This Warsaw Foodie Guide was written by our International Food Expert, Kate, from We Travel We Eat!
When you’re a New Yorker living in London for a couple of years, a few things are bound to happen; 1) you start thinking 65 degrees is hot 2) words that initially made you cringe, like maths or tenner, suddenly begin to sound a lot more normal and 3) the more obscure European cities that are not on the standard to-do lists become attainable weekend excursions.
I’ve been to Warsaw twice now. Once about seven years ago with my friend Emily to her family’s house, and another more recently for her wedding. Both times I got the insider looks, the local recommendations, and incredible experiences.
I can see going to Warsaw and not loving it. I can understand feeling like its central point is Old Town, and not getting much deeper than that.
What a lot don’t know, and do not naturally associate with Warsaw, is a city full of blossoming creativity, a strong fashion and start up community and while not endless, a solid list of restaurants, cafes and bars to explore.
Bars in Warsaw
Weles: Weles is a dark speakeasy you’ll find at the end of a long alley. Don’t be deterred, keep on going. This is a great place to start your night.
Grunt i Woda: Grunt i Woda is the kind of place that makes you feel a hint of Berlin while standing in Warsaw. Totally open air, along the river, super casual with DJ’s and a vibe that screams please just relax and have some fun. Open until the early hours of the morning.
Na Lato: This is guaranteed late night fun in a casual garden setting.
Restaurants in Warsaw
SAM (Powisle Location): I never expected to find a menu like the one SAM has in Poland. Eclectic health juices, “fitness” omelettes packed with seeds, spinach and avocado or hummus and tabbouleh mezze plates, this boasts a casual cafe feel reminiscent of what you’d find somewhere like London or New York.
Warszawa Powisle: Warszawa Powisle was once an old train station ticket office that has been converted into both a club as well as an all day food destination. It’s casual and laid-back but boasts some tasty traditional Polish cuisine.
Restaurante Kultura: If you do need a meal in Old Town, have one here. Restaurante Kultura actually looks like the exact opposite of anywhere I’d normally like to eat (read: potentially touristy and without much character at first glance) but I was proved wrong pretty quickly. The seeded bread and butter and the beet soup were excellent.
U Kucharzy: U Kucharzy is located within the Museum of Archeology and is one of the more imaginative restaurants in Warsaw. I went here on my first trip to Warsaw, and still have a vivid memory of the sleekly dressed wait staff delivering our food on a rolled out cart and constructing the meal as I watched.
Hala Koszyki: Koszyki is a three story market hall with international food stalls, bars, shops and grocery stores and is the only market like this in all of Poland. Young patrons come at night, using the space to catch up with friends or during the day, to grab a beer at the long bar and some tapas before heading back to work.
Ale Wino: This is where you go for simple and sophisticated Polish-Italian cuisine. Interesting sounding combination, but it works.
Blikle: Blikle is one of the oldest cafes in Poland. Known for its historical place on the map as well as its delicious pastries, take a seat at the marble counter and order up a helping of a Nepoleon, a Polish donut or a sernik krakowski (a rich Polish cheesecake from Krakow) and enjoy your trip back in time.
Mezze and Relaks Kawiarnia: I also went to a more residential area called Mokotow on my last trip. It’s definitely quiet and feels super suburban, but if you’re looking to venture a little further into local Warsaw this is an easy way to do it.
Stop by Mezze for delicious falafel or peak your head into Relaks Kawiarnia for a look at what a hip local coffee shop in Warsaw looks like.
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