One Planet (Kyiv, Ukraine)

 

One Planet is a fully vegan restaurant in Kyiv. It was in the fact the first fully vegan restaurant in Ukraine! The restaurant is located a bit away from the main street, and it is rather small. There is some place to sit, and I believe there is a terrace when the weather is nice. They do take-away as well.

Interior at One Planet

One Planet serves burgers, soups, salads, drinks and desserts. There is a menu in English available. We tried the “black burger”, a burger of potatoes, bamboo and corn, served on a black bun, and a quasadilla with ‘vegan cheese’ made from soy and chick peas. There are not really any side dishes like fries or so available.

Hot drink at One Planet
Healthy hot drink with spices and fruit

I was hoping to get a milk shake (pretty ubiquitous in Kyiv, so not a strange request) but there were none so I got a “health drink” made with ginger and slices of fruits. It was very tasty!

Burger at One Planet
Black burger

The food was presented in a very beautiful way. The quasadilla was pink! It was more like a wrap, not very cheese-y, but tasty nonetheless. The burger was served with a nice spicy mustard sauce which went well with the soft taste of the burger. I have to say the burger was a bit smaller than expected.

Quasadilla at One Planet
Pink quasadilla

Of course we had a dessert! There were several options, we tried the Napoleon and the blue berry cheesecake. The Napoleon, made with coconut cream, was very creamy, almost gooey but in a good way.  The blue berry cheesecake is made with cashews and coconut milk but I found the coconut taste to be pretty overpowering. The texture of the cake was interesting, it was not very smooth, but not in an unpleasant way.

Desserts at One Planet
Desserts! On top the Napoleon and below the blueberry cheesecake

The service is okay, it was a bit awkward since the space is small and we were the only guests,  the servers were hovering around us a bit. The food was nice, but the portions rather small. And to be honest, it was actually a bit expensive for what we got. Especially in Kyiv where food is often very reasonably priced. With the menu in English too (albeit with some creative translation), we had the idea this place caters mostly to foreigners, rather than locals.

Blue berry cheesecake at One Planet

Type of place :  vegan restaurant
Completely vegan: yes
Vegan desserts: yes!

Website (Ukrainian) : https://www.facebook.com/oneplanetfamily/

Valya (Geneva, Switzerland)

Inside Valya

For those who do not follow my instagram, first, go check it out, I post more regularly there, and second, I recently moved! I am now living both in Ukraine and Switzerland. And of course, a week before leaving Geneva to go to Kyiv, I found a cute little café around the corner of my apartment! I decided to quickly pop in for a coffee and a dessert.

Sign at Valya
I’ll have to try their Matcha to see if this claim is correct 😀

Valya serves local, seasonal and biological food, with a specific focus on superfood and nutrition for well-being and health. A lot of the available food is also raw, the idea being that raw food is more nutritional. In addition to caring about the health of humans, they care about the health of the environment, serving 100% bio degradable packaging. Valya offers cold-pressed juices, soups, bowls, coffee, (almond based) drinks, sweets and desserts. There are some vegan options available, which is marked on the menu. There are also several gluten-free options.

Vegan items at Valya
Vegan juices and breakfasts in the fridge

The place itself is quite small, there are a few seats available, but it seems to be mostly take-away focused. A lot of the food is premade, and refrigerated. I tried a turmeric latte (also called golden latte), and a slice of banana bread. These turmeric lattes are kind of a new popular beverage. Turmeric is supposed reduce inflammation. That is always nice, of course. This specific version is based on almond milk, has some coconut oil, a dash of cardamom, and is sweetened with dates and cinnamon.

Turmeric almond latte and banana bread at Valya
Turmeric latte with almond milk and a slice of banana bread

It was the first golden latte I had every tried! I am so behind on things #worstbloggerever. The latte had a nice foam but it was a bit tepid. Maybe that is normal with these type of drinks, but I personally would prefer a hotter beverage. I really liked the banana bread, it was nicely moist and very good. I think most of their sweets are vegan, they also had some energy balls and other stuff.

Vegan bowl at Valya
This vegan bowl looks good!

 

 

 
Type of place : Superfood bar/takeout
Completely vegan: no
Vegan desserts: yes!

Website (French): https://valya.ch/

Cafe l’Ami-ami(Neuchâtel, Switzerland)

A few weeks ago I was in the beautiful town of Neuchâtel to see one of my favourite bands live! They didn’t tour for a few years, and I saw completely by chance they were going to perform near my current home town. And to properly prepare for an evening of headbanging on platform heels, you gonna need some good food!

Initially I wanted to go to a fully vegan place in Neuchâtel, but unfortunately, like so many fully vegan places in Switzerland, that place is only open during the week, and I happened to be in Neuchâtel on a Saturday. After some further investigation, I found on HappyCow the Cafe l’Ami-Ami, a restaurant with vegan options that serves Isreali food in the Jewish culinary tradition. Sounds interesting!

Interior at Cafe l'Ami-Ami

The reviews were positive, and without getting ahead of myself, I can already say I agree!  We didn’t reserve and arrived just in time to get the last free spot. The place is very small, and very busy. The atmosphere is relaxed, like a nice corner eatery. There were all different kinds of people, which is also nice to see. Cafe l’Ami-ami also does catering, and they sell some of their products in a little shop, like hummus and teas.

Table at Cafe l'Ami-Ami

Cafe l’Ami-Ami is not purely vegan or vegetarian, but there is a vegetarian menu with several vegan dishes. These are not specifically marked, but the kind owner will help with picking the vegan ones. It is also possible to veganise some of the vegetarian dishes. The falafel, vegetable balls and melaouah are vegan, and there are some vegan sandwiches as well.

Melaouah at Cafe l'Ami-Ami
Melaouah with tomato sauce and spicy sauce at the side

We tried the melaouah for starter, then the falafel with salad and sauces, and the vegetable fritters with fries and a small salad. I had read about the melaouah (or malawach), so I was very curious! It is Yemeni speciality, and it resembles a pancake made of thin layers of puff pastry, which are folded. The result is a very crusty exterior, and a soft inside, the taste is almost buttery, very interesting and delicious! It is served with a spicy sauce and a fresh tomato sauce, with coriander and onion. The light sauce fits well with the more heavy pastry. Definitively a new favourite of mine!

Falafel plate at Cafe l'Ami-Ami
Middle-Eastern plate of yum: falafel, salad, sauces and pita

The falafel either comes with pita and a small salad, or two sides of choice.  It is also possible to order them as an ‘add-on’ to the ‘complete’ salad with sauces, which is what we did. This ‘complete’ salad is served with hummus, tahin, tomato-bellpepper sauce,  smoked aubergine sauce, 2 pita breads and home made green salad (salad leaves, tomato, cucumber, onion). Since the smoked aubergine is not vegan, the owner suggested to swap it for an additional tomato-and-bellpepper sauce.I assumed the aubergine sauce would be like baba ganoush, so it was unfortunate that it wasn’t vegan but I think the tomato sauce made up for it. The falafel is very nice and crispy and all the sauces were good too! The vegetable fritters were served with fries and a similar small salad. The fritters were nice and soft, and nicely spiced. The fries were okay, not too special. Probably because the rest of the food was so nice, the fries were a bit basic 🙂

Vegetable fritters and fries at Cafe l'Ami-Ami
Vegetable fritters, salad and fries

I really enjoyed my visit to Cafe l’Ami-ami! It is nice to experience different types of food and cuisines. I really liked the food, the owner was helpful and kind and the place has a great atmosphere.

Interior at Cafe l'Ami-Ami

Type of place :  Middle Eastern/Jewish restaurant
Completely vegan: no
Vegan desserts: ?

Website (French): http://cafe-ami-ami.ch/

Akiko (Geneva, Switzerland)

Interior at Akiko

Akiko is a chain of modern Asian fusion restaurants in Geneva. There are currently three locations, and I have visited the one closest to the main train station several times. The restaurant has an East Asian-inspired feel, modern interior and upbeat 90-ties musics. There are plenty of places to plug a phone charger, which is always nice. Apart from eating in, they also do take-out.

Drinks at the counter at Akiko
Choice of drinks and ready made food

The food is East Asian fusion, so think Pad Thai, spring rolls and fried rice. For drinks there is the standard soft drinks, but also some special drinks, like lychee juice. They also have bubble tea! There are quite some vegan options, even for the bubble tea!  It is not completely clear from the menu what is vegan but the staff is pretty helpful.  You order at the counter, pay and you get a little buzzer that tells you when the food is ready.

Interior at Akiko

For the mains there are some pre-configured dishes, but you can also create your own. We tried this, for vegans there are two options: tofu or vegetables, and then you choose either a plate (like noodles or Pad Thai) or rice and a sauce. We tried the Pad Thai version with tofu, which we were told was vegan. However, while we were waiting for our food (with the little timer) someone came to us to say it is usually served with egg! But it was easy to leave it out.  There are also vegan desserts: Japanese Mochi (tiny balls of rice with bean paste, sounds strange and non-dessert-y for those used to Western cuisine, but it tastes great!)

Spring rolls at Akiko
Spring rolls!

We tried the spring rolls, served with a good dipping sauce. The rolls are nice and crispy, fried on the spot.  The Pad Thai is served with mung bean sprouts, noodles, spring onion and peanuts. Tasty and sticky, as it should be! The portion is pretty big by the way. For drinks we had a matcha and taro bubble tea with soy milk.

Food at Akiko
Bubble tea, spring rolls and Pad Thai with tofu

Akiko is a nice place for a quick and filling meal. The staff is nice and accommodating, and food is good.

Type of place : Asian fusion restaurant
Completely vegan: no
Vegan desserts: yes!

Website (French): https://www.akiko.company/#!

Wadapartja (Groningen, the Netherlands)

Interior at Wadapartja

Wadapartja is a quirky eatery and shop in Groningen. They are open every day, offering a variety of foods for breakfast, lunch, and in-betweens. Dinner is available on Wednesday to Saturday as well. The food served is a mixture of different influences; from sandwiches to roti, from pasta to curry. Local products, such as beer, vegetables and bread is used. This local influence is also present in the names of the dishes, which are mostly word plays with the Groninger dialect. Wadapartja also does catering, take out and delivery.

Wadapartja daily menu
Daily juice, soup and some of the desserts

There interior is nice and inviting, creating a cozy ‘at home’ feeling. All items in the restaurant are also for sale. When we visited for lunch it was very busy! For some reason the toilets are upstairs, so be aware of that if you visit and are less mobile.

Drinks at Wadapartja
Fresh juice!

They serve a variety of drinks, including juices, coffee (milk alternatives available), tea, (local) beers, and more.

Beanalicious burger at Wadapartja
Vegan burger ‘Beanalicious’ with chips

The vegan options are clearly marked on the menu; some dishes are vegan, others can be made vegan. There is enough choice for sure! We decided to try the roti wrap (vegan) and the beanilicious burger (vegetarian with vegan option) with vegan mayo and potato wedges. Unfortunately when they served us the burger it turned out to be the vegetarian version, which has a slice of cheese. I almost didn’t notice it since vegan cheese looks a lot like the ‘standard’ version nowadays, but the server realised the mistake before I ate the burger. Phew! But yeah, be aware.

Roti wrap at Wadapartja
Roti wrap with masala sauce

The roti wrap is stuffed with vegetables, and is served with a masala sauce. It was nice! The vegan burger, served on a nice bun, is made of beans and corn. It is served with some chips, which are tasty and a bit spicy. I liked the baked potato wedges too.

Potato wedges at Wadapartja
Potato wedges with vegan mayonnaise

There is one vegan dessert on the menu, but it is not marked! It is a brownie, served with caramel. It was nice, sweet, but not too sweet.  I asked why it was not marked as vegan. I believe the idea behind it is that non-vegans might not order a vegan brownie, and this was a way to expose non-vegans to vegan food. While I think it might be true, as a vegan I prefer it if stuff is marked properly 🙂

Coffee and dessert at Wadapartja
“Secretly” vegan brownie with oat latte

Overall I liked the food at Wadapartja, even though they mixed up the order with the burger. The atmosphere is nice, the food is good. The service takes some time, but it was kind of expected since it was busy and a lot of the food is made to order.

Type of place : Bistro
Completely vegan: no
Vegan desserts: yes
Website (Dutch, English): https://wadapartja.nl/

Hum:Hum (Kyiv, Ukraine)

Cauliflower steak at Hum:Hum
Cauliflower steak at Hum:hum

Hum:hum is a vegetarian restaurant in Kyiv. Rather, they call themselves a ‘theme restaurant’, though I am not sure, my guess is the theme is hummus! This staple vegan food is present in several of the dishes. The place has a nice atmosphere, it is very spacious and there is lots of green. It was a bit tricky to find since it is just at the corner of two streets, next to another restaurant.

Hum:Hum

As mentioned Hum:hum is a vegetarian place, and there are quite some vegan options too. On the menu it is marked which dishes are vegan and which are not. There are not many vegan main courses, but several dishes can be made vegan relatively simple. Hum:hum serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between. There is a single menu card (English version available!) for the whole day, which has wraps, warm main dishes, hummus (of course), pita and sides.  For drinks there are juices, smoothies, beers, tea and coffee (can be served with several plant milks), and more!

Hummus and roll at Hum:Hum
Hummus with caramelized onion, pita, and vegetable sticks, wrap with falafel

When we visited of course we had to try the hummus! There are several kinds available, for example including curry carrots and white beans. You can add also some extras to the hummus, like falafel, caramelised onion, mushrooms. We tried the classic version (always good to establish a baseline for comparison!) with additional caramelised onions and vegetables sticks (chopped carrots and cucumber). The hummus is very good, with a soft taste. I can recommend adding the caramelised onions for a hint of sweetness. The pita served with the hummus is fluffy and a bit sweet.*

Cauliflower steak at Hum:Hum
Cauliflower “Steak” over mashed vegetables

We also got a classic roll with falafel, hummus and sauce. The wrap was grilled,  so the pita was nice and crunchy. It was richly filled and I really liked it! Lastly we tried the cauliflower steak on mashed root vegetables, with mushroom and olives. It was served with a spinach-based sauce, which was very great. Overall I really enjoyed this dish, it had a great earthy taste, warm and rich.

Interior of Hum:Hum

I really enjoyed the food and atmosphere at Hum:hum. When returned another time, the mains on the menu had slightly changed.  The staff speaks some degree of English, which is convenient because my Ukrainian is still severely lacking. It was nice to see that the second time I visited there were some vegan desserts! A delicious brownie in fact.  If there are no vegan desserts that day, fret not, because B12 is around the corner 🙂

Interior at Hum:Hum

One thing I noticed in many Kyivian restaurants is that the food service is a bit random (from a Western European point of view).  If you are with someone it is possible that your table partner will get their food and you still have to wait for yours for a while. This also happened at Hum:hum, I guess it is more of a cultural thing. It is something I notice and want to mention, but with the context, it is not out of the ordinary 🙂

Type of place: Vegetarian café
Completely vegan: no
Vegan desserts : sometimes

Website : https://www.facebook.com/HumHum.Kiev/

* I have to say that the next time I visited there was a different type of pita which was less tasty.

Melikrini (Athens, Greece)

Melikrini interior

Melikrini is a small vegetarian café in Athens. They serve a variety of vegan options as well, including delicious cakes. The place itself is quite small, with relaxing music. The interior, while nicely decorated in a cute style, feels a bit stuffed. On the other hand, it is a welcome change from the minimalist hipster fare most vegan/vegetarian places seem to adhere too.  There is a cosy, beautiful terrace, unfortunately next to a busy street and a building site, so it was not too pleasant to be outside.

Terrace outside Melikrini
Terrace outside

Melikrini serves breakfast, lunch and everything in between. The food varies; smoothies, cakes, salty pies and chocolates are some of the things sold when I was there. Melikrini call their food healthy, but that was not the first thing that I thought of when I saw their chocolate cake!

Desserts at Melikrini
Desserts on the counter!

Unfortunately there is no English menu available, but the server was very kind and explained to us most of what is on the menu.

Smoothies at Melikrini
Smoothies at Melikrini, served with bamboo straws

For a drink we tried the soy banana pineapple smoothie and a detox juice. The drinks are served in pretty glasses with bamboo straws.

Salty pie and pizza at Melikrini
Slice of pizza and a slice of broccoli pie

We tried a piece of broccoli pie and a slice of pizza. The béchamel sauce in the pie was home made, and very good! The pizza was nice, it was topped with some fake cheese. I do have to say both of the items were pretty small for a main. I had written down “do not go here if you are hungry” but that was in the pre-dessert phase of this lunch. Now I think that the mains are deliberately small because the desserts are massive!

Desserts at Melikrini
Chocolate pie, apple pie and coffee

There are several vegan desserts available. In fact, I believe all were vegan when we visited. We tried a piece of apple pie and a piece of chocolate pie. With it a Greek coffee, which was served with some fruit jam and raisins.  There are several plant milk alternatives available for the coffee. So the apple pie was one of the best I have had, maybe only Planty makes a better one! The chocolate pie was made of dark chocolate and nuts, very intense taste.

Interior at Melikrini

Unfortunately we could only pay with cash, but I think it is not uncommon in Athens. The service was good, atmosphere pleasant.

 

Type of place: Biological/health shop and café
Completely vegan: no
Vegan desserts : yes

Website : https://www.facebook.com/melikrini