Unique and hearty cuisine
Tickle your taste buds while you are in Warsaw. The local cuisine takes basic ingredients like meat, potatoes, cabbage and mushrooms to new heights. Variety is achieved through a range of cooking methods. If you call yourself a carnivore, you will love kielbasa, a local sausage, karkówka, barbecued pork shoulder, or golonka, a whole ham shank simmered for hours in beer. You will be won over by the delicate flavour of the pierogi, dumplings filled with potatoes and goat cheese.
To try these specialities, start your gastronomy tour in the old town at the not-to-be-missed Zapiecek. With its friendly atmosphere and waiters dressed in traditional clothing, it provides an excellent initial foray into what the local cuisine has to offer. First things first: begin with the barszcz, or beetroot soup. After a plate of steamed pierogi, move on to the fried options stuffed with potatoes, cheese and onions. You will simply melt for the kluski śląskie, gnocchi served with a hefty helping of mushroom sauce. Even the most discerning palates will be pleased.
+48 22 635 61 09
Milk bars with a Soviet past
Next stop: a bar mleczny. Milk bars proliferated around the country during the Soviet era to give labourers cheap food made with simple ingredients (including milk). Most have since gone under, but some survived and have continued serving up hearty, delicious traditional meals. Drop in at Pod Barbakanem, located at the foot of the Barbican, the gateway to the fortified city. A group of Polish grandmas can be found at the stove busy preparing excellent soups, baked pierogi and potato-stuffed crepes. Place your order and tuck in for a tasty meal among the Polish families.
+48 22 831 47 37
Searching for Ashkenazi Jewish traditions
As you continue your foodie tour, you are sure to notice the Jewish influence on Polish cuisine. Bakeries are overflowing with challah (brioche) and cebularz (onion rolls). If you want to taste Polish food inspired by Ashkenazi cuisine, head to the unanimously popular Pod Samsonem along a pedestrian street in the old town. Split a rich smoked salmon with a side salad and caviar garnish or try the roast duck with apples and potatoes. Connoisseurs will be in food heaven.
Freta 3 i 5
A top chef gives classic dishes an update
To experience the creativity of the new wave of Warsaw's chefs, make your way to Qchnia Artystyczna. Marta Gessler, a chef known for her Polish cooking show, runs an elegant restaurant along the edge of Łazienki Park. Choose a table on the sun-drenched terrace or under the ancient arches in the dining room with a sleek decor to savour her seasonal traditional fare with a modern flair. In spring enjoy a Kotlet Schabowy, breaded pork chops with cabbage, almonds and potatoes. For summer, her chilled beetroot, radish and cucumber soup really hits the spot. If you cannot end a meal without dessert, the sweet and surprising lemon semifreddo with a kogel mogel custard base topped with candied lemon rind will not disappoint you. How could you not be won over by Warsaw's many flavours?
+48 22 625 76 27