A cup of fragrant tea or coffee, delicious food and an engaging book are all you need for a cosy day in Kiev. Whether you’re a bookworm or a caffeine fiend, check out our selection of the best bookshop cafes in Ukraine‘s capital city.
Cafe, European, Coffee, $$$
Kharms is a cosy space in the centre of Kiev. Here you can buy not only books, but also vinyl records, not to mention taking a seat at a brew-bar to enjoy freshly roasted coffee, delicious desserts and mouthwatering sandwiches. There are also events held here, including lectures for creative types on photography, and talks about contemporary art. The cafe offers a thorough selection of literature on art, science and philosophy, as well as albums and gift editions that are hard to find in large bookstores.
Ginger – or Imbir in Ukrainian – is a firm favourite with Kiev’s residents. This is the place where people come to read and relax, and to enjoy delicious vegan and vegetarian food. The walls of the cafe are covered with bookshelves bearing literature on self-development, psychology, and culinary and esoteric topics. Ginger always has a warm atmosphere and is a perfect place for dinner with friends or relatives.
Kupidon was one of the first places in Kiev to combine food and literature. The venue often hosts creative evenings of local writers, presentations of books, and also has screenings of intellectual films. There’s fantastic Ukrainian cuisine, an interesting cocktail menu, and, of course, an excellent choice of books: from second-hand tomes to modern Ukrainian literature. The interior is decorated with vintage furniture and rare theatre posters from the early 20th century.
bOtaN is a unique literary space in Kiev, where you can come to do some work, to read a book or even to take it home. It works in a format of the library – customers are issued a club card, which can be refilled for the required number of hours. The collection at bOtaN has books on art and photography, psychology and personal development, biographies of famous people, business and start-up literature, starting from the classics right through to more contemporary items.
One Love Coffee and One Love Espresso Bar are chain coffee shops that have a range of fine literature to read. The library in the cafes consists of books from the owner’s exclusive collection, which mostly includes travel guides, art and culinary books, non-fiction literature and catalogues with illustrations of paintings by foreign and local artists. There are also lots of English language books if you’re after an Anglophone read.
My Bookshelf is a cafe for dreamers. Why? Because it is almost the only space in Kiev where you can take a window seat with a cup of warming tea or coffee in hand, as passersbys rush outside while you gently flip the pages of your favourite book. Any book in My Bookshelf can also be bought and wrapped as a present. The store offers a diverse selection of literature, and there are publications for every taste for adults and children. The cheerful team of the cafe often holds themed events.
Sweet Book is heaven for those with a sweet tooth, offering delicious cakes and sweet treats to try while drinking a cup of tea or coffee and reading a book or a magazine. It is located on the first floor of The Fairmont Grand Hotel, one of the most indulgent hotels in Kiev. The menu always has several types of tarts, cheesecakes and French macarons, to be enjoyed admiring an incredible view of the Dnieper River and the Left Bank of the Ukrainian capital.