I was lucky enough to spend six weeks in Kiev (and three months total in Ukraine) so I got to experience first hand the stellar cuisine the country serves up.
I enjoyed almost every meal during my stay, but these are my top 11 favorite bars and restaurants in Kiev that I recommend to every visitor!
Dan and I befriended a Ukrainian couple on a tour and hung out with them a few times before we left the city. So, we got the inside scoop on where locals eat in Kiev, and Pervak was their top recommendation. This Ukrainian restaurant not only dishes up spectacular dumplings, potato pancakes, and other traditional foods, but also has a great ambiance as well. Live music, eclectic decor, and rooms with different personalities all set the tone for a memorable Ukrainian meal at Pervak.
Ramen from Noodle vs. Marketing
2. Noodle vs. Marketing
My first meal in Kiev was ramen, and I don’t regret it one bit. This tiny shop had a wait but it was worth it because the spicy ramen with kimchi and meat was so freakin’ good. Sizes come in baby and standard (pictured above) which was actually pretty massive. Just note that they don’t have any to-go boxes, so you’ll have to eat everything or throw it away when you go.
Burger, fries, and burrito (in the background) from Burger Mexico
3. The Burger Mexico
I’m normally pretty skeptical of restaurants that mix cuisines, but the Burger Mexico does it right. This upscale restaurant in Kiev is a little pricey but the barbacoa burrito was spot on and Dan said he enjoyed his burger as well. If you’re looking for a crowd-pleaser in the city, this is your best bet – especially because they have fountain soda with free refills!
Enjoying tasty Turkish food at Kebab Dash
4. Kebab Dash
I spent two months in Istanbul before moving to Ukraine and still had some of the best Turkish food I’ve ever eaten right here in Kiev! You can judge a restaurant on how good their basic grilled chicken is, and at Kebab Dash it was the highlight of the meal. We got a huge spread and the bread, hummus, pide, and company were all pretty fab as well 🙂
Kolo vegan restaurant in Kiev
Neither Dan or I are vegan but we enjoy a nice, healthy, plant-based meal every now and then, especially in Ukraine where the traditional foods are pretty heavy. Kolo is one of the best vegan restaurants in Kiev and has a bunch of plant-based wraps, burgers, soups, and salads. Even better? The restaurant is surprisingly budget-friendly – expect to spend around 100 uah / 4 usd on a meal here.
Wood-fired lamb meatball pizza from Mimosa Brooklyn Pizza
6. Mimosa Brooklyn Pizza
I’m a sucker for a wood-fired pizza. Plus the place had a chic interior and matching mimosas to go along with it. The menu offers a bunch of unique pizza toppings like lamb meatballs (pictured above) and our pizza also came with a dipping sauce which the Midwestern in me loved. All in all, Mimosa Brooklyn is a solid place for pizza in Kiev.
Deliciously unhealthy fried hotdog for less than a dollar
7. Kyivska Perepichka
Best for: fried hotdogs
Map and Reviews
This place serves hotdogs in fried dough and that’s it. There’s no seating or indoor space at all – just a window to order at and a line snaking down the street. I went because it has great reviews (I mean, it’s a hotdog in fried dough, how could it not) and didn’t even realize ’til later that Anthony Bourdain also recommends it on the Ukraine episode of No Reservations (watch a short clip here). This is one of the best restaurants in Kiev for a cheap meal or even just a snack while you’re exploring. Hot dogs cost 18 uah / .67 usd each and are as spectacularly delicious as they are unhealthy.
Craft beer and ostrich jerky at my favorite Ukrainian brewery
8. Varvar Bar
Dan and I drink a lot of craft beer and we both agree that Varvar is our favorite brewery in Ukraine. They’re pretty big so they had 14 of their own beers on tap to choose from. My personal favorite is the Carribean Dream coconut porter but I like the Captain Salt gose a lot as well. The bar itself is pretty nice and looks like any other modern brewery in the US, with the only difference being the crazy low prices – pints of craft beer are only 50 to 60 uah / 2 usd each! Varvar Bar also serves ostrich jerky, horse jerky, and some other fun snacks along with a full menu, but the food is a bit expensive and has mixed reviews online, so I recommend just coming for a few beers before heading to another spot on this list for dinner.
Fancy cocktails at Lost & Found Bar
9. Lost & Found Bar
Best for: cocktails
Map and Reviews
I must admit I’m not really a cocktail person but Lost & Found bar had such good reviews I wanted to check it out. The bartender was super friendly and suggested drinks based on our preferences, and I kind of felt like I was in a speakeasy in the 20’s because it was so lowkey and atmospheric. If you’re looking for somewhere to chill out or meet new people this is a good choice. Just be aware that cocktails run on the more expensive side for Ukraine at 170 to 200 uah / 6 to 7.50 usd per drink.
Chill outdoor space at the lowkey AM Bar
10. AM Bar
Best for: homemade flavored liquor
Map and Reviews
The AM Bar is budget-friendly (only 40 or 50 uah / 1.50 to 2 usd per drink) and another lowkey place to chill at night if the rowdy and ridiculous ‘gentlemen’s clubs’ that dot Kiev aren’t really your style. It has indoor and outdoor seating and serves homemade flavored liquor drinks like coffee and apple pie. I don’t know what the base liquor is (vodka?) but I’m kind of a wimp and the alcohol flavor still wasn’t too strong for me to sip on. Even if you’re not really a liquor drinker Ukrainians definitely are, so if you want a little taste of their culture stop by the AM Bar for a drink on your night out in Kiev.
Three people taking flaming helmet shots at Palata No. 6
11. Palata No. 6
Best for: a weird night
Map and Reviews
Palata No. 6 is a weird place. I think the theme is like an insane asylum, but I can’t be sure. All I know is that there was definitely a girl wrapped in a straight jacket taking shots on a stretcher when we left.
The main draws here are the low prices, rowdy crowd, and flaming helmet shots that involve three drinks, loud whistles, fire, and smashing barrels on your head. I went with a group of four and we ordered a bottle of premium vodka to share, some sparkling water with lime, and a few appetizers and our total come out to only around 700 uah / 26 usd! If you’re on a budget or want to drink until the early hours of the morning, Palata No. 6 is the best bar in Kiev to do so.
Map of the Best Bars and Restaurants in Kiev
Ready to hit up some (or all) of my fav bars and restaurants in Kiev? This map includes all 11 spots so you can easily choose the most convenient places for dinner and drinks on your next night out in the city! Click on any of the dropped pins for more information 🙂
After you eat your fill at the best restaurants in Kiev, plan the rest of your trip with the Ukraine Series to learn what it’s like inside Chernobyl today (and how to visit the nuclear disaster site), the 15 best things to do in Kiev (and how to DIY your own walking tour through the city) and so much more!