Café Cossachok, 10 King Street, Glasgow (0141-553 0733) Mon-Sat 10.30am-midnight, Sun 4pm-midnight. Long opening hours, live music, literary leanings and upstairs gallery have endeared Café Cossachok over its three years. The vodkas are cool, the vibe warm and alternative, the food satisfying and cheap. Borscht for £3.25 comes with plenty of bread, beef stroganoff's the most expensive main course at £9.25, and the menu is not too long. Several vegetarian choices such as musaka, blintzes and stuffed pepper are around £6.

Café Cossachok, 10 King Street, Glasgow (0141-553 0733) Mon-Sat 10.30am-midnight, Sun 4pm-midnight. Long opening hours, live music, literary leanings and upstairs gallery have endeared Café Cossachok over its three years. The vodkas are cool, the vibe warm and alternative, the food satisfying and cheap. Borscht for £3.25 comes with plenty of bread, beef stroganoff's the most expensive main course at £9.25, and the menu is not too long. Several vegetarian choices such as musaka, blintzes and stuffed pepper are around £6.

St Petersburg, 7A York Street, Liverpool (0151-709 6676) Tues-Sat dinner. The owner and chef of this four-year-old restaurant are both from St Petersburg. Décor's Imperial, although the setting is a trendy old warehouse, cooking's traditional, ingredients as authentic as possible - beer, wines and herrings are all Russian. The menu's long, descriptions are elaborate, prices not especially low. £20 without drinks. Look it up on the web at: st-petersburg.virtualave.net

Ukrainian Cultural Centre,31 Smedley Lane, Cheetham, Manchester (0161-624 1575) Wed lunch, Fri dinner, Sat lunch and early dinner, Sun lunch. Manchester has one of the largest Ukrainian populations in this country, and there's a cafeteria for the community groups who make this centre their base. Sunday lunch for £3 gives you an idea of the prices, and the pirogi (dumplings) are nothing if not authentic. Remember too, that the Ukraine is the home of chicken kiev.

Soviet Canteen, 430 King's Road, London SW10 (020 7795 1556) Mon-Sat dinner. A basement with minimal Soviet-inspired imagery is the setting for equally clean-lined cooking. The chef's not Russian, but he understands the appeal of the cuisine and how it can be made even more so with some contemporary tinkering. His zakuski - mixed hors d'oeuvres with rye bread - are well put together like mini canapés. Puddings such as kumquat and tea nougat glacé or rhubarb and strawberry kissel, a fruit soup with sorbet are worth reaching. £20 for three courses, no drink.

Firebird, 23 Conduit Street, London W1 (020 7493 7000) Mon-Sat lunch and dinner. The original Firebird is in New York; it is not in the business of peasant food. The interior's sumptuous, complete with real Fabergé eggs. Not for all tastes, nor for most pockets, although the set lunch is £15 for two courses, £18.95 for three. Otherwise caviar features large; cabbage and potato soup with smoked pork pirogi is £7.50. Mains range from £15 for borscht to £25.50 for grilled sturgeon.

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