Destinations Magazine

Fast Food in Russia and Ukraine, Part 1

By Mendeleyeev

хамбургер (hamburger), хоть дог (hot dog), пицца (pizza) are some of the items enjoying success in the former Soviet Union.

For our readers we’ll explain that these are cognates, or borrowed words from other languages and brought into use in Russian, then assigned Cyrillic lettering to complete the transliteration.

That being said, lets work on spelling which will aid our Cyrillic alphabet comprehension:

- хамбургер is kh-a-m-b-u-r-g-e-r, or “khamburger” but Russians over assign the letter g (г) to the first letter of this word so don’t be surprised if someone offers you a “gahm-burger.” Just say yes.

- хоть дог is kh-o-t  D-o-g or “khot dog” and that is the way it will be spoken.

- пицца is p-i-z-z-a. Fairly simple.


This Anastasia Kolesnikova photo is of a new fish & chips kiosk in Moscow called Mama’s, near the Kurskaya Metro station. Russians love ice cream at any meal and Mama’s, yes that is the name in both Russian and English, serves pastries and fried ice cream for breakfast. What a country!

Next door to Mama’s is a стардогs (StarDogs), a хоть дог (hot dog) chain in major Russian cities. They do serve great hotdogs by the way!

If Stardogs looks, feels and tastes a lot like Nathan’s hot dogs, an American chain from New York, you’re on to something. When Stardogs began they modeled themselves after Nathans, going so far as to spend time in New York with Nathans management to learn how to do things right.


Above: a Stardogs kiosk in Yalta, Ukraine along the Crimean Black Sea.

In Ukraine there is a growing knock off chain called “McFoxy” which carries the McDonalds menu and anything else they can do to siphon off some of McDonalds business.


…more to come.

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