Kiev is hooked on caffeine. Americanos and flavored lattes are served on every corner. You can get your daily fix from a snail-shaped cart, a blue-and-orange kiosk of a local franchise, or even a minivan parked by the subway.
In recent years, Kiev’s coffee scene has undergone a transformation. Now, coffee lovers are flocking to hip coffee shops where baristas geek out over beans and wouldn’t add syrup to a latte at gunpoint. Seasoned coffee snobs head to Kyiv Coffee Festival to join a cupping or watch a latte art contest. And the quality of coffee is improving, too.
Many coffee shops in Kiev buy their beans from local roasters, like Svit Kavy and Cafe Boutique. Others double as micro roasters and use their own specialty coffee for espressos and brews. Stop by one of these shops to take some beans back home. If you’re coming from the US, keep in mind that the roast will likely be lighter than what you’re used to with more fruity notes and less bitterness.
As the Kiev coffee culture evolves, more and more coffee shops are roasting their own beans, and more and more roasters are opening coffee shops. So whether you want to take your time and sip a pour-over or grab a bag of beans and be on your way, you’ll have plenty of options. These are the best spots on the coffee map of Kiev.
1. Blur Coffee
Blur Coffee is uber popular and always crowded. Instagramers flock here to pose on the green leather couch, while the laptop crowd occupies the communal table, and smokers favor the patio. And while the interior is Instagrammable with lots of plants and exposed brick walls, it’s the coffee that rules the room.
You can choose from a number of black coffee drinks (espresso, ristretto, or doppio), milk drinks (cappuccino or latte), and pour-over coffee. All of these can be made with Columbian or Kenyan beans, your choice. If you’re feeling peckish, there are toasts and delicious smoothie bowls, as well as granola with yogurt, cookies, pies, and cakes. While waiting for your order, flip through an issue of Kinfolk or stock up on beans to take back home. Blur gets its beans from White Label, a specialty coffee roastery in Amsterdam.
Where: Mechnykova St, 5, Kyiv, Ukraine, 01133
2. Bez Dverey Espresso Bar
Literally translating to “without doors,” Bez Dverey got rid of an entire wall and installed a glass one just to keep the cold out. Come summer, the glass is removed and the coffee crowd spills outside onto the steps and the sidewalk. Like any self-respecting coffee shop, Bez Dverey makes a range of espresso drinks and filter coffee, including unorthodox flavors like lavender. There’s also wine and cocktails on the menu, which explains the buzz in the evenings.
Where: Sichovykh Striltsiv St, 10, Kyiv, Ukraine, 02000
3. Bimbo Coffee & More
Bimbo is a neighborhood coffee shop with easily the friendliest baristas in town. The coffee menu includes classic and alternative drinks, plus a few unusual combinations like iced coffee with orange juice. The “more” in the name refers to pies, cakes, sandwiches, and craft beer. If you’re there in the summer, grab the best spot: a couch on the lush terrace. On a cold winter morning, take a seat at the counter by the wall-to-wall window and watch red-nosed locals scurry inside for warmth.
Where: Volodymyro-Lybidska St, 16, Kyiv, Ukraine, 03150
4. First Point Espresso Bar
True to its name, First Point makes espresso drinks, with a menu complemented by alternative coffee, teas, and pastries. The interior is inspired by travel, with globes on the shelves, maps on the walls, and the gorgeous travel magazine La Boussole on the tables. Once you get there, you’ll be reluctant to leave. The coffee shop is full of light, not too crowded, and overall a great place to read or do some work. In the summer, you can take your coffee outside and sip it under a giant ash tree named Aristarkh. The tree is under threat of being cut, and First Point is fighting to save its leafy pet.
Where: Yaroslavska St, 14/20, Kyiv, Ukraine, 04070
5. Come and Stay
Come and Stay came along before other coffee shops on this list, and it has consistently been one of the best. Filter coffee and espresso drinks are equally good here, and the variety of drink options is always expanding. Food, on the other hand, is mostly limited to pastries and granola. One of the best things you can eat at Come and Stay is Mr. Pops, all-natural ice pops made in Ukraine. Get yourself a popsicle and cozy up on the window seat or grab a table outside in the old Kiev courtyard.
Where: Velyka Vasylkivska St, 23B, Kyiv, Ukraine, 02000
6. Cafe Boutique
Cafe Boutique is one of the biggest roasters and vendors of coffee equipment in Kiev. Its two locations have a vast selection of beans from South American countries like Colombia, Salvador, Brazil, and Guatemala, as well as African countries like Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Burundi. You can also choose between espresso roast and filter roast depending on how you prefer your coffee. The coffee shops aren’t much to look at, so you can skip the visit and order a delivery on the website.
Where: Khoryva St, 4, Kyiv, Ukraine, 04071
7. Svit Kavy
Originally a roaster from Lviv in western Ukraine, Svit Kavy helped pioneer third-wave coffee in Kiev. The roaster sources beans directly from African and Latin American farmers, with photos from their farm visits featured on the wall. The selection of beans includes varieties from Ethiopia, Colombia, Kenya, and Peru, but you can also get an espresso blend or a signature Lviv coffee. The roastery doubles as a cozy coffee shop, with prize-winning baristas running the show.
Where: Ihorivska St, 12А, Kyiv, Ukraine, 04070
Takava is known as a popular coffee shop with a gleaming interior and tasty cappuccinos. But few people realize it’s also an excellent roaster. The beans come from Honduras, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, and Kenya, and are supplied directly from the farms. The menu selection is not huge, and the prices are somewhat on the expensive side, but once you try the coffee at the shop, you’ll be eager to recreate the flavor at home with a bag of your own beans.
Where: Velyka Vasylkivska St, 43/16, Kyiv, Ukraine, 02000