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Top 3 Cafes in Kyiv’s Podil Neighborhood

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4 months ago

Kyiv is known for its youthful population and palpable creative energy. With young people and energy come good coffee – actually, make that excellent coffee. Kyiv’s Podil neighborhood is one of the best areas in Kyiv to stay and hang out, with some of the city’s most unique history.

Spending an afternoon café hopping in Podil is one of my favorite things to do in Kyiv. Whether you are looking for the best cup of coffee in Kyiv before you head out sightseeing, or the best café to work remotely in Kyiv – here are my top 3 cafes in Podil, Kyiv.  

interwar architecture in kyiv podil district

Before You Go: Visiting Kyiv During the War 

At the time of writing, Kyiv still faces a curfew and regular air raid sirens. I urge everyone to do thorough research before visiting Ukraine in 2024. Make sure you read up on what you need to know before visiting Ukraine.  

ukraine war mural in podil kyiv
A mural in Podil, Kyiv

Podil Area Guide

Podil is one of Kyiv’s most historic neighborhoods, with a history dating back to the 9th century!  

Most Kyiv tours won’t bring you down here, but in my opinion Podil offers some of the best of Kyiv life, blending Kyiv’s old-world charm with the hip buzz of contemporary Kyiv. If you have just arrived on an overnight train from Lviv or Lutsk, Podil is the best spot for your caffeine fix!

kyiv podil wheel

Set in the lower part of the city (you’ll understand this once you walk down the hill!), Podil is nestled on the banks of the mighty Dnieper River. Once Kyiv’s commercial heart, today Podil has some beautiful streets and excellent coffeehouses.  

the Andriivskyi Descent - one of the top things to do in kyiv
The top of the Andriivskyi Descent which leads into Podil

You don’t need a Kyiv walking tour to find Podil. The easiest way to get here is by foot, as you descend from Andriivskyi Descent – one of Kyiv’s major tourist attractions.  

Travel tip: Andriivskyi Descent is one of the best places for souvenirs in Kyiv, with lots of nostalgic Soviet antique shops.  

1. KABA Teka 

A good café needs good coffee, first and foremost.  

KABA teka is a hidden Kyiv secret. You won’t find any trendy Instagrammable wall decorations or posters about Kyiv’s next big rave. The unassuming exterior gives way to an interior design which your grandmother probably helped with (apologies if your grandmother has good taste!).  

inside kaba teka cafe in kyiv

But with coffee beans ground in Switzerland (I didn’t know this was a thing?), KABA Teka has Podil’s best cup of coffee.

Now the most important accompaniment to coffee is a piece of Kyiv cake and this is where KABA Teka comes in for the win. Every day they freshly bake three homemade cakes, generally filled with Ukrainian specialities: apple, cherry or sweet cheese.  

ukrainian cheesecake

If you come past KABA Teka before 11 am, please say hello to the group of middle-aged men at the table in front of the coffee machine. They are here every morning!  

At the time of writing, KABA Teka didn’t have Wifi. Unless you are prepared to hotspot, it probably isn’t the best place in Kyiv to work remotely. If you are looking for a Ukraine eSIM, I always recommend airalo.

AssessmentScore
Coffee10/10
Cake and Food9/10
Atmosphere5/10
Suitability for Working Remotely2/10

2. First Point 

First Point is the best spot for digital nomads in Kyiv and an ideal Kyiv coworking space.  

hip coffee shop in kyiv ukraine with freshly ground beans

Between all the young Ukrainians working remotely, you will be lucky to find a table here for your laptop. Despite being so busy, First Point can maintain a super cozy atmosphere, with dimmed lighting and great heating (if you are brave enough to face the Ukrainian winter).  

But first: coffee. First Point roast their own beans, which are also available to purchase.  

As you have probably already worked out by now, I am always on the hunt for Kyiv’s best desserts and First Point offers a strong contender. Every day, they prepare a tray of freshly baked cookies. And I don’t mean small package-style cookies. I mean chunky, hearty cookies with the perfect gooey-crunch balance.  

fresh cookies at first point cafe in podil

My personal favorite is the milk chocolate and coconut, but if you are looking for a more Ukrainian-style option, I highly recommend the dark chocolate and cherry.  

AssessmentScore
Coffee8/10
Cake and Food8/10
Atmosphere8/10
Suitability for Working Remotely9/10

3. Buck Roasters 

I’ll be honest here, Buck Roasters may not entirely live up to its ‘roasting’ name – and the coffee at both KABA Teka and First Point is better. But Buck Roasters is still a Kyiv must-visit café.  

banana geu cake at first roasters in kyiv

The cakes accompanying your coffee make up for an average coffee roast. I naturally got pulled in to the creamy macaroons, but it the ‘banana geu’ cake that won me over – with that caramel sauce on top.

Buck Roasters often have posters on display about upcoming events, club nights and festivals in Kyiv. If you are seeking the best parties in Kyiv will want to take a look through the covered walls here!  

digital nomads in kyiv ukraine
AssessmentScore
Coffee7/10
Cake and Food8/10
Atmosphere7/10
Suitability for Working Remotely7/10

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