Not Going to Sochi? Where to Experience Russian Culture Here in Seattle

Catch the Olympic spirit without making the trek to Sochi
Banya 5 spa

Whether you’re actively boycotting the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi (2/7–2/23) because of Putin’s anti-gay policies or you just can’t afford the trip, never fear, there are plenty of ways to experience the best parts of Russian culture right here in Seattle. Get into the right mind-set with a visit to South Lake Union’s Banya 5 day spa (banya5.com), where you can build up a restorative sweat in the Russian sauna (parilka), followed by a visit to the tearoom upstairs, or better yet, Venik Lounge (veniklounge.com), two doors down, where a shot of infused “health vodka” will cure whatever ails you. Say privet to the Eastern European tradition of savory stuffed pastries, either at popular Pike Place Market spot Piroshky Piroshky (piroshkybakery.com), or at lesser-known Piroshki (downtown and on First Hill; piroshkirestaurant.com). Or try the Soviet sustenance at Capitol Hill newcomer Vostok Dumpling House (vostokdh.com), serving delicious dumplings, Russian red cabbage and classic borscht. Finally, stage your own closing ceremonies by hearing the world-renowned St. Petersburg String Quartet play a concert of Russian music at Benaroya Hall (2/23; russianchambermusic.org).

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