Cafe Nikol is a low profile, unpretentious bar tucked away along Tverskaya Ulitsa. This particular bar has an excellent location, hidden in a little courtyard behind the Intourist (Access via Nikitski Per). Next-door is the super cool, equally chilled out Territoria; two similarly relaxed venues in one courtyard with very different clientele. It's not impossible to find pretty people in Nikol, but for the most part, those who need to be seen know where to be seen. Nikol is for people who want to sip a beer in peace, in a cheap and unusually friendly central location.
The steps take you down to a narrow basement with a bar at the end. Benches line the sides and an obscure mix of military equipment covers the walls. Nikol has a strange, slightly Soviet feel that reflects itself in the decoration, menu and prices. Though, strangely, not in either the service or the atmosphere. This is a quiet, warm and comfortable place, ideal for a relaxing meal after work or a drink before going to a club. Summer drinking in the courtyard is ideal for checking out what kind of a night is brewing next-door. Beer is 45 rubles, vodka 18 and meals start at 50.
5/6 Tverskaya Ul.
Hours: noon to 11 p.m., till midnight Friday