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Baltic, London

74 Blackfriars Road
Tube: Southwark
Tel: 44 207 928 1111's insider take:

Upon entering, nothing about Baltic's vodka bar, cozy with recessed seating, prepares you for the soaring white-walled dining room. It's latticed with beams, lit by a fiber-optic chandelier of Polish amber lamps, and crackles with energy. The Eastern European cuisine served here is hearty and often exceptional: blinis, Siberian pelmeni (little veal and pork dumplings), and unpronounceable szczawiowa (sorrel soup). Pretty Polish women dressed in black take orders efficiently and unobtrusively, even during the Sunday evening jazz gigs and among the customary loud crowds. This is the best place for post Tate Modern unwinding.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.