If you need a bite to eat in St. Petersburg, buy yourself a pie. Russian pies, or pirogi, are made of pizza-like pastry, rolled into large, fat cigars and filled with a generous tasty filling. Traditional fillings are mushroom and herb, minced meat, egg and rice, and curd cheese.
You can buy your pie from street vendors, traditionally older women wearing head scarves, who sell, quite often, next to metro stations. (Especially popular is Gorkovskaya, the stop for St. Petersburg’s zoo.)
If you prefer your pie sitting down, head for one of the Stolle cafes, a specialist chain of pie buffets with outlets all over the city. Their selection even includes wild berry pie. The most central Stolle is on Konushenny Pereulok, round the corner from the beautiful Church on Spilt Blood (commemorating the site where the reforming Tsar, Alexander II, was assassinated).
Here you will see Russian housewives buying the pies in bulk. Rumor has it they will later pass the pies off to their guests as their own cooking!