When it comes to the culinary scene of Lviv, the heart of Western Ukraine is mostly known for its prime coffee brewing and delicious sweet strudels. However, there’s much more to explore in the broad traditions of Galician cuisine. We picked 10 best restaurants in Lviv for new gastronomical discoveries and unforgettable atmosphere.
The iconic restaurant-Kneipp ‘Kryivka’, which means «the bunker» in Ukrainian, is certainly a must-visit when it comes to Lviv. Dedicated to the Ukrainian Rebel Army UPA that fought for Ukrainian independence during the WWII, the restaurant is a real re-enactment of the army’s good old days: the interior is filled with war artifacts and the food is served in metal plates.
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The menu here is quite simple: traditional borshch, varenyky, deruny, topped with Ukrainian cordials nalyvkas are the most popular picks. Kryivka is located in the basement of the medieval house on Rynok Square without any sign on the door apart from the peephole. However, it can be easily spotted by the long queues on weekends and holidays. The restaurant is opened 24/7.
Address: 14, Rynok Square
Located on the Rynok Square right in the heart of the city, Atlas restaurant reminds of Café de Flore with its intellectual vibe and busy waiters. The menu here is an intricate fusion of European and Ukrainian cuisine, offering the best dishes from each. Breakfast is available from 8 A.M. to 12 P.M., perfect for enjoying the view on busy Lviv with a cup of steaming coffee and traditional Ukrainian cheese pancakes syrnyky. The interior of the place is styled after the late 18th century Lviv classics, which provides amazing city views through the spacious windows.
Address: 45, Rynok Square
An interesting fact: the first kerosene lamp was invented in Lviv in 1853 by two pharmacists, Jan Zech and Ignacy Lukasiewicz. Hundreds of years later, the fact is commemorated by a popular restaurant located on Virmenska Street — the bronze statues of the inventors proudly stand near the entrance.
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In this restaurant, guests can enjoy traditional Galician cuisine, examine various models of kerosene lamps and, of course, sip freshly brewed Lviv coffee that is a must-do of its own.
Address: 20, Virmenska Street
The newcomer to Lviv fine dining scene, 36По has been a hot topic of gossip among locals for a while. After all, the restaurant takes up the whole house on Ploscha Rynok, which history dates back to the 18th century. Two-story aquarium with a real shark and transparent piano Edelweiss are among the most discussed features of the place. As for the menu, here visitors will find Ukrainian cuisine, seafood and whole two floors dedicated to a beer pub. Nowadays tourists and locals frequently drop by for a coffee from the golden coffeemaker.
Address: 36, Ploscha Rynok
The Kumpel gastro-pub is known for a unique menu that is as diverse and multifaceted as Lviv itself: here visitors will find interpretations of Ukrainian, Galician, Polish, Hungarian, Italian and Jewish cuisine. One of the most popular picks, a one-meter long sausage, is best to be eaten in a huge company. The dish is often ordered with the special Kumpel beer, brewed in the restaurant according to the special recipe. Besides, in summertime guests are welcome to sit on the spacious rooftop terrace to observe the city panorama.
Address: 2B, Chorovola Street
Much like Kryivka, Masoch café is known for its peculiar atmosphere. As the title suggests, the fine dining spot is named after the writer and creator of masochism Leopold Ritter von Sacher-Masoch, who was born in Lviv in 1836. Waiters in this café are equipped with short whips, which can be applied up to the visitors’ requests.
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Often ordering dishes and having a short lunch here becomes a burlesque show — if you don’t fancy being whipped, there’s always someone among the guests who loses the bet with their friends. The menu is filled with various cocktails with prominent names like ‘Ménage à trois’ or ‘Submission’.
Address: 7, Serbska Street
Also known as Restauracja Baczewski, this restaurant located in the downtown Lviv is dedicated to the famous wealthy Baczewski family, who resided in Lviv in the 19th century. Those who want to get familiar with wonders of Galician cuisine are welcome to explore the menu, full of dishes cooked with Ukrainian, Polish, Jewish and Hungarian culinary traditions. Homemade liquors and cordials are often ordered here to commemorate the trade of Baczewski, who launched the first mass production of vodka in the world. The most popular visiting occasion is a special Galician breakfast buffet served daily from 8 A.M. to 11 P.M. — pay the fixed price of UAH 100 and see how much you can stuff in.
Address: 8, Shevska Street
Often called the most mysterious dining spot in Lviv, Doctor Faust restaurant is known for its unique serving of homemade Ukrainian liquor nalyvka. The classics and peculiar flavors starting from guelder rose & ginger and mint to dogwood & ginger and dogwood & honeybee are served here in a skull-shaped glass.
Read: Best Places to Taste Traditional Nalyvka in Lviv
Those who got a kick out of it can purchase a skull-shaped souvenir bottle to surprise friends and family. As for the food, the menu concentrates on Ukrainian and European cuisine, as well as coffee made from prime Colombian beans. The restaurant’s terrace overlooks the magnificent Armenian Cathedral of Lviv.
Address: 14, Virmenska Street
Om Nom Nom
The loud newcomer of this spring, Om Nom Nom located not far from the downtown is the first vegan fine dining spot in Lviv. Despite its simplicity, the menu and chef’s wonders lure in crowds: various types of hot dogs, including hummus flavor, 4 types of bowls, as well as healthy falafels are all available here.
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As for the drinks, Om Nom Nom offers smoothies and coffee with five different kinds of milk, from almond to coconut, depending on the guest’s taste. It’s not surprising that this vegan spot is pet-friendly: staff will offer furry friends a bowl of water while their owner enjoys the fresh meal.
Address: 10, Rymlyanyna Street
Над Цукернею / Nad Tsukerneyu
Those who have visited Lviv before are probably familiar with the famous Цукерня café that gathers those eager to buy something sweet and top it with homemade hot chocolate. Luckily, the project was so successful that the owners decided to continue exploring Galician cuisine and opened another fine dining spot, Nad Tsukerneyu, located right above the famous sweet tooth spot. This restaurant proves that Galician cuisine is not just pies and trout but also schnitzel, goulash, lazanki and much more.
Address: 3, Staroievreiska Street
Photo sources: Facebook pages of businesses mentioned above, zhelanka.livejournal.com, the-village.ru. All images belong to their rightful authors.