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Where to eat
Surprisingly there is no compiled gastronomical guide to Zhytomyr, neither in English nor even in Ukrainian or Russian. But the city can offer quite a satisfactory experience for a gourmet tourist. About half a dozen places call themselves "pubs" , and sure they serve good food and good beer; sushi-bars, pizzerias are also not a rare sight in Zhytomyr, but what the heck, Ukrainian cuisine is one of the richest in the world, and there are plenty of places where you can try it- and not only try, but eat and drink properly))
(10 Mihailivska street) specializes in serving not only Ukrainian, but specifically local dishes: borsch, varenyky (a.k.a "perogy"), potato pancakes (the menu is also available in English); their savoury, delicious and nutritious "frying pan sets" are especially recommended; and in-house made "nalyvkas" have many different flavours, and you'll be lucky to walk in a straight line after you've tasted all of them.
(10 Kyivska street) is a recently opened Georgian restaurant, just across from the "Ukraine" cinema. The interior design is simple, but the authentic Georgian food is delicious and succulent, and you can see it being prepared as the kitchen is behind a big glass panel. Try on traditional Caucasus woolly hats and cloaks and Take pictures The venue is quite popular, so booking is recommended if you want to visit it on weekend. Average price is £10-15 for two, including drinks, but portions are gigantic and you should try all their different sauces.
in the Hydropark boasts excellent riverside location. It is a big venue often used for weddings and corporate parties, but when it's quiet, you can enjoy a portion or two of "deruny" or vareniky (perogy) while sitting in one of the log cabins just on the water edge, enjoying the soothing view of the river and its wooded banks, people in boats and on the beach...and contemplating about life, the Universe and everything....
pub (96 Kyivska street), an English-themed restaurant, with a red telephone box and other memorabilia inside. Scrumptious steaks and genuine Guinness make this place worth a visit.
("Time to eat") is an authentic Ukrainian cuisine chain which has two eateries in Zhytomyr, one at the "Global UA" shopping centre, the other on Peremohy Square, the latter has an upper-floor terrace with a panoramic view. They are self-serviced , popular with locals and prices are ridiculously cheap.
is, as the name suggests, chocolate-enriched cafe, snugly tucked in the corner of Peremohy square. The coffee served there is great, as well as varieties of tasty sweet edible figurines and cakes. And they do hold chocolate-making workshop sessions for kids.
(45 Vitruka street) looks slightly out of place, surrounded by Soviet style blocks of flats, and is located on the ground floor of one of them. But it's meat plates are succulent, the venue itself is roomy, in an eclectic style, and it hosts live music performances every weekend.
All mentioned above is just a small fraction of eating establishments you can find across Zhytomyr. There are many more of them, and their spectres vastly vary in specials, prices, themes and clientele.
Where to stay
- probably the best choice for foreign visitors. The staff there speaks English and are very attentive. The hotel itself is situated in the very historical centre of Zhytomyr, on a quiet street, with a park, museum, catholic cathedral and orthodox church just on its doorstep, and yet a few minutes walk from the main squares and streets. Tip: book a room with a balcony, you'll pay a bit extra but it's worth it- balconies there are so big that you can dance on them. And when you want to eat- go somewhere else, as being very good for breakfast, the on-site Italian restaurant is not serving the best food at other times, probably because of low customer volume.
- another good choice for staying in Zhytomyr. This hotel-restaurant complex is built on New Boulevard with nouveau-riche opulence. The rooms are big, even huge, and the granite panel clad on outside and inside is meant to impress.
Funny thing about the name: the word "Gaiky" with a stress on the first syllable means "nuts"- block of metal with a threaded hole; with a stress on the second syllable it means "copse", "coppice", and also it's the name of the village where the proprietor is hailed from.
Certainly this humorous ambiguity gave grounds for pun jokes.
Spa hotel "Dodo" is located a bit far from the centre on a busy street, but it boasts probably the best spa in Zhytomyr. And hotel guests can enjoy complementary use of the spa facilities for 2 hours free of charge every day of staying in the hotel. The venue has a night-club as well which can be busy on a weekend.
The rates at these three hotels are around £15-30 per double room per night, and all have buffet breakfast included.
There are other hotels available in and around Zhytomyr ("Ukraine", "Petrograd", "Sadki", "Chudodeevo", "Stara Guberniya"), or you can privately rent one of the apartments which are in abundance around the city, with a daily rate half of those in hotels.