Underground Sounds page 20
Moving? page 29
April 04 price zĹ‚.10 INDEKS 334901 ISSN:1643-1723
(VAT 8% included)
UP, UP & AWAY! Emilia on the move? p. 16
APRIL 2016 Editor-in-chief Alex Webber
firstname.lastname@example.org Art Director Kevin Demaria email@example.com
Opener 7 News 8 Beer Festival 10 Bar Culture 12 Public Space 14
Emilia Building 16 Cruising Krucza 20 Alternative Music 24 Going Vegan 29
Warsaw Insider | APRIL 2016
Alex Webber firstname.lastname@example.org
Neighborhood 41 Restaurants 48 Cafes & Wine Bars 80 Nightlife 85 Shopping 94 Family 99 Health & Beauty 104 In the City 107
Prosta Forma 32 BrewDog 33 Restaurant Week 33 Bullerbyn 34
Warsandsawa 35 Machinarium 33
The latest marketplace news from the Warsaw Insider’s friends and advertisers… 36
Map 110 Looking Back 112
Contributors: Gill Boelman-Burrows Stuart Dowell Maria Mileńko Michał Miszkurka Ed Wight Advertising Manager Jowita Malich email@example.com enior Key Account Manager S A. Julita Pryzmont firstname.lastname@example.org ey Account Manager K Agata Sicińska 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 VALKEA MEDIA S.A., ul. Elbląska 15/17, Warszawa, Poland; tel. (48 22) 639 8567; fax (48 22) 639 8569; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Information is accurate as of press time. We apologise for any errors, but cannot be held responsible for inaccuracies. All information ©2016 Warsaw Insider.
on the cover Up, up and away! With plans afoot to relocate Emilia, our cover artist celebrates what could be the last days of this legendary structure. (Illustration by Michał Miszkurka)
PHOTOGRAPH BY KEVIN DEMARIA
My favorite moment of last month crept up unannounced. I was on the tram, heading back from Saska, and all was silent besides the belligerent bellow of the No. 7’s obligatory madman. Having zipped past the stadium, itself glinting gloriously, it was there that I saw them on the beach down below: people. Not the thousands that swarmed the sands during the wild days of summer, but people nonetheless: dozens of matchstick figures standing under a sky so impossibly clear and blue you’d suspect it had been Photoshopped. That was when I realized that Warsaw’s second life, spring, had begun. If that was my favorite day though, it wasn’t my favorite night. That’d be the evening the Insider went underground to discover the alternative sounds of Warsaw or, maybe, the time we chanced upon three of the smallest bars in town. Find the story of both in this month’s mag. Alongside that, we’ve also placed Krucza street on the dissection slab, gone vegan and explored the latest twist to the Emilia saga. See you next time!
Publisher Morten Lindholm email@example.com
CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN MEN FAY GIANVITO ROSSI MEN KENZO MONCLER ONE TEASPOON RALPH LAUREN TOD’S TORY BURCH VALENTINO VICTORIA BECKHAM BURBERRY CHILDREN DOLCE & GABBANA KIDS DSQUARED2 KIDS KENZO KIDS MONCLER KIDS RALPH LAUREN KIDS TOD’S KIDS
Parkrun Every Sat, 9:00 @ Praga (Park Skaryszewski), Ursynów (park next to Bazantarnia), Żoliborz (Kępa Potocka park), Bródno (Park Bródnowski) Improve your run time by participating in the 5k Parkrun held across four locations each Saturday. Unlike the timed races you get in Warsaw, taking part in this one is free of charge. For info see: parkrun.pl
Targ Śniadaniowy Sat or Sun @ various locations Much more than the breakfast market it modestly bills itself as, this magical open air / covered spot is a bit of everything: a food market, a picnic, even a place to get your bike fixed. Locations: Żoliborz, Powiśle, Ursynów and Mokotów. For further info, see: targsniadaniowy.pl
WTF 18th Birthday!
One to Watch Michael Gira Known for his work with Swans, this pioneering singer/songwriter will be captivating audiences in Pardon, To Tu over a 2-night run. 4-5 April, Pardon, To Tu, pl. Grzybowski 12/16
1 April, 21:00 @ Warsaw Tortilla Factory, ul. Wilcza 46 Has it really been that long? The city’s favorite ex-pat bar marks the occasion of their 18th birthday with a blow-out to remember. Live music, DJs and a dawn finish look certain. Free admission
Warsaw Beer Festival 7-9 April @ Legia Stadium, ul. Łazienkowska 3 For a full preview see p. 10 or keep up-to-date with the latest news from the organizers at: warszawskifestiwalpiwa.pl Tickets zł. 10 @ eventim.pl
Chippendales 9 April @ Stodola, ul. Batorego 10 One for the ladies! The world famous, greased-up hunks will be performing in Warsaw as part of their global Break The Rules tour. Tickets zł. 110 @ eventim.pl
Food Truck Festival 9-10 April @ National Stadium The food trucks are out of hibernation!
Warsaw Insider | APRIL 2016
Marking the start of the new ‘food truck season’, this two-day event already has 80 vendors signed up to appear. Free admission
PIW 8th Birthday 23 April, 20:00 @ XOXO is here, ul. M. Konopnickiej 6 Warsaw’s premier international networking group, Professionals in Warsaw, celebrate their eighth year of life with their biggest event to date – one featuring live music, free food and drink and their own awards ceremony. For further details, look for them on Facebook.
Adam Lambert 30 April, 20:00 @ Torwar, ul. Łazienkowska 6 Catapulted into the limelight as a result of the 2009 American Idol series, Lambert has enjoyed the big time ever since. His Warsaw appearance is part of a wider global tour that takes in Europe, Asia and the United States. Ticket news unavailable at press time
Afrykamera Film Festival 19-24 April @ Kinoteka, Pl. Defilad 1 (PKiN) The 11th Afrykamera festival presents a range of new wave African cinema, as well as discussions and miscellaneous gatherings to accompany the films that make up the core of this event. For a full schedule check: afrykamera.pl
Earth Day 22 April, 10:00 @ Pole Mokotowskie Lasting through the day, this annual eco-minded event features workshops, food stalls, recycling stations and all manner of displays and exhibits across the grounds of Pole Mokotowskie. Free admission, for details: dzienziemi.org.pl
Marathon 24 April, 10:00 @ National Stadium The 40km run begins at the Stadium before looping and criss-crossing through Warsaw. For details on registration check their website for details. For further info, see: orlenmarathon.pl
What’s hot, what’s not: the faces and stories trending around town MICHELIN IN NUMBERS
2014 The year…
Senses first opened
The year Atelier Amaro… Won Poland’s first star
The year Michelin…
First introduced stars for fine dining
The cost of a 14-course tasting menu in Senses
ILLUSTRATION BY MARIA MILEŃKO
The latest Michelin Guide to the Main Cities of Europe brought with it more good news for Warsaw: not only did Atelier Amaro retain its star for the third year running, but it was joined by another restaurant – Senses – thereby doubling the number of eateries in Poland deemed worthy of such an award. With its kitchen overseen by Andrea Camastra, an Italian former model, Senses have become a by-word for culinary thrills. “We’re honest and emotional with the food,” says Camastra, “innovative and modern yet surprisingly familiar.” The inspectors, it appears, are in full agreement. “This formal restaurant connects tradition with modernity,” gushes the latest Michelin guide, before concluding that, “of the three set menus, most opt for the 7-course dinner to best experience cooking that is innovative, creative and at times theatrical.” While the latest news marks the pinnacle of Camastra’s achievements thus far, the chef is in no way a stranger to accolades: last year saw the Gault & Millau guide name him as their ‘Chef of the Future’, while the start of 2016 saw Senses voted the capital’s top fine dining establishing in the Insider’s own Best of Warsaw annual awards. Elsewhere, both Butchery & Wine and Brasserie Warszawska held on to their Michelin ‘bibs’, whilst seven restaurants (Hoża, Strefa, Dom Polski, U Kucharzy, L’enfant Terrible, Opasły Tom and Dom Wódki) were added to the listings for the first time. (AW)
The cost of an 8-course tasting menu in Atelier Amaro
The number of stars…
That Tokyo has: a world record!
Restaurants in Poland… Listed in the guide
Restaurants in Warsaw… Listed in the guide
bits n’ pieces Unsinkable! Over 100 years since its sinking, no other maritime disaster has captivated the public in the same way as the Titanic’s ill-fated maiden voyage. Now, or at least from April 9th, locals have the chance to marvel at recovered paraphernalia at the Palace of Culture’s Titanic exhibition. Running until October 9th, highlights include various life-size reconstructions of the ship’s interior, as well as over 200 items passed down by survivors or salvaged from the bottom of the sea. For further info, check the official Polish language website: wystawatitanic.pl
Ziggy’s Żoliborz Warsaw Abroad
The City of Warsaw once again represented itself at MIPIM, the prestigious real estate fair held annually in Cannes. Increasing the size of their stand to nearly triple that of the previous year, the primary purpose was to hawk eleven parcels of land to potential investors and developers. Even so, valuable space was laid aside to promote the Polish capital as a city with a burgeoning creative side. To reach that end, a number of design firms were cherry picked to showcase their creations including: Palace of Culture socks from Wars Sawa, heart-shaped trinkets from Lilou, bespoke scents from Mo61 and Warsaw-themed puzzles from Product Place_Ment.
Warsaw Insider | APRIL 2016
Forty years after an incidental walk around Żoliborz inspired David Bowie to pen the melancholic hit Warszawa, the recent death of the Thin White Duke has seen locals rally round to commemorate the superstar’s visit to this corner of the capital. Organized by the Stacja Muranów NGO, an online poll in March saw designs chosen for a mural and a neon that would celebrate Bowie. Next: find the money! With zł. 10,600 needed for the neon, and over zł. 35,000 for the mural, steps are underway to crowdfund the initiative. For details – not to mention a list of perks that a donation will get you in return – click to: wspieram.to/david and wspieramkulture.pl
PHOTOGRAPHS FROM TOP: SHUTTERSTOCK (2), PRESS MATERIAL
Wooden Warsaw puzzle by Product Place_Ment
beer festival TICKETS: one-day passes are available on the day for zł. 10. The surprise is the queue: well-managed, orderly and fast moving! Alternatively, 3-day tickets are available for zł. 20 but must be ordered in advance via eventim.pl. Aficionados, however, will be wanting the VIP package (again, available online only). The princely sum of zł. 150 gains punters multiple day access, not to mention beer tasting sessions and a bag of festival themed goodies. VENUE: for the third time running the festival will be held inside one wing of Legia’s stadium, a place well-versed in dealing with big, boozy crowds. Rebuilt from scratch a few years back, it’s an A-class area with pristine facilities. If past events are anything to go by, visitors will be allowed to spill out into one of the stands to do their drinking (and smoking!) al fresco with grandstand views of the pitch. Actually, such is the quality of the background, you wish they’d lock the football team out and turn this into a permanent pub. THE OFFICIAL BLURB: “New wave is the new face of
brewing,” declare the organizers, “detached from tradition, unscrupulous, crazy and open to challenges… with no bullshit, we’ll show you the new school of brewing.” Hooray!
STALLS: practically every artisan brewer in Poland will be present, with pacesetters such as Artezan and AleBrowar attracting the longest queues. While lesser in number, there will also be several international brewers: Lambrate from Italy have become a festival legend, and you’ll quickly learn why. Other powerhouses such as Amager, Mikkeller, White Pony will also appear. In all, well in excess of 80 breweries are anticipated, and they’ll be showcasing over 500 different beers. With breweries still being signed-up at press time, check the festival website for the latest line-up.
FOOD: find a fleet of food trucks parked up as you walk In time for the 4th installment of the cult the turnstiles. But while it’s a diverse offer of Warsaw Beer Festival, the Insider releases its through street food, quality varies alarmingly. For a failsafe, the intel report on the city’s favorite session... Insider favors the Wurst Kiosk van. CROWD: yes, a big one. But the size of the venue means
TAXIS: getting back to the center can be a nightmare – imagine hundreds of drunk people staggering amid gridlocked traffic. Booking a cab in advance is highly recommended, though expect them to take ages to ship you out in one piece. Be prepared to walk your way out towards the center! Warszawaski Festiwal Piwa
April 7-9, ul. Łazienkowska 3, warszawskifestiwalpiwa.pl
Warsaw Insider | APRIL 2016
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALEX WEBBER
finding quiet spots to geek out over a beetroot beer is rarely a problem. The number of vendors and general thirst of the audience also keeps lines for the beer reasonably swift. In terms of actual people, that’s a good natured (and naturally chaotic) mix of lads staggering around in Viking helmets, pretty office girls trying craft beer for the first time, nerds with beards and backpacks and everyone else in between. In short, a great laugh.
The Insider discovers small is beautiful while getting down and dirty in the town’s top dive bars…
isenchanted by the repetitious nature of Warsaw’s drinkeries? That’s not much of a surprise if you’re sticking to the tried and tested paths. Yet even Nowy Świat, the principal culprit when it comes to spiritless, soul-sapping venues, is littered with outstanding secrets mere meters from the masses. But while the pavilion bars snuck through the passage at Nowy Świat 22/28 are no secret, the area has its share of tiny goldmines that easily go unnoticed. First up, take Żyrafa: sucked inside it’s green/blue glow, visitors all but collide against the bar with a swing of the door. It’s just 15 sq/m, but that doesn’t stop drinkers rolling in. “There have been some nights we’ve had 30 people in here,” says the barman, a thought that both terrifies and exhilarates in equal measure. Yet not only does it have an atmosphere, it’s as clean as crystal: a place you’d comfortably linger with (slightly) more glamorous friends.
Warsaw Insider | APRIL 2016
The same can’t be said of Pyk i Łyk. Thundering through a flimsy entry flap, customers are met by an even smaller area that’s devoid of furnishings aside from shelves of vodka and a bar that’s been painted to depict dripping blood. Yikes! Decorated with bizarre montages of hard drinking rockers (and Homer Simpson…), the place looks like it should be condemned: hold your nose and glance down the toilet for a true glimpse of hell. However, Pyk i Łyk is far from horrific. Once the initial shock factor subsides, and visitors settle into their vodka rhythm, it reveals itself as a bar of greatness. “No wi-fi,” shouts one sign, “talk to each other and get drunk.” It’s that kind of place. With shots downed, and farewells made to the Black Sabbath roadie behind the bar, cross the street to reach Ulubiona on Nowy Świat 27. Set inside the archway, look for a heavy door next to a dented ashtray seemingly unemptied for the last couple of months. Shadowy and shabby, the final bar on this crawl of the unknown is perhaps the most subdued. One barfly strums a guitar, while another looks engrossed in a solo game of chess. An intensely personal experience, it’s a bar that compensates for its lack of glitz with a stoner-style ambiance that soon sweeps over all.
PHOTOGRAPH KEVIN DEMARIA
Bridging The Gap
Warsaw’s increasing spatial awareness has resulted in the apparent green-light for a pedestrian bridge that hopes to reinvigorate Praga…
plan to link Praga and the right side of Warsaw with a pedestrian footbridge is a step closer to being realized after City Hall announced their approval of the project as part of the city’s budget for 2016-2019. Coined three years ago by Małgorzata Dembowska as part of her master’s thesis, her idea foresees a footbridge – complete with cycle lanes – stretching from ul. Karowa to ul. Okrzei. Having successfully defended her diploma in 2014, her design has gained traction ever since: “from the start there were positive reactions from various institutions looking to push the project to the next stage. Even car drivers haven’t voiced much disapproval: the proposed site isn’t a place which needs another bridge for vehicles.” Dembowska, now an architect with WXCA, continues: “there’s a lot of people who see using a car as the only way to get around. Others see it as a status symbol. At the same time a growing number of people are realizing that cars aren’t improving their quality of life and I think City Hall are among them. Solving this problem though is a process, it’s not as simple
Warsaw Insider | APRIL 2016
as moving cars and filling the vacated space with trees.” Driving the project has been her objective to create ‘a living link’ to draw Praga out of its ‘prolonged isolation’. “The goal of the thesis,” she states, “was to show a way of bringing two parts of the city together by creating a clearly defined urban connection.” In doing so, she hopes to fulfil a twin aim of attracting more people to the river: “the Wisła has improved greatly in the last five years,” says the architect, “we’ve seen expensive investments that have created a different image of the riverside – but it needs life all year around.” How faithful the city stays to Dembowska’s vision remains a point of contention. A competition to decide on a final design is due to be announced later in the year, while in the meantime, debate exists as to the actual position of the bridge: “some people say it would best serve Warsaw by connecting the Old Town with the zoo,” she comments, “though personally I think the city should first think about improving the lives of people who live here, then the tourists after.”
ART & ARCHITECTURE EMILIA
With developers circling vulture-like around Warsaw’s post-war modernist buildings, time is running out for one of its stars: Emilia… BY ALEX WEBBER | PHOTOS BY ED WIGHT
Warsaw Insider | APRIL 2016
ART & ARCHITECTURE EMILIA
ut with the old and in with the new: the radical reshaping of Warsaw has seen swathes of the city ripped down and replaced with spiraling glass towers that mirror each other. Architecturally speaking, losses in recent years have been numerous: the tsunami-roofed SuperSam, the upside down pyramid that was Ciech and, a few months back, that big lump of concrete otherwise called Sezam. And these are just the tip of the iceberg. Yet one man’s carbuncle is another man’s joy, and as the city looks to place more of its post-war modernist pearls on the sacrificial alter as offerings to the money gods of commercial real estate, public dissent has continued to grow. Galvanized by news that the Syreni Śpiew building is to to make way for luxury apartments, locals have banded together to voice their outrage at the perceived destruction of the city’s contemporary history. Such has been the level of feeling, Barbara Jezierska, the new conservator for the Mazovian region, has promised to think first not of the developers, ‘but the legacy of Warsaw’. Furthermore, the spirited backlash has prompted the city to add 44 structures to an updated master list of protected build-
Warsaw Insider | APRIL 2016
ings: among them Most Gdański, the Wilanów Poster Musuem and the hammerhead building on Smolna 8. For some, this has not been enough, and that’s principally due to the drama currently enveloping the Emilia building on ul. Emilii Plater 51. Completed in 1969 (and only after an original section of the roof crashed down during the construction phase), but officially opened on January 15th, 1970, Dom Meblowy Emilia has been cited as one of the outstanding remaining examples of post-war modernism in the country – mainly thanks to an aesthetic that was perceived visionary at the time: wide open spaces and a glass frontage designed to ‘blur the lines between outside and in’. Functioning for decades as a furniture store that never really evolved beyond stocking furniture hailing from the KGB school of cheery design, the last eight years have seen this landmark handed a new lease of life by its present tenants: the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. The current exhibitions are, as visitors have grown to expect, challenging, ambiguous and provocative in equal measure. Why We Have Wars poses the question, ‘who are outsiders?’ Bread & Roses, meanwhile, contemplates ‘the way artists define their status and position in the realm of an ever-widening economic gap’.
Visit Emilia while you can, for soon these words may no longer be anything more than an obituary...
But do not let the complexity and weighty matter of these exhibitions deter a visit. Whether or not any of it makes any sense – and much of it frequently doesn’t – isn’t here nor there. That’s because the real triumph of this museum isn’t so much it’s art, rather it’s wider philosophy. Charging a grand sum of zero for entry, it’s more than just a handy place to hide from inclement weather. Probably intentional but possibly not, much of the art is witty and fun, and engages even the most culturally challenged. The rest of the space, meanwhile, includes a communal wifi zone within touching distance of the Palace of Culture, not to mention an auditorium that witnesses often heated debates discussing such topics as the future of Warsaw’s modernist structures. That, as might have been suggested before, is a subject particularly pertinent to Emilia. Purchased by Griffin Real Estate four years ago for zł. 115 million, the very future of this plot has become a hot potato. If Griffin get their wish, then it’ll be replaced by a 207-meter skyscraper – which, according to some blueprints, will be built in the vein of Malmo’s epic Twisted Torso tower. Conservationists, however, are fighting tooth and nail to protect the building and keep it in its original form. The story, though, has taken an unexpected twist, with Grif
fin’s representatives making a remarkable offer to shift Emilia to a new site: the empty asphalt tundra in front of PKiN. The zł. 24 million cost of this bold project would be covered in part by Griffin, and in part by City Hall. But the situation, it seems, is changing almost daily. Deals and developments have been conducted at such a lightning pace that transparency has often been lost in the resulting whir of handshakes, chicanery and PR maneuvers. What happens next is largely based on guesswork, though past history suggests the developer will get his way. That this time – for the first time, even – it appears to be a developer with a social conscience offers some semblance of solace. In the meantime, the message is loud and clear: visit Emilia while you can, for soon these words may no longer be anything more than an obituary. With the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw due to leave in May (apparently to take up new digs in Powiśle), chances are running out to view this stunner in the place it was born – use that opportunity while you can. Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. E. Plater 51, artmuseum.pl
NEIGHBORHOOD PROWL KRUCZA
Metalexport HQ on the corner on Krucza/Mokotowska, circa 1956
At times vilified for its brooding gait and faceless buildings, a deeper exploration of Krucza and its surrounds reveals more than meets the eye… BY ALEX WEBBER | PHOTOS BY KEVIN DEMARIA
Warsaw Insider | APRIL 2016
P USHED TO NAME WARSAW’S GREATEST THROWBACK
to the Socialist Realist era, it’s not the Palace of Culture I think of, nor Pl. Konstytucji. As imposing as they both are, over the years I’ve become inured to them, accepting them as an almost organic blemish on the capital’s landscape. Instead, it’s Krucza that comes to mind. With its faceless ministries and uniform architecture I view it as the physical embodiment of the Orwellian vision – a street almost purposefully designed to dehumanize. Contrast this to what it was. Pre-war photographs depict a handsome street not that much different from Mokotowska. Lined with tenements and trees, it was a
NEIGHBORHOOD PROWL KRUCZA thriving hub of small family business – in particular, it was famed across the country for its milliners and tailors. “The residents rarely left the district,” wrote Witold Nowierski, “and why should they? After all, they had everything on Krucza and its side streets.” Wrecked by the war, Krucza’s fate was sealed when the decision was taken in the immediate years that followed to convert it into a ministerial district. Even buildings that had escaped with token scratches were demolished to make way for the new. The street was considerably widened and on its flanks rose a number of 7-storey structures that housed ministries for mining, industry, metal and food. Those who remembered what came before were horrified. Bringing to mind comparisons to today’s Domaniewska in Mokotów (commonly nicknamed Mordor), during the day the street was busy with antlike workers scurrying to the office, but come darkness all life was sucked out. “Late at night,” says Jerzy Majewski in his epic guidebook, Warszawa Sladami PRL-U, “pedestrians walked the streets with trepidation.” In part, the broadening of Krucza came to happen so as to provide for transport links, and the surreal evening silence was punctuated by the intermittent scream of trolley-buses that roared their way up the street. While brand new vehicles purchased from France operated on the route, so too did antiquated death traps donated by the Soviet Union. Known for their acrid stench of burning and faulty electrics that would deal out a shock (next stop: Krucz-argh!), commuters quickly learned to avoid the Soviet models. On a street that sometimes blends ominously as one, there is one building that stands out. Currently operated by the Mercure, the Grand Hotel was originally built to handle out-of-town industry-related dignitaries, though for a while also housed the Olympic Committee. This sporting heritage is remembered by way of a modern mural in the lobby that was added during the hotel’s renovation, and it’s still not uncommon to see tracksuited sportsmen loitering around. Above all, however, the Grand was known for its 11th floor bar. Named the Olimp, it foresaw the capital’s mania for topfloor bars half a century before clubs like The View. Famed for its swish contemporary look it was, quite simply, the place to be seen. Accidentally, it also served a dual purpose of deflecting attention from an architect’s blooper. During construction much was made of a helipad that was to crown the top, but in reality it was only ever used once after it was swiftly recognized that the roof might not hold. While the Grand is the standout, it is not the only epic building in the area that hails from this era. Walking down Wspólna, it is impossible to miss the Ministry of Agriculture. Had initial plans been realized, then the area opposite would have been bulldozed to serve as a field for agricultural experiments. Instead, sightseers settle for something equally impressive, that being the decorative columns that form the front of the ministry. Always keen to nickname their landmark buildings, locals have opted to christen them ‘the colonnades that support the sky’. Looking up at them, you understand why. Due to its overwhelming nature, it’s at times hard to see Krucza as being anything but a Socialist Realist exhibit, but this isn’t the whole side of the story. Pre-war bits and pieces have somehow made it through history, among them the building at No. 13. Complete with a well-tended courtyard shrine, walk through the peeling plaster passageway to be transported to a different era. Back and around the corner, make a short detour to Wilcza 22 for a look at one of the iconic
Warsaw Insider | APRIL 2016
Due to its overwhelming nature, it’s at times hard to see Krucza as being anything but a Socialist Realist exhibit... survivors of pre-war Warsaw. Designed by Aleksander Woyde and Karol Kozłowski, it’s best known for the stone Atlantes that stand outside, supporting structural elements with their forearms. A plaque by the entrance declares ‘Dom Sprawdzony Min Nie Ma’ and is a tribute to a post-war notice that was once painted onto the courtyard tunnel announcing the tenement as having been cleared of landmines. It’s not just about the past, the future has also landed in this area. Empty gaps are being filled-in, with the most notable examples found on the southern tip of Krucza, not to mention the angled form of the Nautilus office block on Nowogrodzka 11. Home to the Australian Embassy, and a bizarre-looking utility balcony that juts right out, readers of Gazeta Wyborcza voted it their Building of the Decade in a poll held in 1999. And still, the progress doesn’t stop. Across Jerozolimskie, on the corner of the last bit of Krucza, stands the skeletal remains of Centralny Dom Towarowy (Central Department Store). The work of Zbigniew Ihnatowicz and Jerzy Romański, when CDT was first completed in 1951 it featured more glass than any Polish building had seen before. Not even the addition of socialist signage and slogans could detract from this architectural classic. Within three days of opening, over 80,000 visited, some to marvel at retail goods that had never been seen before in Poland, others to experience the thrill of riding an escalator for the first time. After glorious beginnings, things started to go wrong: toilets flooded and ventilation systems misfired; shoplifting was prevalent as were gangs of wayward teens. Notoriety was assured in 1964 when, three days before Christmas, a guard was killed in a heist that saw thieves make off with zł. 1.5 million – a staggering amount at the time. Worse was to follow. On September 21, 1975, a fire swept through the building with the ensuing blaze gutting all but the basement and the ground floor. While the arsonists were never caught, locals remain adamant that it was part of the fallout from a political dispute that saw a series of fires across the city round about that time. Rebuilt on the cheap, CDT later became better known as the Smyk children’s store, and the address still holds a place in many native hearts. The fact that most of the original building was destroyed – and thus lacked legitimate historical value – paved the way for its eventual demolition in 2014. Now, under the watch of Immobel, a 22,000 sq/m retail/office development is set to rise up in its place. Fortunately, this will not be another glass block, rather a building that pays full respect to the past. “The original elevation will be recovered,” say Immobel, “together with CDT’s characteristic vertical and horizontal divisions and illumination.” If Krucza was built as a calling card for communism, it is perhaps a little ironic that it only truly succeeded with a push from the free market.
Ministry of Argiculture, ul. Wsp贸lna
ALTERNATIVE MUSIC VENUES
SOUNDS OF THE UNDERGROUND Tired of the same, same? This issue the Insider explores the underground sounds and alternative venues the city has to offerâ€Ś BY ALEX WEBBER | PHOTOS BY ED WIGHT
Warsaw Insider | APRIL 2016
Hydrozagadka & Chmury ul. 11 Listopada 22, hydrozagadka.waw.pl
Run by the same people, such are the crowds that gather at Hydrozagadka and Chumry it’s sometimes hard to tell where one begins and the other one ends. That’s certainly true of the night we opt to visit: it’s a chilly March evening but the courtyard is thronged. As the Germanbased band Lebanon Hanover start up the audience piles in, passing under a cuddly bear suspended from the ceiling and into a low-roofed concert space that, in the words of one reviewer, “is turned into a minimalistic analogue underworld” for the duration of the gig. Tight and crowded, it’s a place where audience and band become one, feeding off each other to generate an electrifying atmosphere in which the music takes over. With people coming from as far as Ukraine and Belarus to hear Lebanon Hanover it’s clear that they’re the main event, but as they leave to raucous cheers it’s apparent that the night has little thought of ending. Conducting the post-party, Katz – a magnetically glam female DJ duo – enter the fray playing a mix of cold wave / goth / post-punk and minimal synth. Drinks flow, strangers meet, and music smashes out: it is as though we have happened upon the heart of unforced cool.
ALTERNATIVE MUSIC VENUES Pardon, To Tu Pl. Gryzbowski 12/16, pardontotu.pl
Resisting the hasty gentrification of Pl. Grzybowski, Pardon, To Tu is perhaps the most celebrated of Warsaw’s experimental spaces – and deservedly so. The gig diary is heavy with everyone from acts on the edge of stardom to established international names. What knots them together is the point that they are anything but normal. Find a series of genre-bending concerts enjoyed by a crowd that demands that their horizons are challenged: free jazz, African drum groups, avant garde soloists, etc. etc. Nights get lost in a magic swirl of innovative sound, and the foggy atmosphere is given a helping hand by an unorthodox audience that gels together into one vibrant mass. On the occasions that there are no concerts, Pardon works equally well as an animated bar in which Ykos – Warsaw’s favorite dog – walks blithely between tables unaware of the commotion. Functioning as the unofficial home of Warsaw’s alternative music culture, nights end way, way late, usually with the staff mopping up the debris around the last determined drinkers. Only the city, it seems, is unappreciative of what Pardon stands for: the threat of demolition has hung over this building for the last couple of years.
Nowa Jerozolima Al. Jerozolimskie 57 Pardon, To Tu
Warsaw Insider | APRIL 2016
Ignore the unsavory-looking ‘night people’ that hang around outside bumming cigarettes off startled foreigners, instead plunge right in. Once serving as a children’s hospital (and allegedly haunted to high heavens by the screams of its former patients), this tenement has been repurposed as a multi-floored club that feels dank and squalid: the polar opposite of the club experience offered by Platinium and suchlike. The belly of the beast is a main room that rattles with domestic and international electro acts lapped up by a crowd that’s already lost its marbles by 11 p.m. And therein lies the appeal: it’s not a place dedicated to any pre-defined social group, rather a place for all: from masticating muscle men to regular people unchained from the ordinary work-a-day life. It’s Warsaw’s dirty little secret, and brilliant for it. Further upstairs, the smoking area takes on more of an after-party spirit: think of it as a recovery point for slumped-out zombies.
Blok Al. Jerozolimskie 57, blokbar.pl
Sharing the same entrance portal as Nowa Jerozolima, enter Blok via the enigmatic door to the right and then proceed up umpteen million stairs that, you suspect, might not hold out for longer than a decade. Arriving at the target, one is met by an ambiance that’s a stark contrast to the intensity of Nowa Jerozolima. “I think this is a gay club,” announces the photographer a little too loudly, though with its mirrored disco balls, same-sex couples and adverts for Mr. Leather Poland I can’t understand why there’s a doubt in the first place. Much like the club next door, Blok is stained and sweaty, but the atmosphere is upbeat and inclusive. Whilst not a live music venue per se, it’s pretty much as alternative as Warsaw gets, and the dance floor can get seriously euphoric when the DJs hit their game. And hat’s off to the smoking room, a dark, narrow cell that’s all but bare but for silhouettes and shadows: through the distortion of the grimy glass, snatch an almost spectral view of the Palace of Culture.
Eufemia Krakowskie Przedmieście 5
Even in a country that prides itself on deceptive addresses, Eufemia outdoes them all by suggesting gig-goers head to Krakowskie Przedmieście. Actually, you need ul. Traugutta, and from there to search out the salmon pink palace that’s entered via Niżyńskiego on the right. Obvious, huh? Slipped down some steep stone steps, Eufemia unwraps into a series of side rooms furbished with VHS tapes, student artwork and furniture looted from your grandparents dining room. Snugger than a badger set, and mapped out like one and all, the claustrophobic atmosphere lends itself well to intimate gigs that see everything from improvised instrumentals and bands called Graveyard Drug Party to DJs with monikers such as Justin Beaver. We’re there early, but already pretty student girls in reprised 80s fashion are flinging their arms in front of a focused DJ with a jar of mayonnaise placed mysteriously next to his laptop. In terms of ambiance, it’s not far removed from a house party round ‘a friend of a friend’: you don’t really know anyone, but you get along with them anyway. In short it’s a blast.
ALTERNATIVE MUSIC INTERVIEW
But here you’ll get a mixed male and female crowd aged between 18 and 60. Seeing that for the first time blew me away and showed me there are real possibilities in this city. • Pardon, To Tu is a fantastic place and that’s especially true if you have a record to present or promote. Eufemia I consider as a meeting spot to experiment. If you’ve got a bass player and a drummer who’ve never played before it’s the kind of place that will tell you, “sure, give it a go.” That’s exciting as you never know what will happen. And there’s also Chmury which is getting more and more professional all the time. Those are the three venues that are really on my radar. I also have a lot of time for CDQ and Mózg. CDQ has a beautiful and underused chamber, and I actually like that they don’t have a bar – you know people are there specifically for your music. Mózg, in the meantime, has a good location, astounding acoustics and a great layout. It still feels like it hasn’t taken-off properly but I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned into the next big thing.
THE FACE OF ALTERNATIVE
Head of the Warsaw Improvisers Orchestra, and former member of Spiritualized, saxophonist Ray Dickaty shares his thoughts about the role venues play…
• What’s the most important thing about a venue? Its atmosphere. Of course acoustics are important, but they’re also part of the atmosphere. Having spent years trying to find the right sax and the right mouthpiece, I want to play as acoustically as possible so that the sound is replicated and relayed accurately – it’s hard to make sax sound good when the sound is going through loads of wires. • Crowd numbers don’t mean much to me. It’s great to walk out in front of a full house but I would always rather perform in front of an attentive audience. If you ask me how Polish crowds differ, then I’d say in age. I’m surprised how young they are sometimes. It’s genuinely exciting to see that they’re willing to explore music. Improvisation is a bit of a dirty word in Britain: people think of bearded blokes smoking a pipe.
Warsaw Insider | APRIL 2016
• The most hostile place I’ve played at was the Joiners Arms in Salford: the locals called it The Broken Arms. When we arrived nicotine was practically dripping from the walls and two old guys were fighting. For gigs like that you need to build up an attitude to feel invincible. We decided to go on stage and be as obnoxious as possible: ‘we hate you and we’re going to kill you with noise!’ I’ve grown older and mellowed out, but even when I was playing with Spiritualized we needed to have that feeling, especially when we were supporting an inappropriate band. Sometimes a venue can be too friendly; a bit of edge and distance is better than having people waving at you from the audience shouting they’ll buy you a drink after. • If there’s a dream gig I’ve played, that would be the Bluebird Theater in Denver with Spiritualized. We had been touring for so long we knew the songs backwards and it was just one of those nights were the instruments felt like they were playing themselves. • What bugs me is that alternative musicians aren’t getting the recognition they deserve from the jazz press and radio. They’re the ones you’ll hear moaning that nothing is happening in local jazz but how do they know? Now it’s true, that sometimes in the less mainstream venues the music you’ll hear will be shit, but other times amazing things happen.
With fast food-style vegan restaurants popping up like spring greens, the Insider mulls the possibility of maintaining a junk food diet while going veganâ€Ś BY ALEX WEBBER | PHOTOS BY KEVIN DEMARIA
FOOD VEGAN • I love burritos, but I love them with beef, chicken or pork – sometimes all three at once. A vegan burrito sounds wrong on every logical level. But Momencik (Poznańska 16) force my hand and make me reassess this point of view. Wow. Every bit as good as anything I’m used to, the only difference is that I’m not left feeling like I’ve eaten a sack of socks: on the contrary, it’s got all the perky flavour I want, but none of the unpleasant post-meal bloaty bubbles. And it’s cheap! I’ve forked out less than zł. 22 for a lunch deal that includes a tomato soup that’s equally impressive. As I leave, I overhear an American – one of those young teacher types who once took acid while reading Huxley and now knows everything as a result – lecturing a fawning student: “This city,” he drawls, “needs more places like this.” Wise man, I want to say, I completely agree. • As someone unable to exist without his regular fix of junk food, Lokal Vegan Bistro (Krucza 23/31) are a gift from up high: aside from a small menu consisting of more standard vegan offers, Lokal look after Homer Simpson’s such as myself with regular guest slots for street food that’s given a full vegan makeover. Offhand, that’s meant vegan kebabs, cheesesteaks, burgers and zapiekanka. On this trip, it’s the turn of ‘cheese fingers’ served in a pitta bread. They’re delicious, but there are drawbacks aplenty. It’s mid-afternoon yet the place is packed to the point of chaos. People are pushing and shoving between tables, while others stand around waiting for seats to vacate. Oblivious to it all, one chump – his food long finished – is spread out over a couple of seats wearing oversized headphones and engrossed in the film that’s flashing on his laptop. Worse, I’m covered in food following a shortage of napkins while in the background the music consists of people wailing over drums and distorted guitars. Not even the Saturday queue for my end-of-night kebab has ever made me feel this aggressive. Exiting, I want to knock someone out. • Sausages, that’s the food I miss most since embarking on this journey. Just looking at my porky little fingers gets me thinking about them. So today I’m excited about visiting Vurst (Finlandzka 12A), a vegan hot dog place set just a stone’s throw away from the national stadium. But immediately I’m left asking questions. Who in their right mind opens a tiny, little joint in the back streets of Saska and then fills the interior with a life size Darth Vader and a board that asks customers to: “Stay Tuned and Praise Our Lord Satan”. If they’re looking to appeal to the local demographic of diplomat’s wives and wellto-do natives then this is definitely some gambit. As for the dawg, well… it’s actually a very good replica of the ‘genuine’ hot dogs you find out in Poland. But that’s not a good thing. Small and soggy, and smothered with a supposed chili mash, it’s the kind of damp disappointment you buy at the gas station. If that’s the best Satan can offer, then I’d rather put my faith in the guy in the sky. • If there’s one place that holds no fear for me, then it’s Falafel Bejrut (Nowolipki 15, Senatorska 40): I go there frequently as it is, and my reasoning is sound – I’ve no idea how it compares to the Middle East, but this is certainly on a par with anything I’ve had on the streets of
Warsaw Insider | APRIL 2016
If that’s the best Satan can offer, then I’d rather put my faith in the guy in the sky... Berlin or Amsterdam. Hot and crunchy on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside, these golf ball-sized fritters come lashed with herbs and hummus then wrapped in a fresh, thin pitta and served piping hot: it’s the hardcore end of food porn and the bottom line in comfort food. And, Falafel Bejrut is something of a latter day success story. What began as a bike-powered food cart has since nested properly: first as a standing room only store on Senatorska, and more recently, as an informal sit-down joint on Nowolipki.
• Back in Britain the jacket potato was a staple part of my pub lunch diet. In Poland though I’ve found them pretty hard to come by – at least cooked the way that I specifically want. Warsaw Potato (Nowy Świat 53) though gets it spot on: large 400 gram monsters baked inside a King Edward oven. The flipside of their laminated menu touts six vegan choices (cooked with olive oil rather than butter) and I’ve plumped for something they describe as the Duffy Duck: kale, cherry tomatoes, onion and vegan cheese. While I’d rather the cheese was melted rather than added after baking, it’s a dish I’m happy with – largely because they’ve cooked the potato the British way giving it a charred, crispy skin that’s all crunch and chew. My one complaint? The flimsy plastic cutlery. Food like this demands a sturdy knife and fork. Will I return? Of course I will. • Out of all of life’s guilty Sunday pleasures, there’s few finer than lying supine on the sofa with the remote control in hand and a pizza on speed dial. But that’s no longer as unhealthy as it sounds. Vegan Pizza (Poznańska 16) offer 26 pizzas baked using gluten-free bread (for an extra zł. 5), and a huge choice of toppings: mine, the Hot Vege, comprises vegan cheese, vegan salami, mushrooms and a sprinkle and dash of chili and tabasco. The runaway success though is the tapenade, the perfect dip for an afternoon watching the football. • No piece about vegan fast food can ignore the burger and so there’s a few that I try: Chwast (Waryńskiego 9) and Mango Vegan Street Food (Bracka 20) deserve an honorary mention, but the undisputed king of the hill remains remains Krowarzywa (Hoża 29/31, Marsałkowska 27/35). Packed with girls and guys in skating clothes, this burgery makes a big boast that their whole menu is 100% plant-based and their food compiled using ‘the best, freshest, unprocessed and full-balanced ingredients.’ The Warzywex, a burger composed of marinated and grilled slices of local veg, is an absolute winner.
LISTINGS RESTAURANTS 48 CAFES & WINE BARS 80 NIGHTLIFE 85 SHOPPING 94 FAMILY 99 HEALTH & BEAUTY 104 IN THE CITY 106
How’s this for positive change: once a below- par Asian restaurant, this Wilcza unit has been reprised as an enchanting world of floral thrills. Find cut flowers, bouquets, pot flowers and arrangements, not to mention a few scented candles and accessories to couple with your choice. Opened right in time for spring, this passionately run store places an emphasis on supporting local farmers and growers. Already wellestablished in Gdańsk, their new Warsaw outpost looks set to bloom. Prosta Forma
ul. Wilcza 20, prosta-forma.pl
Warsaw Insider | APRIL 2016
PHOTOGRAPHS KEVIN DEMARIA
Say It With Flowers
WARSAW RESTAURANT WEEK April 1st to April 10th
Now in its third year of life, the latest edition of Restaurant Week promises to be the biggest so far with nine Polish cities taking part, and 61 Warsaw restaurants confirmed at press time. For those unfamiliar with the event, the premise is straightforward: for the duration of the festival, participating restaurants will be offering three-course menus for the price of zł. 39. Basically, it’s a great chance to try a heap of restaurants at a fraction of their usual cost. All diners have to do is book their table in advance – specifying the number of diners and their preferred time – via their Polish-language website. Of the restaurants taking part, those to look for include Benihana, Michelin bib holders Brasserie Warszawska, Mandala, Solec 44 and Kalaya. For further details, not to mention a full list of restaurants, visit their web at: restaurantweek.pl
BrewDog Thrill Booze Hounds
ere’s a first: a foreign brewery in our Polish craft column. Why? That’s because BrewDog ain’t just a brewery, they’re a force for good – and now, they’re about to touchdown in Warsaw. Too right, that sound you hear is the earth tremoring as thousands of hopaholics smack their lips in feverish hope. Obviously, you’ll already find BrewDog bottles in pretty much a dozen tap bars here, but this promises to be something else entirely: a whole pub owned lock, stock and several smoking barrels by Britain’s most maverick brewery. Launched in 2007 by a pair of mates called Martin and James, their history is simple: “we got some scary bank loans, spent all our money on stainless steel and started making some hardcore craft beers.” People drank it like it was the secret to life. Years on, BrewDog have expanded at a rate that makes reproducing rabbits look sexually selective: that’s meant breaking brewing boundaries with beers that go BOSH, while at the same time pursuing a process of opening up dozens of edgy pubs both home and abroad. For all that, never have the core principals of artisan beer been sacrificed. Opening sometime soon (April if we’re lucky, May if we’re not) on ul. Widok 8, this is a debut that has the city craving – BrewDog have already changed the world, now they’re going to change Warsaw. www.warsawinsider.pl
In The Good Books
It’s the phrase that says it all: “today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” Even those with more modest plans for their child tend to agree, but finding kid’s books in Poland is an exasperating affair. Rescue comes in the form of Bullerbyn, a supremely cheerful bookstore peddling everything from pop-up books and fairytales to history and legends. The ace up their sleeve is a sizeable selection of English-language literature: and that includes The Gruffalo! Księgarnia Bullerbyn ul. Chmielna 10, bullerbyn.com.pl
Warsaw Insider | APRIL 2016
PHOTOGRAPHS KEVIN DEMARIA
Warsandsawa You might already know the fable about the fisherman Wars who wooed a mermaid called Sawa on the nearby Wisła: thanks to that hook-up this city got its name, and so too did this hidden little café/pizzeria. Well, the name would be even more appropriate if Wars and Sawa went on to have a pizza-loving kid. Found behind Nóz i Widelec, this comfy-cozy spot offers a large gated parking lot with a terrace and a kid’s room that’s perfect for romping munchkins. With a wood-burning oven rolling out consistently great pizza, as well as a menu that’s simple but delicious, it’s little wonder that it’s attracting positive publicity. In an area that’s torn between gentrification and staying true to its roots, one could go as far to argue it’s actually a superior venue to those that have been lost. (KD) WarsandSawa
ul. Dobra 14.16, warsandsawa.com
Start the Machine Get well-oiled on Smolna!
quick skip from the titillating pleasures of Nowy Świat’s ‘pavilion bars’, Machinarium is, quite literally, a step-up from the neighboring competition. Down a passage, then up some stairs, it’s a pub that unfurls in a metallic greenish haze. Not too dissimilar from a ship’s hull, the bar is all bolts and rivets, and the whole ‘age of travel’ theme is further explored through illustrative paintings of steam engines, zeppelins and other flying contraptions – Jules Verne would love it, and so too do we. A sprinkling of mechanical knick-knacks tempts and teases the reformed kleptomaniac, while the basement offers something else entirely: a rambling white painted space whose minimal design is punctuated with the occasional lantern, clock and reject store sofa: sit down, switch off. Although this area of Warsaw has a reputation for its busy, alternative nightlife, it does have a problem: as edgy as many of its bars are, their booze selection frequently doesn’t extend beyond bog standard euro-lager – a.k.a fizzy, yellow piss. Guess what though, Machinarium have thought ahead of the pack and fitted themselves out with four taps that see a regular rotation of beers aimed at hopheads. See nothing you like? That’s not a problem either, instead, swivel towards a fridge packed with eccentric beers from new wave breweries. When Machinarium opened a few months back, the suspicion was that it’d just act as vessel to soak up overspill from Nowy Świat. That’s not been the case: on the contrary, it’s become a destination in its own right. Machinarium
ul. Smolna 36, machinarium.pub www.warsawinsider.pl
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Wine of the Times
For the first time ever, Warsaw Restaurant Week (first week of April) will feature a wine tasting session conducted by some of Warsaw’s most esteemed sommeliers: among them Paweł Demianiuk of Kieliszki Na Próźnej. Check online for details. Kieliszki Na Próżnej ul. Próżna 12, kieliszkinaproznej.pl
Sex on Legs
Inspired by global street fashion and trends, this online concept store prides itself on sourcing unusual projects otherwise seen on magazine covers and the streets of NYC, London and Milan. No-one does leggings better! Leggi.pl leggi.pl
Warsaw Insider | APRIL 2016
The View Chew
The Big Boss
Say goodbye to end-of-night kebabs! Instead, The View will be offering its guests a range of cold bites and a choice of five pizzas made to authentic Italian recipes. Guaranteeing freshness and flavor, the evening menu is available on weekends from 10 p.m. till 4 a.m.
April brings with it a busy calendar of events for the team at Boska Praga. Watch for culinary workshops taking place on April 9th and 23rd, an evening of stand-up comedy on the 13th, and the opening of Beata Nowakowska’s art exhibition on the 21st.
The View ul. Twarda 18, theview.pl
Boska Praga ul. Okrzei 23, boskapraga.pl
A Clean Break
New to Warsaw, Domestina have four-hour maid solutions ranging from zł. 129-142. Offering full premium service, they’ll make your bed to match the standard of a five-star hotel, and clean every corner till your flat is spotless! Order and pay online via their English-language website. Domestina domestina.pl
The Sandwich Station
Relying on traditional forms of baking, Oskroba offer a range of sandwiches made using freshly baked bread as well as home / office deliveries and catering. Cakes – again made using traditional recipes – also available. Oskroba ul. Puławska 82
Spring is in the air! So why not visit So!coffee and enjoy the weather to its fullest in our new seasonal garden – we’ve been waiting months to unveil it, and along with it our new Spring menu! Full of new options and exciting choices try our fruit coffees, ice cream desserts and freshly-pressed juices. So!coffee ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy), socoffee.pl
Pa N rtn ew er s
L’Arc Varsovie continues to demonstrate its mastery of both seafood and classic French cuisine…
f you’ve spent a few years living here you might well be moved to ask two questions: first, where are the French restaurants? And next, whose hidden all the seafood? Okay, French eateries are starting to beep on the radar – albeit faintly – but seafood? Whenever a specialist seafood restaurant comes along it seems to shut within months. But despair not, for there is one place that manages to kill two birds with one stone. Perched on the frontline of Mokotów, L’Arc’s pedigree is asserted on entry: hanging from the wall, a number of certificates and awards that tout its credentials. Walking past the
Warsaw Insider | APRIL 2016
live lobsters seeing out their days on Death Row, we take our seats and ponder the surrounds: if the traffic is a noisy tangle outside then L’Arc, in contrast, feels almost soft and serene – crisp tablecloths, moody music and a light color scheme that’s balanced out by the dark slate floors. It’s a smart design that, while intimate in size allows diners to maintain a sense of privacy: let the date begin… Oysters are the logical choice, and here there’s usually five or six types to pick (Fine de Claire, Irish, Normandy, Belon, Marennes-Oleron and Regal). Our waitress is the definition of love at first sight, but it’s
the cooking of chef Marcin Legat that truly steals the heart. Presenting a mix of three oysters, we find the shells cascading with mussels and cheese, squid and mushrooms – an interesting play that still retains the inimitable taste of the sea. There’s nothing like snails thought to really capture the taste of France, and these come served with a basic mix of garlic butter and parsley: the true sign of a good chef is knowing when not to complicate a dish, and in this case Legat leaves out the tricks to simply allow his ingredients do the talking. For mains, a tranche of zander fillet comes perfectly balanced on a cod puree and a smattering of seasonal vegetables. Looking artful and precise, this is a dish of delicate excellence: something you’d return for time and time again.
“There’s nothing like snails thought to really capture the taste of France”
ul. Puławska 16, tel. 22 465 1358, 519 000 050, larc.pl
THE TOTAL HEIGHT OF THE TEMPLE OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE
The year in which the bridge connecting Wilanów with Praga will be completed
TOTAL AREA of WILANÓW
14.5 Meters T HE MAXIMUM HEIGHT IMPOSED ON BUILDINGS IN MIASTECZKO WILANÓW
12,000 INHABITANTS PER SQ/KM THE POPULATION DENSITY OF MIASTECZKO WILANÓW - HIGH FOR WARSAW BUT COMPLETELY INDISCERNIBLE DUE TO THE ARCHITECTURAL LAYOUT AND DESIGN
ESTIMATED POPULATION OF WILANÓW IN 2015: OVER DOUBLE THAN THE POPULATION RECORDED IN 2002
Till the completion of the Wilanów tramline www.warsawinsider.pl
neighborhood / wilanów
Call of Nature
here are some people I know who, at the mere thought of heading out to Wilanów, collapse in convulsions. You can sympathise: for us outsiders, it’s not the easiest area to reach, but for me that’s a boon. Everything from the journey out there to the place itself feeds into that feeling of being in a different city: and not just some bog standard city, rather somewhere prosperous and plush: a model town where, I suspect, someone’s pouring Prozac into the water system – everyone looks beautiful and busy and happy to be alive. As I say, not your normal Poland. The trouble with Wilanów is that much of it has been built at such breakneck speed that at times other aspects necessary to make a district liveable have been forgotten: of course, I’m talking about restaurants. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always had a pinch of decent eateries, just nothing to make you fork out 50 złoty on a taxi. Then along comes Naturel... Forming the cornerstone of the swank Royal Wilanów project, its name is slightly deceptive, perhaps brining to mind some hipster vegan joint run by people with cartoon characters tattooed on their neck. No chance. Find here a beautiful space that’s generous on light, polished surfaces and bursts of color from seasonal flowers. As it turns out, the name is closely tuned to the culinary philosophy: ingredients are almost exclusively sourced from the chef ’s family farm, and those products that aren’t hail from Bio Bazaar.
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So, just who is the chef? Step forward Marcin Jabłoński, a growing force on the restaurant map. His stock has soared in recent times, and the reason for such soon becomes apparent. Skipping our way through the monthly-changing menu, our lunch begins with a beef tartar served on a slab of pine with a table-side blast of liquid nitrogen. There’s also a raviolo, a masterly dish involving saffron butter, chives, homemade white cheese, egg yolks and parmesan. The combination results in a deep and creamy dish that’s big on melty goodness. Between courses, there’s a cream of roasted kohlrabi soup, a subtle link to the main event: a full-flavored hanger steak served with a feisty mushroom ragout, lively pickles and potatoes so sweet they practically go pop. A luxurious demi-glace is applied at the table by the chef himself. Ensuring the afternoon finishes with fireworks is a pastry section that knocks-out early contenders for our dessert of the year: first, a brownie with millet, slabs of chocolate cookie and cherry sorbet. Then, a sea buckthorn tart with meringue and avocado/apple ice cream. With slants of spring sunshine sloping through the windows, it’s a moment you wouldn’t mind preserving the rest of eternity. Naturel ul. Klimczaka 1 (Royal Wilanów), naturel7.pl
PHOTOGRAPHS JAN MALINOWSKI
Naturel gets Warsaw seeking out Wilanów…
neighborhood / wilan贸w
neighborhood / wilanów
Butchery & Wine Shop
ul. Klimczaka 5/88, butcheryandwine.pl A collaboration of two legends: ‘celebrity butcher’ Grzegorz Kwapniewski and Daniel Pawełek of the downtown Butchery & Wine restaurant. Hereford, red and black Angus beef available, plus organic chicken and pork. While you’re there, pick up a bottle of wine for movie night.
Al. Rzeczypospolitej 12 Mainly pig and poultry products, with the proprietors keen to emphasize their allegiance to traditional methods. In addition, keep an eye out for their natural bread, pickles and – not least – the cheese and yogurts produced by Mlecza Droga.
ul. Klimczaka 5/89 Craft beer, impressive wines and soft drinks from brands like Belvoir. And to think, that’s just the drinks. Also on sale, western sugar highs (watermelon nerds!) to local eco-produce.
With a heavy smattering of delis and specialty stores, Wilanów’s home cooks find themselves spoilt for choice when it comes to ‘the shop’…
Prodotti Tipici Siciliani
ul. Sarmacka 16, posmakujsycylii.pl Chemical free groceries imported directly from Sicily. You better make space on your shopping list as they’ve got the lot: fruit/veg, juices, cheese, spices, preserves, pasta, pesto, pate… on it goes. There’s even soaps, scrubs and assorted unguents.
Warsaw Insider | APRIL 2016
The Beer Store Wilanów
Al. Rzeczypospolitej 14 While many locals rightfully claim The Beer Store to the best bar in the district, it’s original function as a shop should not be forgotten either: there’s 400 beers to pore over, with the international range including a number of progressive breweries.
ul. Sarmacka 10, sarmackiesmakolyki.pl An eco-conscious delicatessen with Polish and Armenian ready meals, organic fruit and veg, free range eggs and poultry, health-minded treats, gluten free ingredients and delicious homemade sausages.
neighborhood / wilanów eat & drink Bel Paese ul. Sarmacka 22, belpaese.pl Looking around the tables and you’ll see most customers diving into pizzas: but that overlooks the fact that the pastas in this highly casual neighborhood haunt are both interesting and quite often on-point.
Kabuki ul. Branickiego 10, kabukifusion.pl Astroturf tables and pictures of oriental park life fill this Japanese-themed café; creative fruit cocktails and unfamiliar board games sit well with the vibrant aesthetic. Kuchnia Otwarta ul. Klimczaka 1, kuchniaotwarta.pl A restau-
rant with serious ambitions to be the best in the area: a beautiful layout that’s modern and open is complemented by a varied menu with something for all ages and tastes. Kuźnia Kulturalna ul. S.K. Potockiego 24, kuzniakulturalna. pl With its massive play area (there’s even a beach in the summer!), well-stocked bar,
Bierhalle ul. Klimczaka 1, bierhalle.pl The latest Bierhalle venture is the shining pearl of this long-established empire. The beer is freshly brewed on-site and served with food befitting of the beer hall aesthetic.
Bistecca Bistro ul. Branickiego 11, bistecca.pl Opened over four years back, Bistecca is something of a pioneer when it comes to quality beef. Outsiders travel from outside Wilanów’s immediate catchment area to sample meat dishes that include their signature one kilo T-Bone shaped joint: it’s a strip steak on one side and a tenderloin on the other. Chef Paweł Gajownik personally oversees the aging process. Deli Paris ul. Kazachska 1, deliparis.pl Pre-empting Warsaw’s surge towards artisan bakeries, Deli Paris have been at it since 2011. Aside from baked goods, the menu places crepes on a pedestal.
Dunkin’ Donuts ul. Klimczaka 1 After an absence of well over a decade, how Warsaw cheered on learning DD were returning. Smaller than the average store, but do you think anyone cares?
Gorący Pies Al. Rzeczypospolitej 10 Artisan burgers, creative hot dogs and local ingredients: this is street food with an upmarket Wilanów twist – you’ll hear no complaints from us. The house specialty shares the restaurant’s name, and involves a hot dog featuring lamb sausage and onion jam.
Al. Wilanowska 67e/ D1/3 tel. 602 720 077 www.agijensen.com
It's all about
Try polish dry aged premium beef steak’s! Restauracja Bistecca Bistro ul. Branickiego 11, 02-972 Warszawa tel. 22 258 12 43, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.bistecca.pl
neighborhood / wilanów and diverse menu this former blacksmith’s is something of a catch-all solution. It’s position close to the palace draws in as many tourists as it does locals.
visiting in all temperatures on account of their Parisian-style macarons. Sushi Zume ul. Klimczaka 5, sushizume.eu Apparently this was the first restaurant to take root in Miasteczko Wilanów. Still going strong, that they’ve outlasted many of their competitors speaks volumes. Basic interior, simple menu but solidly reliable standards.
Milanovo ul. S.K. Potockiego 24, milanovo.pl A relaxed white-clad spot a hop away from all the sights. The menu is pretty vast, though most skip straight to the pizza. Naturel ul. Klimczaka 1, naturel7.pl Overseen by Marcin Jabłoński, one of the rising stars of Polish gastronomy, the menu is a celebratory observance of natural local produce.
Vilano ul. Kazachska 1, vilano.pl Find the busy open kitchen serving homemade pasta, Tuscan-style pizza, a respectable array of sea creatures and meat courtesy of Warsaw’s top butcher, Grzegorz Kwapniewski.
Saffron Spices ul. Klimczaka 20, saffronspices.pl Much appreciated by Wilanów’s British population, Saffron Spices is a reliable choice for the standard curries. Nothing complex here, but they do the basics well enough.
W Kropki Bordo ul. Zaściankowa 96, wkropkibordo.pl Filling a binary role as a toyshop/bookstore, this jaunty cafe includes matted play areas, sofas and a whole flotilla of cakes and desserts made of natural produce.
Sucre ul. Klimczaka 5, sucre.pl Purveyors of Warsaw’s best natural ice cream, Sucre is worth
Restauracja Wilanów ul. S.K. Potockiego 27 restauracjawilanow.com
Full of stained glass, drooping antlers and wood finishes Restauracja Wilanów feels defiantly old school. Enjoy it while you can, we’re told big changes are afoot! Winalove ul. Kolegiacka 8, winalove.pl The menu is founded around pizza and the wine list appropriately slanted – but not limited to – Italy. Winalove also tout themselves as a gallery: expect plenty of pops of color from local artists. YeYe Mex Food & Music Bar ul. Kazachska 1, yeye.testa.com.pl Mexican food hasn’t imported well to Poland, but chef Jorge Martinez changes that with a simple menu that makes it look easy. Some are calling it the best Mexican the country has ever seen! Pub Złoty Król ul. S.K. Potockiego 27 In an area now swimming in new-look venues, there’s a nostalgic charm and character to Złoty Król. Feeling like a traditional provincial bar, the authenticity is a welcome tonic.
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neighborhood / wilanów
Błonia Wilanowskie This outdoor recreation area is best in summer, though the mild weather has seen the local kids take advantage of the adventure playground. Owners of active dogs find the dog park underwhelming, but it’s a good place to teach smaller dogs new tricks.
ul. Klimczaka 1 This mixed-use project has reinvigorated Wilanów with its interesting retail offer, splash of restaurants and entertainment options: these include ‘field chess’, boules, football pitch and a three-meter high climbing wall. Recently opened, this is only the beginning!
Church of St. Anne
ul. Kolegiacki 1 Little princesses dream of marrying at the Church of St. Anne. Its current neorenaissance look came when prolific architect Henryk Marconi gave it new swagger in the mid-19th century. Even by unrestrained Catholic standards, it’s magnificent.
THINGS TO DO
With spring under way the number of tourists wandering around Wilanów rises exponentially: primarily thanks to the following…
Temple of Divine Providence
ul. Hlonda 1 Bewildering in size, and still only halfcomplete, this stunning place of worship has attracted plenty of controversy relating to its location and funding. Locals have nicknamed this alien-looking object ‘the lemon squeezer’, and you’ll soon see why.
Stanisława Kostki Potockiego 10/16 Known by the Poles as the Polish Versailles, this baroque masterpiece was built in the 17th century for King Jan III Sobieski. It’s emphatic in its splendor, with surfaces dripping with gold leaf and indulgent extras.
The Poster Museum
Stanisława Kostki Potockiego 10/16 With over 55,000 items in its collection, it’s the largest poster museum in the world. Until March 6th it’ll be exhibiting the vivacious works of Japanese graphic designer Tadanori Yokoo. For more information see: postermuseum.pl www.warsawinsider.pl
NEW & NOTEWORTHY
$ zł. 30 (per main) $$ zł. 30-55 $$$ over zł. 55 New listings are in RED 2015 Best of Warsaw Award Winner BEST OF WARSAW 2015 KEY WINNERS Fine Dining Senses Casual Dining Bibenda Newcomer MOD Chef Sebastian Wełpa (Ale Wino) Modern Polish (Opasły Tom) Foreign Chef Martin Gimenez-Castro (Salto & Ceviche Bar)
ZMIANU KLIMATU (ul. Krucza 16/22, zmianuklimatu.pl) Fancy looking at tarted up Varosvians whilst eating in your own boat? Do just that at Zmianu Klimatu, a tiny restaurant that somehow manages to squeeze in a sailing boat that seats six or so people. In keeping with the maritime hint, the menu explores the deep blue sea with a small selection of seafood that includes grilled octopus, halibut and bream. Meat eaters aren’t ignored, but they are in the minority: it’s the seafood that has got people talking.
WELCOME INDIA (ul. Eramza Ciołka 35) The Insider likes breaking good news, and when that news involves an Indian restaurant then so much the better. Found in the darkest depths of Wola, this unlikely find has an ace up its sleeve: a chef nabbed from under the noses of the excellent Curry House. If you’re unfamiliar with his cooking, then look forward to the death-byfire vindaloo, and a butter chicken that doesn’t have any rivals. The home delivery service is a godsend for those who don’t fancy journeying outside their neighborhood comfort zone.
Warsaw Insider | APRIL 2016
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listings / restaurants african 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. $
american Amigos (B5) Al. Jerozolimskie 119, restauracjaamigos.pl Educated by George Bush’s former private chef, the cooks at Amigos have mastered a comprehensive menu that’s nothing if it isn’t a roll-call of true Texan tastes: steaks, ribs and other dishes befitting of the Dodge City saloon-style surrounds. Neither is the south of the border forgotten, with strong cameo appearances from the chimichanga and fajitas. $$ Barn Smoque (D4) ul. Zgoda 5, barnsmoque.pl Okay, so 2015 won’t be remembered as the year of the grill house, but Warsaw is getting there. From the owners of Barn Burger comes Barn Smoque, a casual eatery decorated with number plates and… portraits of pigs dressed for the office. The menu is all about meat and fire, with dishes like wings, ribs, steaks and brisket. $ Brooklyn Restaurant & Bar (C4) Al. Jana Pawła II 18 (Rondo ONZ), tel. 22 114 3434 Gone are the fancy pants culinary creations once found in the basement, ousted in favor of a menu of pimped-up soul and street food, salads and steaks. This means fresh tacos not to mention Mito’s Beef Ribs and 100% beef dogs. The ground floor burger bar is more prosaic, offering a standard line-up of burgers and wings: they’re loved by many. $$ 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 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. $ Jeff’s (B8) ul. Żwirki i Wigury 32 (Pole Mokotowskie Park), jeffs.pl Head to Jeff’s for supersize portions from the ribs and wings class. Servings might be big, but don’t anticipate any further fireworks with regards to the food. $ 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. $$ T.G.I. Friday’s (B3) al. Jana Pawła II 29, tel. 22 653 8360, tgifridays.pl/warszawa The steaks are a missand-miss affair, and even the burgers can’t compare to Warsaw’s armada of burgeries. And the interiors are just as you’d remember: crass, vulgar and stuck in the 90s. $$
asian 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 www.warsawinsider.pl
listings / restaurants 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. $$ Choila ul. Zajączka 25, choila.pl Having made the effort to get here, disappointing doesn’t even begin to describe it. Presenting the dishes of Nepal and the Himalayas, gorgeous sounding dishes transpire to be gloopy offerings more reminiscent of the cut-price budget food cabins you once found around the old bulldozed stadium. $$
Restaurant ¶ Bar Quality cuisine influenced by Australia and New Zealand. Casual dining Antipodean style like you expect ‘Down Under’. 75 Australian and New Zealand wines - Probably the largest and best list of Antipodean wines In Europe. Ul. Jasna 26, Warsaw, 00-054
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. $
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.” $
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. $$
Toan Pho (D4) ul. Chmielna 5/7, tel. 888 147 307 Toan Pho’s bowls of soup with rice noodles come highly recommended; as does the chaos intrinsic to this type of casual Asian eatery. The short menu is in Vietnamese with Polish decoding – although you can ask for an English version. $
Papaya (E4) ul. Foksal 16, tel. 22 826 1199, papaya. waw.pl A place of precise lines and slick finishes, Papaya has a varied menu that uses influences from all over Asia, though particularly Thailand. But the star attraction is Preecha Wongsomboon, a Thai chef who fuses cookery with cabaret from behind a teppanyaki grill – his skills draw gasps. But between the honking horns and nifty knife work it becomes clear this is no novelty show: the food is top notch. $$
+48 222 99 3210 | email@example.com
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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. $$ Shabu Shabu Hot Pot (D6) ul. Mokotowska 27, tel. 535 685 750, shabu-shabu.pl Each table has its own set of hot pots installed and once you choose your broth and extras, you are the master of your own culinary destiny. We chose some seafood and some greens and were served a dish that was not quite a pad thai, but incredibly tasty all the same. A simple meal, but satisfying nonetheless. $$ Silk & Spicy (D5) ul. Żurawia 16/20, tel. 22 629 7012,
Kalaya (D4) 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 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. $$ Banja Luka (E8) ul. Szkolna 2/4, tel. 22 828 1060, banjaluka.pl Lots of clunky timber and imported ceramics set the scene at this eatery, a Balkan stalwart
listings / restaurants that’s known for its economical pricing structure and bulky portions. Grilled meats are prominent and the food largely reliable. $$ 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 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. $$ Ę Rybę Al. Jana Pawła II 18, erybe.pl Warsaw’s has done fish and chips before, yet nowhere has managed to capture the unique taste of the British seaside as convincingly as this place. Forget the grey and greasy offerings the city has previously volunteered, here’s a spot where the chips are golden, the fish fresh and the batter crisp and light. Doused with malt vinegar, and a couple of dollops of tartar sauce, here’s food that cuddles and comforts on a chilly spring day. $$
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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. $$ Pik’s Fish & Chips ul. Grójecka 17B You wait years for a fish and chip shop and then two come along at once. But most of the Brits are converging on E Rybę in the center, and there’s a reason for that: entered into a head-to-head and there’s one clear winner. It’s not Pik. Comparisons to E Rybę are both inevitable and unfavorable: smaller portions and tastes that are just not quite there. $
burgers Barn Burger (D4) ul. Złota 9. tel. 512 157 567, barnburger.pl
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listings / restaurants 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. $ 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 addons (jalapenos, salsa, etc.) onto your food as possible. Full review coming up! $ Warburger (E9) ul. Dąbrowskiego 1, warburger.pl While Warsaw has lost its appetite for burgers, you wouldn’t necessarily tell by popping 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. $ Warsaw Hot Dog & Burger (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 15 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 even better with a pile of double-fried chips. $ 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
ul. Nowy Świat 36 tel. 731 001 002 beefnroll.pl facebook.com/beefnroll.burgers
BEST BURGERS /WINGS /HOT-DOGS
Warsaw Insider | APRIL 2016
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. $ Falafel Bejrut ul. Nowolipki 15 & ul. Senatorska 40 It just keeps getting better for Falafel Bejrut. From modest origins as a food cart plying its trade outside Hala Mirowska came a tiny little takeout place on ul. Senatorska. That’s still going strong, only now it’s got a big little sister. Light, bright and buzzing with custom, the new venture has a good scattering of seating and an expanded menu whose talking point is Poland’s best falafel. And don’t ever think of leaving without ordering the hummus diablo. $ 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. $
listings / restaurants Manekin (C3) ul. Marszalkowska 140, tel. 22 826 0753, manekin.pl Originally founded in Toruń, this pancake house chain is a national 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 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. $ To Tu Dumpling Bar ul. Niekłańska 33, chinskapierogarnia.pl A shabby looking shack cabin, To Tu offer what are seriously considered some of the best – if not the best – dim sum in town. Magic-ked up by a Manchurian exile, the experience isn’t unlike being in a sweaty back street haunt in Asia. And that’s a good thing! $ Warsaw Hot Dog Factory (B2) Al. Jana Pawła II 41A, hotdogfactory.pl There’s a general feeling that, maybe, 2016 will be The Year of the Hot Dog. With Warsaw still flirting with glammed-up street food, Hot Dog Factory could yet be onto something – find upmarket versions of the dawg served using artisan buns and proper pork meat: not, we’re told, the stuff found on the bottom of a factory floor… 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.
• 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 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, 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. $$ L’Arc (E8) ul. Puławska 16, tel. 519 000 050, larc.pl You sometimes suspect Warsaw doesn’t give seafood the respect it deserves. But the city’s shortcomings are atoned for by L’Arc. Choose from the lobsters swimming on Death Row, then settle back for a meal to die for. Likewise, the oysters and mussels never disappoint. $$ Le Bistro Rozbrat (F5) ul. Rozbrat 44, tel. 22 881 7808 Having made their name serving traditional French bistro fare, Le Bistro Rozbrat have announced a French evolution, and an imminent transformation into a more gastro-focused eatery. With new chef Rafał Hreczaniuk (formerly Tamka 43) at the helm, expect an experience to remember once the changes are introduced. $$ Le Victoria Brasserie Moderne (D3) ul. Królewska 11 (Sofitel Warsaw Victoria), tel. 22 657 8332, sofitel-victoria-warsaw. com The interior of Didier Gomez whispers intimacy, yet it also embraces notions of space and light. The casual elegance that emanates from the design is accented by
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warm colors, low banquettes and glinting mirrors. Acting as a ballast to it all is an open kitchen, in which you’ll find Executive Chef Maciej Majewski honing his art. His is a menu that fits seamlessly with the surrounds: a fresh, modern look at French cuisine, but one that values clarity and simplicity. Always leave room for dessert, especially the ‘pear trio’ – delicate and refreshing and with the right hint of sweet. $$
adlerrestauracja.pl Set in a rustic rotunda, this veteran favorite packs in reassuringly caloric portions of pork knuckles, schnitzel and dumplings – all of a sudden, you understand why Helmut Kohl looks so large. Foaming beers served by Bavarian country maids complete the authenticity. $
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 soul of the place: café, hangout, bistro. Small choice but good results. $$
Paros (D4) ul. Jasna 14/16, tel. 22 828 1067, parosrestauracja.pl Out of all of Warsaw’s Greek contributions Paros dazzles most with a glitzy look that’s a complete U-turn from the typical taverna look. Owned by the same team behind El Greco, the menu is identical, though a recent visit revealed a kitchen resting on its laurels – not one plate on our table was finished. $$
georgian 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. $
Rusiko (E5) Al. Ujazdowskie 22, tel. 22 629 0628 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. Live music lends the weekends a goodhumoured twist. Note: closed Monday. $$
german Adler (E5) ul. Mokotowska 69, tel. 22 628 73 84,
greek & turkish
Santorini ul. Egipska 7, tel. 22 672 0525, kregliccy.pl/ santorini/ Santorini looks scuffed and tired but there’s a bonhomie present that instantly engages. The kitchen attaches no value to things like presentation, preferring instead to simply treat diners to piles of grilled and skewered food that consistently tastes right – and the milfei dessert is magic. $$
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. $$ Bombaj Masala (B3) Al. Jana Pawła II 23, tel. 606 688 777, bombajmasala.pl One of the best looking Indian restaurants in Warsaw, but the food rarely pokes above average. For a cuisine that prides itself on rich, intense tastes,
listings / restaurants Bombaj gets remembered for bland, oily dishes that only sometimes get finished. Yet business remains brisk, thanks in part to a combination of location and general culinary ignorance. $$ 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 It’s not been a distinguished year for the Indian scene, with 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: really, you worry you might spontaneously combust. With curry at this standard, no-one cares that it’s in a pretty primitive cabin out in far-flung Bielany. $ Mandala ul. Emilii Plater 9/11 & ul. Etiudy Rewolucyjnej 9, tel. 22 428 44 54, mandalaklub. com or indiaexpress.pl Celebrating their 10th birthday this year, Mandala is well on its way to becoming a Warsaw institution. But rather than resting on their laurels, the management are using this landmark anniversary as an opportunity to rejig the menu and update their offer. Using the freshest ingredients, Mandala is characterized by its blitzing big spices and a vindaloo capable of giving the sweat glands a work out. For something calmer, the creamy mutton methi malai is a masterpiece. $ 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. $$ Namaste India (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 15, tel. 22 357 0939,
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namasteindia.pl Responsible for first bringing quality, budget Indian food to Warsaw, Namaste found themselves losing their way somewhat. Now back on track – and with a newly expanded upstairs section – one Insider correspondent goes so far as to claim a recent trip as his ‘favorite Indian for years!’ $$ Om ul. Sienna 86 Indian restaurants are popping up like toast, which isn’t a problem for most ex-pats. Catering to the more budget end of the market, Om’s Nepalese chefs know their way around the kitchen. The chicken tikka masala is satisfying if nothing memorable, but the madras is something else: filled with sharp, punchy tastes that leave a lasting impression. While you get the idea it’ll never challenge the more established Indian restaurants in Warsaw, it’s the kind of place you’d be very happy to live next door to. $ 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. $ 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 selfconfessed 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. $$ Tandoor (D7) ul. Marszałkowska 21/25, tel. 22825 2375, tandoor.com.pl After nearly 20 years at the helm, owner Charanjit Walia has sold up and moved on, leaving a spiritual hole in his life-defining work. His parting shot has been a re-haul which has seen the interior modernized and brightened. Has the food suffered? Not a jot. The chicken tikka butter masala is as formidable as ever. $$
international 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. $$ Ale Wino (F5) ul. Mokotowska 48, tel. 22 628 3830, alewino.pl Dip through an archway to discover Ale Wino, a beautiful wine bar whose menu has been well tailored to the season. Tweaked for the season is the pork belly, a Złotnicka pig adorned with apple sugar snap peas and celery mousse – gorgeous. As for the wine, put your faith in the sommelier, Oliver. BEST WAWA 2015 “Chef” A nuż widelec (E3) ul. Dobra 14/16, tel. 507 367 520 So snug is A nuż widelec, the feeling is of being round at a friend’s house. The food is nothing fancy, but fresh and made with love – and it feels even better while the owner potters about, chatting with his guests and watering the flowers in the knockout garden. Such is the atmosphere, you want to call it home. $$ Artkitchen ul. Domaniewska 34A, artkitchen.pl Buried deep in the office blocks of white collar Mokotów Artkitchen hope to attract more 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. $$ Bibenda (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 10, tel. 502 770 303, bibenda.pl With its weathered brickwork and a long wavy bar occupying a significant chunk of the entrance, you don’t get much more casual than Bibenda. ‘True food’, their menu calls it, before expanding to rattle on about ‘fresh, seasonal ingredients and home-style techniques’. On our visit that involved a
listings / restaurants potato salad with red onion and parsley: basic stuff, but delicious when mushed together; next, soft duck thigh placed on top of a tangy red cabbage reduction and served with charred parsnips; and dessert, a pink beetroot cake that was gobbled in seconds. $$ BEST WAWA 2015 “Casual Dining”
Boska Praga ul. Okrzei 23, boskapraga.pl Delivered by the same team behind Dwie Trzecie, Boska Praga does its best to keep everyone happy – and succeeds! Supremely family friendly, the welcome doesn’t just extend to kids, but also to dogs. Set inside a restored industrial facility, this well-designed leviathan maintains an intimacy, despite its size. As for the menu, that keeps all tastes covered with a varied offer that includes tapas, pizza, burgers and more thoughtful dishes such as ox tongue with pepper sauce. $$ Brasserie Warszawska (E5) ul. Górnośląska 24, tel. 22 628 9423, brasseriewarszawska.pl Looking for classic cuisine with no daft flights of fancy? Here you have it. At a time when everyone wants to be Ferran Adrià, Brasserie has both a menu and interior that you can understand: pan-fried foie gras; elegant beef Rossini; and sinful apple tarte tatin, all served inside posh interiors of zinc-plated mirrors and chessboard floors. Their Michelin Bib Gourmand is a source of pride, but it’s the number of repeat clients that are the ultimate paean to the skills of chef Mateusz Wichrowski. $$$ 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. $$$ The Cool Cat (F4) ul. Solec 38, tel. 787 698 700 Our visit featured a musical standoff between two waiters arguing over possession of the laptop, and a genuine piece of plate art
that was as delicious as it looked: beautiful deer surrounded by creative ingredients. Small menu and a fashionable crowd, but an immensely enjoyable place that adds further oomph to Powiśle. $$ Dekant Wine Bar (E3) ul. Zajęcza 15, dekant.com.pl Perturbed by the mark-up on wines in Warsaw’s restaurants, owner Daniel Wasilewski has, for the past couple of years, concerned himself with supplying local eateries with top class wine at affordable costs. Now he’s taken the next step, opening his own wine bar in the heart of Powiśle. However, the availability of some of the best wines in the world is only part of the story. A thoughtful menu has gained plaudits for a succinct choice that pairs perfectly with the bottles: e.g. duck confit with potato puree, cherries and apple/pear mousse. $$ Der Elefant (C3) Pl. Bankowy 1, tel. 22 890 0010, derelefant. com This leviathan restaurant unravels in a maze of wrought iron and monochrome tiles – beautiful to look at (it was created by Oscar winning set designer Allan Starski), it’s caused a stir for more than just this alone. Where once the menu looked like it was devised by throwing darts at a cookbook, the focus has now been narrowed. While some of the dishes are strictly middling, the filet mignon (zł. 69) is one of the best meat deals in town in terms of quality / price / consistency. $$
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. $$ InFormal Kitchen (D3) Pl. Małachowskiego 2 (enter from Traugutta), tel. 531 918 534, informalkitchen.pl There’s plenty of fireworks over the course
a great place to start (or end) your old town exploration
Dom ul. Mierosławskiego 12, tel. 509 165 712 Here’s the very epitome of casual dining: set on the ground floor of a suburban house, the warm corners and garden views give Dom a real sense of homey charm. In line with all that is a menu that celebrates simple, honest cooking. Everyone who visits ends up loving the place. $$ Dwie Trzecie (D5) ul. Wilcza 50/52, tel. 605 589 588 Undeterred by the departure of their former chef, 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. $$
ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 59 (just off Plac Zamkowy) www.warsawinsider.pl
listings / restaurants of a vibrant menu that sources its produce from regional eco farms: meat from within a 26 kilometer radius of Warsaw, dairy produce from Mazury and fish from Pomerania. The rump of lamb is a class act, and bettered only by the pear and thyme tart for dessert. $$ 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. $$ Kotakota (E3) ul. Bartoszewicza 3 Short of eating in a
tunnel, Kotakota is pretty much the darkest place you’ll ever eat in. Filled with donated furniture and peeling plaster walls, this unique restaurant has got people talking thanks to a regularly changing menu that mixes up local ingredients with old recipes and modern techniques. People leave in a state of dumbstruck excitement. $$ Kumpir House (D2) ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 59 Ensconced inside an inviting, raw brick room Kumpir’s warming aura has as much to do with its food and drink as it does its design. Sip fragrant Turkish coffee while picking through loaded jacket potatoes and desserts made with love. Just steps from the Old Town, its location gives it a further buzz throughout the day. 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. $$ La Rotisserie (C1) ul. Kościelna 12 (Le Régina Hotel), tel. 22 531 6070, leregina.com A gloriously seductive dining room, Poland’s champion sommelier, and a chef that many recognize as being Michelin potential: put those three together and you have one of the finest experiences to be enjoyed in a Warsaw dining room. The cooking is ‘classic with a twist’, and in October that meant – for this diner at least - tuna with beetroot and yuzu, and a main of beef fillet: electrifyingly good. $$$ L’enfant Terrible (D8) ul. Sandomierska 13 (enter from Rejtana), tel. 22 119 5705, eterrible.pl Chef Michal Brys might look like he’s just swaggered in
SEAFOOD SIGNATUR E BRUNCH AT SOFITEL WARSAW VICTORIA Enjoy a gourmand Sunday with your family at Sofitel Warsaw Victoria. We invite you to delight in a rich signature buffet concept, including a selection of seafood, oysters, shrimps, fresh fish, caviar and crabs. Every Sunday we offer a special kids menu and activities for children with our animators. Discover the Best Brunch 2015 awarded with the „Best of Warsaw 2015” by Warsaw Insider every Sunday from 12:30pm to 4:30pm at a price of 165 PLN per perso n.
Bookings: Kitchen Gallery - Sofitel Warsaw Victoria Tel.: 22 657 82 62 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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listings / restaurants from a rock concert, but his flair for experimentation is second to none: expect a menu that marries local produce with the latest tricks and techniques. The tasting menu (six courses for zł. 199) is a brilliant insight into the mind of a chef who likes to experiment and push boundaries. With all the hype you expect this place to be a little up its arse, but it’s anything but. Again, credit for that goes to Brys and his front-of-house staff. $$$
Loft (D4) ul. Złota 11, tel. 668 016 964, restauracjaloft. pl Entering Loft isn’t far removed from stepping inside a pop art painting: lots of vibrant colors and weird lights inside strings of bubbles. A bi-level venture, the best spot to enjoy the menu is on the upstairs terrace, a sunny place befitting of options with names like Ding Dong Soup and Embarrassed Chicken. $$ 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. $$ Między Ustami (E5) ul. Mokotowska 33/35, tel. 530 323 325, The design joins elements of classic Prague bordello against a London Soho bar, while the international menu features a decent steak nicely enhanced by a silky drizzle of demi-glace. You get the idea both the cooking and artisan cocktails need a little fine-tuning, but fundamentally this newbie is looking in the right direction – certainly one to keep a watch for. $$ MOD (D6) ul. Oleandrów 8 Chef Trisno’s menu sets his French culinary training 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. Moderate prices and funky décor (a retro mirrored wall, upside down plants hanging from the ceiling) give it an ad hoc edge and plenty of character. Note: by day its Warsaw’s top donut store, so visit at night for their proper menu. $$ BEST WAWA 2015 “Newcomer”
Original Indian Cuisine
Momu.Gastrobar (D2) ul. Wierzbowa 11, tel. 506 100 001, momu.pl Tapas-style portions of experimental-looking food arrives in little glass jars (meat and fish skewers, Eton mess), or else on paper plates a la the jalapeno hot dog. Pay zł. 40 for a choice of six itsy pots served in a wire-framed basket. While the concept has taken right off, the food isn’t exactly an earthquake experience. $ N31 (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 31, n31restaurant.pl One of the original pioneers of modern Polish cooking returns with renewed vigor. That’s Robert Sowa, and his N31 restaurant has already made a massive splash with an upmarket, showbizzy crowd enjoying complex cooking amid a luxurious interior of pristine linen and glinting tableware. $$$
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. $$
Nolita (D5) ul. Wilcza 46, tel. 22 292 0424, nolita.pl The deluxe dining scene is filling out in Warsaw, and there’s now a few restaurants that can present an equitable claim for the No. 1 spot. However, it’s Nolita that perch at the top, with a menu that sees largely classical recipes through a sharp, modern prism – chef Jacek Grochowina has created a place that’s coherent and understandable without sacrificing values of
listings / restaurants innovation. Looking chic and high end, the tastes and sensations in this restaurant are thrilling: diners are left speechless by the tuna tartar, while the aged beef fillet is an Insider mainstay. $$$
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. Founded by the owners of the recently closed R20, 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/arti-
choke/marmite. Showing plenty of creativity, here’s a kitchen that reinvents the pig! $$ Qchnia Artystyczna (E6) Zamek Ujazdowski, Al. Jazdów 2, tel. 22 625 7627, qchnia.pl Even on a cold, ashen day, can you question a view that spills down onto a canal and park way down below? And how about when that view comes from a candle-lit reconstructed castle… Endlessly romantic, this artistic eatery comes with a light look and a creative menu honed by Marta Gessler. $$
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. $$$ BEST WAWA 2015 “Foreign Chef” Secado (D5) ul. Marszałkowska 66, tel. 608 707 799 Casual, intimate interiors complement a menu that’s expanded from its original Latin
Contemporary techniques and the best organic produce: chef Michael Muśnicki presents the fantastic tastes of the Mediterranean! ul. Wilcza 50/52, tel. 22 623 02 90, www.dwietrzecie.waw.pl
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listings / restaurants leanings. Everything we’ve tried here has been culinary gold, and that includes the surf & turf, tortillas and roast beef. $$ Senses (C2) ul. Bielańska 12, tel. 22 331 9697, sensesrestaurant.pl 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 our night includes beetroot bread with a teat pipette of apple essence; a beef rib that’s a big blast of smoke and crunch; and a shellfish goulash that’s rich and rough and rolling in flavor. Perfectly paced, expertly portioned and bristling with invention, their newly acquired Michelin star makes bookings essential. $$$ BEST WAWA 2015 “Fine Dining” Signature (D5) ul. Poznańska 15, tel. 22 55 38755, signaturerestaurant.pl You feel a millionaire just being here: we’ve heard the interiors described as a ‘Monegasque state of mind’, and that’s not a bad way to surmise a décor that’s all about friezes and reliefs dated from the time this was the Soviet Embassy, lavish 1950s Oswald chairs, lighting by Serge Mouille and original Marilyn photos shot by the acclaimed Milton Greene. Food-wise the restaurant makes a massive splash with a menu that’s clever, creative and pretty. Count on Signature’s seasonally changing desserts providing a happy ending. $$
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. $ ŚRD / PŁD (D7) 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’. $ Strefa (C3) ul. Próżna 9, tel. 22 255 0850, restauracjastrefa.pl Just what were they thinking ignoring the form book like that? No communal tables, no pipes and no rough-hewn bricks. Instead, there’s a swan white elegance here, with lots of pristine colors and smart, smooth-talking service. What a refreshing change. The chef favors
sous-vide techniques, and his is a magic, masterful hand – his duck is flawless, and the homemade ice cream with seasonal fruits is quite a follow-up. Even the cocktails are a thing of brilliance. $$ Szklarnia ul. Mińska 25 (Soho Factory), tel. 690 511 020, restauracjaszklarnia.pl The cuisine is influenced by the season, which means plenty of light summer dishes presented with real aplomb. Recognizable by the dazzle of neon and greenhouse outside, this is a restaurant that seamlessly fits with the Soho surrounds. $$ 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. $$$ Wilczy Głód (D5) ul. Wilcza 29A, tel. 22 891 0285 The jaunty, impish design makes use of cartoonish wolves on the walls and tree-like installations strung with bare light bulbs. And look, there’s a furry, mouse resting on a cushion. But if the place is playful and perky, then the cooking is both serious and sincere. Matching international ideas with organic local produce from small family farmsteads,
listings / restaurants you immediately sense this is a place created out of a love and respect for food. $ Znajomi Znajomych (C5) ul. Wilcza 58A, open Mon-Thu 12:00-1:00; Fri 12:00-3:00; Sat 13:00-3:00; Sun 13:00-1:00, znajomiznajomych.waw.pl You can’t label Zna Zna a restaurant because it’s so much more than that: screenings, DJs, yard sales, book readings… there’s not a thing they don’t turn their hand to. But that’s not to say this retro-styled hangout can’t turn their hand to food – here that means light bites, pizzas, burgers and a recommended chili con carne. $$ 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
Warsaw Insider | APRIL 2016
comes endorsed by the capital’s notoriously picky Italian community. Order the pillowy calzone and you’ll soon learn why. $ 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. $$
Enoteka Rynek Nowego Miasta 13/15, enotekapolska.pl It’s the wine bar New Town has been waiting for ever since… the old Enoteka closed. The eagerly awaited return brings with it a new location – right on the corner of New Town Square – and a menu by Paweł Męziński: yep, the same guy who made their kitchen great back when it all first began in 2009. Add a handpicked wine list from some of the top producers in the world and you have a place that’s definitely one to watch for. Focaccia (D2) ul. Senatorska 13/15, tel. 22 829 6969, focaccia.pl The Insider’s visit went something like this: wrist-thick octopus with an arc of yellow mousse, conversation stopping beef tenderloin alongside a glistening pool of madeira sauce and then an orange ice cream with caramel and ginger that soon merged into a big gooey brew of chocolatey mess. The only surprise is there’s no Italian in the kitchen – it appears they don’t need one. This is seriously talented cooking inside an
listings / restaurants interior that fresh and light and reflective of the food. $$ 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. $$ La Bufala (B4) ul. Sienna 86, tel. 22 654 3277 Not long back this was the go-to place for Italian expats looking for pizza. What’s gone wrong? No idea, but recent trips reveal a kitchen that hasn’t so much rested on its laurels as died on them. $ Mąka i Woda (D4) ul. Chmielna 13A, tel. 22 505 91 87 Purists applaud an approach that uses a custom-made oven from Naples and imported ingredients such as 00 Caputo flour and DOP certified San Marzano tomatoes. Scrupulously authentic, it’s no wonder that it’s packed to the gunnels every night of the week – even their Facebook page warns of 20 minute waiting times for a table alone. Learn-
ing this, some storm off in a huff – they need their heads checked, for this is Warsaw’s best pizza. $ Parmizzano’s (C5) Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79 (Marriott Hotel, Floor 1), tel. 22 630 6306 The prices are highly intimidating, but are offset by cooking that never falls below brilliant. Hotel restaurants get a bad rep, but in the formal surrounds of Parmiazzano’s diners can expect Italian food at its very best. $$$ 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. $$ The Olive (E5) Sheraton Hotel, ul. Prusa 2, tel. 22 450 6706 Bursting with seasonal fruits and veggies, it’s a fresh, fun place to eat. Hot and cold buffet for zł. 90. $$$ Vapiano Al. Jerozolimskie 63 (Lipinski Passage), tel. 22 356 10 50, & ul. Taśmowa 7 (Marynarska Business Park) & ul. Wołoska 12 (Galeria
Mokotów) vapiano.de/pl Here’s one chain brand that is worth the hype. Featuring a chic look rounded out with Ferrari red colors, the thin crust pizza earns its spurs, and the pasta combinations are great. $$ Venti-tre (E8) ul. Belwederska 23 (Regent Hotel), tel. 22 558 1094 There’s a hum and a buzz to the place that goes beyond the half a million bees kept in the apiary on the rooftop, and that’s never truer than on a Sunday afternoon – swing by for one of Warsaw’s top brunches, and don’t miss the terrace – carefully shielded from the outside world by a phalanx of greenery. The Mediterranean menu has been carefully constructed using local ingredients, with the results befitting one of Warsaw’s top hotels. $$$
japanese & sushi Benihana (C4) ul. Twarda 2/4, benihanapoland.com 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. Outside of the realm of the grill, the sushi is also strikes the right spot. $$
Loft is the perfect place to pause for a moment for a coffee, to meet with friends for lunch or a late dinner – most of all, it’s a chance to escape the city bustle while remaining in the heart of Warsaw. ul. Złota 11 tel. 668 016 964 restauracjaloft.pl
listings / restaurants Hana Sushi al. Jana Pawła II 82 (Arkadia), tel. 22 331 7518, hanasushi.pl Dated decor of bamboo shoots and bonsai trees is made to look good by dreadful service and irritating elevator music. But it’s hard to dislike Hana – the ‘gunkan special’ is out of this world. $$ 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. $$
never sterile nor low on comfort. The star turn belongs to the ramen, with the ‘orange’ (duck breast, orange, pickled cucumber, ginger) doing enough to convince us that RG could yet become a massive success story – full review coming soon. $$ 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. $$
Omami (D5) ul. Mokotowska 29 (enter from Krucza) Sushi has been side-lined and ramen is rising. Opened at press time, Omami promise four types of ramen, not to mention steamed buns and other budget-minded Japanese options. $
Sakana Sushi Bar ul. Burakowska 5/7 tel. 22 636 0505, ul. Moliera 4/6, tel. 22 826 5958, & ul. Wąwozowa 6, lok.10B, tel. 22 498 8899, sakana.pl Sushi as a fashion statement? That’s what you find in Sakana, a place where the glam and the great of Warsaw peacock around with feathers on display. Ignoring the general vanity and unpleasantness, one can’t help but applaud the sushi – if there was one winner in the sushi wars of the noughties, then Sakana was it. $$
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, the environment is raw but
Shoku (A4) ul. Karolkowa 30, shoku.pl In local terms, this has to be amongst the most blogged about restaurants of the year thus far. While it actually opened several months back, it’s only now that the place is gathering steam and getting recognized thanks to word-ofmouth. In truth, it’s not hard to see what the fuss is about: occupying a cool, almost
industrial-looking spot not far from the Rising Museum, Shoku offers an excellent menu of Asian-style tapas and small plates inside a buzzy background that’s never short of custom. The tuna steak is recommended. $$ Sushi Zushi (D5) ul. Żurawia 6/12, tel. 22 420 3373, sushizushi.pl The mania for sushi is in recess, and that’s a good thing – the rogue operators are dead or dying off, and are survived by the best. And make no mistake, Sushi Zushi continue to be the No. 1 ex-pat choice. Appreciated by a stunning crowd, the rolls are often bold, creative and always astonishingly fresh. $$ Temari (D6) 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. $$
Tomo (D5) ul. Krucza 16/22, tel. 22 434 2344, tomo.pl Excellent. While Warsaw’s other sushi stops gather cobwebs Tomo packs out each night – that should say enough. With the maki,
Still the Best after all these years (since 1997)! Le Cedre 61
opposite the zoo Al. Solidarności 61, Praga Tel 22 670 11 66
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Le Cedre 84
opposite the court Al. Solidarności 84 Tel 22 618 89 99
listings / restaurants sushi and sashimi bobbing past on wooden platters, this place aims for fast, maximum turnover without ever making the diner feel second best. $$ Uki Uki (D5) ul. Krucza 23/31, tel. 728 827 705, ukiuki.pl 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. $$
jewish Galil (C3) ul. Zielna 36, tel. 731 492 634, galil-restaurant.pl There’s been a few Jewish restaurants opened in the last couple of years, and they’ve all quickly folded. Already though, there’s the impression Galil might last the distance, a point underlined by the rather good food. We started with a zesty tabouleh before moving on to grilled chicken breast with dates and a syrup glaze. Set inside a rambling, tiled interior, this labyrinthine space already looks like its snaring big-spending groups. Kosher certified, as well. $$ 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. $
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. $$
Blue Cactus (E8) ul. Zajączkowska 11, tel. 22 851 2323, bluecactus.pl It’s been around for so long that people had started referring to the Cactus in the past tense. Enter executive chef Patrick Hanna, a man who has revitalized and revived the place in a way no-one could have imagined. Combining the barbecuing techniques of the southern states with the humble but potent tastes of Mexico, Hanna has reawakened this sleeping giant. Committed to local produce and fresh flavors, his finest moment has been hoiking over a wood-fired grill all the way from Nashville – the steaks will stop you in your tracks. Say it loudly: the Blue Cactus is back! $ Casa Pablo (C3) ul. Grzybowska 5A, tel. 22 324 5781, casapablo.pl “We give Spanish food a new twist,” declares chef Gonzalo de Salas, which explains why, in between pungent cheeses and acorn-fed Bellota ham, we find ourselves demolishing a variety of dishes that buck all notions of tradition: as a starter the beetroot-marinated salmon served with wasabi emulsion is a fine example of this. With de Salas performing balletic tricks in the kitchen, Casa Pablo presents a masterful menu that ripples with adventure. $$
‘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
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. $$ BEST WAWA 2015 “Foreign Chef” Dos Tacos (D4) ul. Jasna 22, tel. 22 243 4618, dostacos. pl Dos Tacos finally have a venue worthy of the food. Featuring lots of Mexican lizard art and psychedelic, Day of the Dead touches, find the interiors busy with a lively crowd enjoying an exciting range of salsas and authentic Mexican recipes as cooked by Isabela Balderas. $$ 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 www.warsawinsider.pl
listings / restaurants 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. $ 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. $
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La Fiesta Tequila Bar (E4) ul. Foksal 21, tel. 22 829 8560, lafiesta.pl What was once a pretty diabolical Mexican joint has, apparently, experienced a dramatic turnabout. The sombreros and crap have been replaced by a psychedelic, Day of the Dead-style featuring skeletal Mariachi men, not to mention no shortage of tequila bottles. But the real gossip is reserved for the kitchen: gone are the fraudsters who used to work here, and in their place is Jorge Martinez – no guessing where he’s from. Is his menu up to scratch? Absolutely no idea. We left after having a run-in with the worst service experienced since the Cold War ended. $
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 tomato sauce. Just amazing. $$ The Mexican (D1) ul. Podwale 29, tel. 22 635 3232, mexican. pl Everything Mexican food shouldn’t be. There’s zero zing, and no matter what you order anticipate mysterious gloop with lots of mashed cabbage. It’s all such a shame, because with its burbling fountain and courtyard location The Mexican looks like it could be the real deal. Find their latest imposter hawking for custom on Zgoda 6. $$ Restaurante Bunuel (H4) ul. Walecznych 61, tel. 798 659 554
listings / restaurants
Spoco Loco (H4) ul. Francuska 8, spocoloco.pl It begins with a bead of sweat. Then a couple of tears. Then the real pain starts and doesn’t retract until you’ve rolled on the floor and died for twenty minutes. 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 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. $$ Le Cedre 84 (B3) Al. Solidarności 84, tel. 22 618 8999, lecedre.pl Le Cedre just keep on getting it right. Authenticity is key in this chainlette (well, there’s another across the river), as you’ll discover when talking to Tony, the Lebanese owner. To see the diversity of this cuisine, order the balbaak (six cold starters) or the byblos (six hot). And food aside, it’s the atmosphere that carries them that extra yard: the whole philosophy of this cuisine is to share and share alike, making it a uniquely engaging experience when dining with friends. $$ Marrakesh (E5) 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 skewered meats. Early feedback has been largely positive, with decent prices and fresh flavors doing their bit to stir local interest. $$
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Sokotra (D5) ul. Wilcza 27, tel. 22 270 2766, sokotra.pl It says a lot for Warsaw’s developing tastes that it can now house a successful Yemeni venture. Bathed in chatter and chaotic kitchen sounds, Sokotra is an informal place with Indian twists on the menu, and a card that encourages plenty of plate sharing. $$
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. $$$
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Amber Room at the Sobański Palace (E6) Al. Ujazdowskie 13, tel. 22 523 6664, amberroom.pl The Amber Room is, indeed, a bit of a treasure. You know all the chefs we bang on about in this mag? Bottom line, the good ones came through via this kitchen. But this is more than a training ground for future stars, it’s a place that remains on the cutting edge in spite of its seemingly straight look. Positioned inside a majestic villa, the food is pure contemporary Poland, and well deserving of its Michelin nod. For that, thank chef Robert Skubisz. $$$
i Piątk AY /FRID
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. $$
ŚNIADANIE ST /BREAKFA0
mule+w ul. Okrzei 23 03-715 WarszaWa tel 22 40 45 489
listings / restaurants Atelier Amaro (E6) ul. Agrykola 1, tel. 22 628 5747, atelieramaro.pl The recipient of Poland’s first Michelin star, Atelier promotes pedigree Polish produce enhanced by modern techniques, with courses interspersed by occasionally bizarre interludes (leaves, flowers, twigs, etc.). Don’t miss the bespoke vodka menu, either. It’s an extraordinary dining experience, and one which confirms the growing cult of chef Wojciech Amaro. In the hours you’re here, the world stops and you leave feeling like James Bond. Reservations are mandatory, with a waiting list that is approximately two to three months long. $$$ Bazyliszek (D1) Rynek Starego Miasto 1/3, tel. 22 831 1841, bazyliszek.waw.pl Some parts of Bazyliszek hark to its years as a stately, stuffy restaurant. Now though it’s more earthy, with Jurassic portions of meaty, lardy food best consumed with one-liter beers. The Rynek location and festive atmosphere account for
its popularity more than anything that comes from the kitchen. $ 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. $$ Chłopskie Jadło (D6) pl. Konstytucji 1, tel. 22 339 1717 A nationwide chain enterprise designed to mimic a peasant inn, what with all the clunky pots and rustic supplements. And if it’s farmers fare you’re after then the food isn’t bad either, with thick, lumpy servings of countryside classics and soup presented in bread. Twenty-something Poles cringe at such a representation of their country,
but there’s no denying it: it’s an accurate caricature of a mountain-slope karczma. $
Czerwony Wieprz (Red Hog) (B3) ul. Żelazna 68, tel. 22 850 3144, czerwonywieprz.pl Shush! Big Brother is watching in the Red Pig, but the beady-eyed tyrants who stare down from the portraits do little to impede the sense of revelry. A cheeky celebration of days of yore, this commiethemed restaurant is always great fun. The menu is a humorous affair divided between dishes for the proletariat and the dignitary. Another vodka, comrade, and the first secretary’s pork loins while you’re there! $$ Dawne Smaki (D4) ul. Nowy Świat 49, tel. 22 465 83 20, dawnesmaki.pl At last, a proper restaurant on
AUTHENTIC POLISH CUISINE
Krakowskie Przedmieście 64 tel. +48 22 826 4770 email. email@example.com www.delicjapolska.pl
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listings / restaurants Nowy Świat! The interiors hark to the past, while the back garden promises an oasis-like experience: if you’re new to Warsaw, it’s actually worth hanging around till summer just to see it. Chef Michał Bajerski, formerly of Regina Hotel, wraps it up nicely with a fantastic menu that modernizes traditional Polish recipes. Recommended: deer steak. $$
Delicja Polska (D6) ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 64, tel. 22 826 4770, delicjapolska.pl Looking stately (pink bows, gilt touches and immaculate linen) but never stuffy, Delicja have a modern Polish menu that includes sous-vide salmon marinated in beetroot leaves, then topped with horseradish foam and dill emulsion. Brilliant. But then so was everything else we tried, including the exquisite seasoned roast beef. $$ 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. $$$ Dom Polski Belwederska (F8) ul. Belwederska 18A, tel. 22 840 5060, restauracjadompolski.pl See in Autumn amid curling pathways and bursting shrubs, or sit inside in an interior that conjures images of an aristocrat’s manor. The air of privilege matches a menu that’s rich in fanciful classics such as their signature goose. Elegant and exquisite, consider it your default choice for a taste of true Poland. $$
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
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. $$ Jaś & Małgosia (B2) Al. Jana Pawła II 57, tel. 502 033 711, klubjasimalgosia.pl Back from the dead! An institution dating from the 60s, Jaś & Małgosia have reopened after a three year hiatus. Updated they might be, but the design (concrete floors, exposed brickwork) features several nods to the past – not least a replica of the famous neon that once crowned the roof. The menu was designed in collaboration with Aleksander Baron, and while unglamorous and uncomplicated is food that represents all that’s good about the Polish kitchen: thick soups, fresh vegetables and hefty meat. Most of all, it makes you feel good on a wet, windy day. $ Kafe Zielony Niedzwiedź (E4) www.warsawinsider.pl
listings / restaurants ul. Smolna 4, tel. 731 996 006 Exceeding all expectations in their second year, the Green Bear has turned into the mothership for all things relating to slow food: if in doubt, check the menu, an ode to provenance that comes complete with detailed biographies of their suppliers. Using creative techniques, this restaurant modernizes Polish food and rolls it out inside a stylish building popular with people who look like they might well be famous. Incidentally, the sea buckthorn cream was our top dessert of 2015. $$ 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. $$ Mała Polana Smaków (F9) ul. Belwederska 13/44, tel. 22 400 8048, polanasmakow.pl Put simply, it works on every level: from the service to the space – outside, a terrace featuring upcycled crates overlooking Morskie Oko, and on the inside, a cute little room with woodsy bits
Warsaw Insider | APRIL 2016
and big glass jars of mystery ingredients. It’s casual, but still fit for more serious roles: e.g. girlfriend night. And the food: exceptional. Lots of seasonally changing choices that on our visit meant salmon sausage matched with beetroot and horseradish sauce along with pinches of lavender and fennel. $$ Opasły Tom (E4) ul. Foksal 17, kregliccy.pl 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. Agata Wojda’s cooking is sublime, and on our latest trip include a gentle goose confit rested on pumpkin puree and prune sauce and a smoked trout mousse full of unexpectedly vivid flavors. 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. $$ BEST WAWA 2015 “Modern Polish”
Papu (D9) al. Niepodległości 132/136, tel. 22 856 7788, restauracjapapu.pl The elegant décor sees wood-paneled walls lined with champagne bottles, making it an experience that is at once intimate and romantic. Chef Bartek Kędra’s menu is specifically strong when it comes to white and red meats: order the beef rib. It’s a massive, brutal instrument that
could be used to club someone to death. Falloff-the-bone good, this Flintstone monster is seriously memorable. Other courses are more sophisticated, and include a knee trembling, lipstick red strawberry tartar. $$ 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 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
listings / restaurants 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. $ Solec 44 (F4) ul. Solec 44, tel. 798 363 996, solec.waw.pl 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-totail philosophy with many of his methods reprising extinguished traditions. It’s a real experience, and one that’s enjoyed inside a spontaneous looking, cut-price interior that clacks and clatters to the sound of grown-ups playing board games. $$
Stary Dom ul. Puławska 104/106, tel. 22 646 4208, restauracjastarydom.pl A classic restaurant in style and history: back in the day it was a favorite haunt of jockeys and race goers from the horse track nearby. Pre-war recipes form the basis of the menu, with the team using seasonal produce and the latest technology to bring out its best. $$ 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. $$$ U Szwejka (D6) pl. Konstytucji 1, tel. 22 339 1710, uszwejka. pl Named after the fictional Czech soldier Szwejk, the food here would certainly appeal to the tubby man himself. Bestowed with Prague street signs, the food is a hardy, meaty affair, and arrives in XXXL portions. The price to quantity (Note: not quality) ratio guarantees queues (yes, queues) that stretch out on the street every weekend. $$ 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 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. $$
Traditional Polish cuisine Live music The best wine, regional beer and spirits Grand Kredens - 19 years full of tradition
Zapiecek Locations inc. ul. Nowy Świat 64, Al. Jerozolimskie 28, Freta 18, Freta 1 & Świętojańska 13, tel. 22 635 61 09, & ul. Wańkowicza 1, open 11:00-22:00, CH Arkadia, zapiecek. eu Seven Warsaw locales, with our favorite found in the vaulted passages of Świętojańska. The menu is highly traditional, with courses ‘cooked to grandma’s recipes’. It’s for the pierogi though for which they’re famous; find approx. fifty types delivered by servers dressed like saucy country maids. $
Zielnik (D10) ul. Odyńca 15, tel. 22 844 3500, restauracjazielnik.pl A quiet Mokotów side street is the setting for this little secret. In it, flowers, lots of them, and a warming wood interior just right for winter. And then the food arrives: dainty veal dumplings, and tender braised veal that’s good for the chills. You leave knowing you have eaten honestly and well. $$
Aleje Jerozolimskie 111 tel. +48 22 629 80 08 Mob. +48 697 900 000 firstname.lastname@example.org www.kredens.com.pl Share your opinion www.warsawinsider.pl
listings / restaurants 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
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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 ordering and English-speaking staff. 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. 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 syna-
listings / restaurants gogue, stock up on Kosher produce from the friendly store, before hitting up the falafel tent outside for, aside from the obvious, kosher ice cream. 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 canned and tinned foods from France. 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. Mojo Picon (D5) ul. Poznańska 3, mojopicon.pl Mojo Picon specializes in vending Spanish groceries, expressly the produce of the Canary Islands. A creditable charcuterie section is enhanced by an array of cheese, wine and jarred exotica. 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 houses Amigos (B5) Al. Jerozolimskie 119, restauracjaamigos. pl Educated by George Bush’s former private chef, the cooks at Amigos have mastered a comprehensive menu that’s nothing if it isn’t a roll-call of true Texan tastes: steaks, ribs and other dishes befitting of the Dodge City saloon-style surrounds. Neither is the south
listings / restaurants of the border forgotten, with strong cameo appearances from the chimichanga and fajitas. $$
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.
of cows. A red-blooded affair, the menu is a steak sensation and well paired with a handpicked wine list. $$
Beef n’Pepper (C5) ul. Nowogrodzka 47A, tel. 731 307 377 A social space that encourages friends to gather and make merry over big meaty courses. Served on heavy tree stump plates, steaks here use Polish Angus aged for a 28 day period. If you’re into the concept of sharing with your fellow man, then the Beef n’Pepper plate offers a pile of everything: wings, ribs, steak. $$ 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
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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. $$$ Hoża (D5) ul. Hoża 25A, tel. 603 778 275, hoza.warszawa.pl Wine and steak: it sounds so simple, but Hoża have taken two simple pleasures to another level. It’s a vibrant space with service right out of charm school, and a kitchen team with a real knowledge
Merliniego 5 (E10) ul. Merliniego 5, tel. 22 646 0810, merliniego5.pl A classic looking steakhouse that swirls in shadow, brickwork and elegant touches, it’s a place to immerse yourself in an atmosphere that’s all surreptitious conversation and distant clinking glasses. The steaks are out-of-this world, with USDA prime beef from New York’s legendary Ottomanelli & Sons and Scottish beef from London’s Smithfield Market. On our last visit we splurged on the Grade 9+ wagyu ‘kobe’ rib-eye and found ourselves eating the steak of a lifetime. Simply amazing. $$$ 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
listings / restaurants light woods and soft touches, not to mention blackboard slogans such as ‘Eat Meat’ and ‘Love Bacon’. The heart of their act is indeed meat, and involves T-bone, rib eye, chateaubriand not to mention a few burgers. 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. $$
An anonymous design and out-of-town location never stopped guests flocking here. But that stands to change after the departure of chef Chanunkan Duangkumma. What was Warsaw’s best Thai now finds itself facing the biggest challenge of its existence. $$
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. $$
Suparom Thaifood II al. Wilanowska 309, tel. 22 853 3087, suparomthaifood.pl Tiny, when compared to
Thai Thai (C2) Pl. Teatralny 3, tel. 601 818 283, thaithai.pl In terms of design it’s little short of perfect:
Salto (C6) ul. Wilcza 73, tel. 22 584 8771, saltorestauracja.pl When Martin Gimenez Castro scooped top prize in the Top Chef program it simply confirmed what foodies had known for years: that this is a man of some talent. Now leading the kitchen in Salto, the highlight of Castro’s menu is undoubtedly the ‘steak weekends’. We challenge you to find better. During the week opt instead for his South American inspired dishes. Salto has the hallmarks of a success story, and under Castro’s captaincy that’s a certainty to happen. $$$ BEST WAWA 2015 “Foreign Chef”
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? $$ Natara Old Town (D1) ul. Szeroki Dunaj 13, tel. 22 635 2501, natara.pl Last year saw Natara considerably outgunned by the competition, but it remains a top Thai choice. Set inside the old town walls, the exterior looks magical, so it’s disappointing to find an interior that’s all dowdy brown and droopy plants. The food though remains consistently good thanks to an owner who is committed to true Thai tastes. $$
A PLACE IN WHICH WINE PLAYS THE FIRST CHORD IN HARMONY WITH WHAT APPEARS ON THE PLATE…
WE WELCOME YOU
Naam Thai ul. Saska 16, tel. 505 110 100
listings / restaurants 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 A calming, almost holistic interior sets the tone for a meal dominated by the rich and aromatic tastes of Thailand. For a snappy, spicy start begin with a mango and cashew salad, before moving forward and onto their celebrated curries. Imported chefs keep the flavors authentic, with the pad Thai something of a must. $
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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 Krowarzywa (D5) ul. Marszałkowska 27/35, tel. 881 777 894 ul. Hoża 29/31, krowarzywa.pl ul. Hoża 29/31, krowarzywa.pl No matter how much you think about it, there’s something wrong about a burger without meat. So how could something so wrong be so right? That these vegeburgers have won carnivores over says it all. Using 100% plant-based products, here’s a place that strikes gold every time. Our favorite? The cieciorex chickpea burger. Now in new digs, the latest address is a step-up in size from the previous address. Even so, it packs out in the evening. $ Lokal Vegan Bistro (D5) ul. Krucza 23/31, 517 615 122 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 vege interpretations of the schabowy chop, not to mention their eco slant on junky foods like kebabs and zapiekanka. $ Mango Vegan Street Food (D4) ul. Bracka 20, ul. Dobra 53, mangovegan.pl 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. $ 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.
cafes & wine bars NEW & NOTEWORTHY
KOSMOS (Pl. Grzybowski 2) Warsaw’s next big thing? That’s Pl. Grzybowski. It’s all coming together nicely for the area, and the opening of places like Kosmos is only good news. It’s relatively small footprint swings in its favor, with this café’s natural intimacy working well with a design that features mismatched furnishings, a bouncy sofa, a mirrored wall and a timber-clad bar. Grab a bagel (possibly the best Warsaw’s seen?), order coffee and then fix yourself on the views of the square glistening under the first spring light.
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. Charlotte (D6) Al. Wyzwolenia 18 (enter from pl. Zbawiciela), bistrocharlotte.com The battle lines are drawn: on one side it’s the slobs of Plan B, and on the other the snobs of Charlotte. While the fancy crowd (all jangling Porsche keys and idiotic selfies) isn’t to everyone’s liking, Charlotte’s baked goods are commonly hailed as things of rare beauty. Petit Appetit (E6) ul. Mokotowska 45 The smell of freshly-baked 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.
JASKÓŁKA (Pl. Wilsona 4) A big pinch of retro is what you find in Jaskółka, a cool neighbourhood haunt with low-slung vintage chairs, spindly pot plants, hexagonal floor tiles, and the day’s specials presented on the kind of announcement board you’d find in a milk bar: the waffles are a winner. A supremely chilled place to hang about in, there’s also no shortage of quirky drinks – both soft and beery.
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Rozbrat 20 Bakery & Wine Corner (F5) 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. SAM (E3) ul. Lipowa 7, sam.info.pl A central, communal
listings / cafés & wine bars 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 KusinaDoran is a fine-bread connoisseur, honing her skills at a bread-making course chaired by Raymond Blanc.
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.
cafés Bar Studio (C4) Pl. Defilad 1 The ascetic, modern décor is intentional – both not to compete with the fine adornment of the original walls and to break through the building’s grandiose airs. It’s hard not to be overawed by the sheer gigantism of the Palace that looms above. It seamlessly slips from café during the day into its more culturally active persona in the evenings, with concerts, film screenings, plays and political discussions. Blikle (D4) ul. Nowy Świat 35 (check website for other locations), blikle.pl There’s a cultured, pre-war look to Blikle, a proud cafe with a 100 year history. Famous former clients include Charles de Gaulle who swore by their donuts. Bubbleology (D4) ul. Chmielna 26, bubbleology.pl Looking like a 26th century version of Willy Wonka’s factory (psychedelic colors, Japanese lettering, and doors marked Top Secret), this place is no ordinary café. But that’s down to the drinks, rather than the décor. Warsaw’s original bubble tea stop offers an arsenal of fruit flavors concocted by zany-looking lab-coated staff. Bułkę przez Bibułkę (E8) ul. Puławska 24, tel. 794 000 634, bulkeprzezbibulke.pl There’s a feminine style to this cafe, what with its cute, girly pastels, petite plant pots and woodsy finishes. But
no matter what your gender or age, there’s something immediately sunny and positive about this place. Slow food sandwiches arrive on wooden boards, there’s pretty homemade desserts and a careful choice of wine: falling in love with it is easy. Być Może (E7) ul. Bagatela 14, tel. 519 000 014, 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. Café Iluzja (C9) ul. Narbutta 50A, afeiluzja.pl Bathed in white, black and shades of grey, it’s an allusion to the black-and-white films of bygone days. The interiors as a whole were designed in a 1950s vibe and the massive armchairs are by far the best part. What more do you expect from a café inside a cult socialist era cinema. Café Lorentz (E4) Al. Jerozolimskie 3, cafelorentz.pl Set at the front of the National Museum this place has a nice indoor area with high ceilings and minimalist decorations and a green outdoor area populated by wickers chairs and hammocks (obviously, depending on the season). As is the rage in Warsaw, the menu is light, natural and healthy. Cava (E4) ul. Nowy Świat 30, cava.pl A prime spot on Nowy Świat’s red carpet keeps business brisk in this high-end cafe. Premium Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee available, and best enjoyed on a seasonal terrace that can barely be bettered for its people spotting opportunities. Charlotte Menora (C4) Pl. Grzybowski 2, bistrocharlotte.pl Set to become a cornerstone fixture of new look Pl. Grzybowski, Charlotte Menora is already proving popular with fashionistas, success stories and plonkers. But if the air is smug and self-satisfied, there’s a good reason for that: Charlotte have come to embody modern urban Poland: energetic, ambitious and ferociously trend conscious. And to think, some look at it as a mere bakery. Occupying a long space, the latest outpost of this café chain doesn’t overlook the area’s Jewish heritage, with the menu featuring several Jewish delicacies: the bagels are pretty good.
Chłodna 25 (B3) ul. Chłodna 25 Maybe resurrecting a legend wasn’t such a good idea after all. People once traveled from all across Warsaw to meet here, but after several closures, noise clampdowns and a change in management it’s a mere shadow of what it once was. Shame. A place of creaking floorboards and retro armchairs, it just needs people to stir it into life. 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. Cukiernia Stary Dom ul. Puławska 104/106, restauracjastarydom. pl A beautifully elegant confectionary that evokes memories of Old Poland. Flock wallpaper and checkered floors add to the high tea ambience, as do the lines of glinting bottles and a counter stocked with temptations. Pastry chef Mariusz Palarczykow is a king in his field. Cupcake Corner (D6) Pl. Konstytucji 2, cupcakecorner.pl Having made their name in Kraków, the Americaninspired Cupcake Corner arrive in Warsaw ready to go head-to-head with cupcake giants La Vanille. Creations here include chocolate chip cookie, peanut butter cup, and Oreo, www.warsawinsider.pl
listings / cafés & wine bars with muffins and homemade ice cream (sweet carrot!) also available. ‘We bake happiness,’ they proclaim, and indeed they do. Czekoladowy (C3) ul. Bagno 2, czekoladowy.eu First launched in Lublin in 2011, expanding to the capital was always on the cards. Set in a modern, glass-fronted unit, Czekoladowy has won blanket praise for its stunning cakes,
French Bistro Cafe Bakery Nowy Świat 27 Phone: 22 826 44 61 www.petitappetit.com.pl Open Mon - Sun 8:00 - 23:00
pralines, truffles and chocolate. Demonstrating a fine eye for detail, the creations of Jakub Przysucha are pure luxury and the perfect antidote to a chilly Warsaw day. Czuły Barbarzyńca (E3) 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. Deseo ul. Angorska 27 & Nowy Świat 28, deseopatisserie.com Conducting operations from a glassed-off laboratory at Deseo’s mothership in Saska Kępa, watching pastry chef Piotr Chylarecki at work is to witness a mix of magic and science: you’re not sure which. Calculated precision and intricate methods collide with passion and understanding for the products at hand, themselves sourced from afar afield as Madagascar and the Dominican Republic. The denouement is a selection of pralines and cakes that cause you to stop and stare at these intricate baubles. Drop Juice Bar (B4) ul. Sienna 81 (enter from Żelazna), drop. waw.pl mWhether your body is a temple or a dustbin, squeeze in a visit to the Drop Juice bar (enter through the slidey door leading to the MD Clinic). Specializing in cold pressed juices, smoothies and superfoods, they make a point of using natural products only. Expect no artificial additives, no pasteurizing and no water cheating its way into your drink. Fawory ul. Mickiewicza 21 An intimate neighborhood cafe that comes complete with mugs that announce: “Fresh Coffee Tastes Better”. You bet it does. The smoothies and regional beers are just as good though, and come served inside a white interior splashed with an awesome mural. Kafka Café (E3) ul. Oboźna 3, kawiarnia-kafka.pl A chessboard floor and a collection of antlers on the wall characterize Kafka, a bookstore
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/ 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.
Kosmos Pl. Grzybowski 2 With its super cool atmosphere and primetime views, Kosmos looks set to become one of the hits of the new look Pl. Grzybowski. Note: news just in as we went to press, they’ve also been awarded their alcohol license. For the inside scoop on Kosmos see p. 80. Krucza 23 Café & Bakery (D5) 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. Legal Cakes (B3) ul. Chłodna 2/18, legalcakes.com ‘No need to cheat’ chirps their motto. Proclaiming to be the first of its kind in Poland, Legal Cakes specialize in gorgeous cakes and assorted desserts – the difference being these are all made from completely natural and healthy ingredients. Occupying a pinkish, feminine space just off Chłodna street, their own-made chocolate / fruit ‘batons’ are an essential takeout item. Mała Ziemiańska (D7) ul. Oleandrów 2/4, malaziemianska.pl Sat as it is on a street that’s become the Center of Now, Mała Ziemiańska is a pleasing throwback to slower times. Designed to evoke the artistic spirit of the mid-19th century, this warming café is steeped in shadow and curiosities. A celebration of pre-war Warsaw, the literary pretensions of this bolthole find the walls clad with archaic books and sepia photos of the city that once was. May places like this flourish. Między Nami (D4) ul. Bracka 20, miedzynamicafe.com With 18 years of service under their belt you may
listings / cafés & wine bars 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. 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 (D6) 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 (D4) 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 (C4) 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 autumn sunshine pours through the windows? We go to Państwo to do just that, an echoy, cavernous café with a young, lively crowd that’s keen on scholastic events and political causes. Never does it feel too trendy, or too hipster – it’s a place that’s all about atmosphere and friendship. 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. The interiors supply a retro accent, and are lapped up by a very fashion aware crowd. Resort (C2) ul. Bielańska 1 The main talking point here is a design that utilizes shopping trollies and street signs to serve as chairs and tables, and a pile of second-hand books to form the bar – there’s even a sofa constructed from a bathtub! Themes of recycling are taken to the limit in Resort, yet for all that it never looks junky or cheap. Concerts and comedy nights keep business ticking on quieter days. Secret Life ul. Słowackiego 15/19 You might already
The award-winning Enoteka Polska is back, this time with a new location in the heart of Warsaw’s historic New Town. A perfect combo of restaurant, wine bar and wine store, aside from offering excellent Italian cuisine, we are a renowned importer with a portfolio of prestigious wine labels from across Europe. Our direct import policy allows guests to enjoy outstanding value for money. Rynek Nowego Miasta 13/15, enotekapolska.pl tel. 882 048 012
listings / cafés & wine bars be familiar with Secret Life of Things, a fab design store on the other end of town. Now the same minds have expanded their offer to include this café, a delightful spot that opened in summer. The deckchairs outside may have gone but the hype lingers on: an eclectic design marries a Scandinavian look to an eccentric spirit, while unpasteurized beers, organic teas and a locally sourced menu do the rest. Stockholm Bar & Canteen (D6) ul. Mokotowska 22 Looking for cold ribbons of pink roast beef with potato salad? Or maybe a pile of meatballs with cranberry and veg? If so, then take refuge in Stockholm, an ice cool space with a typically, contemporary Scandinavian aesthetic. Expats hailing from directly up north disagree on the results, but we’ve so far found no fault with the mussels. Nor, for that matter, the Sitting Bulldog IPA. Stor (E3) 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. Wars i Sawa (E3) ul. Dobra 14/16 Creaking floorboards, unfinished plastering and piles of books set the tone to this ‘culture café’. It’s exactly what you’d expect of Powiśle, and the sort of stop best enjoyed on your own with a pot of tea, a dog-eared novel and your tightest skinny jeans. Wrzenie Świata (E4) 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.
and there’s no harm in doing so. One of the Insider’s favorite wine bars, Ale Wino’s food is also top-notch 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.
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:
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Enoteka (D1) 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. 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 selection 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. This vibrant space promises much, not least on account of an inner terrace deck that you know is going to be the talk of this summer. VinoTrio (D5) ul. Marszałkowska 76, vinotrio.pl Specializing in French, Spanish and Italian wine, VinoTrio touts price points that appeal to all incomes – bottles begin at zł. 30. Despite the small footprint the choice is extensive and the ambiance congenial. Wine Taste By Kamecki (C4) ul. Twarda 2/4 Run by Piotr Kamecki, President of the Polish Association of Sommeliers, this beautiful glass-fronted unit functions both as a wine bar and store offering expert advice, cellar design and tastings.
nightlife NEW & NOTABLE
PIVOVAR (ul. Rokosowska 8, pivovar.com.pl) Not even the Google Street View car has been past Pivovar, but don’t see that as a reason to miss it yourself. This little treasure announces itself with a color scheme that’s darker than a witch’s cat; find the good cheer left to the customers, a happy lot buoyed by some outstanding beers from both the Czech Republic and Poland. Join them lolling around on a generous spread of poufs and cushions.
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… The Alchemist (D3) Pl. Piłsudskiego 3, thealchemist.pl What about this then – a tap bar that skips the problem of people bugging the bar staff with stupid questions with a self-service ‘beer wall’ that relies on pre-paid plastic cards as a form of payment. As for the choice, that’s nothing radical but there’s plenty of decent sips that all drinkers can understand. There’s more to like about this particular Alchemist: long and narrow, the design is modern yet full of little details and eccentricities – it feels edgy enough for pre-club drinks, smart enough for business lunch and comfortable enough for all those times in between. Bar & Books (D2) ul. Wąski Dunaj 20, barandbooks.pl Seen through a thin winter 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.
LOCALE (ul. Bytnara ‘Rudego’ 23, locale.waw.pl) Set inside the kind of pavilion building you’d have once found retailing buckets and bins, Locale has a pseudo industrial look with white-painted brickwork splashed with a couple of murals. Locals are hailing it for its pizza and pasta, but it’s also something of a catch-all solution thanks to its healthy selection of wine and regional/craft beers.
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 www.warsawinsider.pl
listings / nightlife 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.
in facilitating slurred conversations with a variety of strangers. Not surprisingly, evenings often extend beyond the advertised closing time of 4 a.m.
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
Bar Warszawa De Luxe (D2) Krakowskie Przedmieście 79 Leave your visit to the weekend when De Luxe unfurls into something resembling a Polish wedding disco. All the requisite characters appear in this spinning vortex of Boney M: vodka-fuelled Incredible Hulks, groping granddads, svelte students and everyone else in between. Somehow, the formula works without a hitch. There are Poles who’d be mortified by this representation of their country, but the truth is, it’s a rip-roaring time that’s enjoyed by most. 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. Bardziej ul. Marszałkowska 21/25 (enter from Oleandrów) Its thanks to places like Bardziej that Oleandrów is becoming one of the most talked about streets around. This split-level bar does a good job of capturing the essence of the area, with inventive ‘author’s cocktails’ matched against a warm, dimly lit interior that’s heaving with cogs, metal hooks and enigmatic dials. The later it gets, the better it is.
Beerokracja (D5) Marszałkowska 99/101, beerokracja.pl You can forget that it’s just opened, the subterranean Beerokracja isn’t far removed from the student union bars you may have frequented 20 years back: Nirvana and Hendrix posters, live bands, a big screen for football and lots of shouty background din. But despite looking like it was rustled up in a day the place works faultlessly: find a great line-up of new wave beers served by a staff who prefer to pour your beer first than answer the phone that’s ringing in their pocket. Beirut (D5) ul. Poznańska 12, beirut.com.pl As hip
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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. 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. Ceska (D4) 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
listings / nightlife 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 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. plWith 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: from the edgy Bermondsey breweries to the Scandinavian giants. Broaden your horizons! Column Bar (D2) 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 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. El Koktel (D5) ul. Poznańska 7 You’ll need to beat the buzzer to descend into this subterranean joint, but the rewards are ample. Tiny in terms of its footprint, this dimly-lit bar excels at serving inspirational cocktails that place invention at the forefront. Rated by bartenders across the city, the drinks list changes frequently and involves plenty of flair and top-shelf ingredients.
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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
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listings / nightlife 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 (E3) 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!
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 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 favorite tap bar of all time! Junior (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 12 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. Junior is that place, a warm little room with five or so taps serving out craft beer, and a promise to become Warsaw’s primary port of call for all things relating to whisky. 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
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listings / nightlife 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. Kufle i Kapsle Żoliborz ul Popiełuszki 19/21, kufleikapsle.pl While Nowogrodzka is the beating heart of the tap bar trend, not even the suburbs are safe from this flourishing movement. By expanding out to Żoliborz, Kufle i Kapsle have cornered a captive market. There’s just seven taps here, but they’re a magnificent seven – find a great representation of Polish craft draught, not to mention a satisfying selection of international bottles. The moderate size works it in its favor, lending it a neighborly atmosphere which sees first-timers quickly converted into returning regulars.
The cocktails number around ten house specialties with names like Long Island Nice Tea and Have You Been A Good Girl. 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, 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.
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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. 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.
Kwadrat (D5) ul. Poznańska 7, tel. 790 010 088, open Mon-Fri 16:00-last guest; Sat 18:00-last guest, kwadrat.waw.pl Nights get blurry in Kwadrat, one of the first bars in town to spread the gospel of regional and new wave beer. Enjoy it alongside an amiable, late 20s crowd.
Między Ustami (D6) ul. Mokotowska 33/35 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.
Lazy Dog (D5) ul. Krucza 16/22, lazy-dog.pl For the cocktail bar, visit a small side room that’s attractively decorated with lots of copper fittings, hanging filament bulbs and high-quality bottles.
Miłość Kredytowa 9 (D3) 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 mez-
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listings / nightlife zanine 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 (D5) 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. 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 Sky Bar (C5) Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79, panoramabar.pl The Marriott’s 40th floor Panorama has had a couple of incarnations: first as a glitzy Dynasty throwback, and then, more recently, as something that could have passed for a business class airport lounge. Now it’s been
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reinvented once again, only this time successfully: find slick, vibrant interiors redolent of London matched up with modern cocktails and twinkling views. 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. 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. 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. Same Krafty Vis-a-Vis ul. Nowomiejska 11/13 You wouldn’t have thought it a year back, but reasons keep emerging to drink in the Old Town. When it comes to pubs, Same Krafty top the list, but try getting served at peak drinking time. So here’s some brilliant news: they’ve now opened another bar opposite. Pass under a dragon’s head before stepping into a supremely friendly room with ten taps, a strong bottle line-up and an atmospheric side chamber. 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 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
listings / nightlife 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 (F3) ul. Solec 44, solec.waw.pl A ghastly commie-era 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 (F5) ul. Szara 10A, syrenispiew.pl Set in a 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 (D6) 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.
The View (C4) 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. 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, 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
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listings / nightlife 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. 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. Zorza (F5) 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 Bal (F5) 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 pleasureseeking 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. 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,
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soul, funk and electronica. Luminous shots from the longest bar in town ratchet the party up an extra notch. Enklawa (D3) ul. Mazowiecka 12, enklawa.com Forget internet dating, Enklawa is the best pick-up joint around – a classic kitschy, glitzy disco, it draws in huge crowds with a simple lineup of pop and dance hits. Still regarded as the best Wednesday night in Warsaw, it’s the place for singletons looking for a one night confidence boost.
Klubo (D3) 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. Level 27 (B5) Al. Jerzolimskie 123 (Millennium Building), 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 Feeling naughty? 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.
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 Entered under a red, cabaret-style awning, Chwila is a reject factory space turned good. Furry cushions, patchwork quilts and student art vie for attention alongside iron girders and industrial leftovers inside what is becoming known as one of the top alternative music venues this side of the river. The toilet alone, papered with trillions of cool posters and magazine covers, is a reason to linger. Pardon To Tu (C4) Pl. Grzybowski 12/16, 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.
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shopping accessories Agent Provocateur ul. Mokotowska 59, tel. 22 273 6162, 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…
FAIRS & YARD SALES KOTY VINTAGE YARD SALE (facebook.com/KotyVintageYardSale) Two events to look forward to in April: the first, on April 2nd on Tamka 49, and the second on April 23rd in Kino Luna on Marszałkowska 23. As the name suggests, vintage fashion is the name of the game so expect no shortage of hip young things scouring for a bargain. GRAND BAZAR (Dom Towarowy Bracia Jabłkowscy, ul. Bracka 25, facebook.com/ ModneTargi) Followers of fashion should pen April 9th into their diary for the latest chapter of the Grand Bazar: attracting the established names of the Polish fashion circuit, as well as those looking for their breakthrough, it’s one of the most keenly anticipated fashion events in the capital. WARSZAWSKI SMAK (pictured) (Dom Towarowy Bracia Jabłkowscy, ul. Bracka 25, facebook.com/ WarszawskiSmak) Organized for April 10th, this culinary market looks to exploit Warsaw’s growing interest in food. Ingredients, eco-produce, food stations, utensils, kitchen hardware and cookbooks: if it’s related to food, it’s likely to be here. TARGOWISKO SZTUKI (Kubicki Arcades in the Royal Castle, facebook.com/targowiskosztuki) Occurring on April 24th, find 100 upcoming artists showcasing paintings, photography, ceramics and graphic art under the vaulted archways of the Royal Castle. WARSZAWSKA GIELDA PŁYTOWA (Hybrydy, ul. Złota 7/9, facebook.com/WarszawskaGieldaPlytowa) Slated for April 30th (unconfirmed at press time, so check their Facebook for updates), this monthly record fair attracts a huge number of traders vending 7 and 12-inch vinyl records, CDs and cassettes. Find pretty much every genre imaginable represented.
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Anacomito tel. 515 634 010, anacomito.com Luxuriouslooking waist bags make for fashion that’s both modern and logical. More so, it makes the outsized bags of yesteryear increasingly redundant. Either order online, or look out for their presence at Warsaw’s various urban markets. 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. 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
listings / shopping also available inside a chic interior that exudes luxury. Glamourous Pochette tel. (+48) 798 089 959, Glamorous-Pochette. com Leave an unforgettable impression with 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. Impossible Project ul. Mysia 3 The Polaroid comes back to life in Impossible Project, a place with refurbished original cameras as well as new film formula. Kate Roxs ul. Radna 10, kateroxs.eu Beyond the slightly creepy / fetishistic window display (leather Roman body armor), this store has earned a reputation for high quality, natural leather bags. “Our inspiration,” says Kate, “comes from women, not trends.” 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. 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.
Polish PRL stuff), as well as 15,000 comics and books (inc. plenty of sci-fi and historical interest).
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.
Kolo ul. Obozowa 99, gieldastaroci.waw.pl What looks like a soggy tent city transforms each Sunday morning into a hopelessly addictive flea market offering wartime militaria, religious icons, chinaware, furniture from unverified periods of history, and even the occasional suit of armor. Half-junkyard, half treasure trove, it’s an experience in itself.
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!” 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?
Kwadryga ul. Wilcza 29, kwadryga.com Entered through a courtyard, it’s a magnet for bibliophiles, and groans with antique books, faded photographs, yellowing maps and dog-eared magazines – the atmosphere is timeless. The PRL-era lifestyle magazines are an amazing insight into the past. Lamus ul. Nowomiejska 7, tel. 22 831 63 21, lamus. pl Another antique bookstore that comes filled with leather-bound tomes, regal looking scrolls and elaborate maps. Also known for their pre-war prints and paintings of Warsaw before it was knocked down.
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.
Lapidarium ul. Nowomiejska 15/17, lapidarium.pl Cavalry swords, pre-war Judaica, Orthodox icons, books, scrolls, helmets, cameras, chess sets, jewelry… Lapidarium is possibly one of the most famed antique stores in the capital, and presents the opportunity for endless rummaging.
Time To... Design Shop ul. Poznańska 7, timeto.com.pl Discoveries include quirky, spiky bags from MadPax, Haribo jewelry adorned with Gummy Bears and animal print mugs from Pikczersy. Above all though, the place is about timepieces, namely highly individualistic works from the S.T.A.M.P.S brand: averaging around zł. 100, this is as affordable as talking points get.
Prima Porta Antiquities ul. Moktowska 71, primaporta-antiquities. com At the top end of the scale the Germanrun Prima Porta specialize in pieces from ancient Rome, Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia and Asia. Formidable pieces from tiny little Egyptian clay hippos from the 12th Dynasty, all the way to one and half meter statues of Buddha from the Third Myanmar Kingdom.
Antykwariat na Tamce ul. Tamka 45B, antykwariat-tamka.pl How can you not love this second hand store? Presided over by a super-friendly hippy-looking dude, consider this a mine of rare vinyl (Beatles, Hendrix, Sabbath, weird
Atticus ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 12, atticus.pl You can smell the history in this old curiosity shop; set just a few meters from the gates of the university, this antiquarian bookstore has a rich stock of dusty tomes piled www.warsawinsider.pl
listings / shopping higgledy-piggledy on towering shelves. Although Polish is the dominant language, English-language texts are also present and procurable in this hoarder’s heaven. 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.
Chrum ul. Dobra 53, chrum.com Amid a quirky design that mimics a butcher’s store, find a cult collection of tees and hoodies emblazoned with playful slogans and punchy graphics. Showcasing the fun side of Polski design, Chrum caters to customers who enjoy their fashion with a pinch of humor.
Czuły Barbarzyńca ul. Piwna 20/26, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Ania Kuczyńska ul. Mokotowska 61 Ania Kuczyńska is becoming well known for her highly fashionable, minimalist clothing designs. The store also carries adorable baby clothes and various accessories. 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. 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.
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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. pl This elegant boutique on the other side of the river features gorgeous, unique designer pieces. Hamper’s Bay ul. Dobra 11, hampersbay.com Fit out and fit into the local scene by stocking up on clothes from this Powiśle staple. Brands include Komono, Dynomighty, Uggly, Happy Socks and Wemoto. No-one knows why, or too whom, but they also sell surfboards. 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.
Joanna Klimas ul. Nowolipki 2, joannaklimas.com One of Poland’s top fashion designers runs this boutique/showroom. Choose from the latest collections or have a dress custom made for a particular occasion. L’Aura ul. Mokotowska 26 Warsaw has its modest share of designer boutiques, but L’Aura is the only place in the city where you can find unique pieces from the likes of Hussein Chalayan, Dries Van Noten and Veronique Branquinho.
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. Muji ul Mysia 3, muji.com.pl Having first opened its doors in 1983, in Japan, Muji still retains its simple aesthetic and ethos of marrying functionality with sophistication, with products ranging from furniture, kitchenware, stationary and clothing. Check out their online store. 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,
listings / shopping
Our boutique offers shoes for both men and women sourced from Italy by the owner. Featuring prestigious brands otherwise unavailable on the Polish market, our models are always in line with the latest trends with each pair unique and unrepeatable. ul. Piękna 11A, tel. 22 617 2222, ditrevi.pl
At VAN THORN we combine traditional sewing techniques with modern cutting to make your suit and shirt look the way you want. VAN THORN is the first place in Poland to exploit 3D body scanning technology to create the perfect fit. ul. Sienna 39, tel. 22 243 7377, vanthorn.pl
Ptasia 6 is a unique ladies fashion concept store, placed in the very center of Warsaw, showcasing the works of both emerging and established independent Polish fashion labels such as Eva Grygo, Magda Hasiak, Horror! Horror! and Szyjemy Sukienki. ul. Ptasia 6, tel. 733 874 609, ptasia6.com
We are a men’s fashion design studio with our own fashion label. Our concept is based around the unique but well-recognized Scandinavian style. Our brand values simplicity in its design while placing emphasis on details. ul. Burakowska 15, tel. 501 339 222, reykjavikdistrict.com
listings / shopping 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. Premiere Klif shopping Centre, ul. Okopowa 58/72 The boutique continues the Versace connection with a special “Versace Corner” nestled in the company of the last pieces from the Calvin Klein Collection and VJC Versace.
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.
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.
Viola Śpiechowicz ul. Kolejowa 55 (Łomianki), vsstore.eu/ violaspiechowicz.com Viola Spiechowicz is an inspiring, unpretentious and highly creative fashion designer who has cultivated her own original and inimitable style since her 1992 debut. Her designs are the result of a long search for the perfect form, texture and color scheme, lending each project its own unique style: be it fashion, upholstery fabrics or accessory design.
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.
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.
Reykjavik District ul. Burakowska 15, tel. 501 399 222, open Tue-Fri 13:00-19:00; Sat-Sun 13:00-17:00, reykjavikdistrict.com Chic, well-cut menswear for all occasions as designed by upcoming Icelandic native Olly Lindal.
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.
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?
Warsaw Insider | APRIL 2016
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, arkadia.com.pl
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, galeriamokotow.com.pl 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.
family activities Copernicus Science Centre ul. Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 20, tel. 22 596 41 00, open Tue-Fri 9:00-6:00; Sat-Sun 10:00-7:00, 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.
HEALTHY HABITS: SOK! Sugar taxes in the UK, World Health Day on April 7th and Warsaw’s Marathon on 24th means spring requires more peeling than just winter layers!
PHOTOGRAPH BY GILL BOELMAN-BURROWS
HALA MIROWSKA (Pl. Mirowska 1) There is no better place in Warsaw to inspire a healthy family lifestyle than this 19th century market place. If it’s not the bounty of ripe and refreshing fruits and vegetables then the bustling aisles of overripe and ruthless Polish pensioners doing the shopping bag work out, should do it! Be prepared to stand in a few rather unorganized queues – but it’s worth it for zł. 3 mangoes, zł. 4 pineapples and zł. 1 avocados.
SOK BAR (ul. Tamka 22/24) This small juice bar is proudly blitzing and mixing kilos of Polish apples daily with other seasonal produce. When enticing children to experiment, they’re not averse to adding the odd exotic ingredient: hold your horses for the Doctor Robot! This is a kid’s veggie smoothie with kale, spinach and beetroot blended with carrot and apple. The DinoVita, with a dash of North Sea fish oil, is a fruity, more ladylike smoothie but its nutritional values are equally powerful. GYM GENERATION (for locations see: gymgeneration.pl) The Gym Generation team, situated in Żoliborz, Mokotów and Konstancin are always busy blending fitness, fun and food into the daily lives of children. Their carefully designed spaces are kitted out with top quality, colorful exercise equipment, but when it comes to drinks the team say the hard sell is always those leafy greens such as spinach or kale. Their tip: popsicles! Chopping, blitzing and freezing ingredients with a stick has been known to convert even the most stubborn of children. (GBB)
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! 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.
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, www.warsawinsider.pl
listings / family 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. 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. Wilanów Golf Driving Range/ Ekberg Golf Academy ul. Vogla 19, tel. 22 424 7083, open Mon-Sun 9:00-21:00, golfparkspoland.pl Keen golfers (all ages) can perfect their swing at this friendly, well equipped driving range, whilst beginners can opt for professional individual lessons or beginner group programs in English or Polish. There is a weekly junior hour (5-15yrs), ladies hour and fun mini-golf course. Zachęta Gallery Pl. Małachowskiego 3, tel. 22 556 9600, open Tue-Sun 12:00-20:00, 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 Following the National Curriculum of England and Wales, this is the first School in Poland subject to the inspection of the UK Independent School Inspectorate. Pupils receive British and, upon request, Polish reports/diplomas. The school follows a closed admissions policy and limits enrollment of one nationality to below 50% of each class starting from Year 1. The British School Early Years Centre ul. Dąbrowskiego 84 (Early Years Centre), tel. 22 646 7777, british@thebritishschool.
pl, thebritishschool.pl The Early Years Foundation Stage is where a lifetime of learning begins. The British School, Warsaw provides EYFS classes from Pre-nursery (age 30 months) to Reception (5 years old). Children develop quickly and their Early Years practitioners aim to do all they can to help your child have the best possible start in life and become a lifelong learner.
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.
International Trilingual School of Warsaw ul. Nobla 16, tel. 501 036 637, ul. Karowa 14/16, tel. 503 072 119, ul. Królowej Aldony 23/25, tel. 533 321 084, 3languages.pl/ saint-exupery.pl Established in 1994, and formerly known as Ecole Antoine de Saint Exupery, the Trilingual School of Warsaw
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listings / family offers nursery, primary and pre-school education with a French and international curriculum for children aged from one to twelve. The fill-immersion trilingual setting allows for the choice between English, Polish, Spanish / Chinese, or English, Polish, French. Teachers are highly qualified native speakers from the US, France, Spain and China.
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 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. 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 total language immersion. All educators are native speaker pre-school teachers. The comprehensive curriculum follows American, Spanish and Polish curriculum standards. The pre-school was awarded European Language Label in 2012.
schools American School of Warsaw ul. Warszawska 202 (Konstancin-Jeziorna), tel. 22 702 85 00, aswarsaw.org ASW is a premier collegepreparatory 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
listings / family class facility. For further information and/ or to visit our school contact: admissions@ aswarsaw.org or 22 702 85 00. Casa dei Bambini & Toddler School
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 British Primary School of Wilanów ul. Hlonda 12, bsww.pl, tel. 781 988 000 Following the National Curriculum of England and Wales, this is the first School in Poland subject to the inspection of the UK Independent School Inspectorate. Pupils receive British and, upon request, Polish reports/diplomas. The school follows a closed admissions policy and limits enrollment of one nationality to below 50% of each class starting from Year 1.
The British School ul. Limanowskiego 15, tel. 22 842 3281, open 8:00-16:00, british@thebritishschool. pl, thebritishschool.pl Premium international school established in 1992 by Nord Anglia Education. The curriculum is designed to provide the highest academic quality of education. They follow the English National Curriculum, adapted to the needs of their international student community: from Primary through to the Secondary Key Stages to the IGCSE examinations and a wellestablished International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme.
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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 Casa dei Bambini Warsaw Montessori School are set to open their Erdkinder Montessori Middle School as of September 2016. Located at Tatrzańska 5A they promise an extraordinary opportunity for study, work and for daily living. Guided by trained specialists, students will be responsible for managing their household, operating small businesses, caring for local flora and fauna as well as domesticated animals, taking charge of the younger children and much more. “Adolescence Program” activities, integrated with academic studies, help students discover their inner strength to meet life’s real challenges.
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
The Canadian School of Warsaw Elementary School ul. Bełska 7, tel. 692 411 573, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
The Canadian School of Warsaw Middle School ul. Olimpijska 11, tel. 885 420 044 / 885 620 066, email@example.com, canadian-school.pl Provides a
listings / family 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 Psycho-Pedagogical 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..
International Trilingual School of Warsaw ul. Nobla 16, tel. 501 036 637, ul. Karowa 14/16, tel. 503 072 119, ul. Królowej Aldony 23/25, tel. 533 321 084, 3languages.pl/ saint-exupery.pl Established in 1994, and formerly known as Ecole Antoine de Saint Exupery, the Trilingual School of Warsaw offers nursery, primary and pre-school education with a French and international curriculum for children aged from one to twelve. The
fill-immersion trilingual setting allows for the choice between English, Polish, Spanish / Chinese, or English, Polish, French. Teachers are highly qualified native speakers from the US, France, Spain and China. Warsaw Montessori School ul. Szwoleżerów 4, tel. 22 841 3908, firstname.lastname@example.org, warsawmontessori.edu.pl Focuses on the Montessori curriculum with an education based on the integration of conceptual learning and real-life experiences.
American School of Warsaw is hosting an Open House for prospective families.
Come experience us in action! • Tour the school • Interact with administrators, faculty and students • Receive admissions information AUGU ST
SEPT EMBE R
26 30 25 20 Bielawa, ul. Warszawska 202 05-520 Konstancin Jeziorna, Poland www.aswarsaw.org ASW open house.indd 1
R.S.V.P. email@example.com 25,01,2016 14:17
health & beauty cycling stores & service AveBmx ul. Dobra 56/66, tel. 22 828 0213, avebmx.pl Cult BMX store in the hip Powiśle district. Staffed by true enthusiasts who live the BMX lifestyle, it’s the No. 1 spot in Warsaw for those who see BMX as the only way to cycle. 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.
CENTRUM BIEGOWO ERGO (Al. Jana Pawła II 61, ergo-sklep.pl) Using video analysis and other techniques the chaps at Ergo will identify the right running shoe for you. Brands include best-sellers such as Brooks, Asics, Nike, Salomon and Inov-8. Runners can also buy clothing and assorted gizmos. FOOT LOCKER (Al. Jana Pawła II 82, Arkadia, footlocker.eu) The internationally renowned Foot Locker stock running shoes from Adidas, Asics, Diadora, Nike, New Balance and Reebok among numerous others. Not just for runners, find sneakers for all purposes in this Arkadia-based unit. KICKS (ul. Chmielna 21, kicks.com.pl) While focused on basketball shoes (as testified by their Air Jordan collection), find Adidas, Reebok and Nike running shoes among the offer as well as training tops and suchlike. SKLEP BIEGACZA (Numerous locations, sklepbiegacza.pl) The most famous running shop there is. A vast range of clothing, nutrients and accessories supplement a training shoe offer that lists names such as Adidas, Asics, Mizuno, Salomon, Saucony and Under Armour. If you can’t find what you’re after here, it’s unlikely you’ll find it anywhere else in Poland. WARASW SNEAKER STORE (ul. Chmielna 20, chmielna20.pl) Adidas, Nike, Reebok, Saucony and Kangaroos are amongst the stocked brands. Again, while the offer is centred around basketball shoes (they claim to have the largest Nike sportswear collection in PL), there’s also plenty for runners.
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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. 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. Plumbike ul. Puławska 67/69, tel. 690 005 415, plumbike.eu More of a bike boutique than a standard old bike store. Assembled by hand by the Plumbike team, the models here are beautiful, and range from choppers to cruisers in eye-catching colors. 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.
listings / health & beauty golf 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. The realism is incredible. Added benefits include instant analysis and data to improve your game. First Warsaw Golf & Country Club ul. Golfowa (Jabłonna), firstwarsawgolf. com Found 25 kiometers from Warsaw, this 20,000 sq/m complex features a par 72, 18-hole championships golf course, all year driving range, luxurious club house and a stunning environment replete with gliding swans and bouncing bunnies! The final hole, set on an island, attracts golfers from across Poland and beyond. Golf Parks Poland ul. Vogla 19, www.golfparkspoland.pl Keen golfers (all ages) can perfect their swing at this friendly, well equipped driving range, whilst beginners can opt for professional individual lessons or beginner group programs in English or Polish. Among other features are a chipping area, sand bunker, putting green, pitch and putt course and mini-golf. Sobienie Królewskie Golf & Country Club ul. Sobienie Szlacheckie 6 (Sobienie Jeziory), sobieniekrolewskie.pl Set around a 19th century manor house / hotel, the Sobienie golf course was designed by the British Ford Golf Course Design Group and touts 18 holes spread across a highly scenic course approximately 40 kilometers from central Warsaw. Tennis, spa and horse riding facilities also available.
gyms 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. 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
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. 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. Little Gym ul. Bruzdowa 56, tel. 22 842 0728, 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. English-speaking, as well. 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. 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.).
dental clinics 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. 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. Malo Clinic Domaniewska 37 (3rd floor), tel. 22 393 6333, www.maloclinics.com/polska This world class dental clinic incorporates five dental offices, an operating room, two recovery rooms and a state-of-the-art diagnostic center. 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.
spas & salons
0 Bali Spa ul. Nowy Świat 22, bali-spa.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. Barberian Academy & Barber Shop ul. Emilii Plater 25 & ul. Koszykowa 9 Away from the black clouds of metrosexuality, Barberian is where men gather to celebrate being men. Lauded as the local champion of male grooming, this stand out has a rebel www.warsawinsider.pl
listings / health & beauty chic layout and barbers who are experts in their field. 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. 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. 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, 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 MonFri 10:00-20:00; Sat 10:00-last guest, 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.
NEW Spas & Salons
Ouch! ul. Belwederska 32, 22 240 87 67; ul. Bonifraterska 8, tel. 22 298 11 12, ouch.pl Experts in waxing, Ouch! Aim their offer at
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‘busy women looking for express treatments with lasting effects who, at the same time, appreciate a sense of intimacy’. High quality waxes, including fast and accurate epilation treatments whose effects last up to four weeks. Wax treatments for the whole body.
PARDON MY FRENCH
Pardon My French ul. Belwederska 32, tel. 22 240 62 90; Bonifraterska 8, tel. 22 298 11 10; ul. Mokotowska 56, tel. 22 298 10 10, pardonmyfrench.pl Manicure and pedicure treatments with high quality lacquers and an awareness of global trends: if you need an endorsement, Paul McCartney visited when he was in Poland! Free wifi and coffee, as well as the possibility of hosting baby showers and bachelorette parties. Open from 9-8 during the week and 9-5 on Sat (with the Mokotowska branch also welcoming visitors on Sunday from 10-4).
sport Frogs & Co. warsawfrogs.com While it originated as an expat team, Warsaw’s only social rugby club welcomes all: supporters, players, young, old, men and women. The rugby is taken seriously, and so too is the social side. Hangar 646 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. Hash House Harriers Billing themselves as ‘the drinking club with a running problem’, the Warsaw chapter of the Hash House Harriers meets every couple of weeks and welcomes runners and walkers of every level. Search for them on Facebook for further details. 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.
swimming Aquapark Wesolandia ul. Wspólna 4 (Wesoła), tel. 22 773 9191, wesolandia.pl Features a recreational pool, kids pool and a 25 meter pool for more serious swimmers. Also on-site, a water tube, Jacuzzi, tennis and fitness facilities. 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, holmesplace.pl All the ‘premium’ outposts of Holmes Place tout swimming pools, though most agree it is the one in the Hilton branch that’s the best. Enquire direct about membership fees. Private Coaching Tel. 512 517 013, anthonypst.wix.com/ anthonypst Ozzie Anthony offers one-on-one swimming classes conducted at your venue of choice. Fully qualified, he offers tailor-made lessons for all ages and all levels of proficiency: from total beginners to competitive swimmers.
yoga & pilates Astanga Yoga Studio ul. Gałczyńskiego 4, tel. 22 465 8810, astanga.pl Established in 2005, this studio specializes in ashtanga and also offers physiotherapy, Hawaiian massage, reflexology and kalari chikitsa. Bikram Yoga Al. Jana Pawła II 61 lok. 305, tel. 888 204 020, www.bikram.pl A new, modern studio equipped with lockers, showers and the requisite hot room. Practitioners of all levels – from newbie to old hand – are welcome. Diamond Pilates ul. Powsińska 106, tel. 22 331 4495, diamondpilates.pl The first professional Pilates studio in Poland continues to be the pacesetter. Offers group and individual training, the latest equipment, dietary consultations and workshops for instructors. Padma Studio ul. Wilcza 32/100, tel. 22 625 1217, padmastudio.pl A 60 sq/m studio offering classes in dynamic yoga, Afro Latin dance, Samba, Tai Chi and body / mind awareness.
in the city
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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
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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
Relo Planet ul. Batalinou Platerówek 3, reloplanet.com International, domestic and office removals, corporate and individual relocations, fine art shipping, storage, insurance, as well as a full range of assistance services (immigration, etc.).
polish for foreigners Klub Dialogu ul. Ordynacka 13/5, tel. 664 788 004, www. 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.
community Anglican Church in Warsaw ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie 62, tel. 880 580 628, anglicanchurch.pl English language services follow the order of the services of the Anglican Communion and are conducted by Rev. David Brown. Services are held each Sunday at 10:30 and 16:00. InterNations www.internations.org Drawing professionals from home and abroad the mission of InterNations is to bring together ‘global minds’. Now an established part of Warsaw’s social and corporate circuit, their monthly meetings have become Must Do events on schedules round town.
RESIDENTS relocation companies
International Women’s Group of Warsaw iwgwarsaw.eu Unites expat women in Warsaw and offers cultural, educational and recreational activities. Meetings are held on the second and fourth Monday of the month.
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.
Professionals in Warsaw meetup.com/Professionals-in-Warsaw New to town? There’s few better ways to give your social life a jump start than popping along to one of the informal drinks mixers conducted by Professionals in Warsaw. Natives and foreigners of all backgrounds and professions are welcomed – all you have to do is buy your own drinks. Search for them on facebook.
listings / in the city St. Patrick’s Foundation www.irishball.pl The Irish Ball, held on the Saturday closest to St. Patrick’s Day, is legendary in Warsaw as the biggest of the balls. It’s the main annual fund-raiser of the foundation, which distributes the funds raised to various charities over the course of the year.
CSW ul. Jazdów 2, csw.art.pl Situated in a baroque-style castle the center hosts artists from all over the world. The bookshop is of particular interest for artists and intellectuals.
Taste of the Classics www.fnok.pl A Taste of the Classics is a classical music, fine art and dinner entertainment, held regularly in prime locations. The events alternate between formal and semi-formal dress and are held in English. Attendance is by invitation and includes dinner and wine. Toastmasters International www.toastmasters.org.pl Toastmasters is the international organization for improving public speaking and presentation skills. The local club meets every Wednesday at 19.00. Guests are always welcome without any obligation apart from a short introduction. For further details, see their website.
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.
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.
w W a r s a www.city-tour.com.pl
Yellow Double-Decker Bus
Invites you to experience a panoramic tour of tourist attractions of the capital of Poland, Warsaw, in a relaxing and comfortable way. Traveling over the course of approximately 1,5 hour, a double-decker bus will take you past many beautiful and interesting places of Warsaw, such as its interesting districts, palaces and churches, monuments and museums, parks and historical cemeteries, as well as the Jewish historical sites. A GPS 12 language audio-guide, will give explanations and accompany you to make your ride a more adventurous, exciting and an unforgettable one. Excellent Hop on Hop off and one trip service operates every day all year round.
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AT E L I E R
A Month To Remember
While Warsaw glows in the optimism of spring, it’s worth remembering that April, in recent years, has also been a month of mourning… BY STUART DOWELL
pril is a particularly sad month in a Polish calendar that already has most of its pages marked with some kind of tragedy. The death of Pope John Paul II in 2005 and the Smolensk disaster in 2010 both occurred in this month, and while these events happened outside of Poland’s borders, Warsaw was at the centre of the aftermath in both cases. When life in this realm finally ended for Karol Wojtyła, at 21.37 on 2 April 2005, there was little shock. People had been expecting it. Church services had already been held in the days leading up to Saturday to pray for his safe progress to the next world. The hours
112 Warsaw Insider | APRIL 2016
and days that followed were unique and moving. The Poles in Warsaw displayed an understated yet tangible dignity that would be hard to imagine almost anywhere else in the world. As air-raid sirens rang out and church bells tolled, people in the capital moved outside, some to light remembrance candles, some to simply share the moment with neighbours. The scouts mobilised rapidly and served the city with distinction. Over the next few days, a carpet of burning candles accumulated along Al. Jana Pawła II, intensifying around street signs bearing the Pope’s name and intersecting with another dense wave of candles on Świętokrzyska, embossing a fiery crucifix onto the capital. After the Nazi Armageddon, the terror of Stalinism and the decay and humiliation of Communism, John Paul II gave the Poles their dignity back, and through their decorum and decency at the time of his death they repaid him in full. Just five years later another cruel wind of grief blew across the city. It was 8.48 on the morning of April 10th when news first arrived in Warsaw that the President’s plane had crashed on its approach to the military airport north of Smolensk killing him, his wife and all other passengers and crew. The reaction was different this time. Shock, disbelief and horror spread through the city and country from its source at the foreign ministry at lightning speed. There was little anger – that came later. Despair and resignation were common responses. After all, Poland is the Christ of nations, according to some, and its role is to die on the cross to save the world. But how many times, people asked. The Presidential Place became the natural focal point for the people of Warsaw to grieve and express their bewilderment. A sea of candles spread north and south under the gaze of an equestrian Prince Józef Poniatowski. The scouts spontaneously started to offer first aid and opened information points. In fact it was the scouts who erected the wooden cross in front of the palace with a sign pledging that it would remain in its place until a monument was raised there in honor of the victims. Did they realise that this simple wooden cross would soon become a symbol for the divisions in Poland that are perhaps at their widest today?
TWO FLOORS OF THE BEST MUSIC PLAYED BY WORLD RENOWNED DJs WE CREATE A NEW, HIGHER LEVEL OF CLUBBING IN POLAND 22.04 THE VIEW LIVE FEAT. NATALIA NYKIEL 30.04 DIMITRI FROM PARIS 13.05 CYPRESS JUNKIES Eric Bobo (Cypress Hill) & Dj Rhettmatic (Beat Junkies) 12.06 TOM NOVY 24.06 MICHAEL CANITROT 25.06 ROOF TOP B-D PARTY THE VIEW A: Twarda 18, Spektrum Tower / Reservation: firstname.lastname@example.org M: +48 663 971 942 / W: theview.pl / F: facebook/theviewwarsaw 28th FLOOR
This April the Insider discovers the underground sounds of Warsaw, the story behind Emilia, cruises Krucza and goes vegan!