In recent years, Kyiv has seen lots of trendy new cafes opening on its busy sidewalks and in hidden courtyards. There are now enough top-notch places around the city to cater for the needs of coffee-craving locals and visitors alike, with cosy ambience, high-quality products and excellent choice of brews and snacks. Whether you’re in the mood for for hip indie spots or romantic retro hangouts, Kyiv has it covered.
Set on the quiet Stanislavskogo street in the most picturesque district of Kyiv – just steps away from the buzzing Khreshchatyk – this little cafe is a great place to relax, sipping Turkish coffee and tasting delicious cakes to a jazz soundtrack. One of the most atmospheric spots in the city, Na Stanislavskogo is decked out with vintage-style furniture and art on the walls; it also has a small bookshop. A meeting place for creative types, it frequently hosts literary and music evenings.
Lviv Handmade Chocolate
It may be an old-timer and part of a confectionery franchise, nevertheless Lviv Handmade Chocolate still meticulously serves the best melted chocolate in Kyiv that will leave you craving for more. There’s a rich selection of desserts and chocolate-based drinks in addition to coffee. Luckily, the Lviv-inspired cafe on iconic Andriyivsky Uzviz has a big chocolate souvenir shop, so you can get a box of goodies to enjoy later.
One Love Espresso Bar
One Love has by far the most impressive setting of all the cafes in Kyiv – it’s situated on the 6th floor of the PinchukArtCentre, a wonderful (and free) contemporary art museum exhibiting the likes of Damien Hirst, Banksy and Ai Weiwei. Apart from the panoramic views over central Kyiv, it’s definitely worth a visit for its striking minimalistic design and, well, amazing coffee. To get there, just tell the security guards at the entrance to the museum that you’re visiting the coffee shop.
Come and Stay
If you’re after a hipster coffee spot, look no further than Come and Stay. This small, modern cafe is located on one of the backstreets connecting the crowded Lva Tolstoho square with Shota Rustaveli street. They serve a variety of third-wave and pour-over beverages including the obligatory AeroPress, Chemex and Kalita, but also offer original flavours like coffee with lemongrass, lavender and salty caramel. Here you’ll always find a younger crowd of artists, students, freelancers and foreigners.
Conveniently sandwiched between major sights – like the St Sophia’s Cathedral and Zoloti Vorota – Reitarska street is where Kyiv bursts with creative energy. The neighbourhood is fast turning into the city’s art and fashion hotspot, with many local designers relocating here and galleries opening at an impressive pace. One of the best hangouts in the area is cosy Kashtan Coffee, where you can try an espresso tonic or a cold brew; they also serve sweets and pies. It’s tucked in a courtyard that’s famous for its two cages inhabited by two gigantic ravens, which have become a symbol of Kyiv.
Everybody in Kyiv knows Espressoholic in historic Podil neighbourhood. A tiny coffee shop, usually with queues throughout the day, this is one of the few places in the city where for just one euro you can get decent drinks along with heavenly cheesecakes, brownies or croissants. On summer evenings, this cheap-and-cheerful place is crowded with coffee-sipping locals forming a small street party at the entrance.
UK-themed London is a classy place with waiters, a family-friendly atmosphere and Kyiv’s top-quality beverages including pour-over and single-origin coffee. For a snack, you can choose between quiches and desserts. Another one of Podil neighbourhood’s coffee houses, it’s equally well suited for business meetings, catching up with friends, romantic dates and weekend relaxation.
Paliturka Coffee and Books
A personal favourite, Paliturka is a reasonably priced central hangout that’s a combination of a cafe and a book-swapping hub. In a quiet courtyard a stone’s throw away from Khreshchatyk boulevard, this bohemian place is great for working, chilling out or just a quick coffee fix. Upstairs you’ll find a fun art store featuring a range of local, handmade souvenirs, crafts and apparel.
It’s set right in the heart of Kyiv, yet you have to know Kharms to find it. From a courtyard near Volodymyrska street you enter a world of excellent coffee, with a wide selection of books and vinyl for sale; the indie atmosphere is hardly matched by any other Kyiv coffee shop. Loved by the local intelligentsia, Kharms is where you can spend productive hours doing work and meeting interesting people – all while enjoying a steaming cup of coffee, of course.
Occupying a picturesque street-corner building, Vagabond is a welcoming cafe as well as a self-proclaimed ‘vintage centre’ with a quirky design, outdoor seating and a small selection of coffees, cocktails and vegetarian food. This is also the creative heart of Podil district, regularly hosting lectures, poetry readings, acoustic-music evenings and other events.