!! 2019 update. I went to another location of Pan Karpat, and I was told the vereneki are not vegan (anymore). The deruny can be made without egg upon request, but the standard version is not vegan.
If you follow me on Instagram (also called goingoutvegan, if you want to take a look) you may have noticed I have recently visited Kyiv. Contrary to what people might think, there are a lot of opportunities to eat vegan! For my dear readers I have taken it upon myself to sample as much food as I possibly could, so expect some reviews in the weeks to come 🙂
Let’s start with a traditional Ukrainian restaurant: Pan Karpat. This is a chain of Carpathian restaurants. They serve a lot of Ukrainian staples, like borscht (beet soup), vareniki (dumplings with filling), and of course potatoes and meat in varying forms. The menu is both in Ukrainian and English. We wanted to try several different dishes, so we had grilled vegetables, vareniki with potatoes and deruny (“potato pancakes”).
Vareniki are not always vegan, they are sometimes made with kefir or egg. However, the potato-stuffed vareniki at Pan Karpat are vegan! They can be served with a few different sauces (like mushroom sauce) for a small surcharge, but none of the sauces are vegan. We also got some grilled vegetables, served on a bed of dough. They were tasty, but maybe a bit oily.
There is also a large version of the deruny, which has egg, but the small ones are vegan. They were nice and crispy, but needed some salt. Normally sour cream would be served with everything, as per Ukrainian tradition.
Also for dessert there was a vegan option: vareniki with cherries. They were just a bit sour, not too sweet. I really like them!
Drink-wise, apart from the usual suspects like coffee, the menu contains several interesting drinks like Carpathian teas, Georgian and Ukrainian wines, and local non-alcoholic speciality drinks. Initially I was mostly interested in trying the uzvar, which is a stewed fruit drink, but the one served at Pan Karpat contains honey. We opted for the kompot (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kompot) which is similar but not honey-sweetened. After we had some Carpathian tea.
Type of place: Ukrainian restaurant
Completely vegan: no
Vegan desserts: yes!
Website: (Ukrainian) https://www.facebook.com/PanKarpatPan/