Kiev Food Tour – Tasty Ukrainian Cuisine within the Walking Tour
The best way to get acquainted with the culture of the country is to taste it! You must admit that when traveling to Ukraine, every tourist stops at the most liked place to have a tasty meal and taste special cuisine of the region! We write a lot about the historical sights of Kiev and other amazing places in Ukraine; we bring our foreign guests to Lviv and Odessa; our private guides show the beauty of Kiev, and after all, among other things, Ukraine in fact has very tasty cuisine! Therefore, we offer not only to try the major Ukrainian meals during our Kiev Food Tour, but also to learn a lot about the food, beer and wine of Ukraine.
Kiev Gastro Tour
We begin our tour in a traditional style – in a cozy Ukrainian restaurant, its design resembling typical Ukrainian house of 18-19 centuries.
The hut is a traditional house of Ukrainians, Belarusians, Western and Southern Russians, part of the Poles; it has a stove, usually with a four-slope thatch or reed roof. Often the hut was divided into two parts: residential and household, divided by a porch.
The restaurant creates the atmosphere of Ukrainian life – embroidered towels, earthenware, and waiters in traditional Ukrainian clothes.
We usually hold our Kiev Food Tour during lunch. Ukrainians start having lunch with soup. The main soup of Ukrainians is borsch.
Red borsch is a traditional meal and landmark of Ukrainian cuisine. It is difficult to find Ukrainian host, who does not know how to cook Ukrainian borscht, and who cannot immediately list several variants of red borscht.
Borsch is a traditional East Slavic meal, cooked with beets, which gives it a characteristic rich color. Unlike ordinary soups, it is thick. Borsch is considered to be the national Ukrainian entree, although it is also part of Russian, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian and Moldovan cuisines. Jews can also boast of their own borscht recipes. M. Bulgakov, V. Mayakovsky and I. Kotlyarevsky mentioned borscht, rich in taste and color in their works.
The name of the meal comes from the old name of the beet – “hog” (borschevik in Ukrainian). In the past, the recipe was very different from the present one and was a stew of hogweed or beet kvass. The first mention refers to the XVI century. In the annals of Alexander II and Catherine I, the word borsch was used to describe the favorite meal of noble and royal persons.
Ukrainians, Russians, Poles, Romanians, Lithuanians cook red borscht in different ways, therefore there is no specific classical recipe. In every country, the meal has some local peculiarities. Some boil beets, others fry it, somebody stews… Some add potatoes to the beets in broth; others boil beets for 30-40 minutes before adding potatoes. Adding something new in the recipe has made the meal the same yet different in each country.
This is a multi-component red soup with a rich flavor. Traditionally, the soup is cooked in meat broth. There are as many borscht recipes as many are regions in the countries. Cooking technology may differ in a set of meat, vegetables, seasonings, herbs and spices. However, in each recipe such ingredients as beets, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, and carrots are mandatory. Beans, sweet peppers, zucchini, mushrooms can be used as additional ingredients.
Borscht differs from ordinary hot soups by its complex recipe and cooking duration. In addition, because each vegetable in borscht is cooked separately, cooking the meal takes up to 2 hours.
Russian and Ukrainian borscht is considered independent first courses that do not need to be served along with other treats. In addition, the richness of borscht can completely replace the main course. Borsch is served in a deep bowl, seasoned with fragrant dill. To emphasize the color and taste of the soup, a spoon of sour cream is added to the bowl. Pampushka (bread) with garlic crust or rye bread complements the harmony of this taste. A plate of red borscht and green onion are classic borsch serving. If there is onion on the table, there should always be saltcellar.
Usually one borsch is enough, as the soup is very thick. However, Ukrainians are a people who love to eat a lot, so we continue our tour and walk to another restaurant of Ukrainian cuisine.
The second restaurant on Kiev Food Tour is Modern restaurant of Ukrainian cuisine. Many meals here are modernized; the interior of the restaurant tells the story of recent events in Ukraine and is also a kind of museum exhibiting personal items of famous Ukrainians and politicians.
During the second stop, we will try the famous Chicken Kiev and dumplings Vareniki.
Kiev is definitely a place where you should taste Chicken Kiev even if you ate it in the UAE, Switzerland and USA or even on Bali. This is the most famous Ukrainian meal in the world.
This patty is cooked not from minced meat, as is usually the case, but from tenderized chicken fillet with a piece of cold butter wrapped in. Sometimes greens, cheese, mushrooms are added to the butter. The cutlet has the shape of ellipse; is breaded in breadcrumbs and baked in deep fat.
There is a chicken bone on one of the ends of the cutlet. When serving, they put a paper on the bone. Despite the name, clearly referring to our capital, other countries also claim the role of meal’s inventors. Therefore, there are several variants of the origin of Kiev Chicken.
According to the French, the recipe for cutlets de Voley (poultry cutlet) was taken from France during the reign of Empress Elizabeth, who sent young people to France to study culinary. It was Nicolas Appert, famous French chef who invented these cutlets. After the war of 1812, when all the French went out of fashion abruptly, the cutlets were renamed “Mikhailovsky”, as they were allegedly invented by the chef of a restaurant located not far from the Mikhailovsky Palace. The recipe was forgotten for a long time, and only in 1947, one of the Kiev cooks used it, giving the meal a new name Chicken Kiev.
Our culinary historians claim that cutlets first came to Kiev in 1918 during the time of Hetman Skoropadsky, but did not become a popular meal. And only in 1947 did they finally deserve recognition after they were cooked in the capital to honor the return of the Ukrainian delegation from Paris, where a number of peace treaties with former allies of Germany were signed. Cutlets were approved at the highest level, and soon appeared in Intourist restaurants.
Americans also claim the invention of Chicken Kiev. They say the name Chicken Kiev appeared because emigrants from Ukraine often ordered this meal in restaurants. Later the recipe of the meal got to Europe and, in particular, to Ukraine. Chicken Kiev is how the Americans called this meal before and how they call it today.
Dumplings is a traditional Ukrainian snack. It is served for breakfast and lunch, and as a snack between meals. Staffing can be different – meat, potatoes, cabbage, and even something sweet like cherry or cottage cheese.
The last place we visit within our Kiev Gastro Tour is a classic restaurant in elegant modern style, where we taste Kiev dessert – Kiev cake.
Recipe of Kiev cake appeared due to the mistake of the cook
There is a version that supposedly the cake recipe has first appeared at Karl Marx Kiev Confectionary Factory (today – Kiev confectionary factory Roshen) in 1956 by mistake of confectioners. Once they, as usual, prepared a batch of egg white for biscuit, but forgot to put it in the refrigerator. To conceal the mistake of colleagues, the next shift decided to bake a cake out of what they had. Konstantin Petrenko, the then head of the biscuit shop, could not know that the crunchy cakes of hardened foam with cream would soon be called Kiev cake, which would become one of the national symbols. Since then, Konstantin Petrenko is believed to be the author of Kiev cake recipe.
Kiev cake is a symbol of not only Kiev, but also Ukraine. Every day, tens of thousands of guests of the Ukrainian capital take a piece of Ukrainian culture with them — the Kiev cake.
Kiev Pub Crawl – Beer Tasting
The essence of Pub Crawl is that people gather at the designated place and bypass a certain number of bars in the evening and of course drink in each of them. The idea of the tour has become very popular in England, Ireland, the Czech Republic and other countries. This is a great way to get to know the city, learn about the nightlife and have fun. It is especially cool, when it is a local guide who holds the bar crawl, who knows all the pubs of the city, knows which beer is better in Ukraine to try, and what should one refrain from.
Tourists will visit several pubs where they will taste Ukrainian craft beer for free – one glass in every place. Some places are within walking distance – it takes about 5-10 minutes to get there; sometimes a taxi is used. During the tour, a cheerful English-speaking guide tells about the most crowded places in the city and answer all questions.
If you like pleasant relaxed and easy atmosphere, you like beer and do not like cocktails and posh parties, then put on your sneakers and let’s go!
If on the contrary, you want to visit the cocktail bars, then please consider this tour.
Kiev Wine Tasting
Someone may say that in Ukraine there is either no or very few interesting wines. We disagree with that.
We invite you to taste Ukrainian wines. What should you expect: charisma, experience, jokes and many stories about wine – why they make it in Ukraine, how it is made, why it tastes the way it does, and what the prospects of Ukrainian wineries are. We listen, taste, and enjoy life.
Wine tasting is held in one of the best Ukrainian restaurants with a professional sommelier. Wine is included in the tour price, and you can order snacks on your own.
Kiev Food Tours are perfect for gourmets who are exploring the city via its food; Pub Crawl Tour would be best for large companies. It is also a good experience on a rainy day if you don’t feel like sitting in a hotel.
Attention! All our tours are private and are held only for those who order them, whether you are one person or 40 people in a group.
Contact Local Guide in Kyiv to take a Tour:
- +380 66 067 90 89 WhatsApp, Viber, SMS, Calls
- Skype: Guide me UA