ask Vitalina about
breakfast and brunch • café • ethnic food • food markets • cocktail bars • italian food • parks
What do you do and why do you do it?
I work as a project manager at a digital communications agency. We work with a very wide range of clients, from Sony in Ukraine to PepsiCo and Carlsberg.
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
All songs by Jassie Ware, Ella Fitzgerald, Hozier, “Somebody loves you” by Adele, and selected songs by Monatik, a Ukrainian singer.
What are the best TV shows of all time?
Friends, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and The Late Late Show with James Corden
Name some spots in Kiev that are good for a Tinder date.
BEEF meat & wine is a place with an excellent wine selection and has been continuously rated high for its atmosphere. Under Wonder is a vegetarian-friendly Italian restaurant (@underwonder.kiev) at the heart of Kyiv.
Who’s your hero and where in Kiev would you take them out for a serious hang?
Oprah! It would be really difficult to offer her something she has not seen, I suppose. I’d probably place my bets on the Pinchuk Art Centre (@pinchukartcentre) which hosts contemporary art exhibitions by world-renowned artists. There is a stunning rooftop coffee shop where I would take Oprah to chat about global art, politics and simply about life.
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
I like walking around the Gulliver shopping mall where I can download the latest high-street fashion trends. Then, armed with ideas, I’d buy essentials from the local outlets. I buy most of my clothes when I travel though. If I were a foreigner in Kyiv and wanted to discover the local fashion scene, I’d visit the showrooms of Lyuba Makarenko (@sayyalubamakarenko) and Elena Burba (@elenaburba).
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
Eurasia sushi restaurant chain
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
I am blessed to have the time and energy to do anything I long for.
What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in Kiev and where did you get it?
I wouldn’t recommend trying any of the street food sold by ‘babushkas’. I would also recommend to be careful going to the ‘sushi’ restaurants unless particularly recommended by someone I trust. Definitely avoid such places as Koritsa Kiev Cafe, Ostannya Barykada (Остання Барикада), Daily Fish Cafe, Alaska.
Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Kiev that you particularly like?
Bar “Loggerhead”. You need to find an unnamed door in a dark courtyard near Bessarabka square. Ring the bell by the door, and say password.
What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in Kiev? How much did it cost and what did you get there?
Alaska restaurant, Grand Admiral Resort & SPA, InterContinental Kiev.
What restaurant in Kiev looks crap, but the food’s amazing?
That has to be the Chinese restaurant "Pekin". It is quite remote from the city centre but if you happen to be in Holosiyevskiy borough, stop by for the most delicious Chinese food, something you would only taste in China.
Where can you get the best cocktail in Kiev? Which one do you like?
Hungover bar, Loggerhead, Budu pozje. I like whiskey sour.
Where would you take your partner in Kiev if you wanted to really pamper them?
If I want to pamper someone special I take them to Milk Bar. There are many delicious desserts here. My favourite is Triple Milk.
Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?
Garlic lard on rye and dieruny (potato drop scones) with sour cream. To try these, go to Kiflik.
What’s the one place you think is overrated in Kiev?
Kyiv Pechersk Lavra (cave monastery) is a very touristy place crammed with souvenir stalls and unfriendly Orhtodox priests. Instead, I would recommend turning your eyes to the St Volodymyr’s Cathedral, The Golden Gate and St Michael’s Golden Dome Cathedral, all within a walking distance from each other. Start your walk from Kontraktova Sq. in Podil, walk to Poshtova Sq., breathe in the riverside air, take the funicular up to St Michael’s Golden Domes Cathedral, follow Volodymyrska St to the Golden Gate and further down to St Volodymyr’s Cathedral. End your walk at Lviv Handmade Chocolate café right next to Hilton Kyiv.
What’s the one place you think is underrated in Kiev?
Kyiv riverside in the borough of Podil and Pokrovskii Cathedral are definitely underrated.
What are the Kiev spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
Volodymyrsky Cathedral is one of the hallmarks of Kyiv. Also taking a stroll down Yaroslaviv Val St. and stopping by for traditional Ukrainian pastries at Yaroslava cafe.
Tomorrow’s your last day in Kiev. How do you spend it?
I would start my day at Blue Cup coffee shop, then I would walk down to the European sq.
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
For me, it’s London. In this city I find peace and inspiration.