Opened over 13 years ago, Babushka Russian Deli and Restaurant is a family owned and operated business with a specialty in Russian and Eastern European cuisine. Run by owner Leo Malkov, his wife Maya and his son, Zoriy, Babushka offers traditional cooking, authentic flavors and a welcoming warm environment that embodies their passion for food. The deli also sells imported products including delicacies like smoked fish, red and black caviar, Russian butter, pickled cabbage, sauerkraut, sweet kiss cheese, beer and wine.
Open 365 days a year, including Christmas, Babushka Russian Deli and Restaurant evolved from a simple deli to a go to source for imported and locally prepared Russian delicacies. Stop by for lunch, dinner or food to go. Their private indoor and outdoor dining spaces and catering are also available for special events or business occasions.
Wonderful food and service!!
The food was really great, super friendly service and we enjoyed our meal very much. The only wrinkle was a very long wait time for the food and drinks to arrive even though the place was less than half full. That been said the food was so good that the wait didn't detract from the overall experience and we will definitely go back for more. Highly recommended, just make sure you're not in a hurry:)
My husband and I are both European so we enjoyed our experience very much. The food was very good. The service was excellent. Great selection of European beer and wines. The paper on top of the tablecloth let down the elegance, but it's kind of typical of European "cafes" :) There is a deli attached, we bought some goodies there too.
The worst dining experience my wife and I have ever had, taken straight from an episode of “Kitchen Nightmares.” This was supposed to be a romantic Valentine’s dinner, which was an 8 course pre-fix menu. Seated at 7pm. Waiter didn’t acknowledge us until about 7:30. First dish came out at about 7:45, a small potato amuse bouche. A small crab cake came out at about 8:15. A Caesar’s salad arrived at 8:45. (Yes, ½ hour to get a salad!) I asked the waiter if the courses could come out faster since at the current pace it would be 11 before we finished. He looked at me like I was crazy and said he would check the kitchen. At about 9:15 the pork belly arrived. Once we finished, my wife set a timer as we noticed that, for most of the time, no one in the restaurant had any food. We passed the time watching everyone becoming more and more annoyed. At 9:45 I asked the waiter for the check, which took another 15 minutes to get. So over 3 hours, we got two glasses of wine each and four small courses. They apologized, explained that the chef had left in the middle of service (which would certainly explain the slow food but not the abysmal service. The restaurant only has about 20 tables but four waiters couldn’t seem to handle things.) They asked that we give them another chance. Absolutely not. If I could give this restaurant zero stars, I would.
Unfortunately we were not informed that there was only an expensive prix fixe dinner on the night we went to this restaurant. We had read the menu online & were looking forward to many of the house specialties. When we arrived, we had to wait for nearly an hour before we were served, & finally we left before the prix fixe meal was concluded. The food was good but not the Russian specialties for which we had yearned & we were very sorry about the evening. (The servers were so busy that it took them, on one case, 15 minutes to deliver a spoon to someone who needed one to eat his soup!)
The waiter was very courteous.Service was not quick, but paced nicely for dining/savoring the delightful food.
We loved the atmosphere, service, food and everything about the night. The manager came and spoke to us as well as the chef. We have the best waiter and did not feel rushed at all.
Awesome food. Lamb is to die for!
Food presentation is amazing.
Will definitely go back for food and Russian Lager!
This is the second time we've been here. The food is excellent, tastes very fresh and well seasoned. Best Eastern European restaurant in the Bay Area. The staff is very friendly and attentive. The restaurant has a relaxed and quiet ambience- perfect for a nice relaxing meal.
Great hidden place, nice authentic ambience and good food.
Very tasty, even warmed up the next day: Potato piroshki, borscht, salad, stuffed cabbage, sturgeon. The honey cake was a bit too sweet for me, but overall, a great meal.
Who knew!!! The outside of this restaurant is a Russian Deli. You are taken through the deli to this darling restaurant in the back. Food was great music was fun(old style). Service was terrific. They will see us again/
From the front it looks like your usual casual deli, but in the back...wow! The staff were friendly & the food was amazing. The decor is a mix of a fine dining & a visit to your grandma's. Will definitely return
Great spot for a modern take on traditional Russian cuisine. Ingredients are fresh, and the staff is very friendly. Great spot to get out of the comfort zone and try something new.
Food was wonderful and our server was attentive and enjoyable.
Food delicious, service friendly and attentive (thank you, Zdravko), ambiance quiet and romantic.
General manager Dimitri extremely helpful with dish recommendations. We appreciated his warm greetings, making my husband and I feel at home. A must try in Walnut Creek for a European experience!
I chose this restaurant for my brother's birthday as he and I both like trying new things. The authenticity is noticeable as soon as you walk in. Instead of a greeter's station with a stack of menus, there is an entire little market replete with all sorts of Eastern European goodies - bread, candies, meat, fish, cheese, beautiful pastries, even beer!
Through the storefront is quaint dining room which leads to the outdoor area where we ended up. (It is nice out there but when the sun goes down there are some porch lights from neighboring businesses which shine heavily in your eyes)
Our server was from the former Yugoslavia and his name was "Z" (he told us his real name which I can't recall but it was a really awesome name and I suggested he go by that instead)
Anyway, "Z" was very friendly, a bit on the talkative end but in a charming and helpful way. He filled us in on the menu items, let us know which dishes were the most traditional, taught us what a "cowberry" was, picked out a great Syrah for me and even let me try some wine from Georgia. Overall a very friendly and knowledgeable guy.
We ordered the beef piroshkis and the chicken blintzes to start. Z gave my brother a complementary Russian Sour Cherry soda because the restaurant had run out of coke.
I had the Borscht and Pelmeni which were both delicious. After trying my brother's braised shortribs with stuffed new potato however, I wish I would have ordered that instead. Seriously, the most beautiful potato I have ever eaten.
We all ordered dessert. I recommend the Fruita de Bosco and the Walnut Honey Cake.
Overall a great time. The wait for food might be a bit long for some, but the food is beautiful and takes precious time to execute. You will be in heaven upon its arrival.
See you guys next month when I bring Grandma!
Some of the most delicious food I've eaten in a long time. I went with my family to celebrate my birthday for brunch. And I have to say that the grouper cakes Benedict was delicious. I had the opportunity to try the pulled pork, colboyak, and french toast, all of which had amazing flavor. The hospitality was great as well. Dimitri was very helpful, happy and attentive. I will definitely be eating here again in the future as well as recommending to my friends and family
This place is a hidden gem in Walnut Creek. The food, traditional Russian, is probably tweaked slightly for a California palate, but that's a good thing - it totally works! Besides, Russia once occupied parts of California down to Fort Ross in Sonoma, so Russian-Californian fusion makes historical sense! The service is friendly and attentive. The outside is unassuming indeed but there's a pleasant courtyard out back. We had blintzes and plov and loved them! Highly recommended.
Had a fantastic dining experience with a group of goodies. We all tried something different and we will all be going back separately. Fantastic food, great atmosphere, and a appraising wine list.
Great food with fresh ingredients.
The food took over an hour to prepare, and there were only three parties in the restaurant.
Totally inauthentic Russian food. Very disappointing.
Simple flavors. A notch below mediocre.
Wow truly farm to market and a nice twist on a very traditional cuisine
Loved it ,well done
Pre theater dinner. Very nice old eastern european ambiance. Good traditional eastern european food very well presented and prepared Relatively limited menue, modestly priced.. Great selection of eastern european beers. Server was very friendly and helpful but did forget one appetizer. Will go back
Only one server on Saturday night, seriously. So it took twice as long to get anything. Took us 10 minutes just to get the dessert MENU, then another 15 minutes to get our dessert, even though the desserts are ready made and RIGHT THERE displaying in the shelf!
Ambience is wonderful, nice jazz music, beautiful outdoor seating.
Food: Piroshki and borsh were excellent. The lamb entree was incredible. Everything else was salt factory (fish and beef stroganoff).
Ambiance and service are excellent. Food prepared when ordered and worth the wait. Eggplant appetizer and beet appetizer are wonderful. Desserts speak for themselves - have the Fruita de Bosca!
We made Mother's Day brunch reservations for this Russian restaurant after hearing good things about it. When we arrived they didn't seem to have record of our reservation, made through OpenTable. It was a nice sunny day, so we accepted their offer to sit outside. That was our first mistake. It was very cool and blustery that particular day. Certainly not the restaurant's fault, but we later asked to be moved inside, but they declined, indicating that they were fully booked. The odd part was that there were tables for four inside the entire time we were there, fully empty. Very disappointing.
Let's visit that concept of "entire time." It took over 90 minutes to be served. That's over 90 MINUTES for some French Toast (which was cold upon serving), two eggs benedict, and a salmon-filled pastry. This is unacceptable. The entire visit took over 2 hours and 15 minutes! I'm not sure what was happening in the kitchen, but service was not on the menu this day.
The food was very good, that I must say (other than the cold French Toast).. The waiter tried to be attentive and we liked him, but the wait trumped all. We won't be returning any time soon. Sorry, Babushka. I had such high hopes.
The food was very good, the ambiance was comfortable, the wait staff had wonderful smiles and took great care of us. We were all given long stemmed red roses in celebration of Mother's day. The only problem is that it took over an hour for our entrees to come to the table. The appetizers came right away, then there was a very long wait for the rest of the meal. We noticed that this was true for other tables as well. I don't know if that's always the case, but it certainly is worth taking into account when planning your outing. I would return, and only for a very leisurely meal.
Though we did not know about this restaurant until a month ago, this was our third time dining at Babushka. We had a lamb/rice dish and salmon dishes. These were both very tasty though a bit light on the amount of meat. The beet salads were wonderful as always, as were the chicken and cabbage piroshki. Our deserts were also wonderful, chockolate honey cake and sour cherry cake. The atmosphere here is always friendly and warm. With two glasses of wine and one soft drink our three meals cost $150 with tip. In this day and age a very good exchange.
My son and I had dinner at Babushka on a Saturday night. We had been there once before. Beet salads, excellent; piroshky, excellent; gnocci, very good; chicken kiev, rich and wonderful; side vegetables, good; sour cherry cake, very good; price with a glass of wine, one beer, two coffees and one soda, $100 plus optional tip. Excellent service; excellent! Really like this place a lot.
We went the other night for the first time with another couple. The food was excellent (we all enjoyed and shared our entrees) service was attentive. All around a great evening out.
Blah food wasn't worth it. Very boring, in comparison to the Butler and the chef...this place falls way short.
That was the staff, a lovely family who made us feel welcome. A great place to try an interesting menu that was different from the usual.
In 45 years I have perhaps 3 times rated a dining experience flawless. To my great surprise Babushka deserved it on our first visit, a recent Saturday evening meal. The place is unassuming, a well stocked deli in front, restaurant in back. It has a very warm eastern European/Russian feel right down to the pleasant and efficient waiter's accent. The cultural feel is a plus if you tire of the often homogeneous feel of Walnut Creek dining. Food: I have never been a big Piroshki fan, but am now. Excellent beef piroshki. The beet salads were simple, fresh, and artistically presented. Wife's geneoursly sized soup was also nicely seasoned and light. The entre vegetable cabbage rolls were superb, drawing rave reviews from wife and son. The beef stroganoff was also very good, with a thin base (rather than the cream base that often swallows the flavor of the meat in other restaurants). It gave access to the nicely seasoned flavor of the beef slices. The pasta that accompanied the dish was fresh tasting but also appropriately secondary to the beef. The wines (waiter recommended) were smooth reds with moderate body (a Crimean R-6 and a Slovenian red) with a light muscat after dinner. The reds very nicely complemented our food choices. The walnut honey cake (made in house) and the other cake - can't recall its name (prepared by the pastry shop next door) were both light, rich and flavorul. The family that owns Babushka works hard but pleasantly and leaves you feeling that they are people who you would like to have join you for dinner if they weren't so busy. It was our impression that a good portion of the clientele may have had eastern european roots. Hard to believe we have lived here 15 years before discovering this gem. For $400 or more you can by a more sophisticated meal for 3 in the Bay Area. But at $200 for delicious appetizers, entres, wine, 1 beer, deserts and well deserved tip, Babushka provided spectacular value and great dining satsifaction.
First time and we will be back. Even though their wait staff were off, the owner did a great job accommodating everyone who came to dine. The host/waiter Dimitri was very pleasant and attentive. The owner's son is the chef and food was amazing. All handmade and fresh. They shop locally and even go to the local farmers market. You can buy some of their goodies at the deli located in the front of the restaurant. Can't wait to go back for more
The food items from which I could choose were very interesting since I had not eaten at a Russian restaurant previously. Everything I had was delicious!!!! I was treated special; maybe because the restaurant was not busy but I have a feeling that all of the staff is good based upon my conversation with the General Manager (Dimitri). I plan to go back for an evening meal.
The service was extremely slow for lunch - it took 45 minutes to receive our cold appetizer!!
We had a fantastic experience at Babushka celebrating my husband's birthday. The staff was so hospitable from the moment we walked in the door and treated us (and our 2yr old daughter) like special guests. It was a formal dining room, yet still welcoming to small children. The food was perfect for this winter weather, but the wine list - wow! We were so pleased to have some amazing wine from Eastern Europe. We will return to try more of those. Overall, the experience far exceeded our expectations and we are looking forward to returning many times.
I enjoyed the food, but mostly the service. They really make you feel welcome. I'll definitely be back to try other menu items :)
Sometimes you go out to dinner and enjoy a great meal. Other times, if you're lucky, you go out to dinner and enjoy a great experience. Last Wednesday was one of those times. Our first visit to this nearby mom and pop (or maybe it's a pop and son), and we loved it. A special thanks to our fabulous waiter...wish we asked for his name.