Food & Drink in Lviv
Especially in the last few years, Lviv has been experiencing a boom in the restaurant, cafe, and bar industry. It’s getting hard to keep up—it seems like almost every few days I come across a new place. But as I enjoy checking out the new places and spending time in my favorite joints, I am on top of what is happening in the scene.
Lviv has traditionally been known for its coffee, chocolate, and beer, and these centuries-old culinary traditions have been well restored in post-Soviet times. So well that it is even being recognized internationally for these traditions: Lviv chocolate shops can now be found in other European cities and the city is beginning to make an internation name for itself in the craft beer scene.
Lviv has also become famous for its infused vodkas (nastoyanky) and liqueurs (nalyvky). Many restaurants and bars make make their own, and several shops sell large selections of these bottled drinks.
The nascent restaurant scene is finally starting to experiment with new dishes, ingredients, and fusions and coming up with great culinary offerings, especially ones using traditional Ukrainian recipes or ingredients. I’m looking forward what will come next. Though I must admit that there are still very few restaurants that specialize in good foreign (especially Asian or Indian) cuisine.
With coffee houses on almost every corner, delicious chocolate and sweets shops, and a blooming brewery, craft beer, and restaurant scene, Lviv will not disappoint even the most avid foodies.
I’ve put together a list of Top 5s of some of the best spots to wine and dine in Lviv. These are places that I recommend to friends or to people who ask me for tips. I’m sure new great places will be opening up all the time and I will continue to update this list.
Top 5 Galician Cuisine Restaurants
- Baczewski Restaurant – 8 Shevska St.
Named after the Baczewski family, which in 1782 founded a famous vodka distillery. In addition to delicious Galician cuisine (Polish, Ukrainian, Jewish, Austrian), it also boasts a selection of 45 tasty infused vodkas. Also a great breakfast spot: all you can eat brunch buffet everyday 8-11 a.m. but beware of long lines.
- Kumpel – 2b Chornovola St. & 6 Vynnychenka St.
Galician (Polish, Austrian, Ukrainian) food, including Wiener Schnitzel, sausages, fried varenyky (dumplings), salads, garlic soup. Very good beer from their own brewery.
- Gwara – 32 Brativ Rohatyntsiv St.
- Galician cuisine including popular dishes such as borshch and varenyky as well as more obscure Galicia food. In the basement you can see remnants of a bastion that used to be part of Lviv’s medieval fortifications.
- Trapezna Idey – 18a Valova St.
Delicious Ukrainian and Galician fare, including some lesser known dishes. Homemade infused vodkas. My favorite borshch in Lviv, includes prune and lemon zest. Located in the basement of an old monastery.
- Restoratsia Nad Cukierneyu – 3 Staroyevreyska St.
Located above the famous cafe Cukiernia, the restaurant offers delicious schnitzels, soups, salads, and other dishes inspired by local cuisine.
Top 5 Prewar Lviv Atmosphere Places
- Sztuka – 8 Kotliarska St.
Cute cafe, interior decorated with antiques from prewar Lviv. Large coffee and tea menu. Desserts. Polish-style crepes. The facade has some of Lviv’s finest ghost signs.
- Under the Gold Star – 1 Kopernyka St.
Delicious sweets in an famous converted pharmacy
- Kupol – 37 Chaikovskoho St.
Polish restaurant with many prewar antiques. Located in a cozy courtyard tucked away on a hill leading up to the Citadel.
- Under the Blue Bottle – 4 Ruska St. (through the courtyard) Named after one of the first coffeehouses in Vienna, which allegedly was opened by the Ukrainian Yuriy Kulchytskyi in the 17th century. Coffee, wine, fondue, desserts, drinks.
- Atlas – 45 Rynok Square
Atlas was Lviv’s most popular establishment in the late 19th & early 20th centuries. The restaurant was revived a few years ago in the same location. Serves Galician cuisine.
Top 5 Ukrainian Cuisine Places
- Amadeus – 7 Katedralna Square
Fancy restaurant on the expensive side for Lviv, but very delicious food. Ukrainian and European dishes. Very good creme of mushroom soup.
- Sim Porosiat (7 Piggies) – 9 Bandery St.
Traditional Ukrainian restaurant. Traditional countryside design and atmosphere, live folk music.
- Kryjivka – 14 Rynok Square
Dedicated to the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, Ukrainain food, lively atmosphere, located in a recreated underground hideout. Most visited restaurant in Europe. Need password to enter.
- 36Po – 36 Rynok Square
A five-story restaurant serving modern Ukrainian food, with a brewery on the first floor and one floor dedicated to fish. Houses a massive aquarium with a shark. A rooftop terrace with a wonderful view.
- Varenychna Balyvana Halia – 1 Yavorskoho St.
Various types of varenyky (dumplings), deruny (potato pancakes), and other Ukrainian favorites.
Top 5 Vegetarian Cafes
- Green – 5 Brativ Rohatynsiv St.
Lviv’s first vegetarian restaurant, opened in 2014. Seasonal menu, lots of smoothies and fruit drinks, vegan desserts. Also includes a little vegetarian shop with tofu, seitan, beans, oils, etc. FYI, no WI-FI.
- Tse Falafel, Krykhitko – 10 Staroyevreiska St.
Delicious + fast + affordable falafel wraps.
- Om Nom Nom – 10 Rumlianyna St.
Lviv’s first and only entirely vegan cafe. Food menu mostly limited to falafel wraps and tofu burgers, soups & salads.
- Little Green – 36 Doroshenka St.
Green’s small take-out joint with falafel, noodles, and tofu burgers.
- Dogs Like Ducks – 27 Valova St. Vegan hot dogs
Top 5 Meat Restaurants
- Arsenal – Ribs & Spirits – 5 Pidvalna St.
I’m mostly vegetarian, but after I heard so many of my American friends praise it, some going as far as to say they were the best ribs they have ever had, I did try it. Yes, they are quite delicious.
- Mons Pius – Beer & Meat – Enter from courtyard of Armenian church or alley between buildings 7 & 13 on Virmenska St.
Meat, fish, hummus, salads, good beer, lemonade, and linden infused vodka.
- Kryva Lypa Culinary Studio – 8 Kryva Lypa Passage
Interesting, more unusual selection of meat dishes, such as curry with turkey, fajitas, etc. Borshch in a bread bowl. Also has some vegetarian options, including a spinach strudel and pasta with mushrooms.
- Meat & Burger – 12 Hnatiuka St.
Rather affordable prices for steaks and burgers.
- Churrasco – Grill & Beer – 13 Halytska St.
Top 5 Foreign Cuisine Places
- Akhali – 7 Dudayeva St.
Georgian cuisine. Very good khinkali (Georgian dumplings), but also several kinds of khachapuri (cheese-filled bread), salads, and several vegetarian options.
- Atelier 19 – 10 Staroyevreyksa St.
Pizza & Lovely Food
- NOA Asia Special – 4 Staroyevreyska St.
Wok & Sushi.
- Beirut Hall – 5 Pekarska St.
Lebanese cuisine. I’ve been here with two Lebanese friends, and they both approved. My favorite dish is the chicken wrap with garlic sauce, pickles, and fries, which they call “Sandwich Tauk.”
- Delicateka – 11 Drukarska St.
Gourmet burgers, including a great vegetarian option. Extensive drink menu, including good cheap beer on tap or bottled craft beer, an interesting kvas cocktail with ginger and lemon (both an alcoholic and non-alcoholic version available). I wrote about how they preserved the Austrian-era roller shutters in this post.
Top 5 Brunch Places
- Veronika Restaurant – 21 Shevchenka Ave.
Wonderful brunch, especially the eggs Benedict, but also the large fluffy omlettes baked in a skillet, and scrumptious french toast. Pricey, but worth it. Breakfast served until 1 p.m.
- Cukor – day’n’night breakfast – 21 Brativ Rohatyntsiv St. & 3 Kryva Lypa Passage Egg dishes, crepes, croissant sandwiches, fried chicken and waffles. Two locations, two different menus, with some overlap.
- Zhyviy Khlib – 27 Doroshenka St. Best bakery in Lviv, with fresh croissants, cinnamon buns, breads, baguettes, etc., as well as great coffee and a few breakfast options.
- OY SHO – 7 Lesia Kurbasa St.
Casual food & handbrew coffee
- The Cheese Bakery – 30 Dzherenla St. (near Forum mall)
Specializes in cheesecakes, but also have wonderful breakfast, especially the eggs Benedict and scrambled eggs and guacamole toast
Top 5 Dessert Places
- Cukіernia – 3 Staroyevreiska St.
Delicious strudels, cakes, tortes, pastries.
- Veronika Confectionery – 21 Shevchenka Ave.
Delicious cakes, croissants, Danish pastries, eclairs, macaroons.
- Lviv Handmade Chocolate – 3 Serbska & 5 Sichovykh Striltsiv St.
Handmade chocolates, all kinds of desserts and drinks with chocolate.
- Freska – 9 Krakivska St.
Delicious desserts, cakes, handmade chocolate, hot (melted) chocolate, and coffee. Interior includes restored frescoes from 18th & 19th centuries.
- Grand Cafe Leopolis – 1 Rynok Sq. (City Hall)
A huge selection of desserts and all day breakfast and . A great collection of historical photographs of Lviv adorn the walls.
Top 5 Coffeehouses
- Svit Kavy – 6 Ploshcha Katedralna (original more traditional cafe) and 30 Ploshcha Rynok (newer one with a more hipstery vibe)
Lviv’s most famous coffeehouse. A favorite place of Lviv’s mayor. Very good strudels and cheesecakes. Now with two locations and two different atmospheres.
- Virmenka – 19 Virmenska St. Opened in 1979, was the hangout for Lviv’s hippies, artists, and musicians. Recently completely renovated, but the old charm and excellent coffee (prepared Turkish style) are still there.
- Black Honey – 2 Kostiushka St. (on corner of Doroshenka St.)
Very good coffee, simple Scandinavian-style interior.
- Viennese Coffeehouse – 12 Svobody Ave.
Both a coffeehouse and restaurant. Lviv’s oldest coffeehouse, established in 1829. In Austrian and interwar Poland times was frequented by many famous figures, including Mykhailo Hrushevsky and Ivan Franko. Very good (Austrian, Polish, and Ukrainian inspired) food. Delicious Wiener Schnitzel.
- SHOco. – 3 Lesia Kurbasa St.
Cafe with delicious eclairs, croissants, cookies, as well as brunch.
Top 5 Pubs
- Choven – 33 Virmenska St.
The best and largest (16) selection of craft beer on tap in Lviv. Everyday new beers on the menu, and there is always one very good cider on top (red current, pear, strawberry, mint). Also very good food menu, I especially like their pizzas (some of the best in Lviv) and homemade potato chips.
- Tsypa – 1 Yavorskoho St.
Hutsul craft beer from the Carpathian Mountains, includes such beers as “fir tree,” smokey, and chocolate. Also has an extensive food & beer snack menu, mostly modern dishes inspired by Hutsul cuisine.
- Pravda Beer Theater – 32 Rynok Square
Their beer has won many awards, and the brewery has been on international news due to their beers that they dedicate to political leaders such as Obama, Putin, and Trump. Every night live brass band. Fun and lively music, but quite loud.
- Xrystofor – 3 Ivana Franka St.
A dive bar located in a basement, has a selection of craft beer as well as some cheaper regional beer. Open late.
- Pijana Kaczka (Drunken Duck) – Pl. Koliyivshyna/45 Brativ Rohatyntsiv St.
A small bar in the center with a small selection of craft and regional beer, homemade infused vodkas, beer snacks.
Top 5 Nastoyanky (Infused Vodkas) Bars
- Pidpilnyi Kindrat – 25 Valova St.
A restaurant with a large menu of their homemade infused spirits, including some unlike any I’ve tasted anywhere else, including those based on balzams, honey, and milk. Beware, as some are very strong. But very delicious. Also includes a shop to take some home with you.
- Pyana Vyshnia – 11 Rynok Square
I’m not a huge fan of cherries; however, their cherry cordial is to die for. Very popular place located right on Rynok Square. Only standing tables, can also take to go. Open late.
- Fatset – 26 Virmenska St.
Small cafe with Ukrainian & Galician dishes, homemade infused vodkas.
- Medivnia – 17 Krakivska St.
The best honey-infused vodkas.
- Kupitsa – 18 Brativ Rohatyntsiv St.
A pub with 30 different kinds of their homemade infused vodkas.
Top 5 Wine Bars
- Korky i Krykhty (Corks and Crumbs) – 27 Lesi Ukrayinky St.
Large selection of wine, but also large and interesting food menu with entrees, pizzas, and sandwiches.
- Chlib & Vyno (Bread & Wine) – 15 Virmenska St.
Different kinds of bread dishes, burgers, wraps. Good wine at an affordable price. Cozy atmosphere.
- The Room Wine Bar – 18 Lesi Ukrayinky St.
“A chic place with a voguish atmosphere and a bohemian, precocious character… Come free and easy!”
- Pstruh, Chlib ta Vyno (Trout, Bread, and Wine) – Arsenalna Square (49 Brativ Rohatyntsiv St.)
Specializes in trout, open faced baguette sandwiches, and salads, as well as wine and Pravda beer.
- Para Janov & Port wine – 12 Lesi Ukrayinky St.
Dedicated to the famous director Sergei Parajanov (Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors). A large selection of wines, Armenian food, and all-day breakfast.
Top 5 Cocktail Bars
- 44 Bar Lviv – 44 Rynok Square
- Libraria – cocktail & jazz – Armenian Courtyard
Lviv’s first speakeasy. Live jazz.
- Banka – 7 Kryva Lypa Passage
All drinks come in jars (banky) of various sizes. A lot of cocktails, but also very good infused vodkas, including a delicious borschch-infused vodka.
- Music Lab – 27 Brativ Rohatyntsiv St.
“Two floors, one of a kind place, combines different genres of rock and electronic music….We offer cocktails, food and most of all a good ambiance to meet new faces….LET’S ROCK!!!!!”
- 4friends Whiskey Pub – 2 Dudayeva St.
Lviv’s best whiskey pub, also nice selection of cocktails and food.