A Borsch and A Steam: Mastering the Southampton Russian Bathhouse

For a truly unique adventure that combines relaxation and ethnic food, consider a drive north and east of the city to the Southampton Russian Bathhouse. During the week, the space is open from 11am until 11:30pm (closed Mondays). Admission is $35 which allows you access to the different sauna and steam rooms, tanning bed, Swiss showers, a cold plunge bath, a pool, and a jacuzzi.  The balcony restaurant will serve you lunch or dinner without needing to pay the entrance fee, however we ate poolside and were able to leave our snacks at our table to nibble at in between sauna sessions.

First, we warmed up with two hot soups; an overly simple borsch, and a cilantro flecked karcho ($6 each).  I have had far better at other Russian restaurants close by, but they were in no way bad.

The cabbage, carrots, and pickles on the pickle platter ($9) were quite good, but the tomatoes tasted very very off.

A giant plate of fried potatoes and mushrooms is great to share. Just a touch greasy, it helps revive you after lots of sweating.

My favorite bites were of the meat pelmeni ($7) , plated simply with a little pool of butter. Dip these Russian dumplings in sour cream.

Southampton is BYO and vodka is what you should be bringing if you want to fit in. A pitcher of fruity kompot is a great mixer. Another option is a huge mug of the fermented drink Kvass, with about 1% ABV, its a safe thing to chug when going in and out of 200 degree rooms.

A quick break down of the spa experience for nervous first timers:

Pay $35 at the desk and leave an item as “deposit.” Get a locker key, change into a bathing suit in your designated locker room. Grab a towel and  robe by the pool. Mark your table, try not to laugh at the Russian spa “hats”. Drink some vodka (but not too much), order some snacks. Move towards the saunas and do a round or two at each with cold showers in between. Come back for snacking and repeat. Chill out in the jacuzzi, one of the staff will turn the jets on for you. Pay for all your food at the desk on your way out.

Looking for  a state of the art, pristine spa experience?  This isn’t that. But I will definitely be going back.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • Russian food and a steam sounds like the perfect afternoon

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • I am easily intimidated in a room full of half dressed Russian men
  • rotten tomatoes?

Southampton Spa, 141 2nd Street Pike, Southampton, 215942-4646



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