Where to eat and drink in Warsaw

Going out in Warsaw can be tricky. From typical Polish pierogis, oriental Asian flavours to bars serving over 100 types of vodkas.  The choice is vast and not always easy.

As usual, I try picking up local places with a touch of originality and ‘that’ special something.

Will you try any? 🙂

 

1. Między Nami

There is a reason I’m listing Między Nami as the 1st one.

It is an institution in Warsaw and one of the ‘prototypes’ of trendy hang-outs even before anyone knew the meaning of the word ‘trendy.’

Opened in 1994, during a transformation time, for both the Polish economy and society – was a symbol of open-mindedness without any doubt.

From the 1st day on, it attracted artists, homosexuals, anyone who by the majority might’ve been treated as ‘different’.

No one was being judged on how they dress and who they were; everyone was part of the same small yet vibrant and colourful society.

“Między nami” means “between us” in Polish and everyone understood that between us we respect each other despite differences, we recognise each other’s point of view, we discuss, we exchange, we share, we admire.

And this is what this place was and is to me even today. Standing still and gathering the same valuable clientele.

Aside from my emotional journey, they are also a great ambassador of contemporary art, showcasing many exhibitions.

And guys! The food!… the food is delicious!

Don’t expect anything complex and Michelin starred. But rather best of Polish cuisine fused with an oriental pinch – dishes made out of fresh and local ingredients and most of all made with heart.

If you want to taste some real cool Warsaw from 20 years back, promise me to go there, will you?

 

address: Bracka 20, 00-028 Warszawa

openings: Monday to Saturday 10:00 – 23:00

                   Sunday 14:00 – 23:00

 contains meat;  vegetarian options

 

miedzynamicafe.com


 

2. Tel Aviv – Urban Food

It’s very simple to guess what to expect 🙂 Yes, juicy and beyond delicious cuisine that within seconds teleports you to the streets and markets of this Israeli city!

If you love Middle Eastern tastes and like me could bath in shakshuka (some call me the Queen of Shakshuka) and use hummus as your daily cream – you found your holy land of foods.

Not only dishes are street food-inspired. The atmosphere, even though framed in modern interiors, is very convivial and easy-going. You feel love and passion coming both from the stuff, and the steams of your plates.

It’s an ideal place for sharing food (and positive energy), so you can order a mezze (a little bit of everything that restaurant has to offer), or you can be more selfish and taste some shakshuka or veggie kofta or their bestselling coco curry.  Don’t forget to order one of the hummuses and dip them slowly in the fresh from the oven, homemade pita bread!

If you still can, rather you should, check out the selection of desserts – all gluten/ sugar-free and only plant-based. What would you say for an orange skin or red pepper ice-cream?

The place is vegan but, trust me, the meat-eaters will love it too!

P.S. Tel Aviv received, in 2017, a V-label that certifies that not only the final dishes are well vegan but also all used ingredients.

 

address: Poznańska 11, 00-680 Warszawa

*check website for other 5 Warsaw locations and 1 in Łódź

openings: Monday – Thursday 10:00 – 00:30

                   Friday – Saturday 10:00 – 2:00

                  Sundays 10:00 – 23:00

 vegan

 

@telaviv_urbanfood


 

3. Forum Coffee

There is sound reasoning for the name of this intriguing coffee place!

Every Saturday a forum of Warsaw baristas gather to discuss the latest caffeine news and gossips.

And that’s what this spot is known and should be visited for – a good coffee!

I like its simple and not overstyled deco, that, at times, bring back the Eastern European 80s vibe.

Among thousands of Warsaw coffee places, it’s Forum that I remember the best!

 

address: Elektoralna 11, 00-137 Warszawa

openings: Monday – Friday 7:30 – 19:00

                   Saturday – Sunday 10:00 – 19:00

 contains meat;  vegetarian options

 

@forum.coffee

 


 

 

4. Bambino Milk Bar

It’s a hit or a miss but so worth trying! And I think you won’t regret it.

Polish milk bars place an iconic position in the cultural history of Poland and for some are just reminiscent of old times.

Recently, thankfully, we’re witnessing a renaissance of these simple restaurants, and again they are shining with glory, catching the attention of the hipster clientele.

A very first Polish milk bar was opened in 1896 but its most glorious days fall during the socialist times. They belonged to the state, so whatever wasn’t available in the supermarkets (read: nothing was available in the supermarkets), was from time to time accessible in the milk bar and for a reasonable price.

There is nothing extraordinary in terms of #foodporn #aesthetic #interiors about Bambino. Really. But it’s a good, honest, simple, clean and cheap place. It’s a perfect spot if you want to get a hint about the past.

Their menu is long (available also in English!) with all typical Polish dishes – pierogis (dumplings), gołąbki (stuffed cabbage), borscht, kompot (typically Polish sweet fruit beverage) and much more.

The service is very efficient – you order and pay at the cash and pick up your dishes with the cook!

In rush hours expect a bigger line since it’s a popular spot among local business people and Erasmus students.

Have it a go 😉

 

address: Hoża 19, 00-521 Warszawa

openings: Monday – Friday 8:00 – 20:00

                   weekends 9:00 – 18:00

 contains meat and cow milk;  vegetarian options

 


 

5. Coco Bowls

A trip to Bali? While you’re in Warsaw and in the middle of the winter? Yep, it’s possible thanks to the concept of Coco Bowls 🙂

Get there for an early injection of energy or an afternoon chill before hitting another culture spot!

It’s well hidden in a somewhat residential area, right next to the Polish Parliament but once you get inside, it’s a whole new planet.

Very zen and organic aesthetics that make you appreciate these healthy treasures even more.

On the menu freshly made bowls with different sorts of a base like an açai, smoothie, vegetal milk; topped with granola or dry seasonal fruits and then sprinkled with superfoods like matcha, baobab, cocoa or beetroot powder. Made with passion, love and big smile on owner’s faces <3

If like me, you are sad to end this experience, you can prolong it and repeat it at home. Just buy some ready products like homemade granola, nut butter and even the coconut bowls where you can prepare your exotic mixtures. And keep the Coco Bowls memory forever with you!

 

address: Górnośląska 16, 00-001Warszawaa

openings: Tuesday – Saturday 09:00 – 20:00

                   Sundays 10:00 – 17:00

                   Mondays closed

 vegan

 

@coco_bowls_warsaw


 

6. Klub SPATiF

SPATiF is a short name for the Association of Polish Cinema and Theater Actors, and it’s not at all a new spot on a map of Warsaw. Contrary. It’s another cult place that was shining the brightest during the 1950s and 1970s.

It was the main hang out place for the artistic Boheme of the Polish capital. And if back then the guests knew the saying ‘Whatever happens in SPATiF, stays in SPATiF’ surely it would become its motto.

Actors, writers, poets, journalists, prostitutes, and many wannabes mingled up while discussing art, politics and often overdosing the number of vodka shots (the legend says that the most common position at the end of the night was a horizontal one, under the table 😉 )

Closed during socialism, was utterly unknown to the new generations.

Today, same location, same walls, revamped interior but still a very artistic place.

The restaurant is serving a fusion European cuisine (healthy, fresh, with Polish touch), bar preparing original cocktail recipes (using typically Polish fruits and herbs) and a fantastic scene for concerts, plays, stand-up comedies, dance classes, and other creative ideas.

An old soul in a new body that is worth a visit!

 

Address: Al. Ujazdowskie 45, 00-536 Warszawa

openings: Monday – Thursday 13:00 – 23:00

                   Fridays 13:00 – 5:00

                   Saturdays 18:00 – 5:00

                   Sundays 10:00 – 22:00

 contains meat;  vegetarian options

 

@spatifklub


 

7. Eden Bistro

According to the Oxford dictionary, Eden is a state or place of great happiness; an unspoiled paradise.

If there were a lifestyle dictionary, it would probably translate Eden as a bistro, greenhouse, vegan food restaurant, and urban hang out with a strong artistic and architectural background.

First of all, the area of Saska Kępa, where it’s located, is simply lovely. Not an obvious choice if you’re staying in the city for a couple of days, but if you’re up to local experience, still with easy access from the centre – get there!

Second of all, the building itself has a captivating story – built-in 1928 by a famous architect Czesław Przybylski in its course of life served as home to such artists like Agnieszka Osiecka (iconic Polish writer and poet)!

At Eden, you can chill while sipping a third wave coffee (alternative and high-quality coffee roasting method), taste veggie-based food prepared by a Hollywood originated cook (who worked on many film sets!) or purchase one of the well-cared plants.

What’s more, the food and drinks are served on ceramic products prepared by emerging Polish designers – Ani Ani studio, Spiek, and Fenek.

It is a magically healthy and sustainable place that moves with the times but doesn’t forget its origins and legacy.

 

address: Jakubowska 16, 03-902 Warszawa

openings: Tuesday – Thursday 10:00 – 22:00

                   Friday – Saturday 10:00 – 00:00

                  Sundays 10:00 – 18:00

                  Modays closed

 vegan

 

@bistro_eden


 

8. Arigator

We travelled to Israel and Bali. Now it’s time for a virtual trip to Japan!

And Arigator Ramen Shop will take you places!

Open kitchen, orientally authentic decor, balanced tastes, homemade noodles, original Japanese products. That’s a summary of what to expect.

I would add a long waiting line and a small space. But don’t get me wrong, these are positive points – at least in my eyes! It only proves that this place is worth waiting for (like all good things!) and gets as close to an original ramenya as it’s possible!

A short menu of 6 starters (from classical edamame to more unusual grilled mackerel), eight ramen soups (including one vegan!) and two desserts.

It will warm your stomachs up in wintertime and hearts during the summer 😀

Initially, I was not planning to add a second Asian restaurant, but hey, why not? Right? And I loved it to the point that I wanted to share this experience with you!

 

address: 54, Piękna, Warszawa, Polska

openings: every day 12:00 – 16:00

                                     17:00 – 22:00

 contains meat;  vegan option

 

@arigator_ramen_shop


 

 

9. El Krepel

Do you know how they say not to judge a book by its cover?

Well, you should judge El Krepel, both, by its cover as well as its content!

Because something that looks like an adorable pastry shop turned out to serve an exquisite food! I still have those tastes on my mind!

I went there, attracted by the rose inspired interiors. Little did I know I was plunged into a rather sophisticated version of a salmon/avocado toast, followed by a 24k gold cappuccino!

It could’ve easily been a cheesy place but the owners – Justyna Pankowska and Łukasz Kawaller – perfectly jungled between the decoration, their talent, and passion.

Łukasz is a winner of the 1st Polish edition of Hell’s Kitchen and is called ‘the future of the Polish culinary’. Justyna – his better half, is a photographer and a food blogger.

Their dream was to create a magical world where you eat like at grandma’s and feel like in a boutique.

And they can be proud, that’s exactly how they made me feel!

 

address: Śniadeckich 12/16, 00-656 Warszawa

openings: daily 09:00 – 22:00 (closed on Saturdays)

 contains meat;  vegetarian options

 

@elkrepel


 

 

 

10. Klubokawiarnia Babel

Babel is a cult place with a rich history and cultural influences.

Before being closed in March 1968, it was a lively and eventful Jewish association.

And along with the revival of the Jewish past, it came back, after 50 years, as a bistro slash coffee shop.

But even in the new body, you can feel the blast from the past! Old furniture, nostalgic photos, and most importantly the follow up on the past events.

Among them concerts, movie screenings or Yiddish language classes.

 

address: Próżna 5, 00-017 Warszawa

openings: daily 11:00 – 22:00 

 contains meat;  vegetarian options

 

@klubokawiarniababel


 

 

11. Kukułka Warsaw

Poland has a long and delicious tradition of pastries.

Although the old-fashion desserts and sweets have nothing to do with their modern cousins, bakeries and pastry shops were always an essential point on Pole’s culinary map.

Kukułka means a cuckoo and refers to the most famous Polish candy carrying the same name.

As a consequence, both the name and the sweetest recipes take on the traditional baking products like a bilberry bun or a yeast-cake.

A brand new place that is already catching the attention of any dessert lovers!

 

address: Mokotowska 52, 00-543 Warszawa

openings: daily 9:00 – 19:00 

contains milk

 

@kukulkacukiernia


 

Enjoy!

 

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