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Zoom, St. Petersburg

22 Gorokhovaya Ulitsa
St. Petersburg
Russia 191186
Tel: 7 812 448 5001's insider take:

Opened in 2004, this library café gets its many fans so thoroughly chilled they lose track of time. Soft white walls, rice-paper lamps, black glass-topped tables, and blue couches with striped pillows are the backdrop for the main event: books. "Tell me where you eat, and I'll tell you what you read" is the house motto, and the house supplies the books, along with the food. The vaguely health-conscious menu has an uncommon amount of salads, which are not necessarily smothered in mayo, plus soups, steak, salmon, fish cakes, and apple baked with honey and nuts for dessert. Though it's peripheral to Zoom's appeal, the food's fine, and beer, wine, and liquor are served to the young bibliophiles. When you're finished, the check arrives tucked between the pages of a novel.

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