Hours: Breakfast, lunch, dinner: seven days
Open late: Saturday till midnight, other nights till 11
Cafe and lounge in a historic Division Street bathhouse, now once again operating as a spa.
To my regret, I never visited the original Division Street Russian Baths, so I can't compare it to this newly remodeled bathhouse. I can tell you that Red Square is a bright, clean, comfortable spa where old fellows shout in Russian, scrubbing and beating the holy hell out of each other with birch branches. And, yeah, you can eat and drink. I wish the baths still served the salami and salt herring memorably recalled in Saul Bellow's Humboldt's Gift, but there is a Russian-style menu, with beefy red borscht, plump pelmeni, and a generous pickled vegetable platter, pierogi, beet salad, kebabs, and more universal things like chicken liver paté, marinated mackerel, scallops, grilled salmon, and deviled eggs crowned with salmon roe. The dining room is designed like a train's dining car, complete with curtained "windows" opening on a video screening the Russian countryside whipping by. Just imagine yourself taking a rail tour of banyas (bathhouses) across Mother Russia, and then head downstairs for another schvitz.
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This remodeled bathhouse in the original Division Street Russian Baths is a bright, clean spa where old fellows still shout in Russian, scrubbing and beating the holy hell out of each other with birch branches. And, yeah, you can drink—even in the locker room if you like, on chaise lounges in front of a bank of TVs. In fact, this is one of the only circumstances I can think of under which it's acceptable to drink vodka, though if you can't quite bring yourself to that, the full bar includes Rittenhouse 100 along with a handful of Russian beers. —Mike Sula