From the first time I visited Ukraine until now, Puzata Hata (which literally means the "Belly Hut" in English) is one of my all time favorite restaurants in Kyiv. The food is delicious and is a great way to sample the rich Ukrainian cuisine almost as good as "mom use to make it". It's setup as a cafeteria style place where you can choose from soups, mains, sides, deserts, drinks, etc. to your hearts content before sitting down. You won't have to worry much about limiting yourself to just one dish as the place is not expensive at all. There are two classics that I would recommend. To drink, take the "Kompot" which a red, fruit punch-style drink, and for desert, I always get the Varenyky (a dumpling) stuffed with cherries. For the soups, mains and everything else - there are too many to choose from. Be adventurous and come back often!
There are several locations around Kyiv and each one has it's own style of decoration. I personally would recommend the one at Baseina St. 1/2 - just around the corner from the main street of Khreshchatyk (at the opposite end of it from the Independence Square). It is decorated with big wooden beams like a traditional place in the country, and the staff is dressed in traditional cross-stitched shirts.
Hopefully this place will win your heart like it did mine, and each time when you go, you'll find the "Belly Hut" leaves you with a Happy Belly!
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