With its close proximity to the Black Sea, you’ll find fish and shellfish on menus across the city. Typically, street food vendors will grill fillets of dover sole, sea bass, mullet and prawns, serving them simply with a squeeze of lemon juice and a salad. However, pop into the restaurants and you’ll find dishes of mussels in cream sauce, fried black sprats and even fish dumplings. Look out for forshmak, a meal of minced, salted herrings mixed with onions, potatoes, bread, and apple, baked to perfection.
As Odesa is a busy city, street food is always popular. Shawarma is a popular staple, consisting of grilled, spiced chicken or beef, served with a salad and a yoghurt dressing, all parcelled up in a warm flatbread. However, while meat and seafood dishes are abundant, there’s plenty for vegetarians. Borscht, potato pancakes and the famous Huzulska Varya salad are just some of the dishes to be enjoyed.
Do try and leave some room for Odesa’s exceptional desserts. Feast on sweet treats, such as cherry varenyky dumplings served with cherry sauce, the cake-like plyacky and verhuny pastries.