Ukraine Food and Drink

Traditional Ukrainian food, such as that in Russia, is mostly of the ‘filling and hearty’ variety, with a heavy emphasis on dumplings, potatoes and sour cream. Vegetables tend to be seasonal: excellent fresh fruit and vegetables including peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes are available at markets in summer, while the winter months are dominated by bottled fruit and preserved cabbage.

Pizza places are ubiquitous and in the larger towns (especially Kiev) visitors have a wide choice of cuisines that includes French, Indian, Italian and Turkish. Asian restaurants can also be found in the larger urban centres.


Borshch (beetroot soup made with meat broth).
Varenniki (dumplings containing potatoes, cheese, meat or fruit).
Deruny (potato pancakes).
Pelmeny (meat-filled ravioli originally from Siberia).
• Chicken Kiev exists but is better known in the West.


Tips are appreciated. A service charge of 10-15% is sometimes included in smarter restaurant and on hotel bills.

Regional drinks

Crimean wines are excellent, especially dessert wines such as Krasny Kamen ('Red Stone'). Abrauand Miskhako are excellent brands of cabernet. Other local drinks include Artyomov champagne (bottled in eastern Ukraine), and fortified wines from Massandra, particularly one named 'Black Doctor'.

Drinking age

The minimum legal drinking age is 18.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.