Traditions of Ukrainian cuisine

and modern customs of Ukrainian dietharchi

Among the first impressions for all travelers who come to Ukraine or to any other country is the food which people prefer to eat in this country. The food creates the face of the country and there are even researches made by some specialists that derive a common personality or mentality of the nation from the nature of food it feeds on. Practically, the food in the foreign country is a very important factor which may contribute to the overall impression from the visit even on physiological level. Meaning, the food if it is too extravagant or aggressive may upset the stomach.

Ukrainian cuisine is safe for the stomach

In this respect, all the worries of those who visit Ukraine can be put at rest. The visitors can be sure and stay unperturbed knowing that they are totally secure with Ukrainian food. Ukrainian cuisine, though it has some specific traits, is very similar to various European food. The ingredients are all the same: beef, pork, potato, chicken, beet, dough, milk and sour cream, cherry, apples, mushrooms and bread of course. The use of spices is moderate.

grillEating habits

Ukrainians regular diet consists of two meals a day. The visitor who comes to Ukraine for the first time might be shocked to know that it is accustomed in Ukraine almost in every family to cook all the food (from the first to the third course). To surprise you further, many employees and those to include office workers bring homemade food to work to consume it during the lunch time. For these purposes some companies even went so far as to buy fridges for the corporate kitchen so that the employees could wait until the lunchtime not worrying that their meals will be spoiled.

Restaurants in Ukrainesalad

All the aforesaid do not mean, however, that the restaurants are not popular in Ukraine. Everyone travelling to Ukraine will find the restaurant to their taste whether it is southern spicy food or Chinese fish and sushi diet. There are pizza houses or pizza served at every 500 meters in the downtown. Yet meat is traditionally very popular in Ukraine. The restaurants diversify their menu with different types of meat (stewed, fried, a stake, minced) and many serve barbecue.

Almost every restaurant serves all sorts of cocktails with ice-cream and a range of syrups dressing the desert.

Some visitors coming to Ukraine from the different countries sometimes find unusual Ukrainian tradition for the first meal. The first meal is typically a soup or borscht.


Borscht is one of the paramount traditional Ukrainian meals and it is cooked of broth made from chicken, pork or beef with boiled vegetables (sliced potato, carrot, chopped cabbage, smashed tomato, onion and beet). It has a distinctive red colour owing to a large amount of tomato and beet, and is traditionally served with sour cream and little pies baked from white bread and served with a little touch of garlic.


Another unique and traditional meal is called “Vareniki” and basically is little pieces of dough with different stuffing (most popular are fried cabbage, minced meat, curd and cherry). The pieces of a thing dough after being stuffed then boiled and served with fried onion or sour cream. This meal Vareniki goes deep down into the history and it symbolizes female fertility. Traditionally, long time ago before baptizing of Old Rus females who wanted to bear a child or start a family worship a Goddess Lada or a Goddess Mokosh. Among a string of rites a woman cooked vareniki the filling of which symbolizes a fetus.


Potato is very popular in Ukraine, though it is not a historically Ukrainian meal. Nonetheless, it is commonly served in different types, peeled and boiled, baked with the peel, fried and smashed. There are even special restaurants that specialize in serving only potato. Like “Kartoplya” or “Potato House”.

Ukrainians go the restaurants usually for two reasons. First, during a lunch time because not everybody has the time or desire to commit to cooking in the afternoon or morning and taking the meal to the job. Second, it is families who go out on weekends and the youth. They go just for fun.

Tips in the restaurants of Ukrainea_bill

There is no fixed rate for the tips in the restaurants in Ukraine. One thing could be said for sure. When you go to a restaurant in Ukraine, you should not worry about tips. The waiters work by the principle “We are grateful for what we receive”. Isn’t it nice?

Level of servicing

When you go to a restaurant in Ukraine you should be prepared that the level of servicing might be lower than you are accustomed to. However, it is a common problem for Ukraine in general and the most effective way to deal with this problem would be not to set high expectations for the servicing. When you go to a restaurant enjoy the atmosphere and the thought that most of the food is naturally grown with little chemicals because Ukraine is a country with developed agriculture. 

Finding a restaurant in Ukraine

Good restaurants in Ukraine are usually those that cook national cuisine. You will recognize such restaurants by their national decorative style. When you choose a meal remember that the most popular are beef, fried meat, vareniki, borscht and pancakes and therefore these are the meals that never sit for long in the kitchen.