Kryivka: "The Partisans' Restaurant" Lviv Restaurant Tip by toonsarah
Lviv Restaurants: 116 reviews and 321 photos
This is another place I would never have known to visit without Victor’s helpful guidance – nor would I have known how to find it or how to gain admittance! It is a “theme” café/bar, something that seems to be popular here in Lviv. In this case the theme is that of the Ukrainian resistance to the Soviets, so potentially politically contentious – but a lot of fun for tourists.
The first step is to find the entrance. Look on the southern side of the main square for an arched passageway with a winged Venetian lion above. There are a lot of lions in Lviv, so it’s important to look for the wings – see photo 5. The second step is to gain admittance. In keeping with the spirit of the theme, you will need a password. The man guarding the entrance will greet you with a Ukrainian patriots’ motto, “Slava Ukrayini!” (“Glory to Ukraine!”), and you must answer “Heroyam slava!” (“Glory to the heroes!”). [I am indebted to Victor (again) for this wording and translation].
Even after this you have not yet passed the test. The doorman will test whether you are a Moscow spy, firstly by asking you (of course you say no) and then by offering you a shot of sweet local vodka. He will tell you that all these spies die after drinking this, so you must drink it to prove your innocence. You drink, you live ... you may at last enter the bar. The doorman pulls aside the heavy wooden bookcase (photo 2) to reveal a passage and steps down into the cellars, to the several successive rooms. The first is non-smoking so we stayed there, but it’s worth having a quick look at the others, in particular for the small collection of guns with which you may pose for photos (photo 4).
The menu is presented as an old partisans’ leaflet (photo 3). There seemed to be lots of choice but we were only here to drink. I had an excellent espresso; others had tea (served in tin cups) or beer. You can buy souvenirs of your visit – shot glasses, t-shirts and other mementoes. The walls are covered with patriotic posters, photographs of old soldiers etc. It’s a fascinating place and well worth a visit, both for the drama of the experience and the interesting setting.
Address: Ploscha Rynok 14
Directions: On the southern side of the square but unmarked – look for arch with Venetian winged lion above (photo 5)
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