While most of us are still in lockdown or in a sort of more liberal lockdown situation, traveling seems still far away in the current circumstances. Luckily, digital traveling is not affected and it is never too early to bookmark the next hot spots to visit, am I right? At least for me as a true globetrotter it is refreshing to travel virtually at the moment and discover and revisit beloved places. Today I want to add one more destination to my recent ‘Go East’ travel series: welcome to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv!
So far I have visited Kyiv three times and I could go back over and over again. From the first time I visited, I fell in love with this city. Prior to my first trip there, I had no notion about the Ukrainian capital. I did not know what to expect and quite often we keep our expectations rather low in such cases. But as with most of my ‘eastern’ discoveries, Kyiv did not disappoint. Quite the contrary: I was absolutely fascinated by this city! Maybe you have seen my first travel post about Kyiv – if not, hop over as there are a few travel tips and sightseeing spots that I will not repeat here.
Additionally, I encourage you to check out my Instagram Highlight Stories about Kyiv – there are even more tips, pics and videos! For this round of Kyiv travel tips I will focus on cool places to enjoy great coffee, excellent food, drinks, and quite often also lush plants. Let’s travel virtually!
Milk Bar: Very cool place with excellent food! Friendly and young staff, and they do speak some English! Great for a lunch break! They are famous for their cakes. Don’t miss a slice!
Coffee Nostra: A green coffee place in downtown Kyiv. They serve good specialty coffee!
Bali Bowl Café: Looking for a healthy, vegetarian, or vegan option? Here you go – popular bowls, sweet and savory, for the healthy conscious.
Espresso Window: Cute little coffee spot – ideal to grab a cup on your way to the Saint Sophia Cathedral as it is close by (but they have a few spots in town).
One Little Coffee Shop: Cute little café with sitting options inside, some quirky design details and plants. Great V60 coffee!
The Cake: Another fabulous place for breakfast or lunch – or just a coffee and cake break! They have amazing food and the patisserie is incredibly beautiful. You will be seated around a huge pink dog – a Jeff Koons look-a-like art piece (not sure it is an original).
Kachorovska: Not far away from The Cake there is another hip and cool coffee place named Kachorovska. It is quite popular for the creative girls of Kyiv working on their laptops, sipping coffee and eating velvety cakes. This is actually a fashion and design boutique with an additional coffee place – might explain the predominantly female clientele.
Hotel Bursa / White Noise Coffee: This is a double tip – actually a triple tip! First, this is a great design hotel for all design-savvy people. Within the hotel complex there is the White Noise Bistro and Coffee – great for food and delicious coffee and cakes (also get a ginger shot!). Additionally, they have a cool rooftop bar for a stylish cocktail experience! Go, see, experience, and thank me later!
Hum:Hum: Yet another great tip if you ask me! Why? Delicious vegetarian food (try the hummus and falafel), fresh juices, good coffee, and lots of plants! I spent actually two hours sitting, reading, enjoying some food, drinks and the lush jungle around me!
Vagabond Café: Not far away from Hum:Hum and the downtown metro station Kontraktova Plosha you will find another fab place: the Vagabond Café is run by a group of international artists and offers food, drinks, as well as vintage objects, antiques and art for sale.
Spotykach: You will never be hungry in Kyiv. There is food galore and pretty much everywhere I really enjoyed the food. One such spot is also the restaurant Spotykach. It is known for a modern twist of Ukrainian cuisine and I can confirm that! I enjoyed a beetroot salad with artichokes and goat cheese, traditional varenyki dumplings served in the colors of the Ukrainian flag with a side of sour cream and a good Ukrainian white wine. Thumbs up!
Last Barricade: This restaurant is located right at the famous Maidan Square. The Ukrainian name is Ostannia Barykada and it used to be a sort of secret and exclusive spot in the beginning. Some of the mystery remains nowadays too as you enter the place and arrive at a sort of reception desk where you have to say a code phrase to enter (trust me, the personnel will be helpful if you struggle to find out what the code phrase is). Inside it’s buzzing and cool and the food is delicious! Personnel speaks English and the guests are pretty international.
Lyubimy Dyadya: Difficult to pronounce, a bit off the beaten path (take a cab) but worth the hassle nevertheless! Try to go for brunch on the weekend – the place is really cool, they have a beautiful patio and delicious food! You can see the ‘humble’ brunch I had in my Kiev Instagram Highlight Stories!
Parovoz Speakeasy: Also your nightlife will not be boring at all! The Parovoz Speakeasy bar is almost like a secret tip because entering it is quite an adventure. It is in the basement of a cinema and you enter through the side entrance, go through heavy velvet curtains, through a door, downstairs, another door and you end up in a New York City style bar with great cocktails and good food to accompany the booze. Enjoy!
Barman Dictat: Yet another fabulous cocktail bar in a hidden courtyard with a door that does not indicate anything. Find it, enter, enjoy some great drinks at the fabulous bar. Moreover, they have live music quite often and fancy people around so it’s a great place to have a fab night out!
I hope you enjoyed our little virtual trip to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. And once our world is back to normal, I warmly recommend a trip there. You will not be disappointed! Promised!
Photography by Igor Josifovic