Vegan cuisne in Kiev: a impressing diversity

There have recently opened many restaurants and cafes in Kyiv offering vegan street food. It takes very little time and money to have a fast, tasty and diverse meal on the way, especially if you work or live downtown.

The vegan menu began to appear in the Kyiv restaurants soon after launching vegan food delivery, followed by some Vegano Hooligano restaurants. It is interesting that this place attracts not only vegans. Many people come here to eat a tasty and inexpensive meal. Besides, as the street food network is growing in the city, there have appeared many unspecialized places where one can taste vegan food, and regular restaurants are gradually adding vegan dishes to their menus. A vegan from Ireland I know, who has recently visited Kyiv, was really surprised at the abundance of the vegan food. According to her, there is no such variety in Dublin. There are many creative people and people practicing yoga among the Kyiv vegans. From time to time, the subject of vegan food is raised in the city mass media. I have never encountered any aggression towards adherents of this concept, except for some excitement in the discussions arising from time to time as to eating or not eating meat. A couple of months ago, I decided to make an experiment and to eat only vegan food for two months. During this time, I didn’t have any problems with food variability.

The Israeli falafel

©Julia Saliy
A kiosk with the Jewish street food opened a couple of months ago. The local falafel is cooked in the Israeli style — deep-fired garbanzo balls are served rolled in pita bread, with hummus, tahini, spicy Middle-Eastern dressing and fresh vegetables.

In other places, people from the Middle Eastern countries or Ukrainians make falafel in their own way: they often do not use hummus, Armenian pita bread and cabbage.

The portions in Kipish are small but the falafel is tender and rather spicy – the way it should be.

A sandwich with grilled tofu

©Julia Saliy
A restaurant with vegan food to go named Vegano Hooligano was opened in the building of the Bessarabia market in downtown Kyiv in 2015. Since that moment, a new life has started here: hipsters, vegans and vegetarians passed by the traditional counters with vegetables, meat and Oriental sweets. After that, other points offering street food started to open there.

The sandwich with grilled tofu has, except for the tofu, lettuce leaves, fresh cucumbers and a tomato and has tar-tar dressing. Because of the dressing, the dish has juice and interesting taste. The only disadvantage is that there is too much filling in the sandwich, and it often falls out when eating.

A bulgur roll

©Julia Saliy
As Vegano Hooligano is in the downtown part of the city, and the menu here is diverse, I often eat here.

The roll is served in Armenian pita bread. The filling consists of bulgur, tofu cream cheese, a tomato (you can replace it with deep-fried garbanzo balls), and dressing. Despite the juice filling, the sandwich is sometimes too dry. Besides, it is rolled not always skillfully, and the filling sometimes falls out.

A samos with eggplant

©Julia Saliy
In this place near Leo Tolstoy Square metro station, a samos looks not what it is like in Indian restaurants. It looks more like a cottage cheese pie. Yet, this is misleading. The dough is somewhat dry. The filling consists of eggplant and zucchini with onions and tomatoes. There is little of it, so I mostly taste the baked dough part. This samos is not very juicy, unlike sweet samos with strawberries or cherries which may be tasted in Kyiv during street food festivals.

A sandwich

©Julia Saliy
There is no special vegan menu in the sandwich restaurant FreshLine in Shota Rustaveli Street. You can make your own sandwich here: choose the type of bread (wheat or rye bread), dressing (I chose the pesto sauce), vegetables and greens (rocket salad, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, basil leaves) and the type of dressing (I took spicy mustard in seeds). The sandwich turns out to be juicy and nutritious.
©Julia Saliy

Julia Saliy

the co-founder of the online urbanistic magazine "Hmarochos“


Online-Magazine „Hmarotschos“
blog about healthy food "Spoon" Vegano Hooligano





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