This restaurant guide is provided by Cody Simon, the producer of The Expat Chit Chat Show, and current resident of Lviv, Ukraine.
Lviv is the cultural capital of Ukraine, close to the Polish border in the far west of the country. While not as populated at Kiev, or with beaches like Odessa, Lviv is a city worth traveling to in its own right. It has old cobblestone streets, a main square surrounded City Hall, and a penchant for unique restaurants, Lviv is one of the greatest not yet fully discovered European destinations.
While this may seem like a sponsored post, it completely isn’t. I just happen to live in this city with tons of great restaurants, many of which might be skipped by those “not-in-the-know”
Kryivka is the most visited restaurant in Europe. I know, not what you would expect (or where!) but it get’s over a million diners annually. Funnily enough, it isn’t the easiest restaurant to find even though it is in the main square of the city. Walk down an alleyway, into what looks to be going into an apartment courtyard, you’ll be met with people waiting. They’re waiting in line for the door to open up and be asked for the password. That’s right, you need a password to get in.
When asked, just say “Slava Ukraini” and you’ll be granted access to a small room, given a shot of honey vodka, and allowed down some stairs into the bunker where you can get your table and enjoy the delicious food.
Kryva Lypa is probably my current favorite restaurant in Lviv at the moment because of their fantastic Steak Tartare. True to it’s name it is a culinary studio at heart, with an ever inventive menu consisting of creative spins on traditional Ukrainian fare, as well fusion cuisine from all across the globe. No gimmicks with this restaurant, just good food, GREAT cocktails, and tantalizing desserts.
Arsenal Ribs and Spirits is famous for ribs. In fact, their minimal menu consists primarily of these ribs and sides. If you don’t like ribs don’t worry, they have a steak and a fish option, but I’ve never seen anyone get them.
The restaurant is located underneath the old Lviv armory inside the Old Town walls. While it has few hundred seats, be prepared to wait an hour or so if you show up when there’s a crowd. (There usually is, which is why I eat dinner at 3p.m.
Well that’s my first Top 3 list. I think I best stick behind the producer screen for a while. If you’ve never thought of visiting Ukraine before, why not give Lviv a chance. After my 4th visit, I decided to move here permanently. How’s that for an expat addiction.
Cody Simon is the producer of The Expat Chit Chat Show and a good friend of Zach Ireland. When not traveling the world, he spends most of his time watching TV and cooking, sometimes even at the same time. He started the food website Cooking to Entertain in 2019 as a way to document all the things he makes. He’s an avid crypto-currency enthusiast which he says is a bit like, “investing in plastics for the modern day.”
Cody can be reached through his Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/codypsimon/
or just by emailing the show at firstname.lastname@example.org