Food Journals

What I ate in BELARUS – A Food Journal

Belarus was an intriguing country, I will give it that. I did enjoy my time there and never felt unsafe during my visit in 2019. Not to long before my arrival, Belarus had just opened up Visa-Free to 80+ countries, including the USA. The only catch was that you had to enter and leave from the Minsk airport. I learned that two days prior to my arrival and had to purchase flight tickets into Minsk.

Minsk Airport

I was planning to arrive by bus, which I learned from another traveler was a big No-No for certain countries. Additionally, you needed to purchase “European travelers insurance” for a couple of euros upon arrival, if you did not have it already. You are then issued a small declaration stating what country you are from, which is filled out by your hotel. When you leave Belarus is when you turn in that declaration from your accomodations to passport control. I did whatever it took to get into Belarus, I was up for the challenge- I wanted the passport stamp!

As for food, I found a lot of delicious restaurants close to Old Town where I was staying. Eating out is definitely enjoyed by Belarusians so there are plenty of options. I tried  traditional foods as well as international dishes. Everything I ate was terrific and I have no complaints.

From finally locating Chicken Kiev in Eastern Euro to snacking on local candy bars, my list of “What I ate in Belarus – A Food Journal”.

Chicken Kiev – Finally!

Although not in Kiev, Ukraine I did find Chicken Kiev in the country next door. A year prior, I was in Ukraine and could not find this traditional dish in Kiev. I was very excited to find it at Grand Café in Minsk and it was outstanding.

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I have tired Chicken Kiev in the States and also attempted to make it, but it never came out like this. This dish is tricky because it needs to be rolled and cooked just right, so that the melted butter oozes out when sliced. I have been to restaurants in the States where I had cut into a Chicken Kiev and there was a big hole in the middle- no butter.

The Chicken Kiev at Grand Café in Minsk was perfection and the herbed butter poured out perfectly when I sliced into it. I highly recommend this restaurant if you are in the city.

For restaurant information and location, please visit their Facebook page – Grand Café 

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Brunch at Bistro de Luxe

This little French bistro was a very pretty and elegant place to have brunch. They do offer a full day menu including caviar and seafood if you are looking for a meal later in the day.  I was curious how the other main day dishes were like as everything on the menu looked excellent. Too bad I was not in Minsk for longer.

The cheese omelet I ordered was very nice and served in the traditional French rolled style. It was delicate and delicious with snippets of chives along the top. The bread assortment and creamy butter were much loved too.

For location and restaurant information, please visit their website – Bistro De Luxe

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Belarusian Candy Bars

I did not “pay” for these candy bars. 😀 I was pretty lucky to get them as they were included with the breakfast buffet at my hotel and at the airport lounge in Minsk. More than likely, I would have never tried them otherwise as I was not looking to buy a candy bar.

The two Vitba bars were quite similar to other candy bars in Eastern Europe where they are chocolate covered wafer cookies. They were both very light and quite good. The green bar was not obvious what flavor it was until I read the smaller black letting, it looked like “Banana”. Sure enough, it was banana flavored and it was very delicious.

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Grand Café – So Very Grand!

This is where I spoiled myself in Minsk! The Grand Café was a block away from Garni Hotel where I was staying. That was a great stay because I did not have to travel far. The Grand Café was just that, very grand and elegant in every way. It had the feel of Eastern European aristocracy from the servers in white jackets to the rich and upscale interior. It was one of the more magnificent grand style cafes that I have been to in Europe.

The food and service at The Grand Café were just as wonderful as the ambiance. I ordered the Chicken Kiev which was accompanied by fresh green beans and potatoes. Since I love fresh seasonal asparagus, I ordered that as well. Plus a beautifully plated blueberry creme cake for dessert.  Everything was extraordinary.

For restaurant information and location, please visit their Facebook page – Grand Café 

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Shrimp Caesar Salad

I did not want to leave my hotel for dinner one evening, so I decided to eat at my accomodations, the Garni Hotel. The food was quite good at the hotel’s restaurant and the stay was comfortable. Well, besides my room being a little haunted within this 19th century building, I would recommend Hotel Garni for your stay in Minsk.

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The shrimp salad I ordered was good although I could have ordered another one. I believe this was an appetizer salad and not a main meal salad. Thinking back, no wonder the server looked at me as if to ask “Is all that you are eating?”

For hotel and reservation information, please visit their website – Hotel Garni

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Coffee Sipping

From sipping my heart topped cappuccino at Bistro de Luxe to drinking a caffe at the Grand Café, having a cup of coffee in another country is an establishment within itself. Sitting there with a cup of hot caffeine, scrolling through your photos and reflecting what you have seen is one of the best feelings in the world.

For restaurant information and location, please visit their Facebook page – Grand Café 

For location and restaurant information, please visit their website – Bistro De Luxe

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Blueberry Creme Cake at the Grand Café

There are times when I ask my server to suggest a dessert or to surprise me with what they believe I would like. I have never been disappointed. Such as in this case, I asked my server which dessert he would suggest and then he asked me if I wanted to try something different. So of course I said “Yes”, as I am always up for something different.

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When I was half way through, my server came back and asked if I was enjoying my cake. I had to give a thumbs up and a big nod because my mouth was full of this lovely blueberry cake. It was so delicious, every last bite of it.

For restaurant information and location, please visit their Facebook page – Grand Café 

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Little Belarusian Bites

When I came to Belarus, I had a list of traditional foods to try that ranged from their potato pancakes to meat stuffed dumplings. It was pretty much what I have on my breakfast buffet plate from my hotel. There were little cottage cheese-fruit filled rolled crepes as well, which is common to find in this part of the world.

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It was fun to try all the little Belarusian foods that Hotel Garni in Minsk had to offer.

For hotel and reservation information, please visit their website – Hotel Garni

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Minsk Airport Lounge

I am an airport lounge hopper and have been to many over the years. The benefits  of airport lounges are the complimentary food and beverages. Sometimes the food is a hit and sometimes a miss. Other times you eat ordinary local dishes that you may never have been given the chance to try while visiting a country.

The airport Lounge in Minsk, although quirky-East Euro-retro-neon in appearance, offered interesting hot dishes that I did not try while in Belarus. I did find bulgur which I tried in Ukraine and liked. There were also nicely seasoned potatoes and other tasty entrees, not bad for airport food!

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🌎 Thank you for visiting my website and NEVER STOP EXPLORING!

📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property- Trixie Navarre

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