Local cuisine & fine wine

Crimean Tatar cuisine

The most common and original Crimean dishes are of Tatar cuisine. They are mainly influenced by Middle Eastern, Central Asian and Turkish traditions. Coming here, you feel a uniquely spicy and meaty aroma of food: different varieties of pilaf, shish kebabs, pies, cheburekas, lagmans, bashbarmak and baklavas. A huge variety of pastry products: from the bread recognized as sacred food to fancy products and sweet pastry (chelpek, katlama, kosh-body ponchiki and khvorost). Among the most popular dishes: shish-kebabs from mutton (lamb), horse meat, pork, turkey, puff meat pies, burma and dolma-sarma. But the main thing, of course are the famous cheburekas. Meat pies (in translation) are cooked according to a special recipe – yeast-free flour, onions, peppers, and stuffed with mutton. They are fried in oil heated to 200 °C. Less common is a pan-fried version of cheburekas called yantik.

Perfectly cooked eggplant and samosas. According to a local legend, a stingy imam ordered his wife to treat their guests with something modest from their supplies. There were a couple of eggplants, onions, peppers, tomatoes and a drop of vegetable oil. The hostess baked all of this. Having seen the modest dish, guests exclaimed: "The imam of a baylda" (the imam grew rich), but once they tasted the dish, they really liked it. Now eggplants are stuffed with other vegetables and baked to make vegetable pudding or ragout from them.


The Black Sea rapana – the most tasty mollusk in a beautiful curled shell (concha). In density, they are similar to octopus, but the taste is different from other seafood. They are caught directly at the coast and delivered to local restaurants where they are subject to minimum thermal treatment. The edible part is about 4-5 cm long. The most "Crimean" dish is a julienne made from rapana and mussels. They are also good for frying in a hot pan. Such food is extremely rich with protein, collagen and mineral elements.

Crimean live oysters are very popular and are highly sought after by many patrons of local seafood restaurants. They are quite large and have a distinct sea salt flavor. Black sea crab is a favorite with locals for its modest price and delicious taste.

To try the red mullet (barabulka or sultanka) is a must. The mullet’s gentle taste and aroma was appreciated by the ancient Romans who greatly valued the species for its delicious flavor and taste. The name of the well-known fish, recognized as the tastiest fish in the world came from Latin ("barbus"). The other name – “sultanka” – was given to it for the magnificent moustache similar to that of a sultan. Black Sea flounder, kalkan (shark) and mullet are also popular. While visiting the city of Balaklava, it is highly recommended to visit one of its restaurants on the embankment: not only perfect for its seafood but also to observe fishermen in natural setting and of course to enjoy a magnificent view of the harbor.

Yalta's bazaar (market)

Summer is the best time to visit the Yalta’s bazaar (main market). Nicknamed "the cave full of fruit treasures", its counters are bursting with fresh figs, fragrant apricots, honey peaches, sweet cherries, grapes, plums, cornel and of course, dark red Yalta onion legendary for its sweetness. The small family cafes treat visitors with juicy lamb shish kebabs, aromatic pilaf and rich lagman – all freshly prepared and inexpensive. 


The Crimean winemaking traditions date back many centuries. In Khersonese and the Bospor kingdom, wine production was one of the principal activities, and enough wine was produced to export large quantities to other regions. Today the world still enjoys magnificent Crimean wines. They are exported to Europe, Asia, USA and other regions. It is one of the staples of the Crimean peninsula. 

What is the secret of their unique quality and inexpensive price? The abundance of the sun and soft climate of the Southern coast give rise to grapes ideal for sweet wines such as muscats, Madeiras, sherries and ports. 

The exceptional quality of Crimea’s dry table wines takes roots in valleys of the local rivers: Black, Kacha, Alma and Belbek. Fine table wines are made from grapes of the steppe part of the peninsula.  

The "Massandra" wine brand is famous for its table, dry, semi-sweet, fortified strong, sweet and liqueur wines and has won a number of international awards and medals. The “Magarach” national institute of wine and grapes produces unique muscat wines such as the white "Magarach", "Bastardo”, "Magarachsky" as well as magnificent sherries and ports.   

The “Sun Valley” winery specializes in refined brands grown near the Pike perch river. 

The “Koktebel” plant specializes in production of branded and ordinary cognacs, fragrant, distinguished, possessing various flavoring scale that don't require advertising as they are well known and enjoy a fine reputation of exceptional quality and fine taste. 

The “Inkerman” winery provides classical endurance of natural and fortified vintage wines in oak barrels and has a very large variety of production. 

The House of sparkling wines “Noviy Svet” (New World) founded in 1878 by prince Lev S. Golitsyn is world famous and produces fine quality Crimean sparkling wine. 

The “Golden Beam” agricultural firm is nicknamed “Crimean Champagne” for its exquisite taste and fine quality sparkling wines. In 2010, the white semi-dry was awarded the golden medal during the International Sparkling Wine Competition while the Brut Chardonnay won the silver medal. This competition was organized under the patronage of the World Esteemed International Organization of Wine & Grape in France.  

The “Perovsky” estate produces quality wines from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pino Noir as well as Chardonnay and Aligote grapes.

The "Chateau Cotes de Saint Daniel" near Yalta is a new brand gaining in popularity. The “Alma Valley” and “Bakhchisarai” wineries also make different types of wine.

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