Shchelkunchik – this is The Nutcracker in Russian. Give it a try, pronounce it out loud.
It’s also a small coffee place in the Mariinsky theatre neighbourhood. It appeared looong before small coffee places gained extraordinary popularity. In the summertime the owners place a couple of tables outside, so the luckiest can enjoy the pleasant weather.
Simple and quiet, not superhip but local and comfy. Well served with a Kolomna walk or theatre visit. I mostly come to Shchelkunchik on weekend mornings and when I don’t oversleep I’m in time for the early bird discount – 10:00 to 12:00 basic coffee is sold with a 50% discount (40 rubles for regular coffee with milk). I call it Berlin prices :). The coffee goes well with the delicious bakery here – homemade and often just baked buns with cottage cheese or northern berries or cute tiny heart-shaped waffles.
They’ve held poetical evenings or invited musicians to play piano or guitar and sing. Usually once a week.