Before coming to Warsaw I had no idea that Polish food could be so tasty! I also fell for the stereotype that Polish cuisine is “all about potatoes and cabbage”. But I couldn’t be more wrong!
Polish cuisine is surprisingly tasty, diverse and eclectic, being influenced by various cultures throughout the centuries.
Moreover, Polish food is also simple, down-to-earth and incredibly cheap. Here are some of my favourite places in the Polish capital. Some of them are absolute “must-go” if you have never been!
1. Traditional Polish Food at Bar Mleczny
Bar Mleczny, which literally translates to Milk Bar in English, is a unique kind of restaurant that can be found all over Poland.
The first Bar Mleczny was opened in Warsaw in 1896, but their popularity exploded during the communist years thanks to their accessible prices. After the fall of communism they almost disappeared because people started to prefer alternative places and international cuisine. Today though, Milk Bars are popular again thanks to their simple traditional Polish meals at crazy low prices.
If you are in Warsaw, make sure you visit one of these three iconic Bar Mleczny: Prasowy, Bambino or Sady.
2. Pączek at the bakery Zagoździński
Pączek is the signature of Polish sweets, you really have to try it! You can find nice Pączek in any bakery (piekarnia), but the best in Warsaw is from Zagoździński. It’s the most popular among Varsovians and I can confirm that the Pączki there are freaking amazing. They are so pleasantly sweet and they melt in your mouth. Last time I went there I ate 5, I am not kidding.
3. Zapiekanka at Zapiexy Luxusowe
Zapiekanka is the most Polish of the fast food. It’s an open-faced toasted sandwich made of half baguette or other long kind of bread. In the 70s, during the austerity of the communist regime, it was usually topped with just mushrooms, cheese, and ketchup. Today, besides the traditional kind, there are many more varieties.
The best place to eat it in Warsaw is Zapiexy Luxusowe because the portions are huge, the bread is picked up from a bakery every morning and the ingredients are just top-notch.
4. Vegan Food in the “vegan district”
The vegan restaurants in Warsaw deserve a place in this list. They represent the new wave of cuisine in Warsaw, the one that looks outside of the Polish boundaries and strives to be up to the latest trend.
The vegan scene in Warsaw is incredible. If you just do a google search for “Vegan Restaurants in Warsaw”, you will discover dozens of restaurants with 4.5+ ratings in just one square kilometre (in the area surrounding the metro station “centrum”). I call this the “vegan district”.
Some of the Vegan restaurants worth noting are Krowarzywa Vegan Burger (address: Marszałkowska 27/35), Tel-Aviv Food & Wine (address: Poznańska 11) and Chwast Food (address: Waryńskiego 9).
International cuisine at Hala Koszyki
Hala Koszyki is a hip food court, the first of its kind in Poland. It’s very similar to the “Foodhallen” in Amsterdam or the “Mathallen” in Oslo.
It’s a great place to go if you are with friends and you all want to order something different. Whether you want Italian, Polish or Thai, vegan or meaty, Hala Koszyki has it all.
Meet the author:
Federico, an Italian blogger coming from the picturesque Florence. After his Erasmus in Den Haag, he never really settled in the same place for longer than 3 years. He lived in Madrid, London, Amsterdam and now Warsaw.
Check out OddUrbanThings where he writes about exciting things to do in Warsaw.