The history of this holiday is closely connected with the history of Saint-Petersburg’s foundation. Smelt fish was a beloved dish by the first Emperor of Russia - Peter The Great and there are rumors that he even nicknamed smelt fish as “Tsar fish”.
During Spring 1703, when Peter the Great was on a fishing tour on the Neva river, he got his first catch of smelt fish and maybe the unique smell and taste of these tiny fish did even influence the decision of the Emperor to found the new capital of Russia on Neva river. Since then the smell of Smelt, which is similar to the smell of fresh and young cut cucumbers - is the unofficial sign of the beginning of spring.
Starting from 2002, every year the city is celebrating the holiday devoted to smelt fish and many restaurants in Saint-Petersburg expand their menu to include seasonal dishes with smelt fish. Thanks to this tradition, smelt fish has become a Saint-Petersburg’s brand and has many ties to the history of the city.
There is a variety of locations, where you could taste this delicacy during April and May, there is even a famous panoramic restaurant named after smelt fish next to Peter and Paul’s Fortress.
Address: Zayachiy Island, 3 Petropavlovskaya Krepost
Cuisine: European, Caucasian
Average bill: 25-30 Euro
Website: Korushka Restaurant
The restaurant Korushka, located next to the Peter and Paul Fortress is a place with the taste, style and true spirit of Saint-Petersburg. At the Korushka, the urban bustle is nullified by tranquility of the interior design and peaceful lapping of the Neva’s waves.