Kolo is a completely vegan café in Kyiv which serves vegan food, like wraps, soups, salads and burgers. You can also come in for coffee, milkshakes, teas and sweets. The menu changes daily. You can order pies and I believe they do food delivery too.
The place itself is cute, a bit hipster, with brick walls and different types of art on the wall. We visited for coffee and a slice of cake. Unfortunately they were just out of cakes! But there were cupcakes, so we tried a carrot-cake cupcake. It was very tasty, and nicely moist. I had a blueberry milkshake (I love how many vegan places offer milkshakes in Kyiv!) which was good.
I have to say the service was a bit overzealous, they took my cup literally minutes after I finished my drink. Apart from that, it was a nice place to sit and relax a bit. I want to go back for a full meal! So there might be a part 2 to this review 🙂
Georgian bakeries and restaurants are quite common in Ukraine and other Eastern European countries. Unfortunately Georgian food is usually not very vegan-friendly, it is rich in animal products, most famous are the meat dishes, and the use of cheese and butter.
Madliani Puri, a small bakery, has however several vegan options which are too good not to share! The place itself is kind of interesting. It is a small room with a large round oven (called t’one, or tone) where the bread is made by sticking the dough to the side.
You order at the small window. There are some breads on display, but behind the window they were not so easy to photograph (does nobody think of the bloggers!)
They offer several stuffed breads for ‘Pist’, the Orthodox fast, see this earlier blogpost. The available vegan ‘gvezeli’ are stuffed with either potatoes, with cabbage or with mushrooms. The breads are really nice and fluffy, the stuffing is tasty and goes great with the bread! They also sell several drinks, like a tarragon lemonade, coffee and tea.
Type of place: Georgian Bakery
Completely vegan: no
Website (Russian) : https://www.facebook.com/madliani.puri
Address: Marshala Tymoshenka St, 14, Kyiv, Ukraine, 02000 (This is not clear from the website)
Did I already mention that Kyiv is a good place for vegans? Somehow people are surprised by this, but I had a lot of great vegan food in Kyiv ! This is partially due to religious reasons as I explained in a previous blogpost but also because veganism is on the rise in general.
B12 is a vegan bakery, with a small shop attached. They sell for example vegan nut cheese and products like peanut butter and super foods. It is a bit tricky to find. It is in a basement, in the historic centre of Kyiv.
The place itself is quite small and a bit cave like, with exposed stone walls. The interior is a bit hipster, with wooden furniture. Also there are e.g. card games and some books. The atmosphere is chill and quiet, with relaxed music. The menu card is partially in English as well, which is also nice.
They serve a variety of hot drinks, such as coffee, and cold drinks like milk shakes, lemonades etc. Now the nice thing is of course the pastries!
We tried the Oreo cake and a cinnamon roll. The cake is chocolaty, of course, and very nicely fluffy. It reminded me a bit of the cake at Veganopolis. Pretty intense, but not as heavy as some chocolate cakes are. I personally preferred the cinnamon roll, which was so good, sticky and sugary as it should be!
For drinks we had an almond latte and a piña colada milk shake. The coffee was strangely a bit lukewarm, so maybe it was made with cold milk? The piña colada milk shake was nice, though I personally prefer other more traditional flavours!
We wandered into Eco Buffet because it was listed as a shop on the internet. However, it turned out to be more of an eatery with a small shop section!
There are two Eco Buffets in Kyiv, and the menu is a bit different at each location. They also have courses on vegan cooking, and do catering. It was nice to see the Eco Buffets being visited by all types of people by the way.
The buffet has vegetarian and vegan dishes. Interestingly, apart from being vegetarian, they also do not use eggs, onions and garlic. I believe this is due to the food being prepared in the Vedic tradition. Additionally they also do not serve caffeine and their breads are prepared without yeast.
Eco buffet serves several variations on typical Ukrainian dishes, such as the salad Olivier, with seitan and vegan mayonnaise, and potato “pancakes”. They use a lot of seitan in their dishes, which I think is interesting since most veggie places tend to default to tofu. There are also Indian-inspired dishes, such as samosa, and other types of dishes. And there are a lot of cakes! So basically you take your tray, pick the things you want, pay and eat. I really liked the variety of dishes, and the food was good!
Tatars are a Turkic ethnic group, and in Ukraine they (used to) live on the Crimean peninsula. Now, with the political disturbances, many Crimean Tatars have moved to the Ukrainian mainland. In fact, the owners of the Tatar restaurant Musafir have relocated from Crimea to the centre of Kyiv for this very reason.
The Tatar cuisine has influences from the Turkish food (e.g. phaklava, a variation on baklava) and from Uzbekistan (such as the plof, a rice dish).
The interior of Musafir is a bit minimalistic, and there are a lot of tables. It was also very busy, so we were lucky to have a spot. However, it was reserved so we had to leave in 1 hour. That is definitively doable, so we took the chance !
There are some vegan choices among which the cheburek with mushrooms, grilled and stuffed aubergine and lentil soup. The waiter was very kind and suggested to get some dishes tweaked to make them vegan. However we stuck to the menu since there was enough to pick from. I noticed that in this restaurant they tend to use butter for frying instead of oil. So if you are ever in a Tatar restaurant, that is something to ask about. As an appetizer we got some bread with humus.
The lentil soup with croutons which was delicious and very creamy. The cheburek is a very thin dough shell, with mushrooms inside. It comes with some salad and 2 sauces. One was sour cream, but okay, in Ukraine is hard to let go of that 🙂 The other sauce was vegan. I really enjoyed the combination of flavours here, the thin bread with the soft mushrooms. Great!
The grilled aubergine comes with rice, and a slightly spicy sauce. The lentil soup and cheburek were listed as starters, and the aubergine as a main course.
Unfortunately there were no vegan desserts. There is special Turkish coffee though, served in little cezve And of course there are many other types of drinks, like sodas, and several local specialities like kompot.
As mentioned, we had to leave in 1 hr because we hadn’t reserved. And it was very busy, so that is no problem. I do have to say that the service was a bit lacking in some respects. For example, we were not offered a drink until the end of the meal. Also we got basically all our food in 15 minutes. Great because that is fast, but that also meant the warm dishes were starting to cool down. Additionally it gave an unpleasant rush to the meal. I think that it was just due to the rush of having the table freed, which is understandable. Still the staff was so nice and accommodating, and the food was great, making this an overall positive experience.
I’d go again. And reserve a table in advance this time 🙂
Murakami is a chain of Japanese restaurants in Kyiv that offers sushi and noodle dishes, salads and soups. They also do delivery.
The restaurant has a Japanese inspired décor; chopsticks are standard on the table.
The menu shows several vegetarian dishes. However, since for example the sushi with omelet is not marked as vegetarian, the marked dishes might be vegan actually. So points for effort, but confusing execution. There are several vegan options for sushi, such as the avocado, seaweed and cucumber rolls. There is also a vegetable roll, which contains apple, avocado, cucumber and tomato. Interesting! The waiter kindly pointed out that while this dish normally comes with mayonnaise, it could be made without.
The miso soup is also vegan, so I opted for that and the vegetable roll. I also sampled some of the avocado rolls from my table mates. Interestingly we first received the sushi and the soup while we were eating the sushi still. Anyway, the food was good. I really liked the miso soup.
Unfortunately the desserts are not Japanese, and are mostly of the cake and ice cream variety. They do have vegan sorbet ice cream in the flavours of lemon and raspberry.
Overall it was a nice lunch. The service was a bit strange, since we got the soup while we were eating the sushi, but the waiter was kind and helpful when it came to finding vegan dishes on the menu.
This cute café (part of a national chain) was completely in the Christmas mood when I visited. This was great for vegans, because it meant there were some vegan cakes! Let me explain.
In Orthodox Christianity there are several fasting (Pist in Ukrainian) periods, during which specific animal products (like meat, milk and butter) are not consumed. One of these periods happens to be before Orthodox Christmas, when I visited Kyiv. Technically the original idea of these fasts is to abstain from tasty foods such as cakes which often include butter and milk… but I am not going to complain.
During my stay in Kyiv I visited Zolotoi Dukat twice. As mentioned there were some special additions to the menu for Christmas; an apple pie, a pumpkin-mandarine pie and a hummus salty pie (I believe the apple pie is also on the standard menu).
On the standard menu there are several vegan snacks, like dark chocolate and nuts. The chocolate is liquid and thick, a bit bitter but nice.
It being a café they have of course coffee and other drinks, and several speciality teas. Additionally they have coconut milk. I am personally not that fond of coconut milk with coffee but in the Matcha latte I tried it worked very well!