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Where to Stay and Dine in Lviv, Ukraine

Where to Stay and Dine in Lviv, Ukraine

EUROPE, UKRAINE

If you read my recent post on Lviv, then you will already know what to see and explore in this beautiful city! Thanks to Cobblestone Freeway Tours, we were shown some of the best places to experience the food and culture of Lviv. From coffee shops and chocolate factories, to traditional restaurants, we certainly ate our way around town. If you’re planning a trip to Lviv and are also searching for a nice place to stay, I got you covered! Lviv is a modern European city that has, nonetheless, preserved a very special ‘Old European’ feel. The city is often called the Paris of Ukraine and I can definitely see why.

Dining in Lviv

1.  Smakolyk Cafe was our first restaurant for dinner in the city. It is known as a healthy food cafe and is a local favorite! They prepared delicious, traditional food which made for a lovely welcome dinner. Their menu is seasonal and their ingredients are organic which I appreciated. I enjoyed the salad with salmon for starters and the boiled veal with cauliflower and broccoli with butter.

Leave room for dessert and have a piece of rich syrnyk (cheesecake) or a strudel with a delicious cup of coffee.

The space is light and bright, with a great flow throughout the two levels. I loved the pop-art style decor and the window into the confectionery kitchen which allowed us to watch the pastry chefs in action! Starting in September, they’ll be offering master classes on cooking healthy dishes.

2.   For lunch one day, Cobblestone Freeway Tours took us to Kryjivka – one of the city’s favorite eateries with an interesting history! This is the most visited restaurant in Europe and for good reason. It is underground and it’s cave-like setting creates such a unique dining atmosphere. This was the last hiding place of Ukrainian Insurgent Army during World War II.

The Borsch soup and fried potato dumplings were our favorite! We also had a nice selection of salads and meat platters.

3.   Kumpel is famous in Lviv, with three different locations throughout. The downstairs of this practical restaurant we went to was a store.  Here you can find high-quality organic products made by “Kumpel’s” cooks or gathered from trusted local producers and farmers from all over Galicia.

The restaurant is located on the second floor.  The interior decor is quite unique; it combines luxury historic Lviv style with post-Soviet industrial elements.

It is known as a beer restaurant, so don’t miss out on sampling some Western Ukrainian beer. They offer “Galician light” and Galician wheat” brands which were specially developed based on ancient Lviv brewers’ recipes. They are famous for their home-made sausages with three different types of fillings served one meter long. Banosh is one of the most popular Hutsul dishes in Ukraine, and one of the best Banosh dishes I had was at Kumpel.  It’s a creamy cornmeal topped with fresh, salty crumbled cheese and succulent pork belly. I could eat this dish every night, it was that good!

4.   Mons Pius is a Ukrainian tavern with a deep history and some of the best steaks in the city! It occupies the building of an old Armenian Bank which had been operating for 300 years until 1940. You can see the history of this place throughout the two rooms. There’s a symbolic memorial stone for Ian Mardyrosevy at the entrance. He was the bank’s pharmacist in the 19th and 20th century who had a notorious reputation. I also loved the early 20th century stained glass of the Armenian Cathedral which was found in the courtyard in 1970.

As for the food, we had a vast selection of dishes to pick from including a few salads.  I went with the chicken although the meat at Mons Pius is said to be one of the best.

5.   Just by the name alone, I think it’s obvious that The First Lviv Grill Restaurant of Meat and Justice is not an ordinary eatery. The first municipal employee in Lviv back in the day just happened to be an executioner. But when a constitutional state arrived, the executioner was out of a job! And so, he opened a meat restaurant which we were fortunate to visit on this trip.

If you can look past the torture equipment throughout the restaurant, it is a very unique place to eat in the city center!

6.   If you are a chocolate lover, do not miss out on visiting Lviv’s Handmade Chocolate Factory! It’s the perfect place to sample incredible chocolate, buy gifts for family back home, or relax and enjoy some coffee and chocolatey treats.

7.   If you have a sweet tooth AND don’t mind getting your hands dirty, I’d recommend taking a master class at the Lviv Caramel Workshop! It’s such a fun activity for children and adults. I loved seeing how the caramel making process works and it was great to learn that they only use natural ingredients, without artificial colors and flavors. Sugar, sugar syrup and fruit extracts are all you need!

8.   Dzyga Art Centre is the place where you can drink coffee, eat, listen to jazz, and work. Everyone can find a place in this peaceful atmosphere. Many people come here to work in the morning, and to relax in the evening. They often have concerts every Thursday here. It is a perfect place for a semi-formal business meeting, and a romantic rendez-vous; the restaurant itself is called Apartment 35.  You can enjoy outdoor and indoor sitting.

It was such a great setting for a special, private performance organized by Lviv Tourism and  Cobblestone Freeway Tours . Burdon, a band well known throughout the city and Europe, treated us to traditional music and songs of Eastern Europe and the Balkan countries!

Apartment 35 Restaurant Lviv

After the entertainment, we were treated to a feast of sample platters with a variety of meats and cheeses.

Where to Stay in Lviv?

I had the pleasure of staying at the Rius Hotel while I was in Lviv for a few days.  You cannot beat their location!  It is minutes away from the city center where you’ll find an array of great restaurants and shops.  I enjoyed being in such a central part of this ancient city, especially when the hotel’s next door neighbor is the stunning National Opera House.  It’s just a few minutes walk away.

My room was comfortable, spacious and modern with a beautiful terrace balcony.  The bathroom was very updated with a heating rack, make-up mirror (the best), and a nice walk-in shower.

My room had a small balcony that faced High Castle hill which is the highest point of the city.

The Breakfast is served in Restaurant Vapiano which is connected to the hotel.  It’s perfect for a late night snack or a drink since they stay open later into the evening. The restaurant operates a card charging system which is not something that I have ever experienced before, however, is relatively easy to get the hang of.  The food was very fresh and delicious. The only qualm I would say is the breakfast ordering was difficult as the staff didn’t really speak English which made it hard, but we got there in the end. Because the restaurant operates independently from the hotel, this means you can’t charge anything to your room, so you must carry your wallet with you.

Another centrally located hotel option is the Vintage Boutique Hotel.  Set in a restored building, this charming hotel offers 29 rooms and an award winning restaurant – Vintage Nouveau.  Their wine bar is beautiful and I’d recommend at least one meal or drink at the hotel, even if you’re not staying overnight!

The Vintage Hotel Lviv

Still Curious About Lviv?

Read more travel tips for Lviv, Ukraine, including travel guides and translators, over on Cobblestone Freeway Tours.  They are expert planners and know how to create special travel moments which you’ll remember for a lifetime!

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About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder and Senior Editor of Carmen’s Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

23 Comments

  1. Gokul Raj
    July 16, 2017 at 2:30 am
    Reply

    The Dzyga Art Center looks pretty chilled out. Would love to check out that place. Never heard a lot about Ukraine. This post has given me some insights into the culture of this country

    • Carmen Edelson
      July 17, 2017 at 11:49 am

      It’s definitely an underrated place to visit in Europe! I absolutely loved it.

  2. Kavey Favelle
    July 16, 2017 at 4:01 am
    Reply

    Wow, you really did eat so well! I love that you were taken to places that really allowed you to try so many of the local specialities, that’s something I love to do when travelling. And a really nice range of interiors as well. Delicious!

    • Carmen Edelson
      July 17, 2017 at 11:49 am

      I know, the variety was great! Cobblestone Freeway Tours did a fantastic job.

  3. Jenny
    July 17, 2017 at 6:08 am
    Reply

    It sounds like there’s quite a variety of places to eat and drink in Lviv! The restaurant with all the torture implements sounds particularly interesting, but I’m a bit weirdly fascinated by such things.

    • Carmen Edelson
      July 17, 2017 at 11:50 am

      Ha, then you’d love it! Very interesting place indeed.

  4. Corinne
    July 18, 2017 at 2:49 am
    Reply

    Carmen, These posts come at such a good time. Jim and I are heading to Ukraine in just a few days so I’m lapping up all of your advice. Thanks!

    • Carmen Edelson
      July 22, 2017 at 3:56 pm

      That’s great! I hope you have an amazing time and let me know if you have anymore questions 🙂 I went all over.

  5. Miranda
    July 18, 2017 at 10:09 am
    Reply

    The Smakolyk Cafe really stood out to me. Not only was the presentation of the food pretty, but I loved that it was organic and seasonal ingredients means it’s mostly local. More restaurants in the United States should be like that.

    • Carmen Edelson
      July 22, 2017 at 3:57 pm

      Yes, definitely local ingredients which I loved too.

  6. Brianna
    July 18, 2017 at 6:06 pm
    Reply

    I’ve never heard of Lviv before, but it looks like it’s got some great food options! Especially the candy making 🙂
    The hotel looks like a great place to stay too.

    • Carmen Edelson
      July 22, 2017 at 3:57 pm

      Lviv really surprised me! I loved every minute of my time there.

  7. Emily
    July 20, 2017 at 6:05 am
    Reply

    My first time reading about Lviv – what a beautiful place. These restaurants sound great – I’d be straight to the chocolate factory and my kids would love making sweets; what a fab idea. And the Art Centre looks like the perfect place to catch up on some work, if you have to!

    • Carmen Edelson
      July 22, 2017 at 3:58 pm

      It’s still not one every tourists radar but it should be! More posts coming soon about Lviv and the Ukraine 🙂

  8. Sia
    July 20, 2017 at 2:27 pm
    Reply

    I don’t often see posts about Ukraine and I am always interested to see more of it. I would never expect the most visited restaurant in Europe to be there. It looks super cool though. I love borsch and potato dumplings and I’ve tried different variations around the Baltic countries.

    • Carmen Edelson
      July 22, 2017 at 3:59 pm

      I know, Sia! I have more posts coming about the Ukraine this next week so stay tuned.

  9. Halyna Kinasevych
    July 25, 2017 at 5:35 pm
    Reply

    Excellent info as I am heading there for the first time next week. Sadly, Ukraine is misspelled on the main page. Ouch!

    • Carmen Edelson
      July 28, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      I hope you have an incredible time, Halyna! On the main page? Do you mean this post? I can’t seem to find it but I’ll look again, thanks!

  10. Agness of Fit Travelling
    August 1, 2017 at 8:28 am
    Reply

    These are some excellent ideas, Carmen! Ukraine is a great travel destination! Isn’t syrnyk the best cheesecake you’ve tried?

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 1, 2017 at 7:34 pm

      It’s absolutely delicious!

  11. David
    August 23, 2017 at 9:22 am
    Reply

    Great history accompanied by great food…now that is a perfect combination. And whats up with the axe, is it part of the cutlery?

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 23, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      All part of the quirky presentation and decor 😉

  12. Graham
    September 11, 2017 at 4:21 pm
    Reply

    That candy making class looked so cool! I’ve seen so many videos of that process on youtube, but I’ve never seen a place that lets everyone try it out! Also, I think I would have asked my parents to move to Lviv as a kid with that cool executioner meat restaurant! 11 year old me is SUPER jealous right now!

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