Essential South Central page 20
Neighborhood Prowl page 26
Moving? page 30
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BALMAIN CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN HERVE LEGER ISABEL MARANT KENZO MONCLER GAMME ROUGE RALPH LAUREN SALVATORE FERRAGAMO SIMONETTA RAVIZZA TOD’S TORY BURCH VALENTINO
Moliera 2 tel.: 228277099, www.Moliera2.com
to our readers
THAT TIME OF YEAR...
fter spending months invoking its arrival, I’m now checking my calendar to see when it’ll end. The Polish summer is here, and it’s already signaled its intent with a 21-gun salute. I would never have guessed summer here could be so cruel and unrelenting, but here we go again: ice cubes down the pants and the shuddering realization I never did do anything about that tractor tire that’s grown around my gut. To those that see me wobbling about, spilling out of a polo shirt, I can only apologize in advance. It’s a wicked time of year alright. A time when the air is so dry you suspect you could strike a match off it and start a bushfire. For all this, there are positives for sure. We’re forever hearing how Poland has developed into a model EU country, but that’s hard to appreciate during the annual winter lockdown. Its economic figures might be healthy, but Warsaw feels anything but continental when it’s blue with cold and finished in ice. Summer, however, is a different story. A friend of mine once described this city as ‘having a face only a mother could love.’ This no longer holds true, but the changes are more than skin deep alone. The very personality of this city has been transformed. Gone is the grouchy, nie ma spirit, at least in the younger generation, replaced instead by a vibrant swagger that’s both spontaneous and creative. Evidence of this is abundant, but never more so than on the streets of what’s been tagged Wil-Po-Ho (Wilcza, Poznańska, Hoża). Once shadowy and sober, the remarkable revival of this micro-district has been thrilling to watch. It has become the face of modern Warsaw: a future-forward area that has, at the same time, maintained a sense of character and charisma. No surprises then that this month we’ve dedicated this issue to discovering its copious curiosities. As ever, I hope you enjoy it and see you next month.
(Illustration by Michał Miszkurka)
Alex Webber firstname.lastname@example.org
THE ONLINE INSIDER www.warsawinsider.pl
Officially recognized as Poland’s premier Englishlanguage magazine, the Insider is delighted to announce the launch of its new look website. Designed to reflect the nature of a dynamic and energizing capital, the Online Insider sails you through one of Europe’s most exciting cities. In a fast evolving city, the Online Insider opens the door to Warsaw’s secrets, stories and latest scoops. Don’t let Warsaw leave you behind: • Full restaurant, nightlife, café and shopping listings • In-depth picks, past and present • Features
Dovetailing seamlessly with our South Central special, we’ve got the cooling lobby of the jewel of Poznańska: H15 Boutique. For more on the ’hood, see page 20.
WARSAW INSIDER | JUNE 2014
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PHOTOGRAPH BY ED WIGHT
on the cover
MONCLER RALPH LAUREN SALVATORE FERRAGAMO TOD’S TORY BURCH VALENTINO
Behold, the glories of Wilcza, Poznańska and Hoża (pictured the Aficionado Room).
Cafes & Wine Bars
09 Opener Orange Warsaw Festival 10 Calendar Music, art and events around town 14 Museums Listings 37 Insider’s Pick Senses 50 Insider’s Pick Le Victoria Brasserie Moderne
61 Insider’s Pick Fusion Café 71 Insider’s Pick Jedna Trzecia 79 Insider’s Pick She’s a Riot General Store
17 News in Brief Adam Gessler gets City Hall in a twist, Poland’s Eurovision get Europe hot and windsurfing splashes down in town
20 Essential South Central The complete to do list Editor-in-chief Art Director Publisher Advertising Manager Key Account Manager Key Account Manager Key Account Manager Distribution Manager
26 Neighborhood Prowl An investigation into the sights and sounds of Wil-Po-Ho 30 Travel: Lublin The jewel of the east
87 Insider’s Secret Hotel Galery 69
96 Insta-Warsaw Warsaw through a smart phone lens
93 Classifieds 94 Warsaw Map
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Contributors: Gill Boelman-Burrows Karolina Kalinowska Vedika Luthra Michał Miszkurka Agnes Monod-Gayraud Ed Wight
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WARSAW INSIDER | JUNE 2014
PHOTOGRAPH BY ED WIGHT
83 Insider’s Pick Temat Rzeka
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for more events visit: www.warsawinsider.pl
EVENTS 8 / MUSEUMS 10
Queens of the Stone Age
ALL PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF ORGANIZERS OR ARTISTS
13-15 June FESTIVAL
Orange Warsaw Festival National Stadium, Al. Poniatowskiego 1
rom modest beginnings in 2008, the Orange Warsaw Festival has emerged as one of Poland’s key musical festivals, rivaled in size only by the Heineken Open’er held each year in Gdynia. Of course, the term modest beginnings is relative – even the first event attracted a crowd of 35,000. Originally created with the support of city hall, the days of free admission are long gone, replaced instead by a slick three day event held in the National Stadium. Considered one of the top big format events in Central Europe, the line-up is second to none, with Day 1 acts including Kings of
Leon, Queens of the Stone Age, Snoop Dogg and Lily Allen. Day 2 will feature, amongst others, Rita Ora, Florence and the Machine, plus the eagerly awaited return of The Prodigy. Wrapping it all up, the final day has Kasabian, David Guetta, Outkast and Limp Bizkit all booked to appear. In all some 33 acts will grace the two stages over the course of the event, making it the biggest OWF to date. Tickets are already going fast, though at press time several variations remained on sale ranging in price from zł. 199 to zł. 519 for one and two day passes. Click fast and you may find some three day packages also available, with official prices set between zł. 579 all the way up to zł. 1,789 for the VIP area. For the latest ticket info and further details check: www.orangewarsawfestival.pl
CULTURE EVENTS THIS MONTH Ongoing CONCERT
Music in Flowers ul. Prawdziwka 2, Ogród Botaniczny PAN w Powsinie Aimed at promoting upcoming pianists, this festival sees performances take place each Sunday at 3 p.m. in the ornate botanical gardens of the Polish Academy of Sciences. A more picturesque backdrop you will not find. For further info see: tifc. chopin.pl
FESTIVAL 24th International Festival of Sacral Music Various locations International and domestic names perform classical concerts inside Warsaw’s most ornate churches: among them, St. Anne’s and the Military Cathedral. Those scheduled to star include Louis Vierne (organist at the Notre Dame), and the Atlanta Boys Choir. Entry is free. For further info, check: www. kapitula.org
elaborate album art and live stage sets,” these giants of their genre arrive in Poland to promote their latest album, Heaven and Earth. Tickets from zł. 175, available at eventim.pl
been compared to Leonard Cohen, Joy Division and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Their latest album, Trouble Will Find Me, was nominated as Best Alternative Album at the 2014 Grammys. Tickets from zł. 165, www.eventim.pl
CONCERT Tori Amos 18:00, PKiN, Sala Kongresowa, Pl. Defilad 1 Known for crossing styles and genres in her songs, the concerts of Tori Amos are commonly declared unmissable. Her latest outing to this part of the world coincides with the spring release of her 14th studio album, Unrepentant Geraldines.
12 onwards FESTIVAL
CONCERT Girugamesh 19:00, Proxima, ul. Żwirki i Wigury 99 A Japanese visual kei metal band, no less – if you’re not up to speed with your music terminology, then that loosely means punk rock mixed with electro pop and weird, wacky fashions. Tickets from zł. 100, available at: eventim.pl
1, 8, 15, 22, 29 CONCERT
CONCERT Yes 17:30, PKiN, Sala Kongresowa, Pl. Defilad 1 Formed in 1968, prog rock legends Yes have seen and done it all. Celebrated for their “expansive songs, esoteric lyrics,
5 & 19
SKATING Join thousands of roller bladers as they skate about Warsaw following a 15km route. Starting at 20:30, usually by the Copernicus Monument on Krakowskie Przedmieście, the mass skate typically concludes at round about 23:00.For details see: nightskating.waw.pl
CONCERT The National 18:00, Park Sowińskiego4 Described as “dark, melancholy and difficult to interpret,” this American indie rock outfit have
WARSAW INSIDER | JUNE 2014
June 5 Hailu Mergia with Tony Buck and Mike Majkowski Pardon, To Tu, Pl. Grzybowski 12/16, www.pardontotu.pl
uite possibly the coolest accordion-led recording you’ll ever hear, and certainly one of the most psychedelic,” so say eMusic with reference to Hailu Mergia. But high praise is not new to this Ethiopian-born musician. In the past he’s been breathlessly lauded for giving music ‘a new sound’ through his use of the electric piano, analog synthesizer and trademark accordion. Previously known for his groundbreaking jazz and funk collaborations with the Walias Band, Mergia’s solo work has been praised for its innovative and visionary approach. He’s joined on stage by two Berlin-based Australians, Tony Buck on drums, and Mike Majkowski on double bass. For ticket details check Pardon, To Tu’s website closer to the event.
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF ORGANIZERS OR ARTISTS
Chopin in Łazienki 12:00 & 16:00, Łazienki Park, ul. Agrykola Nothing announces the start of summer more than the free openair concerts held by the Chopin Monument in Łazienki Park. Attracting hundreds of people, and often more, the concerts feature some of Poland’s top pianists playing Chopin’s best known works. For info see: lazienki-krolewskie.pl
CULTURE Various locations The 24th Warsaw Mozart Festival kicks off with a premiere of The Abduction from the Seraglio by the Warsaw Chamber Opera, before concluding the following month with an outdoor performance of The Magic Flute in the gardens of Wilanów Palace. Sandwiched in between are numerous performances courtesy of the Warsaw Chamber Opera held in a medley of scenic locations that include the Royal Castle and the Warsaw Chamber Opera Theater. For ticket details and further info, check: operakameralna.pl
CONCERT DJ Snoopadelic 22:00, Basen, ul. Konopnickiej 6 Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. (a.k.a Snoop Dogg, Snoop Lion, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Snoopadelic, etc.), requires no introduction – this will be a night to remember. Tickets from zł. 80, available at eventim.pl
PARADE Equality Parade Conservative attitudes, and past attempts to ban the parade altogether, have done little to damage the momentum of the annual equality parade. Full of color and fanfare (and banging club sounds) details of the route had yet to be released at press time. Check their website closer to the time: paradarownosci.eu
FESTIVAL Pozytywne Wibracje 2014 Festival Pepsi Arena, ul. Łazienkowska 6A Paloma Faith plus Earth, Wind and Fire are slated to perform, though the real headline stealer this year is international mega star Pharrell Williams. Tickets from zł. 190, available at eventim.pl
Once more, find the festival showcasing abstract, often hilarious, street theater plays courtesy of troupes from the Czech Republic, Russia, Belarus, France and Poland. The festival aims to integrate art within the everyday landscape of the city, and as such you can expect events to take place in parks, subway passageways, squares and other public spaces. The festival will also extend to July – expect more performances to take place on July 4-6. For more info, check: www.sztukaulicy.pl.
CONCERT Tom Jones 18:00, PKiN, Sala Kongresowa, Pl. Defilad 1 Keep your knickers on, purr-lease. The Voice of the Valleys might be 73, but make no mistake Tom Jones still knows how to put on a performance and get the ladies screaming. Expect all the greatest hits, among them tracks such as It’s Not Unusual, What’s New Pussycat and Sex Bomb. Tickets from zł. 198, available at eventim.pl
EVENT Wianki nad Wisłą Park Podzamcze (Multimedia Fountains) Celebrate midsummer at the fountain park, with concerts and a dazzling firework display all planned. The program was still under wraps as we went to press, though if last year is anything to go by, expect huge crowds and a host of Polish pop stars – including, so we hear, Hey and Dżem.
Ongoing till June 3
Uncovering. The Body in Polish Photography Leica Gallery Warszawa, ul. Mysia 3 (3rd floor)
The Naked & Famous 19:00, Palladium, ul. Złota 9 This L.A.-based, New Zealand alt. rock band followed up the success of their debut album Passive Me, Aggressive You with the 2013 release of In Rolling Waves. Says The Guardian of: “it couldn’t sound more audaciously epic if it rode around on a lightning bolt without any underwear.” Tickets from zł. 89, available at eventim.pl
he human body has always been at the centre of the artists’ attention. For decades, it has inspired such masters of Polish photography as Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy), Zbigniew Dłubak, Ryszard Horowitz, Natalia LL, Paweł Pierściński, Tadeusz Rolke and Zofia Rydet. These are just some of the many artists that will be shown at this unique exhibition as part of the 12th Fotografia Kolekcjonerska event. This year, the show will kick-off in Warsaw before moving to Łódź on June 5th (where the auction will be held). In addition to works by Polish artists, collectors will have a rare opportunity to acquire the works of two special guests: Roger Ballen and Volker Hinz.
Dropkick Murphys 19:00, Stodoła, ul. Batorego 9 This American Celtic punk act
For further info see: www.fotografiakolekcjonerska.pl / www.artinfo.pl
22nd Street Art Festival Various locations
18 & 19
are perhaps best-known for the platinum selling I’m Shipping Up To Boston, which featured on the soundtrack of The Departed. “I think our goal is to be the AC/ DC of Celtic punk rock,” says lead vocalist Ken Casey – judge for yourselves. Tickets from zł. 110, available at eventim.pl
WARSAW INSIDER | JUNE 2014
CULTURE MUSEUMS & GALLERIES Car Museum ul. Warszawska 21 (Otrębusy), tel. 22 758 5067, www.muzuem-motorzyacji.com.pl What looks like a cemetery of rust and a tangle of exhaust pipes unravels into Warsaw’s most underrated museum. Find vehicles of every description: Lech Wałesa’s Volvo (with 7cm bulletproof windows), Gomułka’s ZIS limo, German wartime armor and a pretty-in-pink Buick Skylark – the type favored by Elvis and Marilyn. It’s incredible in its peculiarity, with the random layout, oily smells and dark, cobwebbed corners only adding to the sense of treading somewhere special. Bodies Revealed Exhibition ul. Anny German 12 (Industrial Chemistry Research Institute), open 9:00-19:00, www.bodiesrevealed.pl. Tickets from zł. 35-60. Ongoing until June 30: Comprising approximately 200 exhibits, the curiosities come in all shapes and sizes: to the smallest bones in the body, all the way to the longest. There is the strange and the grisly (a brain preserved after a hemorrhage), and there is stuff that makes you wince (preserved fetuses). Highly educational, and strangely bewitching, this is an exhibition that lays bare the secrets of the body. Copernicus Science Centre ul. Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 20, tel. 22 596 4100, www.kopernik. org.pl Interactive, witty and surprising, Copernicus allows visitors to experience an earthquake, blast recyclable objects into space and become a mystery cracking detective. CSW ul. Jazdów 2, www.csw.art.pl Situated in a baroque-style castle the center hosts artists from all over the world. Ongoing till August 31: Nightmares. A broad presentation of the works of
Grzegorz Drosz – from sculpture and paintings to plants and video installations. Expect a marble owl with laser eyes, hallucinogenic plants and other weirdness! Dom Spotkań z Historią ul. Karowa 20, www.dsh.waw.pl The History Meeting House wins points for frequently excellent exhibitions that cover topics such as ‘rebuilding Warsaw’ and ‘Socialist Realist architecture.’ It won’t take longer than twenty minutes to peruse whatever exhibition is on, but it’s still a very worthwhile diversion. Ongoing till August 31: Three Times in Poland. American photographer John Vachon visited Poland in 1946, 1956 and 1963, and this exhibition of his photographs provides a fascinating insight into a country struggling to come to terms with the fallout of war and its new social order. Heritage Interpretation Center ul. Brzozowa 11-13, www.mhw.pl Beginning with a gigantic tapestry of Warsaw circa 1873, this little known venue tells the complex story of Old Town’s reconstruction. Walking over a glass floor, beneath which lies smashed masonry and columns recovered from the ruins, a series of then-and-now slides and pictures document Old Town’s annihilation. If the first section about Warsaw’s physical elimination is poignant, then the others do a fabulous job of sharing the optimism and alacrity that followed. Historical Museum of Warsaw Rynek Starego Miasta 28/42, www.mhw.pl The granddaddy of Warsaw museums is over the worst of a lengthy refit and reopening bit by bit. The ground floor cinema is a must – playing a 20 minute film that details the depressing story behind the destruction of Warsaw. The Fryderyk Chopin Museum in Warsaw Ostrogski Palace, ul. Okólnik 1,
WARSAW INSIDER | JUNE 2014
chopin.museum Recognized as one of the most hi-tech museums in Europe, the world even, computer chip tickets allow visitors the chance to personalize the museum experience as never before. Over 5,000 objects are present, among them Chopin’s pocket watch, last piano, a lock of hair and even his death mask. Invisible Exhibition Al. Jerozolimskie 123A, www.niewidzialna.pl Nothing challenges the sense of sight more than a total lack of it. Confused? Head to the Invisible Exhibition to learn firsthand the challenges faced by the blind. This includes everything from crossing the road to ordering a drink in a bar. Jewish Historical Institute ul. Tłomackie 3/5, www.jhi.pl Officially opened in 1947 the Jewish Historical Institute was created to serve as an archive of Jewish culture in Warsaw. It contains art work, historical artifacts and important documents from the city’s rich Jewish past. Królikarnia ul. Puławska 113A, www. krolikarnia.mnw.art.pl Fine art galore inside an elegant suburban palace. The young curator has decided to show some forgotten treasures from the rich archives of the National Museum. The gallery also hosts more contemporary works, such as those by Nicolas Grospierre and Agnieszka Polska. Legia Museum ul. Łazienkowska 6, www.legia.com Aside from silverware affirming Legia’s status, find a vast collection of shirts, pennants and paintings (even part of an old floodlight). Pride of place goes to Legia’s favorite son, 70’s super star Kazimierz Deyna. Museum of the History of Polish Jews
ul. Anielewicza 6 Slated to open in the coming months, this hugely impressive museum is already luring streams of onlookers eager to preview the temporary exhibits housed in the opening halls. Ongoing: Biographies of Things. A temporary display of items donated to the museum, among them toys, artwork, photos, religious items and everyday articles like travel trunks and clothing. Ongoing till June 30: Warszawa, Warsze. Celebrating the pre-war Jewish life of the Muranów district (and not just), this multimedia exhibition brings together film, photos, sounds and objects in a brilliant bid to evoke the spirit of the past. Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw ul. Pańska 3, www.artmuseum.pl The very first museum of modern art in Warsaw, still fighting for a proper location, bravely manages to provide visitors with a display of contemporary art, including works of Alina Sapocznikow, Zbigniew Libera, Paweł Althamer, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Miroslaw Bałka, Katarzyna Kozyra and Artur Żmijewski. Ongoing: As You Can See – Polish Art Today. The most ‘up-to-date’ collection of Polish modern art to date will apparently be, “critical, liberating, psychedelic, often brutal and perverse, dense and ambiguous.” Ongoing till Sept 14: In the Near Future. Works from 47 artists demonstrating the social changes that occurred after 1989. Museum of Technology Palace of Culture, pl. Defilad 1, muzeumtechniki.warszawa. pl Following a maze-like route in the Palace of Culture, there’s curios aplenty: a Viennese calculator dating from 1898 that’s still in working order; a glowing ‘glass lady’ that lights up to demonstrate the inner workings of the body; communist era sports cars; a WWII Enigma machine. More pertinent to the younger generation, there’s a selection of vintage phones and laptop
computers that hipsters would give their life for, not to mention hilarious TVs from days of yore. A mind boggling place that’s highly recommended. National Museum Al. Jerozolimskie 3, www.mnw. art.pl Famed for its collection of Dutch and Flemish masters, it’s also the final word in Polish art, with all the greats represented – inc. Matejko, Witkiewicz and other such stars. Ongoing till August 10: Aleksander Gierymski 1850-1901. The works brought together for this event comprise almost the entirety of Gierymski’s surviving oeuvre – approximately 120 paintings and oil sketches, 66 drawings, and one sketchbook. The Neon Museum ul. Mińska 25 (Soho Factory), www.neonmuzeum.org This amazing project brings together the neon lights that once illuminated the city. Among the collection are 35 landmark signs, many of which date from the 60s and 70s. Palmiry Memorial Museum Palmiry, www.palmiry.mhw. pl An excellent multimedia exhibition set next to a cemetery holding the graves of 1,700 Poles executed in the first years of Nazi occupation. The museum tells their forgotten story, with archival video footage complimented by exhumed exhibits and plenty of background info dealing with the siege and subsequent occupation of Warsaw. Pawiak ul. Dzielna 24/26. What was once a Tsarist prison assumed a doubly sinister function under the Nazis. Some 100,000 Polish political prisoners were held here, 37,000 of which were executed on-site. Split in two sections, cells are found on one side, while on the other the full story of the invasion and occupation.
www.postermuseum.pl With a collection that touches the 55,000 mark, here’s the biggest poster museum in the world – and also the original. Art spans the period from 1892 till 2002, and while the majority is Polish orientated works on display also include those by Dali and Warhol. Railway Museum ul. Towarowa 1, www.muzkol. pl Presented in scale model form, in here find hundreds of trains detailing the development of the Polish rail network. Not interested? Then maybe the three model railway villages will stir childhood memories or how about learning about WARS – Polish rail’s buffet division? Outside, stroll around a remarkable collection of beasts outside. These include a 1942 German armored train – apparently the only one of its type surviving in Europe – not to mention the personal carriage of Bolesław Bierut (Poland’s post-war leader), the rusting carcass of a 60s train and interwar steam engines straight out of Thomas the Tank Engine. The Royal Castle in Warsaw Pl. Zamkowy 4, zamek-krolewski.
pl Meticulously restored after WWII, highlights inside include the lavishly restored 18th century royal apartments with 22 paintings by Bernardo Bellotto (known as Canaletto), the Senators’ Chamber in which the Constitution of the Third of May was signed, the biggest collection of oriental rugs in Europe in the tin-roofed palace and two remarkable Rembrandt paintings. Warsaw Rising Museum ul. Grzybowska 79, www.1944.pl Cope with the crowds to discover the definitive story of the Uprising. Exhibits range from a full size replica of a Liberator plane, to a sewer beneath the cinema screen and a slice of bread preserved from 1944. And don’t miss the ‘City of Ruins’, a five minute 3D film which takes you on an aerial journey over devastated Warsaw. For panoramic views of Warsaw check the view tower. Wola Museum ul. Srebrna 12, www.mhw.pl An unexpectedly amazing museum that’s been turned around thanks to its ambitious, young staff. Once a dank, dusty space, the reinvention includes ‘the room of one object’, its single exhibit
being a 1930s sugar bowl by Julia Keilowa. In keeping with this year’s theme of modernity, it is almost space age in design. There’s the New Varsovians exhibit, dedicated to the young students who arrived to Warsaw in the 1860s and 70s, and the Wola Laboratory, a multimedia exhibition with a focus on the district. All this new wave gadgetry is to be augmented by real objects on the first floor. Zachęta National Art Gallery Pl. Małachowskiego 3, www. zacheta.art.pl Featuring in the collection are works by Toulouse-Lautrec, Cezanne, Ernst and Picasso, as well as luminaries of the Polish art scene such as Tadeusz Kantor, Alina Szapocznikow, Katarzyna Kozyra and Zbigniew Libera. Ongoing until Aug 31: Anemona Crisan: Installation for the Interior. From June 6: Monument. The Architecture of Adolf Szyszko Bohusz. Considered one of the most important architects of Poland’s Second Republic, this exhibition explores themes of mythmaking via architecture, the quest for style forms and the use of modernism as ‘style dressing’ for the political regime.
THE ROYAL CASTLE in Warsaw
Plac Zamkowy 4 tel. (+48 22) 35 55 170 www.zamek-krolewski.pl firstname.lastname@example.org
Poster Museum in Wilanów ul. St. Kostki Potockiego 10/16,
INFRONT CINEMA 18 / CITY 17 / LOCAL 18 / MUSIC 18 / SPORT 18
ADAM GESSLER BY THE NUMBERS
The figure some say he owes in debts
The most often quoted figure for his debts
3.85 Million złoty
The amount his seized villa was auctioned off for
2,600 Facebook users
Promised to attend an “I’m eating at Gessler and not paying” event CITY
Get Out of Debt Free!
PHOTOGRAPH BY KEVIN DEMARIA
Serial debtor Adam Gessler has outraged City Hall after opening a new restaurant right under their noses. The 59 year old restaurateur hails from Poland’s best known culinary dynasty, and has repeatedly courted controversy after running up a string of debts to the city that are believed to now total in excess of zł. 33 million. Last October it had appeared that justice was beginning to catch up with Gessler after bailiffs seized his Żoliborz residence and auctioned it off for zł. 3.85 million. But the news that his famed U Kucharzy restaurant will reopen has left city officials infuriated, more so because of its new location in the Arsenał building on ul. Długa. Set within spitting distance of City Hall, the move has been interpreted as a deliberate provocation. Having repeatedly dodged payments using legal loopholes and sly ruses, Gessler enabled the resurrection of his once acclaimed U Kucharzy restaurant after signing the rights to the name, concept and his image to a longtime associate. And while it’s widely recognized that Gessler remains pulling the strings at the new venue, city officials have been left powerless to do anything – and with the contract already signed, the lessors of Arsenał have also been rendered impotent. It’s all a far cry from last year when Mayor of the Central District, Wojciech Bartelski, promised that no stone would be left unturned in the pursuit of justice. “You’ll feel us breathing down your neck,” railed Bartelski, “until you pay every groszik you owe.” With Gessler now appealing against the seizure of his house, it’s thought that the city’s farcical efforts to recoup cash from the rogue trader have wrought less than zł. 30,000 thus far.
Are boycotting Gessler’s restaurants
Wanted the return of U Kucharzy
Since City Hall began chasing Gessler
The position Gessler occupies on the city’s list of bad debtors
IN THE CITY MUSIC
What a Pair!
Poland’s Eurovision entry caused a collective raising of the eyebrows in May, with international pundits slamming the performance for its racy content. “The contest isn’t supposed to be about buxom ladies washing their intimates on stage,” scoffed soprano Laura Wright. Performers Donata & Cleo appear to have had the last laugh. “We showed the beauty of Polish girls,” claimed Cleo, “Our video is exceptional, which is why 40 million people have seen it.” The video for We Are Slavic is notable for its ample cleavages and a naked woman sitting in a soapy bathtub.
Uprising in Film
A ‘docu-fiction’ film about the Warsaw Uprising premiered in cinemas in May, earning rave reviews across the board. The plot of Powstanie Warszawskie centers around two fictional brothers who film the 1944 insurrection, and is comprised entirely of recovered wartime film reels that have been re-mastered and enhanced using audio reconstruction and modern colorization techniques. Touted as ‘the world’s first feature film made entirely from documentary materials’, the movie is playing in cinemas across the country and is expected to be released with English subtitles later in the year.
WARSAW INSIDER | JUNE 2014
Warsaw’s Krasińskich Gardens has reopened following a two year, zł. 15 million restoration that has seen the historic main gateway renovated and the addition of over 200 benches, 120 bins and 27,000 plants. It’s also been announced that over summer the park will host yoga classes, classical performances and walking tours. The restoration, however, has not been without its detractors. Locals and environmentalists were left fuming after over 330 trees were felled by the city council – nearly one third of the original number. A decision on whether cyclists and dogs will be allowed inside the confines of the park has also yet to be reached, raising questions about the practicality of the park.
FROM TOP: SHUTTERSTOCK, KEVIN DEMARIA, COURTESY OF WARSAW UPRISING, THE FILM
It’s been announced that the National Stadium in Warsaw will host the Professional Windsurfers Association’s World Tour this September, with the planet’s top windsurfers set to be in attendance. A 90 meter pool filled with 3,000 cubic meters of water will be installed for the event, along with wind machines capable of creating gusts of up to 70 km/hr. Hoping to attract 90,000 spectators, the three day event will kick off on September 5th.
ESSENTIAL SOUTH CENTRAL
ALTERNATE ROUTES Known to some as Wil-Po-Ho (Wilcza, Poznańska, Hoża), the area is awash with
niche retail, lively bars and on-edge restaurants. We sift through the best of the best. WORDS: ALEX WEBBER | PHOTOS: KEVIN DEMARIA
WARSAW INSIDER | JUNE 2014
Hotels H15 Boutique
ul. Poznańska 15, h15boutiqueapartments. com Immaculate luxury lodgings full of clean lines, open spaces and adventurous art. Formerly the Soviet Embassy, this historic property has emerged as Warsaw’s top hotel, with an award winning interior designed by Mariola Tomczak.
ul. Wilcza 73, www. rialto.pl Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the 30s in Warsaw’s first boutique hotel. Decorated from top-to-bottom in art deco finds, this high class
hotel (random famous guest: Venus Williams) is straight from the pages of Jeeves & Wooster.
Shopping Aficionado Room
ul. Wilcza 26 A high end cigar store / whisky lounge with elite brands from Cuba, Dominica, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua. The perfectly formed back rooms are all Chesterfield sofas, wood paneling and dimmed lights, and positively breathe prosperity.
ul. Wilcza 69, www. bimbus.com.pl An adorable top-end store
that will reinvent your child’s living space. Wellchosen brands (furnishings from Quax, super cute stuffed animals from Tartine et Chocolat, etc.) and a huge number of accessories and extras make it a stand-out.
ul. Wilcza 11, be-eleven.pl Filled with covetable items from the likes of Joseph Ribkoff, Viola Lee and Sandwich_, not to mention local talents such as Patryk Tyburkiewicz and Ewa Zwolińska, this smart boutique brims with the latest fashion, jewelry and seasonal accessories.
ul. Wilcza 29 (courtyard),
www.kwadryga.com Leaf through vintage photos, retro posters, outof-print books, antique atlases and forgotten lifestyle titles from the communist period. There’s even a selection of signed tomes. Mainly Polish interest, but nevertheless a must for bookworms.
ul. Wilcza 25, www.lokomodel.pl Pleasingly covert, anoraks love this 23 year old ‘hobby store’. Find trains, planes and automobiles in miniature size, not to mention hilarious extras to go with your secret train set: little figures of beer swilling lads, angry umbrella wielding mums and, even, a flasher!
ul. Wilcza 3, www.officine904.pl Beautiful bags handmade in Florence from Italian calf leather. From clutch bags to market bags, this discreet walk-in offers uncompromising quality and craftsmanship characterized by its ‘purity of form’ and ‘utilitarian simplicity’.
ul. Hoża 35, oldsilos.pl Relive the glory years of the 80s British ‘football casual’ in Old Silos, a sneaker store specializing in retro classics and Adidas originals.
ul. Poznańska 26,
ESSENTIAL SOUTH CENTRAL www.khaja.pl Opened in 1952, this bespoke brush store has been passed down from grandfather to father and then onto son. On offer: everything from paintbrushes to moustache combs to hairbrushes. And the owner is a character as well: “I don’t have time for Facebook,” he says, “it would get in the way of my tango lessons!”
ul. Hoża 9, v9.bzzz.net Channel your inner Banksy at V9, a gallery, screen printers and ‘community space’ dealing out spray cans, T-shirts and street art books.
ul. Hoża 58/60 The creation of two Italian friends, Luca and Lorenzo, their connection is evident in a place that sparkles with hospitality and authentic Italian tastes. Intimacy and quality are key values, making it arguably
the best Italian restaurant in Warsaw.
ul. Wilcza 50/52 They’ve taken on a reputedly cursed location, but chef Marcin Jabłoński looks like a man capable of breaking the hex. Think author’s cuisine with a Mediterranean twist and plenty of surprises along the way. The mid-market prices belie the high standard.
Hoża by Mondovino
ul. Hoża 25, www.hoza.warszawa.pl Actor and oenologist Tomasz Budyta combines his passion for fine wine and food inside an ambient haunt filled with cooling deep colors. The menu features a modern Latin twist and several steaks which are rated faultless.
ul. Poznańska 5 A French owner, a talented, young Polish chef and seasonally appropriate ingredients mean you never know quite what to expect in Kaskrut. There’s
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a huge buzz about this place with a weekly menu that embraces both creativity and a sense of artistry.
ul. Hoża 42 Many of Warsaw’s burger joints pride themselves on the provenance of their ingredients, but this place takes it the extra yard with a menu of vegan burgers that make you wonder why you ever bothered with beef in the first place.
ul. Hoża 62, www. meatlove.pl Not ones to stagnate, Meat Love have expanded in size, meaning there’s now plenty of room to sample their artisan sandwiches. But with this weather, most head to the shaded pavement terrace. Do so as well, and with a craft beer for company.
ul. Wilcza 46 There’s no doubt that Nolita has achieved a special place in the heart of foodies. This is a venue in which food becomes a
joy, and it’s openly talked about as a Michelin star in the waiting.
ul. Wilcza 73 (side of Rialto Hotel) Martin Gimenez Castro became a national darling overnight when he won TVs Top Chef crown, an affirmation of what many knew already. The Argentinean has redefined Latin cooking, and his weekend steak menu is something to behold.
ul. Poznańska 15, www. signaturerestaurant.pl Fine dining at affordable prices. Disconnect from reality by eating amid Soviet friezes and original Marilyn photo portraits. The well-executed, luxury interiors are matched by a modern menu that always succeeds.
ul. Wilcza 71 The tendency is to linger at Sofra, a neighborhood redoubt that feels cheerfully unforced. The Turkish menu is simple and straightforward, but everyone leaves satisfied.
After dinner, soak it all in and idle over wine and sweet teas.
ul. Wilcza 27 It says a lot for Warsaw’s developing tastes that it can now house a successful Yemeni venture. Bathed in chatter and clatter, Sokotra is an informal place with Indian twists on the menu, and a card that encourages plenty of plate sharing.
W Gruncie Rzeczy
ul. Hoża 62 In culinary terms it’s the polar opposite of neighbors Meat Love, though the patrons are much the same: local hipsters and cool kids. For those who treat their body like a chapel, the vegetarian menu is a gateway to a balanced diet. And it’s tasty, which always helps.
ul. Wilcza 26 The maritime interior looks like it was done on the cheap, but the menu is anything but. Despite a tendency to nickel-and-
Warsaw, home security I’ve been coming here all my life – can’t beat it for chasing tail. They’ve really tidied it up mind. I remember when us lot would run amok around here. The good ole’ days, I call them.
PHOTOGRAPHS THIS PAGE BY ED WIGHT
Warsaw, product manager at L’Oréal This area has evolved from being almost a no-go into a must visit. I think the secret lies in the variety of bars and restaurants: it’s trendy, reasonably priced and has a hint of Bohemian style to it.
Seattle, owner of a holistic center I’m just traveling through. I heard this is the area to be so here I am. I love it. I’ve met all sorts here – I’m just waiting for a faith healer to come back to the table.
Zimbabwe / UK, aerospace technician I’m not one to do the tourist trail so am happy to immerse myself in the ‘normal’ scene – I’ve not been disappointed. It’s been a short and hectic ‘Euro trip’, but one of my most enjoyable.
ESSENTIAL SOUTH CENTRAL
Galeria Grafiki i Plakatu
ul. Hoża 40 Accessorize for summer with a trip to Pingle, a hip sunglass store stocking everything from the classic and classy to the bold and audacious. Brands include Cheap Monday, Versace, Ray Ban and Oscar Magnuson with prices ranging from zł. 300 to zł. 1,000.
ul. Hoża 40, galeriagrafikiiplakatu.pl In business since 1976, this store specializes in picture frames, paintings, but most of all posters. There’s over 7,000 originals in stock, mainly connected with art exhibitions and theater performances.
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ul. Wilcza 29A Natural, organic values and a kitchen team not afraid to improvise and think outside the box lend something of an ad hoc spirit to the daily specials. The menu is largely successful, and can be paired with botanical soft drinks and regional beers.
ul. Wilcza 44, www.s-h-studio.pl Art, interior design and furniture are married together inside a tiny store stacked with beautiful antique and retro pieces that have been refurbished and redesigned to lend them a contemporary edge. An amazing place with surprisingly modest prices.
Two Can Play
ul. Wilcza 32, two-can-play.com For those who value individuality in fashion owner Michał has created a progressive concept store that looks to promote brands that you’d struggle to find in PL: nat & nin, Denham, Eleven Paris, White Tent and much more besides.
ul. Wilcza 26, delikatesy.solera.pl A French-run Spanish shop in Poland – just what you expected, no doubt. Fine Spanish and Mediterranean cheeses, olives, hams and groceries. But above all, it’s recognized for its wine.
dime you (bread: zł. 12), the seafood is peerless and flown in from Italy.
Bars & Cafes
let’s face it, no-one does beer like the Belgians. There’s a bewildering range of Belgian beer and despite the crowds, the staff retain their humor and poise. Ask them for suggestions.
Beirut / Kraken
ul. Poznańska 12 A connecting door links Kraken with Beirut, two bars that share one spirit. In one, find a Pirates of the Caribbean look, in the other, stark walls and sandbags. With the floorto-ceiling windows swung open, the place turns into one big outdoor party.
ul. Wilcza 52 Poland’s brew-olution has been eye opening, but
ul. Poznańska 11 This Israeli themed spot even has a board on which clients can scrawl their odes and squiggles. An exotic menu, Israeli wines and a diverse international crowd make it a stalwart of the parish.
ul. Poznańska 7 Nights get blurry in Kwadrat, one of the first bars in town to spread
the gospel of regional and new wave beer. Enjoy it alongside an amiable, late 20s crowd.
ul. Poznańska 7, www.leniviec.pl Poznańska? More like Pose-nańska. Join the bright and the beautiful inside Leniviec, a hip haunt that’s shed its cafe roots and returned to earth as a cocktail bar. And a good one. Place your faith in Patryk the bar maestro.
ul. Krucza 17 Raw juices, vitamin heavy smoothies and a host of other vegetable and fruit based drinks make this a standout in a city that’s
learning to get playful with the countertop blender.
ul. Poznańska 24 Polonez have nailed it with interesting beers, able staff and a cool terrace of upcycled crates. Their philosophy is a celebration of Poland – old and new – and is presented in an interior that merges retro with raw.
ul. Marszałkowska 66, secado.com.pl Everyone enjoys the Mediterranean-themed menu, but to utilize Secado to its maximum potential one must experiment with the cocktails. Great fun in a casual atmosphere.
Warsaw Tortilla Factory ul. Wilcza 46
We already know the No. 1 ex-pat joint is going to be the best place to watch the World Cup – we’re even promised dancing girls for the occasion! The bawdy atmosphere is contagious, and helped by a huge terrace and quirky guest beers.
ul. Wilcza 58A, A place where drunkenness is rampant and required. Set over a sprawl of floors this bar/club hybrid has a busy calendar, buoyant courtyard and a quirky interior designed with a heavy hint of 70s cool.
MUSEUMS LESSER NEIGHBORHOOD PROWL KNOWN WIL-PO-HO
CRUISING SOUTH CENTRAL
It is no more a crumbling wreck – the micro district comprising Wilcza, Poznańska and Hoża has emerged as Warsaw’s most upcoming area. We take a walk through its stories and past…
TEXT: ALEX WEBBER | PHOTOS: ED WIGHT
WARSAW INSIDER | JUNE 2014
THE GLORY YEARS
There are many reasons to love this area, but its architecture is key. Would it have become the social hub it is were it just a sea of socialist grey? Evoking an almost Parisian spirit, the masterful mix of fin-de-siecle and belle époque weaves a powerful spell. With its paladin windows and ornate touches, Hoża 41 casts a glow across the crossroads. Equal in beauty there is Wilcza 58A a potted history of which includes one of Poland’s first underground garages, and a short stint as a local base for the Soviet NKVD. But the area is not just about sumptuous apartments with fancy reliefs. Take Wilcza 71, a functionalist classic designed by Józef Steinberg. Pockmarked with bullet wounds on the outside, it’s worth the effort trying to sidle your way in. All kinds of curious little details from the 1930s survive, among them a white marble stairwell with a central glass shaft. And while you’d be forgiven thinking this was a residential quarter of town, that’s not the case. Hoża 51, for example, is one of the best preserved instances of pre-war industrial architecture to be found in the capital. Dating from 1896 it has during its time housed a vodka distillery, the Samuel Orgelbrand & Sons printing house, a Russian field hospital, a dairy and the Patria cigarette factory.
Wilcza 32 might tout a refurbished entrance, but they’re not fooling anyone. Walk beyond it and one discovers a piece of Warsaw frozen in time. Amid the smells of rot and damp, find directives preserved from communism attached to the peeling plaster walls: “Dogs Must Have a Lead,” “Quiet Hours From 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.,” and “Parents Will Be Held Responsible for Damage Caused by Children.” Twinned with illustrations (a slinky sausage dog, a smashed window and a snoozing Mr. Moon) and cool commie-era typography, there’s a sensation of stepping back in time. Cast in shadow, the courtyard looks ragged and shabby yet almost romantic – you imagine a foggy scene from a film noir being shot here. Then, in the corner, stands a well-tended courtyard shrine embellished with flowers and greenery. It’s not recorded when this kapliczka was created, though by in large most date from WWII: a time when courtyards were regarded as safer places of worship than churches. Seen as a “public affirmation of faith,” they brought with them a sense of “security, solidarity and even freedom.”
Attached to some plush new build, there is something incongruous about the derelict structure at Poznańska 21. Set on three floors, this boarded up hulk is actually regarded to be the oldest surviving building in downtown Warsaw. Completed in 1879, it’s currently close to collapse and its future caught in a tangle of red tape. Calls for it to be saved and entered on the heritage list have gone unanswered because of bureaucratic issues: 26 people are cited as holding rights to No. 21, and until all agree on saving it City Hall is powerless to intervene. Ridiculous as it sounds, but it’s become increasingly likely that a piece of Warsaw history will be allowed to cave in. Visit Hoża 53 to find one of two ‘Windows of Life’ found in Warsaw. Opened in 2008, two years after they first made their controversial debut in Kraków, this church-led initiative enables mothers to anonymously leave unwanted babies inside an incubator before an ambulance is called to ensure the safety of the infant. There’s something ghoulish about staring behind the sliding glass window, and my discomfort increases when the photographer suddenly shrieks, “Oh my God, there’s something in there.” As it transpires, it’s a trick of the eye. The contrasts and contradictions of modern Warsaw are hard to ignore at Wilcza 30. With regeneration and gentrification rampant, No. 30 stands stubbornly in defiance. Home to the Syrena community, the entire building has been seized by squatters. Their banners and murals adorn the exterior, while inside graffiti-covered walls line the stairwell and landings, each with its own message of anarchical hope: “No Gods, No Masters,” reads one, “Reclaim the Streets,” declares another. Attacked by nationalists during last year’s Independence Day riots, the occupants have grown wary of outsiders. Where once Joe Public could swan in and out, nowadays the gate is usually locked. Nonetheless, look for announcements for workshops that are occasionally pinned to the entrance (or their website: syrena.tk), for a compelling glimpse at a secret side of Warsaw.
A quarter of a century after the Iron Curtain was swept aside the heavy hand of communism continues to infringe on daily life by way of its bombastic, statement architecture. The Palace of Culture aside, nowhere is this more obvious in the center than at pl. Konstytucji. Forming part of the larger MDM district (scorned at the time by one critic as appearing like “a stone wedding cake covered with balconies built of boulders”), the development stretches all the way down to the Wilcza / Marszałkowska intersection. Seen as a flagship residential project, this post-war Stalinist estate didn’t miss a chance to promote Utopian ideals. On one side of Wilcza, look up to see an elaborate relief depicting peasant women picking grapes. The work of Sopot artist Hanna Żuławska, her other contribution to this ‘propaganda district’ can be found across Marszałkowska: an intricate mosaic set under a giant clock face built in Sopot and transported piece-bypiece to Warsaw. There are more Age of Stalin glories elsewhere. Krucza was rebuilt in its entirety following the war – once a narrow street of tight tenements, it was reinvented as a wide boulevard flanked on either side by giant, faceless blocks. Crossing Hoża / Krucza and one can’t fail but notice the Mercure Grand Hotel. Originally the Grand, it was designed in the 50s to host Polish delegations visiting the nearby governmental ministries. Its interior of “space-age chairs and kidney-shaped tables” was radical at the time, though it was the 11 th floor Café Olimp that everyone aspired to visit. Author Jerzy S. Majewski notes: “after the era of gloomy Socialist Realism, a great bright world existed [here]. There was music, colored lights hung from the ceiling, the walls seemed to undulate, and through the huge windows one
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“Communism continues to infringe on daily life by way of its bombastic, statement architecture” could admire a panorama of Warsaw.” To the other side of this area, as Hoża approaches Chałubinskiego, one can see a more whimsical interpretation of the Socialist Realist style. It is here, after all, one can find the Ministry of Infrastructure. Completed in 1950 to a design by Bohdan Pniewski, it’s notable for a bizarre rotunda supported by narrow columns, and an overhead passageway that links it to the building across the road. Further on, walk up Chałubinskiego, and then make a turn to head back onto Wilcza. In the distance you’ll see the University of Chemical Technology, its drab walls given some needed extra cheer by the painted outline of a dove. Added during the Cold War, it’s been interpreted as an official snipe at the west for its war mongering, and a declaration by the system of its peace loving ways. Of course, some would question that thinking, among them Lech Wałesa – the figurehead of the Solidarity movement that helped crack communism. When Martial Law was declared in 1981, he was allegedly held captive in the police cells at Wilcza 21 before being whisked under house arrest to a then secret government retreat in the south east of Poland – lucky guy, for it is known that his new lodgings in Arłamów included a harem of Cuban ladies guarded by a eunuch.
THE HIGH LIFE
While its principal entrance faces Jerozolimskie, as you reach the end of Poznańska there’s no ignoring the Polonia Palace Hotel. Opened in 1913, its elegant form conjures images of Gatsby-style parties and inter-bellum excess. Under German occupation it was renamed Der Reichshof and served as a hotel for high-ranking personnel. It was a factor that saved it from destruction while much of the rest of the city was systematically destroyed. As one of the few surviving buildings of status, it hosted both Eisenhower and De Gaulle when they visited the city in 1945. Embassies flocked here as well, with over 20 operating from the rooms – among them the Brits and the Americans – making it something of a center of double dealing and espionage. Reopened in 2004 after a major restoration, it had the honor of looking after the Miss World contestants when they clip clopped into Warsaw in 2006. Touting a similarly exotic history, H15 Boutique up the road has long been associated with a harmless bit of plotting. As early as 1897 – when it was first finished – clandestine meetings were held by patriotic youth movements planning Polish independence. In 1924 the structure was purchased by the Soviet Union and transformed into an embassy. Soviet reliefs still abound, with the most conspicuous appearing above the main entry. While the building was commandeered by the Nazis, they opted to keep these Soviet leftovers as a trophy of sorts. Since launching in 2012, the hotel has amassed other trophies: original snaps of Marilyn Monroe taken by celebrity photographer Milton Greene, not to mention a 110-year-old Argentinean fussball table.
survived – any residents, then please let us know. Beyond, and a more publicly accessible sight can be found at Wilcza 72. Also revamped as luxury condos, the difference here is that a part of the bullet riddled façade has been preserved behind glass. Looking at the war scars, it doesn’t take much imagination to recognize the ferocity of the fighting.
Find the University of Warsaw’s Faculty of Physics sneaked away on Hoża 69. Established here after WWI, it is said that through the 1930s 15% of the world’s most important Physics papers were coming out of Hoża. Its standing in terms of global importance cannot be called into question. In the 50s local physicist Leopold Infeld co-authored a number of studies with Einstein, while more recently, a new type of radioactivity was discovered here in 2002. Close by, the Institute of Zoology can be found on Wilcza 64, and in it a little known museum of Zoology. Not all study, however, means burying yourself in books. Created in 1927, Warsaw’s oldest dance school is found at Wilcza 19.
It’s impossible to ignore the Warsaw Uprising in any tour of town, and this part of Warsaw is certainly no different. Tablets commemorating street executions and insurgent actions are numerous and stretch from one end of the street to the other. Take Wilcza, for example. A meter from where it begins, on Al. Ujazdowskie, find a plexiglass info board that determines that the sewers below were used by combatants during the 1944 battle. Wilcza 2/4, meanwhile, is reputed to be haunted by a sad German officer whose said to be benign in spirit. Then there is Wilcza 22, known by the snappy title of Dom Sprawdzony Nie Ma Min. This is a nod to the ‘Cleared - No Mines’ notice that was painted onto the courtyard tunnel during the post-war cleanup process. With No. 22 now a posh, gated apartment block, there’s no telling if the sign has
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The Beauty AND THE EAST
Bloated with tourists it is not. While the sightseers stampede over the streets and squares of Kraków, Lublin in the east stands largely forgotten. So here’s a reminder of what you’ve been missing.
TEXT: ALEX WEBBER | PHOTOS: ED WIGHT
Jaguar would have been fitting, but instead we settle for a Brezhnev era Lada. There are better ways to arrive at the Grand Hotel Lublinianka, but pickings are slim outside the train station and we squash into the one asthmatic taxi that’s available for duty. Fortunately, this is not a hotel with a porter. A doorman, all top hat and tails, wouldn’t be amiss though. Completed in 1900, there is a swirl of Viennese elegance to the Grand. The lobby is all palm fronds and marble, while our rooms – economy for zł. 170 – are budget in name alone: forget cheap as chips, this is chic as chips. It is, also, a considerable upgrade from the hotels of my recent travels, and indeed the creaky charm of my usual lodgings in Lublin: the Waksman. I say usual, but that’s a gross exaggeration. It’s been years since I’ve visited this
TRAVEL LUBLIN LOWER SILESIA city, though as we begin the walk up to Old Town a sense of familiarity soon takes hold. It’s the May long weekend and the sky preposterously blue. But while more traditional hotspots would be swollen and saturated with sightseers, there is a serene sense of quiet about this isolated town. There is none of the usual city noise, and the only English accents are our own. We are a little over two hours from Warsaw, but we might as well be on another universe.
onsider Brama Krakowska the magic door to Old Town, a stout brick tower crowned with a Baroque dome. As we file through its inky dark guts the plaintive sound of a busker’s violin follows us as we emerge to exquisite daylight on the other side. We have passed through the looking glass, and what unfolds is an Old Town that’s among the best preserved in Poland. This is not a Humpty Dumpty town, reassembled after the tribulations of WWII, rather an original that feels unique and real. Lublin has not been manufactured to suit the needs of the few foreign pioneers arriving on Ryan Nightmare, and it’s a point that manifests itself as we stray off down the tight, narrow backstreets that wriggle from the center. Drowned in shadow, we find an alternative world to the one presented on the postcards. Laundry flutters from washing lines stretched across balconies, while old men in slippers stand hunched in doorways enjoying a secret smoke away from the wife. It feels like an Old Town in which people live, work and die, rather than an elaborate hoax targeted at the tourists. As we weave down crooked streets, we pass a wish tree. It’s an opportunity too good to miss, and I use my chance to request the relegation of Bristol Rovers (within the next 24hrs, and with the odds stacked against it, the wish is granted). Rejoining the main thoroughfare, we are met by the sight of the Royal Court of Justice – a pristine building the color of vanilla.
“This is not a Humpty Dumpty town reassembled after the tribulations of WWII...” Home to one of the enduring legends of Lublin, it is said that once upon a time an impoverished widow lost a case against a local hot shot who had bribed the judges. “Even if the devil was judging,” wailed the woman, “the verdict would be fairer.” Later that night townsfolk were woken to the clatter of stagecoaches from which clambered a retinue of devils dressed in judges’ gowns. The following day these horned gents reviewed the verdict and passed it in the widow’s favor, sealing their judgment with a paw print that burned through the parchment and left a scorch mark on the table. To this day, the Court maintains its connection to the underworld by offering subterranean tours of the medieval basements found below. Back outside, our meandering route takes us to a square filled with the ruins
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of the former St. Michael’s Parish Church. A miniature replica of the church stands to the side, though it is the view of the castle that steals the show. Set against a sky now streaked with crimson, the castle’s Moorish silhouette appears drowsily romantic. Unfortunately, I have not traveled with my girlfriend, rather a photographer who has just found his thirst. We repair to Grodzka street, the pedestrian corridor that runs down Old Town. We begin in Grodzka 15, a microbrewery with a polished look and the soothing aroma of malt and hops. As we gather ourselves on the terrace a berk on a DIY go-kart hurtles down the steep, sloped cobbles scattering all in his wake. It’s in the British nature to salute such acts of heroic lunacy, but our cheers of encouragement are met with glares all around. Once more, we are reminded that this is not Kraków. This is not to say that Lublin isn’t fun. The next few hours pass in a blur as we pinball from bar to bar. In close proximity there is a Czech pub, and a few doors up, a legendary Irish bar filled with trinkets and junk. The Guinness tastes like pond water, but the atmosphere is loud and lewd and primed for Friday. We end with a flourish, discovering U Fotografa with its arsenal of craft beer. If we started with a swagger it’s with a stagger that we finish. That night I sleep like I have been tranquilized. The next morning takes a musical theme. My head is drumming, and so too the rain. Then, to my alarm, along marches a military band, on their way to a parade in the park. If ever there was a time to draw the curtains and slither back to bed it is today. But sightseeing we must go. The castle is a largely underwhelming affair of dull portraits and historical ephemera, but we’re glad to be out of the wet, windy chill. There are surprises, as well. The 14th century Holy Trinity Chapel bursts forth in an orgy of Byzantine-style frescos. Biblical scenes are depicted with intricate brutality and, looking carefully, one can spot graffiti left behind by a 16th century bad ass. Further on, the devil’s paw print immortalized in local lore can be viewed from behind a Perspex screen. Exiting, we use a break in the rain to make the short journey to Majdanek concentration camp. While the city survived the war intact, its people did not. Under ashen skies we walk around gas chambers and barracks. Some 78,000 people are estimated to have died here, among that number much of the city’s Jewish population. The details are heart wrenching: in one field stands an elaborate concrete model of a Disney-esque castle. It was built by prisoners on Nazi orders in an attempt to impress a Red Cross delegation that conditions weren’t that bad. Of course they were, and the crematoria and the execution trenches are a stark reminder. Yet perhaps the most jarring aspect of it all is the close proximity of the city itself: tower blocks bristle against the skyline, staring down on the killing fields outside. After the maudlin atmosphere of Majdanek, it feels fitting that we sign off the weekend in Mandragora restaurant in the Old Town square. A bold attempt at reviving Jewish culture, this bustling venue has charisma in abundance: klezmer music plays above a constant chatter, while staff in headscarves scurry between tables. This is not a city that carries much culinary clout, but the food is delicious and worthy of praise. Hoisting the last beer of the trip, the toast is to Lublin and our swift return.
Clockwise from top left: ‘I wish Bristol Rovers fade away forever’; blast to the past in Mandragora; one we made earlier – St Michael’s Church; Lublin’s street scene; beer o’clock in U Szewca Irish pub
A NICE... CHIANTI
The inspirational creation of sibling restaurateurs Agnieszka Kręglicka and Marcin Kręglicki, Chianti has been thrilling Warsaw audiences for some 17 years.
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BROUGHT TO YOU BY CHIANTI
hile this longevity suggests a restaurant mired in the past it is anything but. On the contrary, it is Chianti’s ability to change with the times that has ensured such a glorious return on the original investment. “Even though this is an old restaurant,” says the manager, “we have restructured it both in terms of design and menu.” Work on the former has seen the restaurant transformed from a rustic grotto into a contemporary space composed of stripped wood, raw brick and polished surfaces. Further, the restaurant unravels into a bright, light room of ice white shades and warm colored rugs. It is an ambiance that encourages people to dally, and more so in summer with a terrace that looks onto the bustle of Foksal. Bursting with life in the summer, it doesn’t take too much Chianti before you begin drawing comparisons to a Mediterranean side street. This immersion experience is completed by the presence of Samuele Mariani. Arriving in Poland three years back (“it was for love,” he grins), Mariani re-hauled the menu, drawing on his time spent in some of Italy’s top kitchens. A man of considerable talent, his menu is an appreciation of Italian ingredients and fresh local produce. It is a celebration of the seasonal, and a toast to modernity. There’s a simplicity and style to his cooking, not to mention talent: each morning and each delivery brings new ideas. But above all, there is consistency and character. Inspired by the tastes of Lombardy and Tuscany, there is a quality control that ensures every meal is a success. Alongside this, both soul and skill are evident in the food. It is no wonder, therefore, Italian ex-pats flock. “When Italian guys say they feel at home,” says Mariani, “then I know something is right.” In Chianti’s case, it’s very right indeed.
“This immersion experience is completed by the presence of Samuele Mariani” Chianti ul. Foksal 17, tel. 22 828 0222, www.kregliccy.pl/chianti.php
FOODIE NEWS A collaboration between two of Warsaw’s best known restaurant blogs (restaurantica.pl and froblog.pl), Warsaw Foodie has emerged as the No. 1 site for local food related stories. Featuring all the latest from the foodie frontline, the bilingual Warsaw Foodie promises the hottest news on what’s trending on the restaurant radar. For more info, check: www.warsawfoodie.pl/en
Here We Cro
Located in Hotel Warszawianka on the shores of Lake Zegrze (ul. Jachranka 77, Serock), Yacht Club is an easy 40 minute drive from the center. In time for the new season the updated menu is rich in fish and seafood with dishes including swordfish carpaccio, Manhattan-style mussels, baked sea bass and cod fillet. Children are catered for by way of a separate menu, as well as a playroom and playground. The restaurant itself has a plush nautical look, and with lakeside views from the terrace, it could be the answer for a family day out.
New Arrival: Dwie Trzecie Consisting of a restaurant and tapas bar, chef Marcin Jabłoński has created a short, seasonally adjusted menu inspired by modern Mediterranean tastes. Drinks, meanwhile, are the work of Karol Bobiński, a member of the International School of Bartenders and Sommeliers. First impressions of Dwie Trzecie (Wilcza 50/52) have been positive, with sister blog Froblog writing: “an excellent first impression… I hope more such places open, and in the meantime I’ll return to collect more impressions.”
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Mama idzie na kawę is a month-long initiative aimed at mothers (and fathers!) and their kids. Running until June 15th, selected cafes and restaurants around Warsaw will be offering a 50% discount on coffee for parents with children up to ten from Monday till Friday, from 9-6 p.m. For a list of participating venues plus details on other discounts, check: mamaidzienakawe.pl
Found right next to Marymont metro station, Pobyku Steak & Bar (Gdańska 1) features a creative choice of burgers, including the Goat Burger, not to mention a separate steak menu that includes rib eye, roast beef and fillet mignon. More beefs options arrive in the form of carpaccio, chili con carne, tartar and beef bourguignon.
PHOTOGRAPHS FACEBOOK AND WARSAW FOODIE
New Arrival: Yacht Club
Croat owned and managed, Ba Adriatco (Al. Jana Pawła II 50/52) touts moderate prices and a healthy choice of seafood, among which are shrimp, mussels, squid and octopus. Find also traditional meaty dishes such as cevapcici and gurmanska pljeskavica, all of which are complimented by the selection of Croatian wine.
Reviews: Senses 37 / Le Victoria Brasserie Moderne 50 Plus:
* 17 updates
for past picks visit: www.warsawinsider.pl
AFRICAN 38 / AMERICAN 38 / ASIAN 38 / BALKAN & RUSSIAN 41 / BRITISH 42 / BURGERS 42 / CHEAP EATS 42 / COOKING SCHOOLS 66 / CUBAN 44 / FOOD SHOPS 65 / FRENCH 44 / GERMAN 44 / GREEK & TURKISH 44 / HOME DELIVERY 58 / INDIAN 46 / INTERNATIONAL 47 / ITALIAN 54 /JAPANESE & SUSHI 58 / LATIN 51 / MIDDLE EASTERN 60 / POLISH 60 / SCANDINAVIAN 65 / SEAFOOD 65 / WHOLE FOODS 66
h, I remember when this corner of Bielańska was a desperate, skeletal wreck; a war ruin left to silently rot. I never thought I’d see the day when it was revived – a betting man would have said never. But after a snowfall of magic money it’s been transformed – an award winning office block has risen and now, inside it, what could well become an award winning restaurant. The entrance alone is a thing of fancy and accessed through a long open-air corridor, one side flanked by the office block, the other by bullet grazed brickwork. Flickering flames dance on either side, the tall walls disappearing into the night sky above. You feel, almost, like you’re approaching Scaramanga’s secret lair. It’s a sensation that lingers a little longer, for at the door I’m greeted by one of those tall, Slavic Bond girls that leave you feeling like a clammy pervert. I am the opposite of refined cool as I pant something about having a reservation. The place itself is surprisingly open – the
design is muted, with the interior reflecting a quiet commitment to low-key luxury. Upstairs is where I’m led, and from my vantage point I peer over the side to see a section of glass flooring below, under which lie inter-bellum relics recovered during the construction phase. On the behest of the maître d’, I opt for the six course tasting menu (zł. 230): “it’s what I recommend for first-timers,” he confides, “it gives you the best idea of what our chef is about.” And just what is he about, you may ask. It’s a question I’m still pondering for what follows is an experience that challenges norms.
The bread alone is extraordinary, and includes an interesting apple essence applied via a teat pipette. There is eel, smoked at the table and served in a velvety combination of celeriac and onion. “That’s a favorite of mine,” smiles the waiter as he whisks away a dish that’s been fast rendered spotless. I love the foie gras as well, served on a slab of tree along with a cranberry sorbet. Although I am dining alone, there is a smile fixed to my face. I must look mad. Further successes arrive: duck with onion chutney and pepper mousse; a palette cleanser of iced beetroot topped with caviar; and finally, the coup de grace, swordfish with a side of asparagus and leek finished with squid ink. Out of nowhere emerges the chef. “Essence of the sea,” he announces, before leaving a container that billows a thick ocean mist all over the table. Heaven. The meal could finish there and then and I would be happy, but out come the sweets to seal the deal: cherry sorbet, yogurt parfait and coffee and poppy seed wafers. So, just who is the chef? Step forward Andrea Camastra, an Italian whose experience stretches to numerous Michelinstarred kitchens, including Warsaw’s Atelier Amaro. Comparisons to his former place of employment are inevitable, but can’t and should not be made. Senses is unique in its own right and should be afforded space to breathe before being anchored with such immense pressure. Already exceptional, given leeway it could grow even greater. (AW) Senses ul. Bielańska 12, tel. 22 331 9697, open Mon-Fri 12:00-14:30, 17:30-22:00; Sat 17:30-22:00, www.sensesrestaurant.pl
RESTAURANTS KEY $ zł. 30 (per main) $$ zł. 30-55 $$$ over zł. 55
Insider writers do not accept any form of payment in return for favorable reviews.
Best of Warsaw Award Winner 2013
AFRICAN Café Baobab (H4) ul. Francuska 31, tel. 22 617 4057, open 10:00-23:00, www.cafebaobab.pl Café
Baobab serves Senagelese classics like thiebu djen, mafe yap and yassa ginar. It’s adapted to Polish tastes, but say the word and authentic spiciness can appear. $ La MaMa Africa (C1) ul. Andersa 23, tel. 22 226 3505, open Mon 13:00-24:00; Tue-Thu 11:00-24:00; Fri-Sat 11:00-last guest; Sun 12:00-23:00, www. lamama.eu Things we like: African Star beer and the traditional stews. Things we don’t like: the goat meat. But that’s not a criticism of the cooking, rather an admission we don’t like goats in general – dead or alive. Those who don’t fancy experimenting with gizzards and heads make do with dishes like yam porridge or sweet and spicy coconut rice. It’s the very definition of casual, and something of a focal point for Warsaw’s African community. $$
Because Warsaw Just Got Hotter Classic Indian Cuisine With A Funky Twist ul. Zurawia 22, tel. 501 400 386, www.rain.pl
Brooklyn Restaurant & Bar (C4) Al. Jana Pawła II 18 (Rondo ONZ), tel. 22 114 3434, open Mon-Fri 8:00-23:00; Sat-Sun 10:00-23:00 Upstairs it’s a burger joint, one of Warsaw’s best. Downstairs, a modern American restaurant overseen by Jan Piecuch – former chef of Signature. Offering a different menu to the lunch-on-the-run options of upstairs, The monthly card is serious in its intent (there’s even a 5-course tasting menu), with well-marbled 21-day Hereford steak, dainty crab cakes and creative soups. $$ Champions Sports Bar (D5) Marriott Hotel, al. Jerozolimskie 65/79, tel. 22 630 5119, open 12:00-24:00, www. champions.pl While the concept and style look dated, there’s no faulting the attention to detail – wherever you look (aside from under the table), there’s a TV. The heavy décor brings to mind the trans-Atlantic sports bars of the 90s, with glinting trophies, whirring machines, clacking pool tables and a cacophony of commentaries. Hell, there’s even a boxing ring. But you can’t fault their consistency: the food is always on-point, the staff are pro, while the generous floor plan makes it suitable for unwieldy groups of large and loud lads. $$ Chicago’s (B4) ul. Żelazna 41, tel. 22 890 0999, open MonFri 9:00-24:00; Sat-Sun 12:00-24:00, www. chicagos.pl A TGI replica with one difference: it’s better. Filled with the requisite Route 66 Americana, the menu is as you’d expect: ribs,
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wings, burgers etc. $$ Hard Rock Café (C4) ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy), tel. 22 222 0700, open daily 9:00-24:00, www.hardrockcafe. pl Instantly recognizable by the giant neon guitar outside, Hard Rock has a pierced staff of skater boys and rock girls and a menu that is, if nothing else, completely reliable. Peruse rock’n’roll swag that includes Joplin’s blouse, Prince’s guitar and Shakira’s pants. $$ Jeff’s (B8) ul. Żwirki i Wigury 32 (Pole Mokotowskie Park), tel. 22 825 1650, open 9:00-24:00, www.jeffs.pl Head to Jeff’s for supersize portions from the ribs and wings class. Servings might be big, but don’t anticipate any further fireworks with regards to the food. $ Sioux (D4) ul. Chmielna 35, tel. 22 827 8255, open Mon-Thu 11:00-22:00; Fri & Sat 11:0023:00; Sun 11:00-22:00, www.sioux.com. pl You might want to point the shotgun hanging on the wall at the chef. Decorated with horseshoes and feather headdresses, the only reason to show up is to humor a nagging infant. Food-wise, it’s little more than a cowboy-themed version of Sphinx: mass market food for those who don’t know better. $$ Someplace Else (E5) Sheraton Hotel, ul. Prusa 2, tel. 22 450 6710, open Mon-Thu 12:00-01:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-02:00; Sun 12:00-24:00, www. someplace-else.pl Favoring a stark concrete look, SPE were once a legend of 90s/00s Warsaw. Things have tamed down since that ex-pat heyday, but this remains a noteworthy choice for live MOR rock and zippy Tex Mex food. $$
ASIAN Asia Tasty (C3) pl. Żelaznej Bramy 1, tel. 22 654 6120, open 9:00-21:00 One of the great secrets of culinary Warsaw – for those In The Know this is the place for cheap, cheerful Asian food. Not that it looks like much, this is as basic as interiors get; leave the hot date outside while you pick-up a takeout. $
Basil & Lime (E8) ul. Puławska 27, tel. 22 126 1943, open 11:00-23:00, www.basil-lime.pl Reports have been hit and miss, with one Insider
noting calamitous service and food that was both over and undercooked. Not on our visit, though. Short and to the point, the menu is defined by its clarity, and we enjoyed a phenomenal yellow curry and banana fritters with the right combo of crunch and goo. Beautifully decorated with charcoal colors and punches of lime, the Insider felt good long after visiting. Will you? $$ Canton (B2) ul. Smocza 1, tel. 22 838 3823, open daily 12:00-22:00, www.canton.warszawa.pl Here’s what Chinese restaurants used to look like in the days of Bruce Lee: filled with dragons and lanterns, this place is an outright assault on your sensory system. Wokking away for over a decade, it’s actually not a bad place if you want an MSG booster. The Gong Bao chicken gets approval. $$
Cesarski Pałac (D2) ul. Senatorska 27, tel. 22 827 9707, open Mon-Fri 12:00-23:00; Sat 12:3023:00; Sun 12:30-22:00, www.cesarskipalac.com A rouge tinted Chinese restaurant whose design even incorporates a footbridge. Widely acclaimed, this 18-year-old restaurant combines Sichuan and Cantonese cuisine to serve a variety of dishes in an elegant backdrop. The Dim Sum are something else. $$ China Garden ul. Kazachska 1, tel. 22 241 1010, open daily 12:00-22:00, www.chinagarden.pl Bull’s testicles boiled with soy sprouts. Goose jaws. Stewed bull’s penis with radish. Ah, these are meals for the brave. Allegedly the first Jiangsu restaurant in Warsaw, the tastes here are indeed unique. The China Garden isn’t the Imperial Palace, but the décor of straightbacked chairs and densely constructed wood tables casts an aura of formality. No lounging about here; serious eating is afoot! On the whole the dishes are delicate and delicious, and there are more cautious choices. Du-Za Mi-Ha (D4) ul. Widok 16, tel. 22 447 2424, open Mon-Sat 10:00-22:00; Sun 11:00-22:00 A compact Vietnamese joint noted for fresh, healthy nem filled with crunchy, perky fibers. The pho, on the other hand, is disappointing – according to one reader, “awful”. Prices begin at around zł. 10 and don’t go far north of zł. 20. You get what you pay for. $
Hanoi Pho (B3) Al. Solidarności 117, tel. 729 447 968, open Mon-Fri 10:00-22:00; 11:00-22:00, www. hanoipho.pl The cuisine of Vietnam is prolific in its representation in Warsaw, but by in large its food you wouldn’t feed a dog. In fact, in some cases you suspect that’s what the food is made of. Bucking the trend is Hanoi Pho, a light and modern eatery whose principal claim to fame are the excellent pho soups not to mention numerous noodle dishes, a few Thai surprises and their own-made tropical juices. $ InAzia (E5) ul. B. Prusa 2 (Sheraton Hotel), tel. 22 450 6705, open Mon-Sat 17:00-23:00; Sun 12:30-16:30, www.restauracja-inazia.pl “Blindingly good,” declares one reader, and indeed the pho soups and noodle dishes are of a high standard. Vietnamese cuisine doesn’t have the best reputation in this country, but Hanoi redresses the balance. The exhaustive menu also involves Thai dishes, which while unusually heavy represent value for money. $$$ Natara Old Town (D1) ul. Szeroki Dunaj 13, tel. 22 635 2501, open 11:00-23:00, www.natara.pl Set inside the Old Town walls, the setting is magical – from the outside. Inside, it’s all dowdy brown and plastic plants. Service, if you can call it that, teases patience to the max, but the food is fantastic. Everything we’ve tried on the menu goes right, not least the fiery red curry duck. Highly recommended. $$ Naam Thai ul. Saska 16, tel. 505 110 100, open Mon 16:00-23:00; Tue-Sat 12:00-23:00; Sun 13:00-21:30 Not to be defeated by the closure of Sunanta, Bangkok chef Chanunkan Dunagkumma makes a quick return to this cookery lark with Naam Thai. While spices have been blanded down to fit the local palette, it’s been a promising start. Look for the roast duck soup – made according to a closely guarded secret family recipe. $$ Papaya (E4) ul. Foksal 16, tel. 22 826 1199, open 12:00-24:00, www.papaya.waw.pl A place of precise lines and slick finishes, Papaya has a varied menu that uses influences from all over Asia, though particularly Thailand. But
Ryż i Ryba ul. Piękna 20 00-549 Warszawa Tel. +48 22 627 41 50 email@example.com, www.ryziryba.pl
RESTAURANTS the star attraction is Preecha Wongsomboon, a Thai chef who fuses cookery with cabaret from behind a teppanyaki grill – his skills draw gasps. But between the honking horns and nifty knife work it becomes clear this is no novelty show: the food is top notch. $$
Patera (C4) ul. Świętokrzyska 36, tel. 535 333 123, open Mon-Thu 11:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 11:00-1:00; Sun 11:00-23:00, www.patera.com.pl The center pin is a semi-circular bar, above which lamps hang from a ceiling made out of old Coca-Cola crates. There’s palm fronds, mismatching seats, cheerful colors, exposed pipes and industrial chains. Sacks of Haruka rice adorn one end, and on the other there’s floor-to-ceiling windows. It feels right, as does the food – a confident combination of sushi and Thai. We ordered fried beef, and were dealt a generous portion full of pleasing, punchy tastes, sticky rich and a deep, aromatic sauce. Just as good is the green tea
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ice cream, both cleansing and delicious. $$ Pekin Duck ul. Drawska 29A, tel. 22 412 8988, open 12:00-22:00, www.pekinduck.pl Looks like a typical Chinese – i.e., like a 1980s New Year’s Eve ball – and the service is carnage; expect lots of miscommunication and truculent attitude. The food isn’t bad, though it’d be interesting to know how many pigs feet they actually ever sell. $$ Shabu Shabu Hot Pot (D6) ul. Mokotowska 27, tel. 535 685 750, open 12:00-22:30. shabu-shabu.pl Each table has its own set of hot pots installed and once you choose your broth and extras, you are the master of your own culinary destiny. We chose some seafood and some greens and were served a dish that was not quite a pad thai, but incredibly tasty all the same. A simple meal, but satisfying nonetheless. $$ Silk & Spicy (D5) ul. Żurawia 16/20, tel. 22 629 7012, open Mon-Fri 11:00-23:00; Sat-Sun 12:00-2:00,
www.silkandspicy.pl If you don’t benchmark Silk & Spicy against what you’d eat in Asia (and you really shouldn’t), then you might enjoy it. “The curry was on taste-wise,” said our disappointed graphic, “but the cream cheese didn’t work in the sushi and the kmichi-style salad served at the beginning was very pedestrian for such a place.” $ Spring Roll (D4) ul. Szpitalna 3, tel. 519 828 788, open MonFri 11:00-22:00; Sat 12:00-23:00 Baleful ballads and twangy cover versions of Bryan Bloody Adams set the mood in this eatery. The signature dish – spring rolls – doesn’t go beyond six out of ten, so what hope the rest of the menu? The teriyaki chicken should be renamed teriyaki chicken giblets, and comes with the addition of the worst ingredient ever devised: steamed cauliflower. Ergh. Suddenly, all those empty seats make sense. $ Suparom Thai (D6) ul. Marszałkowska 45/49, tel. 22 627 1888, open daily 11:00-23:00, www.suparomthaifood.pl Lovely interior with Siamese gold
ornaments and gleaming dark wood. The shrimp cakes are always worth a try. $$ Suparom Thaifood II al. Wilanowska 309, tel. 22 853 3087, open 10:00-21:00, www.suparomthaifood. pl Tiny, when compared to its parent on Marszałkowska, and distinctly unassuming. Suparom’s green curry is the ‘best in the world’ according to one reader, and while such a superlative begs for a challenge, none is forthcoming – not from us, anyhow. $$ Thai Thai (C2) Pl. Teatralny 3, tel. 601 818 283, open 12:0023:00, www.thaithai.pl Sanad Changpuen, a man widely credited with popularizing Thai food in Poland, returns to Warsaw with predictable results: the food is a hit. And what a space this acclaimed chef has been blessed with: gold vaulted ceilings lend a muted glow to a largely black-on-black space; from the walls, serene looking Buddha’s peer on diners down below. At once, the soothing interiors ease guests into a state of inner peace while Sanad does the rest. $$
Toan Pho (D4) ul. Chmielna 5/7, tel. 888 147 307, open Mon-Fri 9:30-21:30, Sat-Sun 10:00-21:30 Toan Pho’s bowls of soup with rice noodles come highly recommended; as does the chaos intrinsic to this type of casual Asian eatery. The short menu is in Vietnamese with Polish decoding – although you can ask for an English version. $ Why Thai (E5) ul. Wiejska 13, tel. 22 625 7698, open Sun-Thu 12:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-24:00, www.whythai.pl A fresh attractive look, an authentic chef and a menu that doesn’t waffle on for pages and pages. But there’s something missing here, with the flavors not quite hitting the levels one expects. $$ Yummy (D5) ul. Krucza 16/22, tel. 797 830 639, open 10:00-21:00, www.restauracjayummy.pl A naff name and empty interiors are enough to deter some people – don’t join their ranks. Dishes here are uncomplicated but never cease to impress in that classic comfort
food way. We swear by the orange chicken. Looking modern, minimal and a cut above the other budget Asian eateries, it’s a decent choice for an informal meal. $
BALKAN & RUSSIAN Banja Luka (E8) ul. Szkolna 2/4, tel. 22 828 1060, open Mon-Sat 12:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-22:00, www.banjaluka.pl Numerous meaty dishes from Serbia and Croatia are served inside Banja Luka, a Warsaw stalwart who’ve moved with the times and... moved. The new, central location is as pleasing as the last, with lots of clunky timber and imported ceramics. $$ Gemo ul. Minska 25 (Soho Factory), tel. 22 468 1876, open 12:00-22:00, www.gemorestaurant.pl At last, a Georgian restaurant without gnarled furniture and peasant fabrics. Located inside Soho Factory, Gemo has a severe, industrial style accented further by steel lights and exposed pipework. The
RESTAURANTS menu is modestly priced, yet includes several dishes to return for: e.g. the szaszlyk. $ U Madziara (B3) ul. Chłodna 2/18, tel. 22 620 1423, open Mon 11:30-20:00; Tue & Wed 11:30-21:00; Thu & Fri 11:30-22:00; Sat 12:00-22:00; Sun 12:00-21:00, www.umadziara.pl U Madziara looks like it took two days to decorate. No-one goes here to marvel at the interiors though, they go in the knowledge that they’ll find great food at prices that all bank accounts can support. On a grim sleety day, chef Gabor’s signature goulash makes winter not just manageable, but welcome! $
BRITISH British Bulldog (D4) ul. Krucza 51, tel. 22 827 0020, open 11:00-1:00, www.bbpub.pl The pub design is wonderful, and straight out of Midsummer Murders with its Chesterfield sofas and Cutty Sark mirrors. But it’s been a downhill disaster since they lost the original management team. What could have become Poland’s original gastro pub now serves greasy burgers and, judging by the stench at the bar, lots of food that’s way over-fried. $$ Legends (C5) ul. Emilii Plater 25, tel. 22 622 4640, open Mon-Fri 11:00-last guest; Sat-Sun 10:00-last guest, www.legendsbar.pl It’s a British pub first and foremost, but don’t forego the kitchen either. The all-day breakfast is a great way to stoke up your drinking powers, while other dishes of note inc. pies, sausages and mash and, of course, fish and chips. $$
Barn Burger (D4) ul. Złota 9. tel. 512 157 567, open Mon-Fri 12:00-22:00; Sat 13:00-22:00; 13:00-21:00, www.barnburger.pl Retaining a loyal crowd ever since their 2012 entrance on the burger circuit, the quality just doesn’t seem there anymore. The quantity is though, with BB entertaining eating competitions and serving Warsaw’s biggest burgers. $
Brooklyn Burgers & Wings (D4) ul. Nowy Świat 36, tel. 22 270 2144, open Sun-Thu 12:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-4:00; Sun 12:00-23:00 People come here in droves, lured by a menu finessed by American / Polish chef Alan Bohinski. Not here meat and
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ketchup explosive devices that detonate all over your trousers, instead find neatly formed burgers made with prime Polish beef that’s ground onsite. And while you won’t need them, it’s a nice touch that they come served with disposable gloves. Delicious homemade sauces, ribs and wings add to the draw. $ Bydło i Powidło (A5) ul. Kolejowa 47, tel. 22 400 48 44, open Mon-Sat 12:00-22:00; Sun 12:00-21:00 Set in a modern glass prism, here’s a place that’s realized you can’t get away with just serving burgers anymore (though here, they’re very good indeed). Unfortunately, the steak part of the menu just isn’t there yet. Ćwierćfunciak (C1) ul. Andersa 30, tel. 799 328 822, open Mon-Thu 12:00-21:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-22:00; Sun 13:00-21:00 Hidden in the gastronomic wasteland of Muranów, the impossibly named Ćwierćfunciak impresses with slathers of gloriously fresh ingredients, not to mention complimentary sides of hand-cut chips. Ranked in the Insider’s Top 5 best burger joints, that the resident beers are sourced from Pinta earns this friendly local a few extra points. $
Kitchen (D4) ul. Widok 8, tel. 22 464 8284, open MonWed 7:30-23:00; Thu-Fri 7:30-1:00; Sat 9:00-1:00; Sun 9:00-20:00, www. burgerkitchen.pl Formerly Burger Kitchen, the recent name change indicates a conscious shift towards other cuisines. Not that they’ve forgotten what it was that made them famous in the first place. Poland’s No. 1 burgers are still here, and widely acclaimed for their indestructible architecture, brioche buns, homemade ketchup and fine meat. $ Warburger (E9) ul. Dąbrowskiego 1. Open Mon-Sat 12:0020:00; Sun 12:00-19:00, www.warburger.pl Forget Year of the Dragon, 2012 was Year of the Burger – or more specifically, Year of the WarBurger. Edging the competition (at least till Burger Kitchen came along), this diminutive little cabin wins eulogies across the board for base-level prices, super friendly service and pimped up burgers that use gourmet ingredients. $
Ziggi Point (B4) ul. Pańska 59, tel. 696 145 735, open Mon-Sat
12:00-22:00; Sun 12:00-20:00 The use of artisan bread and burgers based primarily on rib-eye make this newcomer a standout. We’re promised more additions to the menu, including ribs. Watch this space.
CHEAP EATS Diner 55 (D5) ul. Żurawia 32/34 Set in a dark, industrial basement, they’ve clearly got the younger 20s crowd in mind – from the speakers hip hop thugs brag about putting caps in your “mother f@ck!ng n!gga’ ass.” But the menu, an alliance between Pan Burger, Rico’s Tacos and Mr. Pancake is fabulous, with the tacos our major highlight. $ Groole (D6) ul. Śniadeckich 8, tel. 795 633 626, open Mon-Sat 12:00-22:00; Sun 12:00-20:00, www.groole.pl You’ll find potatoes served everywhere in Poland, just not in the way we like them: i.e., with a crunchy, crispy skin and lots of hot, melted goo. Groole fill that gap with jacket spuds loaded with toppings such as spicy cherry tomatoes or chicken curry. A revelation! $ Hummus Bar (B4) ul. Żelazna 64, tel. 723 058 223, open 11:00-19:00, www.hummsubar.pl Much like the lime green interior, the concept is simple and straightforward: hummus, falafel and fresh pitta breads served to a busy lunchtime crowd. There’s nothing more to say other than it's utterly delicious. $ Justyna’s Secret Recipes (C4) ul. Marszałkowska 138, open Mon-Fri 7:0021:00; Sat-Sun 10:00-21:00. www.jsecretrecipes.com We’re told Justyna was inspired by the Pret-a-Manger chain. Whatever the case, you just can’t fault her sandwiches which are fixed using proper imported bacon, organic sundries, and the freshest of bread. The delivery service is highly recommended for desk-bound officebots. $ La Farine Al. Jana Pawła II 41A, tel. 793 92210, open Mon-Sat 10:00-22:00; Sun 12:0020:00, lafarine.pl Traditional-style Lebanese flat breads cooked to perfection inside a narrow little space which many passers-by confuse with a kebab shop – whatever you do, don’t do that yourself. Instead, think of it as Lebanese style pizza, only better. For after, try the sweet kaak bread. $
Secluded and exclusive, Rain’s seasonal terrace is pure and peerless as an al fresco venue for cosmopolitan cocktails and the tastes of India. Our cuisine can be sampled from either home or the office. Our Mon-Fri Tiffins deal offers a choice of two curries, raita and rice for zł. 25 – including delivery. Rain by India Curry ul. Żurawia 22, tel. 22 438 9350, www.rain.pl
RESTAURANTS Manekin (C3) ul. Marszalkowska 140, tel. 22 826 0753, open Sun-Thu 10:00-22:00; Fri-Sat 10:0023:00, www.manekin.pl Originally founded in Toruń, this pancake house chain is a national phenomenon – at times, queues for a table snake outside. The menu touts dozens of pancake options served in sweet and savory form (there’s even a spaghetti version…), and most agree they’re worth the ridiculous waiting times - waits in excess of 20 minutes (and considerably more) are the norm. $ Meat Love (D5) ul. Hoża 62, tel. 500 149 210, open Mon-Thu 10:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 10:00-last guest; Sun 12:00-22:00, www.meatlove.pl An artisan sandwich stop that’s entered via a clattering door and a plunging set of steps. In the past you could have described Meat Love as almost Middle Earth in spirit – all wooden crates and tight little spaces. Now though, they’ve knocked a wall through, opening the space up considerably. No changes on the menu though, just premium, slow-cooked meat stuck between fresh, fragrant baguettes. The blush colored roast beef will make your knees tremble. $ Mr Pancake (E3) ul. Solec 50, tel. 501 237 461, open MonSat 11:00-10:00; Sun 12:00-8:00, www.mrpancake.pl You’re just going to love their pancakes, with their fun, wacky look and creative toppings (M&Ms, funny faces traced with icing sugar, and lots of chocolatey stuff). They’re the sort of pancakes you’d get if Bart Simpson got stoned and decided to make some food – brilliant. $ To Tu Dumpling Bar ul. Niekłańska 33, open 11:00-20:00, www.chinskapierogarnia.pl A shabby looking shack cabin, To Tu offer what are seriously considered some of the best – if not the best – dim sum in town. Magic-ked up by a Manchurian exile, the experience isn’t unlike being in a sweaty back street haunt in Asia. And that’s a good thing! $
Mon-Fri 11:00-21:00; Sat-Sun 11:00-22:00; Sun 12:00-19:00 Imported German sausages served through a hole-in-a-wall with big dabs of mustard and fresh buns to go with them. The currywurst is just like the one you had at Berlin Hauptbahnhof. $
CUBAN El Caribe ul. Mickiewicza 9, tel. 22 400 0994. Open Mon-Thu 12:30-24:00; Fri-Sat 12:30-1:00; Sun 12:30-22:30 Start with a round of daiquiris before ordering frijoles negroes (black beans). But everyone agrees, it’s the flan that gets you doing the cha cha. With the cooking left to a Cuban exile, this perky spot is worth the trip north to Żoliborz. $$
ArtBistro Stalowa ul. Stalowa 52, tel. 22 618 2732, www. stalowa52.pl, open Mon-Fri 12:00-22:00; Sat-Sun 10:30-22:00 Part of an ‘art hotel’, the distant Stalowa features a narrow dining chamber with vaulted walls, fresh flowers and white formica fittings. It looks good, but on a brighter day the courtyard, strewn with deckchairs and crates, is the place to be. The food is erratic – our vol au vent starter was dry and devoid of taste, while the chocolate ‘cream’ dessert was a runny, ugly looking disappointment. But there is potential: the main was a thing of excellence – duck with a carefully crisped skin, a perfect hint of fat, expertly browned potatoes and a wellexecuted orange and caramel sauce. $$
Wheel Meal www.facebook.com/wheelmealpl A Mexican food truck whose location varies with the day – check their Facebook. They’re worth tracing as the burritos are certainly a candidate for Warsaw’s best: and the sauces tingle as well. $ Wurst Kiosk (H4) ul. Zwycięzców 17, tel. 606 133 134, open
Bistro Pigalle (D5) ul. Hoża 41 (enter from Poznańska), tel. 881
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L’Arc (E8) ul. Puławska 16, tel. 519 000 050, open 10:00-last guest, www.larc.pl A place of considered elegance, subtle decorations and monochrome colors. They’re especially noted for their obsessive attitude to seafood (pick from five types of oysters, or delve into the fish tank for the lobster of your choosing), inventive mains and desserts that are heaven. $$
Bistro La Cocotte ul. Mokotowska 12, tel. 664 906 000, open 10:00-23:00. With access through a shadowy courtyard, the sensation you’re stepping inside a little secret is a pleasure in itself. Presenting itself in a riot of red and white gingham Cocotte feels warm and intimate, a factor aided by a small open kitchen and the atmosphere of home. The menu is a flexible affair that makes use of the ingredients at hand, and is divided into a smattering of light bites, desserts and plat du jour. Over two visits we’ve enjoyed both the beef carbanade and moules mariniere.
000 182 They say it takes six months for a restaurant to find its feet: Pigalle needs that six months for our first visit was a disaster – smeared, smudged fittings and steak so undercooked you could hear it moo. But we’re already hearing of improvements and fixes being made so there’s hope yet for this newborn restaurant. $$
Le Bistro Rozbrat ul. Rozbrat 44, tel. 22 881 7808, open 12:00-24:00. The signs suggest that Powiśle is set to mature in 2014, making the transition from hipster haunt to restaurant breeding ground – and here is Exhibit A. Owned by Frenchman Alain Budzyk, the interiors are contemporary casual, with talking points saved for the food. The concise menu has token nods to Spanish cuisine, as well as a steak bavette that’s being raved about on the blogs. $$
GERMAN Adler (E5) ul. Mokotowska 69, tel. 22 628 73 84, open Mon-Fri 12:00-23:00; Sat-Sun 12:00-24:00, www.adlerrestauracja.pl Set in a rustic rotunda, this veteran favorite packs in reassuringly caloric portions of pork knuckles, schnitzel and dumplings – all of a sudden, you understand why Helmut Kohl looks so large. Foaming beers served by Bavarian country maids complete the authenticity. $
GREEK & TURKISH
Paros (D4) ul. Jasna 14/16, tel. 22 828 1067, open 12:00-last guest, www.paros-restauracja.pl Out of all of Warsaw’s Greek contributions Paros dazzles most, with a glitzy look that’s a complete U-turn from the typical taverna look. Owned by the same team behind El
RESTAURANTS Greco, the menu is identical, though a recent visit revealed a kitchen resting on its laurels – not one plate on our table was finished. $$ Santorini ul. Egipska 7, tel. 22 672 0525, open daily 12:00-23:00, www.kregliccy.pl/santorini.php Santorini looks scuffed and tired but there’s a bonhomie present that instantly engages. The kitchen attaches no value to things like presentation, preferring instead to simply treat diners to piles of grilled and skewered food that consistently tastes right – and the milefi dessert is magic. $$ Sofra (C6) ul. Wilcza 71, tel. 731 847 731, open MonThu 10:00-23:00; Fri & Sat 10:00-24:00; Sun 10:00-22:00 On the design front it’s almost a straight plagiary of Charlotte: white brickwork, blackboard, communal table. So the surprise here is the food – Turkish. And not just any Turkish, but brilliant Turkish! It’s nothing fancy, but there’s a real honest quality to the moussaka and lamb and beef in tomato sauce. And the desserts are a real spoiler as well. $
INDIAN Bombaj Masala (B3) Al. Jana Pawła II 23, tel. 606 688 777, open 11:00-23:00, www.bombajmasala.pl Ringed by offices and five star hotels, Bombaj Masala thrives in its role as an upmarket Indian restaurant – and yes, it’s nice to see
Indian restaurants moving away from the Santa’s Grotto look. For all that, most agree Bombaj is over-priced and over-rated. $$
Buddha (D4) ul. Nowy Świat 23, tel. 22 826 3501, open Sun-Thu 11:0023:00; Fri&Sat 11:00-24:00, www.buddha.info.pl The days of the Raj are recreated in Buddha, a finelooking curry house with intricate interiors and top-drawer curries. The murgh masala jhodphur is a favorite of ours though the real plus here is the consistency: it’s always a solid bet. $ Chmielarnia (B4) ul. Twarda 42 (basement level), tel. 725 010 271, open Mon-Thu 11:00-24:00; Fri 11:00-2:00; Sat 12:00-2:00; Sun 11:0024:00, www.chmielarnia.waw.pl Not only does Chmielarnia house some of the world’s best beers (see Nightlife), but also – as the shrine by the door may suggest – a very good restaurant. Sure, you’re eating in a dark and loud beer cellar (to us that’s a bonus), but the Nepalese chef Ram knows what he’s doing. And aside from Indian and Nepalese staples, there’s a menu tailor-made for the beer swiggers. $ Curry House ul. Żeromskiego 81, tel. 508 870 774 & al. Ken 47, tel. 22 213 0689, open daily 11:00-22:00, curryhouse.com.pl A primitive design (port-a-loo toilet, barred windows) and
far-flung location have not hindered Curry House one bit. It’s a legend, not least for their vindaloo – a macho dish that provokes spontaneous combustion. Be warned: no beer. $ Ganesh (E7) ul. Marszałkowska 10/16, tel. 22 416 4162, open 12:00-24:00, www.ganesh.pl Vast and usually empty the new Ganesh lacks the intimacy of the previous outpost on Wilcza and already looks a little scuffed and tired. While other Indian giants such as Rain and Tandoor have reinvented and rebooted themselves Ganesh plug away with an old menu of standard (and occasionally sub-standard) dishes. With excellence assured in Tandoor round the corner, you wouldn’t bet on Ganesh filling their million vacant tables. $$ Madras Al. Solidarnosci 129/131, tel. 536 335 333, open 11:00-22:00. While it looks cheap, cramped and rather claustrophobic Madras has been installed as our No. 1 source of curry since opening late last year. There are softer options available, but for a proper winter tickler then look no further than the vindaloo: even your hair will feel like it’s on fire. As the burning euphoria subsides, you’re left basking in that blissful, euphoric glow all hotheads will know. $ Mr India Al. KEN 47, tel. 22 213 0689, open Mon-Sat 10:00-22:00; Sun 12:00-22:00, www. mrindia.pl Opened by the creators of Curry
Domaniewska 34A, Warszawa, +48 22 223 64 34 www.theharvest.pl
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House, Mr India touts the same menu but an interior that’s a substantial upgrade to its older sibling. As with the original, the spicy dishes could floor an elephant. It’s become a lifeline for Brits shipwrecked in Ursynów. $$ Namaste India (D1 & D5) ul. Piwna 12/14, tel. 22 635 7766, open 10:30-23:00, ul. Nowogrodzka 27, tel. 22 357 0939, open Mon-Thu 11:00-22:30; Fri-Sat 11:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-22:00, www.namasteindia.pl A ferociously loyal customer base proclaim this as their favorite curry in town. Highly recommended, find the original, more modest version on Nowogrodzka, and a (very) slightly more upmarket offering in Old Town. $ Rain by India Curry (D5) ul. Żurawia 22, tel. 22 438 9350, open Mon-Sun 12:00-23:00, www.rain.pl Fresh, contemporary interiors impart a chic, classy look, while the shaded courtyard garden is one of the best about town. The real credit for Rain’s resuscitation though belongs to the kitchen: our curry expert rates the starters as the best he’s had in any Indian restaurant. And the mains continue the form with a magnificent lamb tikka masala. The tiffins lunch deals are outstanding as well. $$ Tandoor (D7) ul. Marszałkowska 21/25, tel. 22 825 2375, open 12:00-22:30, www.tandoor.com.pl After nearly 20 years at the helm, owner Charanjit Walia has sold up and moved on, leaving a spiritual hole in his life-defining work. His parting shot has been a re-haul which has seen not just the interior modernized, but the menu – start with the pea and basil soup before moving onto the chicken tamarind or the chicken sholay kebab. Coated in absinth, it’s set aflame at the table. Traditionalists will also approve: the ‘classic’ menu features a formidable chicken tikka butter masala. After a couple of years in the doldrums, Tandoor is back with a bang. $$
INTERNATIONAL & FUSION 4/Czwarte ul. Piaseczynska 71, tel. 22 100 3139, open daily 9:00-21:00, www.4czwarte. pl 4/Czwarte sits smack in the middle of Warszawianka’s 29 tennis courts. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it can be rather motivating to eat and drink to the plop of the tennis balls. Chef Kinga Araucz brings a fresh eye to food in Warsaw, and her modern menu
combines well with the pleasantly congenial atmosphere and sharp interior. $$ 12 Stolików ul. Krucza 16/22, tel. 795 373 815, open 9:00-23:00 Affecting a boutique style, the look here is clean, crisp and scattered with lifestyle titles. And forming the central element is the kitchen – yes, here’s a place that promotes cooking as a form of theater. The menu is chalked on a board, and while the aglio e olio was overcooked, the big guns came out for the steak: a very decent piece of meat. Enjoyable enough, though nothing particularly memorable. $$ Akademia (E9) ul. Różana 2, tel. 22 828 99 11, open MonSat 12:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-18:00, www. restauracjaakademia.pl The most high profile launch of 2013, with whole sections of the street blocked off to keep the beautiful people from being molested by the public. But while the prevailing attitude is snooty, chef Grzegorz Nowakowski has done an excellent job on an artfully simple menu that fits seamlessly with the white-on-white interiors. $$ A Nóż (D9) ul. Różana 30, tel. 608 386 388, open daily 9:00-23:00, www.anoz.pl ‘A Jack of all trades, master of none,’ you might think. You’d be wrong. Burgers, pastas, Asian-inspired salads, and pizzas are represented, and while some dishes require fine-tuning, the overall impression is positive. Paired with a cool, typically Warsaw interior (white, white, white), the owners have a real success story on their hands. $
A modern, urban cocktail bar, which in addition to the full range of spirits and exotic composition drinks and cocktails will delight with its sophisticated sushi and delicious Thai cuisine. An attractive location in the center, right by Rondo ONZ, makes us an easy platform for lunch meetings, business dinners and evening visits. Our casual atmosphere, industrial design and professional, friendly service guarantees a great time. ul. Świętokrzyska 36 patera.com.pl tel. 535 333 123
Autorskie Bistro & Cafe ul. Św. Wincentego 95/3, tel. 531 510 460, open Mon 12:00-22:00; Tue-Sun 10:0022:00 You can tell Warsaw’s in the midst of a foodie revolution when even far flung Targówek has a restaurant of note. In charge of the kitchen is Piotr Wielgo, former head chef at the US Embassy, and his menu is a modern, international affair (with several Polish touches) that celebrates local, seasonal ingredients. The sirloin is a standout, and served inside a light, chic interior dotted with images of old Targówek. $$ Boathouse ul. Wał Miedzeszyński 389a, tel. 22 616 3223, open Mon-Sat 12:00-22:00; Sun 12:00- 18:00, www.boathouse.pl For the supersize treatment head to Boathouse, a leviathan restaurant set in three acres of
RESTAURANTS parkland. The menu is Mediterranean in style with strong hints of Italian, though how they fare having lost their French chef Luc remains to be seen. $$ Brasserie Warszawska (E5) ul. Górnośląska 24, tel. 22 628 9423, open Mon 12:00-22:00; Sat 12:00-22:00; Sun 12:00-20:00, www.brasseriewarszawska.pl A posh looking bistro whose credentials are supported by crisp shirted staff, gleaming surfaces and zinc mirrors. The Fine de Claire oysters on a bed of fennel are outstanding, but what catches the attention of the ex-pats is the English influence of an owner who once
managed The Grill at London’s Dorchester Hotel. The Friday fish & chips win emphatic approval. The Sunday roast lacks gravy and consistency, and you may find yourself asking for extra red wine sauce to moisten the Yorkshire Pudding – but it’s worth the chance; when everything goes right it’s utterly victorious. $$$ Butchery & Wine (D5) ul. Żurawia 22, tel. 22 502 3118, open Mon-Sat 12:00-22:00, www. butcheryandwine.pl Has it really been that long? Opened to wide acclaim in 2011, Butchery & Wine stirred Warsaw’s appetite for
quality red meat. Served on wooden boards by staff in butchers aprons, the steaks are beyond reproach and the wine list suited to the meat fest in front. Many hail this as Poland’s best steak, and you can definitely see where they’re coming from. $$ Bydło i Poidło (D5) ul. Krucza 16/22, tel. 22 434 2216, open Mon-Thu 12:00-24:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-24:00; Sun 13:00-21:00 Filled with rawhide and industrial undertones, this grown-up version of Bydło i Powidło (see Burgers), has its accent on more high-end meats: and by that we mean steaks. Hopefully, they’re an improvement on the ones served by their sister – we’ll be visiting soon to see. $$ Central Park ul. Belwederska 13, tel. 22 400 8048, open Mon-Fri 8:00-22:00, Sat-Sun 9:00-22:00, www.centralparkwarsaw.pl This is what happens when you faff about for months – much hyped, Central Park just hasn’t met expectations. Fine as a neighborhood hangout, this is an eatery that buys into the trend of natural, quality produce. But we’ve seen it all before, and it does little to stand apart from the crowd. $$ Concept 13 (D4) ul. Bracka 9, tel. 22 310 7373, open Mon-Sat 11:00-23:00; Sun 11:00-16:00 Perched on the fifth floor of the Vitkac luxury department store, Concept 13 has a look that’d be approved of by any lifestyle mag: hardwood floors, glass and plenty of open spaces. The menu is contemporary and cleverly direct: five course set lunch menus from zł. 50, served between 11:00 and 16:00. Modern designer dining rarely gets better. $$$ Der Elefant (C3) Pl. Bankowy 1, tel. 22 890 0010, open 12:0024:00, www.derelefant.com A Titanic-sized restaurant with a disorganized menu that appears to have been devised by throwing darts at a cookbook: Mediterranean mezze, Tom Yum soup, burgers, pierogi, etc. But if the menu is blurry, the cooking isn’t: it’s average/ acceptable to very good. The interiors are a maze of wrought iron and monochrome tiles, and frequently pack out to the rafters with families and other unwieldy groups. $$ Downtown Restaurant (C4) ul. Emilii Plater 49 (InterContinental Hotel, level 2), tel. 22 328 8745, open Mon-Fri for Breakfast 6:30-10:00; Sat 6:30-11:00, 12:00-15:00, 18:00-23:00; Sat 12:00-
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16:00, Sunday Brunch 12:30-16:00, dinner 18:00-23:00 There’s now a few candidates for Warsaw’s best steak, and Downtown have certainly upped the erm, stakes, with their new menu. Yes, the doors of Downtown are a gateway to heaven – particularly true if, like us, your vision of heaven is a rich green field filled with fat, juicy cows. But don't for one moment assume the offer ends with cows. Now added to their menu are other animalitos like kangaroo. $$$ Duchnicka Wine & Food ul. Duchnicka 3, tel. 22 320 2989, open Mon-Sat 12:00-23:00, duchnickawinebar. com Michał Budnik, a rising star with a bright future ahead, excels in this loft-style warehouse. His menu includes cappuccino soup, and a totally triumphant rack of lamb. $$
Dwie Trzecie ul. Wilcza 50/52, tel. 605 589 588, open 12:00-24:00 Chef Marcin Jabłoński has created a winning menu that pairs modern inspirations and presentation with top-quality, natural produce. The hanger steak is a highlight, served with tender white carrots, asparagus, sweet peas and liquefied potatoes. There’s been an explosion of eateries that are both causal and affordable, but this is our favorite thus far. Full review next issue. $$ Haka (D4) ul. Bracka 20, open 12:00-24:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-last guest. Yes it’s a bar, but there is a talent in the kitchen that elevates it beyond
just normal bar standard. That’s Shane, a New Zealander whose put a London past to good use by coming up with an evolving menu that’s seen such items as kangaroo steak, five spiced pork belly and modern interpretations of British classics: shepherd’s pie, for instance. $$ The Harvest (L12) Domaniewska 34A (Ambassador Office Building), tel. 660 750 600, open Mon-Thu 12:00-24:00, Fri Sat 12:00-last guest, www. theharvest.pl A muted design of charcoal colors and concrete surfaces sets the scene for an upmarket experience exclusively enjoyed by the suit and tie brigade. Despite the corporate circle jerk, some of the food is bewilderingly good – the filet Rossini is pure luxury. True, you get the idea that chef Robert Trzópek (formerly El Bulli, Noma), has been told, “look bud, no crazy stuff out there,” but the lack of innovation is a minor quibble. We’ve been told once this newbie settles a bit to expect a more creative tasting menu. $$$ Hoża by Mondovino (D5) ul. Hoża 25A, tel. 603 778 275, open Mon-Sat 12:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-21:00 Wine and steak: it sounds so simple, but Hoża have taken two simple pleasures to another level. It’s a vibrant space with service right out of charm school, and a kitchen team with a real knowledge of cows. A red blooded affair, the menu is a steak sensation and well paired with a handpicked wine list. $$
Jasna 24 (D4) ul. Jasna 24, tel. 22 447 24 41, open Mon-Fri 11:00-23:00; Sat 12:00-23:00; Sun 12:0020:00, www.jasna24.pl Slick, modern and loungey in look, Jasna 24 has a creative menu that include the use of deliciously unexpected combinations. Roll up on Wednesday’s if you prefer your dinner served with a slice of live music. $$ Jolibord 33 ul. Potocka 33, tel. 690 306 005, open Mon 12:00-22:00; Tue-Sun 10:00-22:00, www. jolibord33.pl There’s a continental climate to Jolibord 33, a place whose name refers to district’s French connection (Żoliborz comes from the French, Joli Bord – or green bank). The menu is more democratic in choice though, with international offerings that stretch from thick Hungarian meat stew to beautiful ricotta pancakes. The causal bistro style has been a hit with the locals. $$ Kaskrut (D6) ul. Poznańska 5, tel. 22 622 5438, open Mon-Sun 12:00-15:00, 17:00-23:00, www. facebook.com/dwichlab Referred to by some as the “poor man’s Atelier Amaro”, this haunt has a high communal seating plan and a hip, buzzy foodie crowd: fit in by taking pics of the food. The exciting menu is a temporary work that changes every two weeks – sometimes faster. The chef is known for his trial-and-error attitude: combinations that don’t work get binned before making a public debut. Those that make it through the qualifiers end up on the board. Servings are artistic, excellent
RESTAURANTS and heavily influenced by French and North African cuisine. Go there. $$ BEST WAWA 2013 "Casual Design"
Kitchen (D4) ul. Widok 8, tel. 22 464 8284, open Mon-Wed 7:30-23:00; Thu-Fri 7:30-1:00; Sat 9:00-1:00; Sun 9:00-20:00, www.burgerkitchen.pl What was once Burger Kitchen has had a name change to reflect a new direction that encompasses Italian polpo and handmade ravioli, an aged meat selection, not to mention a few Middle Eastern and Asian influences inspired by chef
Tomek Woźniak’s global travels. Outstanding quality, a casual ambience and an avowed commitment to natural ingredients make it a must. And, FYI, Warsaw’s best burgers will remain on the menu. La Rotisserie (C1) ul. Kościelna 12 (Le Régina Hotel), tel. 22 531 6070, open Mon-Fri 6:30-10:30, 12:00-23:00; Sat-Sun 7:00-11:00,12:0023:00, www.leregina.com Truly, one of the standout dining rooms of Poland. Many have commented on the Michelin quality of chef Paweł Oszczyk’s restaurant, and you may consider the lack of a star one of the puzzles
of the modern world. The cooking is ‘classic with a twist’, and is built for superlatives: the slow-roasted rack of Welsh lamb was one of our highlights of 2013. Find Oszczyk ably supported by Andrzej Strzelczyk, Poland’s top ranked sommelier, and wonderfully BEST WAWA 2013 charismatic staff. $$$ "Chef" Magiel Café ul. Stępińska 2, tel. 22 841 0016, open Mon-Sat 12:00-last guest; Sun 10:00-18:00, www.magielcafe.pl Set with gingham tablecloths, antiques and launderette detritus, Magiel is as charming as they come. But don’t
“A fresh, modern look at French cuisine, but one that values clarity and simplicity”
Insider Pick Le Victoria Brasserie Moderne ul. Królewska 11, tel. 22 657 8332, www.sofitel-victoria-warsaw. com, open Mon-Sat 12:00-24:00.
ou wouldn’t tell from the outside, but the Sofitel Warsaw Victoria is something of a precious historic relic. Not in the normal sense of the word, you understand, for on first glance it’s a concrete oblong so typical of the 70s. Yet it was during that era this bastion of rare luxury became one of the most talked about places in Poland: scores of serials, films and cop shows were filmed here, and the intrigue and espionage weren’t always acted – in its PRL heyday the hotel was a stamping ground of Middle Eastern arms dealers, one of whom was assassinated here while plotting the death of the Egyptian President. Exciting, huh? Poland, of course, has moved on from those days and so has the Victoria. True, for a time it was in danger of remaining suspended in the past, but under the stewardship of the Sofitel group an extensive renovation program has been undertaken. The fruit of these labors is evidenced on all floors, not least a revamped restaurant designed by the acclaimed Didier Gomez. His interior is one that whispers
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intimacy, yet it also embraces notions of space and light. The casual elegance that emanates from the design is accented by warm colors, low banquettes and glinting mirrors. Acting as a ballast to it all is an open kitchen, in which you’ll find Executive Chef Maciej Majewski honing his art. His is a menu that fits seamlessly with the surrounds. It’s a fresh, modern look at French cuisine, but one that values clarity and simplicity. There is also an emphasis on fresh, local(ish) ingredients, something verified by my starter: gently smoked Baltic salmon gravlax served with delicate strips of apple and a horse radish sauce. The meticulous presentation is nearly as good as the taste. With a thumbs-up given to the waiter, it is now the turn of mains – slow cooked veal cheeks and root vegetables. The veal is as it should be, full of deep and unctuous tastes, though I do soon identify a problem. There’s just too much veg: by their very nature veal cheeks are heavy and filling, so to then have a pile of vegetables to also consume is just too big an ask - halfway through I concede defeat and down tools. But there is room for dessert (first rule of being me: there is always room for dessert), from which there is quite a choice – ten I count, and there’s not one I don’t want. On impulse I pick the pear trio and find myself presented with an artistic ensemble of poached ‘mini pear’, pear ice cream and panna cotta. It’s the first baking hot day of the year, and this stylish combo is just perfect for it: delicate and refreshing with the right hint of sweet. So, in all, an interesting start for Brasserie with early signs suggesting it might just have what it takes to join the growing clutch of elite hotel restaurants. (AW)
let the café part of the name fool you – the cooking here demands attention. Specializing in eco-minded slow food produce, the everrotating menu is fresh, natural and packed with taste. $$ Muu Muu (D2) ul. Moliera 8, tel. 22 465 1553, open daily 12:00-last guest, www.muumuu.pl The place is sparky, fun and engaging: small in size, décor comprises of soft colors and light woods, not to mention a bar adorned with blackboard slogans such as ‘Eat Meat’ and ‘Love Bacon’. The heart of their act is meat, and steak appears in a variety of its forms: there’s T-Bone, bison, wagyu, etc. If you’re a vegetarian (or for that matter, a cow), run. New it might be, but there’s a quiet assurance about Muu Muu: the proprietor knows he’s on a good thing, and he very well is. $$ Momu.Gastrobar (D2) ul. Wierzbowa 11, tel. 506 100 001, open Sun-Thu 11:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 11:00-1:00, www.momu.pl Tapas-style portions of experimental-looking food arrives in little glass jars (meat and fish skewers, Eton mess), or else on paper plates a la the jalapeno hot dog. Pay zł. 40 for a choice of six itsy pots served in a wire-framed basket. A new concept for Warsaw, it’s been a case of so far so good for Momu. $
Nolita (D5) ul. Wilcza 46, tel. 22 292 0424, open Mon-Fri 12:00-15:30, 18:00-22:30; Sat 13:00-23:00, www.nolita. pl A swank center restaurant anchored on the skills of Jacek Grochowina – a young talent who honed his skills at the London Ritz. Looking chic and high end, advance bookings are recommended if you wish to enjoy this top-class experience. Some of the taste and sensations are utterly unexpected, with the Insider left speechless after enjoying the tuna tartar (zł.49) and aged beef fillet (zł. 97). Privately, many have been left bewildered by the lack of Michelin star. $$$ BEST WAWA 2013 "Fine Dining" Norma ul. Wierzbowa 9/11, tel. 22 828 0130, open 12:00-23:00, www.restauracjanorma.pl Diners step in to find neutral, natural colors offset by Walton Ford paintings depicting wild, tethered animals, and warm lighting provided by way of bare bulbs wrapped around the rafters. But what of the menu. That’s been
conceived by chef Kuba Korczak, a familiar name to slow food enthusiasts. His food is an inventive presentation of natural, local produce, and includes subtle influences from both Italy and Asia. The kaszanka is deep and rich but the biggest success is the cod with apple puree: rolling in strong, unique flavors it’s completely astonishing. $$ Nowa Kuźnia ul. Kostki Potockiego 24, tel. 794 126 019, open 12:00-last guest, www.nowakuznia. pl A mere step from Wilanów’s 18th century church, this onetime blacksmith passes muster for excellent steaks and fresh salads practically plucked from a garden. In season, the summer terrace is magical, and the place even touts a faux beach complete with diggers and slides for the kids. $$ Piękna 56 (D6) ul. Piękna 56, tel. 22 412 0656, open Mon-Thu 10:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 10:00-24:00; Sun 11:00-23:00, www.piekna56 The line between restaurants and wine bars is increasingly blurred, and here’s another opening that greys those boundaries further. Well considered interiors feature a tree (!), nude art and stacks of wine bottles strategically planted around this warm womb-like space. The menu is light and creative, with the biggest spend being a five star roast beef. $$ Platter by Karol Okrasa (C4) InterContinental Hotel, ul. Emilii Plater 49, tel. 22 328 8734 or 22 328 8730, open Mon-Fri 12:00-16:00, Sat-Sun 17:30-23:00, www.platter.pl The hotel has roped in celebrity chef Karol Okrasa to head their revamped dining room. As a temple of nouveau Polish, the new layout isn’t a dramatic change from the previous occupant, but the food is faultless. In particular, the herb garden salad with prawns comes immaculately groomed. An already excellent experience has been raised to talking point level. $$$ Po Prostu Zachęta (D3) pl. Małachowskiego 3, tel. 22 556 96 77, open Mon-Fri 10:00-20:00; Sat-Sun 12:00-20:00, www.poprostuzacheta. pl Sophisticated yet cozy, Darek Ryniec’s restaurant is set on the lower level of the Zachęta, and despite the grand vaulted ceiling offers substantial privacy with tables nestled beside major columns. The set lunch menu emphasizes Polish, while offering a main menu that’s definitely trendy European: the dishes will be licked clean.
RESTAURANTS Qchnia Artystyczna (E6) Zamek Ujazdowski, Al. Jazdów 2, tel. 22 625 7627, open daily 12:00-22:00, www. qchnia.pl Even on a cold, ashen day, can you question a view that spills down onto a canal and park way down below? And how about when that view comes from a candle-lit reconstructed castle… Endlessly romantic, this artistic eatery comes with a light look and a creative menu honed by Marta Gessler. $$ Rozbrat 20 (F5) ul. Rozbrat 20, tel. 22 628 0295, open Mon-Fri 7:30-last guest; Sat-Sun 9:00-last guest, www.rozbrat20.pl Everything a restaurant should be – modern, but not too excessive, as well as traditional at the same time. Elegance emanates from everything and class glints off the silver champagne bowl and tasteful crockery. The menu is a contemporary, international affair, much like the crowd who appreciate it. $$
Salto (C6) ul. Wilcza 73, tel. 22 584 8771, www. saltorestauracja.pl When Martin Gimenez Castro scooped top prize in the Top Chef program it simply confirmed what foodies had known for years: that this is a man of some talent. Now leading the kitchen in Salto, the highlight of Castro’s menu is undoubtedly the ‘steak weekends’. We challenge you to find better. During the week opt instead for his South American inspired dishes. Salto
has the hallmarks of a success story, and under Castro’s captaincy that’s a certainty to happen. $$$ SAM (E3) ul. Lipowa 7a, tel. 600 806 084, open Mon-Fri 8:00-22:00; Sat-Sun 9:00-22:00 Bistro, bakery, hangout. The cooling concrete interiors buzz throughout the day, with touches like communal tables well suited to the ascetic style. Owned by the same lot in charge of 6/12, there’s a similar commitment to good, healthy eating employed here. $$
Senses (C2) ul. Bielańska 12, tel. 22 331 9697, open Mon-Fri 12:00-14:30, 17:30-22:00; Sat 17:30-22:00, sensesrestaurant.pl Chef Andrea Camastra has worked in some of Europe’s top kitchens, not least Le Chateaubriand and Poland’s own Atelier Amaro. Drawing on these experiences, he’s created what some are recognizing as the most exciting launch of the year. Sourcing much of their produce from their own eco-farm, this beautifully designed space has a fluid, changing menu that features such grandness as feral hog and fallow deer. $$$ Signature (D5) ul. Poznańska 15, tel. 22 55 38755, open 12:00-23:00, www.signaturerestaurant.pl ‘Kilian who?’ people asked when Wojciech Kilian was installed as head chef. But this
young talent has had the last laugh: set to be Poland’s next big chef, his cooking is extraordinary and presents true fine dining at bargain prices. Kilian’s cause is complimented by a beautiful design described by one reader as a ‘Monegasque state of mind’. Think: friezes and reliefs dated from the time this was the Soviet Embassy, lavish 1950s Oswald chairs, lighting by Serge Mouille and original Marilyn photos shot by the acclaimed Milton Greene. You feel a millionaire just being here. $$ BEST WAWA 2013 "Restaurant Design"
Skandal (D4) ul. Sienkiewicza 4, tel. 22 350 0444, open Mon-Fri 7:30-24:00; Sat-Sun 9:00-24:00, www.skandalbistrobar.pl Skandal’s look is light and clear headed with the ground floor statement piece being a collection of cool hanging lights all bunched together. Beautiful. There’s only six or so mains to choose from, but they’re a triumph: the sous-vide duck was a dish of real merit and worth well in excess of the zł. 39 price. $$ Solec 44 (F4) ul. Solec 44, tel. 798 363 996, open Tue-Sun 12:00-last guest; Mon 16:00-last guest. www.solec.waw.pl With all the hipsters mincing about it sure doesn’t look like a restaurant: diners line-up at the counter to order, before sitting down in a spontaneous looking interior that clacks and clatters to the
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sound of grown-ups playing board games. Chef Aleksander Baron is an absolute star, and his daily changing menu (hourly changing, even), presents soul foods made from fresh, seasonally appropriate ingredients. His eye for good meat is undisputed, making it the best alternate dining experience you’ll see for a while. $$
Soul Kitchen (D6) ul. Noakowskiego 16, tel. 519 020 888, open Mon-Thu 12:00-22:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-23:00; Sun 13:00-22:00, www.soulkitchen.pl Chef Andrzej Polan has masterminded a beautiful, modern menu whose highlights include cod with spearmint yogurt. While the interior is the definition of urban chic, you’re urged to take advantage of the garden: complete with grass and tooting musical neighbors. $$ Sowa & Przyjaciele (G8) ul. Gagarina 2, tel. 795 505 152, open MonSat 12:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-20:00, www. sowaiprzyjaciele.pl It really looks the part, with warm lighting, soft colors and bare bulbs hanging from overhead cables. The positive impressions are further underlined by a sommelier with a sixth sense and a barnstorming menu that catches the attention. Sowa is one of the biggest names in Polish cooking, and you may fear he spends more time on TV than in his kitchen: with that in mind, we’re happy to report the main man emerging from the kitchen to share backslaps and bear hugs with the regulars who return. $$$ Stółdzielnia (D9) ul. Kazimierzowska 22, tel. 22 845 00 67, open daily 13:00-22:00 www.stoldzielnia.pl A complete anomaly Stółdzielnia looks more like one of those one-day pop-up restaurants: unfinished looking, with odd-shaped tables and stark colors. But keep an open mind because the food scores big points. The pizza, pasta and seafood dishes incorporate imported Italian ingredients, and come close to blowing your mind. $$ Strefa (C3) ul. Próżna 9, tel. 22 255 0850, open Mon-Fri 8:00-24:00; Sat-Sun 11:00-24:00, www. restauracjastrefa.pl Just what were they thinking ignoring the form book like that? No communal tables, no pipes and no rough-hewn bricks. Instead, there’s a swan white elegance
here, with lots of pristine colors and smart, smooth-talking service. What a refreshing change. The chef favors sous-vide techniques, and his is a magic, masterful hand – his duck is flawless, and the homemade ice cream with seasonal fruits is quite a follow-up. Even the cocktails are a thing of brilliance. $$ Tamka 43 (E3) ul. Tamka 43, tel. 22 441 6234, open Mon-Sun 10:00-23:00, www.tamka.43.pl There is an inspiration here which causes guests to linger over their meal, explore it and wonder at it. Food isn’t the background; it is the centerpiece. While Robert Trzópek has left the kitchen, he’s been ably replaced by Rafał Hreczaniuk – his menu pitches modern techniques against traditional, primarily root ingredients. It’s pretty wonderful, though the prices are ambitious. $$$ Taste Wilanów ul. Kazachska 1, tel. 22 400 1122, open daily 11:30-22:30, www.taste.pl To leave a restaurant fortified is to be expected; to leave delighted is the mark of quality. With a clever L-shaped interior, a natural terrace and a gleaming white ceramic kitchen it looks good, but it’s the food that earns the plaudits. Dominik Moskalenko, the executive chef who cut his teeth on Amber Room has been a central part of this creation from the beginning and the fruits of his labor are mouth-watering. Fish sit prominently on his menu and account for an astonishing 60% of sales. And rightly so: they’re phenomenal. $$ Villa Foksal (E4) ul. Foksal 3/5, tel. 22 827 8716, open Mon-Fri 12:00 -22:00; Sat-Sun 13:00-23:00, www.restauracjavillafoksal.pl There’s a real elegance to Villa Foksal, an upscale restaurant whose floor plan and garden have made them a favorite for corporate bashes and brand launches. The Vichyssoise with truffles is a prelude to mains like filet mignon in red wine sauce. $$$ Wilczy Głód (D5) ul. Wilcza 29A, tel. 22 891 0285, open Mon 9:30-20:00; Tue-Thu 9:30-22:00; Fri 9:3023:00; Sat 10:00-23:00; Sun 10:00-21:00 The jaunty, impish design makes use of cartoonish wolves on the walls and tree-like installations strung with bare light bulbs. And look, there’s a furry, mouse resting on a cushion. But if the place is playful and perky, then the cooking is both serious and sincere. Pairing international ideas with organic local produce from small family farmsteads, you
RESTAURANTS immediately sense this is a place created out of a love and respect for food. $ Winosfera (B3) ul. Chłodna 31, tel. 22 526 2500, open Mon-Sat 12:00-23:00, www.winosfera.pl You may think wine is the main talking point here, but actually, it’s the chef: Jakub Adamczyk, an upcoming star who studied his trade in Michelin mainstay The Square. His menu is scintillating: ordering the beef tenderloin is a must, as is the rhubarb parfait. You’ll be happy to pay the heavy handed prices. $$$ Wootwórnia ul. Królowej Aldony 5, tel. 603 696 259, open 10:00-22:00, www.wootwornia.pl. Accessed round a back garden, Wootwórnia feels like a private little secret – you get the sensation not of visiting a restaurant, but of visiting a friend. The dominant element is the counter, from which co-owner Agnes Woo showcases her homemade preserves and own-baked cakes. Sourcing ingredients from small-scale local farms, here is a menu designed to
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nourish the soul. And it does just that. The tomato soup, enriched with hint of orange, aniseed and cinnamon isn’t soup of the day, it’s our soup of the year. Genuine ‘food from the heart’. $$
ITALIAN Ave Pizza (E3) ul. Topiel 12, tel. 22 828 8507, open 12:0022:00 A dark and dimmed space – fashionably sparse – with white wall tiles and eclectic wallpaper climbing to the exposed pipes above. The menu is a simple laminated affair with eleven ‘pizza rosse’ and eight ‘pizza biance’, as well as a scattering of other Italian dishes. Cooked up by Lino and Fabio, the result is Warsaw’s most extraordinary pizzas: yep, the place is even endorsed by the city’s notoriously picky Italian community. $ Bacio (D5) ul. Wilcza 43, tel. 22 626 83 03, open Mon-Fri 12:00-23:00; Sat 13:00-23:00; Sun 13:00-22:00, www.bacio.pl New look Bacio
has been de-cluttered and simplified and now features a stripped down look and a menu that peaks with the duck in red wine risotto. Portions are huge, and are matched by a quality that’s seen this once ailing giant reinstalled as one of the top Italian eats in town. $$ Carpaccio (D4) ul. Nowy Świat 36, tel. 22 692 4726, open daily 12:00-last guest The Italian influence looms heavy here: the Italian owner patrols the restaurant floor, while Carmelo, a Sicilian, ensures nothing but excellence exits the wood-fired pizza oven. The quality of the hams is undisputed, as a try of the Parma ham bruschetta immediately proves. $$
Chianti (E4) ul. Foksal 17, tel. 22 828 0222, www.kregliccy.pl, open 12:00-23:00 Contemporary, pared down interiors and a menu devised and mastered by chef Samuele Mariani have seen Chianti return to its best. Making use of local produce and imported ingredients, this modern interpretation of Italian cuisine is
championed by numerous Italian expats. You can’t say fairer than that. $$ Delizia (D5) ul. Hoża 58/60, tel. 22 622 6665, open Mon-Sat 12:00-22:00, www.delizia.com.pl The reasons for Delizia’s success are twofold: Luca and Lorenzo. Luca’s the front man, a charismatic chap and natural showman. In his hands, you’ll feel like a star. Then there’s Lorenzo, the chef out the back. Between the pair of them they’ve turned this tiny little venue into Warsaw’s most convincing Italian enterprise. Top quality imported products, a dimly-lit romantic atmosphere, tasteful interiors and brilliant food: what more do you need? How about a recommendation from Michelin… $$ Kotłownia ul. Suzina 8, tel. 22 833 23 27, open daily 13:00-last guest (kitchen to 23:00), www. winiarnia-kotlownia.pl You’d never guess from the grey surrounds but Kotłownia is one of the emerging stars of Warsaw dining. Set in a historic disused boiler house (the Warsaw Uprising started right outside!) a generous helping of wooden touches warm the split level industrial interiors, but it’s the food that steals the show. The modern Italian menu reflects the owner’s passion for Italy, as does the handpicked wine list. The convivial atmosphere makes it perfect for a long, lazy lunch. $$ La Bufala (B4) ul. Sienna 86, tel. 22 654 3277, open daily 11:00-23:00 On the right day you’ll find the ex-pat proprietors of Warsaw’s more refined Italian eateries using this for their pizza fix. It might not look like much, but its reputation speaks for itself. $ La Tomatina (D5) ul. Krucza 47A, tel. 22 625 1047, open Sun-Thu 10:30-23:00; Fri-Sat 10:30-24:00; Sun 11:00-23:00, www.latomatina.pl Calamitous, slapstick service and accusations pointing to the overuse of readymade ingredients shouldn’t detract from good pizzas served in modern interiors of stark white walls and concrete floors. Our spicy tiger prawn spaghetti was also okay, even if the presentation looked like a student had cooked it. $ Mąka i Woda (D4) ul. Chmielna 13A, tel. 22 505 91 87, open Mon-Thu 12:00-22:00, Fri-Sat 12:00-23:00, Sun 12:00-20:00 When Michelin starred
chef Wojciech Amaro pops in with his family you know something is going right. Here the statement piece is a Stefano Ferrara Napoli oven, used to maximum effect to create pizzas which have come to be considered amongst Warsaw’s best. Import ingredients like Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and Caputo flour add to the authenticity, and there’s a medley of other ‘staples from Naples’. $ Mamma Marietta (C9) ul. Wołoska 74A, tel. 22 880 0071, open 12:00-22:00, www.mammamarietta.com A scattering of tables make reservations recommended in Mamma Marietta, an informal looking restaurant with lugubrious interiors and solemn service. But the food, created by head chef Andrea, has an authenticity that’s rare in a city whose enthusiasm for Italian food isn’t always reflected by quality. The tomato soup starter, is deliciously thick and almost worth the trip itself. $$ Mezzo Italian Steakhouse ul. Sienkiewicza 5 (Konstancin-Jeziorna), tel. 22 756 3343, open daily 12:00-22:00 Tucked at the tip of Konstancin’s park, Mezzo’s wood-burning brick pizza oven constructed in the garden gets all the thumbs up. Also novel to the community is a chance to enjoy top-notch beef – using filet from Poland and T-bones from Irish Hereford cattle, Mezzo’s newly designed kitchen uses a lava grill to ensure excellence each time. $$
‘Simplicity, elegance and atmosphere’
Cafe • Wine Bar • Restaurant • Whisky Bar • Wine Cellar ul. Hoża 25A, tel. 515 037 001 firstname.lastname@example.org Open 12:00-23:00, Sun 12:00-21:00
Parmizzano’s (C5) Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79 (Marriott Hotel, Floor 1), tel. 22 630 6306, open 12:00-23:00 The prices are highly intimidating, but are offset by cooking that never falls below brilliant. Hotel restaurants get a bad rep, but in the formal surrounds of Parmiazzano’s diners can expect Italian food at its very best. $$$ Ristorante San Lorenzo (B3) Al. Jana Pawła II 36, tel. 22 652 1616, open 12:00-last guest, www.sanlorenzo.pl Adorned with crisp, starched linen and Roman frescos this space is almost magisterial in design. The Tuscan menu is flawless and well worth the rather hefty bill. The wine bar on the ground floor features the same standards at a snip of the price. It’s in here you’ll find Italian natives cheering the Serie A football. $$$ Superiore (D6) ul. Piękna 28/34, tel. 506 404 059, open Mon-Fri 8:00-22:00; Sat-Sun 9:00-24:00, www.superiorewinebar.pl A hybrid wine shop, deli and restaurant, with an owner who
RESTAURANTS Home Delivery Delivero www.delivero.pl Here’s the score: enter your postcode, then wait for the computer to kick into action and spit out the restaurants covered in your delivery zone. In general, the restaurants now err to the side of pizza and sushi choices. Internet ordering only, with no English language option. Dominos Multiple locations, tel. 22 209 0000, open 10:00-23:00, www.dominospizza.pl Years after shutting shop the Dominos crew return to Warsaw, and this time they’re better than ever. It’s strictly takeaway/delivery only (unless you count the stand-up table outside), but these guys get listed for what amounts to the best delivered pizza in the history of Poland. Pizza Portal www.pizzaportal.pl Nationwide service and similar to Delivero: tap in your postcode then wait for a list of choices to crunk out of the machine. As the name suggests, pizza is the forte, though there are also a heavy selection of randoms – kebabs, sushi, pierogi. 24hr pizza delivery options also available. Room Service tel. 22 651 9003, www.roomservice.pl There's over fifty restaurants under their umbrella, and they can also turn their hand to delivering wine, beverages and flowers. Web and phone orders taken in English and Polish, with delivery charges tagged between zł. 13 to zł. 25. Find venues like Blue Cactus, Le Cedre, Namaste, Sushi Zushi, Tomo and The Warsaw Tortilla Factory. Royal Menu tel. 22 244 2121, www.royalmenu.pl Phone and internet delivery options, plus English language website and English speaking telpehone operators. Min. order of 50zł, with delivery charges ranging from 10zł to 24zł (Warsaw outskirts). Credit cards accepted for orders of 80zł plus. Restaurants covered by this mob inc. players such as Rain by India Curry, Osteria, Papaya and Sakana.
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prefers to think about the enjoyment of your dining experience rather than his cash till. The veal pasta is the bestselling dish here for very good reason. $$
kitchen, and a Mediterranean inspired menu constructed using carefully sourced ingredients from local suppliers. The results are befitting of one of Warsaw’s top hotels. $$$
The Olive (E5) Sheraton Hotel, ul. Prusa 2, tel. 22 450 6706, open Mon-Fri 6:30-10:30, Sat & Sun 6:30-11:00 Bursting with seasonal fruits and veggies, it’s a fresh, fun place to eat. Hot and cold buffet for zł. 90. $$$ Trattoria da Antonio (D5) ul. Żurawia 16/20, tel. 22 625 5417, open 11:00-1:00, www.trattoriadaantonio.pl At times you suspect you’ve walked into the 90s, what with the tacky embellishments that appear at each turn – a Vespa, some stone lions, a water well. But this is no bad thing: at a time when restaurants are doing their best to look stripped down and functional, cheerful Antonio feels jaunty and fun. And the food, created by Sicilian-born Antonio Centurrino, has several redeeming qualities: the penne arrabiata is delicious in its simplicity, though for a piece of heaven try the gnocchi tartufati. No less than a warm trattoria whose specialty is good, simple food. $$ Trattoria Rucola na Miodowej ul. Miodowa 1, tel. 888 575 457 & ul. Francuska 6, tel. 22 616 1259, open daily 12:00-22:00 & ul. Krucza 6/14, tel. 22 465 1836, open Mon-Thu 12:00-22:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-23:00, www.trattoriarucola.pl Firmly established in Saska, Ruccola have expanded to cover the West side to cover Old Town and the center. The M.O is replicated in all venues, with huge wall prints of verdant forest scenes, and a menu that impresses across the board – the pizza in particular gets our seal of approval. $ Vapiano Al. Jerozolimskie 63 (Lipinski Passage), tel. 22 356 10 50, open Mon-Thu 9:00-23:00, Fri 9:00-1:00; Sat 11:00-1:00, Sun 11:00-22:00 & ul. Taśmowa 7 (Marynarska Business Park) & ul. Wołoska 12 (Galeria Mokotów) www. vapiano.de/pl Here’s one chain brand that is worth the hype. Featuring a chic look rounded out with Ferrari red colors, the thin crust pizza earns its spurs, and the pasta combinations are great. $$ Venti-tre (E8) ul. Belwederska 23 (Hyatt Hotel), tel. 22 558 1094, open 6:30-23:00 The high class confines of the Hyatt are the home of Venti Tre, a contemporary restaurant with an open
JAPANESE & SUSHI Izumi Sushi ul. Mokotowska 17 (pl. Zbawiciela), tel. 22 825 7950, open Mon-Thu 12:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-22:00 & ul. Biały Kamień 4, tel. 22 424 0055, open Mon-Thu 12:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-22:00, www.izumisushi.eu The original location never ceases to amaze with its sushi, though it’s the addition on Biały Kamień that really gets people talking. Here it’s not just the food that wows, but the interiors: a huge venue whose open plan doubles as an indoor forest – you need to see it to believe it. $$ Ou Sushi ul. Domaniewska 17/19, tel. 22 847 16 63, open 12:00-21:00, www.ousushi.pl There can never be enough sushi in Warsaw, not least when it’s this good. The temaki rolls are outstanding. $$
Robata by Akashia Al. Jana Pawła II 61, tel. 22 636 6767, www. akashia.pl, open Mon-Sat 12:00-23:00; Sun 13:00-22:00 Plunge downstairs to find a raw industrial style that’s all breeze blocks, plywood and Godzilla graffiti. There’s indie rock blasting out over the speakers, and even the staff look the part – you speculate they’ve been ordered to dress up like cool Japanese kids. We’ve heard good things about the charcoal grill food (from which the restaurant takes its name), though the sushi is only so-so – even the wasabi seems to lack the usual punch. $$ Ryż i Ryba (D6) ul. Piękna 20, tel. 22 627 4150, open MonFri 11:00-22:00; Sat-Sun 12:00-22:00, www. ryziryba.pl The art of sushi is given a new lease of life in this Piękna newbie. The flavors are a revelation, making it more than just a stop-off for passing office workers. $$ Sakana Sushi Bar ul. Burakowska 5/7 tel. 22 636 0505, open Mon-Sat 12:00-23:00, Sun 13:00-22:00 & ul. Moliera 4/6, tel. 22 826 5958, open MonThu 12:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-1:00; Sun 13:00-22:00 & ul. Wąwozowa 6, lok.10B,
tel. 22 498 8899, Mon-Sat 12:00-22:30, Sun 13:00-22:00, www.sakana.pl If there was one winner in the sushi wars of the noughties, it was Sakana. Many claim it’s the best in the city, a stand that’s hard to dispute. Practice nimble chopstick moves among other aficionados while sushi rolls sail by on tiny, little boats. $$ Sushi Marina-Mokotów ul. Warowna 1, tel. 22 493 0302, open daily 12:00-22:00, www.sushimarina.pl Since its heyday in the 00s sushi has been in decline in Warsaw – well, no-one told Marina-Mokotów, and it’s a good job as well. Completely creative in its offer, this isn’t just another Wa-wa sushi joint. Elaborate rolls are built with forensic precision using the freshest of ingredients. In a place like this, it’s easy to fall in love with sushi all over again. $$ Sushi Zushi (D5) ul. Żurawia 6/12, tel. 22 420 3373, open Mon-Thu 12:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-03:00; Sun 13:00-22:00, www.sushizushi.pl The
mania for sushi is in recess, and that’s a good thing – the rogue operators are dead or dying off, and are survived by the best. And make no mistake, Sushi Zushi continue to be the No. 1 ex-pat choice. Appreciated by a stunning crowd, the rolls are often bold and creative and always astonishingly fresh. $$ Tekeda Sushi & Wok (D1) ul. Freta 18, tel. 600 351 818 & ul. Meissnera 1/3, tel. 606 236 050, open daily 12:00-22:00, www.sushitekeda.pl Tekeda get it right with a good balance of sushi and ramen dishes. The grilled maki is particularly pleasing. A sure bet in the historic center. $$ Tomo (D5) ul. Krucza 16/22, tel. 22 434 2344, open Mon-Thu 12:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-22:00, www.tomo.pl Excellent. While Warsaw’s other sushi stops gather cobwebs Tomo packs out each night – that should say enough. With the maki, sushi and sashimi bobbing past on wooden platters, this place aims for fast, maximum turnover without ever making the diner feel second best. $$
JEWISH Galil (C3) ul. Zielna 36, tel. 731 492 634, open MonThu 11:00-23:00; Sun 14:00-23:00, www. galil-restaurant.pl There’s been a few Jewish restaurants opened in the last couple of years, and they’ve all quickly folded. Already though, there’s the impression Galil might last the distance, a point underlined by the rather good food. We started with a zesty tabouleh before moving on to grilled chicken breast with dates and a syrup glaze. Set inside a rambling, tiled interior, this labyrinthine space already looks like its snaring big-spending groups. Kosher certified, as well. $$ Pod Samsonem (C1) ul. Freta 3/5, tel. 22 831 1788, open 10:0023:00 Operating since the 1950s – crazy when you think about it. This is the place for an ordinary meal in an ordinary space. The menu mixes aspects of Polish and Jewish cooking, and fails to do a good job of either. Entertainment is provided by the staff who are pure cabaret. $
Authentic French Bistro ul. Rozbrat 44A 00-419 Warszawa +48 22 881 78 07 +48 788 95 97 97 www.lebistrorozbrat.pl www.facebook.com/LeBistroRozbrat
RESTAURANTS LATIN & MEXICAN Aioli (D3) ul. Świętokrzyska 18, tel. 22 290 102, open Sun-Thu 9:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 9:00-24:00, www.aioli-cantine.com This runaway hit has taken Warsaw by storm. It’s a jaunty space with hams hanging from hooks and long communal tables that thrive with life. Aioli’s breakfasts, sandwiches, pastas and pizzas are a lesson in clean, simple pleasure: nothing out of the world, just consistently good. This and the liberal prices mean there’s no shortage of people passing in and out the doors. $$ Blue Cactus (E8) ul. Zajączkowska 11, tel. 22 851 2323, open Mon-Fri 8:00-23:00; Sat 9:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-21:00, www.bluecactus.pl It’s been around for so long that people had started referring to the Cactus in the past tense. Enter executive chef Patrick Hanna, a man who has revitalized and revived the place in a way no-one could have imagined. Combining the barbecuing techniques of the southern states with the humble but potent tastes of Mexico, Hanna has reawakened this sleeping giant. Committed to local produce and fresh flavors, his finest moment has been hoiking over a wood-fired grill all the way from Nashville – the steaks will stop you in your tracks. Say it loudly: the Blue Cactus is back! $$
Casa Pablo (C3) ul. Grzybowska 5A, tel. 22 324 5781, open Mon-Sat 12:00-last guest, www.casapablo.pl While increasingly well represented in the capital, Spanish food has been pointed in a new direction by Casa Pablo. Breaking away from hackneyed clichés, the eclectic interior (tartan colors, crates, a century old mirror) is reflective of a menu that places equal importance on flair, quality and elements of fine dining. Based on the ‘creative Spanish’ movement, find the likes of pork ribs in hoi sin and honey sauce introduced, not to mention cod cooked at 45 C and served with pigs trotters. You’ll be amazed. $$ Dos Tacos (B5) Al. Jerozolimskie 123A, tel. 22 243 4618, open 11:00-22:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-24:00, www.dostacos.pl Found high up in the increasingly naff-looking Millennium Plaza, Dos Tacos is adorned with Aztec murals and cartoonish finishes. A growing number of Americans can be found making their way
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to Floor 5 of the Millennium, and that’s to sample an exciting range of salsas and a solid menu of Mexican staples. $ La Fiesta Tequila Bar (E4) ul. Foksal 21, tel. 22 829 8560, open 12:00-3:00, www.lafiesta.pl What was once a pretty diabolical Mexican joint has, apparently, experienced a dramatic volte face. The sombreros and crap have been replaced by a psychedelic, Day of the Dead-style featuring skeletal Mariachi men, not to mention no shortage of tequila bottles. But the real gossip is reserved for the kitchen: gone are the fraudsters who used to work here, and in their place is Jorge Martinez – no guessing where he’s from. Is his menu up to scratch? Absolutely no idea. We left after having a run-in with the worst service experienced since the Cold War ended. $ Ole Tapas (E5) ul. Bracka 2, tel. 519 875 767, open Mon-Sat 12:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-22:00, www. ole-restaurant.pl A dual level wine bar and restaurant with a modern spirit and a Flamenco vibe. Don’t let the name fool you: while the tapas are good, it’s the steak most people come for. Choice here includes aged Spanish beef and Kobe cow. $$ Secado (D5) ul. Marszałkowska 66, tel. 608 707 799, open Mon-Fri 10:00-23:00; Sat 11:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-23:00 Dogged by failed ventures, this prime location has been gagging for a success story – and it’s got one. The food is good, which has to count for something: from light bites like tortillas, to pots of fresh mussels, everything we’ve tried in this Hispanic-themed spot has been culinary gold. Hanging hocks of ham come scattered around casual, intimate interiors, and further brownie points are gained for a smoking room that doesn’t choke you as well as hilarious toilets (lads, see if you measure up…). $$ Warsaw Tortilla Factory (D5) ul. Wilcza 46 (entrance from ul. Poznańska), tel. 22 621 8622, open 12:00-last guest, www.warsawtortillafactory.pl Howling hot salsas and freshly made tortillas give WTF a head start on other restaurants, but there are other strings to their poncho: the menu has been slimmed and continues to be tinkered with, while the introduction of zł. 19 lunches – served on Alcatraz trays – present one of the best deals in town. We’ve enjoyed the burritos here for years, and score them as the best in town. $$
MIDDLE EASTERN Le Cedre (E1) Al. Solidarności 61, tel. 22 670 1166, open daily 11:00-23:00, www.lecedre.pl With the decadent dazzle of a bedouin tent, nights in Le Cedre are best celebrated with blasts on a sheesha and their Friday night belly dancer. Otherwise, just settle for the best Lebanese food in CEE; of particular note, the charcoal-grilled lamb chops. $$ Le Cedre 84 (B3) Al. Solidarności 84, tel. 22 618 8999, open 11:00-23:00, www.lecedre.pl Le Cedre just keep on getting it right. Authenticity is key in this chainlette (well, there’s another across the river), as you’ll discover when talking to Tony, the Lebanese owner. To see the diversity of this cuisine, order the balbaak (six cold starters) or the byblos (six hot). And food aside, it’s the atmosphere that carries them that extra yard: the whole philosophy of this cuisine is to share and share alike, making it a uniquely engaging experience when dining with friends. $$ Sokotra (D5) ul. Wilcza 27, tel. 22 270 2766, open Mon-Thu 12:00-22:00; Fri Sat 12:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-22:00, www.sokotra.pl A Yemeni restaurant with a brief menu full of recognizable Eastern dishes like hummus and grilled halloumi. And one of the big boons is the discovery that Indian influences also fall under the compass of Yemeni cuisine – the madras leaves you puffing smoke rings. Find all that in a casual interior composed of chattery locals and mysterious concrete additions – e.g. a telegraph pole squeezed amid the tables. $$
POLISH Akademia Smaku ul. Oboźna 9, tel. 22 828 9901, open 12:00-24:00, www.akademia-smaku.com.pl Something of a side street surprise, Akademia connect contemporary, neutral interiors with a menu that’s best described as modern/ international. That might sound vague and anonymous, but the results are anything but. Beautiful presentation and simple, seasonal ingredients combine to make Akademia a high-scoring venue. $$
TR A D I T I O N A L P OLISH CUISINE
Krakowskie PrzedmieĹ›cie 64 Polonia House in Warsaw tel. +48 22 826 47 70 e-mail : email@example.com www.delicjapolska.pl
RESTAURANTS Ale Gloria (E5) Pl. Trzech Krzyży 3, tel. 22 584 7080, open Mon-Sat 12:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-22:00, www.alegloria.pl Who said romance was dead? Here wedding white colors are fused with a strawberry motif inside this gourmet fave. Keeping patrons returning are aromatic dishes with a contemporary twist – try the duck in rose sauce. $$$
Amber Room at the Sobański Palace (E6) Al. Ujazdowskie 13, tel. 22 523 6664, open Mon-Fri 12:00-22:00; Sat 12:00-22:30; Sun 12:00-20:00, www.amberroom.pl The Amber Room is, indeed, a bit of a treasure. Chef Robert Skubisz has excelled himself in creating a menu that injects upmarket Polish dishes with contemporary flair. Set inside a majestic mansion, the recommendation they’ve received from Michelin is justly deserved. $$$
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Atelier Amaro (E6) ul. Agrykola 1, tel. 22 628 5747, open Mon-Sat 12:00-14:30; 18:00-22:30, www. aterlieramaro.pl The recipient of Poland’s first Michelin star, Atelier has no rival – this is the best restaurant in the country, bar none. Find a tasting menu of slow food enhanced by modern techniques, with courses interspersed by occasionally bizarre interludes (leaves, flowers, twigs, etc.). Don’t miss the bespoke vodka menu, either. It’s an extraordinary dining experience, and one which confirms the growing cult of chef Wojciech Amaro. In the hours you’re here, the world stops and you leave feeling like James Bond. Reservations are mandatory, with a waiting list that is approximately two to three months long. $$$ BEST WAWA 2013 "Outstanding Achievement" Bazyliszek (D1) Rynek Starego Miasto 1/3, tel. 22 831 1841, open daily 12:00-24:00, www.bazyliszek. waw.pl Some parts of Bazyliszek hark to its years as a stately, stuffy restaurant. Now though it’s more earthy, with Jurassic por-
tions of meaty, lardy food best consumed with one liter beers. The Rynek location and festive atmosphere account for its popularity more than anything that comes from the kitchen. $ Biała Gęś (F8) ul. Belwederska 18A, tel. 22 840 5060, open 12:00-last guest (kitchen to 23:00); Sun 12:00-22:00, www.bialages.pl For that elegant touch of Zhivago-era class, it’s got to be Biała Gęś. Interiors conjure images of a countryside manor; you imagine rolling up here after a day shooting foxes. Yet it’s not those blighters on the menu, but geese. That’s the house specialty, and you’d do well to find better. A whole bird for four is yours for zł. 490. $$$ Bistro Warszawa (D1) ul. Jezuicka 1/3, tel. 22 635 3769, open daily 12:00-24:00, www.bistrowarszawa.pl The menu cites pre-war recipe books as its influence, and on it you’ll find such dishes as goose in thyme sauce with pear and zucchini. The interiors are strictly contemporary though, with vanilla colored furnishings, wine
racks and walls papered with hundreds of theater scripts and book pages. Regular jazz performances draw people city-wide. $$
made. Mains are a manly affair (solid, meaty and generous in size) and arrive courtesy of waiters dressed as Zakopane tinkers. $$
Chłopskie Jadło (D6) pl. Konstytucji 1, tel. 22 339 1717, open Mon-Sat 12:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-22:00 A nationwide chain enterprise designed to mimic a peasant inn, what with all the clunky pots and rustic supplements. And if it’s farmers fare you’re after then the food isn’t bad either, with thick, lumpy servings of countryside classics and soup presented in bread. Twenty-something Poles cringe at such a representation of their country, but there’s no denying it: it’s an accurate caricature of a mountain-slope karczma. $
Inn Under the Red Hog (B3) ul. Żelazna 68, tel. 22 850 3144, open daily 12:00-24:00 (kitchen to 23:00), www.czerwonywieprz.pl Now everyone is rich and happy, it’s easy to forget communism was a pretty dire experiment. Which explains the playful nature of this commie themed restaurant. Dining is done under red banners and paintings of nasty political activists, while the menu is a humorous affair divided between dishes for the dignitary and proletariat – all details that saw it names as one of the Top 25 Unique Restaurants in the World. Another vodka, comrade, and the First Secretary’s pork loins while you’re there! $$
Dawne Smaki (D4) ul. Nowy Świat 49, tel. 22 465 83 20, open Sun-Thu 12:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-1:00, www.dawnesmaki.pl At last, a proper restaurant on Nowy Świat! The interiors hark to the past, while the back garden promises an oasis-like experience: if you’re new to Warsaw, it’s actually worth hanging around till summer just to see it. Chef Michał Bajerski, formerly of Regina Hotel, wraps it up nicely with a fantastic menu that modernizes traditional Polish recipes. Recommended: deer steak. $$ Delicja Polska (D6) ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 64, tel. 22 826 4770, open daily 12:00-last guest, www. delicjapolska.pl It’s one of those few places where the food is fabulous, service efficient and discreet and the interior reminiscent of a fairytale dining room. $$ Dom Polski (H4) ul. Francuska 11, tel. 22 616 2432, open daily 12:00-last guest, www.restauracjadompolski.pl Built for moments when nothing but the best will do. Prices are premium, but this piece of high society features an aristocratic temperament and fine Polish cuisine served with an elegant flourish. $$$ Folk Gospoda (B3) ul. Waliców 13, tel. 22 890 1605, open daily 12:00-midnight, www.folkgospoda.pl To quote an unknown source, traditional Polish food is a celebration of ‘heritage, culture, singing and vodka.’ But snooty Warsaw doesn’t do traditional, at least not in the same way tourist havens like Kraków do. So it’s a joy to find Folk Gospoda. Good humored and filled with gnarled furniture and mountain songs, it’s a place where warm memories are
Kafe Zielony Niedwiedz (E4) ul. Smolna 4, tel. 731 996 006, open 8:00-23:00. The Smolna address is a bit misleading – in reality, you’ll be traipsing down into the park under the ‘hammer head’ tower before reaching Zbyszek Kmieć’s restaurant. But you’ll be glad you did. The menu has hints of Atelier Amaro in its fiendish attention to natural Polish produce: the cream of beetroot soup is peerless, and the boar ragout gains similar approval. This is a happy marriage where traditions are turned on their head using creative techniques and precise presentation. At the same time, be warned the scene here might not appeal: it’s very stars in your eyes as Polish celebs – both major and minor – swan about while their acolytes simper. $$ Kluska Polska (D4) ul. Szpitalna 4, tel. 602 550 786, open MonThu 12:00-21:00; Fri-Sun 12:00-22:00, www. kluskapolska.pl The crazy black and white design has you thinking you’ve stepped into a cartoon cutout, so for the love of God, don’t take any funny little pills before you enter. The menu is simple and traditional, with hefty dumplings the dominant entity. Cheap and cheerful, all the signs suggest a success story in the making. $ Kuchnia Funkcjonalna (G3) ul. Jakubowska 16 (enter from ul. Estońska), tel. 512 893 898, open Mon-Thu 11:0023:00; Sat-Sun 9:00-23:00 Snuck inside one of Saska’s definitive modernist buildings, the opening of Kuchnia has made slow food accessible to all wallets. Venison from the Bieszczady Mountains, dairy products from Jersey cattle milk, and the use of goose fat
Nominated as Best New Restaurant 2012 by Gazeta Wyborcza and Warsaw Insider Named Best New Restaurant 2012 by Froblog Seasonal Polish Cuisine Summer Garden Live Music on Fridays and Saturdays ul. Noakowskiego 16 tel. 519 020 888 www.soulkitchen.pl
Chef Andrzej Polan facebook.com/warsawinsider
RESTAURANTS instead of butter are just a few noteworthy characteristics; the frequently changing menu reflects the commitment to nature. The ascetic design is softened by a cast-iron stove and moody lighting, giving the restaurant a warm, seasonal glow. $$ Pierrogeria (D6) Pl. Konstytucji 2, tel. 22 743 7644, open 11:00-23:00; Sat-Sun 12:00-23:00, www.pierrogeria.eu Pierogi: the pride of the Polish pantry… Pervasive in their presence, no other dish features so heavily on local menus. Even so, the search for perfect pierogi can lead only to one door: and you’ll find that particular portal on pl. Konstytucji. Through their use of unconventional fillings and natural ingredients, Pierrogeria elevate a standard, staple food into a class of its own. $ Podwale Piwna Kompania (D2) ul. Podwale 25, tel. 22 635 6314, open MonSat 11:00-01:00; Sun 12:00-24:00, www. podwale25.pl Set through a courtyard that replicates a Mitteleuropa square, Podwale has a beer hall atmosphere that’s further exaggerated when mountain bands circulate. Food is of average standard and served in portions that are obscene – finishing the wooden platters can be seriously traumatic. Go there for the experience, if nothing else. $ Prasowy (E7) ul. Marszałkowska 10/16, open Mon-Fri 9:00-20:00; Sat-Sun 11:00-19:00 Delicate diners turn their back on milk bars, yet this canteen-style phenomenon, with its
WARSAW INSIDER | JUNE 2014
history rooted in communism, has enjoyed a remarkable renaissance and a freshly found popularity with a new generation. Sure, the food is an acquired taste and best described using words like ‘basic’ and ‘honest’, but Prasowy gets our vote for a cool design that’s seen the 1954 interiors sensitively updated. $ Restauracja Pod Gigantami (E5) Al. Ujadowskie 24, tel. 22 629 2312, open daily 12:00-23:00, www.podgigantami.pl Despite being judged worthy of a recommendation by the scouts at Michelin, Pod Gigantami divides local opinion; it’s not just the Insider that’s found the food only satisfactory. But the wine list impresses, as do the painfully ornate turn-of-the-century interiors. $$$ Restauracja Polska “Różana” (E8) ul. Chocimska 7, tel. 22 848 1225, open 12:00-last guest, www.restauracjarozana. com.pl Touting a refined, baronial setting, Rożana has starchy white linen, floral pieces and flickering candles, giving off plenty of classic charm in the best possible taste. With indulgent mains such as farmhouse duck with apple and cranberry, or saddle of venison with homemade pickle, this is a Polish dining extravaganza served from the top table. U Fukiera (D1) Rynek Starego Miasta 27 (Old Town Market Square), tel. 22 831 1013, open 12:00-last guest, www.ufukiera.pl New arrivals looking to get a grasp of local cuisine have many options in varying price brackets. U Fukiera
is definitely in the big spend category, but visitors come away with a common sense of wonderment. That’s largely due to enchanting interiors that have guests exploring twinkling chambers that unravel like a fairytale. Set in a 500 year old townhouse, the beautiful backdrop is paired by a grand menu of duck, venison, veal and lamb. $$$ U Szwejka (D6) pl. Konstytucji 1, tel. 22 339 1710, open Mon-Fri 8:00-24:00; Sat 10:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-24:00, www.uszwejka.pl Named after fictional Czech soldier Szwejk, the food here would certainly appeal to the tubby man himself. Bestowed with Prague street signs, the food is a hardy, meaty affair, and arrives in XXXL portions. The price to quantity (Note: not quality) ratio guarantees queues (yes, queues) that stretch out on the street every weekend. $$
Zapiecek Locations inc. ul. Nowy Świat 64, Al. Jerozolimskie 28, Freta 18, Freta 1 & Świętojańska 13, tel. 22 635 61 09, open 11:00-23:00 & ul. Wańkowicza 1, open 11:00-22:00, CH Arkadia, open 10:00-22:00, www. zapiecek.eu Seven Warsaw locales, with our favorite found in the vaulted passages of Świętojańska. The menu is highly traditional, with courses ‘cooked to grandma’s recipes’.
It’s for the pierogi though for which they’re famous; find approx. fifty types delivered by servers dressed like saucy country maids. $
tables and obnoxious expats with slicked back hair and big, chunky watches: with food like this, who cares? $$
SPECIALTY FOOD SHOPS
Nabo ul. Zakręt 8, tel. 22 842 0256, open Mon-Fri 8:00-21:30; Sat-Sun 9:00-21:30, www. nabocafe.pl The décor is, we’re told, typical Danish cafe – bold open windows, simple lines, high shelves filled with books and games on the table. But what is Danish food? There’s Old Danish on the menu: meatballs and open face sandwiches with meat and fish in various textural configurations and then there’s New Danish: an emerging trend towards fresh, seasonal food (no microwave oven at Nabo), with locally sourced and innovatively concocted ingredients. $$
African Shop ul. Andersa 27, tel. 507 247 292, open Mon-Sat 10:00-20:00, www.afroeuro.eu Beans, beverages, flour and soup thickeners. Hair products and cosmetics also available, and they promise to be bringing in Abyssinian coffee in the near future as well. ‘’Excellent,’’ gushes one Zimbabwean connection.
Seaside Bistro (D5) ul. Wilcza 26, tel. 607 562 122, open Mon-Fri 12:00-23:00; Sat 13:00-23:00; Sun 13:0021:00 Who doesn’t like being greeted at the door by a hearty buongiorno? That comes from Mario, a chef who insists on flying his ingredients daily from Italy. The seafood is the best we’ve had in Warsaw: huge shrimps, and mussels served in an invigorating white wine sauce that’s both salty and spicy. The interior is a simple fisherman’s cabin space, and it’s easy to overlook details such as scraggy
Befsztyk ul. Puławska 176/178, tel. 22 843 6110, www.befsztyk.pl The Prokopowicz family has come a long way since launching Befsztyk in 1994. Top restaurants, celebs and ex-pats are listed as clients, and all agree that this operation is indisputably ‘top of the chops’. Find steaks seasoned for three weeks, glutenfree smoked meats, Merino lamb, BBQ kits and so much more. Home delivery, internet ordering and English-speaking staff round out this legend. Bio Bazar ul. Żelazna 51/53, tel. 22 318 8855, open Sat 8:00-16:00, www.biobazar.org.pl Fruit and veg in the first warehouse, some of it imported from as far as Argentina. In the second warehouse, find organic cheese varieties from sheep and goats, as well as import brands from Italy, France and the Netherlands.
Authentic Portuguese cuisine with an excellent selection of wine
British Shop ul. Emilii Plater 8, tel. 692 240 804, open Mon-Fri 11:00-19:00 British food and beverages inc. cider, bacon, sausages, gluten free ready meals, confectionary etc. Run by the same team who once operated Fish & Chips on Koszykowa, the offer has now expanded to cover non-food items like Royal Wedding souvenirs, England football paraphernalia etc. Food & Joy ul. Nowy Świat 7, open Mon-Sat 9:00-21:00; Sun 10:00-17:00, www.foodandjoy.eu An upmarket deli chain from the same team behind Krakowski Kredens and Alma. Heritage ul. Mokotowska 17, tel. 22 857 0912, open Mon-Sat 8:00-22:00; Sun 10:00-20:00 Some people use Heritage as a wine bar, while others see it as more than that. And so it is. Peruse the Italian hams and cheeses in their fridge, olive oils, sauces and of course wine. Lots and lots of wine. Krakowski Kredens Various locations across town, check their website for details: www.krakowskikredens. pl Jams, syrups, honey and preserves, as well as hams and kiełbasa from the Galicia region. Kuchnie Świata Various locations, www.kuchnieswiata.com. pl The first stop for most ex-pats, with an offer that includes food and drinks from across the globe. The choice is vast. Internet ordering now also available.
Chef José Costa Invites you!
ul. Merliniego 2 tel. 22 898 0925 firstname.lastname@example.org www.portucale.pl
RESTAURANTS La Fromagerie ul. Burakowska 5/7, tel. 22 465 2324, open Mon-Wed 9:00-20:00; Thu-Fri 9:00-21:00; Sat 10:00-21:00; Sun 11:30-17:00, www. lafromagerie.pl Top quality cheeses produced by small, artisan producers from England, the major regions of France as well as several other countries. Also, gourmet specialities like Italian parma ham, Spanish chorizo, French sausages, and hard-to-find luxury brands from France, Italy, Greece and more. Le Targ ul. Mińska 25 (SOHO Factory), tel. 603 051 116, open Sat 10:00-15:00 Find here a rather random array of products: stands display traditional meats, goat’s cheeses, unconventional preserves, Greek products, vegan ingredients… it all still seems a bit like a work in progress. The initiative is noble, however. Little India ul. Domaniewska 22/5, tel. 22 843 6738, open Mon-Sat 10:00-20:00, www.littleindia. pl The definitive Indian store though it doesn’t look anything more than a pokey neighborhood store. They’ve got it all mind, from oils, beans, lentils and flour, not to mention ready meals, canned goods and cosmetics. Internet ordering available. Maho al. Krakowska 240/242, tel. 22 609 1548, open daily 11:00-23:00, www.maho.com.pl An excellent German-run Turkish restaurant that also doubles as a butcher: halal certified beef, veal, lamb and poultry. Marks & Spencer Various locations inc. DT Wars & Sawa, ul. Marszałkowska 104/122, tel. 22 551 7553, open Mon-Sat 9:00-21:00; Sun 10:00-20:00, www.marks-and-spencer.com.pl Visit the Marszałkowska location to take advantage of the on-site bakery, but visit early as choice diminishes the later it gets. Aside from baked goods, find an excellent frozen food section, as well as an off-license, tinned goods, ready meals, confectionary and preserves. Martin’s Good Meat ul. Przejazd 4/7, tel. 797 866 131, open Mon-Fri 10:00-19:00 Angus, Hereford and Limousine beef, not to mention lamb, veal and seasoned steaks. A candidate for Warsaw’s best butchery, no less! Namaste India ul. Nowogrodzka 15, tel. 22 357 0939, open
WARSAW INSIDER | JUNE 2014
Mon-Sat 11:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-23:00, www.namasteindia.pl Not just an excellent take-away, but also a small deli selling herbs and spices, ready meals, drinks and even Indian toiletries. Ostra Kuchnia www.ostrakuchnia.pl A superb internet shop retailing quite literally the hottest sauces known to man: brands include Blair’s, Dave’s, El Yucateco, Mad Dog, Melinda’s and many more besides. Also sell jalapenos, chili peppers, salsas and pastes. Polish-only website, but easy to navigate and superb customer service. Targ Śniadaniowy al. Wojska Polskiego, tel. 508 121 891, open Sat 8:00-16:00, www.targsniadaniowy.pl The idea is a bit different as it is out in the open air, on the grass, so good weather is a must. Part healthy food market, part breakfast picnic, part educational space, part chance to get your two wheeler fixed but above all, an idyllic way to spend a Saturday morning in a beautiful part of town. Targ Spożywczy Poziom -1 ul. Bracka 25, open Fri 12:00-20:00; Sat 10:00-20:00; Sun 10:00-18:00. Find this food market occupying the basement floor of the historic Dom Bracia Jabłkowscy. Local producers peddle artisan produce that ranges from chocolate and cakes to hams, wine, preserves and bread. There’s even a stall retailing edible creepy crawlies.
COOKING SCHOOLS Cook Up Studio ul. Racławicka 99 (Fort Mokotów), tel. 22 212 89 76, www.cookup.pl Workshops in a gorgeous cooking studio located in a redbrick fortress. Past themes have included Swedish cooking (led by the Swedish Embassy chef), knife skills and soup, with lessons culminating in eating all that hard work. Joseph’s Culinary Studio ul. Duchnicka 3, tel. 663 040 800, www. jospehseeletso.pl A familiar face from the TV, Botswanan born chef Joseph Seeletso marks a new chapter of his career with the launch of his own culinary academy. Tailor-made courses for individuals and groups are held in a custom-designed kitchen, and include cookery classes, wine tasting, dinner and the chance to learn a stack of secrets from the man himself.
Scheller Academy ul. Międzynarodowa 68, tel. 22 626 80 92, open Mon-Fri 9:00-17:00 (Office) www. schelleracademy.pl Instantly recognizable by his beret and whiskers, Swiss-born Kurt Scheller invites guests to his Saska Kępa kitchen for lessons aimed at all skill levels.
WHOLE FOODS Krowarzywa (D5) ul. Hoża 42, tel. 516 894 767, open Sun-Thu 12:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-24:00 Even committed meat eaters concede there’s something special here. This is a burger bar with a difference: the stuff between the bun is vegan – and way superior to the majority of ‘proper’ burger bars. Very popular with the local hipsters, so anticipate bewildering fashion statements and eccentric hair. $ Loving Hut (B2) Al. Jana Pawła II 41A, tel. 888 555 568, open Mon-Sat 11:00-21:00; Sun 12:0020:00, www.lovinghut.waw.pl What looks like just another Vietnamese greasy spoon is, in fact, part of a global chain backed by a spiritual master. The reading material is creepy and cultish, but the vegan food is good if you’re that way inclined. For first timers, the queens meal and the Thai soup are editorial favorites. Now also found downtown on Waryńskiego 3 $ Pestka (D4) ul. Bracka 6/8, tel. 691 706 900, open Mon-Fri 8:00-20:00; Sat 10:00-19:00; Sun 12:00-19:00, www.organicbistropestka.pl A simple, soothing space of sparing decorations, light modern finishes and plenty of natural light that gushes through the windows. Eschewing the fat and lard that used to feature so prominently in local living, Pestka is all about organic: consider it a gateway to sensible living and a balanced diet. Even the fish is tested for high metal content. Recommended are the bio-baguettes, corn tortilla wraps and wholemeal pancakes. $ W Gruncie Rzeczy (D5) ul. Hoża 62, tel. 692 464 489, open 10:00-23:00 A vegan haven whose menu is heavily slanted towards local produce. The offer includes a number of vegan pastes, sandwiches, beetroot burgers and soups (e.g. cream of pumpkin with coconut milk). The presence of equally hip Meat Love next door is something of a foil, with the two neighbors naturally complimenting each other. $
Reviews: Fusion Café 67 / Plus: * 1 update
CAFÉS & WINE BARS CAFES 67 / WINE BARS 69
for past picks visit: www.warsawinsider.pl
Fusion Café Al.Wojska Polskiego 3 (Konstancin-Jeziorna), tel. 512 084 770, open 10:00-20:00.
PHOTOGRAPH BY VEDIKA LUTHRA
usiness has been fleeting at this particular location in Stara Papiernia, an old-paper mill located in the heart of Konstancin. But it looks like Fusion Café is here to stay. Warsaw teems with cafés and coffee shops, however, the majority of decent ones are located in the city center. So where does the far-flung Fusion fit in all this? Undoubtedly, the interiors are tasteful. The brick backdrop of the old paper mill provides a rustic feel, and during the day there’s no shortage of sunlight streaming in through the windows. Shelves of kitchen accessories adorn the walls, adding a slight Parisian touch that’s further accented by the slow French music playing in the background. The space is small, and with most of the tables seating two, the thought of a large group doesn’t seem to have crossed the minds of the owners. Not that this was a problem. We were the only customers dining on a lazy Sunday afternoon, so the atmosphere was relaxed and the service quick. And while the décor itself is extravagant in style, the prices are not. The menu was limited to several options in terms of food – a few sandwich variations, desserts and soups – though if there was an English copy, we didn’t receive one. I was drawn to the Thai soup – an aromatic blend of coconut, lemongrass and shrimp. It did not disappoint, and the serving portion was also generous. Onto dessert, whose options were far more appealing than the other dishes offered. I went with a mascarpone white chocolate tart topped with pomegranate and served with whipped cream to balance the richness. But I preferred their crème brulée – incredibly smooth and perfectly crisped on the top – a classic that had little to do with fusion, though. The café offers a business menu as well, plus different variations of breakfast – and certainly, it seems most pleasant earlier in the day for a breakfast or light lunch. While it is called Fusion, I didn’t see very much emphasis on that. Rather, different continental options. And though the best cafés will always be found in central Warsaw, Fusion is good. Very good. (VL)
CAFÉS Bułkę przez Bibułkę (E8) ul. Puławska 24, tel. 794 000 634, open Mon-Fri 8:00-22:00; Sat 9:00-22:00; Sun 9:00-16:00, www.bulkeprzezbibulke.pl There’s a feminine style to this cafe, what with its cute, girly pastels, petite plant pots and woodsy finishes. But no matter what your gender or age, there’s something immediately sunny and positive about this place. Slow food sandwiches arrive on wooden boards, there’s pretty homemade desserts and a careful choice of wine: falling in love with it is easy. Być Może (E7) ul. Bagatela 14, tel. 519 000 014, open 7:0023:00, www.bycmoze.com.pl It’s all about artisan bread and breakfast in this industrial looking Być Może. It’s taken the concept of Charlotte (groan, there’s even a communal table), and improved it with excellent breads and a crowd that’s a little less pleased with itself and a little more normal. Café 6/12 (D5) ul. Żurawia 6/12, tel. 22 622 5333, open Mon-Fri 8:00-23:00; Sat 10:00-24:00; Sun 10:00-23:00, www.612.pl Famous for dispensing complex fruit and vegetable super smoothies, 6/12 have even introduced a full diet plan: pop-by for breakfast, then grab a goodie bag packed with balanced meals and snacks for the day ahead. Being healthy has never tasted better. Or looked better for that matter; the cavernous interiors are still very much the choice haunt for on trend 30 something’s. Café Iluzja (C9) ul. Narbutta 50A, tel. 698 423 738, open daily 11:00-22:00, www.cafeiluzja.pl Bathed in white and black and shades of grey, it’s an allusion to the black and white films of bygone days. The interiors as a whole were designed in a 1950s vibe and the massive armchairs are by far the best part. What more do you expect from a café inside a cult socialist era cinema. Café Lorentz (E4) Al. Jerozolimskie 3, tel. 606 699 199, open Mon-Wed 10:00-20:00; Thu 10:00-22:00;
CAFÉS & WINE BARS Fri-Sat 10:00-20:00; Sun 10:00-19:00, www. cafelorentz.pl Set at the front of the National Museum this place has a nice indoor area with high ceilings and minimalist decorations and a green outdoor area populated by wickers chairs and hammocks (obviously, depending on the season). As is the rage in Warsaw, the menu is light, natural and healthy.
signal this doctor’s dedication to his clientele.
Dziurka od Klucza (E3) ul. Radna 13, tel. 500 150 494, open MonSat 12:00-21:00; 12:00-21:00 Dziurka serves an ambiguous role as a bar, restaurant and cafe. Curious doors sit embedded on the wall, as if waiting to be opened by the keys that hang on the tree outside. Flowers, plant pots Café Vincent (D3) and violet splashes give it a cheerful spin, ul. Nowy Świat 64, tel. 22 828 0115, open while the Italian inspired menu isn’t short on Sun-Thu 6:30-24:00; Fri-Sat 6:30-1:00 Ex-pats creative flair. from France, a nation of master bakers if ever there were, profess Vincent to be their favorite Kafka Café (E3) Warsaw bakery. And they’re not alone. Queues ul. Oboźna 3, tel. 22 826 0822, open Mon-Fri build quickly as locals line up to buy baguettes, 9:00-22:00; Sat-Sun 10:00-22:00, www. cinnamon rolls, lemon croissants and beautiful kawiarnia-kafka.pl Floor-to-ceiling glass pains au chocolat. But people don’t just head walls, retro checkered floor tiles and rows of pre-loved books lining shelves characterize in then out, a small wine list and brilliant this café hotspot. They serve salads, pastas people spying opportunities cause most to and pancakes and tote plenty of “free” linger. factors: free wi-fi, smoke-free interiors and Chłodna 25 attitude-free waitresses. ul. Chłodna 25, tel. 604 614 287, open Mon-Fri Kava i Vino (D4) 9:00-22:00; Sat 11:00-22:00; Sun 12:0022:00 It’s back! Under new management, this Al. Jerozolimskie 42, tel. 22 692 7314, www.kavaivino.pl The standout feature Warsaw legend has been reclaimed from the hipsters and given over to the creative classes. is an unconventional interior designed by A place of creaking floorboards, retro armchairs renowned architects Dobek, Wojcickiego, and bookshelves in the process of being filled, Białobrzeska, Boczko. Over 1,200 pieces of wood hang from the ceiling, creating that this neighborhood hangout draws more than just neighbors is evidence of its greatness. a beautiful visual effect. The short menu And the really good bit? They’ve now got beer features wine, cold meat platters, cheese bruschetta, wraps, salads and sandwiches, as (Bojan, Lwówek and Goralskie) – let joy be well as a few daily specials – the results are unconfined! fair to good. Cześć (C3) ul. Grzybowska 2 (through the side passage), Limoni Canteri 1952 (E9) ul. Dąbrowskiego 1, tel. 789 176 730, open tel. 505 695 512, open Mon-Sat 11:00-last daily 8:00-22:00. Also at ul. Zwycięzców guest; Sun 10:00-22:00, www.czesc.waw. 49, tel. 518 652 436, open daily 10:00pl Located down a gusty tunnel underneath 22:00 Appearing as a wooden cabin in an a modern residential/office compound, you might not expect much. But this small room is overgrown park (someone, clear it up please), a treasure: one with Artezan Pacific and British Limoni get noted for Italian gelato that’s too good for words – join the line for tastes like cider on tap, Rwandan drip coffee, mountain cherry, plum and redcurrant, or go edgy and vodka and boutique cakes made with love. Changing art adorns the walls, and there’s no experimental with flavors such as salmon, shortage of eccentricities – upcycled crates as tomato or basil. shelving, and a toilet with a Space Invaders theme. A versatile place, it’s the café everyone Między Nami (D4) ul. Bracka 20, tel. 22 828 5417, open needs next door. Mon-Wed 10:00-23:00; Thu 10:00-23:00; Dr. Kava (D5) Fri-Sat 10:00-24:00; Sun14:00-23:00, www. ul. Hoża 58/60, tel. 601 615 327, open Mon-Fri miedzynamicafe.com With 18 years of service 7:30-20:00; Sat-Sun 10:00-20:00, www. under their belt you may think of Między drkava.pl Looking dynamite red, Dr. Kava was Nami as being an antiquated has-been. Not one of the success stories of 2013 – some go as so. Haunted by a mix of media types and far as to say it’s their favorite coffee in the city. local characters, this hip white piece of postCoffee from Chicco d’Oro and chocolates and commie Warsaw has an enduring, almost confectionary from pedigree producer Leone timeless appeal.
WARSAW INSIDER | JUNE 2014
Ministerstwo Kawy (D6) ul. Marszałkowska 27/35, tel. 503 080 906, open Mon-Fri 9:00-22:00; Sat-Sun 10:00-22:00, www.ministerstwokawy.pl Ranked 16th in the WORLD, you can put your faith in the house barista. Using Arabica from Colombia, Kenya and Guatemala, rave reviews are both standard and appropriate. The backdrop muddles pristine wall tiles with comfy chaises and uber-cool lighting, with the ambience never too commercial, nor too hipster – rather, just right. MiTo (D6) ul. Waryńskiego 28, tel. 22 629 0815, open Mon-Fri 8:00-23:00; Sat-Sun 9:00-23:00, www.mito.art.pl Café, gallery, bookstore. Of course, we’ve seen that concept before, just not done in this style. Stark white backgrounds are offset by edgy art, lending the place a Tate Modern feel, something accentuated by the earnest fashion students who gather through the day. And there’s the toilet, a futuristic affair with piped music and a mirrored wall. Niezłe Ziółko Café & Deli (D5) ul. Krucza 17, tel. 664 844 439, open MonFri 8:00-20:00; Sat-Sun 9:00-19:00 A shrine to pure and healthy eating, this friendly café doesn’t just brew a great coffee, but bakes its own bread and produces its own yogurt. Sit in the loft to look down on shoppers scurrying to Mokotowska, and on the way out, check out ‘Grandma’s Cupboard’ in the corner: jams, spreads and olive oils are there to buy for home. Państwo Miasto (B1) ul. Andersa 29, tel. 22 400 9446, open 9:00-24:00, panstwomiasto.pl Is there anything better than sitting in a café, book in hand, while spring sunshine pours through the windows? We go to Państwo to do just that, an echoy, cavernous café with a young, lively crowd that’s keen on scholastic events and political causes. Never does it feel too trendy, or too hipster – it’s a place that’s all about atmosphere and friendship. Prosta Historia (H4) ul. Francuska 24, tel. 22 870 13 25, open Mon-Wed 12:00-22:30; Thu-Sat 12:0023:00; Sun 12:00-22:00 Informal looking with its clean white finishes and stripped wood floors, it’s an ideal spot for a lazy weekend – few places in Warsaw feel so naturally continental. The food, it needs to be said, is very good indeed, with hefty steaks, multiple burgers and some fine desserts.
Relaks (E9) ul. Puławska 48, open Mon-Fri 8:00-21:00; Sat 9:00-19:00; Sun 9:00-18:00 Generally travelling by tram for a cup of Joe sounds excessive, but that’s exactly what you’ll be doing on discovering Relaks. Expertly prepared, right down to the foam art, the baristas here use the finest imported machines and work only with fair trade, ‘specialty’ coffee. If you have time, the drip coffees are more than worth the wait. The interiors supply a retro accent, and are lapped up by a very fashion aware crowd. Secret Life ul. Słowackiego 15/19, tel. 507 226 552, open Mon-Thu 8:00-21:00; Fri 8:00-22:00; Sat 10:00-22:00; Sun 10:00-21:00 You might already be familiar with Secret Life of Things, a fab design store on the other end of town. Now the same minds have expanded their offer to include this café, a delightful spot that opened in summer. The deckchairs outside may have gone but the hype lingers on: an eclectic design marries a Scandinavian look to an eccentric spirit, while unpasteurized beers, organic teas and a locally sourced menu do the rest. Socjal (E4) ul. Foksal 18, tel. 787 181 051, open Mon-Thu 12:00-2:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-4:00; Sun 12:00-2:00 Looking raw, industrial and fashionably spartan, the principal feature of Socjal is the long communal table – who you end up talking to is down to the dice. A faded concept, maybe, but in Socjal it feels as fresh as tomorrow. Pizza and Prosecco are the best sellers.
Sueño Café & Tapas Bar ul. Oboźna 9/100, tel. 22 826 8317, open Mon-Thu 9:00-22:00; Fri 9:00-24:00; Sat 12:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-20:00 The simple décor, inspired by a traveller’s way of living, provides a casual yet lively atmosphere. Surfboards and beach photographs decorate the walls and hammocks hang from the ceilings. The owners, kite surfers and avid travellers, have combined ideas from various different countries – evident not only in the décor but also in the menu.
WINE BARS Ale Wino! (E5) ul. Mokotowska 48, tel. 22 628 3830, open Mon-Tue 10:00-22:00; Wed-Sat 10:00-24:00, www.alewino.pl Warsaw
is increasingly devoted to megalith wine worlds. In comparison, Ale Wino is small fry, Lilliputian even. Yet there’s a real charm that wins over all. Covertly stashed inside a courtyard, that Ale Wino’s! neighbors include fashion Tsar Robert Kupisz announce this place as the frontline of cool – as if to qualify this, find furnishings by the celebrated design brains at Studio Rygalik. Stocked with wines from 16 countries, place your trust in sommelier Adrian Litkowicz for a taste of something special. Bristol Wine Bar (D2) ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie 42/44. open 12:00-23:00 Effortlessly evoking a real sense of history, the design is a triumph with lots of polished brass and nickel, rich wood finishes and marble floors. You feel like you’ve stepped into a film. But talking points aren’t limited to the interiors alone. The wine selection was personally overseen by Robert Mielżyński, possibly the most esteemed wine importer in the country. And the choice is prodigious. Offering a complete cruise through the wines of the Old Continent and the New World, the collection is precisely presented from behind glass cases that line the walls. BEST WAWA 2013 “Wine Bar” Charlotte (D6) ul. Aleja Wyzwolenia 18 (enter from pl. Zbawiciela), tel. 22 628 4459, open Mon-Thur 7:00-24:00; Fri 7:00-1:00; Sat 9:00-1:00; Sun 9:00-22:00, www.bistrocharlotte.com It matters not if you’re easily traumatized by the catwalk parade that is Charlotte. Open from seven on weekdays, it’s the place for a morning croissant. And if you’re armed with the latest Mac technology, all the better – join the other posers at the communal table. Located on Warsaw’s most happening roundabout, there’s no better place to indulge a hangover with a spot of eavesdropping than inside this boulangerie/wine bar. Hoża by Mondovino (D5) ul. Hoża 25a, tel. 515 037 001, open MonSat 12:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-21:00, www.hoza.warszawa.pl Successfully establishing themselves over summer, you’ll probably know Hoża as the home of steak. But what is meat without wine? Complimenting the Argentine-inspired cooking is a wine list particularly dense with reds. They’re the personal selection of actor / owner Tomasz Budyta, a successful wine importer for the last 23 years.
Jung & Lecker (C5) ul. Emilii Plater 14, tel. 22 866 6749, open Mon-Thur 12:00-22:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-23:00, www.prawdziwewina.pl While the courtyard garden is a highlight, even in sub-zero season there’s reason to swing by. Offering an intimate atmosphere and a strong menu, the finishing touch is provided by way of wines sourced directly from 15 wineries in Germany’s famed Pfalz, Rheinhessen, Rheingau and Mosel regions. Mielżyński Wine Bar (A1) ul. Burakowska 5/7, tel. 22 636 8709, open Mon-Fri 9:00-23:00 (kitchen closes at 22); Sat 11:00-23:00; Sun 11:30-17:00 (kitchen closes at 17:00), www.mielzynski.pl Robert Mielżyński, a Canadian-born oenologist, awakened Warsaw’s love affair with the grape when he launched Mielżyński in 2004, and it continues to serve as the accepted benchmark to which all wine bars aspire. Their cause is amply boosted by a fine selection of bites to accompany the superlative wine offer. Find it in a pared down warehouse that emanates with city casual cool.
Portucale (E10) ul. Merliniego 2, tel. 22 898 0925, open 11:00-23:00, www.portucale.pl The rule here is to keep it simple. Stick to the truly amazing seafood and good house wine, both of which promise a terrific Portuguese experience. $$ Winosfera (B3) ul. Chłodna 31, tel. 22 526 25 00, open MonSat 12:00-23:00, www.winosfera.pl Lending a lift to a sad stretch of Chłodna is Winosfera, a huge wine bar with all the requisite crates and industrial fittings – there’s even a cinema. The upside is true fine dining, and a flawless wine selection. Żurawina (D5) ul. Żurawia 32/34, tel. 22 521 06 66, open Mon-Sat 12:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-18:00 Lacking in intimacy, this large white room gets criticized for its jarring artwork and staffing blips – in the world of wine it’s important the customer can connect to the staff: here, we felt like we were joining the SS. But both food and wine score highly, and they’ve already won a staunchly loyal following. Get your week off to a galloping start and visit on ‘Jazz Monday’s’. You’ll be joining the most beautiful people in the city.
Reviews: Jedna Trzecia 71 / Plus:
* 8 updates
for past picks visit: www.warsawinsider.pl
BARS & PUBS 72 / CLUBS 78 / GENTLEMAN’S CLUBS 78 / JAZZ CLUBS 78 / SHOT BARS 76
Jedna Trzecia ul. Wilcza 52, tel 605 589 588, open Mon-Thu 16:00-24:00; Fri 16:00-2:00; Sat-Sun 14:00-24:00.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ED WIGHT
hat is it they say about buses? You wait ages for one and then two come along at once. Well, the same goes for Belgian pubs. Hot on the heels of Elephant in New Town is Jedna Trzecia (or, if you prefer English: One Third), a place that’s quick to please from the outset – I mean, who doesn’t like crossing a little metal bridge to get to a pub? And even more so when the pub in question happens to be Belgian. Opened right in time for drinking season, it’s just about the final piece in the Wilcza jigsaw. If the design is industrial – breeze blocks and chipboard – then it doesn’t really reflect on the overall feel: muted mustard lighting and a laidback audience soften the edge, creating a place that’s suited to wallowing and chat. The real snare, however, is the beer: here, that means 70 or so bottles in the fridge(s) and about seven on tap – true, in all visits over half the taps have been out of action, but that’s a triviality. So long as there’s St. Feuillen Grand Cru then I’m not complaining. Come 5 p.m. its proximity to an office block mean it fills out fast with laminates and lanyards. But as the night draws on the crowd transmutes into a sea of female faces: at times, I’ve seen the girls outnumber the lads by a ratio of 2:1. In nightlife terms, that’s a Warsaw first. In part, that’s down to the atmosphere, but the real determining factor is the beers themselves. There is, without question, something for everyone: fruity lambics, masculine Tripels, traditional Saisons and modern Belgian IPAs. And three cheers for the job lot of Hoegaarden. Of course, Belgian beer does not come cheap, and with no prices highlighted I was suspicious at first (“Craft beer bar?” noted the photographer, “more like a crafty beer bar”). In truth though, the bill is lighter than expected, with bottles beginning at 11, and tap beers at 13 – not a bad price structure for the world’s best beers. But there is more. When I say Jedna Trzecia is just about the final piece in the local jigsaw, the puzzle has been completed by the opening of a sister restaurant / hangout just on the corner. (AW)
BARS & PUBS Bazar (F1) ul. Okrzei 22, tel. 508 321 264, open 12:00-last guest There’s Krusovice, Bernard and Staropramen on tap, and the Czech slant is lent added meat by a series of evenings held in cahoots with the Czech Cultural Centre – it’s during boozy disco nights the party spills into a shadowy cellar with light retro hints. On ground level its raw and industrial with asphalt colors and overhead pipes. You wouldn’t expect it, but the margaritas are smashing. Beirut (D5) ul. Poznańska 12, open daily 12:00-4:00, www.beirut.com.pl As hip as ever, Beirut has walls dusted with cult album covers, documentary posters and witty graffiti inspired by Banksy. Busy in the day, and absolutely packed at night, order unconventional beers (Noteckie, English ale, Erdinger) from androgynous staff standing behind a sandbag bar decorated with silver hand grenades and a model tank. Bierhalle (A1) Al. Jana Pawła II 82 (Arkadia), open 11:00last guest Having tapped their first beer six or seven years back, Bierhalle have morphed into a national chain. All three Warsaw locations have a cut/paste Bavarian atmosphere, hefty wooden fittings and waitresses dressed like mountain frauleins. The beer is good, but Warsaw now has much better and in less formulaic surrounds. Bollywood Lounge (D4) ul. Nowy Świat 58, tel. 22 827 0283, open Sun-Thu 12:00-3:00; Fri 12:00-6:00; Sat 14:00-6:00, www.bollywoodlounge.pl Now on Nowy Świat, the team have used the opportunity to upgrade their offer: gone is that low-rent feel of old, replaced in favor of a more classy look and a slicker crowd. What has remained constant is the energy. Ace cocktails (recommended: Jim Ban Chili), tottering talent and a range of sheesha pipes make it a weekend must, though the big news is the completion of their downstairs club: check it out for the bright, banging beats of the Bollywood sound.
NIGHTLIFE British Bulldog (D4) ul. Aleje Jerozolimskie 42, tel. 22 827 0020, open 11:00-1:00, www.bbpub.pl The most faithful replica of an English pub you’ll find. And they get a further nod for a brilliant covered terrace that’s great in all weather. Not that you’ll find many British expats in here, they’ve been boycotting the place ever since the dismissal of the original British manager. Judging by the standard of their beer, you might want to follow their example.
Chmielarnia (B5) ul. Twarda 42 (basement level), tel. 22 890 77 05, open Mon-Thu 11:00-24:00; Fri 11:00-2:00; Sat 12:00-2:00; Sun 12:0024:00, www.chmielarnia.waw.pl A subterranean multi-tap found in the depths of the fishing institute. Artisan beers rule the roost here (there’s 15 taps and stacks more beer in the fridge), a point underlined by a glass coffin of mainstream garbage. While the bar gets loud and rackety, sweaty and sticky, that’s balanced out by a rotating beer offer that’s moderately priced plus an outdoor wooden terrace that’s largely superior to anything in the area. Coctail Bar Max (D5) ul. Krucza 16/22, tel. 691 710 000, open daily 11:00-3:00, www.barmax.pl Can you trust a cocktail bar that can’t even spell the word? In this case, it’s a resounding yes. With its light wood touches and fruity montages Max looks bright, cheerful and fully loaded for the sun, and also comes with an alcove in the back stuffed with whisky
and cigars. The cocktails are the main affair though, and here they’re extravagant efforts that resemble a tropical jungle in a miniature form. The only problem? By their very nature, cocktails aren’t concocted in two minutes flat – if it’s busy, waiting around is like Death by a Thousand Cuts.
Cuda Na Kiju (E4) ul. Nowy Świat 6/12, tel. 662 006 106, open 10:00-2:00, www.cudanakiju.pl Warsaw’s multi-tap revolution started here! This sleek space comes drenched in sunlight that slants through the four glass walls, while the shaded courtyard is a summer must and frequently utilized for various one off events. Find 15 taps dispensing regional and craft brews as well as quirky imports from Czech, Belgium and beyond. Cześć (C3) ul. Grzybowska 2 (through the side passage), tel. 505 695 512, open Mon-Sat 11:00-last guest; Sun 10:00-22:00, www.czesc.waw.pl Some say it’s more of a café – we say, check the fridge. Despite its diminutive size Cześć have one of the most adventurous alcohol offers in the city, with a steady stream of British cider (Sheppy’s, Weston’s, Old Rosie), Polish lagers (Artezan, Pinta) and other international names (Grimbergen, Crabbies). If there was an award for best neighborhood hangout, they’d breeze it. Czeska Baszta (E4) Tower 22A, Most Poniatowskiego, open Tue-Thu, Sun 16:00-23:00; Sat-Sun
16:00-24:00; Sun 16:00-23:00, www. czeskabaszta.pl Set in one of those towers that props up Most Poniatowskiego, its surroundings look grim – at night even scary. Bathed in a yellowish murk, it’s actually warm and welcoming, and the reason for that soon becomes apparent: everyone is drunk! There’s 80 Czech beers to pick from, and they do more than enough to distract from the rattle and rumble of overhead trams and a swamp monster toilet. Dubrovnik (D4) ul. Nowogrodzka 22, tel. 885 835 885, open 11:00-last guest, www.dubrovnik.waw.pl Yes, Dubrovnik is a restaurant. And yes, it’s a restaurant that doesn’t promise much – set with woodsy features and mock-rustic details, it looks cheap and tacky and one to avoid. But guess what, it’s one of the first tankovy pubs in Poland! A Czech innovation, the storing system preserves the beers freshness, and even takes away the usual gassy, belchy taste of Tyskie. Elephant Belgian Pub (C1) ul. Freta 19, tel. 532 742 400, open 11:00-22:00 Signposted by a dancing pink elephant, Delirium presents its cause the moment you enter – there’s twenty or so taps laid right out in front, and to the left a fridge that’s expected to top out to cover 200 beers. The design is basic – brickwork, beer kegs and varying ephemera of the brewing trade – but it doesn’t need that much more: it’s about the beer, after all. The real negative is the prices: it’s a Belgian beer bar, so find weighty
Restauracja / Bar / Klub
ul. Nowy Świat 58, Warszawa | Al. Jana Pawła 9-11 (Aleja Topolowa), Gdynia www.bollywoodlounge.pl / Polub nas na Facebooku
WARSAW INSIDER | JUNE 2014
prices passed down to the punters. Gorączka Złota (D5) ul. Wilcza 29, tel. 22 625 6855, open MonFri 13:00-24:00; Sat 17:00-24:00, www.goraczka-zlota.com.pl Founded in 1996, Złota’s longevity is to be admired, even if the interiors aren’t. Small, dark and a little pungent, the interiors are rendered out of little more than varnished wood and hundreds of beer coasters. But that’s the clue! The secret of their success is down to the beer. Stocking a range of regional and craft beer (Ale Browar, Pinta, Kormoran, AltenMunster, Olbracht, etc.), this unfashionable bar has an underlying honesty that makes it a success. Haka (D4) ul. Bracka 20, tel. 515 967 123, open Mon-Wed 10:00-24:00; Thu-Sat 10:00-2:00; Sun 12:00-24:00 Big things are happening in this small little room. Under the stewardship of Kevin Bradley this ex-pat hit has now added Guinness and live sports (it’s the rugger bugger favorite) to their offer to go alongside a fab menu by Kiwi chef Shane. An intimate
space clad in brickwork and metal, Haka gets further applause for adding Arnie – Warsaw’s favorite cocktail king – to their staff lineup.
to justify calling it a rum bar. The house beer rocks though.
Kita Koguta (E5) ul. Krucza 6/14, tel. 512 307 284, open Mon-Thu 8:00-24:00; Fri 8:00-2:00; Sat 16:00-2:00 Free from the pompous prattery of Bar Max down the road, it’s the kind of cocktail bar that Warsaw’s been waiting for. Find innovative cocktails fixed by fun, playful staff, not to mention unexpected surprises such as a bike with antlers and prizes (a yo-yo!) for anyone who can make an origami paper cock out of the menu (as in a rooster, not something naughty).
Kufle i Kapsle (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 25, tel. 22 127 7218, open Mon-Thu 14:00-2:00; Fri 14:00-4:00; Sat 12:00-4:00; Sun 12:00-2:00, www.kufleikapsle.pl Ten tap and two pump beers offer a magnificent spread of daily changing beers, and the good news continues with the choice in the fridge: there’s 120 beers down there, so gamble on a rather jolly night. Interiors are balanced with the pre-war heritage of the building, and are already thick with noise, clamor and the welcome scent of beer and spillage. BEST WAWA 2013 “Beer Bar”
Kraken Rum Bar (D5) ul. Poznańska 12, tel. 791 334 606, open daily 12:00-4:00 Named after one of the ocean’s most feared mythical creatures (the scary squid from Pirates of the Caribbean), the wood-clad Kraken features a wall of cymbals, heavy furniture and some interesting photography. While there’s some decent bottles of rum, there’s perhaps not enough
Kwadrat (D5) ul. Poznańska 7, tel. 790 010 088, open Mon-Fri 16:00-last guest; Sat 18:00-last guest, www.kwadrat.waw.pl Chilled out and downtempo, owners Zosia and Michał have created a legend out of this dinky two room affair. There’s too many beers to recommend, though the Rowing Jack diminishes quickly for a reason.
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NIGHTLIFE Legends (C5) ul. Emilii Plater 25, tel. 22 622 4640, open Mon-Thu 11:00-23:00; Fri 11:0002:00; Sat 12:00-02:00, Sun 12:00-23:00, www.legendsbar.pl A place that just keeps growing on us; there’s a segregated smoking chamber, traditional dartboard (no stupid electronics here), Sky Sports and a menu that’s as authentically English as the Downing Street cat. In charge of it all is Graham, a seasoned ex-pat with an embassy background. Leniviec (D5) ul. Poznańska 7, open Mon-Thu 7:30WW
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WARSAW INSIDER | JUNE 2014
24:00; Fri 7:30-2:00; Sat 9:00-2:00; Sun 9:00-24:00, www.leniviec.pl Once known as a café, Leniviec still fulfill that role during daylight. However, it’s their reinvention as a cocktail bar that’s got Warsaw talking, with very superb mixology skills completing a laidback look. Lolek (A8) ul. Rokitnicka 20 (Pole Mokotowskie), tel. 22 825 6202, open daily 11:00-03:00, www. lolekpub.pl A boisterous pub with a Bavarian, bacchanal spirit and a park-centered location. Strangers squish together on shaky benches while sausages grill over an open fire inside this classic rough-and-ready drinkery. Catch it at its best in summer when the outdoor seating is thronged. Małe Piwo (D7) ul. Oleandrów 4. tel. 510 905 592, open Mon-Thu 16:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 16:00-24:00; Sun 16:00-23:00 Tight trousers and flamboyant scarves are recommended in this hipster mecca, as is a triumphant drinks choice that numbers short of sixty regional beers. Design doesn’t go beyond jam jars for lights and a messy blackboard, but that’s all this place needs to work. Similar to a backstreet New York dive it’s got an effortless cool and our beer of the year: the minty flavor/raspberry hint M3.
Nowy Świat ‘Pavilions’ (D4) Enter from ul. Nowy Świat 26 Approximately twenty bars occupy a series of low-budget prefabricated cabins, presenting possibly the highest condensation of bars in the capital: in summer, it feels like one big street party. Adding to the gentle sense of confusion comes the realization that so many bars look the same – accessed through clattery, barred doors, visitors walk into what can only be described as murk. Klaps, with its dildo beer taps and phallic walls, is probably the most well-known of the lot. Panorama Bar and Lounge (C5) Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79 (Marriott Hotel), tel. 22 630 6306, open Mon-Sun 18:002:00, www.panoramabar.pl An elegant bar that would easily pass for the VIP room of a well-to-do club. A floor 40 location makes it great for a date: the sunset views are dazzling. Paradox (B1) ul. Anielewicza 2, tel. 691 472 969, open Sun-Thu 10:00-24:00; Fri-Sat 10:00-2:00; Sun 10:00-23:00, www.paradox-cafe.pl Bill-
ing themselves as a ‘sci-fi / gamers / role play asylum’ this is a cradle of geeks, nerds and people who collect serial killer memorabilia. Decorated with plastic black crows, a map of Mordor and figurines of goblins, watch as oddly attired suspects engross themselves in ‘for hire’ games with names like Hobbit and Bewoulf. Paparazzi (D3) ul. Mazowiecka 12, tel. 22 828 4219, open daily 18:00-last guest, www.paparazzi.com. pl Engage in suicidal cocktail consumption alongside high rollers and genetic miracles. Slick and smooth, Poland’s original cocktail chain continues to set the bar high with formidable cocktails (Pimm’s included!) and a smoking section that encompasses everything but the front door.
Patera (C4) ul. Świętokrzyska 36, tel. 535 333 123, open Mon-Thu 11:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 11:00-1:00; Sun 11:00-23:00, www.patera.com.pl Patera fill a binary role: first as an Asian eatery, and second as a cocktail bar. And my, what cocktails. Offering several classics, and a few modern creations, the Ginger Peach Collins is already installed as our cocktail of choice for summer 2014. Pies Czy Suka (D4) ul. Szpitalna 8A, tel. 22 881 83 73, open Mon-Thu 11:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 11:00-1:00; Sun 16:00-23:00, www.piesczysuka.com Monochrome gun metal grey colors are offset by a fashionable crowd attired in red shoes, pink trousers and blue headphones. This clean, concrete space is speckled with plaster moldings of reindeer heads, and excels on the cocktail front. Order from an iPad menu, before settling back for cocktails made using mad scientist, molecular techniques that involve foam, vapor, beakers and other things you’d usually find in Professor Yaffle’s lab. Piw Paw (D5) ul. Żurawia 32/34 (enter from ul. Parkingowa), tel. 534 734 500, open 11:001:00 Dubbing themselves to be Warsaw’s first ‘hyper tap bar’, Piw Paw have an armory of 57 tap beers, about ten tables and two toilets – do you see the problem? Designed more for carry-out custom, it’s an ambitious project though one that doesn’t feel entirely thought out. And in spite of the offer, it’s nothing more exciting than the other multi-tap choices. A
NIGHTLIFE good start point, nonetheless. Plan B (D6) ul. Wyzwolenia 18 (Pl. Zbawiciela), tel. 508 316 976, open Mon-Sun 11:00-last guest. www.planb.pl Plan B is the very essence of dive Warsaw. Weekends pass by in a raucous blur, with the party spilling out under the colonnades outside – it helps to look like a DJ, but in truth everyone is welcome. The hangover from this shabby, grubby bar is traumatic. Polonez (D5) ul. Poznańska 24, tel. 604 942 169, open Sun-Wed 10:00-1:00; Thu 10:00-2:00; Fri-Sat 10:00-3:00. Sparse milk bar chic is set against plenty of oddities (black and white Cybulski films, a set of antlers, hordes of junk), but the cool aesthetics only tell a part of the story. This is a celebration of Poland, both old and new, with drinks that include obscure nalewki, craft local beers, bio drinks and regional tipples. The masterstroke
comes in making this all feel international, contemporary and creative. Przychodnia (D3) ul. Jasna 22, tel. 22 827 8356, open 12:00-24:00 Whoever thought theming a bar on a communist hospital deserves to be sectioned off to one. The interiors are fun (operating theater lights, surgical utensils and a row of toilets in the smoking room), but beyond the gimmickry it’s a place of conventional (bad) Polish beers and frosty staff – if that’s part of the theme we’d rather it weren’t. Resort (C2) ul. Bielańska 1, tel. 535 350 997, open 12:00-last guest With pretty much all interior features made from reusable materials: seats from shopping trolleys, tables from street signs and a bar from books. Shame about the one dimensional beer choice, therefore, not that this deters people enjoying the outdoor terrace.
Shot Bars Afera na Szpitalnej (D4) ul. Szpitalna 3, tel. 509 777 797, open 10:00-2:00; Fri-Sat 24hrs Looking light and bright this place appeals to more than just hardened alcoholics – a point proved by spot-on food home cooked by the owner’s mum. It’s young, fun and lively in swagger. Bar Warszawa (D2) ul. Miodowa 2, tel. 504 320 497, open 24hrs Creak upstairs to find a womb-like space filled out with sofas and nostalgic decorations like vintage radios, pics of old stars and black and white images of bare-breasted ladies. Run as a side hobby by a TV producer, the opening hours meet with full approval. Meta (D3/E4) ul. Mazowiecka 11 & ul. Foksal 21, open 11:00-6:00 Affecting the style of a PRL era bar, these twin venues feature a raft of keepsakes leftover from the old days – right down to the chains of bog paper. Pijalnia (D4) ul. Nowy Świat 19, open 24hrs Bow-tied staff serve vodka and pickles from behind
WARSAW INSIDER | JUNE 2014
a tiled bar to a crowd that gets younger as the day gets older. In quieter times, check the newspapered walls to read up on 1980s sports reports. Przekąski u Romana (F4) ul. Ludna 2, tel. 660 525 777, open 24hrs. When Warsaw’s original shot bar, Przekąski Zakąski, closed last year the gasps were audible. But fear not, the cult hero you’d have found serving the shots, the bow-tied, debonair Roman Modzelewski, has gone and opened his own venue. Expect the same formula (cheap beer and vodka, traditional Polish boozy bites) inside a background dominated by a giant picture of the Palace of Culture. Przekazki Zakaski (D4) Al. Jerozolimskie 44, open 24hrs. Warsaw’s first shot bar has upped sticks and moved from the Europesjski Hotel to an all-weather marquee behind the rotunda. Lacking the atmosphere of the original, it feels like a pointless attempt to trade on old glories. And not even city hall want you here: not until owner Adam Gessler pays off the millions he owes them.
Secado (D5) ul. Marszałkowska 66, tel. 608 707 799, open Mon-Fri 10:00-23:00; Sat 11:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-23:00 Most part restaurant, bit part bar, there’s a flexibility here that has turned it into one of those places where people meet, eat and generally hangout – not always in that order. And as for the drinks, they’re really very good. Using their own mixes, Secado present a succinct list of must-try cocktails. Try their best seller: the Bloody Hell. Using Chopin vodka infused with horse radish, pirri pirri and basil, this pimped out version of the Bloody Mary incorporates chili syrup and wasabi in a high octane drink BEST WAWA 2013 that kicks like a mule. “Cocktails” Spiskowcy Rozkoszy (D5) ul. Żurawia 47/49, tel. 796 671 950, open Mon-Thu 16:00-24:00; Fri-Sat 16:00-1:00; Sun 16:00-23:00, www.spiskowcy.pl The ground floor is an intimate space with lots of yet-to-be-famous beers and junky, antique furniture that reminds of the Boho hangouts in Kraków. But what was a packed, little bar is now a packed, big bar with the opening of the basement: find a labyrinth of rooms and psychedelic toilets with pulsating lights – you soon wonder who spiked your drink. And oh, the drinks. Expect IPA and APA beers served from the six taps. Sztuka i Sztucki (D4) ul. Szpitalna 8A, tel. 22 468 00 00, open Sun-Thu 12:00-last guest; Fri-Sat 18:00-last guest, www.sztukisztuczki.pl Visitors negotiate a maze of narrow corridors, nooks and corners, with meanderings to the leviathan, boat-shaped bar taking in concrete floors, naked brickwork and vaulted ceilings. The beer list offers a jumble of exemplary brews, among them the outstanding Grimbergen, while cocktails are novel and largely ravishing. And of course, it helps that enjoyment of them is done on ultra-cool seats designed by Pierre Favresse. Rather than attracting gurning wannabe’ Latino dudes and plastic models the music attracts a diverse range of peeps: that’s thanks to a schedule that encompasses everything from jazz tributes to club nights. BEST WAWA 2013 “Late Night”
Temat Rzeka (G3) Under Poniatowskiego Bridge, open Sun-Tue 11:00-1:00; Wed 11:00-2:00; Thu 11:003:00; Fri-Sat 11:00-5:00 Making its debut last year, Temat emerged as Warsaw’s favorite summer home. Appearing as a pimped-up
cargo container, this beach bar complex has a busy schedule that involves DJ performances and film nights. It can feel saturated, but only the weather stops people turning up in their hundreds – and sometimes thousands. Warsaw Tortilla Factory (D5) ul. Wilcza 46, tel. 22 621 8622, open Mon-Sun 12:00-last guest, www.warsawtortillafactory.pl Warsaw’s premier sports pub: and it’s not just the extent of their sporting offer that elevates WTF, but the atmosphere. Whether it’s international rugby, or Bristol City on a Tuesday night, the tension, camaraderie and horseplay are unmatched. On the occasions when there is no sport, swing by for live bands and a lively atmosphere fueled by a heady mix of ex-pats, international students, and locals bewildered by it all. The recent addition of boutique beverages such as Brew Dog and Thistly Cross has gone down a treat. Warszawa Powiśle (E4) ul. Kruczkowskiego 3B, tel. 22 474 40 84, open Mon-Fri 11:00-last guest; Sat-Sun 9:00-last guest, www.warszawapowisle.pl The prime months for this former ticket-booth are in summer when the deck chairs outside provide ample opportunity for the city’s young to gather in an almost carnival-like atmosphere. Seen as the hipster Center of Power, a collective bout of outrage saved them from council threatened closure last year. Not just a bar, they’re now filling a dual role as Warsaw’s one billionth burger joint.
1500m2 (E3) ul. Solec 18, tel. 22 628 8412, open Fri-Sat 22:00-6:00, www.1500m2.com This former printing works has been central to the rise of Powiśle, and with its ragged Berlin edge its proven a fine venue for everything from weekend hipster markets to one-off dusk-tilldawn electro and DJ events.
Basen ul. Konopnickiej 6, tel. 696 058 944, open Fri-Sat 21:00-6:00, www.artbasen.pl Warsaw’s first municipal swimming pool has been handed a new lease of life as one of the premier alt. music venues in Poland: Tricky, DJ Shadow and The Fratellis have performed in the past, and this summer promises more cult names such as serial bad ass DJ Snoopadelic.
De Lite (E5) ul. Marii Konopnickiej 6, tel. 792 014 166, www.deliteclub.pl This place definitely figures highly in the ‘bubbles and beauties’ stakes. Scantily clad dates bop along sipping on martinis, flirting and dancing, while exposed brick and pipes, raw concrete and an interesting mirror setup in the bathrooms add to the futuristic, spaceship interior. Element (D4) ul. Jasna 1, tel. 22 667 435 363 or 22 692 42 42, open Thu-Sat 22:00-7:00, www. elementclub.pl With door control negotiated, clubbers slip downstairs into a blue-lit laby-
rinth heaving with slick, polished finishes and a thumping sound system. Marketed at the higher end of the clubbing world, there’s no shortage of temptresses gyrating around in a dense cloud of perfume. Enklawa (D3) ul. Mazowiecka 12, tel. 22 827 3151, open Wed-Sat 22:00-4:00, www.enklawa.com Forget internet dating, Enklawa is the best pick-up joint around – a classic kitschy, glitzy disco, it draws in huge crowds with a simple lineup of pop and dance hits. Still regarded as the best Wednesday night in Warsaw, it’s the place for singletons looking for a one night confidence boost. The Eve (D3) Pl. Piłsudskiego 9, tel. 604 145 462 or 22 827 5242, open Thu-Fri 21:00-last guest, www.theeve.pl Beauty and booty come first in The Eve, a blinged up offshoot of Platinium nearby. A cutthroat door policy ensures plenty of egos crash and die at the door, and it’s got a Bacchanalian reputation for champagne popping high jinks. Observe them through the one way mirror in the VIP room. Foksal XVIII (E4) ul. Foksal 18, open Fri-Sat 10:00-4:00 Composed using chandeliers, bricks and velvet this classy space has gone head to head with The Eve as Warsaw’s flashest venue: breathe deep and smell the money. Cardboard animal shapes hang from the bar, adding some surreal humor to the seriously competitive air.
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NIGHTLIFE Luzztro (E4) Al. Jerozolimskie 6, open Wed-Thu 22:0010:00; Fri-Sat 24:00-14:00, www.luztro.pl Feeling naughty? Luztro enjoys a nefarious reputation as something of a dodgy den of illicit pharmaceuticals and libertine behavior. Looking grim and grotty, this after party legend gets going at about 4 a.m. when troglodyte club creatures emerge to put the final touches to their zonked out stare. For the full tilt, rib rattling electro experience it’s pretty hard to beat. Organza ul. Mazowiecka 12, open Wed-Sat 19:004:00, www.kluborganza.pl The layout is basic: set over two floors lit in Organza’s signature orange/black colors, there’s not much to comment in terms of design – it’s shiny and new and all things Warsaw. The crowd though likes to party and lacks the airs and arrogance of neighboring establishments. Platinium (D3) ul. Fredry 6, tel. 694 413 439, open Thu-Sat 21:00-6:00. www.platiniumclub.pl The place if you’re rich or beautiful – but preferably both. Large and spectacular you’ll need to be dressed to the nines to reap the rewards that lie inside: featuring the most eye candy per sq/m in Europe, you might not find Mr/Mrs Right, but you will find Mr/Mrs Right for Now. Sen Pszczoły ul. Ząbkowska 27/31, tel. 530 360 060, open Tue-Wed 18:00-2:00; Thu-Sat 18:005:00; Sun 18:00-2:00, www.senpszczoly.pl A dive club of legend. With the original turned to ashes (literally, it burnt down last year), the owners could have been forgiven for calling it a day. They haven’t. Instead they’ve reopened in Koneser, and unleashed Warsaw’s most surreal interior in the process: amid the heavy industrial background expect bunk bed frames, a dentist’s chair and no shortage of neon painted weirdness. Concerts are a mixed bag, and range from didgeridoo performances to inter-war songs to full-on techno. Space Club (A5) ul. Kolejowa 37/39, tel. 606 617 228, open Fri-Sat 23:00-6:00, www.club-space.eu A true techno club with crazy lights, a great sound system, big name DJs, and lots of room to waggle about and enjoy Ibiza flashbacks. Watch Me (D3) ul. Mazowiecka 6/8, open 19:00-4:00, www. watchmeclub.pl Seen as a glowing glass block from the outside, Watch Me unravels into a
WARSAW INSIDER | JUNE 2014
multi-level club space: one with a sunken dance zone and a neon stripped stairwell.
GENTLEMAN’S CLUBS Coyote (D3) ul. Mazowiecka 6/8, tel. 505 469 056, open Mon-Sun 21:00-5:00, www.coyotebar.eu Coyote Bar marks the start of the Mazowiecka, err, strip, and features a small bar in front and then a larger room with more intimate acts of friendship taking place behind the curtain. Playhouse (B3) Al. Solidarności 82A, tel. 794 007 000, open 21:00-4:00, www.playhouse.pl Not here gorilla gangsters on the door or pushy girls doing the rounds. Instead, Playhouse models itself on the top class mega clubs such as Spearmint Rhino, and the result is a subterranean space removed from the sleaze and murk usually associated with the industry. But you want to know what the girls are like, yeah? Let the fact askmen.com voted it their favorite strip in the world speak for itself. Sofia (D6) ul. Polna 13, www.klubsofia.pl A.k.a The Bulgarian Embassy, Sofia have rebuilt the reputation earned during their city center heyday in the naughty noughties. Sure, the atmosphere is more restrained than in their former location, but the dancers aren’t. Sogo (E4) Al. Jerozolimskie 6, www.sogoclub.pl This place is all about volume, about being the biggest and loudest strip club Poland’s ever seen. Amid the glitzy sprawl find a myriad of attractive ladies who are all in agreement that you’re really great.
JAZZ Bistro na Pięknej (D6) ul. Piękna 20, tel. 22 627 4151, open Mon-Fri 11:00-24:00; Sat 12:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-23:00, www.jazzone.pl A slick looking jazz spot that’s seen the benefit of a recent overhaul. Valued additions include a less austere style and what at times might feel like Warsaw’s only fireplace. Popular with a smart city crowd, keep an eye out for their live acts. Nu Nu Nu (D5) ul. Żurawia 6/12, tel. 22 621 8989, open
Mon-Fri 11:00-24:00; Sat-Sun 12:00-24:00. For something a little educated take a date to Nu, a high-ceilinged effort with slick urban dashes and regular piano. The Żurawia location marks it out as a popular spot for a high-end crowd. Tygmont Jazz Club (D3) ul. Mazowiecka 6/8, tel. 22 828 3409, www.tygmont.com.pl, open daily 16:004:00 For true jazz lovers, Tygmont is a breath of fresh air in a city up to its ears in terrible acoustics.
LIVE MUSIC 1500m2 (E3) ul. Solec 18, tel. 22 628 8412, open Fri-Sat 22:00-06:00, www.1500m2.com Set in a former printing factory, 1500m2 has been central to the rise of Powiśle. The industrial space has a real Berlin edge to it, and events range from weekend flea markets to teeth shattering, dusk-till-dawn electro events. Chwila (B3) ul. Ogrodowa 31/35, tel. 22 401 1754, open 12:00-last guest; Sun 15:00-last guest Entered under a red, cabaret-style awning, Chwila is a reject factory space turned good. Furry cushions, patchwork quilts and student art vie for attention alongside iron girders and industrial leftovers inside what is becoming known as one of the top alternative music venues this side of the river. The toilet alone, papered with trillions of cool posters and magazine covers, is a reason to linger. Pardon To Tu (C4) Pl. Grzybowski 12/16, tel. 513 191 641, open 10:00-4:00, www.pardontotu.pl Decorated in voluptuous brothel colors, the design involves mismatched seats, tilted lampshades and a relaxed arthouse look popular with creatives and other fringe dwellers. The live talent ranges from moody quartets to jazzy chanteuses, while a perfect marriage of late hours and great bottled beers helps along the enthusiastic crowd of latter day beatniks. Basen (E5) ul. Konopnickiej 6, tel. 696 058 944, open Fri-Sat 21:00-6:00, www.artbasen.pl Get this, you’ll be doing your dance steps in what was formerly Warsaw’s first public swimming pool. Featuring a line-up of live bands and some of the top electronic acts around, this is definitely one to add to the watch list.
Reviews: She’s a Riot General Store 79
for past picks visit: www.warsawinsider.pl
ACCESSORIES 79/ ANTIQUES 80 / BOOKS 80 / FASHION 80 / SHOPPING MALLS 82
Bath & Body Works ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy), open Mon-Sat 9:00-22:00; Sun 9:00-21:00, ul. Wołoska 12 (Galeria Mokotów), Mon-Sat 10:00-22:00; Sun 10:00-21:00 The famed American brand signals its arrival to Europe with the launch of their Warsaw branch. Now fans of the brand can experience first-hand luxurious fragrant body care, hand and home collections. Customers can discover sophisticated fragrances, test shower gels and soaps at the sink area, and try everything from body lotions to home fragrances.
She’s a Riot General Store ul. Mokotowska 24, open Mon-Fri 11:00-20:00; Sat 12:00-16:00, shop.shesariot.com
his isn’t your typical Mokotowska Street boutique. There’s no flashy storefront or signature awning. Instead, there’s a retro-style placard set outside No. 24. The shop itself is sort of hidden, accessed by domofon to the left of the main entrance. To get inside, you have to get past one more obstacle – the doorbell – before you’re greeted by a terribly chic young lady outfitted in She’s a Riot gear. Immediately to the left you have the latest venture from the youngish designer of the creative fashion label, Ewelina Kustra, a kid’s line made up of sweet rock-a-billy pieces (biker jackets and monochrome rompers) that Wednesday from the Addams Family would adore. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here, because She’s a Riot is, first and foremost, a fashion-forward label for grownups – women who hover between a rock-inspired, whimsical twist on a retro Mad Men silhouette. The label made a splash several years ago with jewel-toned shirtdresses that made their way to the wardrobes of the majority of Polish starlets. The shirtdress continues to be a staple, this season featured in a daring white/navy tie-dye style. The tie-dye theme makes an appearance on a number of pieces – from circle skirts to harem pants and basic tees. There’s a sports line, with sexy little shorts and tops in gray with electric yellow piping, as well as some skittles-inspired sweatshirts left over from the previous season (on sale!). And of course there is the famous t-shirt collection, with memorable slogans like “Fuck My Polish Life” and “I Slept with Anja” in slouchy/sexy shapes. The collection is rounded out with a selection of funky Ykra backpacks in gorgeous colors. Best of all, this is truly a home-grown fashion collection, with each piece inspired by Kustra’s own style and designed and sewn locally. It’s certainly an entirely different world from the likes of Maciej Zień. She’s a Riot’s tongue-in-cheek approach to fashion is guaranteed to put a smile on your face and a funky little skirt on your behind. (AMG)
HOS&me ul. Mokotowska 63, tel. 22 625 0881, open Mon-Fri 11:00-19:00; Sat 12:00-15:00, www. mokotowska63.com Luxury jewelry and the best in the biz. In stock: high end treasures from Nialaya, Lene Bjerre Design, Ti Sento, Christensen and Dryberg/Kern. Impossible Project ul. Mysia 3, tel. 884 867 518, open Mon-Fri 10:00-20:00; Sat-Sun 12:00-18:00. The Polaroid comes back to life in Impossible Project, a place with refurbished original cameras as well as new film formula. Lilou ul. Mokotowska 63, tel. 22 403 19 19, open Mon-Fri 11:19:00; Sat 11:00-18:00; Sun 11:00-16:00, www.lilou.pl Modular jewelry made simple, and a must for all Warsaw fashionistas.
Victoria’s Secret Beauty & Accessories ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy), tel. 665 625 618, open Mon-Sat 9:00-22:00; Sun 9:00-21:00, ul. Wołoska 12 (Galeria Mokotów), tel. 22 541 4141, Mon-Sat 10:00-22:00; Sun 10:00-21:00 An assortment of Victoria’s Secret Beauty products including fun and flirty fragrances, such as Bombshell, as well as the
SHOPPING scented VS Fantasies body care range. For that glam girl-on-the go, expect to find a wide range of Victoria’s Secret branded bags, luggage, passport covers and small leather goods to cosmetic bags, bangles and key fobs.
ANTIQUES Kolo ul. Obozowa 99, www.gieldastaroci.waw.pl What looks like a soggy tent city transforms each Sunday morning into a hopelessly addictive flea market offering wartime militaria, religious icons, chinaware, furniture from unverified periods of history, and even the occasional suit of armor. Half-junkyard, half treasure trove, it’s an experience in itself. Lamus ul. Nowomiejska 7, tel. 22 831 63 21, www. lamus.pl Another antique bookstore that comes filled with leather-bound tomes, regal looking scrolls and elaborate maps. Also known for their pre-war prints and paintings of Warsaw before it was knocked down. Prima Porta Antiquities ul. Moktowska 71, www.primaportaantiquities.com At the top end of the scale the German-run Prima Porta specialize in pieces from ancient Rome, Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia and Asia. Formidable pieces from tiny little Egyptian clay hippos from the 12th Dynasty, all the way to one and half meter statues of Buddha from the Third Myanmar Kingdom.
Victoria Galeria ul. Żytnia 15 lok. 4, open daily 10:00-18:00, www.antykivictoria.pl Sourced from the auction houses of London, with deliveries arriving each month, the offer is overwhelmingly English, though not exclusively so – there are oriental pieces, French, and more. Refreshing in its bright, clean style, Victoria is a magnificent environment to shop for that statement piece every living room requires.
BOOKS American Bookstore Various locations, www.americanbookstore. pl Now a nationwide chain with seven outlets alone in Warsaw. The offer is overwhelmingly commercial with a strong emphasis placed on international bestsellers. There is, however, a very decent section dedicated to Polish history and tourism.
socialist years. Boffins are happy to spend hours browsing. Fundacja Bęc Zmiana ul. Mokotowska 65/7, www.beczmiana.pl A tiny curiosity shop retailing hipster t-shirts, trendy trinkets and a fair amount of arty books with a strong slant towards contemporary Warsaw. Super Salon ul. Chmielna 10, tel. 22 468 1619, open Mon-Sat 11:00-19:00, www.supersalon. org The sort of titles you find in a cool New York magazine store: Apartmento, Elephant, The Gourmand, Kinfolk, Cereal, Aperture, and Gather. And check out the amazing art books published by the likes of Steidl, Mack, Gestalten and Powerhouse.
Bookoff Ogrodowa 7, tel. 22 253 6286, www.bookoff. pl A cult bookstore filled with trendy fashion and design bibles, photography albums, on-trend cookbooks and grown-up comics. You could potentially end up spending really rather heavily.
Ania Kuczyńska ul. Mokotowska 61, tel. 22 622 02 76, open Mon-Fri 11:00-19:00; Sat 11:00-16:00 Ania Kuczyńska is becoming well known for her highly fashionable, minimalist clothing designs. The store also carries adorable baby clothes and various accessories.
Dom Spotkań z Historią ul. Karowa 20, www.dsh.waw.pl Look no further for books on modern Polish / Warsaw history. Of particular note are the picture heavy coffee table tomes that focus on Poland’s immediate pre-war, occupation and
Designer Secret ul. Mokotowska 39 (courtyard), tel. 506 051 048 or 511 649 493, open Mon-Fri 11:0019:00; Sat 11:00-17:00; Sun 11:00-15:00, www.designersecret.pl High end designer clothing brands at discount prices. The racks
ul. Senatorska 27, tel. 22 827 97 07 www.cesarski-palac.com.pl Cesarski Palace has thrived in Warsaw for 18 years – from the outset we were the first to offer authentic Chinese dishes, including our signature Peking Duck which comes baked in a custom-made oven and served with pancakes, cucumbers, por and a special sauce. Expect personalized service and special attention from the chef inside a restaurant sensitive to Feng Shui requirements. There’s nothing comparable to our perfect tastes!
WARSAW INSIDER | JUNE 2014
brim with ladies and mens apparel from the previous years’ collections, with price tags that read from one third to 50% off the original price. Likus Concept Store ul. Bracka 9 (Vitkac), tel. 22 310 73 13, open Mon-Sat 11:00-21:00; Sun 11:0018:00, www.likusconceptstore.pl The Likus Concept Store brings ultra-chic designer clothing to Warsaw. The latest collections from Diesel, D2, Ferre, Sophia Kokosalaki and J. Lindeberg are all available and presented in this stylish three-floor department store. Maciej Zień Boutique ul. Mokotowska 57, tel. 519 000 049, open Mon-Sat 11:00-19:00, www.zien.pl A flagship boutique from one of the stars of Polish fashion. Check Zień Home upstairs for the ultimate designer showroom.
Moliera 2 Boutique ul. Moliera 2, tel, 22 827 7099, open Mon-Fri 11:00-19:00, Sat 11:00-16:00, www.moliera2.com Moliera 2 is the first place in Poland with collections of Valentino, Christian Louboutin, Salvatore Ferragamo, Ralph Lauren Collection, Herve Leger, Moncler Gamme Rouge, Isabel Marant, Simonetta Ravizza, Tod’s, Tory Burch and Balmain. Pinko Klif shopping Centre, ul. Okopowa 58/72,
tel. 22 531 4616, open Mon-Sat 9:00-21:00, Nowy Świat 1, tel. 22 629 1773, open Mon-Sat 11:00-20:00; Sat 11:00-19:00; Sun 11:00-16:00, Wołoska 12 (Galeria Mokotów), tel. 22 541 3862, Mon-Sat 10:00-22:00, Sun 10:00-22:00, www.pinko.it Straight from Italy, this exclusive shop offers an array of chic day wear and eye-catching casual and evening clothes.
Pl. Trzech Krzyży 3/4 Pl. Trzech Krzyży 3/4, tel. 22 622 14 16, open Mon-Fri 11:00-19:00; Sat 11:00-17:00, www.plactrzechkrzyzy.com The first Ralph Lauren store in Poland features not only the latest RL collections for men and women, but also labels like Tod’s, Tom Ford, Valentino, Tory Burch, Moncler and Salvatore Ferragamo. Ready-to-wear clothes and accessories. Premiere Klif shopping Centre, ul. Okopowa 58/72, tel. 22 531 4710, open Mon-Sat 9:00-21:00; Sun 10:00-20:00 The boutique continues the Versace connection with a special “Versace Corner” nestled in the company of the last pieces from the Calvin Klein Collection and VJC Versace. QπШ - Robert Kupisz ul. Mokotowska 48/204 (courtyard), tel. 506 170 801, open Mon-Fri 11:00-19:00; Sat 11:00-14:00, www.robertkupisz.com One of Warsaw’s hottest fashion icons, and
a trip here soon explains why. The exclusive, handmade garments are a guaranteed head turner. Redford and Grant Metropolitan Building, Pl. Piłsudskiego 3, tel. 22 313 2400, open Mon-Fri 11:00-19:00; Sat: 11:00-15:00, www.redfordandgrant.pl This multibrand fashion store is the ultimate destination for designer style in Warsaw for men and women. Offers clothing and accessories from the newest collections from all the major international designers like Dior, YSL, D&G, Gucci, Miu Miu and Prada. Reykjavik District ul. Solec 18/20, tel. 501 399 222, open Tue-Fri 13:00-19:00; Sat-Sun 13:00-17:00, www.reykjavikdistrict.com Chic, well-cut menswear for all occasions as designed by upcoming Icelandic native Olly Lindal. Sabotage ul. Burakowska 5/7, tel. 22 887 1056, open Mon-Sat 10:00-19:30 Those in-theknow know Sabotage as one of the places to buy funky deconstructed denim and sportswear pieces. Here you’ll find a wide array of unique clothes, hats, belts and handbags in a variety of fabrics and styles that hail straight from New York, London and Tokyo. Snobissimo ul. Mokotowska 28, tel. 22 629 8759, open Mon & Fri 11:00-19:00; Sat 11:00-16:00 Top labels from design houses like Jimmy
Le Cedre 84
Le Cedre 61
opposite the court Al. Solidarności 84 Tel 22 618 89 99 email@example.com
opposite the zoo Al. Solidarności 61, Praga Tel 22 670 11 66 firstname.lastname@example.org
Taste the Exotic
SHOPPING Choo, Sonia Rykiel, Les Copains, Sergio Rossi etc., etc. With shoes and accessories all provided for, it’s a one-stop shop to re-boot your wardrobe. Teresa Rosati Al. Witosa 31 (Panorama), tel. 609 433 343, open Mon-Fri 11:00-20:00; Sat 11:00-18:00, www.teresarosati.com.pl Elegant cocktail dresses, gowns for special occasions and beautiful fabrics from one of Poland’s bestknown designers. Ready-to-wear and custommade services at discreet location in Sadyba by appointment. Vintage Store ul. Dobra 56/66 (Level 1, University of Warsaw library), tel. 501 301 742, www. vintagestore.pl Since its inception the store has grown in many ways – now, used brands like Burberry, Barbour, dresses from the ’70s, Hermes scarves, snakeskin handbags, or original Adidas sweaters from the ’60s and ’70s (the owner is an avid collector) are not an uncommon find in the shop.
SHOPPING MALLS Arkadia Al. Jana Pawła II 82, tel. 22 323 6767, open Mon-Sat 10:00-22:00; Sun 10:00-21:00, www.arkadia.com.pl Galeria Mokotów ul. Wołoska 12, tel. 22 541 4141, open Mon-Sat 10:00-22:00; Sun 10:00-21:00, www.galeriamokotow.com.pl
Mysia 3 ul. Mysia 3, tel. 603 767 574, open Mon-Sat 10:00-20:00; Sun 12:00-18:00, www. mysia3.pl Hip and high-end department store with units such as NYCity (DKNY, Donna Karan), Berries & Co. (Ice Watch, Triwa, Ike Milano), UEG, My Paris and Take a Nap selling great pieces from both established and upcoming designers.
Klif ul. Okopowa 58/72, tel. 22 531 4500, open Mon-Sat 09:00-21:00; Sun 10:00-20:00. www.klif.pl Warsaw’s original luxury shopping center has everything from the excellent Bomi supermarket to top boutiques that include Max Mara, Paul & Shark and Pinko.
Vitkac Wolf Bracka Vitkac, ul. Bracka 9, tel. 22 310 7313, open Mon-Sat 11:00-21:00; Sun 11:00-18:00, www.likusconceptstore.pl Poland’s premier address for designer tags – you won’t find more designer labels per sq/m anywhere else. Money spenders inc. Jimmy Choo, Paul Smith, Stella McCartney, Jil Sander, Gucci, Bottega, Yves Saint Laurent, etc…
Plac Unii ul. Puławska 2, tel. 22 204 0499, open Mon-Sat 10:00-21:00; Sun 10:00-20:00, www.placunii.pl Warsaw’s latest mall counts Armani Jeans, Liu-Jo and Pandora amongst its upmarket tenants.
Złote Tarasy ul. Złota 59, tel. 22 222 2200, open Mon-Sat 9:00-22:00; Sun 9:00-21:00, www. zlotetarasy.pl Over 200 stores, restaurants and cafes, plus the Multikino cinema and the Pure Jatomi Health and Fitness Club.
Spanish cuisine restaurant
TOP QUALITY PRODUCTS
* Uniquely delicious steaks * WAGUY beef Kobe Style * Spanish aged beef
* Bluefin tuna steak and toro * Iberico Bellota ham * Fresh foie gras
2 bracka street (next to Plac Trzech Krzyży Square) Warszawa
WARSAW INSIDER | JUNE 2014
+48 519 875 767 email@example.com
Reviews: Temat Rzeka 83
for past picks visit: www.warsawinsider.pl
ACTIVITIES 83 / CAFES 86 /EDUCATION 84 /SHOPS 86
ACTIVITIES Copernicus Science Centre ul. Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 20, tel. 22 596 41 00, open Tue-Fri 9:00-6:00; Sat-Sun 10:00-7:00, www.kopernik.org.pl A brilliant array of science-inspired attractions that prove as stimulating for parents as they are for the kids. Check out Galeria BZZZ, an area designated for children up to six. In order to keep numbers manageable, expect entry times to be staggered. HulaKula ul. Dobra 56/66, tel. 22 552 74 00, open Mon-Tue 12:00-24:00; Wed 12:00-1:00; Fri 12:00-3:00; Sat 10:00-4:00; Sun 10:0024:00, www.hulakula.com.pl Bowling alley and soft indoor playground: heaven for kids and hell for grown-ups! Children love to climb, explore and slide into large ball pools. Parents hate the lack of daylight and fast food menu.
Temat Rzeka Under Most Poniatowskiego, www.facebook.com/trzeka
PHOTOGRAPH BY GILL BOELMAN-BURROWS
une is the month parents start to get restless – in fact, I panic! It’s the realization that I have less than a month before the school holidays begin and nine weeks need to be filled with thrilling entertainment to tempt my daughter out of her bedroom. Poland’s answer to this dilemma is Children’s Day (June 1st). Pretty much every café, museum, theatre, sports facility and play center will open its doors to celebrate children and introduce the family to the extensive activities Warsaw has to offer throughout the long summer. For us, much time will be spent down by the river. To some it might seem like one massive building site, but in-between the tractors and Hercules lifting trucks (also intriguing for kids) the wildlife goes beyond the riverbanks ecological secrets and leads to some very hip cafes and play areas. Temat Rzeka, tucked under Most Poniatowskiego, was the big hit for us last summer. A short bike ride and there we were, cool beverage in hand and sand between the toes, lounging in deck chairs (to rent for a small fee), building sandcastles and jamming to the vibe of the day. Here the city’s restless traffic gets replaced by the river’s reckless current that only the docile water tram chugs down. For Children’s Day Temat Rzeka is teaming up with Mamaville to host a fun family picnic (free entry). They will be promoting healthy foods similar to those on their menu (gluten free, vegetarian). There will be face painting and fun games such as blind man’s bluff, checkers, badminton and yoga, music and ecological workshops for children to partake in. There will also be a market with a wide selection of designers selling locally made toys, clothes, foods and books. With a relaxed attitude to city life, barbeque menus, the largest expanse of white sand in the city (regularly cleared of rubbish / broken glass), the National Stadium looming overhead, the cleanest and most aesthetically pleasing public toilets in all Warsaw plus a city skyline that can boast seriously impressive sunsets, Temat Rzeka really is a top tip for the hippest families wanting minimum journey time but maximum city escape sensation. (GBB)
Little Chef ul. Bałuckiego 30/1, tel. 501 093 691, www.littlechef.pl (visit for more information) Cooking classes for children age 3-16. Groups for younger children age 4-10 and Junior Chef courses age 11-16. Kids cook-and-eat healthy meals. Great fun! Classes in English and Polish, Mon-Sat. Little Gym ul. Bruzdowa 56, tel. 22 842 0728, www. thelittlegym.pl Expect an age specific fitness curriculum, a high instructor-to-child ratio, original music and a weekly theme to engage the child’s imagination and sense of fun. Not only a great place for children, but tailored to a comfortable and relaxing stay for parents as well. Manufaktura Cukierów ul. Tamka 49, open Mon-Fri 11:00-18:00; Sat 11:00-17:30; Sun 13:00-17:30, tel. 692 888 751, www.manufaktura-cukierkow.pl Sweet making courses in a confectionary factory! Lessons are conducted in Polish, though enthusiasm is more important than a mastery of the language. Mums & Tots www.mumsandtots.pl A volunteer group for
CHILDREN mums (and dads) of all nationalities – coffee mornings, play groups, art and music classes and nights out for parents; the list is endless. For more details, as well as their newsletter and schedule check their web. Teatr Guliwer ul. Różana 16, tel. 22 845 16 76/77, box office open 9:00-17:30, www.teatrguliwer. waw.pl Well worth a visit, even for non-Polish speakers. An exciting colorful premises with creative costumes make this the choice place to introduce the kids to theater. Teatr Lalka Pl. Defilad 1 (Palace of Culture), tel. 22 620 4960 or 22 620 49 50, open Mon-Sat 11:0017.30; Sun 11:00-15:00, www.teatrlalka. waw.pl This puppet theatre stages a variation of productions suitable for children aged 3 +. Scenery, props and costume design are impressive but Polish dialogue is challenging! Losing the plot to Hansel and Gretel can happen - prepare to improvise! Tip: organize a backstage birthday party. Warsaw Zoo ul. Ratuszowa 1/3, tel. 22 619 4041, open Mon-Sun 9:00-18:00, www.zoo.waw.pl The hippopotami now have an indoor and outdoor pool, the gorillas a new pavilion, and the arrival of a shark means it now has an ‘aquarium’. Wilanów Golf Driving Range/ Ekberg Golf Academy ul. Vogla 19, tel. 22 424 7083, open Mon-Sun 9:00-21:00, www.golfparkspoland.pl Keen
golfers (all ages) can perfect their swing at this friendly, well equipped driving range, whilst beginners can opt for professional individual lessons or beginner group programs in English or Polish. There is a weekly junior hour (5-15yrs), ladies hour and fun mini-golf course. Zachęta Gallery Pl. Małachowskiego 3, tel. 22 556 9600, open Tue-Sun 12:00-20:00, www.zacheta.art. pl Recently undergone extensive modernization but still awaiting a café, this gallery and bookshop offer a perfect introduction to modern art. Also available are weekend workshops for children and original cultural birthday parties guided by experienced animators in a contemporary environment.
American School of Warsaw ul. Warszawska 202 (Konstancin-Jeziorna), tel. 22 702 85 00, www.aswarsaw.org ASW provides an American-styled educational program to students aged 4 and 5. The curriculum offers a rich, meaningful and balanced educational experience through age-appropriate activities. For further information and/ or to visit our school, contact: admissions@ aswarsaw.org or 22 702 85 00.
DAILY GUIDED TOURS IN ENGLISH WWW.SEGWAYCITYTOURS.PL Booking +48 600 310 320
WARSAW INSIDER | JUNE 2014
The British School Early Years Centre ul. Dąbrowskiego 84 (Early Years Centre), tel. 22 646 7777, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.thebritishschool.pl The British School provides special classes from pre-nursery aged 30 months to 6 years old. Children at the Early Years Centre move on to our Primary and Secondary schools at Limanowskiego 15.
The Canadian School of Warsaw Preschool Unit ul. Ignacego Krasickiego 53, tel. 697 979 100, preschool@canadian-school. pl The Canadian School of Warsaw is the only authorized school in Warsaw teaching IB PYP in English. The preschool offers a bilingual environment for 3-6 year olds enriched with foreign languages and extra activities. Serving the Warsaw community since 2000, they’re now found on new premises 100m from Mokotów’s Dreszera Park and 300m away from Ogródek Jordanowski. All children are welcome, though available space is limited. For further info, tours and school visits call or email.
Casa dei Bambini & Toddler School (multiple locations)
Warsaw Montessori School ul. Badowska 19 (Mokotów), tel. 22 851 6893; ul. Szkolna 16 (Izabelin), tel. 22 721 8736, mob. 692 099 134, email@example.com, www.warsawmontessori. edu.pl Warsaw Montessori and Casa dei Bambini have 3 green and harmonious locations in Mokotów and Izabelin. The school in Izabelin is set in the quiet of the Kampinos Forest just outside the city. Teachers are fully trained in early-childhood education in English according to the Montessori philosophy. Registration open to children 2 1/2 to 6 years of age. Call to make an appointment to tour any of the 3 schools.
Ecole Antoine de Saint-Exupery ul. Nobla 16, tel. 22 616 14 99, www.ecolemontessori.pl The preschool is located in the Saska Kępa district and provides a Montessori curriculum in French for children aged from 18 months to 6 years old.
The English Playhouse ul. Pływiańska 14a & ul. Rzodkiewki 18, tel. 22 843 9370, office open 8:00-16.00, www.theenglishplayhouse. com The English Playhouse functions in the quiet, green residential district of Mokotów, next to Królikarnia Park. The pre-school follows the English National Curriculum and accepts children from 12 months till six years old. Now with an additional location in Wilanów which includes a new, purpose-built pre-school building with a huge garden for children up to six years of age. For info call Agnieszka Weston on 604 464 333 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy Montessori House Warsaw Montessori Pre-school, ul. Rumiana 14, tel. 22 423 50 75, mob. 697 060 504, open 7.30-17:00, www.hmh.com.pl The Happy Montessori House offers part-time and full-time places for children aged between 2 to 6 years, as well as toddler-focused activities (from 18 months to 3 years) centered around movement, sensorial stimulation, storytelling, singing and socialising.
Maple Tree Montessori ul. Piechoty Łanowej 46A (entrance from Rotmistrzowska/ Petyhorska), tel. 531 599 444, www. mapletreemontessori.pl Maple Tree Montes-
sori is a family-run, international preschool that offers an authentic Montessori curriculum supported by a Music & Art program, with a natural playground and a strong focus on an ecological & healthy lifestyle. They have two classes: a toddler group (15 to 30 months) and a casa class (2.5 to 6 years). Find them located in the Wilanów district of Warsaw, in a house safely nestled into the end of a quiet street.
Program in Grades 11 and 12. Students are inspired and challenged every day by experienced and dedicated teachers, who provide enriching learning opportunities in a world class facility. For further information and/ or to visit our school contact: admissions@ aswarsaw.org or 22 702 85 00.
Trilingual Pre-school and Nursery “Three Languages” Center ul. Karowa 14/16 lok 6 (3-6 year olds); ul. Cicha 5 lok 1 (1-2 year olds), open Mon-Fri 7:30-18:30, tel. 517 872 682, www.3languages.pl The only trilingual pre-school and nursery teaching English, Spanish and Polish through total language immersion. All educators are native speaker pre-school teachers. The comprehensive curriculum follows American, Spanish and Polish curriculum standards. The pre-school was awarded European Language Label in 2012.
The British School ul. Limanowskiego 15, tel. 22 842 3281, open 8:00-16:00, british@thebritishschool. pl, www.thebritishschool.pl Top-ranking private school in Warsaw providing outstanding education based on the British system.
SCHOOLS American School of Warsaw ul. Warszawska 202 (Konstancin-Jeziorna), tel. 22 702 85 00, www. aswarsaw.org ASW is a premier collegepreparatory international school that offers a PK-12 curriculum, including the IB Diploma
The Canadian School of Warsaw – Middle and High School Unit ul. Olimpijska 11, tel. 600 247 655, www. canadian-school.pl Provides a continuation of IB education for 11-15 year olds. International staff, cultural events and challenging student initiatives create a perfect learning and creative thinking environment. For further info, tours and school visits call or email. The Canadian School of Warsaw Primary School ul. Bełska 7, tel. 692 411 573, admission@ canadian-school.pl, www. canadian-school.pl The Canadian School of Warsaw is the only authorized school in Warsaw teaching IB PYP in English. The Primary School offers bilingual education for
été, verano, sommer, estate, lato, summer Join us! warsaw montessori school
Casa dei Bambini, Warsaw Montessori School invites all children for a special summer program from July 7th to August 8th.
All lessons conducted in English|Field Trips|Special Visitors| Art|Cooking|Gardening|Animals, nature and more... Accepting applications for both our summer and fall programs from 2,5-5 and 6-12 Location: Casa dei Bambini (behind Sielecka 52), Warsaw For the reservation please contact: tel. 692 099 134 email@example.com, www.warsawmontessori.edu.pl
CHILDREN 6-11 year olds. Highly qualified, international staff, challenging materials and a friendly atmosphere provide an optimal setting for the highest standard of education. Extra-curricular activities include visual arts, designing classes, ceramics/pottery, art studio, music lessons (piano, guitar, choir), sports (capoeira, karate, judo, soccer, swimming, gymnastics), languages (English, Polish, French, Spanish, Italian, German) and more.
Ecole Antoine de Saint-Exupery ul. Nobla 16, tel. 22 616 14 99, www.saintexupery.pl Established in 1994, the Antoine de Saint-Exupery preschool and school provides a French curriculum for children aged from 3 to eleven years old in a welcoming family atmosphere. Highly qualified native French-speaking teachers.
Kid’s Academy Primary & Pre-School ul. Arbuzowa 33D (Wilanów), tel. 510 077 979 or 603 798 297, open 7:30-18.00, ul. Łąkowa 38 (Konstancin), tel. 506 021 038 or 501 205 080, Open 7:30-17:30, www. kidsacademy.com.pl A Private English - Polish School which provides an excellent early educational program for children from ages
2.5 - 5 years old and at the Primary School, from Grade 0. Combining elements of both the Polish and British curriculum, the focus is on creating a positive and vibrant learning environment. They’re also proud of their large playground and variety of healthy foods.
Lycée Français de Varsovie ul. Walecznych 4/6, tel. 22 616 5400, www.lfv.pl. French school admitting students from the age of two years old. All instruction is in French. Languages offered : Polish, English, German, Spanish, Latin. Also, a wide variety of after school activities (sport, arts, extra-curricular instruction).
CAFES Fiku Miku ul. Zwycięzców 32, tel. 692 448 112, open Mon-Fri 10:00-20:00; Sat-Sun 11:00-20:00, www.fikumikucafe.pl This small, jolly cafe is dedicated to children. The focus is on films and creative workshops. Designer Polish toys are on sale alongside a healthy menu, and fresh cake selection. Check FB for updates as this café closes for private birthday parties. Kalimba ul. Mierosławskiego 19, tel. 22 839 75 60 or 501 183 953, open Mon-Fri 9:30-20:00; Sat-Sun 10:00-20:00, www.kalimba.pl
Kalimba café caters to Warsaw’s boho-chic community. Relax with long latte’s or nibble healthy snacks whilst kids climb a spiral staircase to the indoor tree house, role-play in the kitchen area or join creative workshops. The shop, with original handmade toys is tempting, but it’s the pick’n’mix candy that’s unavoidable! Kolonia ul. Łęczycka (corner of Ładysława), tel. 661 064 944 or 605 084 804, open 9:00-20:00, www.kolonia-ochota.pl Not just an excellent cafe, Kolonia is aslo equipped with a garden/ playground. Kolonia is the most kid-friendly (and pet-friendly) place in the area, offering fresh daily specials and a staff that always welcomes you with a smile. Kredkafe al. Wyzwolenia 14, tel. 22 622 1561 or 502 683 246, open 10:00-20:00. www.kredkafe. pl The interiors look great, bright and cheerful with cute cartoon sketches and an entire playroom complete with toys, stuffed animals and a playhouse. There is even a mini-theater where the kids can put on puppet shows. Bathrooms, of course, have baby-change facilities. The brainchild of two women with experience in hospitality and pedagogy, part of the idea of Kredkafe was to create a teaching space.
SHOPS Lullaby Multiple locations, www.lullaby.pl Jam packed with funky design and quirky gifts for your little ones. However, the exquisite clothing and designer labels do come with a hefty price tag. Mimbla ul.Mokotowska 51/53, tel. 22 629 3065, open Mon-Fri 11:00-19:00; Sat 10:00-14:00. Exclusively for kids on Warsaw’s most exclusive shopping street it’s an Aladdin’s cave of quality toys and Polish/English books. Get your gift wrapped here and both mum and child will be happy even before opening it. Smyk Multiple stores, tel. 22 462 7250, www. smyk.pl Smyk is Poland’s answer to Mothercare; from bottle sterilizing kits to pencil cases, early learning toys to Disney classics and a wide range of seasonal clothing, this store will take you from childbirth to high school!
WARSAW INSIDER | JUNE 2014
Reviews: Hotel Galery 69 87
for past picks visit: www.warsawinsider.pl
ACCOMMODATION 87 / COMMUNITY 92/ HEALTH & BEAUTY 91 / MEDICAL 91 / POLISH FOR FOREIGNERS 92 / RELOCATION COMPANIES 91 / TRANSPORTATION 88
HOTELS IN WARSAW 5-Star Hotels
Bristol Hotel ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 42/44, tel. 22 551 1000, bristol@luxurycollection. com, www.hotelbristolwarsaw.pl H15 Boutique ul. Poznańska 15, tel. 22 553 8700, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.h15boutiqueapartments.com
Hilton Warsaw ul. Grzybowska 63, tel. 22 356 5555 or 800 44 11 482, www.hilton.com
Hotel Galery 69 ul. Dorotowa 38 (Stawiguda), tel. 895 136 480, hotelgalery69.pl
hen looking for a suitable spot to kick back and relax for a couple of days, you’ve really got to have a sense of humor about these things. When I first heard the name of this place I couldn’t help but snicker. Surely, they weren’t serious. As it turns out, they are in fact quite serious and once you get past the giggles, you realize that the lakeside charm of this boutique hotel does in fact have a surge of sexy buzzing through it. My husband and I arrived on one of those surprisingly sunny last days of winter, the sky as blue as could be, the lake still frozen completely over. My disappointment that we wouldn’t be able to indulge in all the warm-weather activities that Mazury offers – boat rides and water sports galore – dissolved when I spied a rack of ice skates available for guests to grab. I left my five-month-old son at shore with my husband and skated off into the distance, a bit fearful but full of excitement at my first taste of reckless freedom since I’d become a mother. One of the best parts of our visit was the dining. This hotel has a fantastic restaurant with really smart twists on traditional Mazurian fare. We sampled nearly everything on the menu, from the grilled steaks and fish to the delectable soups and salads – we let ourselves indulge as much as our bellies would let us, especially as a break from Warsaw restaurant prices make everything else seem more than reasonable. If it wasn’t enough, the hotel has a pleasant pool area (and probably a gym as well, but I wasn’t interested in working out that week, just relaxing). The owners are on hand to help guests figure out exactly how to spend their quality time. Nearby there are horse farms and about a dozen other warm-weather attractions that make this place a great destination for a sophisticated, but quite low-key stay in one of Poland’s most picturesque regions. (AMG)
Hotel Regent Warsaw ul. Belwederska 23, tel. 22 558 1234, email@example.com, www.regent-warsaw-hotel.pl InterContinental ul. Emilii Plater 49, tel. 22 328 8888, www.warsaw.intercontinental.com Mamaison Le Régina Hotel Warsaw ul. Kościelna 12, tel. 22 531 6000, www.mamaison.com Marriott Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79, tel. 22 630 6306, www.warsawmarriott.com The Rialto Boutique Hotel ul. Wilcza 73, tel. 22 584 8700, www.rialto.pl Sheraton ul. Prusa 2, tel. 22 450 6100, www.sheraton.pl Radisson Blu Centrum Hotel ul. Grzybowska 24, tel. 22 321 8888. www.radissonblu.com/hotel-warsaw
service, maid service etc.
Hotel Belwederski ul. Sulkiewicza 11, tel. 22 840 4011, www.hotelbelwederski.pl
MaMaison Residence Diana ul. Chmielna 13A, tel. 22 505 9100, www. mamaison.com/diana A beautiful city center location from the same team behind Le Regina. Short and long term stays.
Westin Al. Jana Pawła II 21, tel. 22 450 8000, www.westin.pl
Castle Inn Pl. Zamkowy, ul. Świętojańska 2, tel. 22 425 0100, www.castleinn.pl
Golden Tulip ul. Towarowa 2, tel. 22 582 7500.
Sofitel Warsaw Victoria ul. Królewska 11, tel. 22 657 8011, www.sofitel-victoria-warsaw.com
Airport Hotel Okęcie ul. 17-ego Stycznia 24, tel. 22 456 8000, www.airporthotel.com.pl Radisson Blu pl. Zawiszy 1, tel. 22 579 1000, www.sobieski.com.pl Mecure ul. Złota 48/54, tel. 22 697 3999, www.holiday-inn.com Mercure Grand Warszawa ul. Krucza 28, tel. 22 583 2100, www.orbis.pl Courtyard by Marriott Hotel (Airport) ul. Żwirki i Wigury 1, tel. 22 650 0100, www.warszawacourtyard.pl Novotel Warszawa Centrum ul. Marszałkowska 94/98, tel. 22 596 0000, www.novotel.com, www.accorhotels.com Polonia Palace Hotel Al. Jerozolimskie 45, tel. 22 318 2800,
WARSAW INSIDER | JUNE 2014
Holiday Inn Express Warsaw Airport ul. Poleczki 35, tel. 22 373 37 00, www.hiexpress.com Novotel Warszawa (Airport) ul. 1-ego Sierpnia 1, tel. 22 575 6000 Hotel Belwederski ul. Sulkiewicza 11, tel. 22 840 4011, www.hotelbelwederski.pl Hotel Reytan ul. T. Rejtana 6, tel. 22 201 6400, www.reytan.pl
InterContinental ul. Emili Plater 49, tel. 22 328 8888, www.warsaw.intercontinental.com Long and short stay apartments provided by the hotel of the same name. Perks included are the same as those received by hotel guests: i.e. access to the top floor pool, room
Between Us Bed & Breakfast ul. Bracka 20, tel. 22 8285417 (from 10 a.m. to 11p.m.), www.between-us.eu Boutique B&B ul. Smolna 14/6, tel. 22 829 4800, www.bedandbreakfast.pl
TRANSPORTATION CAR RENTAL
Avis tel. 22 572 6565, fax 22 572 6566, Fredrick Chopin Airport, tel. 22 650 4872, Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79 (Marriott Hotel), tel. 22 575 6583, Reservations: tel. 801 120 010, www.avis.pl Hertz Rent a Car Okęcie Airport, ul. Żwirki i Wigury 1, tel. 22 650 2896; mob. 691 411 130. ul. Nowogrodzka 27 (D5), tel. 22 621 1360. Sixt Rent a Car ul. Arabska 9, tel. 22 511 1550, 22 511 1555, fax 22 511 1556, ul. Żwirki i Wigury 1, tel. 22 650 2031, fax 022 650 2032, www.sixt.pl
BROUGHT TO YOU BY HAIR A PORTER
Verve, passion and creativity are core principals of Hair a Porter, a hair salon at the forefront of the latest trends, styles and looks. Experts in modern hair care, consider it the top salon in Poland.
What is ‘the’ look for this summer, any tips? This summer we’re going to see the natural look: crumpled, twisted, freestyle hair that looks like it hasn’t been styled. And look out for glossy hair, as well. As for maintenance, moisturizing hair is important. Argan oil is popular, and is great for smoothing out heavy or unruly hair. What factors do you consider when cutting someone’s hair? First of all I have to know for what occasion people want their hair cut for. Then I try and fit the style to their clothes, face, figure and character. What skills make a good stylist? For me the most important detail is communication: sometimes the client says something but indicates something else with their hands. I have to figure out what they mean. It’s important to listen to the client – if you ‘get’ their idea then do it, but if not you have to propose something else. But I love the contact with people: there is no routine, each day and every client is different.
NICOLE, CLIENT “For me the most important thing is that they speak English. One time, a stylist in another salon had given my hair a dark color – it was awful. I came here and they rescued me. I’ve not been anywhere else since my ‘dark disaster’.”
OLGA, CLIENT “There’s an individual approach to each client, and everybody leaves with a smile on their face. I’ve tried the best hair salons in every area, but always end up coming back here. For me the most important thing is time – and here I know I won’t waste it.” Hair a Porter Regent Warsaw Hotel ul. Belwederska 23 (level -1), tel. 22 558 1555, www.hair-a-porter.pl
BROUGHT TO YOU BY DECLINIC
DENTISTRY IN MOKOTÓW
The new DeClinic is Warsaw’s most modern dental clinic and aimed at all the family…
eClinic is a state-of-the-art professional dental clinic specializing in aesthetic dentistry and maxillofacial surgery. Regarded as one of the most modern clinics in Europe, our treatments are painless and conducted in comfortable conditions using the latest technologies to guarantee maximum safety. Located in beautiful, quiet part of the Mokotów district, the clinic offers the full spectrum of dental services. The modern technologies we have gathered ensure our patients both comfort and prompt treatment in one location. Our dentists specialize in various dental disciplines, guaranteeing that patients are diagnosed by the best professionals out there. Our fully equipped operating room is ideal for even the most complex procedures and can treat patients suffering serious trauma. At DeClinic prosthetic issues are very simple. We can perform all ceramic reconstruction onsite in just one visit. We have swapped the traditional boriding process in favour of abrasive sandblaster, which appeals to children and those afraid of the dentist. We can also use general anaesthesia on patients who have many issues to consider.
ul. Bernardyńska 16A, tel. 22 112 04 00, www.declinic.pl, firstname.lastname@example.org
WARSAW INSIDER | JUNE 2014
RELOCATION COMPANIES AGS Warsaw ul. Julianowska 37, Piaseczno, tel. 22 702 1072, www.agsmovers.com Euro Move International Movers ul. Kineskopowa 1, Piaseczno, tel. 22 716 5566, www.euromove.pl Move One Relocations ul. Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79, tel. 22 630 8160, fax. 22 630 8166, www.moveonerelo.com Also immigration assistance, fine art shipping, pet transport and consulting services.
HEALTH & BEAUTY FITNESS
Holmes Place Premier ul. Belwederska 23 (Hyatt Hotel), tel. 22 851 0563, ul. Grzybowska 63 (Hilton), tel. 22 313 1222, al. Jerozolimskie 65/79 (Marriott), tel. 519 436 841, www.holmesplace.pl Those who use it claim the Hilton branch is the best gym in Poland. Set on two floors, highlights include a 25 meter pool, sauna and steam room and a spacious gym packed with the most modern equipment. Also on-site, a varied timetable of classes, excellent personal trainers and a Green Coffee relaxation area.
Pure Jatomi Fitness Platinum Złote Tarasy ul. Złota 59 (floor 3, opposite McDonald’s), tel. 22 379 7777, open Mon-Fri 6:00-22:30; Sat 8:00-22:30; Sun 8:00-21:00, www. jatomifitness.pl The largest and fastest growing fitness chain in Poland currently has 35 locations and 117,000 members across the country. All clubs have new generation of machines, innovative forms of group activities (Booiaka, Hot Yoga, Pure Pump, Pure Fire and Wah Gwan Dancehall) and professional personal trainers schooled in nutrition and the healthy lifestyle. Pure Jatomi Fitness Platinum Zodiak ul. Widok 26, tel. 22 100 3400, open 24hrs, www.jatomifitness.pl Poland’s fastest growing fitness chain has been recognized for excellence after being named SCF Leisure & Fitness Retailer of the Year 2014. Other Pure Jatomi clubs in Warsaw include: Blue City, Galeria Renova, Sadyba Best Mall, Promenada and Targówek. RiverView Wellness Centre ul. Emilii Plater 49 (InterContinental), tel. 22 328 86 40, www.riverview.com.pl
Top-class facilities and equipment, private instructors and small classes. The view from the highest pool in Europe offers a glorious panorama of the city. Annual prices from zł. 4,200 (access from Mon-Fri 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.), zł. 5,760 (all times), and zł. 8,350 for Diamond Membership (includes two personal training sessions per month, a complimentary weekend at the InterContinental, restaurant discounts, etc.).
SPAS & SALONS
BodyClinic ul. Oboźna 9 lok. 104, tel. 22 826 1160 or 784 677 618, open Mon-Fri 9:00-20:00; Sat 9:00-15:00, www.bodyclinic.pl Thorough body care for everyone. From the usual options to a huge variety of massages and some very exotic treatments, BodyClinic covers all the bases. Hair a Porter ul. Belwederska 23 (Hyatt Hotel, level -1), tel. 22 558 1555, open Mon-Fri 9:00-20:00; Sat 9:00-17:00, www.hair-a-porter.pl A staunch favorite of the ex-pat crowd, Hair a Porter offer the ultimate hair experience utilizing expert staff and top-quality products. Haircology ul. Rozbrat 44A, tel. 669 780 669, open Mon-Fri 10:00-20:00; Sat 10:00-last guest, www.haircology.pl An upmarket ecologically minded hairdresser that eschews such things as synthetic fragrances, silicon and preservatives. The Pedicure Place ul. Pokorna 2, lok. u11, tel. 22 241 3000 or 505 828 688, open Mon-Fri 9:00-21:00; Sat 9:00-18:00, www.pedicure-place.pl A luxury pedi/manicure clinic with room for 10. All the latest OPI varnishes and over 200 colors guarantee you’ll find the latest in styling and nail care. Studio Jej i Jego ul. Wiertnicza 93A, tel. 22 885 0085, open Mon-Fri 9:00-21:00; Sat 9:00-19:00, www. jejijego.pl Hair and beauty treatments for men and women – inc. nail care, massage, facial and body treatments.
MEDICAL MEDICAL PRIVATE CLINICS
Aster Med ul. Św. Bonifacego 92, tel. 22 858 0354, www.astermed.pl Aster Med, while billing
LIFESTYLE itself as a center of orthodontics and implantology, is really the full service with 14 dentists and 4 orthodontists and implant surgeons. Ren Clinic Al. Gen. Władysława Sikorskiego 9A lok. 12A, tel. 22 414 2222 or 501 126 108, www. renclinic.pl Surgical care, cosmetics, medical dermatology, aesthetic medicine and more Lux Med Medical Clinics Various locations, see website for details: www.luxmed.pl
Malo Clinic Domaniewska 37 (3rd floor), tel. 22 393 6333, www.maloclinics.com/polska This world class dental clinic incorporates five dental offices, an operating room, two recovery rooms and a state-of-the-art diagnostic center. Melitus ul. Słowackiego 12, tel. 22 833 7438, mob. 603 060 621, www.melitus.pl Specializing in dermatology, surgery, phlebology, endocrinology, gynecology and internal medicine. The clinic is equipped with the latest and most
innovative medical equipment and employs several renowned clinicians.
POLISH FOR FOREIGNERS Edu & More ul. Nowogrodzka 44 / 7, tel. 22 622 14 41, www.polishonlinenow.com Polish Language School incorporating modern teaching methods and reasonable prices. Intensive & regular Polish courses for beginners. Business & everyday Polish. Preparatory courses for the state exam as well as for the international ECL certificate in Polish. Morning, afternoon & evening classes. Frog ul. Mazowiecka 12/24, tel. 22 403 7872 or 517 459 418, www.frog.org.pl Acclaimed language school aimed at all levels of competency. Flexible schedules and a history of working with foreigners make it one of the ‘go to’ choices for new arrivals wanting to polish their Polish. Klub Dialogu Gałczyńskiego 4, lok 903, tel. 664 788 004, www.klubdialogu.pl Individual and group courses held either on-site or at the venue of your choice. Tailor-made packages inc. both intensive and weekend courses.
COMMUNITY International Women’s Group of Warsaw Unites expat women in Warsaw and offers cultural, educational and recreational activities. Meetings aheld on the second and fourth Monday of the month. For more info: email@example.com, www.iwgwarsaw.eu St. Patrick’s Foundation www.irishball.pl The Irish Ball, held on the Saturday closest to St. Patrick’s Day, is legendary in Warsaw as the biggest of the balls. It’s the main annual fund-raiser of the foundation, which distributes the funds raised to various charities over the course of the year. Toastmasters International Toastmasters is the international organization for improving public speaking and presentation skills. The local club meets every Wednesday at 19.00. Guests are always welcome without any obligation apart from a short introduction. For current location and updated news check www.toastmasters.org.pl or call Etan at 696 292 451
WARSAW INSIDER | JUNE 2014
CLASSIFIEDS w W a r s a www.city-tour.com.pl
Pinokio Instalakcje 3
Tekst: Joël Pommerat Reżyseria: Anna Smolar 1, 3 – 7 czerwca 2014 Bilety: 30-35 zł
Festiwal Instalacji Muzycznych 14, 15 czerwca 2014 Wstęp wolny
Kamienne niebo zamiast gwiazd Reżyseria: Krzysztof Garbaczewski 26, 27 czerwca 2014 Bilety: 25-40 zł
Noce stają się chłodne Czytanie dramatu Adama Radeckiego 5 czerwca 2014 Wstęp wolny
Yellow Double-Decker Bus
Invites you to experience a panoramic tour of tourist attractions of the capital of Poland, Warsaw, in a relaxing and comfortable way. Traveling over the course of approximately 1,5 hour, a double-decker bus will take you past many beautiful and interesting places of Warsaw, such as its interesting districts, palaces and churches, monuments and museums, parks and historical cemeteries, as well as the Jewish historical sites. A GPS 12 language audio-guide, will give explanations and accompany you to make your ride a more adventurous, exciting and an unforgettable one. Excellent Hop on Hop off and one trip service operates every day all year round.
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Line approved by municipal authorities.
+48 500 033 414
Food trucki, kino plenerowe, warsztaty od 14 czerwca 2014 facebook.com/Plac-Budowy
Polityka kuchenna Performanse, wystawa, wykłady 25 – 29 czerwca 2014
Nowy Teatr Madalińskiego 10/16 22 379 33 33
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Spektakl „Pinokio” dofinansowano ze środków:
Tel: +48 22 702 10 72
ChoCdhkod łyiaKłyam kieicwzaic BiaB iew Kaiem za ńień
#WARSZAWA As spring merges into summer, Kevin Demaria seeks out the other side of Warsaw.
WARSAW INSIDER | JUNE 2014