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Understanding Restaurant Menus in Ukraine

Loveland, Colorado
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153 posts
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Understanding Restaurant Menus in Ukraine

In most European countries, where I don't speak the language, I can generally understand enough words to order from restaurant menus, but in the Ukraine I am afraid I would have no chance without an English menu or helpful wait staff who speak English.

Would I have difficulty at restaurants in the Ukraine?

Kyiv
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1. Re: Understanding Restaurant Menus in Ukraine

Hi chinook and welcome to Ukraine forum :)

Which cities are you planning to visit, please? In the largest and/or most touristy cities like Kyiv or Lviv most decent restaurants will have Eng or bilingual menus. Some cafes have windows or pictures displaying food. But in smaller towns and villages or in smaller restaurants outside touristy areas you might indeed face troubles without knowing few words of local meals.

And it is definitely worthy to read and learn a bit more about typical Ukrainian dishes that you would otherwise give a miss by their names only, without knowing what they are.

Have a look, for example, at my posts #3 and 5 in this earlier thread:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g294474-i3663-k318…

And also read this one: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g294473-c109753/Ukrai…

Loveland, Colorado
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153 posts
11 reviews
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2. Re: Understanding Restaurant Menus in Ukraine

Thank you for the reply Cora.

We do not have a trip planned yet, but it would just be an 8 day trip to the tourist destinations and I doubt we will go anywhere without a guide who might recommend restaurants and possibly meals.

Of course, if it turns out we can afford a private guide for the entire time of our trip there won't be a problem. I will do more reading on the cost of full-time guides.

I will read the threads/posts you recommend.

Kyiv
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21,670 posts
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3. Re: Understanding Restaurant Menus in Ukraine

To be honest, I don't see why you need a private guide all the time (including at leisure time). But then different people have different travel style and comfort requirements.

Anyways, I'd like to also invite your attention to our Trip reports collection (newest reports are at the end of the thread):

tripadvisor.com/…28348864

I'm sure you find it helpful for planning your own trip. And of course, feel free to ask here in the forum, if you have any other questions while doing your travel research.

Edited: 21 November 2013, 21:22
Loveland, Colorado
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153 posts
11 reviews
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4. Re: Understanding Restaurant Menus in Ukraine

Thanks again Cora. We generally just wing it on our overseas trips, but we do like to keep things simple, and sometimes a tour or guide helps keep it simple. I will read the trip reports however.

Melbourne, Australia
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373 posts
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5. Re: Understanding Restaurant Menus in Ukraine

Chinook9,

I found most restaurants at least had an English menu, or one with English written beside Cyrillic Ukrainian/Russian part, and or someone that spoke enough English to help order and serve me.

As for touring and getting around Ukraine, I found this very easy, and something that’s very easy to do without a guide (as Cora mentioned). Then again if you like to keep things easy, they will be plenty of guides that will help you do this I’m sure…

Good luck in your planning…

Brussels, Belgium
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6. Re: Understanding Restaurant Menus in Ukraine

There are also many self service restaurants where the food is in the front of you. The Puzata Hata chain is very well known.

Simferopol
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7. Re: Understanding Restaurant Menus in Ukraine

As Cora V states, most restaurants in tourist zones will carry bilingual menus. Be aware though that many meat dishes are order by 100 gram portions. So if you are not accustomed to ordering by such it can be a learning curve to get right amount ordered. Start small, you can always go back and order more if still hungry.

Half the fun I find is discovering new cuisine by the occasional mistaken order! So just wing it as you say. Most menus I have encountered are segmented similar to american style menus. salads, soups, meat, seafood, desserts, drink and such.

8. Re: Understanding Restaurant Menus in Ukraine

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