Podil, one of Kyiv’s oldest districts, located in the west-center of the city, has numerous architectural and historical landmarks. But Podil has in recent years become a trendy residential area, and as a result also a hub for modern cafes and bars with interesting interiors and reasonable prices. These are the most exiting current venues for tasty food and drinks in the district.
Pink Freud is another trendy spot, nestled in a courtyard surrounded by office buildings, with a loft-style interior, and offering a wide range of unique cocktails. The bar doesn’t have a signboard – look out for bright pink graffiti featuring Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, and walk through the nearby archway into the courtyard to find this place. The bar offers various snacks such as sandwiches, chicken soup and smoked ribs, along with hookah pipes, shots and long-drink cocktails, and non-alcoholic options like lemonade.
19 Nyzhny Val St.
6 p.m. – 2 a.m.
The Living Room
This tiny pink café on the corner of Spaska and Mezhygirska Streets is a favorite place for young people, artists and students of Kyiv Mohyla Academy, which is located nearby. Along with its cozy atmosphere and good music, the place has won a loyal clientele because of its reasonably priced drinks: around Hr 40 for a cider or beer, and Hr 150 for a carafe of wine.
6 Spaska St.
10 a.m. – 12 a.m.
The two-year-old Doska Bar offers a range of beers, ciders and the most popular cocktails. The name of the bar in Russian means “the board pub” and it gathers fans of snowboarding, skateboarding, wakeboarding and surfing – any kind of sport that involves a board. And to match its name, the bar is of course decorated with various boards attached to its walls. There is a limited range of snacks here – only sandwiches (Hr 35), pizza (Hr 50-120) and standard sets of battered squid rings, cheese, fish, chicken strips, and octopus to go with beer for Hr 70. The average price for a long-drink cocktail is Hr 70 and Hr 50 for a shot.
12 Mezhyhirska St.
5 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Smoky belongs to a chain of bars featuring hookah pipes in Kyiv, Dnipro and Zaporizhzhya. Along with hookahs with various types of flavored tobacco, the spot offers popular cocktails, beer, cider or non-alcoholic drinks. Unlike in other bars, in Smoky clients pay for an hour of hookah smoking per person (Hr 70-100) and on top of that have to pay for labeled tobacco and a hookah filled with a cocktail instead of water. The bar also offers a range of popular dishes from European cuisine such as salads, pasta dishes, and snacks.
12 Mezhyhirska St.
11 a.m. – until the last client
Khvylovy is a tiny bar at 18 Verhny Val St. named after Ukrainian writer Mykola Khvylovy, who was among the most famous personalities during the short period of flourishing of Ukrainian culture during first years of the Soviet Union. The bar is a new place, opened only this spring by four friends. The bar has today’s popular loft-style interior, with the wooden tables and a bright luminous bar. But what makes this spot special is its friendly staff and underground atmosphere. Along with ordering a cider (Hr 40) or other cocktail (around Hr 80 – 120), clients can also play video games on the bar’s own game console.
18 Verhniy Val St.
6 p.m. – 1 a.m.
One of the capital’s oldest Mexican-themed restaurants, Tequila House offers 15 types of frozen Margarita, and a range of Mexican foods such as burritos, quesadilla, and tacos. As its name implies, the restaurant also has various options of tequila shots, costing from Hr 85 for Olmeca Blanco label, to Hr 295 for the top-of-the-range Patron Anejo brand. The price of a set of 10 tequila shots starts from Hr 795. The restaurant also offers every second Margarita for free on Thursdays.
8 A Spaska St.
10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
People relax in PR Bar at Podil on Oct. 12. (Anastasia Vlasova)
PR Bar & Kitchen
PR Bar is one of Kyiv’s top spots for cocktails made by professional barmen, and it also offers traditional western Ukrainian cuisine from Zakarpattya Oblast. The spot is a regular venue for various networking events, such as meetings of couch surfers and food and drinks tastings. This place only opened a year ago, but has already won the hearts of Kyivans with its high-quality drinks at reasonable prices – most of its cocktails cost only Hr 80-120. To wash down the drinks, there are hot-dogs, stuffed pies and traditional dishes such as gambovtsi (cheese balls).
6A Sagaidachnogo St.
11 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Hashtag Bar is another “secret” place that doesn’t have the signboard, but is always crowded with people. Opened in 2014, the bar soon became popular among Ukrainian artists, fashionistas and hipsters. The bar offers a range of cocktails and more than 20 types of whiskey – moreover, they take their whiskey seriously here and nothing as sacrilegious as a whiskey and coke can be found on the menu. The average price of an alcoholic cocktail or whiskey is Hr 100-120, and from Hr 50 for soft drinks and beer.
48 Vozdvyzhenska St.
4 p.m. – to the last client
Fly Bar offers classical dishes from different continents such as British chicken pot pie, a stuffed bread called empanada popular in Latin America, or Moroccan beef cheek with couscous. The bar also has an impressive collection of whiskeys, a variety of custom-mixed cocktails prepared by the chief barmen, and even an alcohol-based sorbet. The place, which opened less than a year ago, also attracts visitors due to its unusual interior, which features lots of interesting details, like vintage armchairs and a set of clocks attached to the wall showing the time in different corners of the world.
25 b Petra Sahaidachnoho St.
11 a.m. – 4 a.m.
This restaurant offers exquisite Moroccan-themed meals combined with more common dishes of French and Mediterranean cuisine. Marrakesh is also famous for its hookah pipes, with more than 30 types of tobacco available. The restaurant offers a wide range of drink options: the menu lists about 25 types of tea (Hr 75) alone, along with plenty of options for wine and classic cocktails (Hr 85-95). And every Friday and Saturday Marrakesh has performances by DJs and belly dancers.
24 Petra Sagaidachnogo
12 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Druzi Café & Bar
Druzi, which is nestled in a courtyard at the base Andiyvsky Uzviz, offers a wide range of food and drinks options at the cheap prices. Because of its location close to Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, its cozy atmosphere, and it low prices, the place is usually packed with students and young people playing table games. Cocktails here cost around Hr 85-95, and there is a selection of wines costing Hr 55-65 per glass. The café also offers breakfasts for just Hr 39-75, and main courses for Hr 80-150.
2 D Andiyvsky Uzviz
8 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Lubov-Morkov is a homely little café not far away from the funicular railway and Poshtova Ploshcha metro station. The place has a cute interior with various plants in the pots, pictures by Ukrainian artists on the walls, and stuffed toys to keep kids occupied. The menu includes salads (Hr 80), made from fresh fruits and vegetables bought from local farmers at the nearby Zhytnyi Market, delicious cream-soups, (Hr 45), and several types of waffles for desert (about Hr 50-70).
23/8 Petra Sahaidachnoho St.
9 a.m. – 11 p.m.
The Gastrorock café is a gastro-pub that offers various fruit liqueurs (nastoyanka), craft beer, and classic and house cocktails. The bar belongs to the chain of restaurants belonging to famous Ukrainian restaurateur Dmytro Borysov. Gastrorock reopened in spring 2015 after a major fire that occurred in December 2014. Apart from drinks options, Gastrorock offers wide range of snacks, salads and main courses of meat and fish for Hr 69 – 198. Live music performances are held on Fridays and weekends.
10 Vozdvyzhenska St.
10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Wood You Like Bar
Wood You Like Bar is a small artsy pub near Kontraktova Square with a minimalistic design and a wooden bar and tables. The bar offers a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails, smoothies, milk-shakes and snacks to go with them. Clients can also order pizza made in a café nearby. The average price of a drink is Hr 80. The bar also regularly holds various movie screenings.
24 Mezhyhirska St.
9 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Photo by Anastasia Vlasova
Another popular underground place at Andrew’s Hill is Gnezdo Bar at 21 Andryivsky Uzviz, the name in Russian meaning “The Nest.” Opened in 2014, the bar quickly became popular among young people because of its creative design (the bar has lots of hand-made decorations and bright pictures on its walls) and friendly atmosphere. Grezdo often holds movie screenings, live music performances or DJ-sets on weekends. The price of a cocktail is around Hr 70, and snacks and salads cost Hr 40-70.
21 Andriyvsky Uzviz St.
11 a.m. – 1 a.m.