There are several nice places in Kiev to get a drink. From small cafés that are only frequented by locals (they look dirty at first sight) to expensive places. Locals often buy drinks (beer) at a stall in the street and drink it in a park, leaving their bottles for the homeless to collect and cash in. However, since 2011, drinking beer in the street is prohibited and whilst you will see locals drinking in the street, you will make yourself an easy target for the police to stop and try for a bribe if you do. Locals often buy some chips or other salted things to go with their drinks.
The prices are quite reasonable by European standards. You will easily find decent Ukranian beer for 20UAH–30 and get 5cL of vodka or similar alcohol for about UAH20.
If you are not keen about alcohol, try one of the abundant coffee houses. No matter whether their names are well-known and international (Starbucks, Costa Coffee, Russian-based Coffee House and Shokoladnitsa) or weird and local (Coffee Land, Coffee Life, and other similar variations), they are always neat places with similar menu featuring all imaginable versions of coffee, a good choice of tea, fancy milk shakes and smoothies, and a selection of cakes. Their main advantage is free WiFi, while on the downside are the prices that are rather high on Kiev standards. Coffee and piece of cake start from 20 UAH each.
When you urgently need a shot of espresso, you can also try coffee sold on the street. Basically, every second kiosk will offer some kava (Ukranian word for coffee), but its quality is at best iffy. A safe choice would be special cars equipped with coffee machines. These cars can be found in most public places and next to entrances to the metro stations. They offer decent take-away coffee for 8-10 UAH.
If you prefer places that do not look the same in each town and are not owned by big companies you should try the café "Living-Room" in the vul. Spas'ka, 6, near metro Kontraktova Ploshcha. The small but cosy place is organized by some enthusiasts and musicians. Two pianos and some other instruments can be used by the staff or guests! While most cafés would close at 22.00 h this one is open as long as the staff wants to work. Besides excellent coffee they offer a wide range of very tasty teas.
There are several Irish pubs, none authentic, but OK if you're in need of a Guinness and expat company. One is located near Golden Gate (Zoloti Vorota) on Volodomyrska (called, eponymously, The Golden Gate Pub). Another (and the first in Kiev) is O'Briens on Mykailivska (one of the streets running west off Maidan sq., the one to the right, with a branch of OTP Bank on the corner). Both are expensive by Kiev standards. A new one has opened in Podil, on the corner of Gostyny Dvor, near the Dutch embassy (can't miss it as it's close to the bottom of Andryevsky) called the Belfast Pub. Other than these centrally located ones, others lie scattered around Kiev, they do not cater to the ex-pat crowd and have better prices than you expect to find in any 'western' country. Keep your eyes open. Also try Dockers Pub.
There are two Belgian beer cafés. One is located across the road from the Golden Gate, close to the South Korean Delegation (Le Cosmopolite, Volodymyrska street). The other is close to the Olympic Stadium (Belle-Vue; ul. Saksahanskoho 7). Prices range between normal western prices (€1.3 for 0.5l of Stella Artois) and splurge western prices (€4.5 for 0.33l of Leffe Blond). Service is in perfect English usually and they do serve Belgian beer and traditional Belgian food (expensive).
Kiev has a nice club scene. Ranging from very cheap to overly-expensive, you can find what you want.
Lavrskaya St., 9
Tr'okhsvyatytel's'ka St, 6
69, Frunze str.
23 Andriivski Descent
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