The Annual Food & Drinks Awards
January 01 price zĹ‚.10 INDEKS 334901 ISSN:1643-1723
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JANUARY 2016 Editor-in-chief Alex Webber
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The best thing about this is-
sue? Let me think a second. Possibly, creeping down into the Insider’s underground vault to sift through our old archived issues. You know the face that Indiana Jones pulls when he discovers a pile of ancient scrolls? That was me. I’m not kidding when I say it was a riveting glimpse into a different world – one early issue, for instance, grappled with the subject of the internet, concluding that this was a damn clever thing we’d do well to keep an eye on. But if the world has changed, I think this city has changed more. As evidence, I summon the first Best of Warsaw issue (spring 1998) – restaurants barely get a look-in, with the issue reading more like a keep-at-all-costs survival guide (albeit a bloody hilarious one). In a way it was. While it’s easy to get misty-eyed, Warsaw was not the easiest posting to have. So it says a lot for the vaulting ambition of the city that, 18 years on, our latest instalment of the Best of Warsaw is flushed to overflowing with magnificent venues. What a time to live in this city – enjoy it.
Publisher Morten Lindholm email@example.com Contributors: Gill Boelman-Burrows Stuart Dowell Maria Mileńko Michał Miszkurka Ed Wight Advertising Manager Jowita Malich firstname.lastname@example.org enior Key Account Manager S A. Julita Pryzmont email@example.com ey Account Manager K Agata Sicińska firstname.lastname@example.org ey Account Manager K Agata Sobkiewicz email@example.com Distribution Manager Krzysztof Wiliński firstname.lastname@example.org Subscription 12 editions of the Insider zł. 99 (inc. VAT) in Poland. Orders can be placed through: email@example.com Printed by Zakład Poligraficzny TECHGRAFTel. (17) 225-28-69
BEST OF WARSAW
Opener 7 Jury Dinner 8 Lifetime Achievement 10 Fine DIning 12 Casual Dining 14 Newcomer 16 Chef 18 Modern Polish 20 Foreign Chef 22 Polish 23 One To Watch 24 Trends 25
Alex Webber firstname.lastname@example.org
REST OF THE BEST Business Meeting 26 Lunch Deal 26 Top Ethnic 27 Sushi 27 Cheap Eat 30 Restaurant Bar 30 Design 27 Steak 28 Pizza 28 Kid Friendly 28 Ice Cream 28 Seafood 29
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
Hotel Restaurant 29 Burger 30 Vegetarian 30 Tapas 31 Food Truck 31 BBQ 31 Showmanship 31 Street 32 Cafes 33 Wine 34 Nightlife 35 Cocktails 36 Beer 38
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on the cover This issue it’s all food and drink as we pause from our usual schedule to once more celebrate the Best of Warsaw… (Illustration by Michał Miszkurka)
PHOTOGRAPH BY ED WIGHT
CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN MEN GIANVITO ROSSI MEN KENZO MARC BY MARC JACOBS MONCLER RALPH LAUREN TOD’S TOM FORD TORY BURCH
BABY DIOR DOLCE&GABBANA KIDS DSQUARED2 KIDS KENZO KIDS MONCLER KIDS RALPH LAUREN KIDS TOD’S KIDS
Pl. Trzech Krzyży 3/4 tel.: +48 226221416, www.PlacTrzechKrzyzy.com
10 Jan Poland’s biggest annual fundraiser celebrates its 24th year with the usual round of street collections, culminating in a concert at the foot of the Palace of Culture and a giant firework display.
23 Jan @ Palladium, ul. Złota 9 Actor, writer but above all, musician, Henry Rollins needs little introduction. Legendary on the hardcore punk / alternative metal / spoken word scene, his appearance in Warsaw is long overdue.
For info, see: wosp.org.pl
Tickets from zł. 94 @ eventim.pl
16 Jan, 21:00 @ WARSawy Theater, Rynek Nowego Miasta 5/7 Janczarski & McCraven Quintet music is a synthesis of five characters, five instruments and five different sensitivities. Of particular note is their special guest, a member of the legendary Chicago AACM: trumpeter Rasul Siddik.
29 Jan, 21:00 @ WARSawy Theater, Rynek Nowego Miasta 5/7 Bobby Previte’s new band the Visitors are his first touring band in ten years. Playing new material, expect them to bring together Previte’s particular take on modern and older music to realize his ever expanding vision.
Tickets from zł. 110 @ ebilet.pl
Tickets from zł. 120 @ ebilet.pl
23 Jan @ Torwar, ul. Łazienkowska 6A This critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter first found fame in 2010 with her debut long play release Lights. Since then singles such as Anything Could Happen have made here a bona fide star.
30 Jan @ Stodoła, ul. Batorego 12 Peter Hook, the former Joy Division and New Order bassist, is back in Warsaw with The Light to perform new work as well as highlights from his back catalogue.
Tickets from zł. 139 @ eventim.pl
Tickets from zł. 125 @ eventim.pl
Janczarski & McCraven Quintet
Bobby Previte & The Visitors
Editor’s Pick Theoral A meeting with Philipp Schmickl, author of the THEORAL interview series, followed by a concert featuring drummer Paul Lovens with Raphael Rogiński. 12 Jan @ Pardon, To Tu, pl. Grzybowski 12/16, pardontotu.pl
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
Peter Hook & The Light
Al. Jerozolimskie 123A, www.niewidzialna.pl Admission from zł. 19-28.
An astonishing exhibition that leads people through the daily challenges faced by the blind. In the first section, learn to type in braille, decipher maps, crack puzzles whilst blindfolded or clutter about a kitchen using aids designed to help the sightless – you’ll be amazed at some of the technological advances that have been made. But that’s the easy bit. Having acclimatized to this strange, new world, visitors are then plunged into complete and utter darkness to face up to the everyday obstacles faced by the blind. Relying on your wits and senses, guests experience six life environments such as crossing a road whilst cars whizz past and trying to pay for a coffee. The series of objectives test you to the max. Launched in a bid to break barriers and stereotypes, it’s a deeply thought provoking experience, one that you’ll talk about for hours after. Advanced bookings are recommended, especially for English-language guided tours. As a rule of thumb, set aside approximately 90 minutes for your visit, of which an hour or so will be conducted in the darkness.
Covering restaurants since 2007, Marta launched Restaurantica (restaurantica.pl) in 2009 and it has since become Poland’s most popular restaurant blog. Together with Froblog, Marta also operates Warsaw Foodie (warsawfoodie.pl).
Created in 2007 by Joanna, Froblog (froblog.pl) has grown into one of the most influential food and culture blogs in the capital. Since last September, Joanna has also been a regular contributor to Usta magazine.
While the rest of Warsaw wallows in the January blues, at the Insider the New Year has come to mean one thing. With the door firmly closed on 2015, it’s time for us to take a retrospective look at the year that’s gone, and in doing so, pick out all those places that made Warsaw great. Now in its 18th year, our Best of Warsaw edition aims to present the cream of the city’s food and beverage sector. Originally conceived as “an antidote to the usual bitching and moaning and customary grumblings,” what once resembled an almost desperate scavenge for what little was right with the city has evolved into an abstruse process complicated by the sheer choice of top quality venues. Without further waffle, let us bring you the results…
Having identified six key categories, the Insider’s editorial department was joined by a panel of outside jurors to vote on the best fine dining, casual dining, modern Polish restaurant, foreign chef, newcomer and chef. Those categories are marked in the magazine with an asterisk. The remaining categories were decided ‘in-house’ and are a reflection of our editorial favorites.
Formerly a contributor to Berlin’s Zitty and the editor of Aktivist magazine, Agata is the founding and serving editor of the acclaimed KukBuk magazine. See her work at: kukbuk.com.pl
Regarded as one of the nation’s foremost food critics, Małgorzata is a columnist for Gazeta Wyborzca and a regular contributor to magazines such as Usta and Monitor. Check her blog at: mintaeats.com www.warsawinsider.pl
Best of Warsaw Jury Dinner at N31
Above: notes at the ready! The tricky business of sorting out the wheat from the chaff kicks-off in earnest… (photo by Agata Michalak)
A wind battered night in late November saw 2015 our handpicked panel convene for our annual jury dinner at N31. As it transpired, it wasn’t just the weather that proved stormy – by far the most tempestuous vote to date, the heated nature of the debate was an apt reflection of how far dining in Warsaw has come – where once the scene would have been lucky to arouse anything an inch above apathy, now it’s the cause of seriously lively discussion. On behalf of our editorial team, a huge thanks to all our jurors for a brilliant night!
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
Let us not forget our hosts, N31. Considered one of the founding fathers of modern Polish cuisine, chef Robert Sowa marks a triumphant return to form with the launch of this Nowogrodzka restaurant. The conclusion: a sublime meal befitting of the occasion! (above photos by Joanna Mróz)
Best of Warsaw 2015
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT (FOOD) PAWEŁ OSZCZYK (La Rotisserie)
PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN DEMARIA
It’s an irresistible restaurant, La Rotisserie. Placed down a scenic, cobbled street in Warsaw’s New Town, the culinary arm of the Regina Hotel is refined yet restrained: probably more so in nature than it is in look. There’s no shouty PR here, no camera crews filing in and out of the kitchen. Instead, this is a restaurant that just goes quietly about the modest business of just being sensational. Making it look easy is Paweł Oszczyk, a man whose wariness of selfserving stunts and the general limelight is notorious in the industry. But tough luck Paweł – when you’re this good at your job then the attention finds you. So it was at the end of 2015, when the Polish edition of the prestigious Gault&Millau guide singled him out as their Chef of the Year. To anyone familiar with his cooking, this came as no shock. Demonstratingflair, consistency and a brilliant eye for detail, Oszczyk’s name is synonymous with Poland’s culinary royalty.
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT (WINE)
ROBERT MIELŻYŃSKI Remember, at the start of the millennium, those times when Warsaw was more whine and dine than wine and dine. That changed in 2004 with the launch of the Mielżyński Wine Bar: a viticultural revolution was born. Where wine was once viewed as something to be drunk in the darkened back rooms of the city’s antique restaurants, here it was being presented as an everyday pleasure in a laidback warehouse environment. It wasn’t just the trendistas who loved it. Yet as if revolutionizing the wine bar scene wasn’t enough, Robert Mielżyński’s biggest achievement has been creating an identifiable Polish brand from scratch. Canadian-born, but raised as a Pole by his émigré parents, in the decade or so since his return to the ‘motherland’ his import business and wine bar chain have become indelibly linked with quality. “We’ve become a proper brand,” says Mielżyński, “and not just a high-caliber brand, but a high-caliber Polish brand.” It’s a point he makes with pride, and one that warrants recognition.
Best of Warsaw 2015
SENSES A spectacular experience from start to finish: begin by walking through a flame-lit tunnel, and then conclude the night with an edible cigar – a grand tobacco flavored pastry infused with whisky and cinnamon. In between that, our night goes something like this: beetroot bread with a teat pipette of apple essence; a pumpkin soup impossibly sandwiched between cranberry sorbet on the bottom and a layer of gooey oscypek cheese on the top. Not everything is perfect: what the tasting menu describes as Arctic trout / black caviar / almonds / dill is too subtle to make anything but a passing impact. But he who dares, wins. Chef Andrea Camastra unleashes the artillery with a beef rib that’s a big blast of smoke and crunch. A palette cleanser – a test tube of pear, lime and mint – precedes the next course, a shellfish goulash that’s rich and rough and rolling in flavor. Marvellous. Perfectly paced, expertly portioned and bristling with invention, this is a meal generously scattered with peaks and talking points. Also nominated: Nolita, Concept 13, Salto, La Rotisserie
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
Best of Warsaw 2015
CASUAL DINING (TOP 5)
With its weathered brickwork and a long wavy bar occupying a significant chunk of the entrance, you don’t get much more casual than Bibenda. At times, actually, it’s a challenge to get further than the aforementioned bar – not just because the place gets busy, but because even when it isn’t the temptation is to simply pull up a barstool and spend the rest of the night roaring through their chalkboard choice of local craft ales. We’ve done that before. Doing so yourself is no bad thing either, so long as you remember the place is as much about food as it is anything else. ‘True food’, their menu calls it, before expanding to rattle on about ‘fresh, seasonal ingredients and home-style techniques’. Visiting ahead of the jury vote, it also means three dishes being unavailable. Not a good start, but an occupational hazard when so much emphasis is placed on ‘fresh’. As it turns out, our substitute choices are bang on the button. A potato salad with red onion and parsley: basic stuff, but delicious; next, soft duck thigh placed on top of a tangy red cabbage reduction and served with charred parsnips; and there’s dessert, a pink beetroot cake that’s gobbled in seconds. A kittenish waitress removes the empty plates, replacing them with beers, and a shaggy dog ambles forth to inspect the floor for leftovers. Warm and reassuring, Bibenda is a piece of a good news on a chill Warsaw day.
SOUL KITCHEN BISTRO The complete reverse of the original Soul Kitchen idea and totally better for it – where once this restaurant was all expense account diners and buckets of Veuve, their new digs have given it a vibrant atmosphere that sits well with an original menu that values locality.
There’s a couple of wine bars in Warsaw that do food well, but Ale Wino does it better. Making their small size work in their favor, this place has a high dosage of atmosphere and a menu that leaves everyone contemplating the polished talent of chef Sebastian Wełpa. Of course, don’t forget the wine.
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
Here’s the very epitome of casual dining: set on the ground floor of a suburban house, the warm corners and garden views give Dom a real sense of homey charm. In line with all that is a menu that celebrates simple, honest cooking. Everyone who visits ends up loving the place.
Famed for his fine dining Salto restaurant, chef Martin has gone for something completely different with Ceviche Bar: “a place where I can be myself,” he calls it, “where I can turn up wearing jeans and a T-shirt.” Great food, fab cocktails: carry on like that, and we’ll let you wear what you want.
Carnival time in Benihana restaurant is your best option for a January weekend in Warsaw. We’re a Japanese restaurant but with an American tradition which means we’ve got delicious, funky cocktails, phenomenal music, great food and exciting culinary teppanyaki shows. Our special artists, live jazz music and DJs on Friday and Saturday make carnival time in Warsaw unforgettable! See You in Benihana!
Benihana Restaurant – Japanese cuisine, teppan grill and sushi ul. Twarda 4 (Cosmopolitan Tower), www.benihanapoland.com Reservations: tel. 22 370 2620, firstname.lastname@example.org
Best of Warsaw 2015
NEWCOMER (TOP 5)
As extraordinary as it is eccentric, MOD is not your conventional restaurant. An odd meeting of ideas, it combines the work of three people (Kamila, Patrycja and Trisno) who between them have created a space that houses both a donut store and restaurant. It sounds a little dissonant, but lord it works. Chef Trisno’s menu sets his French culinary training (his bio includes serving time in Le Gavroche) against his Singaporean upbringing. The outcome is a card (actually, a printed sheet of paper) that makes for dangerously enjoyable reading: duck hearts with beetroot / soy emulsion and braised red cabbage; duck confit with pok choy, soy / red wine sauce and spicy cranberry chutney. On it goes. Our order – beef bourguignon dumplings, wasabi gel and creamed red wine jus – is all silky subtle flavors that are absolute bliss. It’s also only zł. 19. By setting such a price, either the management have lost their marbles or they’re extremely kind natured. If a fine dining restaurant charged three times as much you’d gladly pay and thank them after. But here’s the point: this isn’t a fine dining venue. It’s got a retro mirrored wall, plants hanging upside down from the ceiling and a concrete floor; people looking like they write for Vice wander in and out; it’s a place with a soul and a place with a heartbeat. It’s a place Warsaw needs more of. Best newcomer? By a long way.
KIELISZKI NA PRÓŻNEJ With its revamp pretty much complete, Próżna has become one of the streets to be seen on – and Kieliszki one of its standout hotspots. Find an interesting design (lots of upside down wineglasses) and brill cooking that’s appropriate to the season: months on and we still talk about the brawn.
SOUL KITCHEN BISTRO
Soul Kitchen Bistro as a newcomer? Sort of. After a one-year hiatus, they’ve returned, only with a new staff and a different location. For our panel, that was good enough to qualify them for consideration. The rest they did themselves through a strong menu oriented around local produce.
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
If there’s a question mark over Soul Kitchen Bistro’s status as a newcomer there can be none about Ceviche Bar’s. In fact, it’s so new there’s nothing else like it in the city. But you just watch, in a city that has imitation down to an art, the copycats will arrive. Yet with this as the yardstick, they don’t stand a chance.
Adam Leszczyński is the physical manifestation of the itinerant chef. Now settled in a restaurant he can actually call his own, Leszcyński’s menu of ‘author’s cuisine’ has received a blazing hot reception. The taste is bang on, as for the presentation, who knows – the place is a couple of candles short of being pitch black.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN DEMARIA
Best of Warsaw 2015
SEBASTIAN WEŁPA So here we have it, the latest twist in Ale Wino’s remarkable story. To think, it all began as a humble online wine portal. But people liked it, to the extent a bricks and mortar venue was needed. Again, the public voted yes, and soon tables and chairs were added along with some small plates of this and little plates of that. Cue more popular approval. Yet if things were going well, the lightbulb moment had still yet to happen. That occurred with the appointment of Sebastian Wełpa, a former protégé of the acclaimed Paweł Oszczyk. All of a sudden this wasn’t just a pretty looking wine bar, but a legitimate restaurant firing out some of the capital’s best cooking. With its menu staked around concepts of ‘author’s cuisine’, in this case consider the author to be creatively dexterous and an ambassador of his art. A worthy winner. Also nominated: Jacek Grochowina, Agata Wojda, Paweł Oszczyk, Dariusz Barański
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN DEMARIA
“In this case consider the author to be creatively dexterous and an ambassador of his art...”
WARSAW’S COSMOPOLITAN NEW URBAN SPACE
THROUGH ITS BLEND OF WORLD CLASS ARCHITECTURE, MODERN ART AND UNIQUE CULINARY CONCEPTS, THE PATIO SECTION OF THE COSMOPOLITAN APARTMENT BUILDING HAS BECOME A SPECTACULAR MEETING POINT. Design by the acclaimed architect, Helmut Jahn, the Cosmopolitan looks directly over pl. Grzybowski, one of the most charming corners of central Warsaw. Distinguished by its modern, glass silhouette, the 44-floor Cosmopolitan towers over pl. Grzybowski, while at the same time maintaining a harmonious relationship with the rest of this historic area. The patio, which only recently opened, has created a new eclectic urban space for both habitants and visitors. In the central point of the patio you can admire a movable installation by the distinguished Israeli artist Eran Shakine, titled “You and Me”. The eightmeter high movable sculpture presents a man and woman standing face-to-face on opposite ends of a long beam. The newly opened space has been co-created alongside several top quality culinary masters from around the world. It’s here that the iconic Japanese restaurant chain Benihana have chosen to open their first Polish venture. A few steps away, the tastes of South America are served in Ceviche Bar by Martin Gimenez Castro. At La Fromagerie, enjoy over one hundred types of cheese from small, boutique producers from all over Europe. A full range of wines and champagnes, plus the biggest collection of Bordeaux wines in Poland, are available at Wine Taste by Kamecki. Elsewhere, the Odette Tea Room serves high quality pastries and confections as well as fabulous teas courtesy of the Blanca brand. Completing the offer is City SAM with healthy dishes prepared using local produce.
Best of Warsaw 2015
MODERN POLISH (TOP 5)
02 MAŁA POLANA SMAKÓW A leading light on the culinary circuit, the opening of chef Andrzej Polan’s restaurant was greeted with frenzied praise. Rightly so. Compulsively drawn to regional produce, the chef’s cooking feels like a rousing romp through the farmsteads of Poland. The food is all the better for being delivered inside a small room that exudes character.
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
03 KAFE ZIELONY NIEDZWIEDŹ Out here it’s usually a case of restaurants starting strongly and then getting progressively worse with time. Zielony Niedzwiedź seem to be doing it the other way, with their kitchen growing in stature and confidence by the week. Obsessed with the locality and heritage of their ingredients, this menu is a hymn to the new face of Polish cooking.
04 DOM WÓDKI At first glance, there’s little about the menu that screams ‘modern Polish’. But that’s what it is: take the golonka as an example. Forget the glob of pig fat you’d expect, here there is no bone, there is no fat, just glorious slow-cooked meat alongside horse radish ice cream and a creamy cabbage mousse. Miraculous.
05 VARSO VIE Another place to give traditional Polish a complete overhaul. Of note, a cherry wood-smoked beef tartar with a runny quail egg perched on top and plenty of chives, capers and shallots to mash it all up with. Or how about the duck stomachs served in a flaky puff pastry with a thick smear of thyme sauce: much better than they sound.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN DEMARIA
This is what you want from a dining room: sneaked off a lively street, guests duck down into a chain of two narrow-ish chambers that, whilst not exactly casual, feel comfortable and familiar. Its limited size helps this, but other factors do as well: having shown us to our seats the waitress reengages in banter with the chef, Agata Wojda. Immediately you suspect that, actually, people like working here, and in a place this intimate, good energy has a habit of spreading. Even before you order, you realize you’re in for something memorable, and so the evening continues like some self-fulfilling prophecy. On our research jaunt, starters are a smoked trout mousse with a cauliflower, glasswort and tarragon salad. The flavor is spritely and specific and unexpectedly vivid. A goose confit is next, the gentle meat rested on pumpkin puree and prune sauce. It’d be easy to write this off as just simple stuff done well, but you know that’s not the case: if it really were that straightforward, everyone would be pulling it off. In all, a totally enthralling experience, and our other jurors agree.
SEAFOOD we import ourselves
AN IDEAL PLACE
for a business meeting or an official dinner
with lobster, crabs and the largest selection of oysters in Poland - 6 species
CHAMPAGNE also sold by the glass
Best of Warsaw 2015
FOREIGN CHEF MARTIN GIMENEZ CASTRO Some disclosure: voting in our juried categories tends to be tight and tense, and this year was no different – but if there was one exception that saw a landslide winner it was this one. Galloping to victory by a country mile was Martin Gimenez Castro, a man many still associate as being the crowned champ of the 2013 Top Chef series. That triumph, however, vindicated what some knew already: that here was a man of considerable talent. Reinforcing that opinion is ‘what happened next’. For that, first look at Salto. Charged with giving the Rialto Hotel the restaurant it deserved, Gimenez Castro has since forged one of the finest gastro experiences in Poland: exquisite fine dining with a thrilling Latin twist. Then, in late 2015, came a second venture, Ceviche Bar, a more casual eatery designed to give vent to the chef ’s South American culinary emotions. In the process the Argentinean has jump-started a Warsaw trend, whilst displaying the ability to juggle two brilliant spots of divergent personality.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN DEMARIA
Also nominated Andrea Camastra (Senses), Trisno Hamid (MOD), Elisa Nicolas (Tapas Gastro Bar), Chanunkan Duangkumma (Thaisty)
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
Looking to add a sense of local authenticity to your vodka session? Then surround yourself with little plates of greasy dumplings, slimy herrings and glistening pickles. Do so in Bar Warszawa, a shot bar that’s murky, mucky and always merry.
Exceeding all expectations in their second year, the Green Bear has turned into the mothership for all things relating to slow food: if in doubt, check the menu, an ode to provenance that comes complete with detailed biographies of their suppliers.
There’s no shortage of restaurateurs picking their way through the crates of muddy greens in Forteca, a one-time Tsarist bastion since turned into a famers’ market. The vendors are regarded as the best in their genre and given reverential treatment by their customers.
Shush! Big Brother is watching in the Red Pig, but the beady-eyed tyrants who stare down from the portraits do little to impede the sense of revelry. A cheeky celebration of days of yore, this commie-themed restaurant is always great fun.
Beaver tail one month, carp heads the next. Combing the farms and forests of Poland for his ingredients, chef Aleksander Baron’s menu is a daring exploration of his nose-to-tail philosophy with many of his methods reprising extinguished traditions.
Inn under the Red Hog
Kafe Zielony Niedzwiedź
CLASSIC POLISH Papu
There are higher profile chefs than Bartek Kędra, but not many with the ability to understand diners better. Knowing when to use his trick book – and when to leave it well alone – Kędra’s menu is a joyous work that turns one-time visitors into regulars.
Best of Warsaw 2015
ONE TO WATCH
WITEK IWAŃSKI (Aruana)
PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN DEMARIA, ILLUSTRATIONS BY MARIA MILEŃKO
Seen as the golden boy of Polish cooking, Witek Iwański has been causing ripples ever since he was named as Magazyn Kuchnia’s ‘Discovery of the Year’ in 2013. Further accolades have come thick and fast, and have included the prestigious Prix au Chef de L’Avenir awarded by the International Academy of Gastronomy. Looking to challenge diners, Iwański’s cooking embraces obscure and unusual ingredients, fine-tuning them using the latest know-how and kitchen magic. A breathlessly exciting talent, mark a visit to his Aruana restaurant into your 2016 schedule. The only problem? It’s 40 kilometers away, meaning you may want to first book lodgings in the glorious Hotel Narvil. You’ll enjoy it…
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
Picking up something sweet? You’re no longer limited to the tired places that Granny Kowalska recommends. A new breed of boutique patisserie has landed, presenting beautiful confections that are a paean to craftsmanship.
If ramen registered as a niche trend in 2015, this year it’s set to go positively mainstream. And what’s not to like about fat noodles submerged in a big-flavored broth. Goodbye sushi, hello slurpy noodle goodness!
Watch for: Deseo, Odette, Lukullus
Watch for: Uki Uki, Ramen Girl, Omami
Can vegetarianism be cited as a trend? Surely it’s more – possibly the biggest growth sector in the culinary industry. Everything from burgers and burritos to hot dogs and kebabs have been given the vegetarian treatment.
So the saying goes: ‘people are sick and tired of being sick and tired’. Offering an easy way to cleanse and detox, it’s no surprise that big, busy Warsaw has now adopted the cult of the juice bar.
Watch for: Mango Vegan Street Food, Lokal Vegan Bistro, W Gruncie Rzeczy
Watch for: Think Love Juices, Drop Juice Bar, Tamka Juice Bar
Trend to Watch CEVICHE After burning through Western Europe, ceviche has continued its crossplanetary journey and checked into Poland. Marinated in a mash of citrus juice and spice, this South American raw fish specialty looks set to claim a new generation of helpless addicts. Watch for: Ceviche Bar (pictured)
Best of Warsaw 2015
REST OF THE BEST BUSINESS MEETING Elixir by Dom Wódki
It’s the billion dollar question: the bods from head office are here and you need to entertain them – somewhere that gives them a true taste of Poland. Somewhere classy yet current and contemporary. Then it’s got to be Dom Wódki. If you’re really pushing the boat out, book the copper-ceilinged VIP room that has views of the restaurant below. Honorable mention: Butchery & Wine, Nolita
LUNCH DEAL Kaskrut
Making its long overdue return a couple of months back, Kaskrut’s lunch deal has been well worth the wait. Handsomely executed, Piotr Ceranowicz’s cooking makes a mockery of the restaurants who use lunch as a way to purge the pantry of unwanted off-cuts. There’s few better ways to spend zł. 29. Honorable mention: Concept 13, Nolita
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
TOP ETHNIC FRENCH LE BISTRO ROZBRAT Overseen by the charming Alain, this bistro has a devoted following swung by their convincing planches and classic mains full of rich, raucous flavor. A stalwart of Powiśle, the success of this bistro is rooted in basic stuff that many others fail to manage: i.e. being able to turn out food that people enjoy and understand… Honorable mention: La Cocotte
PHOTOGRAPH OF ŁUSKI I OSĆI BY MICHAŁ KORECKI, ALL OTHERS BY KEVIN DEMARIA
Vodka shots at the ready! Rusiko finished 2015 voted Gazeta Wyborcza’s Knajpa Roku, a very public endorsement of all they’ve done right. The food is the equivalent of a warm cuddle on a cold day – it makes you feel good in the heart and soul – and when it comes to hospitality they’re in a league of their own. You owe yourself to visit. Honorable mention: Chinkali
Served fresh from out of the fryer, Bejrut’s fab falafel comes wrapped inside a soft pitta brimming with herby bits and bobs. Middle eastern street food has not traditionally been Warsaw’s hidden talent, but that could change if more follow the lead of FB. We can live in hope. Honorable mention: Spoco Loco
Having flatlined for a few years the sushi side of Warsaw has new cause for cheer. Bills rack up fast in Wabu, but the spoils are worth it. In time for the new year, they’ve also tweaked the interior and ditched the whole “let’s sit around a circular bar” charade – and it’s all the better for that. Honorable mention: Sakana
Whatever you want to call the new wing of B&W (it’s across the road from the original, therefore not physically attached), it’s been a welcome addition. In no small part that’s due to the bar, an L-shaped space with floor-toceiling windows that splash open in summer. Gorgeous, as are the cocktails. Honorable mention: Bibenda
Not the obvious choice but certainly deserving: if nothing else, it’s a comfort to see a sushi bar escaping the usual formula. Instead of bamboo partitions and Hokusai waves find an enchanting aquarium wrapped around the bar and some graphic wall art explaining the ins and outs of sushi to any first-timers. Honorable mention: Kieliszki na Próżnej
INDIAN CURRY HOUSE It’s not been a distinguished year for the Indian scene, with a few old favorites slackening and newcomers failing to make a mark. But hail Curry House for their continued, ceaseless brilliance. That includes the hottest vindaloo for hundreds of miles! With curry like this, who cares that it’s in a glorified hut out in far-flung Bielany. Honorable mention: Mr. India
Butchery & Wine
Łuski i Osći
Best of Warsaw 2015
REST OF THE BEST TOP ETHNIC (continued) ITALIAN FOCACCIA
Big shots go for the Class 9+ TajimaGyu Kobe beef every time, though even the standard filet mignon deserves the red carpet treatment: here the cow really does become something to worship. We ate here twice in 2015, and were left speechless both times – that good. Honorable mention: Butchery & Wine
When finalizing this year’s categories there were dissenters in the office who wanted to cut ‘best pizza’. “Nothing has changed,” they squealed. So what!? The pizza world might have remained relatively static, but Ave deserve their moment of glory: the Ricco Calzone should have its name in lights. Honorable mention: Mąka i Woda
The Insider’s visit went something like this: wrist-thick octopus with an arc of yellow mousse, beef tenderloin alongside a glistening pool of madeira sauce and then an orange ice cream with caramel and ginger that soon merged into a big gooey brew of chocolatey mess. The only surprise is there’s no Italian in the kitchen – it appears they don’t need one. Honorable mention: Delizia
JAPANESE UKI UKI It’s been a magical debut year, that’s for sure. How much do the locals appreciate Warsaw’s original udon bar? Enough to queue outside the door? That’s right. Dining is a close quarters experience here, but is done so without complaint: that electric pasta maker turns out noodles of such chewy goodness that everyone leaves beaming. Honorable mention: Benihana
LEBANESE LE CEDRE
Der Elefant’s kid friendly attitude extends far beyond humane service and a menu dla dzieci (that admittedly could be expanded). Allan Starski’s interior – he was the Oscar-winning set director for Schindler’s List, don’t you know – incorporates a play area complete with ball pool, slide and a kitchen earmarked for cookery classes. Honorable mention: Boska Praga
If you’re after wild and wacky tastes then Warsaw has plenty of other places that tick that box. Instead, Sucre have set their minds on perfecting the more routine flavors, and perfect them they have – all whilst eschewing any artificial baddies. People happily queue for their natural ice creams. Honorable mention: Limoni Canteri 1952
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
It’s the new restaurants that tend to net the glory, so Le Cedre get a hat tip for making this category their own. Was the result ever in doubt? In business for 18 years, it remains the natural choice for the sparky tastes of Lebanon. Their younger spin-off, on Solidarności 84, is equally as good… Honorable mention: Falafel Bejrut
You sometimes suspect Warsaw doesn’t give seafood the respect it deserves. But the city’s shortcomings are atoned for by L’Arc. Choose from the lobsters swimming on Death Row, then settle back for a meal to die for. Likewise, the oysters and mussels never disappoint. Honorable mention: Brasserie Warszawska, Papalina
PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN DEMARIA
An awkward category this, chiefly because of the lingering cynicism related to hotel dining. Leave misgivings at the door, for Signature is a standout: a smooth-looking boutique space with true fine dining at largely accessible prices. Chef Wojciech Kilian’s star shines brighter with each night. Honorable mention: La Rotiserie (Regina), Salto (Rialto)
Best of Warsaw 2015
REST OF THE BEST BURGER
Warsaw Hot Dog & Burger While it seems behind the times to be talking about a trend that curved out a couple of years back, the bottom line is people are still craving burgers. And that’s little wonder when they’re this good. The Firestarter is a game changer and especially rewarding with a pile of double-fried chips.
Lokal Vegan Bistro After years of serving dull, timid dishes Warsaw’s alt. food culture, it appears, has finally found its taste buds. Look to Lokal Vegan Bistro for healthy interpretations of the schabowy chop and ‘grandmother’s potatoes’, not to mention their eco slant on junky foods like kebabs and zapiekanka. Honorable mention: Krowazywa, Mango Vegan Street Food
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
PHOTOGRAPH OF POGROMCY MEATÓW BY ASIA MATYJEK ODCZARUJ GARY
Honorable mention: Warburger, Ziggi Point
TOP ETHNIC (continued) MEXICAN EL POPO
The management’s wanderlust is reflected by a global menu of bites that go beyond simply Latin. Diverse in its influences, this is a card with something for everyone – that explains how its succeeded in seducing a whole raft of fans. Honorable mention: Tapas Gastrobar
Warsaw has grown to love its food trucks, but how many are second rate? No such worries at Gringo mind – replicating the form of their Mokotów branch, the mobile version has the same combo of bad ass hip hop and kick ass burritos! Honorable mention: Beef ‘n’ Roll
Sueño Tapas Bar
In action since the 90s, El Popo has admittedly had its ups and downs. Currently enjoying one of its ups, that’s to the endless credit of chef Angel Aceves. The buzz is at night when Mariachi men serenade diners enjoying the expert tacos, chunky guacamole and lightning kick salsas that have revived this giant. Honorable mention: Blue Cactus
SPANISH CASA PABLO Casa Pablo points Spanish cuisine as Warsaw knows it in a new direction thanks to the creative hand of Gonzalo de Salas. His exquisite creations are artful and innovative, yet this is cooking that never loses sight of its final goal: to leave diners vowing to return. Simply put, that’s done through ruddy good food. Honorable mention: Bunuel
THAI THAI THAI
Yearn no more for the elusive flavor of the backyard BBQ. Specializing in grilled meat, find exactly just that loaded into artisan buns alongside locally grown greens. The sense of homespun quality makes this the kind of comfort food that Warsaw has been missing for years. Honorable mention: Barn Smoque
Fire, flash, show and sizzle: the Benihana experience merges cooking with cabaret, with diners sat ringside around teppanyaki grills. These cooking stations are the stage for the Benihana crew to demonstrate their riveting range of nifty knifework and daredevil antics. Everyone ends up cheering! Honorable mention: Papaya
Authentic recipes with plenty of fire and thunder inside elegant black interiors punctuated with tranquil, shiny Buddha’s. Clean, complex and fragrantly aromatic, the tastes never compromise the real flavors of Thailand: some dishes will clear your nose! The rave reviews coming the way of chef Surachart Urajaroen are not accidental. Honorable mention: Thaisty
Best of Warsaw 2015
STREET OLEANDRÓW Few streets encapsulate the changing face of Warsaw better than Oleandrów – once seen as a grey road to nowhere, a fizz of action has seen this skinny side street transformed by a growing collection of offbeat stores and unorthodox hangouts...
Run by a former London / Paris-based makeup artist, this vintage store is filled with the owner’s discoveries. Frequently referenced by the big name fashion titles, its success hasn’t waned since opening a couple of years back.
Those looking to give their kitchen a designer boost need look no further than the Aladdin’s Cave that is Makutra. Find it all from linens and storage vessels to cookbooks and utensils.
Dangling lightbulbs, unfinished walls and vintage furniture give Oleandrów 3 a real ‘sense of unique’. Nights get hectic, and that’s especially true when they find space to shoehorn a DJ in.
An intimate split-level bar with an industrial motif: plenty of cogs, metal hooks and mysterious dials. Both the look and ‘author’s cocktails’ capture the spirit of the street.
An award-winning restaurant by night, arrive earlier in the day to sample cracking donuts flavoured with mango, hibiscus and salted caramel. You wonder why Warsaw never did this before.
This super friendly café has some standout homemade cakes and a cheerful design that’s a pleasing break from its shadowy neighbors. Ideal for a slow afternoon with the laptop.
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
CAFES MEETING PLACE
Not be confused with Relaks off Puławska! The bang central location makes it the perfect meetup place, so too its feeling of neigborhood bustle. In spite of its small size, it keeps everyone pleased with excellent coffee and niche bottled beers.
Looking for a place in which to shut the world out and stick your nose in a book? Head to this warm den of comfy retro chairs and natural light. It’s a place to eavesdrop, catch-up on reading and generally daydream the morning away.
This bookshop / café hosts numerous signings and launches with its literary leanings attracting a dilettante crowd. Snug and bursting with intellectual material, it’s a great spot to spend the afternoon tapping on your tablet.
Not for the first time Relaks finds itself namechecked as Warsaw’s best café. Not because of the paucity of competition, but because they just do it so right: the coffee, the clacker and atmosphere in general.
When French expats tell you that this is their bread stop of choice, you take note and listen. Sourcing their flour from a small French mill, the mother/son duo behind Aromat have shown the city the future of baking.
PHOTOGRAPH BY KEVIN DEMARIA, ILLUSTRATION BY MARIA MILEŃKO
Knowledge is everything and Cophi have that. Unassuming in size, don’t let the lack of sq/m put you off. Sourced by Uri Wollner, the coffee here comes from afar as Ethiopia and Colombia, and is brewed using methods such as Aeropress, Chemex, drip and syphon.
Best of Warsaw 2015
Set on the ground floor above the subterranean Ramen Girl restaurant, the December opening of this joyfully titled bar saw a Warsaw first: the city’s first wine bar dealing solely with natural wine. Great concept, cool design.
Crikey! A wonderful antipodean menu is complemented by a wine list featuring the largest selection of Australian and New Zealand wine in the country: that’s been assembled by John Borrell, the former Time correspondent turned wine importer.
The Pope & The Pig
Andrzej Strzelczyk An obvious choice, but anyone repeatedly voted as being Poland’s top sommelier can’t be overlooked. Expert opinion, sublime pairings and a bottomless cellar make La Rotisserie’s inhouse guru the cream of the crop. With Paweł Oszczyk taking care of the food, this restaurant has assembled a dream team.
Butchery & Wine People rave on about the steak at Butchery & Wine to the extent they’re prone to forget the other feather in their cap. This is a wine list to rival anything you’ll find in Warsaw, with both big and more obscure producers represented.
Mielżyński Wine Bar It’s not just the depth of the offer that impresses, but the price points: from zł. 50 right the way up to the big boys. Return custom comes guaranteed thanks to honest counsel from the staff on-hand: trust them to advise on the right wine for the right price.
Wine Taste by Kamecki Hosted by Piotr Kamecki, the President of the Polish Association of Sommeliers, you know you’re in capable hands. Held inside a sleek unit in the Cosmopolitan Tower, friendly terms with the neighboring restaurants mean no shortage of food, while the tasting sessions extend beyond the norm and even cover ‘glass tastings’.
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
PHOTOGRAPH THIS PAGE SHUTTERSTOCK, OPPOSITE OF WISŁA BY ED WIGHT
NIGHTLIFE RIVERFRONT The once desolate banks of the Wisła have been reborn as Warsaw’s garden of pleasure, with seasonal bars from both sides blurring together to create a tremoring wall of party din. If the rumor mill is believed, then the Stadium side facesproblems with City Hall this coming summer, though no such hassles are forecast for the left bank – the party will go on!
ROOFTOPS When they weren’t beachside, you’d have found Warsaw’s glam glitterati getting seriously high this summer – rooftop bars became the talk of the town, with pics from The View becoming a fixture on Facebook timelines. But as if offering the chance to drink under open skies wasn’t enough, The View went a step further booking up world class DJ talent such as David Morales. Expect the best to get better in 2016.
STREET Not long back Nowogrodzka – the section between Marszałkowska and Krucza – was all potholes and pockmarks. Now it’s the thudding heart of Warsaw’s nocturnal renaissance. Busy with bistros, bars, pubs and takeaways, the immediate area looks set to grow from strength-to-strength. No wonder many (us, anyway) are talking it up as The Beer-muda Triangle.
Best of Warsaw 2015
COCKTAILS COCKTAIL BAR Weles
ALL PHOTOGRAPHS KEVIN DEMARIA EXCEPT SOLEC 44 BY ALEKSANDER BARON AND DOM WÓDKI COURTESY
Buried at the back of a parking lot, then plunged down a set of ink black stairs, it’s customary for newcomers to squeak something not dissimilar to, “where the hell are we going”. Opening out into a dark, decadent cavern, the thrilling setting is bettered only by finely blended elixirs that are all dare and dazzle.
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
Bar & Books Emulating its famed New York / Prague namesake, the Warsaw rendition of Bar & Books has the comforting throwback look of a Mayfair members club. Ensconced amid the bound books and monkey portraits (!), sit back while immaculate staff fix both updated classics and contemporary creations. Flawless.
INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR Ceviche Bar
The resto-bar concept is dreaded for a reason – it’s rare for a venue to keep both ends of its promise. But Ceviche succeeds in not just nailing the food angle, but also the drinks: the Pisco Sour is one of Warsaw’s top tipples.
Julian Karewicz is the architect of the monthly changing cocktail list, and his intriguing potions utilize seasonal ingredients and premium alcohols, not to mention many of the homemade syrups and mixes that sit tantalizingly in the jars on the shelves.
INSIDER’S SECRET 6 Cocktails
Unmarked and unseen from street level, 6 Cocktails occupies a decadent apartment on plush Mokotowska. Ring the buzzer and find yourself beckoned into this glorious snapshot of Warsaw high life. The parties pack out, though you never lose that sense of being somewhere truly special.
BAR DESIGN Między Ustami
With the celebrated Hendrick’s gin so prominently pimped, it makes sense that the quirky design of Między Ustami is more in line with a Victorian apothecary than anything else. Peculiarities particular to this era are abundant (nonsensical wall paintings featuring fairies and fantastical creatures) and are matched against deep forest colors and copious wood and leather. It’s Lewis Carrol meets Phileas Fogg, with suitably creative cocktails to boot.
Dom Wódki Those expecting Dom Wódki to be a standard mucky shot bar are in for a surprise. Sparkling with over 250 artisanal vodkas, find them incorporated into inspirational drinks mixed by Tomasz Małek, a world champion flair bartender. More than just show, the tastes are incredible. www.warsawinsider.pl
Best of Warsaw 2015
Even in an area bulging with bars, Jabeerwocky has become a point of pilgrimage for beer aficionados. If the creative line-up of guerrilla breweries wasn’t enough, then there’s the management’s readiness to roll their sleeves up and even brew their own beer. Add to that an atmosphere of general hubbub (and more than two toilets!) and you have our clear and distant winner.
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
PHOTOGRAPH THIS PAGE KEVIN DEMARIA, ALL OTHER COURTESY
Chmielarnia Marszałkowska With Warsaw’s tap bars all falling over each other to stock the latest tap beers, your options are frequently similar from bar to bar – which is when a good fridge becomes important. Not only can you actually see into Chmielarnia’s, you’ll find it housing the most exciting brews trending around the globe. Broaden your horizons!
Warsaw Beer Festival It’s not just the beers and the bars that have impressed us this year. Since its inauguration in 2014, the Warsaw Beer Festival has kicked-on to another level, with this year’s two events proving a roaring success. The choice of venue – Legia’s stadium – has been a masterstroke, and eliminated the usual problems of grisly toilets and vapid surrounds. Smooth organization and some brilliant exhibitors have made it a real date for the diary. Next instalment: April 7-9.
BEST LABELS Ale Browar
Ale Browar haven’t just tipped Polish brewing on its head, but also Polish label design. Each new brew comes with its ‘brand hero’, which this year has meant a razor-twirling hipster barber (Last Cut) and a hairy-chested lifeguard with a rubber ring wrapped around the torso (Be Like Mitch). These are designs that are playful, fun and utterly appropriate!
With umpteen billion breweries to choose from, a visit to the tap bar can be a little overwhelming. Artezan, however, remain the failsafe option, with our panel using words such as ‘consistency’ and ‘benchmark’ to describe their work. Pacific remains their best brew, though this year Cymbopogon, Białe IPA and Summer Ale have also impressed.
Hopium Poland’s craft scene saw some big entrants this year, though few breweries have made a larger splash than Hopium. For our panel, first contact with this mob came during the Warsaw Beer Festival, and since then they’ve become a name to search for on the tap bar roll-calls. Fave brew: Violetta Vanillas.
NEIGHBORHOOD BAR Cześć
Warsaw is bloated with bars for that big Friday night. Sometimes though, you want something a bit more personal: a place with good beer but an intimate atmosphere. A haunt where the owners know your name and will happily keep serving for as long as you’re drinking. Cześć is that place. www.warsawinsider.pl
NEW & NOTEWORTHY
$ zł. 30 (per main) $$ zł. 30-55 $$$ over zł. 55 New listings are in RED 2014 Best of Warsaw Award Winner
ŚRD / PŁD (ul. Marszałkowska 17) From the same lot behind Powiśle’s Mr. Pancake, so already you know you’re getting yourself into a place that makes a big deal of being zany. So it proves: Coca Cola sausages and burger soup are a couple of dishes that immediately flash up. Beyond this, and the slightly jarring baby pink and powder blue colors, it’s not a bad detour from the culinary norm. We enjoyed the ‘chicken salsa’.
TEMARI (ul. Mokotowska 8, temari.pl) Pristine, almost holistic in ambiance, the idea here is to create a top class joint for sushi ‘to go’. No expense has been spared on the packaging, ingredients and overall look, the trouble is, sushi doesn’t naturally keep. Our Little Kyoto Box was full of bright sparkly colors, but the rolls already showed the tell-tale signs of having lost their moisture. Fingers crossed they see sense and start making sushi to order instead – if they do, we have a winner.
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
african american asian australian balkan & russian british burgers cheap eats cooking schools cuban french georgian german greek & turkish indian international italian japanese & sushi jewish latin & mexican middle eastern polish scandinavian specialty shops steak houses thai uzbek whole foods
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african Abyssinia (B1) Rynek Nowego Miasto 2, abyssinia.pl As it transpires, there’s one way of serving the mains, and it’s truly ingenious: on injera, a spongy flatbread that’s used to scoop up the food. Basically, you eat the plate. Brilliant. And yes, the Ethiopian choices are marvelous: meat and fish dishes served in
listings / restaurants curry-like sauces with heaps of onions, garlic and ginger. The tastes are strange, alien and immediately addictive. $$ Café Baobab (H4) ul. Francuska 31, tel. 22 617 4057, cafebaobab.pl The work of former basketball player Aziz Seck, Baobab brings the tastes of Senegal to Saska Kępa. The mafe yap – beef stewed in peanut sauce – is as interesting as it sounds, and best enjoyed during their bi-monthly Saturday night concerts. $ La MaMa Africa (C1) ul. Andersa 23, tel. 22 226 3505, lamama.eu Things we like: African Star beer and the traditional stews. Things we don’t like: the goat meat. But that’s not a criticism of the cooking, rather an admission we don’t like goats in general – dead or alive. Those who don’t fancy experimenting with gizzards and heads make do with dishes like yam porridge or sweet and spicy coconut rice. It’s the very definition of casual, and something of a focal point for Warsaw’s African community. $$
american Brooklyn Restaurant & Bar (C4) Al. Jana Pawła II 18 (Rondo ONZ), tel. 22 114 3434 Gone are the fancy pants culinary creations once found in the basement, ousted in favor of a menu of pimped-up soul and street food, salads and steaks. This means fresh tacos not to mention Mito’s Beef Ribs and 100% beef dogs. The ground floor burger bar is more prosaic, offering a standard line-up of burgers and wings: they’re loved by many. $$ Champions Sports Bar (D5) Marriott Hotel, al. Jerozolimskie 65/79, tel. 22 630 5119, champions.pl While the concept and style look dated, there’s no faulting the attention to detail – wherever you look (aside from under the table), there’s a TV. The heavy décor brings to mind the trans-Atlantic sports bars of the 90s, with glinting trophies, whirring machines, clacking pool tables and a cacophony of commentaries. Hell, there’s even a boxing ring. But you can’t fault their consistency: the food is always on-point, the staff are pro, while the generous floor plan makes it suitable for unwieldy groups of large and loud lads. $$ Hard Rock Café (C4) ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy), tel. 22 222 0700,
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. $$ Hell’s Chickens ul. Puławska 246, hellschickens.pl It’s all chicken feed here, with a menu comprised of wings, strips and chicken wraps served on paper plates alongside thick-cut fries and homemade sauces. Chow down in a budget interior that doesn’t far extend beyond tables and chairs manufactured from crates – the young crowd doesn’t mind at all. A decent comfort food option on a rainy / hungover day, the only downer is a location way out of the center. $ Someplace Else (E5) Sheraton Hotel, ul. Prusa 2, tel. 22 450 6710, someplace-else.pl Favoring a stark concrete look, SPE were once a legend of 90s/00s Warsaw. Things have tamed down since that ex-pat heyday, but this remains a noteworthy choice for live MOR rock and zippy Tex Mex food. $$ Sticky Fingers (E7) ul. Marszałkowska 4, tel. 880 763 617, stickyfingersbbq.pl The menu, that’s printed on some crinkly brown paper, and starts with breakfast pancakes before taking you past a tidy series of burgers and wings – amongst
them an ‘Ultra Hot’ version smothered in Mad Dog sauce. We ordered the roast beef and found it fine if nothing special. While it might not be the BBQ restaurant that Warsaw’s waiting for, it’s a decent enough addition to the neighborhood. $ T.G.I. Friday’s (B3) al. Jana Pawła II 29, tel. 22 653 8360, tgifridays.pl/warszawa The steaks are a missand-miss affair, and even the burgers can’t compare to Warsaw’s armada of burgeries. And the interiors are just as you’d remember: crass, vulgar and stuck in the 90s. Why do people bother? $$
asian Bliss Restaurant (D2) Rynek Mariensztacki, tel. 22 826 3210, blissrestaurant.pl Longevity aside, Bliss (alive since ’95) boast classically cliche interiors that make dramatic use of dragons and buddhas. Inconsistent accuse some, though you’ll struggle to find better Chinesestyle ribs. $$ Canton (B2) ul. Smocza 1, tel. 22 838 3823, 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.
ul. Nowy Świat 36 tel. 731 001 002 beefnroll.pl facebook.com/beefnroll.burgers
BEST BURGERS /WINGS /HOT-DOGS www.warsawinsider.pl
listings / restaurants The Gong Bao chicken gets approval. $$ Cesarski Pałac (D2) ul. Senatorska 27, tel. 22 827 9707, cesarskipalac.com A rouge tinted Chinese restaurant whose design even incorporates a footbridge. Widely acclaimed, this 18-year-old restaurant combines Sichuan and Cantonese cuisine to serve a variety of dishes in an elegant backdrop. The Dim Sum are something else. $$ China Garden ul. Kazachska 1, tel. 22 241 1010,
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 straight-backed 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.
Papaya (E4) ul. Foksal 16, tel. 22 826 1199, 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 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. $$
Choila ul. Zajączka 25, choila.pl Perhaps not the most convenient location, but that hasn’t stopped this Żoliborz eatery earning rave reviews from the off. Chef Samika Thapa presents the dishes of Nepal and the Himalayas, with her Mo Mo stuffed dumplings earning real recognition. Look out as well for the Choila – grilled pieces of pork with onion and coriander in a spicy sauce that’s heavy with pepper and garlic. $$
Pekin Duck ul. Drawska 29A, tel. 22 412 8988, 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. $$
Du-Za Mi-Ha (D4) multiple locations, duzamiha.pl A compact Vietnamese joint noted for fresh, healthy nem filled with crunchy, perky fibers. The pho, on the other hand, is disappointing – according to one reader, “awful”. Prices begin at around zł. 10 and don’t go far north of zł. 20. You get what you pay for. $
Because Warsaw Just Got Hotter Classic Indian Cuisine With A Funky Twist ul. Zurawia 22, tel. 501 400 386, www.rain.pl
Onggi (D2) ul. Moliera 2 Onggi’s problem? That’s the food. Those expecting strong Korean flavors, big spices and plenty of bite and crunch come away disappointed by an offer that’s limited to bland and claggy dishes kept sweating in buffet containers: pay zł. 45 for all you can eat. In an area bristling with highly individual eateries, this feels little more than a merely adequate feeding trough, which is a great shame considering the considerable expense involved in the modern oriental design. $$ Pantai (G3) ul. Wybrzeże Szczecińskie 1 With its surprisingly classy tropical look, the primetime to visit the beachside Pantai is summer. Not much use knowing that now, of course. So the question is, does it work out of season? That’s a resounding yes. Beautiful cocktails play their role, but so too does a succinct menu of Asian food that includes Malaysian laksa soups, some dim sum options, and tempura duck. $$
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
Shabu Shabu Hot Pot (D6) ul. Mokotowska 27, tel. 535 685 750, shabu-shabu.pl Each table has its own set of hot pots installed and once you choose your broth and extras, you are the master of your own culinary destiny. We chose some seafood and some greens and were served a dish that was not quite a pad thai, but incredibly tasty all the same. A simple meal, but satisfying nonetheless. $$ Silk & Spicy (D5) ul. Żurawia 16/20, tel. 22 629 7012, 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.” $ Toan Pho (D4) ul. Chmielna 5/7, tel. 888 147 307 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. $ Yummy (D5) ul. Krucza 16/22, tel. 797 830 639, restauracjayummy.pl Formerly something of an Insider favorite, recent changes have not been for the better. Sure, we can live with
listings / restaurants the remodeled cut-price interior (turn the lights down, could you?), but the food? That’ll remind you of the nasty little Asian cabins that were once so prolific about town: greasy, gloopy and cloying. $
Kalaya ul. Jasna 26, kalaya.pl Poland has had Australian restaurants before, but they’ve pretty much all been immature efforts designed to mimic an Aboriginal cave. Kalaya, in contrast, is a smart urban spot whose understated interiors direct attention onto the food: that transpires to be a meat-heavy menu that features emu, kangaroo and NZ lamb cooked inside a Josper oven. The final outcome is high on fresh flavors, interesting talking
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points and creative presentation.
balkan & russian Ba Adriatico (B2) Al. Jana Pawła II 50/52, ba-adriatico.pl As a starter, then the grilled peppers stuffed with creamy, regional cheese are irresistible. But then so too the octopus salad. Mains are a victory of simplicity, with dishes like skewered minced beef served with a bitey sauce and a soft, pillowy Lepinja bread. Yet ignore Thursday seafood night at your peril. Croatian-run, this neighborhood spot has an unassuming air that belies the general quality. $$ Banja Luka (E8) ul. Szkolna 2/4, tel. 22 828 1060, banjaluka.pl Lots of clunky timber and imported ceramics set the scene at this eatery, a Balkan stalwart that’s known for its economical pricing structure and bulky portions. Grilled meats are prominent and the food largely reliable. $$
Babooshka (E3) ul. Oboźna 9, lok. 102, tel. 22 406 3366, babooshka.pl Looking intimate and woodsy Babooshka serves up dollops of simple Russian food to a budget conscious crowd. The bacon and tomato scented solyanka soup is a thick broth best suited for Warsaw’s long, windy nights. $ Papalina Al. KEN 53, tel. 608 921 404, papalina.pl A warm, wood-heavy space with regional cheeses and sausages alongside grilled meats, wine from the Krauthaker vineyard and a particularly good choice of seafood. This is Croatian food cooked exactly as you remember it from holiday. $$ U Madziara (B3) ul. Chłodna 2/18, tel. 22 620 1423, umadziara.pl U Madziara looks like it took two days to decorate. No-one goes here to marvel at the interiors though, they go in the knowledge that they’ll find great food at prices all bank cards can support. Chef
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listings / restaurants Gabor’s signature goulash is one of life’s simple pleasures. $ Yugo (B4) ul. Sienna 83 (enter from Żelazna), tel. 694 109 379 You feel alive just being here: big on Colgate white colors, vintage tourist agency posters and bright stickers, Yugo is just about the cheeriest eatery you’ll come across on a dour Warsaw day. Presenting the food of the former Yugoslavia, this Balkan bolt hole specializes in meaty dishes served in traditional bread. $
british British Bulldog (D4) ul. Krucza 51, tel. 22 827 0020, bbpub.pl The pub design is wonderful, and straight out of Midsomer Murders with its Chesterfield sofas and Cutty Sark mirrors. But it’s been a downhill disaster since they lost the original management team. What could have become Poland’s original gastro pub now serves greasy burgers and, judging by the stench at the bar, lots of food that’s way over-fried. $$ Legends (C5) ul. Emilii Plater 25, tel. 22 622 4640, 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. $$
burgers Barn Burger (D4) ul. Złota 9. tel. 512 157 567, barnburger.pl Retaining a loyal crowd ever since their 2012 entry on the burger circuit, Barn Burger offer a loud and lively atmosphere and much celebrated burgers with goofy names like Heart Attack and Muppet. The list by the door notes the results of their American-style eating competitions / greed-fests. $ Barn Smoque (D4) ul. Zgoda 5, barnsmoque.pl Okay, so 2015 won’t be remembered as the year of the grill house, but Warsaw is getting there. From the owners of Barn Burger comes Barn Smoque, a casual eatery decorated with number plates and… portraits of pigs dressed for the office. The menu is all about meat and fire, with dishes like wings, ribs, steaks and brisket.
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
Don’t leave without sampling the Fuck Crack Bacon: grilled bacon in beer batter with a side of jalapeno / BBQ salsa. $ Beef’N’Roll (D4) ul. Nowy Świat 36, tel. 531 707 070, beefnroll.pl If the wheels have fallen off the burger craze then no-one told Beef’N’Roll. Originating as a food truck, their success has been such that a fixed venue was required. Everything about the food and drink suggests quality is the main consideration. $ Burger Bar (E10) ul. Puławska 974/80 (enter from Olkuska), tel. 780 094 076, burgerbar.waw.pl Warsaw’s first legitimate burger spot was the talk of the town when it first opened up in 2012, only to have its thunder stolen when 100 copycats opened in their trail. But this lot have kept plugging away, sticking to their guns with little song and dance. Intimate and unassuming, it’s for good reason they’ve retained a loyal core of fans – if the words masterpiece can be applied to a burger, then their green chili burger is just that. $ Bydło i Powidło (A5) ul. Kolejowa 47, tel. 22 400 48 44 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. $ Fuddruckers ul. Górczewska 124 (Wola Park), tel. 22 533 4000, fuddruckers.com Not ones to keep quiet, the American Fuddruckers chain claim to build ‘the world’s best burger!’ A big claim, but on early evidence they can certainly claim the Warsaw leg of this title. In an added plus, a buffet stand lets you throw as many add-ons (jalapenos, salsa, etc.) onto your food as possible. Full review coming up! $
in WarBurger. Set inside a diminutive cabin, join the scrum for jazzed-up burgers that use slow-food ingredients. If not the best, they’re most certainly up there. $ Ziggi Point (B4) ul. Pańska 59, tel. 696 145 735 Diners are summoned to the counter to collect their order via a buzzer, before settling down to enjoy what has emerged as a real candidate for Warsaw’s best burger. The fiery Desperados is as perfect as a burger gets, and best twinned with a Curiosity Cola from the Fentimans brand. Steaks and wings also available inside a cool diner setup. $
cheap eats Bar Turecki “Efes” (H4) ul. Francuska 1, ul. Aleje Niepodleglości 80, tel. 22 898 3001 So it’s a kebab shop, but when the kebabs are this good they’re well worth the listing. Either join the queue outside, or head indoors to sample the smattering of grill food and salads. $ Diner 55 (D5) ul. Żurawia 32/34 Young? Broke? Try Diner 55. Set in a dark, industrial basement, this spot fills with skater types showing off their first tattoo. The menu is born of an alliance between Pan Burger, Rico’s Tacos and Mr. Pancake, and is good enough for a quick fix solution. $ Fabryka Frytek (D4) ul. Złota 3, tel. 505 671 334, ul. Waryńskiego 9, tel. 505 671 334, fabrykafrytek.pl Giant portions of Belgian fries (up to 600g!), waffles, wedges and whatever else you can make out of a potato come served with an equally comprehensive range of dips and sauces. $
Między Bułkami (D4) Al. Jerozolimskie 23, tel. 22 126 0159 You want to yell, “stop opening burger joints!” But ‘Between the Buns’ is one of those additions we really don’t mind: there’s nothing original about the menu, nor the presentation, but the quality is a solid 8/10. $
Justyna’s Secret Recipes (C4) ul. Marszałkowska 138, 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. $
Warburger (E9) ul. Dąbrowskiego 1, warburger.pl While Warsaw has lost its appetite for burgers, you wouldn’t necessarily tell by popping
Manekin (C3) ul. Marszalkowska 140, tel. 22 826 0753, manekin.pl Originally founded in Toruń, this pancake house chain is a national
listings / restaurants phenomenon – there are times when 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…), though not everyone agrees they’re worth the often silly waiting times. $ Meat Love (D5) ul. Hoża 62, tel. 500 149 210, meatlove.pl Not ones to stagnate, Meat Love have expanded in size, meaning there’s now plenty of room to sample their artisan sandwiches – the roast beef is a best seller. While some claim it’s no longer the benchmark venue of old, it’s still a consistent performer. $ Mr. Pancake (E3) ul. Solec 50, tel. 501 237 461, 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. $ Okienko (D7) ul. Polna 22 Belgian-style frites served in paper cones right from out of a street-side hatch. Yes they’re good, but they’re bettered by the sauces that are written up in marker pen on the wall tiles. With money exchanged, do your eating on the upturned crates left on the side of the curb. $
Pogromcy Meatów (E6) ul. Koszykowa 1, tel. 505 703 508 Remember when Meat Love opened? Remember how the city went crazy for it? Expect those scenes to be repeated with Pogromcy Meatów, a dashing, glass-fronted spot with chessboard colors and gleaming surfaces. But no one is here to admire the interiors, they’re here for a selection of to-die-for, meaty sandwiches: find piles of beef cheek and veal tongue leaking out of artisan buns slathered in homemade, top secret sauces. Think of it as the best thing to ever happen to Koszykowa! $ Wurst Kiosk (H4) ul. Zwycięzców 17, tel. 606 133 134 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. $
cooking schools Cook Up Studio ul. Racławicka 99 (Fort Mokotów), tel. 22 212 89 76, 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,
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, 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.
cuban El Caribe ul. Mickiewicza 9, tel. 22 400 0994 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. $$
french ArtBistro Stalowa ul. Stalowa 52, tel. 22 618 2732 Part of an ‘art hotel’, the distant Stalowa features a narrow dining chamber with vaulted walls,
• The best quality USDA Black Angus prime beef, Wagyu 9+ Kobe steaks and Scottish prime beef. • Outstanding seafood menu with oysters, mussels, octopus and calamari and seasonal, traditional Polish dishes. • The largest selections of global wine in Poland. ul. Merliniego 5 (across from the Warszawianka water park) tel. 22 646 0810/22 646 0849
listings / restaurants 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 well-executed orange and caramel sauce. $$ L’Arc (E8) ul. Puławska 16, tel. 519 000 050, larc.pl A place of considered elegance, subtle decorations and monochrome colors. They’re especially noted for their obsessive attitude towards seafood (pick from five types of oysters, or delve into the fish tank for the lobster of your choosing), inventive mains and desserts that are heaven. $$ Le Bistro Rozbrat (F5) ul. Rozbrat 44, tel. 22 881 7808 The signs suggest that Powiśle is set to mature even further this year, 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. $$ Le Victoria Brasserie Moderne (D3) ul. Królewska 11 (Sofitel Warsaw Victoria), tel. 22 657 8332, sofitel-victoria-warsaw. com The interior of Didier Gomez whispers intimacy, yet it also embraces notions of space and light. The casual elegance that emanates from the design is accented by warm colors, low banquettes and glinting mirrors. Acting as a ballast to it all is an open kitchen, in which you’ll find Executive Chef Maciej Majewski honing his art. His is a menu that fits seamlessly with the surrounds: a fresh, modern look at French cuisine, but one that values clarity and simplicity. Always leave room for dessert, especially the ‘pear trio’ – delicate and refreshing and with the right hint of sweet. Petit Appetit (D4) ul. Nowy Świat 27,tel. 22 826 44 61, petitappetit.com.pl A bit of French you say? Step in. There’s an atmosphere here that melts regulars and tourists into one. An easy coexistence that reveals a lot about the very
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soul of the place: café, hangout, bistro. Small choice but good results. $$
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. $
Chinkali (D4) ul. Zgoda 3 Signposted by a Georgianlanguage shingle, there’s a real sense of pleasure about this place. More modern than your typical folksy ethnic outpost, Chinkali’s draw is indeed its chinkali: dough purses packed with meaty broth. There’s a genuine homemade quality to these slurpy bundles of joy, meaning that while they’re always authentic and tasty, consistency can vary. And don’t miss out on the red bean chachapuri washed down with a mouthwashcolored tarragon lemonade. $
greek & turkish
Klukovka (B2) Al. Jana Pawła II 45A, klukovka.pl Jana Pawła’s pavilions are the unlikely location of this culinary beacon: amid the aggressive waft of its kebab shop neighbors, Klukova presents itself as a warming winter mouse hole filled with banter, babble and rich aromas. Specializing in the foods of ‘the east’, this means a menu inspired by the tastes of Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and more. The mutton manty dumplings are great, and best appreciated with a bottle of unfiltered Lithuanian beer. $
Santorini ul. Egipska 7, tel. 22 672 0525, kregliccy.pl/ santorini/ 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 milfei dessert is magic. $$
Rusiko (E5) Al. Ujazdowskie 22, tel. 22 629 0628 The great location helps, with its nice evening light and people watching opportunities, but it’s the interiors that make it: rugs hanging on the wall, classic tables and contemporary lights. You feel right at home, which we guess is what the owners had in mind from the start. Find them hopping between tables, eating, chatting and going the extra yard. Full of warmth, love for food and live music at the weekend, this is the raucous, good-humored Georgia you want to know. Note: closed Monday. $$
german Adler (E5) ul. Mokotowska 69, tel. 22 628 73 84, adlerrestauracja.pl Set in a rustic rotunda, this veteran favorite packs in reassuringly
Paros (D4) ul. Jasna 14/16, tel. 22 828 1067, parosrestauracja.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 Greco, the menu is identical, though a recent visit revealed a kitchen resting on its laurels – not one plate on our table was finished. $$
Sofra (C6) ul. Wilcza 71, tel. 731 847 731 Slowly but surely it seems the Turkish influence has been eroded in favor of a pedestrian menu of burgers, pasta and other things available on every corner. But this neighborhood redoubt feels cheerfully unforced, and it becomes an easy place to hang around in. $
indian Bollywood Lounge (D4) ul. Nowy Świat 58, tel. 22 827 0283, bollywoodlounge.pl Known for their raucous dusk-till-dawn parties, there is another less hedonistic roll filled by Bollywood: that of a restaurant. The menu is an uncomplicated, classic affair that’s an ideal primer for the party ahead. $$ Bombaj Masala (B3) Al. Jana Pawła II 23, tel. 606 688 777, bombajmasala.pl One of the best looking Indian restaurants in Warsaw, but the food rarely pokes above average. For a cuisine that prides itself on rich, intense tastes, Bombaj gets remembered for bland, oily dishes that only sometimes get finished. Yet
listings / restaurants business remains brisk, thanks in part to a combination of location and general culinary ignorance. $$
Buddha (D4) ul. Nowy Świat 23, tel. 22 826 3501, buddha.info.pl The days of the Raj are recreated in Buddha, a fine-looking curry house with intricate interiors and topdrawer curries. The murgh masala jhodphur is a favorite of ours though the real plus here is the consistency: it’s always a solid bet. $ Chmielarnia (B4) ul. Twarda 42 (basement level), tel. 725 010 271, chmielarnia.waw.pl Find some of the world’s greatest beers (see Nightlife) served in a murky, muggy basement. The Indian food that accompanies it is generally successful without being memorable – the beer snack menu though is great, with big points going to the spicy, chili ribs. $ Curry House ul. Żeromskiego 81, tel. 508 870 774 & al. Ken 47, tel. 22 213 0689, curryhouse.com.pl A primitive design (port-a-loo toilet, barred windows) and far-flung location have not hindered Curry House one bit. It’s a legend, not least for their vindaloo – a macho dish that provokes spontaneous combustion. Be warned: no beer. $ Mandala (C4)
ul. Emilii Plater 9/11, tel. 22 428 44 54, mandalaklub.com or indiaexpress.pl Remember the cheap curries you once scoffed as a student? Well Mandala offers something similar. Immense portions, low prices and an efficient delivery service ensure plenty of custom, but the food is, at best, nothing more than ordinary. On a bad day, you might feel a little queasy. $ Mr India Al. KEN 47, tel. 22 213 0689, mrindia.pl Split on two levels the design is contemporary if a little characterless: leather banquettes that leave a sweaty bum print and wood paneling. No problem though, if it looks bland then the food isn’t. That means an incredible butter chicken that’s deep and immensely satisfying. Then there’s the vindaloo – could be hotter for some, but good enough for most. $$ Namaste India (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 15, tel. 22 357 0939, namasteindia.pl Responsible for first bringing quality, budget Indian food to Warsaw, Namaste found themselves losing their way somewhat. Now back on track – and with a newly expanded upstairs section – one Insider correspondent goes so far as to claim a recent trip as his ‘favorite Indian for years!’ $$ Parivar al. Waszyngtona 75, tel. 22 393 4104, parivar.pl The squid sizzler has the taste
and texture of that chewing gum you found stuck under the bus seat, whil e the vindaloo is cunningly disguised as a bowl of red water with some chicken floating about. “I get better curry on the oil rigs,” opined the Insider’s official balti boy. For all of that, the biggest disappointment is Parivar’s apparent success. $ Rain by India Curry (D5) ul. Żurawia 22, tel. 22 438 9350, rain.pl Fresh, contemporary interiors impart a chic, classy look, while the shaded courtyard garden is one of the best about town. The real credit for Rain’s resuscitation though belongs to the kitchen: our curry expert rates the starters as the best he’s had in any Indian restaurant. And the mains continue the form with a magnificent lamb tikka masala. The tiffin lunch deals are outstanding as well. $$ Rani Al. KEN 48/10, tel. 729 247 400, rani.com.pl Mere steps from Metro Natolin, this restaurant’s catchment area goes beyond just Ursynów. Owner Samir is a self-confessed foodie, and his vision includes a contemporary Indian menu that features pan-seared cod with turmeric, tomato salsa and mint chutney – wonderful. Rani will also please the traditionalists, with everything from creamy kormas to vindaloo’s that leave your ears blowing smoke rings. $$ Tandoor (D7) ul. Marszałkowska 21/25, tel. 22825 2375,
Dear Guests! We invite you to experience an exotic and mysterious adventure full of seasonal aromas and the unforgettable flavours of traditional Indian cuisine. Curry, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, cumin: these aromas mean it’s impossible to pass Buddha without stepping in. Enjoy the atmosphere of Indian life, food, music and happiness. Buddha Indian Restaurant ul. Nowy Swiat 23 +48 22 826 35 01 / 725 111 222
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
listings / restaurants tandoor.com.pl After nearly 20 years at the helm, owner Charanjit Walia has sold up and moved on, leaving a spiritual hole in his life-defining work. His parting shot has been a re-haul which has seen not just the interior modernized, but the menu – start with the pea and basil soup before moving onto the chicken tamarind or the chicken sholay kebab. Coated in absinth, it’s set aflame at the table. Traditionalists will also approve: the ‘classic’ menu features a formidable butter chicken tikka masala. After a couple of years in the doldrums, Tandoor is back with a bang. $$
farmyard produce, and is built on pillars of quality and simplicity. $$
than just the lunch break crowd with a busy jazz program overseen by musician Grzegorz Piotrowski. The modern international menu is composed by Michał Bassa, a man who appears to like foie gras: find it in burgers, ice cream and other combinations. $$
Boathouse ul. Wał Miedzeszyński 389a, tel. 22 616 3223, boathouse.pl The name gives it away, doesn’t it? Situated in what is indeed a former boathouse, this venerable institution comes into its element in warmer weather when Warsaw goes riverside to dine at this restaurant. Even out of season, the Mediter-
Bibenda (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 10, tel. 502 770 303, bibenda.pl If it’s informal dining you want, then Bibenda nails it: here the warm design incorporates a popular bar area filled with a young, chattery crowd. The seasonal menu makes use of market vegetables and
Aioli Inspired by Mini (D6) pl. Konstytucji 5, aioliinspiredbymini.pl Fans of the original we might be, but this latest venture brings to mind one of those anonymously formulaic Times Square eateries where tourists convene for the ‘fake’ New York experience. There are moments when the scrum at the bar threatens to spill into blood sport, while the despondent staff only make matters worse. You’d think the Pilsner beer tanks would serve as a point of redemption, but here foul glasses make what should be Warsaw’s freshest beer into the capital’s worst. $$
Modern antipodean Dining FRESH SEASONAL AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND INSPIRED FOOD AND WINE Australian and New Zealand cuisine draws on the best traditions of Mediterranean, Japanese, Thai AND British CUISINE brought to the ANTIPODES with visitors from the four corners of the world. KalayA cuisine IS based on fresh ingredients of the highest quality - Original meats, Seafood and vegetables prepared on
Ale Wino (F5) ul. Mokotowska 48, tel. 22 628 3830, alewino.pl Dip through an archway to discover Ale Wino, a beautiful wine bar whose menu has been well tailored to the season. Tweaked for the season is the pork belly, a Złotnicka pig adorned with apple sugar snap peas and celery mousse – gorgeous. As for the wine, put your faith in the sommelier, Oliver.
OUR CHARCOAL grill, thus preserving the full flavor and nutritional value. OUR Menu, created by Chef PAWEł KAłUSKI, PRESENTS this light and innovative MENU fusion cuisine in A Contemporary “Down Under” style. This is complemented by one of the largest selection of unique Australian and New Zealand wines in Europe,
A nuż widelec (E3) ul. Dobra 14/16, tel. 507 367 520 So snug is A nuż widelec, the feeling is of being round at a friend’s house. The food is nothing fancy, but fresh and made with love – and it feels even better while the owner potters about, chatting with his guests and watering the flowers in the knockout garden. Such is the atmosphere, you want to call it home. $$ Artkitchen ul. Domaniewska 34A, artkitchen.pl Buried deep in the office blocks of white collar Mokotów Artkitchen hope to attract more
as well as a selection of Australian beers.
Kanga roo ta rtare with cap ers , whis ke y & cro ut ons Jo sp er gril led B la ck Tiger p raw ns Fish s oup w it h s ea foo d a nd fres h herb s G ril l ed Emu stea k G ril l ed rib eye (B la ck A ngus – AuStra l iA P AV LOV A with s tra wb erry s auce Business lunch – 29 Zł w WEEKEND LUNCH - FROM 75 Zł
Map Data © 2015 Google
TIME FOR A TASTE OF THE ANTIPODES! Ul. Jasna 26, Warsaw 00-054 | +48 222 99 3210 | email@example.com | www.kalaya.pl
listings / restaurants ranean standards have stood the test of time and keep this venue busy. $$ Brasserie Warszawska (E5) ul. Górnośląska 24, tel. 22 628 9423, brasseriewarszawska.pl Looking for classic cuisine with no daft flights of fancy? Here you have it. At a time when everyone wants to be Ferran Adrià, Brasserie has both a menu and interior that you can understand: pan-fried foie gras; elegant beef Rossini; and sinful apple tarte tatin, all served inside posh interiors of zinc-plated mirrors and chessboard floors. Their Michelin Bib Gourmand is a source of pride, but it’s the number of repeat clients that are the ultimate paean to the skills of chef Mateusz Wichrowski. $$$ Bubbles (D2) Pl. Piłsudskiego 9, tel. 512 540 913 Occupying a small, square room, it’s intimate and relaxed: a place busy with blackboards and bottles, crates and clutter. It radiates warmth and honesty. The food is exquisite, and includes big, meaty snails farmed in Mazury, and their signature dish: Swiss-style raclette. Presented on a wooden chopping board, this cheese dish is classic melty goodness, and served alongside a pile of potatoes, onions marinated with caramel and candied pumpkin. $$ Concept 13 (D4) ul. Bracka 9, tel. 22 310 7373 You’d expect a rooftop meal at Poland’s ultimate luxury department store to cost the earth, but that’s
not the case. The zł. 50 lunch deal allows Joe Public to enjoy the considerable skills of Dariusz Barański. That he manages to create different pieces of art each and every afternoon is a testament to his talent – fellow chefs and foodies privately talk of him as a Michelin star in the making. $$$ The Cool Cat (C3) ul. Solec 38, tel. 787 698 700 Our visit featured a musical standoff between two waiters arguing over possession of the laptop, and a genuine piece of plate art that was as delicious as it looked: beautiful deer surrounded by creative ingredients. Small menu and a fashionable crowd, but an immensely enjoyable place that adds further oomph to Powiśle. $$ Der Elefant (C3) Pl. Bankowy 1, tel. 22 890 0010, derelefant. com This leviathan restaurant unravels in a maze of wrought iron and monochrome tiles. The menu looks like it was devised by throwing darts at a cookbook (Mediterranean mezze, Tom Yum soup, burgers, pierogi, etc.), but if the focus is blurry then the quality isn’t. While some of the dishes are strictly middling, the Alaskan crab claws are excellent while the filet mignon (zł. 59) one of the best meat deals in town – and it’s even better when ordered with their own-made BBQ sauce. $$ Dom ul. Mierosławskiego 12, tel. 509 165 712
The simple name implies exactly what it is: a restaurant in a house. Set in a pre-war home complete with a lawn and garden, this little secret isn’t all that secret. When the Insider visited it was packed, prompting staff to make some adjustments and put together a table. We’re glad they did. Their menu changes frequently, and on our visit included homemade focaccia, beef risotto and gravlax with lime foam on top of a mini-pancake. You won’t want to leave. $$
Dwie Trzecie (D5) ul. Wilcza 50/52, tel. 605 589 588 Undeterred by the departure of chef Marcin Jabłonkski, the new guy in the kitchen, Grzegorz Nowakowski, has stamped his own mark with a seasonal menu that’s high on creativity: on our visit that meant guinea fowl accompanied with splotches of emulsion and smears of coffee puree. Pleasingly, you get the idea that it’ll work in all seasons: raw enough for summer, yet intimate for winter. $$ Grand Kredens (B5) Al. Jerozolimskie 111, tel. 22 629 8008, kredens.com.pl This mighty veteran continues to draw a steady custom on account of a wide-reaching menu that aims to keep everyone happy – and it usually does. The design is surreal to say the least, and is laid out in such a way as to always guarantee a lively atmosphere. $$
Slow food and a slow life philosophy inside an urban interior and a luxury wine and spirits list. Our kitchen uses only high quality regional and ecological produce. tel. 22 623 02 90, www.dwietrzecie.waw.pl
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listings / restaurants InFormal Kitchen (D3) Pl. Małachowskiego 2 (enter from Traugutta), tel. 531 918 534, informalkitchen.pl There’s plenty of fireworks over the course of a vibrant menu that sources its produce from regional eco farms: meat from within a 26 kilometer radius of Warsaw, dairy produce from Mazury and fish from Pomerania. The rump of lamb is a class act, and bettered only by the pear and thyme tart for dessert. $$ Kaskrut (D6) ul. Poznańska 5, tel. 22 622 5438, facebook. com/dwichlab This haunt has a high communal seating plan and hip, buzzy foodie crowd: fit in by taking pics of the food. The exciting menu is a temporary work that changes every two weeks. The place is known for its 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 and heavily influenced by French and North African cuisine, and new chef Piotr Ceranowicz already looks like he’s adapted well to Kaskrut’s high standards. $$ Kotakota (E3) ul. Bartoszewicza 3 Short of eating in a tunnel, Kotakota is pretty much the darkest place you’ll ever eat in. Filled with donated furniture and peeling plaster walls, this unique restaurant has got people talking thanks to a regularly changing menu that mixes up local ingredients with old recipes and modern techniques. People leave in a state of dumbstruck excitement – full review next issue… $$ Krucza 8 i Pól (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 10 (enter from Krucza), tel. 784 461 397 Looking sparse and fashionable one expects Eight and a Half to be on-trend food-wise. No such luck. Fundamentally the food is fine, with quality ingredients cooked with technical competence. Yet while there are hints of skill in the kitchen, there’s little evidence of creativity, passion or invention: imagine the sort of modern European food you’d find in a generic five star hotel. $$ La Maison (B3) ul. Chłodna 15, tel. 22 652 3660, lamaison.pl Everything here feels considered, from a wine list handpicked by importer Frank Telling, right down to the desserts, prepared by award-winning French pastry chef Michel Willaume – and my, what desserts. Backing the little details up is a menu of note: fish
are a particular forte. All this in a casual background that features some whimsical Alice in Wonderland touches: patchwork armchairs, pinkish booths and hanging teapot-shaped lights. $$
Original Indian Cuisine
La Rotisserie (C1) ul. Kościelna 12 (Le Régina Hotel), tel. 22 531 6070, leregina.com A gloriously seductive dining room, Poland’s champion sommelier, and a chef that many recognize as being Michelin potential: put those three together and you have one of the finest experiences to be enjoyed in a Warsaw dining room. The cooking is ‘classic with a twist’, and in October that meant – for this diner at least - tuna with beetroot and yuzu, and a main of beef fillet: electrifyingly good. $$$ L’enfant Terrible (D8) ul. Sandomierska 13 (enter from Rejtana), tel. 22 119 5705, eterrible.pl Pitting local produce against modern techniques the tasting menu (five courses: zł. 170) is sensational: the duck hearts will live long in this Insider’s memory. With all the hype you expect it to be a little up its arse, but it’s anything but: the design is smart but non-threatening, and the front of house staff are due plenty of credit. $$$ BEST WAWA 2014 “Newcomer”
Loft (D4) ul. Złota 11, tel. 668 016 964, cafeloft.pl Entering Loft isn’t far removed from stepping inside a pop art painting: lots of vibrant colors and weird lights inside strings of bubbles. A bi-level venture, the best spot to enjoy the menu is on the upstairs terrace, a sunny place befitting of options with names like Ding Dong Soup and Embarrassed Chicken. $$ Lokal 14 (D3) ul. Świętokrzyska 14, tel. 22 827 5480 Having served his apprenticeship at Tamka 43, you’re right to expect good things from upcoming chef Filip Kosiń. He doesn’t disappoint with his artful menu of modern European “author’s cuisine”. Topping his skills off is a pleasing environment that’s big on light, wood and metalwork. Getting used to being more than a construction site, the opening of Lokal 14 is positive news for this stretch of Świętokrzyska. $$
listings / restaurants Między Ustami (E5) ul. Mokotowska 33/35, tel. 530 323 325, The design joins elements of classic Prague bordello against a London Soho bar, while the international menu features a decent steak nicely enhanced by a silky drizzle of demi-glace. You get the idea both the cooking and artisan cocktails need a little fine-tuning, but fundamentally this newbie is looking in the right direction – certainly one to keep a watch for. $$ MOD (D6) ul. Oleandrów 8 Hugely famous in Kraków, chef Tristan has set about conquering Warsaw with an intriguing menu that mixes French and Asian influences into something unforgettable: don’t miss out on the ramen. Although only open a couple of months, people are already openly calling it one of the best casual eateries of 2015. $$ Momu.Gastrobar (D2) ul. Wierzbowa 11, tel. 506 100 001, momu. pl Tapas-style portions of experimentallooking 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. While the concept has taken right off, the food isn’t exactly an earthquake experience. $
N31 (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 31, n31restaurant.pl One of the original pioneers of modern Polish cooking returns anew. Forced to close his previous venture after a government scandal, Robert Sowa hopes to rebound with this latest effort: opened at press time, we’ll be back next issue to see if he’s succeeded. $$$ Naturel ul. Klimczaka 1, naturel7.pl Down in the Royal Wilanów development, early signs suggest that Naturel could well become the restaurant the upscale Miasteczko housing compound has needed from Day 1. Overseen by Marcin Jabłoński, one of the rising stars of the Polish food scene, the menu is a celebratory observance of natural local produce: items like watercress cream soup for starters and rabbit with carrot puree for mains. The end product has left critics raving. $$
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Nolita (D5) ul. Wilcza 46, tel. 22 292 0424, nolita.pl The deluxe dining scene is filling out in Warsaw, and there’s now a few restaurants that can present an equitable claim for the No. 1 spot. However, it’s Nolita that perch at the top, with a menu that sees largely classical recipes through a sharp, modern prism – chef Jacek Grochowina has created a place that’s coherent and understandable without sacrificing values of innovation. Looking chic and high end, the tastes and sensations in this restaurant are thrilling: diners are left speechless by the tuna tartar, while the aged beef fillet is an Insider mainstay. $$$ BEST WAWA 2014 “Chef” BEST WAWA 2014 “Fine Dining”
Nowa Próżna (C3) ul. Próżna 10, nowaprozna.pl Amazing to think that a few years ago this street looked like it was about to fall down. With Próżna’s restoration nearly complete, along comes the task of filling its ground floor units – consider this venture a successful pacesetter. Already gaining a staunchly loyal following, the European menu here is a work of flair and modernity. Like the food, the slick white interiors feel just right. $$
Oliva (D4) ul. Ordynacka 10/12, tel. 501 497 410, restauracjaoliva.pl The spirit of the Mediterranean hangs over Oliva, a place where a milk color palette is matched against potted herbs and soft wooden touches. The menu has riffs of Italy, Spain and Greece, with particular pride attached to their gourmet olive oils. At times the cooking of Łukasz Żuchowski has been described as ‘inspirational’ and his talents come paired with a wine list selected by Marek Kondrat – an actor / wine merchant with an immense reputation. $$ Platter by Karol Okrasa (C4) InterContinental Hotel, ul. Emilii Plater 49, tel. 22 328 8734, platter.pl The hotel has
roped in celebrity chef Karol Okrasa to head their revamped dining room. As a temple of nouveau Polish, the new layout isn’t a dramatic change from the previous occupant, but the food is faultless. In particular, the herb garden salad with prawns comes immaculately groomed. An already excellent experience has been raised to talking point level. $$$ Północ Poludnie (E7) ul. Bagatela 10 Besides the food being colorful and inventive there is a restaurant concept that works here. It has a visible kitchen, which at times is a little noisy, a beautifully designed interior, not to mention an attentive wait staff that are familiar with what they serve. The sliders are worth exploration: they don’t just consist of beef, but also salmon, egg and chicken. $$ Porkownia (D6) ul. Piękna 20, tel. 22 627 4151, porkownia.pl Here’s a Warsaw first: a restaurant focused on celebrating the humble pig. Suspicions that Porkownia may lack something in the sophistication department don’t bear fruit – sprouting from the ashes of Jazz Bistro Piękna, the surrounds are chic and modern, not the blood-spattered butcher’s backroom you might otherwise expect. The food is similarly well-presented and scores highly for such dishes as apple/bacon and boar/artichoke/marmite. Showing plenty of creativity, here’s a kitchen that reinvents the pig! Qchnia Artystyczna (E6) Zamek Ujazdowski, Al. Jazdów 2, tel. 22 625 7627, qchnia.pl Even on a cold, ashen day, can you question a view that spills down onto a canal and park way down below? And how about when that view comes from a candle-lit reconstructed castle… Endlessly romantic, this artistic eatery comes with a light look and a creative menu honed by Marta Gessler. $$ Renoma (E3) ul. Lipowa 7A, tel. 22 692 7239, bistrorenoma.pl Here’s a venue that suits all purposes at all times of day. Most of all, it’s a place that feels positive, a place where heart and mind work seamlessly together: that means breakfast to evening options – many of them gluten-free – including fab lunch deals and 60-day aged steaks. Great for afternoon ‘me time’ or a dinner date with a beautiful stranger, Renoma’s intimate style and soothingly stark interiors work with the personalized approach. $$
listings / restaurants
Salto (D5) ul. Wilcza 73 (enter from Emilii Plater), tel. 22 584 8771, saltorestauracja.pl For those who think Argentine chef Martin Gimenez-Castro is just about steak, then they haven’t been to Salto. The tasting menu is the best way to view his full oeuvre, and on our visit included ceviche with Portuguese corvina; a dainty tranche of cavala mackerel; and Porcini ice cream served in the shape of a mushroom. It’s a brilliant demonstration of the chef’s passion and personality, but most of all, it’s just bloody brilliant. $$$ Secado (D5) ul. Marszałkowska 66, tel. 608 707 799 Casual, intimate interiors complement a menu that’s expanded from its original Latin leanings. Everything we’ve tried here has been culinary gold, and that includes the surf & turf, tortillas and roast beef. $$ Senses (C2) ul. Bielańska 12, tel. 22 331 9697, sensesrestaurant.pl The entrance alone is a thing of fancy and accessed through a long open-air corridor, one side flanked by the office block, the other by bullet grazed brickwork. Flickering flames dance on either side, the tall walls disappearing into the night sky above. Recommended is the six course tasting menu (zł. 230), which on our
visit included eel, smoked at the table, duck with onion chutney and pepper mousse and swordfish served amid billowing ‘sea essence’. Comparisons to Atelier Amaro are inevitable, and speak volumes for the innovation and talents of chef Andrea Camastra. $$$ BEST WAWA 2014 “Foreign Chef” Signature (D5) ul. Poznańska 15, tel. 22 55 38755, signaturerestaurant.pl You feel a millionaire just being here: we’ve heard the interiors described as a ‘Monegasque state of mind’, and that’s not a bad way to surmise a décor that’s all about 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. Food-wise the restaurant makes a massive splash with a menu that’s clever, creative and pretty. Count on Signature’s seasonally changing desserts providing a happy ending. $$ Solec 44 (F4) ul. Solec 44, tel. 798 363 996, solec.waw.pl Chef Aleksander Baron is one of the big characters on Warsaw’s foodie circuit, and his love of nose-to-tail food always ensures surprises on the monthly changing menu: October, for instance, saw a tasting menu based around beaver. Using fresh, seasonally appropriate ingredients, this is one of the best alternate dining experiences around. Diners order at the counter before sitting down in a spontaneous looking, cut-price
interior that clacks and clatters to the sound of grown-ups playing board games. We’re huge fans. $$
Soul Kitchen Bistro (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 18A, soulkitchen.pl If the previous venue was all slanted towards low-pitched business conversation then the new one is positively festive in comparison: scuffed brickwork, tall bar stools, a long communal table, etc. The seasonal menu is a pick-and-mix of small-to-medium plates, including a halibut gravlax, whose delicate taste juxtaposes well against the rougher, earthier kick of the radish, and crayfish presented in a bird’s nest of green beans, fennel and leek. For mains, look for the braised beef. $ Stółdzielnia (D9) ul. Kazimierzowska 22, tel. 22 845 00 67, 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. $$
listings / restaurants Szklarnia ul. Mińska 25 (Soho Factory), tel. 690 511 020, restauracjaszklarnia.pl The cuisine is influenced by the season, which means plenty of light summer dishes presented with real aplomb. Recognizable by the dazzle of neon and greenhouse outside, this is a restaurant that seamlessly fits with the Soho surrounds. $$ Tamka 43 (E3) ul. Tamka 43, tel. 22 441 6234, tamka.43.pl Ground floor: upmarket cafe serving Chopin fans. Upstairs: a fine dining restaurant in which the seasonal menu sets the natural flavors of Poland against the culinary know-how of tomorrow. It’s easy to drop serious money here, but you’ll still feel it’s worthwhile. $$$ Wilczy Głód (D5) ul. Wilcza 29A, tel. 22 891 0285 The jaunty, impish design makes use of cartoonish wolves on the walls and tree-like installations strung with bare light bulbs. And look, there’s a furry, mouse resting on a cushion. But if the
ul. Złota 11 tel. 668 016 964 cafeloft.pl
place is playful and perky, then the cooking is both serious and sincere. Matching international ideas with organic local produce from small family farmsteads, you immediately sense this is a place created out of a love and respect for food. $ Znajomi Znajomych (C5) ul. Wilcza 58A, open Mon-Thu 12:00-1:00; Fri 12:00-3:00; Sat 13:00-3:00; Sun 13:00-1:00, znajomiznajomych.waw.pl You can’t label Zna Zna a restaurant because it’s so much more than that: screenings, DJs, yard sales, book readings… there’s not a thing they don’t turn their hand to. But that’s not to say this retro-styled hangout can’t turn their hand to food – here that means light bites, pizzas, burgers and a recommended chili con carne. $$ Żurawina (D5) ul. Żurawia 32/34, tel. 22 521 06 66, zurawina.eu First a wine bar, second a restaurant, but the food here is such that it merit attention. There’s only seven or so mains to
pick from, and the chef has them down to a tee – rib eye with shallots and truffle butter? Yes please. Certainly, the quality befits one of Warsaw’s best wine bars.
italian Ave Pizza (E3) ul. Topiel 12, tel. 22 828 8507, avepizza.pl The argument over who serves Warsaw’s best pizza goes right to the wire, but there’s no doubting that Ave Pizza are up there on the leaderboard. Set across a sparse, metropolitan area, this fashionable L-shaped joint comes endorsed by the capital’s notoriously picky Italian community. Order the pillowy calzone and you’ll soon learn why. $ Ave Pizza Piękna 56 (D6) ul. Piękna 56,tel. 22 412 0656, avepizza.pl After experiencing landslide success in Powiśle the Ave team have listened to the market and expanded to the center. While pizza still plays a prominent role, their newest
Loft’s unique atmosphere is helped by its position on ul. Złota, a historic street now presented in modern form – it’s here you’ll find our oasis from the usual restaurants. Our restaurant’s philosophy is founded on the words of Salvador Dali: ‘You might not eat everything, but you should never eat badly’. Our menu presents creative global flavors and yet is underlined by its strong Polish accents. The chef, meanwhile, introduces principles of physics to the kitchen, which is why you’ll find strawberry snow, dusts, kale chips with caviar, smoked strawberries and fruit foam all on our menu. Additionally, our daily lunch deals (Mon-Fri noon till 4 p.m.) are available for just 19.90zł. Join us in our two floor restaurant, or on our seasonal terrace.
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listings / restaurants location is more serious and sophisticated in its culinary intent. Dishes like prawns in parma ham win blanket approval, while the semifreddo stop you in your tracks. $$ Bacio (D5) ul. Wilcza 43, tel. 22 626 83 03, bacio.pl New look Bacio has been de-cluttered and simplified and now features a stripped down look and a menu that peaks with the duck in red wine risotto. Portions are huge, and are matched by a quality that’s seen this once ailing giant reinstalled as one of the top Italian eats in town. $$ Delizia (D5) ul. Hoża 58/60, tel. 22 622 6665, delizia. com.pl The sheer proliferation of Italian restaurants lends an element of chance to dining out: cut through the noise by visiting Delizia, a place that’s consistently topped polls ever since it launched in 2010. Lorenzo’s cooking is upscale Italian with a contemporary twist, and comes presented by Luca, an ebullient ball of energy who patrols
the floor with sparkling good humor. In the hands of these two an unforgettable night comes guaranteed. Top quality imported products, a dimly-lit romantic atmosphere, a tasteful design and faultless food: no wonder so many rate this as their favorite Italian. $$ Dziurka od Klucza (E3) ul. Radna 13, tel. 500 150 494, dziurkaodklucza.com.pl An inviting Italian restaurant in which curious doors sit embedded into the walls, as if waiting to be opened by the keys that hang on the tree outside. Striking a lavender look, the magic of this restaurant is affirmed by its wonderful pasta and intimate style. $$ Focaccia (D2) ul. Senatorska 13/15, tel. 22 829 6969, focaccia.pl You will find people ordering pizza, but they’re missing out on a marvelous menu that includes a great big octopus served with lemon mousse, and a simply stunning beef tenderloin in madeira sauce. This is seriously talented cooking inside a
fresh and light restaurant that reflects the nature of the food. $$ Kotłownia ul. Suzina 8, tel. 22 833 23 27, winiarnia-kotlownia.pl You’d never guess from the grey surrounds but Kotłownia is one of the emerging stars of Warsaw dining. Set in a historic disused boiler house (the Warsaw Uprising started right outside!) a generous helping of wooden touches warm the split level industrial interiors, but it’s the food that steals the show. The modern Italian menu reflects the owner’s passion for Italy, as does the handpicked wine list. The convivial atmosphere makes it perfect for a long, lazy lunch. $$ La Bufala (B4) ul. Sienna 86, tel. 22 654 3277 Not long back this was the go-to place for Italian expats looking for pizza. What’s gone wrong? No idea, but recent trips reveal a kitchen that hasn’t so much rested on its laurels as died on them. $
listings / restaurants Mąka i Woda (D4) ul. Chmielna 13A, tel. 22 505 91 87 Purists applaud an approach that uses a custom-made oven from Naples and imported ingredients such as 00 Caputo flour and DOP certified San Marzano tomatoes. Scrupulously authentic, it’s no wonder that it’s packed to the gunnels every night of the week – even their Facebook page warns of 20 minute waiting times for a table alone. Learning this, some storm off in a huff – they need their heads checked, for this is Warsaw’s best pizza. $ Parmizzano’s (C5) Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79 (Marriott Hotel, Floor 1), tel. 22 630 6306 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. $$$ Ristorante San Lorenzo (B3) Al. Jana Pawła II 36, tel. 22 652 1616, sanlorenzo.pl Adorned with crisp, starched linen and Roman frescos this space is almost magisterial in design. The Tuscan menu is flawless and well worth the rather hefty bill. The wine bar on the ground floor features the same standards at a snip of the price, and it’s here you’ll find Italian natives cheering the Serie A football. Now also on Żurawia 6/12, only with a more modish design clearly targeted at a slightly younger audience. $$
The Olive (E5) Sheraton Hotel, ul. Prusa 2, tel. 22 450 6706 Bursting with seasonal fruits and veggies, it’s a fresh, fun place to eat. Hot and cold buffet for zł. 90. $$$ Venti-tre (E8) ul. Belwederska 23 (Regent Hotel), tel. 22 558 1094 There’s a hum and a buzz to the place that goes beyond the half a million bees kept in the apiary on the rooftop, and that’s never truer than on a Sunday afternoon – swing by for one of Warsaw’s top brunches, and don’t miss the terrace – carefully shielded from the outside world by a phalanx of greenery. The Mediterranean menu has been carefully constructed using local ingredients, with the results befitting one of Warsaw’s top hotels. $$$
japanese & sushi Benihana (C4) ul. Twarda 2/4, benihanapoland.com So the sushi is good, but it’s the teppan grill(s) that people are raving about. Full of theatricals, sit back and watch chefs flipping shrimp tails into their hats whilst cracking wise with their captive audience. Putting the fun back into dining, there’s something immensely enjoyable about eating quality beef amid leaping flames and whooping customers. $$
Izumi Sushi ul. Mokotowska 17 (pl. Zbawiciela), tel. 22 825 7950, izumisushi.eu The original location never ceases to amaze with its sushi, though it’s the addition on Biały Kamień that really gets people talking. Here it’s not just the food that wows, but the interiors: a huge venue whose open plan doubles as an indoor forest – you need to see it to believe it. $$ Łuski i Ości ul. Zajączka 9A, luskiosci.pl A fun design (cool wall art and a wraparound aquarium built into the bar) is ably supported by a comprehensive range of sushi – the imaginative presentation is fitting of some of the more unconventional pieces: the Californian rolls aren’t reticent about involving ingredients such as chili, passion fruit and jalapeno. Omami (D5) ul. Mokotowska 29 (enter from Krucza) Sushi has been side-lined and ramen is rising. Opened at press time, Omami promise four types of ramen, not to mention steamed buns and other budget-minded Japanese options. $ Ramen Girl (B2) Al. Jana Pawła II 61 Already a huge hit in Kraków, Ramen Girl’s Warsaw debut has been met with positive reviews. Find the core of the action downstairs, in a basement swathed in concrete and dangling LED filament bulbs. Appealing to post-hipster creative types and other 30-something go-getters,
You’ve tried all the rest, now try the best! Le Cedre 61
opposite the zoo Al. Solidarności 61, Praga Tel 22 670 11 66
Le Cedre 84
opposite the court Al. Solidarności 84 Tel 22 618 89 99
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listings / restaurants the environment is raw but never sterile nor low on comfort. The star turn belongs to the ramen, with the ‘orange’ (duck breast, orange, pickled cucumber, ginger) doing enough to convince us that RG could yet become a massive success story – full review coming soon. $$
all becomes a blur of beautiful compositions, of silky slithers of fish crowned with expert pinches of this, and little brush strokes of that. The details don’t seem to matter, what does is that Wabu blow the competition out of the water, even if it does leave the credit card streaming smoke. $$$
Ryż i Ryba (D6) ul. Piękna 20, tel. 22 627 4150, 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. $$
Sakana Sushi Bar ul. Burakowska 5/7 tel. 22 636 0505, ul. Moliera 4/6, tel. 22 826 5958, & ul. Wąwozowa 6, lok.10B, tel. 22 498 8899, sakana.pl Sushi as a fashion statement? That’s what you find in Sakana, a place where the glam and the great of Warsaw peacock around with feathers on display. Ignoring the general vanity and unpleasantness, one can’t help but applaud the sushi – if there was one winner in the sushi wars of the noughties, then Sakana was it. $$ Sushi Zushi (D5) ul. Żurawia 6/12, tel. 22 420 3373, 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, creative and always astonishingly fresh. $$ Uki Uki (D5) ul. Krucza 23/31, tel. 728 827 705, ukiuki.pl Depending on how busy they are, Uki Uki will prepare your Udon noodles fresh within 15-30 minutes. The electric pasta maker, imported from Japan, is a Godzilla of a monster, compressing and even cutting the udon dough into chunky, chewy noodles that provide a solid foundation for a richly satisfying meal. Every now and again a restaurant comes along that makes Warsaw’s dining scene all the more complete – Uki Uki is one of those. $$ Wabu (D5) ul. Krucza 41/43, tel. 22 628 9274, wabu.pl The food is a masterpiece: immaculate futomaki rolls that look like little artworks, exquisite butterfish and glorious tuna gunkan that flashes with freshness. Soon enough it
Galil (C3) ul. Zielna 36, tel. 731 492 634, 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. $$ Pod Samsonem (C1) ul. Freta 3/5, tel. 22 831 1788, podsamsonem.pl Operating since the 1950s – crazy when you think about it. This is the place for an ordinary meal in an ordinary space. The menu mixes aspects of Polish and Jewish cooking, and fails to do a good job of either. Entertainment is provided by the staff: find them engaged in something akin to war with the people they serve. $
‘Simplicity, elegance and atmosphere’
Cafe • Wine Bar • Restaurant • Whisky Bar • Wine Cellar ul. Hoża 25A, tel. 515 037 001 www.hoza.warszawa.pl www.facebook.com/hoza25 Open 12:00-23:00, Sun 12:00-21:00
latin & mexican Aioli (D3) ul. Świętokrzyska 18, tel. 22 290 102, aioli-cantine.com This runaway hit has taken Warsaw by storm. It’s a jaunty space with hams hanging from hooks and long communal tables that thrive with life. Aioli’s breakfasts, sandwiches, pastas and pizzas are a lesson in clean, simple pleasure: nothing out of the world, just consistently good. This and the liberal prices mean there’s no shortage of people passing in and out the doors. $$ Blue Cactus (E8) ul. Zajączkowska 11, tel. 22 851 2323, 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 www.warsawinsider.pl
listings / restaurants 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, casapablo.pl “We give Spanish food a new twist,” declares chef Gonzalo de Salas, which explains why, in between pungent cheeses and acorn-fed Bellota ham, we find ourselves demolishing a variety of dishes that buck all notions of tradition: as a starter the beetroot-marinated salmon served with wasabi emulsion is a fine example of this. With de Salas performing balletic tricks in
the kitchen, Casa Pablo presents a masterful menu that ripples with adventure. $$ Ceviche Bar (C4) ul. Twarda 4, cevichebar.pl Created by the award-winning Martin Gimenez Castro, Warsaw’s first specialist ceviche bar serves up various interpretations of this classic raw fish dish: the corvina is an explosion of peppy, citrusy tastes and leaves you in no doubt why some are tipping ceviche to become as big as sushi. Try for yourself inside a contemporary space in which the dining area merges seamlessly with a kitchen decorated with a mural of Maradona. $$ Dos Tacos (D4) ul. Jasna 22, tel. 22 243 4618, dostacos.pl Dos Tacos finally have a venue worthy of the food. Featuring lots of Mexican lizard art and psychedelic, Day of the Dead touches, find the interiors busy with a lively crowd enjoying an exciting range of salsas and authentic Mexican recipes as cooked by Isabela Balderas. $$
Gringo Bar (E9) ul. Odolańska 15, tel. 22 848 9523 A Mexican wave is upon us, and high time too. After years of suffering frozen ingredients, timid flavors and daft Mariachi music to persuade us it’s all authentic, a raft of new cut-price eateries are showing the rest how it’s done. Cooked and folded by fist bumping lads in back-to-front caps and baggy t-shirts, the food at Gringo is by far the best of the bunch: fiery, fresh and full of zing. Newly expanded, meaning diners no longer engage in games of Twister while grappling with their burrito. $ Jamon (D2) ul. Wierzbowa 9, tel. 22 692 4223, jamon.pl The place looks the biz – custom made artwork presents swirling senoritas against an interior that’s based around a naval color palette and reclaimed wood touches. Perfect for ‘hot dates’. There’s an onus on authenticity, and that’s evidenced by the four Spaniards found in the kitchen. We could find no weak point, meaning complete enjoyment
Spanish owner, Spanish chef… SPANISH SOUL! ul. Grzybowska 63 (next to the Hilton Hotel) 00-844 Warszawa +48 22 251 1310 www.tapasgastrobar.pl
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
listings / restaurants of the tranche of black Alaskan cod, bulgyeyed Huelva prawns and slow-roasted lamb shank. The desert – white chocolate cream – is worth a prize. (note: closed) Loco Mexicana (A6) ul. Grójecka 27, locomexicano.pl Everything looks a little second-hand, smudged and smeared. Even the menu is little more than a rumpled pile of papers. And there’s the colors: heavy purples, paintings of Mariachi men and brightly colored throws. It gives you a headache. It doesn’t improve with the food, which is stodgy, limp and generally lifeless. That their lunch deal consisted of Russian pierogi says all you need to know about this supposed Mexican. The reprieve comes in the form of 12 or so beer taps serving a decent selection of punk beers. $ Tapas Gastrobar (A4) ul. Grzybowska 63, tel. 22 251 1310, tapasbar.pl The engaging design features scuffed timber tables supported by rescued factory metal, open ductwork and elaborate floor tiles of Iberian persuasion. But the food is what everyone is talking about: the first class gazpacho, prepared onsite then served in a bottle, is full of refreshing zing, while the beef cheek is pure melty tenderness. Our favorite, though, are the patatas bravas, perfectly fried potatoes served in a ballsy BEST tomato sauce. Just amazing. $$ WAWA 2014 “Casual Dining” Restaurante Bunuel (H4) ul. Walecznych 61, tel. 798 659 554 Spanish-owned Bunuel has left the public in raptures. Simple interiors focus attention on the food, which in this case involves a crisp gazpacho that gets you missing summer, and grilled meats that leave many in a swoon. $$ Spoco Loco (H4) ul. Francuska 8, spocoloco.pl Spoco Loco’s No. 7 sauce is no laughing matter, and should be treated with respect. But this tiny eatery (it’s essentially one bench) is not founded on gimmicks. The burritos and quesadillas are decent in the comfort food kind of way, and ably supported by a choice of milder sauces that don’t require Red Cross treatment. $
middle eastern Falafel Bejrut (C2) ul. Senatorska 40 Originally born as a food cart outside Hala Mirowska, this venture
steams with the heat of the deep fryer, not to mention all those people squashed-up trying to decipher the menu. We’re converted to their hummus falafel which comes with jalapenos and a little kick of hot sauce. The secret ingredient here is an extra pinch of cilantro and parsley, which helps this pocket of pleasure come together in a whirr of freshness. $ Le Cedre (E1) Al. Solidarności 61, tel. 22 670 1166, www.lecedre.pl With the decadent dazzle of a bedouin tent, nights in Le Cedre are best celebrated with blasts on a sheesha and their Friday night belly dancer. Otherwise, just settle for the best Lebanese food in CEE; of particular note, the charcoal-grilled lamb chops. $$
Newly opened location of Soul Kitchen Bistro. Modern, classic Polish cuisine
Le Cedre 84 (B3) Al. Solidarności 84, tel. 22 618 8999, 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. $$ Marrakesh (D5) ul. Wilcza 11 Swapping their Jerozolimskie address for a Wilcza postcode, the changes at Marrakesh haven’t just been geographical. Adding meat to their menu, keynote features of this Moroccan hangout number some of the better hummus in town – it’s miles ahead of the cement mix found in some spots. Open from 10 a.m., their breakfast (eggs, pita, hummus and tabbouleh) is as decent way as any to start the day. $$ Meza Beirut (D4) ul. Ordynacka 13, tel. 22 692 7555, mezabeirut.pl God knows how many restaurants have chanced their luck in this location, though Meza Beirut look a better bet than most to break the hex. Lebanese-run, the menu here is comprehensive with all the requisite hot and cold mezze and grilled and
ul. Nowogrodzka 18A tel. 519 020 888 www.soulkitchen.pl www.warsawinsider.pl
listings / restaurants skewered meats. Early feedback has been largely positive, with decent prices and fresh flavors doing their bit to stir local interest. $$ Sokotra (D5) ul. Wilcza 27, tel. 22 270 2766, sokotra.pl It says a lot for Warsaw’s developing tastes that it can now house a successful Yemeni venture. Bathed in chatter and chaotic kitchen sounds, Sokotra is an informal place with Indian twists on the menu, and a card that encourages plenty of plate sharing. $$
Ale Gloria (E5) Pl. Trzech Krzyży 3, tel. 22 584 7080, 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. $$$
Amber Room at the Sobański Palace (E6) Al. Ujazdowskie 13, tel. 22 523 6664, amberroom.pl The Amber Room is, indeed, a bit of a treasure. You know all the chefs we bang on about in this mag? Bottom line, the good ones came through via this kitchen. But this is more than a training ground for future stars, it’s a place that remains on the cutting edge in spite of its seemingly straight look. Positioned inside a majestic villa, the food is pure contemporary Poland, and well deserving of its Michelin nod. For that, thank chef Robert Skubisz. $$$ Atelier Amaro (E6) ul. Agrykola 1, tel. 22 628 5747, atelieramaro.pl The recipient of Poland’s
only Michelin star, Atelier promotes pedigree Polish produce 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. $$$ BEST WAWA 2014 “Presentation” Bistro Warszawa (D1) ul. Jezuicka 1/3, tel. 22 635 3769, bistrowarszawa.pl The menu cites pre-war recipe books as its influence, and on it you’ll find such dishes as goose in thyme sauce with pear and zucchini. The interiors are strictly contemporary though, with vanilla colored furnishings, wine racks and walls papered with hundreds of theater scripts and book pages. Regular jazz performances draw people city-wide. $$
Krakowskie Przedmieście 64 tel. +48 22 826 4770 email. firstname.lastname@example.org www.delicjapolska.pl
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
listings / restaurants
Czerwony Wieprz (Red Hog) (B3) ul. Żelazna 68, tel. 22 850 3144, 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! $$
Dom Polski Belwederska (F8) ul. Belwederska 18A, tel. 22 840 5060, restauracjadompolski.pl See in Autumn amid curling pathways and bursting shrubs, or sit inside in an interior that conjures images of an aristocrat’s manor. The air of privilege matches a menu that’s rich in fanciful classics such as their signature goose. Elegant and exquisite, consider it your default choice for a taste of true Poland. $$
AT E L I E R
Elixir by Dom Wódki (C2) ul. Wierzbowa 9/11, domwodki.pl The dashing interior causes you to stop, look and touch. On one side, a gleaming bar with twinkling bottles, and on the other, a smart series of rooms whose ash-colored tones are punctuated with dashes of copper. The menu
Dawne Smaki (D4) ul. Nowy Świat 49, tel. 22 465 83 20, dawnesmaki.pl At last, a proper restaurant on Nowy Świat! The interiors hark to the p ast, 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. $$ Delicja Polska (D6) ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 64, tel. 22 826 4770, delicjapolska.pl Looking stately (pink bows, gilt touches and immaculate linen) but never stuffy, Delicja have a modern Polish menu that includes sous-vide salmon marinated in beetroot leaves, then topped with horseradish foam and dill emulsion. Brilliant. But then so was everything else we tried, including the exquisite seasoned roast beef. $$
Dom Polski (H4) ul. Francuska 11, tel. 22 616 2432, restauracjadompolski.pl Almost like it was designed for the manor born, Dom Polski has the rarefied atmosphere of a country retreat: bow-tied staff who click their heels, decorative antiques and a menu that’s a sumptuous anthology of posh Polish cooking. When you need to give visitors a sense of classic Warsaw, Dom Polski is the first out of the hat. $$$
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listings / restaurants has a traditional heart yet a contemporary style, and includes golonka to make the heart flutter: glorious slow-cooked meat alongside horse radish ice cream and a creamy cabbage mousse. The vodka pairing menu is essential! $$
Folk Gospoda (B3) ul. Waliców 13, tel. 22 890 1605, folkgospoda.pl Be honest, sometimes all you want to do is slather lard on a big hunk of bread before surrounding yourself with little shots of ice cold vodka. You wouldn’t call it cultivated, but there are occasions when a good knees-up around a rough wooden table is exactly what’s required. And while you’re there, why not add platters of meat to the scene, a crackling fireplace and a mountain band. Folk Gospoda do all that making them the default favorite for a traditional night out. $$ Halka Restaurcja po polsku (E9) ul. Puławska 43, tel. 509 593 305, restauracjahalka.pl Named in honor of one of Poland’s best known operas, Halka offer a glimpse of old school Warsaw. Having relocated from downtown Pańska, the new address is a cut and paste of the former location: lots of glinting surfaces, ornate crockery and pink flower arrangements. Innovation is
surrendered for a menu that deals in classic interpretations of upmarket Polish food: rabbit, goose, duck and other animals shot on country estates. Jaś & Małgosia (B2) Al. Jana Pawła II 57, tel. 502 033 711, klubjasimalgosia.pl Back from the dead! An institution dating from the 60s, Jaś & Małgosia have reopened after a three year hiatus. Updated they might be, but the design (concrete floors, exposed brickwork) features several nods to the past – not least a replica of the famous neon that once crowned the roof. The menu was designed in collaboration with Aleksander Baron, and while unglamorous and uncomplicated is food that represents all that’s good about the Polish kitchen: thick soups, fresh vegetables and hefty meat. $ Kafe Zielony Niedzwiedź (E4) ul. Smolna 4, tel. 731 996 006 The Smolna address is a bit misleading – in reality, you’ll be traipsing down into the park under the ‘hammer head’ tower before reaching this park-based restaurant. But you’ll be glad you did. The menu includes a full appendix of their suppliers and is all organic this and acorn-fed that. This is a happy marriage where traditions are turned on their head using creative techniques and precise presentation. And don’t forget dessert: the sea buckthorn cream being served in October turned out to be our favorite sweet of the year so far. $$
Kieliszki na Próżnej (C3) ul. Próżna 12, tel. 501 764 674, kieliszkinaproznej.pl You’ll find Kieliszki na Próżnej, the latest restaurant to mark the rehabilitation of Próżna, so named after the 1,116 wineglasses that hang tantalizingly over the bar. As an anchor feature the suspended glassware is arresting, and equaled only by a long stretch of wall art doodled by Mariusz Tarkawian. The food matches up to the interiors, with a modern Polish menu that – on our visit – involved a thick, brilliantly spreadable foie gras pate, a thick slab of brawn and a delicate piece of moist Baltic cod. It’s pure seasonal comfort. $$ Mała Polana Smaków (F9) ul. Belwederska 13/44, tel. 22 400 8048, polanasmakow.pl Put simply, it works on every level: from the service to the space – outside, a terrace featuring upcycled crates overlooking Morskie Oko, and on the inside, a cute little room with woodsy bits and big glass jars of mystery ingredients. It’s casual, but still fit for more serious roles: e.g. girlfriend night. And the food: exceptional. Lots of seasonally changing choices that on our visit meant salmon sausage matched with beetroot and horseradish sauce along with pinches of lavender and fennel. $$ Papu (D9) al. Niepodległości 132/136, tel. 22 856 7788, restauracjapapu.pl The elegant décor sees wood-paneled walls lined with champagne bottles, making it an experience that
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listings / restaurants is at once intimate and romantic. Chef Bartek Kędra’s menu is specifically strong when it comes to white and red meats: order the beef rib. It’s a massive, brutal instrument that could be used to club someone to death. Falloff-the-bone good, this Flintstone monster is seriously memorable. Other courses are more sophisticated, and include a knee trembling, lipstick red strawberry tartar. $$ Podwale Piwna Kompania (D2) ul. Podwale 25, tel. 22 635 6314, podwale25.pl Prowling mountain bands generate a beer hall atmosphere, while the courtyard garden – designed to replicate a Mitteleuropa square – is one of the best you’ll find. But the obscene portions can’t mask what is pretty poor food. Go there for the experience, if nothing else. $ Prasowy (E7) ul. Marszałkowska 10/16 Delicate diners turn their back on milk bars, yet this canteen-style phenomenon, with its history rooted in communism, has enjoyed a remarkable renaissance and a freshly found popularity with a new generation. Sure, the food is an acquired taste and best described using words like ‘basic’, ‘bland’ and ‘honest’, but Prasowy gets our vote for a cool design that’s seen the 1954 interiors sensitively updated. $ Restauracja Pod Gigantami (E5) Al. Ujadowskie 24, tel. 22 629 2312, podgigantami.pl Despite being judged worthy of a recommendation by the scouts at Michelin, Pod Gigantami divides local opinion; it’s not just the Insider that’s found the food only satisfactory. But the wine list impresses, as do the painfully ornate turn-of-the-century interiors. $$$ Restauracja Polska “Różana” (E8) ul. Chocimska 7, tel. 22 848 1225, restauracjarozana.com.pl The rarified atmosphere of Różana is a pleasure indeed. Close to the frontline of Mokotów / Śródmieście, you’d never guess the proximity of the center. Seated in their garden, one feels removed from the city – a fountain burbles quietly in the background, starlings hop around the trees. From the inside, one hears the distant tinkle of the house pianist. Just being here is a thrill in itself, and the food is a Polish dining extravaganza served from the top table: farmhouse duck, saddle of venison, etc. $$ Słoik (D4) ul. Złota 11, tel. 600 396 688,
restauracjasloik.pl Jarheads will love Słoik, a place lined with glass jars brimming with colorful ingredients and bright preserves. Find natural Polish produce and traditionalsounding dishes treated with a careful and contemporary hand. The approach pits modernist against classic, and the winner is, well, you. This is traditional Polish food updated for the discerning, latter day palate – and it’s really quite something. $ Stary Dom ul. Puławska 104/106, tel. 22 646 4208, restauracjastarydom.pl A classic restaurant in style and history: back in the day it was a favorite haunt of jockeys and race goers from the horse track nearby. Pre-war recipes form the basis of the menu, with the team using seasonal produce and the latest technology to bring out its best. $$ U Fukiera (D1) Rynek Starego Miasta 27 (Old Town Market Square), tel. 22 831 1013, 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 accompanied by a grand menu of duck, venison, veal and lamb. $$$
Traditional Polish cuisine Best venison and lamb in Warsaw Live music Regional wine, beer and spirits Grand Kredens - 18 years full of tradition
U Szwejka (D6) pl. Konstytucji 1, tel. 22 339 1710, uszwejka. pl Named after the fictional Czech soldier Szwejk, the food here would certainly appeal to the tubby man himself. Bestowed with Prague street signs, the food is a hardy, meaty affair, and arrives in XXXL portions. The price to quantity (Note: not quality) ratio guarantees queues (yes, queues) that stretch out on the street every weekend. $$
Varso Vie (D6) Pl. Konstytucji 2, varso-vie.pl Despite the concrete color palette Varso Vie retains a good buzz. It helps that on one side guests are flanked by punchy bursts of modern art, and on the other, an open kitchen that’s all clamor, commotion and general rumpus. The menu is modern Polish: duck stomachs in a flaky puff pastry with a thick smear of thyme
Aleje Jerozolimskie 111 tel. +48 22 629 80 08 Mob. +48 697 900 000 email@example.com www.kredens.com.pl Follow us on Facebook www.warsawinsider.pl
listings / restaurants sauce; Baltic trout served on a pinkish mush of red lentils and mint; and a coveted meringue mousse with mascarpone and passion fruit jelly. Exemplary. $$
Zapiecek Locations inc. ul. Nowy Świat 64, Al. Jerozolimskie 28, Freta 18, Freta 1 & Świętojańska 13, tel. 22 635 61 09, & ul. Wańkowicza 1, open 11:00-22:00, CH Arkadia, zapiecek.eu Seven Warsaw locales, with our favorite found in the vaulted passages of Świętojańska. The menu is highly traditional, with courses ‘cooked to grandma’s recipes’. It’s for the pierogi though for which they’re famous; find approx. fifty types delivered by servers dressed like saucy country maids. $ Zielnik (D10) ul. Odyńca 15, tel. 22 844 3500,
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
restauracjazielnik.pl A quiet Mokotów side street is the setting for this little secret. In it, flowers, lots of them, and a warming wood interior just right for winter. And then the food arrives: dainty veal dumplings, and tender braised veal that’s good for the chills. You leave knowing you have eaten honestly and well. $$
scandinavian Nabo ul. Zakręt 8, tel. 22 842 0256, 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. $$
specialty food shops Bazar Olkuska (E10) ul. Olkuska 12 Once a sad little side street, Olkuska has evolved to become just about the worst kept secret in Warsaw. Home to the city’s top eco-market, trips here end with shopping bags filled with French cheeses, Italian hams, Hungarian sausages and fresh fruit and veg. And don’t miss a chat with the nation’s most celebrated butcher: Pan Grzegorz of Crazy Butcher. Befsztyk ul. Puławska 176/178, tel. 22 843 6110, 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, gluten-free smoked meats, Merino lamb, BBQ kits and so much more. Home delivery, internet
listings / restaurants ordering and English-speaking staff round out this legend. Bio Bazar (B4) ul. Żelazna 51/53, tel. 22 318 8855, open Wed, Fri & Sat (see website for details), 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. British Shop (C5) ul. Emilii Plater 8, tel. 692 240 804 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. Forteca Kregliccy ul. Zakroczymska 12, kregliccy.eu/forteca
Spot the stars of Warsaw’s restaurant scene perusing the stalls at this weekly farmers’ market. Held each Wednesday, look for Pan Ziółko, Poland’s first celebrity farmer (!), Portobello’s from the country’s only organic mushroom farm and the magical yogurts from Mleczna Droga Manufaktura Serów. Heritage (D6) ul. Mokotowska 17, tel. 22 857 0912 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. Kosher Shop (C4) ul. Twarda 6 Snuck to the side of the synagogue, stock up on Kosher produce from the friendly store, before hitting up the falafel tent outside for, aside from the obvious, kosher ice cream. Krakowski Kredens Various locations across town, check their
website for details: krakowskikredens.pl Jams, syrups, honey and preserves, as well as hams and kiełbasa from the Galicia region. Kuchnie Świata Various locations, 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. La Fromagerie (A1) ul. Burakowska 5/7, tel. 22 465 2324, 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. La Petite France (H4) ul. Zwycięzców 28, tel. 22 672 9646, lapetitefrance.pl Wine and cheese as well as
listings / restaurants canned and tinned foods from France. Le Targ ul. Mińska 25 (SOHO Factory), tel. 603 051 116 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, 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, 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, marks-and-spencer.com.pl Visit the flagship Marszałkowska branch to take advantage of the on-site bakery, but visit early as choice diminishes early. Aside from baked goods find a widely appreciated frozen food section that include British sausages, bacon and microwave curries.
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
Martin’s Good Meat ul. Przejazd 4/7, tel. 797 866 131 Angus, Hereford and Limousine beef, not to mention lamb, veal and seasoned steaks. A candidate for Warsaw’s best butchery, no less! Namaste India (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 15, tel. 22 357 0939, 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 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. Samira ul. Powsińska 64A, tel. 22 825 3363, samira. pl Now in bigger and better premises, this Lebanese supermarket offers a comprehensive rundown of imported goods that ranges from spices, preserves and rubs to nuts, olives, teas and soft drinks. Steak Club Online orders: steakclub.pl Online meat portal that will deliver the kind of beef usually only available to the top restaurants straight to your door. Expat owned and run,
the repertoire has recently been extended to include other meats such as turkey. Targ Śniadaniowy al. Wojska Polskiego, tel. 508 121 891, 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. Trawa Pl. Grzybowski 10 A tight little store whose surprisingly copious food offer (which includes fresh fruit and veg from local markets) is complemented by all kinds of natural unguents, balms, oils and suchlike including those from the celebrated Lavera brand. Highly recommended.
steak houses Beef n’Pepper (C5) ul. Nowogrodzka 47A, tel. 731 307 377 A social space that encourages friends to gather and make merry over big meaty courses. Served on heavy tree stump plates, steaks here use Polish Angus aged for a 28 day period. If you’re into the concept of sharing with your fellow man, then the Beef n’Pepper plate offers a pile of everything: wings, ribs, steak. $$
listings / restaurants Butchery & Wine (D5) ul. Żurawia 22, tel. 22 502 3118, butcheryandwine.pl The Sarf London-born Bertha oven has revolutionized the way steak is cooked, retaining moisture in a way no-one thought possible. Expect robust pieces of animal full of big, brawny tastes, but there’s so much more than just meat: starters involve a sea bass ceviche that pings with citrusy flavor not to mention more-ish pork crackling that pop like fire bangers in the mouth. A place of energy and ambition, it’s a great mix of both new and classic. Bookings advised. $$ Downtown Restaurant (C4) ul. Emilii Plater 49 (InterContinental Hotel, level 2), tel. 22 328 8745 There’s now a few candidates for Warsaw’s best steak, and Downtown have certainly upped the erm, stakes, with their new menu. Yes, the doors of Downtown are a gateway to heaven – particularly true if, like us, your vision of heaven is a rich green field filled with fat, juicy cows. But don’t for one moment assume the offer ends with cows. Now added to their menu are other animalitos like kangaroo. $$$ Hoża (D5) ul. Hoża 25A, tel. 603 778 275, hoza. warszawa.pl 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. $$ Merliniego 5 (E10) ul. Merliniego 5, tel. 22 646 0810, merliniego5.pl A classic looking steakhouse that swirls in shadow, brickwork and elegant touches, it’s a place to immerse yourself in an atmosphere that’s all surreptitious conversation and distant clinking glasses. The steaks are out-of-this world, with USDA prime beef from New York’s legendary Ottomanelli & Sons and Scottish beef from London’s Smithfield Market. On our last visit we splurged on the Grade 9+ wagyu ‘kobe’ rib-eye and found ourselves eating the steak of a lifetime. Simply amazing. $$$ Muu Muu (D2) ul. Moliera 8, tel. 22 465 1553, muumuu.pl A life-size cow with a menu chained around its neck stands outside as if to say: “turn back now, vegetarians.” Looking sparky, fun and engaging the décor is composed of light woods and soft touches, not to mention blackboard slogans such as ‘Eat Meat’ and ‘Love Bacon’. The standard is high, but so too the prices. Our otherwise excellent sirloin was spoiled somewhat by limp, soggy chips that came at zł. 10 extra. $$
Salto (C6) ul. Wilcza 73, tel. 22 584 8771, saltorestauracja.pl When Martin Gimenez Castro scooped top prize in the
Top Chef program it simply confirmed what foodies had known for years: that this is a man of some talent. Now leading the kitchen in Salto, the highlight of Castro’s menu is undoubtedly the ‘steak weekends’. We challenge you to find better. During the week opt instead for his South American inspired dishes. Salto has the hallmarks of a success story, and under Castro’s captaincy that’s a certainty to happen. $$$
thai Basil & Lime (E8) ul. Puławska 27, tel. 22 126 1943, basillime.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? $$ Natara Old Town (D1) ul. Szeroki Dunaj 13, tel. 22 635 2501, natara.pl Last year saw Natara considerably outgunned by the competition, but it remains a top Thai choice. Set inside the old town walls, the exterior looks magical, so it’s disappointing to find an interior that’s all dowdy brown and droopy plants. The food though remains consistently good thanks
listings / restaurants to an owner who is committed to true Thai tastes. $$ Naam Thai ul. Saska 16, tel. 505 110 100 An anonymous design and out-of-town location never stopped guests flocking here. But that stands to change after the departure of chef Chanunkan Duangkumma. What was Warsaw’s best Thai now finds itself facing the biggest challenge of its existence. $$ Suparom Thai (D6) ul. Marszałkowska 45/49, tel. 22 627 1888, suparomthaifood.pl Lovely interior with Siamese gold ornaments and gleaming dark wood. The shrimp cakes are always worth a try. $$ Suparom Thaifood II al. Wilanowska 309, tel. 22 853 3087, 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. $$ Thai Thai (C2) Pl. Teatralny 3, tel. 601 818 283, thaithai.pl In terms of design it’s little short of perfect: gold vaulted interiors lend a muted glow to a largely black on black space while serene looking Buddha’s peer on the diners below. As for the food, that’s one big success story with plenty of lively flavors and vibrant colors. The Tom Yang Kung, a deeply nourishing fish broth that awakens the senses with a sharp, spicy jolt, is a must! $$
Thaisty (C2) pl. Bankowy 4, tel. 730 000 024, thaisty. pl The coup here has been the recruitment of Chanunkan Duangkumma, Warsaw’s favorite Thai chef. The menu has street food inspirations and also includes several recipes passed down Duangkumma’s family line: consider the BBQ beef skewers essential. Vivid colors and a busy open kitchen lend the place a happy buzz that lasts through the day. $$ Why Thai (E5) ul. Wiejska 13, tel. 22 625 7698, whythai.pl
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A look that’s as fresh as when it opened, an authentic chef and a menu that doesn’t waffle on for pages and pages: not surprisingly Why Thai ticks along just fine. $$
uzbek Manty (C3) ul. Elektoralna 24 Even with its colorful throws and woodsy knickknacks Manty’s high ceilings and wide open spaces mean intimacy is in short supply. Instead, people talk about the food, which in this case means ultra-cheap piles of Uzbek goodies: delicate manty dumplings with a cream dip and chili kick, or the more substantial lamb plov – a warming heap of rice, mutton, carrots and peppers. Chances are you’re going to love it. $
whole foods Jamniczek (D5) ul. Marszałkowska 68/70 This small duallevel nook specializes in vegan hot dogs and healthy non-alc cocktails. Foregoing factory floor snips and tails, principle fillings include millet, tofu and spinach. Taste-wise it does well, but you can’t help but feel they’ve got the proportions all wrong: heaps of salad, massive baguettes, but only a thin little ‘dog’ in the middle. $ Krowarzywa (D5) ul. Marszałkowska 27/35, tel. 881 777 894 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. $ Lokal Vegan Bistro (D5) ul. Krucza 23/31, 517 615 122, The interior looks a little like a New Age milk bar, the kind that’s left the design down to IKEA, but looking at the above-counter menu you soon realize there’s more to this place than meets the eye. While you can’t say the food is ‘meat imitation’ the schabowy is a whole lot better than some of the chops we’ve had in our time. And then there’s the kebab, seasoned with seitan, that goes some way to proving fast food doesn’t need to be junk food. $
Loving Hut (B2) Al. Jana Pawła II 41A, tel. 888 555 568, 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. Now also found downtown on Waryńskiego 3. $ Mango Vegan Street Food (D4) ul. Bracka 20 Everything vegan that you’d actually like to eat: veggie burgers, fries, falafel, soup, a fruit salad – here, obviously a mango salad. Especially recommended is the hummus with sun-dried tomatoes – a nice twist on a simple classic dish. Totomato (D6) ul. Piękna 28/34, totomato.pl A one-time contestant of the Top Chef program, chef Marcin Piotrowski grabs the limelight once more with his reemergence at Totomato. Branded a ‘deli, bistro and culinary academy’, this standout champions ideas of slow food and healthy living: the Mazurian farmed snails are exceptional. $$ Vegan Pizza (D5) ul. Poznańska 7 While the place lacks effort on the design front (a plain room with local radio piped around), the pizza is pretty good. There’s 24 to pick from, and while it’s not love at first bite, there’s a tendency to get strangely hooked by the new tastes and alien sensations. Definitely an interesting departure from the high street pizzerias. Recommended: Italian Madness – melty cheese and herby bursts of pesto. $ Vege Bistro ul. Kopernika 25, vegebistro.pl The clue is in the name. We dropped in for a vege burger and, using Krowarzywa as the benchmark, were left a little underwhelmed. But a follow-up visit brought much better luck, with a peppery mushroom goulash doing its job of keeping chills at bay. The cakes, too, are a genuine pleasure. $ W Gruncie Rzeczy (D5) ul. Hoża 62, tel. 692 464 489 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. $
cafes & wine bars NEW & NOTEWORTHY
ROZBRAT 20 BAKERY & WINE CORNER (ul. Rozbrat 20, rozbrat20.com.pl) Best known for fathering Butchery & Wine, Daniel Pawełek makes his mark on Powiśle with the launch of Rozbrat 20, a high-end bakery that many are already calling the best in Warsaw. Aside from baguettes, muffins, croissants, etc. this smart corner unit has a superb wine list and a smattering of main courses that include flat iron steak.
bakeries Aromat (C4) ul. Sienna 39 We’re told the interiors were purposefully kept neutral to keep the focus on the product – and crikey, what bread. French flour and an expert baker ensure brilliant results, while the lemon éclairs deserve their own Facebook page. Some claim it’s the best bakery in Poland, and we’re not arguing. Café Vincent (D3) ul. Nowy Świat 64 Ex-pats from France, a nation of master bakers if ever there were, profess Vincent to be their favorite Warsaw bakery. And they’re not alone. Queues build quickly as locals line up to buy baguettes, cinnamon rolls, lemon croissants and beautiful pains au chocolat. But people don’t just head in then out, a small wine list and brilliant people spying opportunities cause most to linger. Petit Appetit (E6) ul. Mokotowska 45 The smell of freshlybaked loaves often wafts into the street, leaving passers-by with no option but to peer in – sweet temptation. And sweet is the right word: aside from divine baguettes check the pastries and brioches. SAM (E3) ul. Lipowa 7, sam.info.pl A central, communal table is flanked by smaller satellite tables for parties of two to four while perky seasonal blooms and potted herbs lend a spark of freshness. Co-owner Małgorzata Kusina-Doran is a fine-bread connoisseur, honing her skills at a bread-making course chaired by Raymond Blanc.
cafés ZDROWA KONKURENCJA (Pl. Bankowy 4, zdrowakonkurencja.pl) It’s taken a while, but slowly Pl. Bankowy is being turned into a place you don’t just rush through on the way back from work. Aside from piping hot, fresh wheels of bread, visitors are popping in to collect readymade bagels and sandwiches loaded with pulled pork, pastrami and other such bites.
Bali Café Złote Tarasy, Blue City & Galeria Mokotów, balicafe.pl This chain of dim sum bars provides sustenance for those turned-off by the more typical mall offerings. Inspired by www.warsawinsider.pl
listings / cafés & wine bars the owner’s travels to Bali, this café does its best to lock out the retail surrounds and give shoppers a break. Być Może (E7) ul. Bagatela 14, tel. 519 000 014, bycmoze. com.pl It’s all about artisan bread and breakfast in the 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. Chmiel Café (D4) ul. Chmielna 27/31, chmielcafe.pl Rows and rows of Belgian beers occupy the shelves, while behind the counter find pedigree treats, cakes and ice cream from the Slow Food approved Consonni brand. Forget the industrial rubbish, the ice cream produced by this lot is an absolute standout. With the outdoor terrace making its debut, it’s the ideal family solution with something for everyone. Cophi (D5) ul. Hoża 58/60 Deviating away from ‘the Warsaw look’ (i.e. concrete, pipes, etc.), Cophi is the kind of place you actually want to stay in: homey and intimate but at the same time light and modern. You can sense the thought and passion behind this operation from the staff – find them using Aeropress, Chemex, siphon and drip methods with almost scientific precision in their quest to serve you what some are already claiming to be Warsaw’s best coffee. Crepe Café (E3) ul. Dobra 19 Is there such a thing as the perfect pancake? If not, then Crepe Café certainly comes close. Enjoy them in a contemporary interior that’s tiny in size: grab a seat up on the mezzanine level. Czuły Barbarzyńca ul. Dobra 31, czuly.pl A Parisian-style bookstore full of steps and wobbles, nooks and alcoves. All agree there’s something special here: maybe it’s the book selection – varied, esoteric and at once compelling. Or maybe it’s the atmosphere, such that browsers anchor themselves on the sofas to lose an afternoon with their nose in a novel while sipping drip coffee. Whatever the secret ingredient is, the bookish bustle makes it the most extraordinary literary hangout in the Polish capital.
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Kafka Café (E3) ul. Oboźna 3, kawiarnia-kafka.pl A chessboard floor and a collection of antlers on the wall characterize Kafka, a bookstore / café whose literary collection is composed of paperbacks rescued from recycling plants. Books are purchased by their weight (zł. 10 per kilo) while the menu includes pancakes, pastas and even doggy treats for your mutt. Krucza 23 Café & Bakery ul. Krucza 23 They didn’t spend much time thinking about the name, that’s a given, but that’s not to say creativity is entirely absent. There’s lots of organic activity on the menu, plus an exciting spread of eco-coffee from far-flung nations. Find all this done in a post-industrial interior that makes use of lots of concrete and natural light. Między Nami (D4) ul. Bracka 20, miedzynamicafe.com With 18 years of service under their belt you may think of Między Nami as being an antiquated has-been. Not so. Haunted by a mix of media types and local characters, this hip white piece of post-commie Warsaw has an enduring, almost timeless appeal. Ministerstwo Kawy (D6) ul. Marszałkowska 27, ministerstwokawy.pl Sourcing their coffee from Koppi, an internationally acclaimed Swedish roasting house, the ministry takes no short cuts in their pursuit of excellence. Utilizing Ethiopian, Costa Rican and Brazilian arabicas – some exclusive to Poland – barista Wojciech Rzytki has earned a reputation across Poland for his expert hand. Rave reviews are standard and appropriate in this standout cafe. BEST WAWA 2014 “Coffee” MiTo (D6) ul. Waryńskiego 28, 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. MOD ul. Oleandrów 8 A place full of everlasting love for the humble donut. Inspired by their travels to New York, owners Kamila and Patrycja have filled a hole in the market by creating a cool spot that’s committed to
natural ingredients and the artisan process. Those glistening technicolors you see are down to the use of fresh fruit and dried flowers! Soft and chewy, enjoy dazzling flavors such as mango or hibiscus. Niezłe Ziółko Café & Deli (D5) ul. Krucza 17 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. Odette ul. Górskiego 6/07, odette.pl Almost holistic in its ambience, the obstacle-free interior utilizes aspects of space and light, causing attention to naturally fall on the long, sleek counter that occupies one end. It’s here that sweet creations glimmer behind glass like precious little gems. Constructed in the adjoining ‘food lab’, these are desserts fit to grace fine dining moments. Odette Tearoom ul. Twarda 4, odette.pl If you thought those living in Warsaw’s swankiest residential tower – the Cosmopolitan – had it tough, then you’ve got one more reason to envy them: the ground floor Odette Tearoom. Taking its lead from their original dessert stop on ul. Górskiego, the sister venue peddles glorious cakes and pralines as well as a hand-picked selection of boutique teas served in a fragrant and elegant atmosphere. Państwo Miasto (B1) ul. Andersa 29, panstwomiasto.pl Is there anything better than sitting in a café, book in hand, while winter sunlight 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. Relaks (E9) ul. Puławska 48 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.
listings / cafés & wine bars The interiors supply a retro accent, and are lapped up by a very fashion aware crowd. Stor ul. Tamka 33 Small but perfectly formed, Stor has all the clack and clatter of a busy local café. Regional beers, Chemex and Aeropress coffee and gluten-free snacks and sandwiches provide plenty of reason to pop in and idle about. Wrzenie Świata ul. Gałczyńskiego 7 Those with journalistic leanings love Wrzenie Świata. It’s definitely more Macbook than Moleskine, but this bookstore/café attracts plenty of readers (and writers) to its book-lined interior. Buzzing like a cafe should, it packs out for slideshows and seminars.
wine bars Ale Wino! (E5) ul. Mokotowska 48, alewino.pl At first you think you’re walking into a car park. And then, it hits you – a beautiful inner-city sanctum with wooden decking, a slanted sail shielding the sun, and bespoke, funky chairs from the esteemed Studio Rygalik. You want to dwell here for a bit longer than planned: and there’s no harm in doing so. One of the Insider’s favorite wine bars, Ale Wino’s food is also top-notch. BEST WAWA 2014 “Wine Bar” Bristol Wine Bar (D2) ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie 42/44 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. Charlotte (D6) ul. Aleja Wyzwolenia 18 (enter from pl. Zbawiciela), 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. Dekant Wine Bar ul. Zajęcza 15, decant.com.pl Expectations are high: even before they opened Wine Spectator magazine bequeathed Dekant with an ‘Award of Excellence’. Just what’s the buzz about? Primarily a wine choice that is set to eventually extend beyond 500 wines. Set inside an attractive open space, the opening of Dekant is a further indication of Powiśle’s shift from hipster epicenter to upscale playground.
Enoteka Rynek Nowego Miasta 13/15, enotekapolska.pl It’s the wine bar New Town has been waiting for ever since… the old Enoteka closed. The eagerly awaited return brings with it a new location – right on the corner of New Town Square – and a menu by Paweł Męziński: yep, the same guy who made their kitchen great back when it all first began in 2009. Add a handpicked wine list from some of the top producers in the world and you have a place that’s definitely one to watch for. Hoża (D5) ul. Hoża 25a, hoza.warszawa.pl You’ll probably know Hoża as the home of steak. But what is meat without wine? complementing the Argentine-inspired cooking is a wine list particularly dense with reds.
tion of bites to accompany the superlative wine offer. Find it in a pared down warehouse that emanates casual city cool. Mielżyński Wine Bar (G9) ul. Czerska 12, mielzynski.pl After three years in the pipeline Warsaw’s second outpost of Mielżyński is everything you’d expect: a concise menu that’s never too complex and an exciting wine choice that presents over 500 labels.
French Bistro Cafe Bakery Nowy Świat 27 Phone: 22 826 44 61 www.petitappetit.com.pl Open Mon - Sun 8:00 - 23:00
Heritage (D6) ul. Mokotowska 17 The gentrification of Zbawiciela continues with the appearance of Heritage, a place of tap wines, cobbled floors, and simple, well-thought interiors. With its crates, boxes, cans and tins, Heritage fill a binary role as a deli/wine store for an ascendant new money crowd. Mielżyński Wine Bar (A1) ul. Burakowska 5/7, 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 selecwww.warsawinsider.pl
nightlife NEW & NOTABLE
BAL (ul. Nowogrodzka 31, niechzyjebal.pl) If you thought Nowogrodzka was just about grungy craft beer dens then think again. Proving you wrong is Bal, a club that draws a pleasure-seeking party crew of waifish, wasted model-types and assorted hangers-on. Find them twerking away under one of the most interesting lighting arrangements in the city.
bars & pubs 6 Cocktails (E5) ul. Mokotowska 57 Taking its lead from the New York fad for covert bars, the 6 adventure begins in front of a heavy arched gate. Ring the bell, await the buzz of approval and then find yourself summoned into rambling apartment that feels sultry and sensual. Complete with a shadowy smoking lounge and a whirlpool tub in the bathroom, it’s the best secret in Warsaw. To enjoy the bespoke cocktails yourself, message them on Facebook and await your invite… Bar & Books ul. Wąski Dunaj 20, barandbooks.pl Seen through a thin autumnal mist, this white townhouse radiates warmth: lights glimmer, piano music tinkles. Wood-paneled and lined with leather-bound tomes, there’s a sense of dignity that’s unique to Warsaw’s cocktail scene. There’s humor, as well, courtesy of portraits of chimps togged out like 18th century gentry. Similar to a members’ only Mayfair bar, find ‘classic with a twist’ cocktails mixed and muddled by the sort of charming bartenders you’d trust serving Bond. Bar Gemba (D5) ul. Wilcza 50/52 Despite occupying the bottom corner of an office development Gemba isn’t short of character: that is, at least, if you measure character by the number of thrift store armchairs and vintage extras. Furbished with lampshades, luggage and varying odds and ends, it’s the kind of dark, debauched bar that trended amongst artsy Poles in the early 00s. Replacing the oddly downcast Jedna Trzecia, Gemba slots in well amongst the other post-hipster bars in the area.
LAZY DOG (ul. Krucza 16/22, lazy-dog.pl) After many false starts Krucza is finally waking up and realizing its potential. Lazy Dog is the embodiment of that, an upmarket restaurant / cocktail bar with a pseudo industrial design that include a train station departure board customized to announce their cocktails – next stop: drunkenness. Inspired by ‘classic New York’, the cocktails are a good class in mixing.
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Bar Warszawa (D2) ul. Miodowa 2, barwarszawa.pl Thick with alcoholic fumes and the sound of drunken tantrums, Bar Warszawa excels in its role as a late night dive bar. Split on two levels, upstairs is where most head to flop around a retro lounge interior filled with nostalgic decorations that tempt kleptomaniacs. The cut price shots and pints do their bit in facilitating slurred conversations with a variety of strangers. Not surprisingly, evenings often extend beyond the advertised closing time of 4 a.m.
listings / nightlife Bar Wieczorny ul. Wiśniowa 46, barwieczorny.pl Preparing for their first summer, it’s going to be one helluva’ place to visit once the weather heats up: that garden is going to get naughty! The cocktails are serious here, with top quality spirits (Vestal, Baczewski, Woodford Reserve) used with equally big name mixes (Fentimans, Big Tom, etc.). Further, you’ll find it’s the right products in the right hands – the staff really know their game. Bazar (F1) ul. Jagiellońska 13 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, 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. Berlin-Warszawa Express (D5) Most Poniatowskiego (corner of Kruczkowskiego and al. 3 Maja) Set up a flight of stairs, a concrete footbridge at the top links the two bars either side: Berlin and Warszawa. It’s a Matrix moment, the red pill or the blue? Berlin’s the better, with industrial cage lights, and salvaged DDR memorabilia. Surveying the scene, it’s all wobbly tables, sticky surfaces and tight little alcoves fitted into impossible spaces. A great dive bar, the friendly nature of Berlin gets even friendlier after a few craft brews. Bierhalle (A1) Al. Jana Pawła II 82 (Arkadia), ul. Nowy Świat 64, ul. Marszałkowska 55/73, bierhalle.pl Having tapped their first beer six or seven years back, their microbrewery have morphed into a national phenomenon with outposts across the country. All three Warsaw locations have a cut/paste Bavarian atmosphere, hefty wooden fittings and waitresses dressed like mountain frauleins.
Bollywood Lounge (D4) ul. Nowy Świat 58, 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. British Bulldog (D4) ul. Aleje Jerozolimskie 42, bbpub.pl In terms of aesthetic it’s the most accurate 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 poor standards of beer and food, you might want to follow their example. What could have become an expat legend is, in essence, a big wet plop of disappointment. Bubbles (D2) Pl. Piłsudskiego 9, tel. 512 540 913, open Mon-Thu 12:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 12:0024:00; Sun 12:00-18:00, bubbles.com. pl Despite sounding like a 90s small town nightclub, Bubbles is in fact a worthy place of note: a small, warm venue with a slow food menu and a design that incorporates lots of upturned crates and dusty bottles. Champagne is the main draw here, with many labels that are exclusive to Poland. Some come with terrifying prices, but on the whole the price points are widely accessible: wine from zł. 10 and a flute of champers from zł. 29. Ceska ul. Chmielna 35, ceska.pl Having promised to never return following an incident with a nincompoop waiter, we’ve done exactly the opposite… and become regulars! Views of scantily-clad shoppers wiggling down the street are one attraction, though the biggest is the Czech ‘tank’ pouring system. Order the mliko, a beer that’s all creamy froth that you can sink down in seconds. Chmielarnia (B5) ul. Twarda 42 (basement level), 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
presents programme of the big stage 16 JAN
JANCZARSKI & MC CRAVEN QUINTET Stephen McCraven (dr), Rasul Siddik (tp), Borys Janczarski (sax), Joanna Gajda (p), Adam Kowalewski (db)
BOBBY PREVITE & THE VISITORS
Bobby Previte (dr), Mike Gamble (gt), Mike Gamble (gt), Terrence Murren (db), Michael Kammers (organ),
ED CHERRY SPECIAL TRIO Ed Cherry (gt), Adam Kowalewski (db), Arek Skolik (dr)
ANDY SHEPPARD QUARTET
Andy Sheppard (sax), Eivind Aarset (gt), Michael Benita (db), Sebastian Rochford (dr)
REGI WOOTEN BAND Regi Woten (gt), Michał Barański (db), Tomasz Tores (dr)
DAVE HOLLAND TRIO
Dave Holand (db), Kevin Eubanks (gt), Obed Calvaire (dr)
Tickets: eBilet.pl, Empik, 12/14 Jazz Club www.12on14club.com facebook.com/12on14club 12/14, Piwna street phone: 22 635 49 49
listings / nightlife more beer in the fridge), a point underlined by a glass coffin of mainstream macro lager. While the bar gets loud and rackety, sweaty and sticky, that’s balanced out by a rotating beer offer that’s moderately priced plus a friendly, earnest audience that’s all beer geeks and know-it-alls. Chmielarnia Marszałkowska (E7) ul. Marszałkowska 10/16, chmielarnia.waw.pl With the tap war at its height, Chmielarnia hope to raise the stakes with their latest venture. Twelve taps and umpteen bottles comprise the offer, with a range of domestic
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and international players represented: among them Beavertown, Hoppin’ Frog and Fourpure. Less nerdy than their original, expect the latest Chmielarnia to hoover up bearded custom from nearby pl. Zbawiciela. Column Bar ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 42/44 (Hotel Bristol) Just the look of Column Bar sweeps you off your feet; there’s something breathlessly classy about it, like you’ve just entered Gatsby’s ballroom. You want to order a pyramid of champagne and dance on their piano. Behave, and order a cocktail instead. For a taste of the classics, the Column Bar is peerless. In summer, enjoy your drinks out in the beautifully tranquil courtyard. Cuda Na Kiju (E4) ul. Nowy Świat 6/12, cudanakiju.pl Where it all began. Summer catches Warsaw’s original tap bar at its best, with the courtyard of the former Communist Party HQ now home to an entirely different kind of party: on occasions find food trucks and film screenings, and all other times just a massive crowd getting sloshed on 15 types of tap beer. Cześć (C3) ul. Grzybowska 2 (through the side passage), czesc.waw.pl It started as a café, but now Cześć is better known as being at the forefront of the new generation of ‘quali-tap’ bars – small little places with six or so new wave beers on tap. The two owners, Piot and Kuba, take their beer seriously, so do expect plenty of new finds as well as traditional favorites from stalwarts like the Artezan and Pinta breweries. The laidback, neighborhood atmosphere is making it increasingly popular with a tight-knit circle of ex-pat drinkers. Czeska Baszta (E4) Tower 22A, Most Poniatowskiego, 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. Dom Wódki (C2) ul. Wierzbowa 9/11, domwodki.pl The vodka bar concept gets a new lease of life inside this glam and gleaming bar / restaurant. Find
250 artisan brands and a bar staff with the know how to improve the drinks further still: the cocktails are unmissable. It’s places like this that make you fall in love with Warsaw. Elephant Belgian Pub (C1) ul. Freta 19 Signposted by a jolly, dancing elephant, this Belgian pub 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. Gorączka Złota (D5) ul. Wilcza 29, 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. Hard Rock Cafe (C5) ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy), hardrockcafe.pl Full Throttle cocktails, lively staff and a classic rock soundtrack: the energy of HRC is hard to find fault with. And on the rare occasion there is a lull in the night, use the opportunity to sniff around memorabilia that includes a black leather number once worn by Madonna. Heritage Birreria Artigianale ul. Tamka 9 A new twist on the multi-tap concept, Heritage’s hook is their obsession with Italian and British gypsy breweries. Eyes naturally fall on ten taps dispensing beers from Thornbridge, San Gabriel, Birrificio Milano, etc., and while the drawn-out pouring time can frustrate, most agree that the drinks are worth the wait. Find a well-presented middle-aged crowd squashed inside a tiny little unit that’s often full to capacity. Hoppiness (D4) ul. Chmielna 27/31 You’re in good hands here – opened under the patronage of the Pracownia brewery, this small-scale operation goes beyond merely offering the beers of its sponsor. There’s 12 taps in all, a decent fridge to geek over, an ace burger and beer-based ice cream – hooray!
listings / nightlife Hopsters (B2) Al. Jana Pawła II 45 (enter from ul. Nowolipki) You get the idea they could have done a bit more with the interior, though the tendency is to overlook this. After all, any bar that goes to the trouble of fitting twenty taps deserves a bit of leeway. And fine things they are, these taps of theirs. There’s usually a couple of foreign guests on the day-to-day menu (Mikeller, Lindemans), but the main draw is undoubtedly from domestic brew houses like AleBrowar and Artezan, not to mention rising stars such as Doctor Brew and Podgórz. Irish Pub (C2) ul. Miodowa 3, irishpubmiodowa.pl Affecting a look that only an Irish pub can escape with – strange smells and chipped wood – this boozer is perhaps more noted for its live music and camaraderie than for anything else. There’s events practically every night, ranging from local rock acts to cool blues. If you failed the X Factor audition then do the next best thing and visit for karaoke night. Jabeerwocky (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 12, taproom.pl Prices go from affordable all the way up to, ‘bloody hell, how much!?’ Find a staggering choice on pump, tap and in the fridges, with the international selection accrued by true aficionados: the beers are brill, and so are some of the beards. We’re still awaiting the promised garden, so in the meantime enjoy an appealingly coarse interior that features original tilework over 100 years old. And look out for Jabberwocky Jr., their next door whisky bar – full review of that next issue! Kameralna (E4) ul. Foksal 11 With a militia truck outside, and interiors that feature cutlery by Społem and 70s newspapers on the walls, you’d be right to think we’ve got another venue that celebrates the past. Looking vast and comfortingly cluttered, Kameralna is both a restaurant and a nightspot – brewing their own beer, the house lagers are fine. Karmnik (D2) ul. Piwna 4A, karmnik.waw.pl Close to sinking into dive bar territory, Karmnik have rejigged their interior, added a list of flashy cocktails and recruited a few DJs to give the place a pre-club spirit. As revamps go it’s been entirely successful, with the only sticking point (sometimes literally), being
the unisex toilet. The origami birds hanging from the ceiling, btw, are a reference to the post-war period when an old lady who fed the pigeons took-up brief residence in the ruins of where you now drink. Karowa 31 (D3) ul. Karowa 31, warsawbarproject.com Warsaw’s original speakeasy grants access via a retractable door disguised as a VHS collection – how cool is that!? Maze-like in layout, the retro-looking Karowa 31 unravels to reveal a series of chambers concealed in shadow, though for all that the cocktails are the real draw: masterful creations composed by Bram, the former manager of the London Cocktail Club. Kita Koguta (E5) ul. Krucza 6/14 Free from the pompous prattery of Bar Max down the road, there are times in Kita Koguta where sitting at bar level is like watching Dexter’s Laboratory: the staff aren’t afraid to get imaginative, and that includes serving cocktails in smoking coconut husks. Not all the experiments go as planned, but that’s part of the thrill – for a failsafe, order the Viterbo Breakfast: it looks like something that came out of a drainpipe, but it’s delicious! Kraken Rum Bar (D5) ul. Poznańska 12 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 to justify calling it a rum bar. The house beer rocks though. Kufle i Kapsle (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 25, kufleikapsle.pl All levels of drinkers are catered for in this raw-looking space, from those ready to pay nosebleed prices for beers with spaceships on the label, right the way down to novices taking their first baby steps in the world of craft booze. Interiors are balanced with the pre-war heritage of the place, and are thick with noise, clamor and the spell of spillage. Unisex toilets, meaning there’s usually one idiotka putting a spanner in the queue code. 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 Nights get blurry
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listings / nightlife 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. 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 Legends is slowly achieving legendary status amongst the expats and Anglophiles. Their cause is helped by touches like a segregated smoking room, proper darts board, Sky Sports and a traditional menu that’s as authentically English as the Downing Street cat. Most of all though, the success is down to the sense of community fostered over long quiz nights, shouty karaoke competitions and Presiding over it all is Graham, a seasoned expat and Everton nut. Lolek (A8) ul. Rokitnicka 20 (Pole Mokotowskie), 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. Machinarium ul. Smolna 36, machinarium.pub Professing themselves to be a dive bar, this modest description doesn’t paint the whole picture.
The beer offer is unusual and experimental (four taps plus a load of bottles), and there’s also a quirky selection of home-infused nalewki. Drink them inside an interior that engages with its easy mix of dark greens and metallic bits and pieces. There’s football, as well, beamed onto a screen encased inside an ornate picture frame. Małe Piwo (D7) ul. Oleandrów 4 Hands up who loves good beer? Thought so. Małe Piwo have been a sensation since opening, preempting the craft beer trend and in the process attracting huge crowds of every sub-section of the hipster community. The choice of bottles is immense, and enjoyed in an edgy, dive bar background that’s snugger than a mouse’s waistcoat. Miłość Kredytowa 9 ul. Kredytowa 9 Firstly, there’s the bar. It’s stunning: concrete slabs, a vertical wall of greenery and a DJ platform that doubles as a kitchen on weekends. The upstairs mezzanine is the best spot for voyeurs, and it’s here that a series of rooms unravel revealing a bookstore, deli and a lumbersexual barber shop. It is ultimately the bar that is the center force though, and it’s here you’ll find one-of-a-kind bottled cocktails that use natural ingredients, not to mention the full offer from Perła. Multitap Bla Bla ul. Nowogrodzka 22, blabla.com.pl Looking
murky and in need of a good scrub (and that’s just the glasses), you feel Bla Bla is simply here to suck up overspill from its more high-profile neighbors. Ten taps here, usually carrying beers you know inside out. But you will find a seat and there’s a kebab shop next door. Na Lato (F5) ul. Rozbrat 44 Once derided as a hipster haunt, the twits have moved on, replaced instead by an increasingly on-trend crowd of rich young things. The cocktails are without doubt up there with the best in Wa-wa and the basement club area has the added boon of a glassed-in smoking room. 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 density 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. Oleandrów 3 (D6) ul. Oleandrów 3 Exploring themes of decadence and fallen splendor, this new opening cements Oleandrów’s status as one of Warsaw’s rising streets. Looking dark and disheveled, this busy nightspot is already earning a name for libertine shenanigans. The blackboard menu touts an unlikely combo of ‘hot dogs and champagne’ – watch others follow suit. OSP Saka Kępa ul. Walecznych 74, ospsaskakepa.pl A little on the small side, the interior features several bits of Fireman Sam detritus: helmets, goggles, a uniform and some toy fire trucks (it’s in a fully functioning fire station!). Panorama Bar and Lounge (C5) Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79 (Marriott Hotel), 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, paradox-cafe.pl Billing themselves as a ‘sci-fi / gamers / role play
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
listings / nightlife 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. Parking Bar (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 27, parkingbar.eu It looks raw and ready, but then what did you expect from a place on the ground floor of a car park. Plentiful concrete, mesh fences and swinging car tire seats lend it unique characteristics, as do the drinks: the creative cocktails are served in small little jars. At times it feels a bit slow, but that changes on their weekend club nights. Perłowa Bistro ul. Bracka 18 Created to showcase Perła’s full skillset, this newbie matches seven taps from Poland’s best ‘big brewery’ to smart interiors splashed with light industrial touches. Choices include cult drops such as Zwierzyniec, Perła Koźlak and Perła Mocna, with prices topping out at zł. 9 per pint. Pies Czy Suka (D4) ul. Szpitalna 8A, 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), open 24 hrs We don’t like: the sweaty toilet, strange smells and queue scrum. We do like: the 24hr opening hours, humongous fridge and 50+ taps. Seen in the light it’s a little depressing, so visit at night when Parkingowa takes on the look of an end-of-term street party. Piw Paw na Foksal (E4) ul. Foksal 16, piwpaw.pl If the original Piw Paw was marketed as a ‘hyper tap’ then what’s their sister on Foksal? There’s 97 taps (!!) though one gets the sense its more about numbers than quality – we’ve seen Beck’s, for Pete’s sake. Getting service can be a nightmare, and while there’s a smoking
room, it’s got the warmth and ambience of a night down the police station. Plac Barcelona (E5) Pl. Trzech Krzyży 18 Those who think this area’s star has waned need look no further than Plac Barcelona, a pristine bar with a star studded clientele. The interiors feature stark white colors and an interesting multi-level seating arrangement. Most, however, prefer to give themselves maximum exposure and do both their sipping and sitting outdoors.
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Plan B (D6) ul. Wyzwolenia 18 (Pl. Zbawiciela), 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. Pociąg do Piwa ul. Dereniowa 2 Jumping onto the multi-tap bandwagon is Pociąg do Piwa, a smallish locale whose one design element is a steam engine traced into the wall using bottle tops. There’s 12 taps in all, and they primarily distribute cult Polish beers from the likes of Pinta and AleBrowar. Polonez (D5) ul. Poznańska 24 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. Same Krafty (D1) ul. Nowomiejska 10 Set across two small, rugged rooms, Same Krafty gets populated by an organic combination of tourists, couples and beer enthusiasts. There’s ten taps from which to choose, and a fridge with several interesting international beers. The Old Town doesn’t have much to shout about when it comes to nightlife, so Same Krafty’s debut is more than welcome. Secado (D5) ul. Marszałkowska 66 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
A BAR APART Hidden from the prying eyes of Joe Public,
the legend of 6 Cocktails continues to grow…
can’t remember the name of it, but there’s a film I once watched in which Daniel Craig, cast as a smooth schmoozing anti-hero, remarks: ‘everyone likes to walk through a door marked private.’ Who could disagree? That’s one reason to like 6 Cocktails. Thing is though, it goes one step beyond that: the door isn’t marked ‘private’, it’s not marked at all. In fact, just knowing about the place adds points to your profile… Set inside one of those tall teetering tenements, Mokotowska is the address, with entry gained through the buzz of a bell. Stage 1 accomplished, the gate slams shut and it’s up a stairwell and into the unknown. Another ring later – followed by a swoosh of a velvet curtain – and you’re in. Instantly, you recognize all this cloak-and-dagger palaver has been worthwhile. Looking like some Jazz Age gin joint, 6 expands out into a series of high-ceilinged chambers occupied by the great and the glam: no aspiring models here, they’re the real thing – glittery cover stars clip clopping over immaculate parquet in preposterous heels. A speakeasy, you’d think, is all low key conversation, but here there’s an air of permanent good times and constant celebration. A DJ spins dance tracks, while the impossibly good looking crowd surges towards the bar in perfumed waves. “When we started last year,” says Enio, the owner, “the idea was to change the way Warsaw drinks.” In part, this has been achieved through a broad alcohol selection of hard-to-find spirits. “By offering these,” he says, “people have discovered new products, they’ve become more selective: no longer do we get guests just asking for ‘something good’, they’ve started to learn what they really enjoy.” And with bright sparks such as Maciej and Kuba behind the bar, it’s hard not to enjoy the cocktails on offer; these are credible candidates for the top drinks in town. But there’s something else about 6; a Factor X that’s impossible to define. As much as you credit the drinks, it’s the sheer atmosphere of it all that puts visitors under a spell. It’s a whirl of activity, a place of class, excess, decadence and libation: a throwback to the times when people lived for today and not for tomorrow... 6 Cocktails To join the invite list, message them on facebook: facebook.com/6cocktails
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
listings / nightlife 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. Sketch w Teatrze Wielkim (D2) Pl. Piłsudkiego 9, sketch.pl Here’s a multi tap bar designed with a very specific crowd in mind: glam stylists, models with sleeve tattoos and other vapid morons. Looking bold, bright and brash, this is just about the worst tap bar Warsaw has ever seen. The beer aspect is purely incidental. You get the idea this mob would be here if the pipes were hooked up to the udders of a cow – so long as milk was in fashion. Yuck. Słoik (D4) ul. Złota 11, restauracjasloik.pl Słoik looks bright, loud and vibrant, so it’s no surprise to learn their cocktail maestros specialize in maverick creations. A source of particular pride are drinks that celebrate Poland: we’re talking about vodkas infused with juniper and vanilla, then mixed with marmalades and other exotica like pickled cucumber juice. The tastes are unique and leave you bandy-legged and shouting for more. Solec 44 ul. Solec 44, solec.waw.pl A ghastly commieera pavilion is the unlikely home of this Powiśle mainstay. The food – a gloriously gory celebration of nose-to-tail cooking – is spot on, but so too are the drinks. The bottled beers reflect the exciting times in the Polish brewing industry, but forego these in favor of a stunning cocktail list that makes use of seasonal ingredients and homemade syrups and mixes. The design of Julian Karewicz, these are drinks that stop you in your tracks: the sea buckthorn vodka sour is pure boozy bliss. Spiskowcy Rozkoszy (D5) ul. Żurawia 47/49, 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. Syreni Śpiew ul. Szara 10A, syrenispiew.pl Set in a
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
beautifully restored piece of PRL concrete, Syreni Śpiew’s lasting popularity has proved the doubters wrong. This is not some one season wonder, rather a place that has gone from strength to strength. Primarily known for its hefty whisky offer (which is divided into regions of Scotland, Ireland and Japan), the cocktails also stand up to scrutiny on account of their consistent quality. A genuinely unique drinking experience with cool elements of retro chic. Syzyszka Chmielu Al. KEN 36, pubszyszkachmielu.pl The beer scene is Ursynów is seriously hopping up. First came Pociąg Do Piwa, then Vyceska, and now this tongue twister. The 14 taps offer largely safe local options, so head to the fridge for adventurous brews from the likes of Mikeller, AleSmith and Nogne O. In an added plus, this is just about the first tap bar that realizes that some people out there like football: it’s filled with slick screens beaming the big match. Varso Vie Pl. Konstytcuji 2, varso-vie.pl A cool bar / restaurant decorated with art that’s both sensual and suggestive. Behind the bar, homemade syrups, seasonal ingredients and high caliber alcohol are all present, but so to the most important component: the staff who can handle them. Try the Polish Colada: involving Bols Natural Yogurt, Pawlina vodka, pineapple, lemon and sprinkling of chocolate, it’s a superb drink that does a grand job of rehabilitating a largely derided classic.
Czech. There’s eight taps and a wealth of bottles to traipse through as well as a small menu of food designed to sustain protracted drinking sessions. All this in an interior that’s dark and slick but not short of character – all of a sudden moving out to Ursynów seems a rather smart idea. W Oparach Absurdu ul. Ząbkowska 6 Hidden under Persian rugs, velvety drapes and reclaimed antiques, some still refer to it as The Spider Bar in reference to the giant tarantula that once hung from the wall. There’s an air of louche 60s living here, and it gets weirder when bands with names like the Bum Bum Orchestra enter to play trumpets amongst vodka-tipping guests. Warsaw Tortilla Factory (D5) ul. Wilcza 46, 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 natives of all ages. Warszawa Powiśle (E4) ul. Kruczkowskiego 3B, warszawapowisle.pl The prime months for this former ticket booth arrive each summer when the deckchairs outside provide ample opportunity for the city’s young and fashionable to gather in an almost carnival-like atmosphere. Seen as a hipster Center of Power, you’ll know if you belong.
The View ul. Twarda 18, theview.pl Sat on top of the Spektrum Tower this bar/club looks set to reinvent the whole concept of going out in Warsaw. A truly world-class venture, the open-air deck on the 32nd floor offers striking views of the cityscape, first rate cocktails and an international rotation of DJs. The look is sleek and stylish.
Weles (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 11 A swing of the door takes visitors plunging down a blacked-out stairwell and into a basement that emerges from the darkness like a decadent Tsarist relic: glinting chandeliers glimmer over deep leather sofas, their subtle light casting a glow over an immaculate clientele. Befitting the venue, the artisanal cocktails are a work of elaborate craftsmanship, and incorporate everything from elite liquors to strips of bacon and flower petals.
Vyceska ul. Polinezyjska 10 As welcome as the craft revolution has been, there are times you just want a good honest pint: so how about this, a multi-tap whose focus zooms on all things
Zamieszanie ul. Nowy Świat 6/12 Cuda Na Kiju have built on their continuing success by adding this spot in the glass block next to their tap pub. Here though it’s cocktails that are the draw.
listings / nightlife Pre-bottled in a secret room downstairs, meaning none of the ad-libbed artistry of other cocktail bars, and tastes that are closer in line to 90s alcopop drinks than anything else. That doesn’t stop a young crowd from swamping the place come the weekend. Zorza ul. Żurawia 6/12, zorzabistro.pl Slotted inside what was once Café 6/12, Zorza embellishes the venue’s ascetic PRL style with licks of art deco: it’s an unlikely marriage that manages to work. But with even the sun sweating this summer, do your pecking, picking, sipping and supping on an outdoor terrace set-up that encourages mingling and interaction.
clubs Capitol Theatre and Club (C3) ul. Marszałkowska 115, clubcapitol.pl An extravagant dance space with sparkly chandeliers, regal staircases and a modern Moscow, over-the-top style. Mark the Hed Kandi events in your diary for a night to remember. DJ Bar (D5) ul. Żurawia 32/34, djbar.pl Edge down a set of concrete steps to find a riot of tangled bodies celebrating a music policy based – depending on the night – around hip hop, soul, funk and electronica. Luminous shots from the longest bar in town ratchet the party up an extra notch.
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Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
Enklawa (D3) ul. Mazowiecka 12, enklawa.com 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. Klubo ul. Czackiego 3/5, klubo.pl You can almost feel this club’s legendary status as you descend down into their basement. Dark, vibrant and decorated in a way that evokes the glory years of the 80s and 90s, tip down their house cocktails inside and writhe alongside other clubbers in a series of deep reddish rooms banging out house, disco and R&B sounds. Check their web for deals, offers and opening times. Lab The Live Act Bar (D4) ul. Bracka 25, barlab.pl There’s an ad hoc nature to Lab, and that begins with the decor: geometric floor patterns, a breezeblock bar and retro-style tables and chairs. This individualistic temperament is further enhanced by various events that range from yard sales to concerts. But it’s as a club that Lab has gained attention, with its management pursuing a music policy that renounces the mainstream in favor of deep house and electronica. Level 27 Al. Jerzolimskie 123 (Millennium Building),
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level27.pl Set on the 27th floor of the Millennium Building, Level 27 promises a world class clubbing experience with open air views of the city down below. In more ways than one, you’ll rarely feel closer to the stars. Luztro (E4) Al. Jerozolimskie 6, luztro.pl Luztro enjoys a reputation for libertine behavior and illicit pharmaceuticals. Dark, grim and grotty, this after party stalwart gets going at about 4 a.m. on weekends, when troglodyte club creatures emerge zombie-like to dance way past sunrise. Jaw grinding, rib rattling electro has never felt better. Platinium (D3) ul. Fredry 6, 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. Grochowska 301/305, senpszczoly.pl Famous, infamous or a bit of both? Moving from their temporary digs in the Koneser Factory, the new-look Sen Pszczoły is every bit as murky as the previous: amid a heavy industrial background, find partygoers enjoying a mixed bag of events that range from didgeridoo performances to full-on techno that makes fillings pop out.
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listings / nightlife that makes fillings pop out.
gentleman’s clubs Playhouse (B3) Al. Solidarności 82A, playhouse.pl Not here gorilla gangsters on the door or pushy girls doing the rounds (“buy me drinky drinky”). 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, 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.
live music Chwila (B3) ul. Ogrodowa 31/35 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. Klub 12/14 ul. Piwna 12/14, 12on14club.com Sometimes you’ve got to ask, just where are all the jazz bars? Well, at last the void has been filled with the entry of Klub 12/14 on the market. A schedule of daily evening concerts, a decent uncomplicated menu and a smart white design make it a welcome addition. Pardon To Tu (C4) Pl. Grzybowski 12/16, 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.
shot bars Bar Warszawa ul. Miodowa 2, barwarszawa.pl Creak upstairs to find a warm space filled out with sofas and nostalgic decorations such as vintage radios and black and white photos of bare breasted prostitutes. Pijalnia ul. Nowy Świat 19, open 24hrs Havoc reigns in Pijalnia, and watching all the tears and tiffs on a Friday night is something of a spectator sport. Pickles and vodka are the essential order, while reading matter is supplied via commie-era sports reports that are plastered to the wall.
shopping accessories Agent Provocateur ul. Mokotowska 59, tel. 22 273 6162, www. agentprovocateur.com The boutique is stocked full of the latest collection – gorgeous lacy bras with scrumptious attention to detail, matching panties, teddies and a bunch of strappy get-ups you can only get away with if you’re very fit or very confident, but preferably both. And if that’s not enough, they’ve got sexy stockings, silk robes, perfume, satin gloves, a blindfold and nipple tassels…
TOP TAILORS CAFARDINI (ul. Grzybowska 5A, cafardini.com) Complete suits start at zł. 2,600 and rise to zł. 4,500, depending on the fabric. Using the finest natural raw materials, Cafardini even offer a ‘suit spa’ – a special care package that will see you suit regain its fresh look if it has been worn intensively. SEBASTIAN ŻUKOWSKI (ul. Andersa 21A, sebastianzukowski.pl) It’ll take approximately three fittings and three weeks before clients take ownership of their tux, tailcoat, suit or sports coat. Thousands of fabric designs from the world’s leading manufacturers, as well as made to measure shirts and elegant tailoring solutions for women. VAN THORN (ul. Sienna 39, vanthorn.pl) Founded by Maciej Puciata, Van Thorn are an established expat favorite, with the whole tailoring process becoming an intensely personal experience. Choose from 5 to 6,000 fabrics, from small Italian weavers to more heavyweight suppliers. Made to measure suits begin at zł. 2,600, and bespoke at zł. 4,500. ZAREMBA (ul. Nowogrodzka 15, zaremba-krawiec.pl) Originally inspired by the Savile Row style, Zaremba have been fitting out gentlemen of Warsaw since 1898. Under Maciej Zaremba, the brand has moved forward to take into account global trends while also respecting its past. Bespoke jackets start from zł. 5,900 with a standard delivery time of approximately 12 weeks.
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
Bath & Body Works ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy) & ul. Wołoska 12 (Galeria Mokotów)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. BeautyLab Polska beautylablondon.pro Rated as one of the biggest names in global cosmetics, the range of treatments run from anti-ageing to daily body care and essential skin care. di
Chiara (Saska Kępa) Promenada Shopping Centre, ul. Ostrobramska 75C, chiara-online.pl You’d never expect it but this chic little shop stocks the best shoes and bags in the city – stock up on the latest collections from Michael Kors, Celine, Stuart Weitzman, Ralph Lauren and Mulberry.
di Trevi Boutique Piękna 11A, ditrevi.pl Aimed at both him and her, di Trevi present the freshest Italian footwear releases from prestigious brands such as Ballin and Loriblu. Handbags are also available inside a chic interior that exudes luxury. Glamourous Pochette tel. (+48) 798 089 959, Glamorous-Pochette. com Leave an unforgettable impression with
listings / shopping stylish pocket squares made from the finest, hand selected Moroccan raw silk. So they say: ‘each one tells a story, or carries strong ties to a particular place or moment – when you wear one of our pocket squares, you take these stories and transform them into your own’. Glamstore ul. Narbutta 83 (entry from ul. Łowicka) Widely hailed by Poland’s fashion glossies, this store sells modern furnishings with all the trimmings and colours you could ask for. They also stock kitchen and bathroom accessories, as well as touting their own jewelery line. HOS&me ul. Mokotowska 63, 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. Le Galerie Parisienne ul. Wilcza 8, facebook.com/lagalerieparisienne The kind of store Warsaw needs more of: sourced by a French / Polish couple, the imaginative items include beautiful jewelry and hand-painted brooches, all the way to antique design pieces to individualize your home. Lilou ul. Mokotowska 63, lilou.pl Modular jewelry made simple, and a must for all Warsaw fashionista. Minty Dot ul. Bracka 5, mintydot.pl Top quality Polish jewelry composed using gold, silver and natural stone. Contemporary in style, these are accessories that radiate class and craftsmanship while at the same time exuding a subtle sense of timeless romance. Mo61 ul. Mokotowska 61, tel. 601 652 593, open Mon-Fri 11:00-19:00, mo61.pl Billed as a ‘perfume laboratory’, Mo61 is the only place in Poland that allows customers to create their own scents. Under the expert guidance of staff trained by Zygmunt Marczewski (“the best nose in Poland”!), visitors compose their own perfumes inside a beautifully renovated pre-war space. Omega Pl. Trzech Krzyży 16A, omegawatches.
com Newly opened, Poland’s first Omega boutique showcases watches, leather accessories and jewelry across 200 sq/m of luxury real estate. Pingle Optyk ul. Hoża 40 A collection of hand-selected eyewear that is serious in terms of quality control, but entirely whimsical when it comes to design. Yes, you’ve got your ubiquitous Ray Ban classics, but you’ve also got the electric blue version. You’ve got your Chanel and YSL classics, then there are the leather-trimmed frames from Paul Smith and many more funky models straight from Paris.
as well as the 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.
books Books For Cooks ul. Inżynerski 1, booksforcooks.pl Just guess what the specialty here is? And if the Praga address deters you, then click to their web to find a hefty offer of original language cook books, memoirs, restaurant guides and assorted foodie must-haves.
Pracownia Szczotek ul. Poznańska 26, 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!”
Czuły Barbarzyńca ul. Dobra 31, czuly.pl A cafe / bookstore hybrid that you’d imagine doing well in Paris. The Polish-language choice is broad, and whilst the number of English-language could be extended everyone finds the atmosphere irresistible.
Pracownia Czasu ul. Wiejska 14, pracowniaczasu.pl A true market leader with brands including Paul Picot, Graham London, Vulcain, Cuervo y Sobrinos, Ulysse Nardin and so many more.
Fundacja Bęc Zmiana ul. Mokotowska 65/7, beczmiana.pl A small curiosity shop selling trendy trinkets and a fair amount of art and architecture books with an accent on modern Warsaw.
Schubert ul. Piwna 12/14, ul. Piwna 26, ul. Świętojańska 11, worldofamber.pl Rings, bracelets, necklaces and watches produced using the finest Baltic amber. Or for a unique gift, how about an amber chess set or an amber cigarette lighter?
Moda Na Czytanie ul. Bracka 25 Some brilliant Warsaw-focused coffee table books, as well a half-decent collection of English-language books that range from classics to contemporary fiction.
Stara Mydlarnia Various locations inc. ul. Chmielna 4, mydla. pl Handmade cosmetics such as fragrant soaps, bath gels and salts, body butters, massage oils and aromatic candles. Ideal for home pampering. Stetson ul. Mysia 3, stetson.pl Head to the second floor to find this purveyor of quality Americana. Hats and caps in abundance, not to mention rereleased classics to coincide with the firm’s 150th birthday. Victoria’s Secret Beauty & Accessories ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy) & ul. Wołoska 12 (Galeria Mokotów) An assortment of Victoria’s Secret Beauty products including fun and flirty fragrances, such as Bombshell,
Super Salon ul. Chmielna 10, supersalon.org Filled with beautiful titles, Super Salon dedicates itself to books, magazines and albums covering weighty subject matter such as photography, design, erotica and architecture. Represented publishers include Phaidon, Gestalten and Steidl.
fashion American Eagle Outfitters Al. Jana Pawła II 82 (C. H. Arkadia) & ul. Wołoska 12 (Galeria Mokotów) American Eagle brings you high-quality, on-trend clothing and accessories inspired by a denim heritage that truly expresses individual style. Ania Kuczyńska ul. Mokotowska 61 Ania Kuczyńska is becomwww.warsawinsider.pl
listings / shopping pl This elegant boutique on the other side of the river features gorgeous, unique designer pieces.
ing well known for her highly fashionable, minimalist clothing designs. The store also carries adorable baby clothes and various accessories.
Hard Rock Cafe ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy), hardrockcafe.pl No wardrobe is complete without the iconic Hard Rock t-shirt! Find the Warsaw-stamped version available here, along with other extras for the all American look.
Balthazar ul. B. Prusa 2, balthazar.pl Enjoying a close cooperation with Sartoria Partenopea, Balthazar offer bespoke, made-to-measure tailored after a meeting with the house ‘style expert’. Image consultancy also available. Bombay Shirts ul. Hoża 58/60, bombayshirts.com Custommade shirts for both men and women created from a choice of over 150 fabrics: among them the finest Egyptian cotton, two-ply cottons and pure linens. They promise shirts that are ‘modern and fast-paced but buttressed with old world charm’. di
Chiara ul. Mokotowska 49 & pl. Uni Lubelskiej, tel. 22 647 0394, chiara-online.pl A solid assortment of Marc Jacobs and other top international designers such as Michael Kors and Jil Sander.
di Trevi Boutique ul. Piękna 11A, ditrevi.pl Aimed at both him and her, di Trevi present the freshest Italian footwear releases from prestige brands such as Ballin and Loriblu. Handbags are also available inside a chic interior that exudes luxury. EM Cashmere Boutique ul. Szczygla 8, emcashmere.pl Available brands include Allude Cashmere, Annette Görtz, Studiorundholz and Sarah Pacini with 30-40% discounts on last year’s collections, and up to 70% on those of previous years. A truly beautiful find with the clothes offer supplemented with shoes and accessories. Frank A ul. Natolińska 3, franka.pl The interior is painfully chic and the clothing effortlessly elegant with a minimalist edge. Stocks major brands that you can’t find anywhere else in Warsaw, from handbags from Pauric Sweeney, perfectly fashioned tees from American Vintage and ballet flats from Bloch. Gosia Baczyńska ul. Floriańska 6/11, gosiabaczynska.com.
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Moliera 2 Boutique ul. Moliera 2, moliera2.com Brands: Alexandre Vauthier, Balmain, Beach Bunny, Casadei, Christian Louboutin, Gianvito Rossi, Herve Leger, Isabel Marant, Jimmy Choo, Kenzo, Kotur, Maison Michel, Moncler, One Teaspoon, Pierre Balmain, Ralh Lauren, Simonetta Ravizza, Tod’s, Tory Burch, Valentino, Victoria Beckham, Yves Salomon. Mostrami.pl mostrami.pl Known to insiders as the ‘Polish Net-a-porter’, the online Mostrami portal showcases a whole breed of Polish fashion talent: Blessus, Justyna Chrabelska, Łukasz Jemioł, and Zuo Corp, as well as the rock stars of the local scene such as Kupisz, Zień and Plich. Around 100 designers to choose from, with prices straddling the wide spectrum of purchasing power. Pan Tu Nie Stal Koszykowa 35/40, pantuniestal.com Polish design at its peak: fashion is prominent, but there’s also interesting bitsy things such as aprons, jam jars, notebooks and mugs – all with a defiantly Polish twist. Eccentric, unusual and emphatically on-trend, it’s a must-visit. Pinko Klif shopping Centre, ul. Okopowa 58/72, Nowy Świat 1, Wołoska 12 (Galeria Mokotów), 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, plactrzechkrzyzy.com Brands: Christian Louboutin, Dsquared2, Fay, Gianvito Rossi, Hogan, Kenzo, Moncler, Ralph Lauren, Tod’s, Tom Ford, Valentino, Yves Salomon, Pierre Balmain, Beach Bunny,
Kotur, Marc by Marc Jacobs, One Teaspoon, Simonetta Ravizza, Victoria Beckham.Kolekcje dla dzieci: Baby Dior, Dolce&Gabbana Kids, Dsquared2 Kids, Kenzo Kids, Moncler Kids, Ralph Lauren Kids, Tod’s Kids. Ptasia 6 ul. Ptasia 6, ptasia6.pl A unique ladies concept store showcasing the works of both emerging and established independent Polish fashion labels such as Eva Grygo, Confashion, Horror! Horror!, Kasia Miciak and Polanka. QπШ - Robert Kupisz ul. Mokotowska 48/204 (courtyard), 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. Reykjavik District ul. Burakowska 15, 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 Those in-the-know 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. Safripsti ul. Oleandrów 3 Formerly a make-up artist in London and Paris, owner Magdalena returned to Poland to open a vintage boutique. Buying wholesale – meaning prices are kept in check – her fashion store presents finds like authentic cheerleader outfits and Hawaiian shirts for summer, not to mention a great selection of denim, parkers and so forth. And how about a classic Burberry mac for zł. 200?
Fashion Van Thorn ul. Sienna 39, tel. 22 243 7377, vanthorn. pl Bespoke and made-to-measure suits as well as custom-made shirts and a range of accessories from ties and pocket squares down to shoes and cufflinks. The attention to detail, the quality and craftsmanship are staggering.
listings / shopping Wake Up The Bear ul. Mokotowska 41, wakeupthebear.com Stylish ‘travel practical’ clothes as designed by the acclaimed Viola Spiechowicz. Featuring natural fabrics and multipurpose add-ons, this is the ultimate in comfort clothes.
home 3F Studio ul. Nowolipki 28b Offers furnishings and lighting from top contemporary Italian brands like BB Italia, Moroso, Living Divani, Desalto and Artemide. The in-house design team creates custom interiors for clients. Cotton Ball Lamps ul. Chmielna 27/31, cottonballlights.pl Offering 40 different varieties and colors of cotton-wrapped bulbs, these simple lights stand to transform your living space with their soft, gentle glow. Highly adaptable, and capable of slotting into any context, overhauling the whole mood of your home has never been easier… Magazyn Praga ul. Mińska 25 (Soho Factory), magazynpraga.pl A visit to this home design store is guaranteed to transform your apartment. Showcasing emerging Polish talent, the items here are not without humor: ceramic French bulldogs are particularly popular. The Warsaw-themed photo montages by artist Katarzyna Osipowicz are riveting, and a surefire conversation starter. Take a Nap ul. Mysia 3 This two floor shop is full of bedtime accessories like comfy sheets, pillows, comforters and blankets, plus fun bits of furniture that merge the modern with a country living twist. Downstairs there’s a broader selection of bed frames, couches and mattresses.
malls & department stores 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 Atelier Mokotowska 63 ul. Mokotowska 63 Four levels of high end
fashion, with Woolrich, Mason’s, Lardini, Boglioli, Borelli and Seventy all represented. Intimate, discreet and above all luxurious. Blind Concept Store ul. Mokotowska 63/100, tel. 501 770 661 From established international names to upcoming local designers, consider Blind your one-stop fashion solution. Find it all from eclectic jewelry from Anka Krsytyniak and Chocokate, eyewear from Cheap Monday and Woodyglasses, killer heels from United Nude and Melissa & Vivienne Westwood, etc Galeria KEN Center/E. Leclerc (Ursynów) ul. Ciszewskiego 15, tel. 22 389 8600, open Mon-Thur 10:00-21:00; Sun 10:00-20:00. kencenter.pl Galeria Mokotów ul. Wołoska 12, tel. 22 541 4141, open Mon-Sat 10:00-22:00; Sun 10:00-21:00, Klif House of Fashion ul. Okopowa 58/72, tel. 22 531 4500, open Mon-Sat 09:00-21:00; Sun 10:00-20:00. klif.pl Warsaw’s original luxury shopping center has everything from the excellent Alma supermarket to top boutiques that include Max Mara, Paul & Shark and Pinko. Plac Unii ul. Puławska 2, tel. 22 204 0499, open Mon-Sat 10:00-21:00; Sun 10:00-20:00, placunii.pl Warsaw’s latest mall counts Armani Jeans, Liu-Jo and Pandora amongst its
upmarket tenants. Mysia 3 ul. Mysia 3, tel. 603 767 574, open Mon-Sat 10:00-20:00; Sun 12:00-18:00, mysia3. pl Hip department store that’s seen a few tenants come and go, yet has remained on the cutting edge in spite of it all. Set in Poland’s former censorship office, the line-up includes Scandinavian fashion in Cos, shoes from My Paris, unconventional fashion from Nenukko and more. Vitkac Wolf Bracka Vitkac, ul. Bracka 9, tel. 22 310 7313, open Mon-Sat 11:00-21:00; Sun 11:00-18:00, likusconceptstore.pl Vitkac was made for with a credit card blitz in mind. Poland’s first luxury department store gathers the world’s top designers under one roof, with brands including Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton, Stella McCartney and Rick Owens. And that’s the tip of the iceberg. Finish with dinner in the top floor Concept 13. Wola Park (Wola) ul. Górczewska 124, tel. 22 533-4000, open Mon-Sat 10:00-21:00; Sun 10:00-20:00, wolapark.com Złote Tarasy ul. Złota 59, tel. 22 222 2200, open Mon-Sat 9:00-22:00; Sun 9:00-21:00, zlotetarasy.pl Over 200 stores, restaurants and cafes, plus the Multikino cinema and the Pure Jatomi Health and Fitness Club.
made to measure suits and shirts Suits from 2600 PLN Shirts from 400 PLN
ul. Sienna 39 tel. 22 243 7377 www.vanthorn.pl www.warsawinsider.pl
family activities Barwy Muzyki ul. Niecała 14, tel. 22 188 18 27, barwymuzyki.pl This informal music school, with highly qualified teachers experienced in the Colour Strings program, acknowledges not every child will be a professional musician but that playing, listening and singing to music is an asset to their development. Group or individual lessons on piano, violin, guitar, cello and flute for 6-12yrs.
Tackling the family living quarters can be more rewarding than going to the gym. CARAMELLA (en.caramella.pl) Whether you’re expecting a baby, updating a child’s room or buying for a friend, be prepared for a broody moment here! With exquisitely tailor-made interiors, Caramella present a lifestyle that’s as dreamy as its name. Whether it’s a Boy or Girl does not determine the design options available, instead the androgynous color scheme makes you want everything. Albeit a tad pricier than IKEA, at Caramella you are investing in something beautiful, timeless and made with love in Poland. BRUSH (sklepbrush.pl) If you struggle to part with old furnishings but want a fresh new look then visit Canadian-born Sherri MacDonald at her Konstancin-based furniture restoration store. Find a ready-made bargain, bring a family heirloom for a revamp or ask her to source furniture from your favorite period. She will personalize the piece for you using specialized furniture paints and local reupholsters. If you prefer to DIY, check her easy-to-use paints or learn the tricks of the trade by joining one of her workshops. BOOMINI (boomini.com) Because dolls need good design too, the people at Boomini have created beautiful, designer doll’s houses with plenty of attention to detail. While Ken relaxes on a Bauhaus inspired chair, Barbie can soak in a ceramic free-standing oval bathtub! All that’s missing is a shrinking potion so we can all move in! Boomini are based in Kraków but frequent Warsaw’s designer markets. All products are made in Poland and are available online. (GBB)
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
Fryzjerkowo ul. Foksal 12/14, tel. 22 827 2744, open Mon-Fri 10:00-19:00; Sat 10:00-18:00, fryzjerkowo.pl This 100% child friendly hair salon with jungle theme interior will guarantee no tears! Whilst having their locks chopped children sit in a toy car and watch a favorite DVD. Mum can peruse the retro toys and classic books on sale. Owner speaks excellent English. Advance booking recommended. Fundacja Atelier ul. Foksal 11, 22 826 8813 or 22 826 9589, open Mon-Fri 10:00- 20:00, Sat 9:30-20:30, atelier.org.pl Situated in an atmospheric 19th century building this foundation organizes affordable/flexible workshops to develop and inspire art education and creative skills (painting/drawing/sculpture/art history) for children, young people and adults. Gym Generation ul. Wybrzeże Gdyńskie 4 (Centrum Olimpijskie, floor 4), tel. 502 092 695, gymgeneration.pl A professionally developed curriculum that offers your child a range of experiences, providing new and exciting activities each time and engaging them in physical challenges, a variety of games and
PHOTOGRAPH BY GILL BOELMAN-BURROWS
NEW YEAR: NEW LOOK
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, 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.
listings / family team puzzles. There’s a maximum of 15 kids to a class, with one instructor for every five children. Guitar Classes Tel. 732 860 825, arekniezgoda@hotmail. com Private guitar lessons either at your place or in a private studio in Wilanów. Classic, acoustic and electric guitar taught by Arek, a 35-year old teacher who covers most styles from classic to pop/rock. Previous work experience includes teaching in private music schools in California and at The British School of Warsaw. Both kids and adults are welcome. Hangar 646 ul. Wał Miedzeszyński 646, hangar646.pl Children with excessive energy levels should head to Hangar 646. Located in a former airport hangar, the 2,700 sq/m of trampoline space includes a swimming pool of sponges. Children from three years old are welcome to let off steam, with instructors available to teach acrobatics and suchlike; or you can just bounce off walls! 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, 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. Little Chef ul. Bałuckiego 30/1, tel. 501 093 691, 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.
Mums & Tots mumsandtots.pl A volunteer group for 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. Zachęta Gallery Pl. Małachowskiego 3, tel. 22 556 9600, open Tue-Sun 12:00-20:00, 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, aswarsaw.org American School of Warsaw provides a rich, meaningful and balanced educational experience through age-appropriate
activities to students aged 3 to 5. For further information and/or to visit our school, contact:firstname.lastname@example.org or 22 702 85 00. The British Primary School of Wilanów ul. Hlonda 12, bsww.pl, tel. 781 988 000 BSW is a new, independent British curriculum school in the suburb of Wilanow. In 2015-16, the school is operating from age 2 up to British Year 3 (US 2nd Grade); applications are open up to Year 6 (5th Grade) for 2016-17. In 2017, the Secondary School will open its doors. The curriculum is broad, balanced and carefully focused on enhancing progress and achievement against clear criteria. Pupils can, if they wish, also receive Polish diplomas from Year 2.
The British School Early Years Centre ul. Dąbrowskiego 84 (Early Years Centre), tel. 22 646 7777, british@thebritishschool. pl, 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 British School of Warsaw in Wilanów ul. Hlonda / Ledóchowskiej, tel. 781 988 000, bsww.pl BSW is a new, independent British curriculum school in the suburb of Wilanów. In 2015-16, the school is operating
The Little Gym ul. Bruzdowa 56 & ul. Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 45, tel. 22 842 0728, thelittlegym.eu 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.
listings / family from age 2 up to British Year 3 (US 2nd Grade); applications are open up to Year 6 (5th Grade) for 2016-17. In 2017, the Secondary School will open its doors. The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum is rich and balanced, benefiting from the school’s location on the edge of rolling fields. The Canadian School of Warsaw Preschool ul. Ignacego Krasickiego 53, tel. 697 979 100, email@example.com 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 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, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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, 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, theenglishplayhouse.com The English Playhouse functions in two green and quiet residential districts of Mokotów and Wilanów. The pre-school follows the English National Curriculum and accepts children from 12 months up till six-years-old. For more info or to arrange a tour of the pre-school or nursery call Justyna Nowak on tel. 784 037 808 or email: email@example.com
The International Preschool of Warsaw ul. Kalatowki 24, tel. 22 843 0964, ipw. edu.pl IPW is located in a residential area of Mokotów, within walking distance of Królikarnia as well as both tram and metro lines. Children from 2.5 to 6 years old are welcome. English is the language spoken and breakfast, lunch and snacks are provided during the day. Children also have the opportunity to participate in gymnastics,
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listings / family music, art and drama classes. IPW serves the international community and prepares children for international education. Happy Montessori House Warsaw Montessori Pre-school, ul. Rumiana 14, tel. 22 423 50 75, mob. 697 060 504, open 7.30-17:00, hmh.com.pl The Happy Montessori House offers part-time and fulltime 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, mapletreemontessori.pl Maple Tree Montessori 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. Międzynarodowa Szkoła Podstawowa Argonaut ul. Radarowa 6, tel. 504 509 504, open Mon-Fri 7.30-18:00, argonaut.edu.pl This elementary school is open for children of all nationalities and backgrounds. It places a focus on learning English as well as additional languages, and has an attractive list of available extracurricular activities. Montessori Academy for International Children ul. Królewicza Jakuba 36 (Wilanów), open Mon-Fri 8:00-16:15, ul. Sadowa 4 (Konstancin), Open 8:00-16:45, tel. 502 315 022, montessoriacademy.eu An English-speaking pre-school (16 months to 6 years of age) with two locations. The school’s policy is to comply with Montessori standards, using the Montessori Method in English. The school’s philosophy is based on the joy of learning, which comes from discovering and furthering the individual
development of each child. Primrose Bilingual Preschool ul. Bernardyńska 16A lok U7, tel. 22 415 8500, primrose.edu.pl Following the ‘immersion’ method, each class has two teachers – one Polish-speaking, the other English. Through this children have all-day contact with different languages, absorbing them in everyday situations. In accordance with the hands-on methodology, children also take part in daily workshops ranging from kitchen science to art and craft classes. 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, 3languages. pl The only trilingual pre-school and nursery teaching English, Spanish and Polish through C total language immersion. All educators are native speaker pre-school teachers.M The comprehensive curriculum follows American, Spanish and Polish curriculum standards. Y The pre-school was awarded European CM Language Label in 2012.
American School of Warsaw ul. Warszawska 202 (Konstancin-Jeziorna), tel. 22 702 85 00, aswarsaw.org ASW is a premier college-preparatory international school that offers a PK-12 curriculum, including the IB Diploma 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: firstname.lastname@example.org or 22 702 85 00.
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. www.warsawinsider.pl
listings / family
The English Primary ul. Rzodkiweki 18, tel. 784 037 808, email@example.com An English primary school designed to prepare children for their next steps in education in a friendly, caring and nurturing environment. We take children from the international community through the key learning stages so that they achieve to the best of their best ability through a fun learning experience.
The Canadian School of Warsaw Elementary School ul. Bełska 7, tel. 692 411 573, admission@canadian-school. pl, 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 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.
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The Canadian School of Warsaw Middle School ul. Olimpijska 11, tel. 885 420 044 / 885 620 066, firstname.lastname@example.org, canadian-school.pl Provides a continuation of PREIB 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. Also home to the Non-Public PsychoPedagogical Counseling Centre ‘Olimpia’ (tel. 885 620 066) which examines the level of mental, emotional, auditory and visual-motor functions’ development, and conducts individual and group pedagogical therapy, as well as individual psychotherapy..
Ecole Antoine de Saint-Exupery ul. Nobla 16, tel. 22 616 14 99, saint-exupery. 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. Warsaw Montessori School ul. Szwoleżerów 4, tel. 22 841 3908, email@example.com,
warsawmontessori.edu.pl Focuses on the Montessori curriculum with an education based on the integration of conceptual learning and real-life experiences.
cafes Figa z Makiem (Saska Kępa) ul. Walecznych 64, tel. 512 939 001, open Mon-Sat 10.30-19:00, Sun 11:00-19:00, figazmakiem.edu.pl One of the latest and greatest addition to the growing roster of Warsaw kid cafes. Do some well selected designer kids shopping while waiting, or simply browse the books and toys section while your little ones romp in the kids room. Fiku Miku ul. Zwycięzców 32, tel. 692 448 112, open Mon-Fri 10:00-20:00; Sat-Sun 11:00-20:00, 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; SatSun 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
listings / family 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! Kopytko Mamuta ul. Boya-Żeleńskiego 2, kopytkomamuta.pl The creation of Kopytko Mamuta plugs a gap in the market, with beautifully cobbled shoes that are, in the words of the owner Agnieszka, ‘the essence of Parisian chic’. Specializing in trendy kicks from the likes of Mercredi Apres Midi, it’s the ultimate spoiler for your budding style maven and her little Prince Charming. Nabo ul. Zakręt 8, tel. 22 842 0256, open Mon-Fri 8:00-21:30; Sat-Sun 9:00-21:30, nabocafe.pl Nabo is run by a Danish couple and its light and minimalist interior – designed by those who created R20 – lends itself to every occasion. But aside from its tasty and seasonal dishes, it’s the children’s corner that is causing the biggest commotion. Nowa Kuźnia (Wilanów) ul. Stanisława Kostki-Potockiego 24, tel. 500 200 200, open Mon-Fri 12:0022:00; Sat-Sun 11:00-22:00, nowakuznia. pl Hugely child friendly, Nowa Kuźnia comes into its element each summer when the garden is turned into a giant faux beach – complete with diggers, slides and a see-saw. Peek-a-boo ul. Karola Chodkiewicza 7, tel. 22 370 21 71,
open Mon-Sun 10:00-20:00 The pale palette and plush velvet upholstered furniture might not be the first choice of fabrics around sticky, chocolaty paws but every mummy needs a bit of luxury from time-to-time. The café divides its limited square meters evenly between parent and child expectations, creating space to relax, eat and play in: however, the gigantic doll’s house does suggest Barbie got the best deal. Umpa Lumpa ul. Mickiewicza 24, tel. 22 245 1909, open Mon-Sun 10:00-21:00. umpa-lumpa.pl Bit part café, most part candy store. Colorfully designed, shelves here feature an array of rainbow colored lollipops, sweets and chocolate. Spoil your toddler, and yourself while you’re there.
shops Bimbus ul. Wilcza 69, tel. 22 628 5140, open 10:00-18:00; Sat 10:00-14:00. bimbus. com.pl Accessories, clothes, furniture and toys for parents who pamper their child with nothing but the best. Brands include Tartine et Chocolat, Quax, Woodwork and Theophile & Patachou. Endo endo.pl Endo is the original home of quality children’s wear that embraced great design by Polish artists and accompanied it with Pol-
ish slogans. Much of the materials used are organic, hardwearing and wash well. Lullaby Multiple locations, 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 10:0014:00. 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. Muppetshop ul. Kazimierzowska 43, tel. 532 689 212, muppetshop.pl An innovative concept store that offers a wide range of brands and products targeted at young people – babies, juniors, teenagers. The portfolio includes full-service for expecting parents as well as complete interior projects (from 0 to the first-owned apartment). On top of that expect a wealth of other design products (kitchen accessories, decorations, toys, bags, books etc.) from carefully selected brands such as Quax, Lodger, Chispum, Shnuggle, Collegien, Jielde, Gubi and many more besides. It all serves to make it the No. 1 spot for your youngsters shopping.
health & beauty cycling stores & service Bikeman Al. Wyzwolenia 14, bikeman.pl On-road, x-road and off-road bikes, with brands including Alpina, Burley, Ergon and Giant. Accessories include helmets, gloves, backpacks plus everything you need to revive your bike if it passes out. Galeria Sztuki Rowerowej ul. Widok 10, tel. 507 202 572 Glorious bikes, many of them vintage, and many of them in colors that’ll make you the talk of the town. Not just affordable prices, they also promise to fix your bike for free should it suddenly conk out.
INDOOR PURSUITS BGZ ARENA / VELODROME (ul. Andrzeja 1, arenapruszkow.pl) Bring a cycling helmet and you too can tear around the 250 meter track in Pruszków’s velodrome. Bike hire possible, with spins priced at approximately at zł. 40 per hour. CENTRUM GOLF (ul. Burakowska 15, centrumgolf.pl) Fulfill the dream of playing at Pebble Beach or Torrey Pines by booking a tee-time on one of Centrum Golf’s HD golf simulators. Added benefits include instant analysis and data to improve your game. FLY SPOT (Wspólna Droga 1, Mory, flyspot.com) Ever wanted to know what it’s like to fly? As in really fly?? Find out inside a vertical wind tunnel where fans whirring at a speed of up to 310 km/hr will send you shooting up in the air.
Kettler ul. Okopowa 56, tel. 22 826 3541, pl.kettler.net The world-renowned Kettler brand brings the full extent of their offer to Warsaw. On the bike front that means mountain bikes, city and their innovative e-bikes. This being Kettler, find also numerous other products to contribute to your active lifestyle. Wygodny Rower Various locations, tel. 888 498 498, wygodnyrower.pl Bike store and service center chain dealing with city bikes, fixed gear, single speed and road bikes. A huge range of bikes, running from Abus to Zefal via manufacturers such as Pashley, Fuji and Adriatica.
HANGAR 646 (pictured) (ul. Wał Miedzeszyński 646, hangar646.pl) So named due to its previous incarnation as a place where aeroplanes sleep, Hangar 646 touts 50 interlinked trampolines, a ping pong zone, ball pools and even a snowboard slide where visitors hurtle down a ramp before splashing down on an inflatable mattress.
Fitness Centre at the Radisson SAS Centrum Hotel ul. Grzybowska 24, tel. 22 321 8888 Smallish but well-regarded gym with swimming pool, sauna, gym, and group classes inside one of Warsaw’s top five stars.
HOBBY KICKER Join the expat football team that meets each week (and sometimes more) on the 3G pitches at Centrum Futbolu Warszawianka (ul. Merliniego 2). All nationalities and levels of skills welcome. Search for Hobby Kicker – Warsaw on Facebook for details.
Fitness Centre at the Sheraton Hotel ul. Prusa 2, tel. 22 450 6701, www.sheraton.com/warsaw The Sheraton spa features sauna, steam room and massage, while the gym comes with LCD-fitted running and cycling machines, and a dedicated cardio
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listings / health & beauty section. Personal training available, as are group classes covering pilates, yoga, aerobics and even ski conditioning. Holmes Place Energy Al. Jana Pawła II 82 (C.H. Arkadia), ul. Wołoska 12 (Galeria Mokotów), www. holmesplace.pl Making top-flight gym facilities available to the masses, the Holmes Place Energy brand offers high standard equipment, personal training and group classes. Six month membership available for approx. zł. 200 per month, though prices are subject to change. For latest details enquire direct.
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.
Holmes Place Premium ul. Belwederska 23 (Regent 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. There’s two more ‘premium’ gyms to choose from, including the one in the Marriott immortalized after Obama’s recent work out there.
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.).
Little Gym ul. Bruzdowa 56, tel. 22 842 0728, www.thelittlegym.pl Targeted at children, 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. Englishspeaking, as well.
ArtDental ul. Łucka 18, tel. 22 654 3006, artdental.pl Well-known among expats, ArtDental’s service is widely praised for its honest service and moderate prices. English speaking and moderately priced.
McFit ul. Świętokrzyska 3 (corner of Nowy Świat), tel. 22 313 1400, mcfit.com The budget European chain signals its arrival to Poland with a 2,000 sq/m studio that utilizes the latest technology as well as ‘cyber training’ programs. Open 24/7, with membership from zł. 89 per month. 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 machines, innovative forms of group activi-
ties (Booiaka, Hot Yoga, Pure Pump, Pure Fire and Wah Gwan Dancehall) and professional personal trainers schooled in nutrition and the healthy lifestyle.
Aster Med ul. Św. Bonifacego 92, tel. 22 858 0354, www.astermed.pl Aster Med, while billing itself as a center of orthodontics and implantology, is really the full service with 14 dentists and 4 orthodontists and implant surgeons. DeClinic ul. Bernardyńska 16A, tel. 22 112 0400, declinic.pl Regarded as one of the most modern clinics in Europe, amongst other innovations DeClinic have swapped the traditional drilling process in favor of abrasive sandblaster – perfect for kids or those afraid of the dentist. DentaLux ul. Racławicka 31 & Puławska 257, tel. 22 787 878, dentalux.pl English-
speaking service available, as well as 24hr emergency consultations. EuroDental Various locations, tel. 22 380 7000, eurodental.pl English-speaking dentists on request. Lacking the ‘boutique’ charm of some of Warsaw’s more modish clinics, the service here is both efficient and moderately priced. Elektoralna Dental Clinic ul. Elektoralna 28, tel. 22 620 2140, elektoralna.pl State-of-the-art dental clinic featuring Poland’s first dental tomograph. Languages spoken include English, German, Spanish and Arabic. Malo Clinic Domaniewska 37, tel. 22 393 6333, 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. Odent ul. Nowoursynowska 145E (entry from ul. Rosoła) & ul. Duchnicka 3, tel. 22 405 4430, odent.pl Dubbed ‘the clinic with a heart’, Odent’s personal approach is complimented by expert staff and the latest and most advanced treatments and equipment. English-speaking service also available.
medical clinics Lux Med Medical Clinics Various locations, see website for details: www.luxmed.pl Medicover Various locations, see website for details: medicover.pl Hugely popular amongst ex-pats, Medicover offer a wide range of membership schemes for both private and corporate clients. The jewel in their crown is a state-of-the-art hospital in the Wilanów district. Therapy Warsaw ul. Filtrowa 69/13, tel. 601 532 319, www.therapywarsaw.com English-speaking therapy for couples and individuals dealing with relationships, eating disorders, trauma, stress and much more besides. Warszawskie Centrum Zdrowia ul. Nowogrodzka 76, tel. 22 857 3014, www.warsawinsider.pl
listings / health & beauty www.wcz.waw.pl Specializes in the prevention, early detection and treatment of cardiovascular disease.
spas & salons 0
Bali Spa ul. Nowy Świat 22, balispa.pl Let the Balinese therapists pamper you with authentic Balinese and Thai massages, full body rituals, facials, hot stone treatments, etc. inside sensual interiors filled with the mystical spirit of the East. Bartek Janusz Salon ul. Mokotowska 19 / ul. Wilcza 72, tel. 22 828 4444, www.bartekjanusz.pl The staff here takes a no-nonsense approach to cutting hair – it goes along with the minimalist chic interiors of the place. According to one Insider: “I’ve never left a salon feeling so happy with my hair.” Bio.Sis Nail Spa ul. Mokotowska 26, tel. 22 621 1404. A top spot for a classic manicure or pedicure – they also do lots of complicated things with gels and other hi-tech nail discoveries. Also on Elektoralna 24. 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. Dotyk SPA ul. Biały Kamień 3, tel. 22 898 7272, open Mon-Fri 9:00-22:00; Sat 9:00-18:00, www.dotykspa.pl Probably the only place in Warsaw where you’ll get a facial yoga session. Going futher east, treat yourself to Japanese, Polynesian or Indian massage. Fiuu Fiuu Day Spa ul. Mokotowska 48, tel. 22 629 2414. A wonderful quick fix salon that makes use of the latest Ericson products and other top brands. Regarded as one of the top ladies day spas in the country.
Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
Hair a Porter ul. Belwederska 23 (Regent, 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 among the ex-pat crowd, Hair a Porter offer the ultimate hair experience utilizing talented 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 Hermit Barber Shop pl. Bankowy 1, thehermit.pl You know those London barber shops you see in 1930s film reels? That’s Hermit, a thrilling throwback right down to the barber’s pole and checkered flooring. But don’t be fooled, this is as upmarket as it gets, with top quality products and even some 16-year-old whisky with which to pair the experience. Izar Repechage ul. Moliera 1, tel. 604 209 900 or 22 827 7195, open Mon-Fri 8:00-20:00; Sat 8:0014:00, www.repechage.net.pl A gorgeous city spa which a range of treatments for the whole body. Komiks ul. Radna 12, tel. 881 436 056, komiks.waw. pl You know those weird haircuts that people like David Bowie and Lady Gaga have? Well, here’s the place to make that ultimate fashion statement and get one yourself. Henna art, manicure / pedicure also offered. La Perla multiple locations inc. Łowicka 21B/1, Wilcza 22A, Hilton Hotel, klinikalaperla.pl Here, the staff is adept and certified at a range of innovative treatments: from the non-invasive Bella Contour treatment to the Body Tite and Body Jet treatments that use the latest surgical procedures to slim and tighten. For summer the right spa/salon/clinic is key. La Perla’s all three in one! La Plata ul. Wielicka 42, tel. 517 576 667, laplataspa.pl Manual and mechanized massage in a relaxed space inspired by Buddhist philosophy. Treatments include herbal stamp Thai massage and hot coconut oil massage amongst others.
Le Spa ul. Mokotowska 55, tel. 22 622 9428, open Mon-Fri 9:00-21:00, Sat 9:00-16:00. This little island of peace and beauty takes you light-years away from the bustle of Warsaw. Pardon My French ul. Belwederska 32, tel. 22 240 6290, pardonmyfrench.pl The equipment here is state-of-the art, particularly the massage chairs for indulgent pedicures. While gel tips and all that hybrid stuff is all the rage now, it might be more prudent to get a classic mani/pedi to avoid beauty emergencies when you’re drifting in the middle of the Mediterranean on P. Diddy’s yacht. 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. Rostowski Barber Shop ul. Koszykowa 58, rostowskibarbershop.pl A true celebration of the vintage barber shop, Rostowski have the ambiance nailed to a tee thanks to a crew that’s ready for banter and an interior replete with jack-up chairs, glinting zinc and restored floor tiles. Retro Day Spa Al. Ujazdowskie 18/11, no. 311, tel. 22 622 03 69, www.retrodayspa.pl Royally indulgent interiors hark back to a different century, though the treatments are all hi-tech and include packages for pregnant women among the variety of beauty offers. Spearside ul. Grzybowski 63, spearside.pl A male spa / salon offering massage, manicure, scrubs, physiotherapy and a range of treatments aimed at improving your ‘quality of life’. More modern-looking than the rest, hair and grooming solutions are provided by Maciej, a barber of exceptional talent. 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.
in the city
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Just what does the Insider get up to during the day… and night? See for yourself on Instagram – join our patrols around the city for a voyeuristic stream of odds and ends: food porn, design nuggets, architectural gems, incidental animals and those eccentric imperfections that make Warsaw special…
listings / in the city VISITORS accomodation 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.h15ab.com Hilton Warsaw ul. Grzybowska 63, tel. 22 356 5555 / 800 44 11 482, www.hilton.com 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 Regent Warsaw Hotel ul. Belwederska 23, tel. 22 558 1234, email@example.com, www.regent-warsaw.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
Sofitel Warsaw Victoria ul. Królewska 11, tel. 22 657 8011, www.sofitel-victoria-warsaw.com
Westin Al. Jana Pawła II 21, tel. 22 450 8000, www.westin.pl
Airport Hotel Okęcie ul. 17-ego Stycznia 24, tel. 22 456 8000, www.airporthotel.com.pl Hampton by Hilton ul. Wspólna 72, tel. 22 317 2700, hamptoninn3.hilton.com Radisson Blu Sobieski pl. Zawiszy 1, tel. 22 579 1000, www.sobieski.com.pl Mecure Warszawa Centrum ul. Złota 48/54, tel. 22 697 3999, www.mercure.com Mercure Grand Warszawa ul. Krucza 28, tel. 22 583 2100, www.mercure.com 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, www.poloniapalace.com Warsaw Plaza Hotel ul. Łączyny 5, tel. 885 886 100, www. warsawplazahotel.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 service, maid service etc. 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.
Between Us Bed & Breakfast
100 Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
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 Chmielna Guesthouse ul. Chmielna 13, tel. 22 828 1282, www.chmielnabb.pl
RESIDENTS relocation companies Express Relocations ul. Szyszkowa 35/37, tel. 22 878 3539, www.expressrelocations.com Euro Move International Movers ul. Kineskopowa 1, Piaseczno, tel. 22 716 5566, www.euromove.pl AGS Warsaw ul. Julianowska 37, Piaseczno, tel. 22 702 1072, www.agsmovers.com CorstJens Worldwide Movers Group ul. Nowa 23, Stara Iwiczna, tel. 22 737 7200, www.corstjens.com DuX Consulting Agency ul. Panieńska 9/28, tel. 22 670 4280 or 502 216 606 www.duxconsulting.com.pl Express Relocations ul. Szyszkowa 35/37, tel. 22 878 3535, www.expressrelocations.com Euro Move International Movers ul. Kineskopowa 1, Piaseczno, tel. 22 716 5566, www.euromove.pl Interdean International Relocation ul. Geodetów 172, Piaseczno, tel. 22 701 7171, www.interdean.com
Move One Relocations ul. Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79, tel. 22 630 8160, www.moveonerelo.com Also immigration assistance, fine art shipping, pet transport and consulting services.
listings / in the city from all over the world. The bookshop is of particular interest for artists and intellectuals. Relo Planet ul. Lwowska 5, tel. 22 658 1958, reloplanet. com International and domestic removals, transport and logistics solutions including office and individual moves, diplomatic posts, small shipments, storage and artwork.
polish for foreigners Klub Dialogu ul. Ordynacka 13/5, tel. 664 788 004, klubdialogu.pl Outstanding programs for foreigners living in Poland offer a variety of courses aimed at every level. Using over ten years of experience, the leaning process becomes an adventure at Klub Dialogu.
Museum of Life Under Communism ul. Glucha, adventurewarsaw.com Run by the excellent Adventure Warsaw tour guide company, the Museum of Communist Life brings together aspects of communist life through dioramas that present typical living quarters of the time and a milk bar. Displays are numerous and quirky, and include a restored Saturator machine, a collection of commie hoovers, not to mention medals from the owner’s own family. A must see! Polin - Museum of the History of Polish Jews ul. Anielewicza 6, polin.pl Composed of eight galleries, each covers a different stage of local Jewish history, from the middle ages to the present day. Covering 4,000 sq/m, highlights of this museum include a staggeringly beautiful replica of the ceiling of Gwoździec synagogue, and a ‘remake’ of a typical interwar Jewish Warsaw street.
museums Copernicus Science Centre ul. Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 20, tel. 22 596 4100, kopernik.org.pl Copernicus allows visitors to experience an earthquake, blast recyclable objects into space and become a mystery cracking detective. CSW ul. Jazdów 2, csw.art.pl Situated in a baroque-style castle the center hosts artists
Museum Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw ul. Pańska 3, artmuseum.pl Ongoing: Zofia Rydet. Record 1978-1990. Rydet’s ‘Sociological Record’ comprises around 20,000 photographs from more than one hundred villages and towns located mainly in the Polish regions of Podhale, Upper Silesia and Suwałki area. Ongoing: Julius Koller. “?” One of the most important Slovak artists of
his generation. The exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw presents a new appraisal of this iconic figure of postwar European art. National Museum Al. Jerozolimskie 3, 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. The Neon Museum ul. Mińska 25 (Soho Factory), 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. Warsaw Rising Museum ul. Grzybowska 79, 1944.pl 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. Don’t miss the ‘City of Ruins’, a five minute 3D film which takes you on an aerial journey over devastated Warsaw. Zachęta National Art Gallery Pl. Małachowskiego 3, zacheta.art.pl Ongoing till Jan 10: Just After the War. This exhibition is an attempt to answer the question as to how the complicated social moods and political tensions in post-war Poland found their expression in the visual arts, photographs, film and also architecture and design.
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AT E L I E R
Down Memory Lane
Eighteen years since the Insider’s first ‘Best of’ issue, we peel back the cobwebs to bring you the key dates in our archive… 1998 The first ‘Best of’ issue! Reflecting a largely miser-
able scene, restaurants prove almost an afterthought with categories not going beyond Power Lunch, Pierogi, Vietnamese, Salads and Kebab (winner: Bosfor, “where the atmosphere will transport you right to the front lines of the fight for a free Kurdistan”). Lolek wins the vote for ‘best place for 22’, while the toilet is nominated as ‘best place for 2’. Żywiec is described as “a rich Pilsner-style lager,” and scoops the gong for ‘best beer’…
1999 Though expanded, the restaurant section still
remains thin. More write-ups for Lolek, only this time not so sympathetic: “your board members may wind up under the tender mercies of the bouncers’ pool cues or being dragged through open bonfires by pink-slipped psychopaths…”
2002 Who remembers Ground Zero! That’s named ‘best
pick-up bar’, a club where “drooling men of all shapes and sizes move in on their glittering prey,” and “the best place to pick-up without the trouble of stalking…”
2003 Notable for the inclusion of ‘Worst of Warsaw’ boxes. For instance, scariest park (Lasek Bielański): “with a wild dingo reputedly living there, and a head recently found in a backpack, it’s eerie enough in the daytime. You really don’t want to find yourself there after dark...” Showing how far times have come, the Russian Market in the now bulldozed stadium is singled out as the ‘best market’: “the stadium
104 Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2016
is the underbelly of Warsaw’s westernization and might not survive Poland’s membership of the EU. Its demise would be a boon to record companies, but a blow to anyone who wants this city to retain a spirit independent of the hypermarkets.” Quite.
2007 We spot a category for ‘best no smoking restaurant’
(Biosfeera). “The non-smoking sections in Polish restaurants seems to be defined only by the lack of an ashtray on the table… it’s a joy to find a restaurant where you can enjoy good food without a blue cloud closing in on you and your meal.” How times change.
2008 La Rotisserie claims ‘best international restaurant’:
“one of Warsaw’s best-kept secrets… that’s because chef Paweł Oszczyk doesn’t do cooking shows nor endorse washing powder.” Still true. Platinium, meanwhile, is best club: “the more its reputation grows, the more people are clamouring to get a taste of that Platinium shine. It’ll be interesting to see if anyone ever manages to nudge it out of first place.” It’s still going strong.
2012 Atelier Amaro sweeps the key categories (chef, new
restaurant, modern Polish), dominating the awards in a way no-one has seen before: “the bottom line is food will never taste the same again – these will not be the last awards Atelier ever wins.” The following year, a Michelin star arrives in the post…
This issue the Insider celebrates the top restaurants and bars in the city in our annual Best of Warsaw edition.