The Six Hottest Emerging Neighborhoods In the World's Greatest Cities: Red October, Moscow

If mainland Moscow seems bereft of slim-hipped artists and girls sporting bleached-blonde Biebers, it's because they're hitting the cafés, galleries, and clubs on Bolotny Island, the former home of the Red October Chocolate Factory, the building complex that houses most of these new hot spots and gives the area its unofficial name.

Bar Strelka

Photograph: Courtesy of Bar Strelka

Bar Strelka


At Bar Strelka, the cocktail café of the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture, and Design, on the island, you'll see iPads and smartphones scattered on the tables and models picking at salads while chatting up editors from Snob, the provocative culture magazine based nearby.


Revenue from Bar Strelka is funneled into the institute downstairs, where you might take in a lecture by influential design figures such as the partners of the famed Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron or enjoy a screening by an emerging Russian filmmaker. To add to the Eastern Bloc-SoHo vibe, there's a 3,000-square-foot art gallery/Italian joint called Art Akademiya (7-495-771-7446).


The city's newest boutique hotel, Red Zarya, recently opened on the island. Come for the cheap rooms (from $218) but stay for the scene.


The quirky Rolling Stone Bar & Tattoo (7-495-504-0932) has an in-house tattoo parlor, while the Belka bar (7-495-768-5171) attracts a sexy crowd drawn to one of the few places in Moscow where you aren't allowed to smoke.

See more emerging neighborhoods.

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