Traditional Ukrainian cuisine can be described in two words: hearty and fattening. That being said, today’s trends and a common desire to follow a healthier way of life have inspired local chefs and restaurateurs to interpret authentic dishes in a modern way. Here are the best eateries in Kyiv for this delicious but unusual twist on the country’s signature dishes.

Ostannya Barykada

Ostannya Barykada is a unique place in Kyiv , where the menu features modern Ukrainian gastronomy, and the bar uses only Ukrainian-sourced alcohols. So, if you expect to be surprised by something except borscht and salo (pork fat), be sure to order Ukrainian whiskey and marbled meat. As Ostannya Barykada combines art and food, you can listen to the live music of local bands in the evenings. As a rather secret place, you’ll have to scan a QR code to get the password you’ll have to utter at the entrance to get in.

Address: 1 Maidan Nezalezhnosti, Shevchenkivs'kyi district Kiev, 2000, Ukraine
Instagram: @ostannia.barykada

Klukva & Brukva

Klukva & Brukva was among the first restaurants to introduce the local food movement in Kyiv. Their menu consists exclusively of Ukrainian and seasonal products, prepared with innovative cooking methods. The traditional borscht becomes less fatty by substituting the pork with duck. Meanwhile, savoury pancakes are made with buckwheat flour. Thus, the popular dishes of Ukrainian and Eastern European cuisine are transformed into lighter and more creative versions.

Address: 16 Antonovycha Street, Kiev, 2000, Ukraine
Instagram: @klukva.brukva

Varenychna "Katyusha"

In case you're looking for something old school, there is a wide chain of "back in USSR" restaurants. Most of the dishes served in here can't be called traditionally Ukrainian, although, they are cooked by almost every Ukrainian mom or granny on daily basis. It can be nice place to have an ordinary lunch for reasonable price and feel yourself in a typical 70's flat.

Address: Khreschatyk St, 29/1, Kyiv, 02000
Instagram: @varenichnakatyusha

Puzata Hata

A famous place to have a hot meal on your lunch break, between classes or just after making a walking tour in old city. A chain of democratic self-service restaurants that offers home-like food, as well as popular European cuisine dishes. Note that it's almost always crowded, so take care about finding a free table before you order the food. No wonder, because an average bill by person is 60-100 UAH!

Addresses (25 restaurants in Kyiv in total!): Khreschatyk St, 15/4, Kyiv, 01001; Baseina St, 1/2а, Kyiv, 02000;  Biloruska St, 2, Kyiv, 02000
Instagram: @puzata_hata

Kyivska Perepichka

And the last but not the least, not the restaurant but for sure legendary Kyiv fast food - perepichka. According to some locals, it's a main thing to try for somebody who visit capital for the first time. It seems that the queue next to the small window never gets shorter during ages. And it's not a surprise, cause the unique taste of sausage fried in a dough remains unchanged for all this time. Indeed, it's a taste of childhood for most of the citizens.

Address: Bohdana Khmel'nyts'koho St, 3, Kyiv, 02000