The Best (and possibly only) Vegetarian Cafe in Lviv, Ukraine

green vegetarian cafe lviv ukraine

I’m way too hungover to write right now. So instead of of writing I’ve been looking through old blogs. I have something like 10 of them. If you go to my Patreon page, you can see a list of (pretty much) every blog I’ve ever written. The reason it’s only for Patreon subscribers is some of them are embarrassing.

Anyway, I wrote the following post when I was in Ukraine in 2014 writing my book Snowflakes in Lviv

There is only one vegetarian/vegan natural foods hippy dippy cafe in Lviv that I know of, and it’s called Green Cafe. I think it might also have the word “art” in the title, since establishments in Lviv seem to arbitrarily add the word “art” into their names to make them sound more couth (“Bob’s Freshly Butchered Meats and Art Cafe”). If you have a painting on the wall, you can add the word “art” into the title. If you have at least one item on the menu that’s vaguely natural, you can add “natural foods” into the title.

The décor in Green Cafe is tasteful. Most of the stuff is green. The lampshades are green as well as the upholstery of the booths and even the heating duct that runs along the top of the ceiling. The products are very high quality and freshly made, and of course since it’s Ukraine they’re dirt cheap. It would be hard, when having lunch, to spend more than about four dollars.

My favorite item on the menu is the “Veggie Burger”, which is actually not a burger at all but a wrap. I like it because it’s tasty and because at almost a pound it’s one of the bigger items on the menu. Menus in Ukraine always say how many grams each items weighs, which is extremely convenient for a glutton like me whose idea of a good meal is shoveling as much food into his face as quickly as possible. One day, for example, I accidentally ordered the sushi, which wasn’t even made with rice but some other nefarious grain, and I wanted to cry when I saw the size. In addition to the veggie burger another item I like is a drink that contains “sukofruktiv”, which (I think) is dried fruit that might even be slightly fermented that more or less smells like a barn but seems to get better and better every time you drink it.

The staff in Green Cafe seem very kind. There’s one waitress who looks a bit like Mila Kunis and is impossibly tiny and even though she speaks some English she always speaks to me in Ukrainian. There’s another girl who seems to spend most of her downtime behind the counter not-so-covertly filing her nails. And there’s a guy with dark, curly hair who never seems to come out from behind the counter and whose function I’m still not exactly sure of. He might make the drinks. He might just stand there looking foreboding.

The best part about Green Cafe might not even be the cafe itself but the food items they sell in the entryway, which is kind of like a different store altogether. There they have un-pasteurized honey that costs a little more than a dollar, and for the relatively steep price of two dollars they have peanut butter with no sugar, salt, or even any hydrogenated oils. And they also have chia seeds, the only place I’ve seen in Lviv so far to have them.

If you’re looking for vegetarian food in Lviv you don’t have a ton of options and Green Cafe seems to be the best. It’s comfortable, simple and tastefully decorated, and the food, despite being vegan/vegetarian, is for the most part very good. Order the sukofruktiv and the veggie burger and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Just don’t recoil when you first smell/taste the sukofruktiv. Remember: Smells like a barn, tastes like a dream.

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