Situated in a converted factory in central Kyiv, the recently opened Bavovna restaurant serves original dishes cooked on an open flame, featuring a team now bringing a Michelin-level experience to Ukraine’s culinary scene.

Bavovna – meaning cotton in Ukrainian – opens at 10:00 every day and is one of the few restaurants in Kyiv that prepares all dishes on an open flame. Some appetizers are prepared using a flambadou – a metal cone with a hole at the bottom that is heated to about 500 degrees. The fat then bursts into flames as it slides through the cone, finishing off each dish with an intense flavor. 

Chawanmushi made of Black Sea shrimp and seaweed, trout roe, pike perch and pickled cucumber

At the helm of Bavovna are Alyona Smirnova and Dmytro Kryvoshap, two seasoned chefs hailing from Michelin-starred establishments in Europe and Asia.


Smirnova, the owner, brought her expertise from iconic kitchens like Mauro Colagreco at Raffles London at The OWO & Mauro’s Table and The Fat Duck owned by British celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal. Kryvoshap, the chef, has honed his craft at Copenhagen’s Alchemist and Tokyo’s Inua. 

Together, they are now bringing that refined taste to Kyiv, and guests can also try the best Bavovna has to offer through special tasting sets, similar to the most refined Michelin establishments worldwide.

The restaurant uses mostly local ingredients from Ukrainian farms and producers, and the menus are all subject to seasonal changes. As such, the menu, like the ingredients, are always fresh.

Oyster and chestnut cream, marinated and baked pork belly, chestnut chips, pear baked in salt, salad mix

Bavovna, located near Arsenalna metro station (one of the deepest metro stations in the world), occupies part of the old Arsenal factory – a place that witnessed the revolution of 1917, the Soviet regime, and has now been revived as the Kyiv Food Market hosting a myriad of restaurants.


Those who enter Bavovna are greeted by a neon sign in Ukrainian: “If not now, then when?” – the philosophy of the team because life is short and every moment is a moment worth enjoying.

The first floor features a cozy section next to an open kitchen where guests can observe the chefs at work, while the second floor comes with a spacious hall equipped with a bar, swing chairs, as well as an art project displayed on a wall.

The restaurant has also paid meticulous attention to the interior design and furniture to create a unique, cozy experience with a strong emerald undertone throughout.

Instead of an all-day menu, guests are offered three different styles of cuisine depending on the time of the day. Breakfasts are served between 10:00 a.m. and noon, including fusion dishes with a Ukrainian twist (featuring a more attractive price tag), offering a great way to start the day.

During the afternoon, guests can enjoy a traditional-style aristocratic English Afternoon Tea, served between noon and 2 p.m. It features a variety of snacks and desserts on a three-tier tray, complemented by a proper brew in English fashion, of course.

Then comes the main menu between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. with a wide selection of dishes ranging from a full six-course meal to individual appetizers, along with seasonal main courses and desserts specially designed by the chef, incorporating the best Ukraine has to offer with a touch of European flair.


If you are looking for a taste of Ukrainian innovation, you might just find it at Bavovna.

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