If you’ve been with me for a while, you know I lived in Ukraine for a short bit as a Peace Corps Volunteer. If you’re new here, then welcome and feel free to check out my Peace Corps series here! I personally believe that Ukraine is a highly underrated tourist destination and should be visited more regularly. It’s a beautiful country that’s affordable to see, with gorgeous nature and an extensive train system. I loved trying new foods in Ukraine, and wanted to dedicate a post to my fave vegan restaurants in Kyiv. If you’ve been vegan for a long time or are interested in trying more plant-based food, you’ve come to the right place!
Ah, my first vegan love in Ukraine. I went here for the first time of many with a friend who is a vegetarian, and this was our first meal at a fully vegan restaurant in months. I realized just how much I missed tapping into the vegan community in my travels. The first couple of times I went there, I got a barbecue wrap, which was delicious. When I later tried their fusili pesto, I was hooked. I must admit, it’s my favorite of the two. The sauce is just so creamy, and yet I didn’t feel too full after eating the whole serving. Located in the quaint Podil neighborhood, which is my personal favorite, this place must be on any vegan’s Kyiv itinerary!
I had already been living in Ukraine for months before I came across this place on HappyCow. Since I had a few days free, I decided to check it out. It’s located in a plaza-style area with multiple restaurants. It was pretty slow on a Sunday, so that would be a good time to check it out! I got the hot dog with avocado cream, arugula, and black olives since everyone on HappyCow was raving about it. It. Is. Incredible. Be sure to try it!
The one time I went to this place, I was in Kyiv on my way home. I was in a pretty bad place mentally, but I remember vividly being welcomed and feeling so relaxed in this adorable coffee and dessert place. They also offer power smoothies and other juices. Tucked into a corner amidst all the hustle and bustle of Kyiv, Sereda is a can’t-miss spot. If you’re wanting to add to your closet, they even have a boutique downstairs!
I got a warm cacao, and the barista even gave me a dessert she had made for the day as a gift. So sweet! She has no idea how much I needed kindness that day, and how much of an impact she had on me. I know this place will be on my return list for a trip back to Ukraine just from that encounter.
Green 13 Café
This super cool vegan burger joint is actually a chain. I’ve only been to the one in Bessarabsky Market and they have a set up where you order at their counter and sit on a pillow at their benches in the market. If you don’t want all the original toppings on your burger, they’ll even charge less for it since they charge per topping. I do recommend to keep the pickles on there–yum! And that’s coming from a person that hated pickles before moving to Ukraine…
Super close to Maidan Nezalezhnosty, this veggie spot is so convenient and has incredible food to boot. It’s a win-win!
Bali Bowl Café
The perfect meal for me has a combination of flavor and nutrition. This place delivers. I got two very different and equally delicious dishes here. Their aesthetic is also so adorable, and so relaxing. Their bathroom even looks like it belongs in a spa. A friend and I had such a lovely afternoon just sitting in this restaurant, talking and enjoying its atmosphere. Highly recommend!
Honorable Mention: Noodle vs. Marketing
Okay fine, so this place technically isn’t vegan, but I don’t care because it’s amazing. If you’re anything like me, then you’re not surrounded by family and friends that are all vegan. For that reason, it’s easier sometimes to go to a veg-friendly spot and everyone gets what they’re craving. This place has such delicious ramen that I dream of it daily. Be sure to stop by on any trip to Ukraine!