History sets both tone and tastes. In 1683, a native of Sambir region (near Lviv), a merchant and a translator Yuri-Franz Kulchytsky became one of the heroes in the defense of Vienna from the Turks. Kulchytsky, who had perfect command of Turkish, accomplished a courageous espionage operation that became crucial in breaking the Austrian capitals’ siege. As a reward from the grateful people of Vienna, the Ukrainian received 300 sacks of coffee from the Turkish camp and a building in Vienna’s center, where a coffee shop «Under the blue bottle» soon opened its doors to the visitors.
And so that is how coffee came to Central Europe. Later, with the advent of Austrian rule in Galicia in late 18th century, the sweet traditions were firmly rooted and acquired a local coloring in Lviv. Today Lviv is a paradise for sweet tooths.
The city boasts of dozens of places, where wonderful coffee and hot chocolate are prepared, and where a variety of sweets are made on location. To pay tribute to tradition, most sweets shops are decorated in the style of Austro-Hungarian monarchy. You get immersed in the times of Emperor Franz-Joseph, and will be surprised to find the 21st century outside.
If you ask a Lviv resident to introduce you to the local beer and cuisine, they will not make you suffer through their endless tales that beer has been brewed in Lviv since 1425; that the local brewery, built in 1715 and functioning till this day, is older than the renowned «Guinness»; that in the times when Lviv was under the Soviet rule, special flights with boxes of Lviv beer were sent to the Kremlin bosses in Moscow. Lviv citizens do not overburden their guests with these glorious historical facts. However, they are very concerned about leaving you with a good impression.
That is why immediately upon meeting you, a Lviv city dweller will take you to one of the numerous local pubs and establishments and will successfully convince you to give your preference exclusively to local breweries big and small, which brew live beer without any additives. With your beer you will taste dishes of the local cuisine – an extraordinary mixture of traditional Ukrainian, Polish, Austrian, Armenian dishes. Many restaurants produce their own beer. Then he will get you acquainted with all the regulars of the local establishments, who will entertain you with a plethora of interesting stories.
Dublin, Munich and Prague better make space, because Lviv undoubtedly should be added to this list of world beer capitals.