Bars, Restaurants, cafes, Alcohol and Tobacco
In the seaside resorts and in town centres, bars and restaurants stay open until the last client has left, round the clock. Elsewhere opening times are from 9am or 10am till 11pm. At establishments with waiters and musicians prices are obviously higher than at snack bars, where people cook in a wagon and you eat outside under an awning. However you can even come across expensive roadside food. The price level can actually be set by a lavish interior or by simply having a connection to a VIP. At such places musicians will expect higher tips than in ordinary restaurants.
If you want fast and inexpensive food, it makes sense to go to a small eating place run by a family (often the family is Crimean Tatar). The Crimean Tatar cuisine is nutritious and not too spicy, so it fits European tastes. The fast food network is developing rapidly, there are McDonald's, Mexican styled restaurants, Turkish fast food, snack bars on wheels, and other small places with hamburgers, hot-dogs, and pizza.
At most cafes and restaurants the type of dishes on offer usually includes Ukrainian dishes (borsch, vareniks), Russian (okroshka - a soup made of kvass (traditional Russian non-alcoholic drink, made from black bread), vegetables and meat, served cold, - plus meat dumplings and roasted meat), Crimean (samsa, chebureks - a sort of a meat pie, mutton, kubeteh), Caucasian (shashlik - a sort of barbecue, shurpa), Central-Asiatic (pilaf, mants), and some European dishes (goulash, roast beef, rib steak, salads). There are national styled restaurants, but usually the styles are not strictly observed, being orientated instead to the regular clients' tastes.
Beer produced by Ukrainian companies is in high demand, and is considered to be of good quality, although popular foreign brands are available too. The choice of alcohol is huge, but it is advisable, whilst staying in Crimea, to drink Crimean drinks only, of which there are hundreds of products to choose from.
Smoking in Crimea is not so strictly restricted as it is in many other resorts areas. You can smoke in any public places, so long as there are no signs prohibiting it. You are not allowed to smoke on any kind of public transport, on beaches, in cinemas or other performance places (except for open stadiums), in museums, and in children's cafes. The choice of tobacco products is extensive. They are produced on license by well known international brands in Moldavia and Ukraine. There are numerous Ukrainian brands.
Markets and Shops exist every where there are potential clients. The appearance time of these clients determines the opening times of the shops. Thus they are nearly round-the-clock at major transport hubs, on quays, and in town centres. In densely populated residential quarters there are also a number of round-the-clock groceries and shops. Groceries typically open from 8am. till 11pm, sometimes even later. Shops with manufactured goods usually work from 9-10 am. until 7-8pm. Places selling building material or cheap goods normally have the shortest working hours, typically from 8am. until 3-6pm.
In the shops prices are fixed, discounts are only possible in wholesale centres. However during certain holiday periods discounts are available, and some goods may offer low prices in certain seasons. At the markets, both for food and other goods, if vendor is also the owner, then the client can save substantial amounts of money, especially when buying wholesale. The quality of the food for sale is displayed along with the price, but there are a lot of cheap fabrications with well known brand labels, so be on the alert.
It is safer to purchase clothes, footwear and other manufactured goods in shops. There is a well developed network of dealers that offer all the best known brands. Such shops are typically located in the busiest places.
Published on: 04/09/2005
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