Perhaps, one of the most pleasant ways to understand the soul of a nation is to start exploring its national cuisine. Tasting of some original dish may tell you about Belarusian traditions more than books. Hospitable Belarusians will undoubtedly invite you to a home table to treat you, as they say, “with what God has sent us”. Yet restaurants, cafes, bars are also ready to introduce you to Belarusian cuisine. I t is quite similar to the Russian and Ukrainian ones, though some of its dishes are absolutely unique.

As for soups we recommend you “kholodnik” (especially in summer) and nutritious “zatirka”, but the king of the local cuisine is certainly potatoes. Belarusians are able to prepare most unthinkable dishes out of it! First of all, of course, it is “draniki” — rather peculiar pancakes made of grated potatoes, that can also have stuffing: mushrooms, meat, berries. The one, who hasn’t tasted “draniki”, can not say he/she has visited Belarus. Potatoes may also be stuffed, stewed in a pot, baked in an oven, with mushrooms, vegetables and bacon — no need to continue, because in Belarus there exist even potatoe jams! We hope you understand now, why neighbouring nations sometimes call Belarusians “bulbashi” (from the Belarusian word for potatoes — “bulba”). But don’t think that the local menu is limited only with this vegetable – restaurants and cafes offer dishes to any taste. Belarusians are also curious about exotic cuisines, therefore Chinese, Mexican, Caucasian and other restaurants are quite frequent in Minsk.




Here are some dishes based on potatoes with meat, mushrooms and berries:


Bliny — thin pancakes doused in butter with sour cream;

Borsch — a beet-based soup with potatoes and vegetables served hot with sour cream;

Chebureki — meat-filled fried pocket of bread;

Draniki — fried potato pancakes served with butter and sour cream or mushrooms, might be filled with meat and/or mushrooms;

Gorshochki – potato pancakes with mushrooms, stewed meat served in a pot;

Ikra (caviar) — black from sturgeon and red from salmon;

Kholodnik — a chilled beet soup with cucumbers, sliced hard-boiled eggs with a dash of sour creame;

Mochanka — a thick soup mixed with lard accompanied by hot pancakes;

Okroshka — boiled sausages chopped into kvas with spring onions and sliced hard-boiled eggs;

Rassolnik — soup with chicken kidneys and pickled cucumbers;

Zakuska — 1. whatever one eats to follow up a shot of vodka (sometimes a glass of beer); 2. whatever you are offered to nibble at while waiting for the main course at a reataurant.

“Belovezhskaya Bitters” is a local alcoholic beverage made on the basis of 100 herbs. Belarusian men prefer vodka to other strong drinks.

Please do not miss to taste the century-old beer brewed in Belarus (“Lidskoye”, “Alivariya” or from “Rakovsky Brovar” restaurant in Minsk).

The best Belarusian vodka is “Crystal”, the silver “Belaya Rus”, and “Charodey” which was the only official vodka at Oscar’99 ceremony, as well as at the New Year party

of Prince of Monaco in 2000.