Moscow is a natural cigar-loving city, with 1.5 million cigars being sold per year. And there is still plenty of room for growth. The main reason for that Russia has no restrictions on smoking in public, so any bar can be easily transformed into a cigar bar. Russia is cigar heaven especially to American expats living here who can’t legally get ahold of a Cuban in the States. Although cigars can be enjoyed elsewhere, there are few very special bars and stores where the cigar’s culture is represented at its best. Here are the top 5.
Floridita Bar and Restaurant
Floridita Bar is modeled after American writer Ernest Hemingway’s favorite drinking haunt in Havana. Moscow Floridita is already the fifth in the world. Located in the stylish old-fashioned setting, its three floors fit a Cuban bar, restaurant, nightclub and cigar lounge cafe La Casa del Habano. Rum, daiquiris and mojitos are served round the clock, a Habanos cigar shop and live Cuban music are among other attractions.
Floridita Bar and Restaurant, 36/2, str.1 Arbat Street, +7 495 626-7177.
While the Gallery Tobacco chain consists of four boutique stores specializing in exclusive sorts of cigars, its first showroom in Gallery Actor shopping center is recognized as one of 10 best tobacco stores in the world, according to foreign experts. In addition to tobacco products, there are wide range of rare wines and spirits in the boutiques.
Since 2003, tobacco bars Poul Olsen, My Own Blend started to work inside, where cigars are rolled according to personal preferences of each customer. There is no similar service elsewhere in Russia. Cigar range includes world famous brands such as: Davidoff, ST Dupont, Dunhill, Porsche Design, W.O. Larsen, Stanwell, Peterson, Habanos and others.
Gallery Tabacco, for various locations visit www.tabakeria.ru/GalereaTabaka.
Cigar store Galereya Gradusov contains cigars and alcohol almost from all manufacturers. There are Cuban cigars, Dominican cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Costa Rican cigars, Mexican, Brazilian cigars, Honduran cigars. Popular Cuban brands like Cohiba and Montecristo are represented by main lines and limited editions.
Galereya Gradusov, 5, Serpukhovsky Val, +7 495 9520542, www.cru.ru.
Aside from the usual assortment of fine cigars, fusion eatery Gubernatorsky offers 50 walnut-encased personal humidors for rent. Rental of a humidor comes with a club membership, which provides free access to cigar parties and other benefits.
Gubernatorsky Restaurant, 22, Voznesensky Per. +7 495 7972682.
Tabachnaya Lubov, member’s cigar club
This cozy social club offer an extensive range of cigars. It’s an excellent place of leisure and repose for its members. Cigar lovers value the club for rich choice of hand-made premium cigars, cigar accessories, pipes and specialty tobaccos showcased here. Club owners are trying to promote cigar culture in Russia through sponsoring high class events like important polo and golf tournaments.
Tabachnaya Lubov, 25 Nickolskaya St, Fifth Floor, + 7 495 9372396.