Kafka – excellent breakfast choice
Address: Lva Tolstogo 11/61.
Phone: 390 7197
When summer comes to Kyiv, its city centre somewhat loses its charm, especially on noisy and car-jammed weekdays. An open-air business lunch has every chance to become literally a breath-taking experience.
My favourite time to enjoy the Kyiv’s historical part is on Saturday morning. No traffic and a few pedestrians, fresh air, tidy and wet streets, birds singing in green trees! Photo shooting and sightseeing is highly recommended during this part of the day. As well as a breakfast in a cozy place where you can replenish your enthusiasm. Sadly, finding a decent breakfast spot, as my experience suggests, is still not an easy thing to do in Kiev. The majority of pretty downtown restaurants and cafes are closed until 11am, and even when they open, there is no breakfast menu on offer and the refreshing morning hours are almost over.
Try Kafka cafe (opens at 8 am) on Lva Tolstoho street. The café is located just next to the University Park, the city’s must-walk spot.
Kafka occupies rather spacious groundfloor premises in an outstanding building of the early 20th century named after merchant Morozov. I visited the building several times before, completely enchanted by gorgeous decoration of its corridors and apartments, and just the entering of it again through Kafka doors makes me feel good. The café’s interior cheers morning visitors up - high white ceilings are decorated with crystal glass chandeliers, dark wooden floors and tables are tastily matched with bright red modernist chairs and couches. It is highly recommended to sit near the huge windows – the view of the park and the city streets is a treat on its own.
If you are the person whose real awakening depends on food and nothing else, turn your eyes to the menu. The variety of breakfasts is satisfying for both light and heavy eaters. You can choose from Fitness breakfast (mostly fruits and whites omelette), Italian, Bavarian, Mexican (each has omelette accompanied by sausages or ham, vegetables and oatmeal toasts) and even Russian breakfast (cottage cheese pancakes, bliny, fruit jams and sour cream). Portions are generous, food is freshly cooked, and prices are around 25 hryvnias (5 usd) per breakfast plate. The menu also features individual items – for example, I sometimes take just omelette with tomatoes or cheese. Or just a light desert (all are in-house made), for which Kafka is famous among the University students.
Need a morning coffee? – you are in the right place! Choose from around 40 blends and coffee cocktails (starting from 10 hryvnias, or 2 USD). I usually go for an Americano, which is served in a big (real American size!) pot. If you are a tea person – the decision will come easy – just ask your waiter and you will learn what is on offer. Although the café has a huge variety of teas on the menu – very little is available, so do not waste your time on reading fancy tea names. Fresh juices, various non-alcoholic drinks and cocktails are plentiful and on offer, nevertheless.
Perhaps, this tea-thing is the only sour feature of the café. Being a regular weekend visitor to the place, only once I have experienced a slow and awkward service. No tips that time – and no more bad manners ever since. I hope that this is not a simple coincidence. Another drawback might be the absence of a terrace – well, the spot on Shevchenka street has just opened one.
For real Kafka fans, there are three more spots in the city (all similar in interior and menu):
Kafka in Arena-city, Velyka Vasylkivska str., 5-à, Òål: 230-9685
Kafka on Shevchenka bvrd, 36a, tel: 251-19-25
Kafka on Artema str. 37-41 (just opened)