll get potatoes or some legumes in it.

    Also bread is very honored in Russia. People eat everything with bread, even water melons. Pastries, cookies, candies, chocolate, home made jams and other sweets are also in abundance consumed in Russia. “Давай попьем чай с печенюшками” (“Let’s drink tea with cookies”) is a very popular phrase in Russia.

    Well I can talk about Russia forever.
    Очень рад, что вам понравилось у нас в Сибири.

    • Hi Sergey,
      We on purpose did not come in the winter! When we adopted our children, our first visit was in November to meet them – about -15 C, and our second in December -37 C. WE went to Novosibirsk (as well as Kemerovo and Novokuznetsk) then – that was 11 years ago. We wanted this trip to be a little more comfortable. September was easy, it was about 10 C and sometimes higher. We loved our trips to Russia.

      I did have some rice and potato, so yes paleo was easy. I kept away from meatballs except when they were given to me for that one meal at our children’s family’s place. They did think it was strange I didn’t eat bread, and politely asked why I declined to eat it.

      The other family members did eat bread / gluten etc, they have little problem with it, although I don’t buy it when we are home in NZ

      Nice to see a paleo blog from Russia!

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