Masoch café is known for its peculiar vibe and often climbs on the top ratings of the most visited Lviv venues. As the title suggests, the spot is named after the writer and creator of masochism Leopold Ritter von Sacher-Masoch, who was born in Lviv in 1836. The legends say that naughty visitors are dealt with in a special manner, but the reality is a bit different: waiters are equipped with short whips, applied up to the visitors’ requests. A busy evening in Masoch frequently reminds of a burlesque — there’s always someone among the guests who decides to make it hot. The menu is filled with various cocktails with prominent names like ‘Ménage à trois’ or ‘Submission’.
Address: 7, Serbska Street
Zalizna Shapka / Iron Hat
Located right near the Lviv Opera House, Zalizna Shapka is one of the most respected pubs in the city. The interior and vibe remind of the classic English pub with unusual cheeky Lviv elements — for instance, black and white photos of couples with deer’s antlers poking through. Guests are welcome to take pictures. The two-story pub with an open terrace is an often place of meeting for beer lovers: after all, the menu includes 8 types, as well as unusual specialties. One of them is ‘Bomb’ made of dark beer, coffee liquor, Baileys, and whiskey. Food at Zalizna Shapka is your standard pub selection of salads, burgers, snacks and 1,5-kilo plates for the big company. There are tips to try chicken wings in a honey sauce.
Address: 23, Teatralna Street
Vezha Panorama Bar
Vezha bar was opened in the restored 1894 water tower in the Stryisky Park only a year ago and became one of the most romantic fine dining spots in Lviv. The name speaks for itself — here visitors can enjoy the incredible panorama of the whole city. The menu has various dishes from European cuisine and place’s specials. Sweet tooth recommend the Chocolate Tower dessert. Wine list to accompany delicious food includes wines from France, Italy, Georgia, Chile, Australia and Ukraine.
Address: 160, Ivana Franka Street
Fans of the Jägermeister will appreciate this bar located in the historical center of Lviv. JagerWald offers more than 50 cocktails based on the famous liquor to satisfy even the most exquisite tastes. The new menu of the bar is based on food pairings, suggesting dishes and cocktails that go incredibly well together. To name but a few, pork steak with caramelized apples and roe deer tartare are one of the most popular picks. By the way, JagerWald’s interior is full of deer elements from paintings to plates.
Address: 2, Fedorova Street
Meat and Justice
The theatrical restaurant sends visitors back to the times when inquisition was a common thing: the interior is filled with torture tools like a guillotine, Spanish boots and restraint masks. Moreover, an executioner greets all visitors and even delivers a special show at 9 P.M. As the name suggests, the restaurant specializes in meat dishes, prepared in the open view. Meat and Justice was among the finalists in the prestigious SALT Restaurant Award in 2017.
Address: 20, Valova Street
The restaurant is well-known among the Lviv lovers of healthy food: Power Food boasts of unique menu, where the calories are taken into consideration and written near each position. Besides, proteins, fats and carbohydrates are balanced in every dish to maintain the perfect balance and nourish the body. Power Food easily breaks the stereotype that healthy food is bland: baked pears with ricotta, cranberries and nuts or guacamole bruschetta with salmon and cream cheese are one of the simplest dishes on the menu. Besides, supplement cocktails like protein and BCAA are also available here.
Address: 20D, Porokhova Street
House of Legends
Easily one of the most Instagram-ed fine dining spots in Lviv, House of Legends is known for unique exterior: the building located in the downtown instantly catches the eye. The reason behind is a statue of a dragon and various decor elements that are placed all over the 7 floors of the building. The title of the café speaks for itself: every room in this house opens a story of the city’s legends from the abundance of lions to small but charming elements like cobblestone. The menu is full of dishes from Ukrainian and European cuisine and has an array of nalyvkas. Each evening at 9.24 the dragon spews fire from its mouth, making the passers-by happy with unusual fireworks.
Address: 48, Staroievreiska Street
Щось Цiкаве / Something Interesting
This place is hidden away in one of the downtown's patios. Founded in 2011 by art association "Prostir", Щось Цiкаве stays the only open-air art gallery in Lviv. Nowadays it also works as a cafe, which invites guests from 6 A.M. while touristic Lviv is still asleep. The menu here is regularly updated and baked goods are always fresh. To give an idea, a delicious peanut butter croissant, vegetable quiche, cocoa with marshmallow and variety of coffee options are what lures in hungry souls.
Address: 13, Rynok Square
The mono-brand café is mostly known to those seeking a bottle of a traditional Ukrainian homemade liquor nalyvka. It is indeed one of the place’s specialties — raspberry nalyvka degustation set is one of the most frequently ordered items on the menu. In this café, everything is based on and styled after raspberry: the bright pink interior instantly reminds of the delicious dessert. Homemade jams, compotes, cookies and mulled wine in winter are a few of the many positions you can find here.
Address: 24, Staroievreiska Street
Sure enough, the list wouldn’t be complete without the iconic restaurant-Kneipp ‘Kryivka’. Dedicated to the Ukrainian Rebel Army UPA that fought for Ukrainian independence during the WWII, the restaurant is a time machine to the wartime: the interior is filled with historical artifacts and the food is served in metal army plates. Traditional borshch, varenyky, deruny, topped with Ukrainian cordials nalyvkas are the most popular picks here. 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
Photo sources: Facebook pages of businesses mentioned above, ipnews.in.ua, qimpo.com, trueworldtravels.com, Ruslan Lytvyn / Shutterstock.com. All images belong to their rightful authors.