East 5th’s Russian House Invites You to Experience Old Russia (with a bear)

Do you know what a Russian meal is like?
Do you know what the phrase “Na Zdorov’ye” means?
Those curious to these questions will certainly find the answer at east 5th’s Russian House NaZdorovye.
As soon as you walk through the front doors, you’ll find an array of traditional Russian garb – intended to be worn as a costume during your time at the restaurant, or while taking a photograph next to the giant taxidermy bear standing guard near the host’s stand.
The owners of the Russian House, want you to experience both the culture and cuisine of Old Russia.
The main hall of the restaurant is softly lit, and decorated simply with a few tables and chairs. In fact, it very much resembles a traditional pub – minus the bear and the shelves of glass jars filled with over seventy varieties of infused vodka.
The owners of the Russian House, want you to experience both the culture and cuisine of Old Russia. You’ll see the passion behind those motives through the hand-painted ceiling in the front room – painted by chef / co-owner Vladimir Grivkovrest himself. You’ll feel the charm of their intent when you walk through a set of double doors that lead you into the formal dining room. Every table is set so you feel as though you’re dining with a close family member on a special occasion, and every wall has been decorated with interesting conversation pieces.


We suggest starting your meal as we did, with vodka – particularly a guava-infused variety that the bartender suggested mixed in a glass of champagne.
We suggest starting your meal with vodka… guava-infused… in a glass of champagne.We found it to be sweet, crisp, and refreshing – and something we’d definitely order again.
For dinner try the Ukranian Borsch, the Tatar Meat Stew Azu (served over buckwheat), or Uzbek Plov (with lamb).
The Russian House is a welcome change of pace to the usual Austin haunts. You’ll experience another culture without leaving the city, and get a home-cooked family meal “for health.” Na Zdorov’ye!


Photography: Chris Perez