by Anastasiia Gudyma
Have you ever heard about the city in the Western part of Ukraine called Lviv? It’s an ancient, beautiful city with it’s own atmosphere and rich history. It is easily accessed by train or bus from many European cities as it lies only 70 km from the Polish border. You can find a lot of information about the major sights of Lviv but there is one thing about Lviv that is unique. Thats its restaurants. Every restaurant in Lviv is unusual and thematic. In this article you will find the information about the most interesting restaurants in Lviv.
To understand the concept of this restaurant you should know a bit of Ukrainian history.
During the Second World War there was an independent army of Ukraine called the UPA. It used to fight against the army of the USSR and fascists at the same time. It existed only in the Western Ukraine and there are rumours that later in the War they joined the German army and fought against the Russians being very cruel to its soldiers. As an abusive word the UPA called the Russians “Moskal” therefore they used to hate each other. As this army had been unofficial they used to hide in underground bunkers and use codes to recognise each other. Whenever someone came to the bunker the guard would say “Slava Ukraini” which means “Glory to Ukraine”. And the person had to answer “Heroyam Slava” which means “Glory to the heroes”.
The restaurant Kryjivka is a modern underground bunker which is situated right in the centre of the main square but you will not find it unless you know where it is exactly. You will have to enter a normal building that doesn’t look like a restaurant, come up to a big wooden door and you will hear a guard shouting “Slava Ukraini”. This is when you will have to answer “Heroyam Slava”. Then the guard will ask if there are any Moskals with you, you will have to say no (“ni” in Ukrainian). Only after that the big wooden door will open and the guard will give you a welcome shot of honey vodka. You will then be able to enter the restaurant and feel yourself as a soldier of the Independent Ukrainian army tasting it’s traditional dishes and listening to the war songs.
Meat and Justice
Are you fond of Medieval times when torture was the most cruel in the history of mankind and even the smallest crime was punished with great brutality? Do you like first class quality meat from the local cows grown on local farms which were brought up in a natural environment? If the answer for both questions is “yes”, then this restaurant is for you.
Be prepared to wait in the queue if you dont reserve the table in advance as this place is well known for good food and an even better price. You can order different sorts of the best quality meat grilled or cooked in front of you in the open kitchen. At the same time you can learn about tortures during the Medieval times, see the torture devices and even experience some of them. For example, you can be put in a cage and dropped to the cellar where you will spend some time in the scary darkness.
The way you will sign your bill is also extraordinary. You will not use your pen, you will use your blood. The waitress dressed as an executioner, will come up with an axe and a piece of wood with your bill on top. She will chop off your finger holding your hand above the bill as a sign that you agree with the price for the food. No, no, I am only joking, they are not that harsh. She will only pretend to do so. But be careful, and dont move your finger as she will actually hit the axe but “accidentally’ miss your finger and just cut the wood.
House of Legends
In this restaurant you will get a completely different experience depending on which floor of the building you will decide to stop being served by midgets only. The lion room where you will see the lion figures and the lion cage, the time room where the clocks on the wall show different times which at the end confuses you and you dont know how much time you spend there. On the roof of the restaurant you will see…a car. Don’t be scared to sit inside of it and even use the paddles. Yes, you read it correctly. There are two paddles on each side of the car. I guess they will be quite useful in case of a flood. There is also the highest statue in the city on the roof of that building. Try to throw a coin and get into it’s hat. This will mean that you will be very lucky in your life.
This place is only for the brave. And in some sense it is scarier than Meat and Justice. Don’t be shy if the waiter decides to whip you, this is what he does to each client. You will see a lot of erotic things inside therefore the door of the restaurant is in the lock hole shape to hide everything that’s going on inside from onlookers. By the way, dont come here with children.
The menu is very unusual. Do you want to order a cocktail and drink it from in-between the waitresses breasts? Or do you want to be tied up to a chair and have the cocktail poured straight into your mouth by a sexy staff member? Almost every naughty fantasy can come true here.
At the very entrance try to put your hand in the trouser pocket of a male statue in front of the building. A surprise is waiting for you. Ask somebody to take a photo of your reaction before you do it.
Do you like good beer and do you want to support the local brewery? If yes, then this place is for you. It is huge with lot’s of tables in different rooms on several floors but if you want to go there in the evening be sure to come a bit earlier because you might not find a seat. The reason is a very popular and entertaining band that plays especially for “Pravda” every night. You will hear them playing the covers of the worlds most famous hits and at the end the entire staff and guests are singing the Ukrainian song called “There is hope”. It is very inspiring.
In this place you can’t choose dark beer or lager. You have to choose them by names….names of politicians. For example, try to guess which colour is Obama beer? Correct! It’s dark. Or how many percent are there in Putin beer? It must be strong, right, therefore it is 7.2% of alcohol. Merkel beer is quite sour, but it is very popular with guests. Try to find your own favourite beer but don’t decide only upon your political views.
If you want to know how this beer is made and degustate some samples, at 6pm each day you can attend the free excursion to the production part of the brewery.
This is a place where you can try the best chocolate in the city. You can buy sweets or chocolate bars and figures or souvenirs and take a seat and enjoy them right in the cafe. It is all about chocolate and coffee there, don’t expect any food to be served. You can see the process of making the chocolate or how images are drawn on the chocolate bars. You can order your own portrait to be drawn as well.
Some of the chocolate figures may be a bit provoking. For example, you can buy a figure of chocolate Putin or Hitler and bite there head off without any consequences (only if you want).
This is the best coffee place in the city. You can try all sorts of coffee here along with some food and desserts. You can go down to the coffee mine but be careful there, you will need a helmet which is given to every guest to protect your head. In some places it is very dark so watch your steps. While being underground you must try a special miners coffee. It is a cup of strong espresso with a layer of sugar burnt on top of the coffee in front of you.
You can enjoy performances of famous local bands in the terrace each Thursday o Sunday.
Right under one of the main sights of Lviv, the drama theatre, you will find a restaurant where you will be served by different theatre workers and performers. How about a dracula waiter? Or a cinderela waitress? All this can be experienced in the restaurant – museum “Livyj Bereg”. The hall looks as if it was flooded and walls look cracked. But it adds to the place and creates a special atmosphere.
If you can play the piano you can play the ancient piano which stands right in the middle of the restaurant. If there is no pianist in the room, the main waiter in an alternative suit can play something entertaining for the guests. On Thrsdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays you can come there to hear the performance of the famous local bands. But be sure to reserve the table in advance. Otherwise you will miss out the whole event.