Exotic foods

Exotic Food: Best Ethnic Restaurants in Kyiv

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Foreign cuisine in Kyiv has never been more popular than it is today. We’ve prepared a list of some of the more exotic foods in Kyiv: Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Pan-Asian and Indian.

The Ukrainian palette isn’t as eclectic as you’d imagine. Various types of foreign cuisine are still relatively new to most folks who live here. For instance, I’ve met people who haven’t tried Indian or Vietnamese food — crazy as it sounds!

If you’re a foreigner living or traveling in Kyiv, at some point you’ll likely want to move away from — delicious as it is — borscht, potato dumplings, and salo.

So the next time you’re out, check out these places.

Chinese

Kitayskiy Privet
Address: Ivana Franka St, 7
Hours: 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Average bill: 250UAH

Kitayskiy Privet (translated to “Chinese Hello”) is a trendy place near the Golden Gate metro station. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the large portions. The restaurant is styled to look like a traditional Chinese cafe.

When I went, I ordered sweet and sour chicken and wonton soup because I hadn’t had these dishes in over a year. If I had to give it a score on food quality, I’d go w/a 7 of 10, however where the restaurant shined was service and price. I didn’t have to wait very long to be served, the food came out quickly, and the bill was cheap (even by Ukrainian prices). It’s a small place, and it was full when I went (a Saturday) so do plan ahead and make a reservation.

BAO • Modern Chinese Cuisine
Address: Mechnykova St, 14/1
Hours: 12 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Average bill: 800UAH

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BAO opened its doors in 2016 and is a restaurant of modern Chinese cuisine run by celebrity chef Héctor Jiménez-Bravo. The culture and traditions of Asia inspired him, so he decided to recreate a small part of the culture in the heart of Historical Kyiv. The number one attraction in BAO is an open kitchen concept where you can watch the cooks prepare your food. It’s a bit upscale having nice ambiance and generally well-dressed clientele. It’s also a bit pricy (think U.S. or Eastern Europe prices), but the absolute best Chinese food you’ll get in Kyiv.

Kitaika
Address: Zolotoustivska St, 16
Hours: 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Average bill: 250UAH

A pan-asian restaurant that serves Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, and Chinese food.

The restaurant is suitable for vegetarians, vegans, and pescetarians. An excellent option for lunch with friends. No-frills interior, affordable prices and there’s a summer terrace.

Japanese

Noodle vs. Marketing
Address: Khrestovyi Ln, 8/9
Hours: 11pm – 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Average bill: 100UAH

This is a popular ramen shop and one of the first single product restaurants in Kyiv. Ramen is a Japanese dish made of broth and wheat noodles. In “Noodle vs. Marketing,” the chefs are personally involved in the daily making of fresh noodles and sauces. Their concept of limiting their marketing means they concentrate on the main concept – tasty Ramen.

Menya Musashi
Hours: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Average bill: 200UAH

A chain of Japanese ramen shops is now opened in Kyiv. Musashi chain has four spots in Kyiv and 836 restaurants around the world. It’s been rated as #2 of 10 must-visit ramen shops in Tokyo. In any of Musashi restaurants in Kyiv, you can enjoy true international quality for a reasonable price.

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Mr. ZUMA
Address: Esplanadna St, 1
Hours: 12 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Average bill: 800UAH

Japanese Chef Daisuke Yoshizaki is here to amaze you with the most authentic Japanese food. He created an incredible menu full of the most beautiful and delicious Japanese food in Ukraine.

Vietnamese

Tin Tin
Address: Viacheslava Lypynskoho Street, 15
Hours: 12 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Average bill: 200UAH

A Vietnamese restaurant-bar, whose name is similar to the Vietnamese phrase — tính tiền, meaning “charge.” Paying respect to the Vietnamese culture and the most popular mode of transportation in Vietnam — the bicycle, the owners opened this restaurant on the old property of the Kyiv Cycling Track. Also, the walls are decorated with illustrations of the eponymous comic book character Tintin.

Vietnamskiy Privet
Address: Bessarabs’ka Square, 2
Hours: 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Average bill: 150UAH

Vietnamskiy Privet (Vietnamese Hello) is a trendy street-food spot from the owners of the Kitayskiy Privet.

Located in the Bessarabsky Market, the chefs are Vietnamese. Authentic Vietnamese cuisine has been a little bit adapted for the Kyiv-palate.

Korean

Arirang
Address: Antonovycha St, 160
Hours: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Average bill: 300UAH

Arirang is the oldest Korean restaurant in Ukraine — it was opened in 1998. You can find more than 100 authentic dishes and drinks on the menu. South Korean chef M. Pak cooks only according to traditional recipes, so all the portions are pretty large and spicy.

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Indian

Himalaya
Address: Velyka Vasylkivska St, 80
Hours: 11:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Average bill: 400UAH

The oldest Indian restaurant in Ukraine located in downtown Kyiv. Himalaya was opened back in 1997. Initially, it was located on Kreshchatik street, but during the revolution in 2013, the owners moved to its current address.

The interior is full of silk fabric elements, light tones, handmade decorations, statues of gods, etc. The chef is a native Indian who was thoroughly collecting recipes from different regions of his country. One of the main features of Himalaya is that a lot of dishes are being cooked in tandoor oven. It’s better to book a table in advance.

Sutra
Address: Proviantska St, 3
Hours: 5 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Average bill: 600UAH

“Sutra” is a luxury Indian restaurant. The name in Sanskrit means “aphorism” and considered as a “set of wise sayings.” Everything is dedicated to the culinary traditions of India. “Sutra” is full of fairy tales and legends, and every element of the interior has some historical meaning. Visiting this place feels like visiting an Indian palace or a temple.

Podil East India Company
Address: Mezhyhirska St, 9
Hours: 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Average bill: 200UAH

PEAC serves Indian, Malaysian, Indonesian, and other South-East Asian food and drinks adapted to local-preferences. The restaurant will appeal to those who would like to learn more about oriental cuisine, but not yet ready for authentic Indian cuisine.

The place has amazing food and a great cocktail-bar with several classic east Indian alcoholic drinks.

Random Quote about Kyiv:

"For me it's very important to turn Kyiv into one of the main centers of contemporary art in the world. There is New York. There's London. And there will be Kyiv. Everyone will come and say, 'Wow!'"
-- Victor Pinchuk
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