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Top 3 Unique Restaurants in Lviv, Ukraine 

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4 months ago

Historically at the crossroads of Europe, it’s no surprise that eating out in Lviv can often be a multicultural experience! Whether you are spending three days in Lviv or just passing through, in this article I am sharing three completely unique restaurants in Lviv, Ukraine.

traditional Ukrainian sandwiches in Lviv

Over the centuries, Lviv has found itself part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Poland, the Soviet Union and now Ukraine. With each new government came new populations and, with them, new cuisines!

Adding to this mix is Lviv’s historic social diversity. For much of its history, Lviv has been called home by three major ethnic groups: Ukrainians, Poles and Jews

trams in lviv ukraine
Trams give an interwar cosmopolitan air to the streets of Lviv

Lviv is really a hidden gem in Eastern Europe. It’s safe, affordable and one of the best European cities for solo travel. And yet, you will struggle to find more than a few lines in any Eastern Europe travel guide or any tips from the major Europe travel bloggers. 

Before you go: Visiting Ukraine during the War 

If I were writing this a few years ago, I would have shared all my tips for finding cheap flights to Lviv. Today, sadly, no commercial airlines are flying to Ukraine – though this may change soon.  

At the time of writing, there are no flights to Lviv and most of Ukraine still has an evening curfew and regular air raid sirens.  

missile in street ukraine war
A missile sits next to a cafe in Lviv, Ukraine

I urge you to do independent research before visiting Ukraine in 2024 and make sure you have travel insurance for Ukraine. And you should read up on everything you need to know before visiting Ukraine right now.

1. Trapezna Idey (Трапезна Ідей) 

Cuisine: Ukrainian  

Trapezna Idey sits in the basement of the Bernardine Monastery.

monastery cellar for unique restaurant in lviv
Nothing competes with eating dinner in a stone-wall cellar

Have you been seeking out unique Ukrainian dishes? Perhaps the coolest part of Trapezna Ideny is that all of the recipes here are centuries-old! The local Lviv legend (don’t tell anyone I told you!) suggests that these ancient recipes were shared with the restaurant from the monks upstairs.  

In my opinion, there’s nothing more Ukrainian than eating away in a stone cellar, sipping vodka, biting into warm potato variniki under handpainted icons. 

Ukrainian herring
Classic Ukrainian herring at Trapezna Idey

While this may be a little morbid, the basement location of this restaurant means that, should an air siren sound during your dinner, you can stay put… 

yellow building with ukraine flag in lviv

Before you go through the cellar doors, take a moment to check out the glassware store at the restaurant’s entrance. From shot glasses to glass-blown birds and fruit, all these glass are handmade in Lviv and make for one of the most unique souvenirs to bring home from Ukraine. If you ask nicely, the friendly staff can package up your souvenirs while you’re feasting below

Recommended Dishes: Herring, onion pie and apple strudel.  

Local tip: At the back of the restaurant, there is a small art gallery. Since the war began, this gallery has been exhibiting staunchly nationalistic paintings made by local Lviv artists. Do not miss it!  

ukrainian cheesecake
After Trapezna Idey, I quickly fell in love with Ukrainian cheesecake (it didn’t take much convincing)

2. Maestro Restaurant Lounge Club Summer Terrace 

Cuisine: Georgian 

If you are hungry, Maestro is the place to go.

khachapuri georgian food in lviv ukraine
The perfect khachapuri: buttery and with a fresh yolk at the heart

This Georgian restaurant offers some of the highest quality khachapuri (basically Georgian pizza) I have ever had – and I have eaten a lot of khachapuri in my life.  

Don’t make the same mistake as me and order everything on the menu. The restaurant gives a heavy starter of warm, steamy Georgian bread with an accompanying spiced olive oil that I just wanted to bottle up and bring home.

Georgian style bread at Maestro, a Georgian restaurant in Lviv
Can the appetizer be a highlight?

Maestro is also one of the best restaurants in Lviv for vegetarians – with lots of meatless khachapuri on offer. Vegans in Lviv may have a harder time, with Georgian cuisine relying very heavily on cheese, butter and eggs. They haven’t quite caught up to the trend of vegan cheese just yet.

eggplant at maestro, one of the best restaurants in lviv
A vegetarian Georgian favorite: eggplant stuffed with walnut paste

While you are waiting for your food, admire the Maestro’s creative décor – and feel free to try on the Georgian heavy coats and woollen hats for the perfect Instagram photo.  

georgian wine caskets at a restaurant in lviv ukraine
Maestro’s ceiling is decorated with Georgian style wine caskets

If it’s your birthday (or any celebration for that matter), let the staff know. Georgians are famous for their celebrations and the staff here will bring out the khantsi (Georgian wine horn) for you to taste some first-class Georgian wine!   

Recommended Dish: Khachapuri!  

Local tip: Out the front of the restaurant is a statue known locally as the ‘Ukrainian Romeo and Juliet’. Young couples often attach keylocks to the steel heart.  

banana geu cake at first roasters in kyiv
Make sure to always leave room for dessert

3. Kafe Jerusalem (Yerusalym) 

Cuisine: Jewish 

For much of Lviv’s history, the city was almost 30% Jewish. Sadly, the Jewish history of Lviv was brought to an abrupt end during the Holocaust

synagogue space at the former golden rose synagogue in lviv, ukraine
The Synagogue Space, where the shell of the former Golden Rose Synagogue of Lviv is preserved

Today, visitors can pay respect to Lviv’s Jewish heritage at sites like the Synagogue Space and the former Golden Rose synagogue. Before the war, Lviv also held an annual LvivKlezFest which brought the sounds of Jewish music back to the streets of Lviv. We are all keeping watch for any announcements about the festival’s restart!  

mirror field babi yar - holocaust in ukraine
Those interesting to learn more shouldn’t miss the extremely moving Babi Yar Memorial in Kyiv

A great way to pay homage to Lviv’s Jewish heritage is through food and there is no better place to try Jewish and contemporary Israeli cuisine than Kafe Jerusalem restaurant – Lviv’s best Jewish restaurant! 

With eggplant schnitzels, hummus bowls, eggplant caviar and excellent salads (don’t miss the Mazal Tov salad!) – Kafe Jerusalem is one of the best restaurants in Lviv for vegans and vegetarians.  

Recommended Dish: Shakshuka 

For more restaurants, cafes and local tips from Lviv, do not miss our interview with Orest Zub: Your Local Lviv Insighter.


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