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If you keep walking Internacyanalnaya Street while bar-hopping in the Upper Town in Minsk, you’ll come across Komsomolskaya Street. Technically, it’s also a part of the Upper Town, but Minsk citizens have always separated the bars at the crossing of Revolycionnaya (meaning Revolutionary) and semi-pedestrian Komsomolskaya streets from the others. Yet, this drinking area does not have any local name. Among two street names, I needed to choose the most appropriate for the title. Komsomol was a distant relative of boy scouts in the USSR. However, any connection between underage and alcohol is subject to prosecution in Belarus. Therefore, I would like to invite you to the revolutionary bar-hopping in Minsk. Keep it fun and peaceful!
The beer scene in Belarus was developing in epochs. The first 15 years after the breakdown of USSR, beer-lovers were drinking lagers, pilsners and wheat beers in German and Czech style restaurants. Later on, they switched to ales, bitters, and stouts in English and Irish pubs. Tastes developed, and soon beer amateurs were craving for Belgian blondes, dubbels, and lambics. Craft beer wave brought IPAs, sours, and milkshakes. You can find a pub from any of your favorite epochs in Minsk. Get a feeling of everlasting Oktoberfest at the basement level of the German-style "Gaststette" beer pub. Likewise, the UK-style "TNT Rock Club" hosts noisy rock gigs with all the chatting and smoking happening at a cozy terrace. "Bruxelles" offers Belgian style beers and cuisine.
"Vinny Shkaf" or “Wine Closet” is rated amongst top wine places in Minsk. It offers an excellent choice of wine, though a bit pricey. Quiet chill during the day time, it is balanced by crowded hangout with live music and DJ sets on weekend nights. “La Moldova” wine house is a bit less sophisticated. This bar-shop offers 9 sorts of Moldovian wine from 4 to 7 BYN (2-3,5 $/€) per 125ml glass, traditional Moldovian pastry Placinta and wine snacks like cheese and olives.
Surprisingly, we have 3 bars elaborating on the great bootlegger culture on the same street. Each is somewhat hidden in a speakeasy bar tradition. You may find the “Embargo” bar by the sound of saxophone music in the so-called “red courtyard”. The “Pinky Bandinsky” restaurant-bar is much bigger from inside then you can imagine. Knock on a big wooden door in the flower shop to enter the basement of the "Bootlegger" bar. Tip: Wednesdays are ladies’ nights in “Bootlegger”.
“Karma Room” feels like a bar that your besties could open just to have a place to hang out with friends. “Make-Make Tiki King” bar offers a Hawaiian twist to the classic cocktails and live music on weekends. The next-door “Myata-lounge” is a chain network waterpipe bar with teas and cocktails for hookah-smoking caterpillars. Alcohol blogger Julia based her “Alcoholy” bar on the perfect serve concept. Each cocktail is paired with a specific snack for a better taste delivery.
Many party-goers tend to suffer from kebabaholism. To satisfy their needs, the main bar-hopping areas have at least one 24/7 fast food points in a walking distance. While the Upper Town district has a “Doner King” place at Zybitskaya Street, there is another one a bit closer to Revolutionary Street. For real shawarma-lovers, I recommend two places that work till 12 AM daily. “My Dear Kebab” offers nice sets with home-made 0,5l ayran as a drink option. “Kedr” has more than 10 different types of shawarma and hookahs. I prefer finishing a revolutionary bar-hopping in Minsk in my beloved greasy spoon called “Zakon Buterbroda” or “The Law of the Sandwich”.
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