Traditional Ukrainian cuisine has varying particularities in every region. The brightest example of such a case is the historical area of Galicia (Western Ukraine) and its culinary traditions. Bordering Romania, Hungary and Slovakia, Galician dishes taste more like the food of neighbouring countries, which definitely makes it one of the more intriguing cuisines in the country. Here are the best places in Kiev and Lviv to satisfy your culinary curiosity.
Kiflyk is a small oasis of western cuisine in Kiev. Even the most fastidious foodies will be surprised by the delicacies. Each dish has a separate story or reflects an event. For example, kiflyk (a handmade puff pastry cookie) topped with powdered sugar is usually served complimentarily. In addition, here you can try the best variation of the traditional Ukrainian dish banush (corn grits with pork fat and cheese).
Located on Andrew’s Descent, one of Kiev’s most famous streets, Kanapa perfectly reflects the area’s historical and creative significance. On the menu, you will find modern interpretations of Ukrainian and Galician food. There is the beloved banush (corn grits) with bryndza (sheep milk cheese) and cracklings, syrniki (cottage cheese pancakes) with berry jam, as well as mushroom soup, which is deeply loved by the Transcarpathian residents.
This spot will become your best partner in exploring Galician delicacies, as kumpel is war-period slang for a companion or good friend. Thus, it is not only a bar and restaurant with a friendly atmosphere, but also a place that popularizes and restores Galician cuisine and regional traditions. If you happen to travel to Lviv, head to Kumpel for the most incredible flyaky (tripe soup) ever.
To discover the authentic atmosphere of Western Ukraine and enjoy Galician cuisine, you should stop by Trapezna Idey. The restaurant is located in the building of Lviv’s legendary attraction, the Bernardine Church and Monastery. It is a perfect place for lunch or dinner because of its cosy, traditional tavern interior. Interestingly, the menu is written in one of the Ukrainian dialects – to decode the quirky words, you will have to use a dictionary or read the English version below.
Kryivka is the most extraordinary venue in Western Ukraine. Being located in a basement, it is modelled after a shelter of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army fighters. However, it is also a perfect spot for local dishes, particularly machanka (cottage cheese with greens) and buryachky (beetroot and horseradish salad). Along with food, you can try traditional homemade drinks such as horilka (water and purified alcohol) and alcoholic infusions of berries, honey and spices.
Lviv Galician Cheese Cake and Strudel Bakery, or Lvivski Plyatski, is the first place in Ukraine that specializes in two Galician specialities: syrniki (cottage cheese pancakes) and strudel. The choice is immense: there are savoury plyatski (the Galician word for homemade cakes) with vegetables, meat and smetana (sour cream) or cherry, apple, or poppy ones. Even so, the highlight here is that you can create a dish depending on your taste preferences. It’s no wonder that this bakery has become so popular all over the country, especially in big cities like Kiev, Kharkov, Dnipro and Odessa.
Everyone knows that Lviv is a city of diverse food options. There are restaurants with European, Japanese, Chinese and American cuisine, as well as many places with Galician food. Trout, Bread and Wine (Pstruh, Khlib Ta Vyno in Ukrainian) boasts the best baked Carpathian trout. The variations of modest river fish are endless; you can even ask for a dish that is not included in the menu. In addition, you can join in local traditions and play a sumra – a kind of Carpathian trumpet.
Lviv Coffee Mining Manufacture is a touristic destination in Lviv. According to legend, it is the mine where the local coffee is extracted. So, in the coffee shop, you can try classic variations of the drink, as well as signature beverages with caramelized crust or alcohol. In terms of Galician food, Lviv Coffee Mining Manufacture should be visited for its cherry strudel with vanilla sauce – you won’t regret the choice.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.