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Zen Den

Zen Den

Destination: Samara

Zen Den in downtown Samara's got the rhythm for a great night out - and you wouldn't expect such amplitude from its unassuming front entrance on Main Street.

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Along the back wall inside the expansive lounge, a huge mural of Buddha in a lotus flower welcomes you to decompress and get comfortable. Handmade papier-mâché lights illuminate the bar area, where you can order from more than 50 classic cocktails and cold beers.

An icy mojito, $6, ought to help clear your mind — especially if you're looking to rival your friends in a game of darts, pool, backgammon or cribbage Zen Den has available to play. Finish up your gaming, and stay to sway to the sounds of live blues and rock music from local and international bands.

Let the night go on for more excitement, transitioning the Buddha-backed lounge area into a bumping dance club, livened with locals and tourists letting loose to reggae on Wednesdays and salsa on Thursdays.

As the dance floor heats up, ask the kitchen staff to fire up the grill and make you one of the Zen Den's best-selling beef hamburgers, $4, with cheddar cheese, tomatoes and pickles, spread with ketchup and mayo. Or, pick from a bunch of sandwiches or shareable deli meat and cheese platters, all perfect to enjoy while sitting on the hand-made upholstery and low-rise furniture.

Ambiance

The name says it all in the early evening hours — totally 'zen' and totally 'den', with dark introspective mood lighting, eclectic furniture, paintings and murals, with plenty of room to sprawl. As for later on — that's a different story all together.

Service

The workers are ready to lounge around as much as you are — so be sure you make it clear if you want their attention.

Price

Sandwiches/Burgers $4-$8; Share plates $8-$24; Drinks $3-$8

Hours

6 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Zen Den in Pictures