Sometimes known as halushky, varenyky are small boiled dumplings made with rolled dough and filled with a special type of potato and cheese or some other filling. Almost all restaurants serve them, usually with either cheese or meat, and almost always with sour cream or a buttery sauce. Pyrohy usually refers to larger baked, pie-like varenyky filled with the same kinds of ingredients. Smaller, appetizer-sized versions of pyrohy are called pyrizhky, which are either baked or fried.
The national soup, which has also been adopted by other Slavic cultures, borsch is based on a beet and mixed vegetable broth that comes in dozens of varieties. The most popular version is a clear broth, but sour cream is often added.
Translated as "little doves," holubtsi are cabbage rolls stuffed with seasoned rice and meat or buckwheat. The dish is usually topped with a tomato-based sauce.
Known to the English-speaking world as Chicken Kiev, kotleta po-Kylvsky is a chunk of boneless chicken stuffed with butter, then seasoned, floured, and deep-fried.
Kasha is basically a grain-based cereal. The most common kind is hrechana kasha, a buckwheat porridge, seasoned and eaten with a sauce as a side dish or as a stuffing.
Khleeb is the Ukrainian word for bread. Sweet breads and rolls (bulochky) are steeped with honey and are often associated with holidays or ceremonies. Babka is a sweet egg bread popular during Easter, but available all year. Kalach is similar to babka, but denser and braided into a circular shape. Paska is the official Easter bread, usually decorated and shaped into a cross. Korovay is a tall, cylindrical traditional wedding bread. Pampushki can be fresh rolls soaked in crushed garlic and oil, or a sort of sweet jam or fruit-filled baked roll. Makivnik is a sweet poppy-seed bread flavored with honey and molasses, popular around Christmas. Khrusty are deep-fried strips of sweet dough coated with sugar, and medivnyk is a honey cake that can keep for days without going stale.
Sterile bottled water is widely available for sale. It is also ok to drink tapped water and well water. There is no detectable radiation in the water.
Alcohol is consumed in great quantities in Ukraine. In many cases, alcohol is served during business lunches and dinners. It is expected that a man will be able to down a shot of vodka (horilka), although women can usually ask to drink wine or champagne instead. Shots are often chased by water or soda. Drinking is usually accompanied by toasts, for which there are certain rituals. Toasts are drunk to health of the assembled company, to friendship, to success, to love, and so on.
Alcohol is quite inexpensive and easily accessible. It is illegal to drink and drive throughout Ukraine. The fines are substantial. It is also not always safe to buy alcohol in kiosks and/or on the street.