What’s Kyiv’s Best Bar?

While there are disturbingly few good bars in Kyiv, our readers appear deeply divided on which one’s the best, as the top-five vote getters were separated by a single vote.

A bar, in its essence, is a place where you go, often alone, primarily to drink and socialize. Food, TV sports and bar games may facilitate the process of drinking and socializing, but they are strictly secondary pursuits.

There are five bars in Kyiv that aren’t dives and basically fit the above description: Erie’s, The Wall, Opera Cafe, O’Brien’sand The Drum. Depending on what you’re looking for, you’d probably be happy in any of these places.

If you want to see ex-pats, go to Eric’s. If it’s bar games you want, head to Opera Cafe. Go to the Drum if you want to rant about politics. Hit O’Brien’s if you want a theme English pub, or The Wall if you want the real

Places like Pilsner Bar and Tractir Voina I Mir almost make the list, but you’d be hard pressed in either of those establishments to hang out with a group other .than the one you walked in with. The Cowboy Bar, while truly a Kyiv legend, takes itself out of the running by charging a cover. Don’t get me started on Planeta Sport.

Our readers were generally on track with their votes, with the notable exception of the many who chose Arizona BBQ, which, as its name implies, is a more of a barbeque than a bar. Great place to go during happy hour or big sporting events, but more of a good restaurant than a great bar at other times.

Of course the big surprise was the performance of The Drum, garnering a first-place tie in its third week of existence. Then again, maybe that’s not so surprising. After all, The Drum is run by a couple of ex-Pas/ staffers, and our Readers List is, admittedly, a bit on the nepotistic side. But aren’t good friends what good bars are all about? Drink up, guys.


1. Eric’s Bierstube
(tie) The Drum
(tie) Arizona BBQ
4. O’Brien’s
(tie) Opera Cafe
6. The wall
7. Cowboy

Others receiving votes: Kupidon, Time Out, The Studio*, Rock Cafe, Tourist Hotel, River Palace, Desperados, Crocodile, Blindazh, Barvi.

* Denotes extinct bar


Kyiv’s only exclusively blues club.

15 Khreshchatyk (Passazh) downstairs in Shelter restaurant.
Open 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Tel: 228-5577


A Kyiv classic, sort of country western with a bit solo, right on the Passazh.
15 Khreshchatyk (Passazh).
Open 24 hours.
Tel: 228-1717


Anyone in favor of Starbuckization of Kyiv ought to check out this microscopic bar near Maidan.
18 Mala Zhytomyrska.
Open 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.


The cafe, named after Massandra wine cellars in Crimea, also offers a selection of other alcoholic drinks and Ukraianian dishes.
19/21 Borysohlibska.
Open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Tel: 229-1209


Cozy coffee show with an African jungle theme serves up a variety of international coffees,coffee drinks and some sweets.
3 Shevchenka prov.
Open Mondays 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Tuesdays through Fridays 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Tel; 464-0505


The highlight of this charming coffee nook on Passazh is not its exquisite interior or its selection of exotic coffees, although those features make it worth a visit.
15 Khreshchatyk.
Open 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Tel: 229-1209

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