Kyiv is a large, cosmopolatain city. One can find all types of food here – from fast food to world-class gormet. Good Asian, Middle Eastern, and Cuban can all be found as well. Below is a small list recommended by our students studying abroad in Kyiv.
Hispanic: EscoBar is a Cuban restaurant near the NovaMova school with good fajitas and chili con carne.
Vegetarian/Vegan: Honey Cafe is down the road from NovaMova and offers some vegan and vegetarian options and are quite allergy friendly. ShoSho Vegan is another recommended vegan establishment. The Blue Cup is a bit pricier but has many delicious vegetarian and vegan options. Many restaurants also offer vegetarian business lunch options that may not be advertised but are available upon request. Being a vegetarian certainly won’t prevent you from finding something tasty to eat at the majority of Kyiv restaurants.
Guten Free: There are not many places that list a specific gluten free menu, but we found at least one with at Vesuvio Pizza – it’s very good and close to NovaMova. Zavod Burgers is a good burger place that offers a burger in a lettuce wrap rather than a bun. For most places you will simply need to be aware of what contains gluten and avoid it.
For the Homesick: T-Bone Prime Beef is a BBQ restaurant in Pozniaky with really good brisket and burgers that are slightly on the pricy end, but worth it. Meatbusters is another BBQ restaurant with amazing brisket that the owners apparently learned to cook from YouTube videos. It is definitely amazing.
Coffee: Aroma Kava is the most common coffee chain in Ukraine and has a location very close to NovaMova. If you want to get away from the big chains check out Vidensʹki Bulochky. Druzi Cafe is an atmospheric, cozy cafe right down the road from NovaMova.
Fast Food: You can find western fastfood standards in Kyiv, but if you want a healthier option, try MIRA Café right down the road from NovaMova. They have premade meals you can heat up at the school.
Asian Cuisine: Kytaysʹkyy Pryvit is the best Chinese food you will find in Kyiv and only a short walk from NovaMova. It is cheap and quick! Also check out HANH Café & Market if you’re looking for great Vietnamese Pho and spring rolls.
Chocolate: Lviv Handmade Chocolate has all sorts of amazing desserts and their chocolate and ice cream are delicious!
Yaroslaviv Val St, 11
Mon Cher is a small Lebanese restaurant that’s popular among NovaMova students for a number of reasons. First and foremost: located at Yaroslaviv Val St, 11, it’s literally a minute walk away from the school! This has come in handy many times, both in regards to my hectic schedule as well as the crazy weather in Kyiv. Secondly, Mon Cher is warm, cozy, and has an overall great atmosphere. The interior is decorated with bright colors and dim lighting, which makes it both peaceful and sociable. Thirdly, the service is extremely efficient. Most restaurants in Kyiv require at least an hour of your time, if not more. The waitstaff at Mon Cher might not waste time with pleasantries, but they certainly move at a quicker pace than anywhere else in the city.
My hectic schedule with the PCON program, hosted at NovaMova with SRAS, included extensive regional travel throughout Georgia, Armenia, and Moldova, an intensive Russian-language component (three hours per day), and a superb policy and conflict course. Also included were individual speaking practice twice a week, and countless excursions around the city. If you take the PCON program – you’ll be glad that Mon Cher is there.
The restaurant is most popular for its “business lunch,” which includes a glass of Uzvar (a Ukrainian drink made from fermented fruits and that tastes like spiced cider), a bowl of soup (typically borscht or shchi), a main course, and a small dessert. The business lunches, unlike the normal Lebanese meals served, are always traditional Ukrainian dishes. Some of the lunches I’ve enjoyed at Mon Cher include chicken Kiev, buckwheat with chicken cutlet, and solyanka (soup).
Upon arrival, a waitress will walk you to a table, confirm that you want the business lunch, and immediately bring bread and glasses of uzvar to your table. Within five minutes, you’ll be served your first course (soup). Once your bowls are empty, your main course will appear. It’s always amazing to me how attentive the staff is, especially considering how rare it is to find quick service in Kyiv. You can easily be in-and-out of the restaurant in under thirty minutes!
Mon Cher really couldn’t be any more convenient in regards to location, efficiency, and quality. If you have a chaotic schedule like I do, be sure to stop by the Mon Cher restaurant for a delicious lunch!