Ukraine’s manifold food traditions vary from region to region. Western Ukraine is famous for cheese and wine production, and the South boasts a range of seafood delicacies and fruit. Whichever area you choose, there are incredibly tasty experiences to be had.
As many tourists start their journey from the capital, it would be a crime to miss out on two of Kiev’s specialities, Chicken Kiev and Kiev Cake. Chicken Kiev is a fillet with a piece of cold butter and is sometimes stuffed with greens, cheese or mushrooms. It is then breaded and deep-fried. Generally, you can find it at restaurants that serve traditional cuisine. You can buy Kiev cake at any supermarket, confectionery or at the shops in the railway stations. It includes a crispy hazelnut merengue, a sponge-like consistency, and it is topped with colourful cream. Many locals give it as a gift, as it is truly delicious.
The port city Odessa is a mecca of delicious seafood. The city itself has loads of restaurants and cafés that offer fresh fish, seafood and oysters, along with exquisite wine or craft beer. For instance, Bernardazzi and Grand Prix serve mussels, scallops, salmon, grilled octopus and much more. Additionally, Lesky, a small settlement not far from Odessa, exports 300 tons of strawberries every year. Visit Lesky to not only buy strawberries, but also to pick them from the public garden beds.
Lviv and the surrounding region are at the heart of gastro-tourism in Ukraine. Visit the western capital for three reasons: great coffee, handmade chocolate and homemade cheese . Lviv Coffee Mining Manufacture is where they make a superb cup of coffee that you can sample after a brief tour. You can also do a tasting at Lviv Handmade Chocolate, and then buy gifts or souvenirs. When you’re ready for the next food region, be sure to first pop in Fromages d’Elise, a traditional farm about 12.4 miles (20 km) outside of Lviv that produces organic cheese and meat using French technology and European standards.
The regional cuisine in The Carpathians is delicious, but there are also some unique culinary-themed spots to visit. Honey House (Medovyi Dom) is a beekeeping museum, with a transparent hive complete with bees. They also offer a degustation of the large collection of honeys brought in from 27 countries. At the Museum of Sausages and Jam (Musei kolbasy i vernjya), you will learn about the Ukrainian-Hungarian dish lekvar (thick jam) and its preparation. They also sell local sausages and meat on-site, and you can purchase it for as little as $2-$3. The products are all-natural and made without any impurities, flavour enhancers, preservatives or sugar.