• The King Of Neon • Local Lower League Football • Warsaw Fashion Street • Best Bars For Summer The Capital’s Original City Magazine Since 1996
INDEKS 334901 ISSN:1643-1723
(VAT 8% included)
JUNE 2016 Editor-in-chief Alex Webber
firstname.lastname@example.org Art Director Kevin Demaria email@example.com Fashion & Style Editor Małgosia Krakowska firstname.lastname@example.org
Poland that brings to mind a cheap hotel shower – it’s either screaming cold or scalding hot. If there is an in between, then I’ve yet to find it. Frankly, I can live with that, particularly the latter. With June promising to continue the tradition of ovenbaking us alive, there’s few better times to get out and about. Which is why, this issue, we perched photographer Kevin Demaria on a bike and sent him yonder with instructions to document the wall murals of Praga. Elsewhere, the incomparable Stuart Dowell speaks to the man behind the rebirth of Polish neon, while style editor Małgosia Krakowska explores the background of the Warsaw Fashion Street festival. Bookending that, we’ve peered into the grubby world of lower league football, embarked on an unlikely animal safari and scoped out the four bars that stand to change your summer. Breathless stuff that I hope you enjoy – see you next month!
Opener 9 News 10 Ice Cream 12 Design 14
Art & Sculpture 18 Murals of Praga 20 Warsaw Neon 26 Lower League Football 30
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
Alex Webber email@example.com
Restaurants 51 Cafes & Wine Bars 82 Nightlife 87 Shopping 96 Family 105 Health & Beauty 110 In the City 115
Urban Burritos 35 Bar Round-up 36 Joseph’s Bistro & Wine 38
Dyletanci 40 Kalaya 42
The latest marketplace news from the Warsaw Insider’s friends and advertisers… 44
Map 118 Looking Back 120
Publisher Morten Lindholm firstname.lastname@example.org Contributors: Gill Boelman-Burrows Stuart Dowell Maria Mileńko Michał Miszkurka Ed Wight Advertising Manager Jowita Malich email@example.com Senior Key Account Manager A. Julita Pryzmont firstname.lastname@example.org ey Account Manager K Adam Fogler 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 TECHGRAF Tel. (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 Quite self-explanatory, don’t you think. For more on the murals of Praga see p. 20
(Illustration by Michał Miszkurka)
PHOTOGRAPH BY ED WIGHT
There’s something about
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
Chopin in the Park Every Sunday, 12:00 & 16:00 @ Chopin Statue, Łazienki Park Listen to some of Poland’s top talents – young and old – recite works from Chopin’s oeuvre in the rose-fringed gardens of Łazienki Park. The Sunday concerts run each summer and attract hundreds.
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
Editor’s Pick Orange Festival One of Warsaw’s biggest music events finds itself moving to pastures new this year. Performers include Skrillex, Lana Del Rey, Editors and Die Antwoord. 3-4 June, Służewiec Race Track, orangewarsawfestival.pl
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 include Żoliborz, Powiśle, Ursynów and Mokotów. For further info, see: targsniadaniowy.pl
Equality Parade 11 June, 15:00 @ ul. E. Plater Conservative attitudes, and past attempts to ban the parade altogether, have done little to damage the momentum of the annual equality parade, though in the current political climate this event seems more relevant than ever. Full of color and fanfare (and banging club sounds) this year’s route begins between PKiN and Central Station and concludes across the river. For details, see: paradarownosci.eu
18 June @ Progresja, ul. Kaliskiego 15
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Imany’s distinctive transatlantic voice and Afro-soul sound first came to mainstream attention with her debut 2011 release The Shape of a Broken Heart, an album which went triple platinum in Poland. Tickets from zł. 125 @ eventim.pl
International Yoga Day 19-21 June, 8:00 @ Pole Mokotowskie Following its runaway success last year, for the second time on the trot Poland will be joining this global celebration of yoga with a program that includes yoga sessions, an attempt at a world record, workshops and musical concerts. Further details unavailable at press time. For info, see: dzien-jogi.pl
Andrea Bocelli 26 June, 20:00 @ Legia Stadium, ul. Łazienkowska 3 Left completely blind after a childhood accident playing football, the Italian tenor has gone on to become one of the world’s most eminent opera singers with over 80 million record sales to his name. Tickets from zł. 180 @ eventim.pl
Gogol Bordello 26 June, 20:00 @ Progresja, ul. Kaliskiego 15 Loosely defined as ‘gypsy punk’ you’re right to expect something off the wall from this mob. Comprised of Ukrainian / Russian immigrants (not to mention an Ethiopian, Ecuadorean and a Chinese Scotsman), the band were formed in Lower Manhattan, and have become a fixture on the alternative international festival circuit. Tickets from zł. 105 @ eventim.pl
Follakzoid 26 June @ Pardon, To Tu, Pl. Grzybowski 12/16 This Chilean-based group began life as ‘a trance experience’ but have since developed “into something more upbeat, obscure, and sharp, yet even simpler in terms of elements.” See for yourself at one of Warsaw’s top alternative music venues. Tickets from zł. 45 @ Pardon, To Tu
What’s hot, what’s not: the faces and stories trending around town Zadie Smith reading to an audience at the Big Book Festival, 2015
POLAND IN BOOKS
Is to be spent on public libraries
The number of library visits last year
Books borrowed from libraries last year
1,700 The number of Librarians in Poland
1,295 The number of
Turn-up for the Books
Want to play your part in a world record attempt? That opportunity presents itself this June when bookworms will congregate in an effort to smash the record for the number of people reading together in public. Planned for noon, Sunday June 12th, the bid will take place in Morskie Oko as part of the 4th Big Book Festival. “Bring friends, children or your dog,” say the organizers, adding that those who forget to bring their own reading material will be able to rent some literature on the day from the on-site mobile library. Established in 2013, the event has been dubbed ‘Europe’s youngest book festival’ and will officially kick-off on June 10th with an evening performance of Hamlet. Previously attracting literary luminaries of the calibre of Zadie Smith and Hanif Kurieshi, highlights this year include lectures and readings by journalist / author Ed Vulliamy, who will be speaking about his time reporting on the Bosnian conflict, and the Canadian writer / poet Michael Crummey, who is scheduled to talk about the magic of living on ‘the world’s edge’. Aiming ‘to merge literature, entertainment, urban space, media and people’, the three-day event will also be offering visitors the chance to ‘share a meal with a stranger while learning about the meaning of simple food in the global ecosystem.’ For further details, see: bigbookfestival.pl
Reading clubs in the country
Of Poles prefer traditional books over e-books
Of Poles read at least one book last year
Of Poles read three to six books per year www.warsawinsider.pl
Raising the Flagpole
Plans by Russian bikers to ride through Poland as part of WWII ‘Victory Day’ celebrations were thwarted for a second year running sparking a furious response from the Kremlin. Supported by Vladimir Putin, the ultra-nationalist Night Wolves had hoped to cut through Poland before finishing their journey in Berlin. Once again, however, they found their route barred after Polish authorities deemed their actions to be a security risk. Amid rising tensions between the counties, Moscow blasted the ban as being “cynical” and “ill-intentioned”.
Officials at City Hall have once again come under fire after more suspicious blazes ripped through a set of protected buildings on ul. Łucka. Said to be amongst the oldest structures in Warsaw, the 19th century tenements have stood empty for years while awaiting renovation. Though the finger of blame has been pointed at homeless intruders, many suspect darker forces at work. Fires in abandoned historic buildings have become increasingly frequent, fueling rumors among the public that property developers are sidestepping heavy restoration costs by simply burning down the real estate in their care. That ul. Łucka stands to become a core element of Warsaw’s new business district has been cited as a further motive, with several locals questioning whether the city is really doing enough to secure its heritage from unscrupulous investors.
Brick By Brick A new board game offering players the chance to rebuild war-ravaged Warsaw has hit the shelves to wide acclaim. Launched as part of the Royal Castle’s “Night of Museum’s” event, the creators of Obudowa Warszawy 1945-1980 claim it challenges participants to “implement standards and tasks to help in the reconstruction of the destroyed city – he who builds the most, wins!”
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
TOP PHOTOS SHUTTERSTOCK, BOTTOM PRESS MATERIAL
The residents of Targówek proved their patriotic credentials in May when they unveiled the longest Polish flag ever recorded. Measuring 1,556 meters in length, the giant banner was revealed as part of local Constitution Day celebrations, and smashed the previous record – set in November 2015 by the natives of Sulejówek – by over 300 meters.
ice cream THE ICE QUEENS Budka Za Lodami (Francuska 30) Natural
ingredients and creative flavor combinations have made this innocuous wooden cabin a legend.
La Maison (Chłodna 15) The pedestrian choice
of flavors mark this out as one for the traditionalists, nonetheless, the quality is outstanding. Must try: pink grapefruit.
Limoni Canteri 1952 (various locations: lodziarnielimoni.pl)
Traditional gelato matched against oddities such as cucumber, beer and, even, ice cream for your dog!
Lody Prawdziwe (Nowy Świat 22) A legitimate
contender for the best ice cream in town – just wait for the cherry season for an ice cream to die for.
Lodzia (Jana Pawła II 18)
One to watch, this newbie has made a promising start with natural ice cream that goes from standard to wacky: the banoffee is a winner.
Nitro Lody (Zwycięzców 11) This venture specializes in ice cream frozen with liquid nitrogen by lab-coated staff: the whole process ensures your ice cream is smoother than a pane of glass.
Sucre (various locations: sucre.pl) Others get
Looking to make money this June? Then open an ice cream stand. The natives can’t get enough, and if any proof was needed then let the queues in Old Town speak for themselves. Yet while the historic center exemplifies the Polish love affair with ice cream, it’s also miles off the pace when it comes to quality control – at best, you’ll end up with towers of stuff that looks like radioactive waste; at worst, it’ll be about as healthy as well. Instead, those in possession of The Knowledge will be heading further afield to the zillions of artisan parlors that have popped up like pimples. Forget the Plain Jane options of yore, join the super cool by embracing the new wave of offbeat flavors made with natural ingredients.
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
the headlines for their gimmicky flavors, Sucre prefer to keep it simple. That works in their favor: there’s no better natural ice cream in Warsaw.
Vegestacja (Puławska 38) Vegan ice cream...
Get this, flavors include Colombian muesli with yogurt.
Warszawskie Lody Tradycyjne (Jana Pawła II 38) A hole-in-the-wall
whose numerous hits include the best-selling mango/papaya.
design but at the end of the day that’s what makes our work interesting. Each project is a thrill even if we need to face challenges. In our hitherto realizations we’ve usually had to deal with tight budgets – that really calls for a designer’s creativity! But working on a project involves more than just having an eye for aesthetics. At times it can feel like we’re psychologists: it’s vital that we’re able to learn the client’s thought process, empathize and analyze them, and build a solid level of trust. Once that level of trust is established the rest follows. In a way, our work has parallels with relationships – sometimes there’s an immediate connection with a client, a ‘love at first sight’ situation, other times we need to work through the issues.
Anna, Katarzyna and Michał of the acclaimed 370 Extremely Creative Studio talk to the Insider about the changing face of bar and restaurant design… WI: Is there much of a difference between designing bars and designing restaurants? 370: Restaurants usually require a more intimate atmosphere, people need to be able to get comfortable. Furthermore, when working on a restaurant quite often the largest consideration entails dealing with the bits the customers don’t see. Bars, on the other hand, are all about fun. Even the way people prefer to sit is different. That said, we’re seeing more and more venues blurring the line between restaurant and bar, and that’s obviously a pretty good strategy from the owner’s point of view. WI: What’s challenges do you face in your line of work? 370: Deadlines, construction supervision, differences in opinion:
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
WI: How important is the building itself? 370: Very. In the case of La Sirena, we removed three layers of flooring and discovered amazing original tiling; we also had to demolish a dividing wall but ended up using the old brickwork for a pavement. The place itself feels like an important part of the overall project, and I don’t think we would have achieved the same results in a new building. WI: Which places do you rate in terms of design? 370: We’re interested in places that feel genuine, places that have soul. That could mean a beach hut or one of those Greek tavernas where fishermen leave an octopus hanging in the sun. Places need to be
PHOTOGRAPH BY KEVIN DEMARIA
Keeping Design Alive
WI: Your recent work on La Sirena has to be a candidate for ‘restaurant design of the year’. Speak... 370: We’ve received brilliant feedback about it. We’ve actually worked with the client before, updating the branding of their other restaurant, Dziurka Od Klucza. The result of this cooperation must have been satisfying as they decided to ask us to handle their new project. This time they wanted something hardcore, a style that spoke of ‘dirty urban’ and ‘Mexican cartel’. Our immediate response to this brief was: “Ok, so if the place was a person, it’d be Danny Trejo – a.k.a. Machete – from the Robert Rodriguez films.” And that was the moment when we established this kind of a unique understanding; both sides knew that it was the beginning of something special. In our eyes, they were the perfect client: open-minded and passionate about the project. At one stage, and I think both parties would agree, there was something of a friendly rivalry between us to see who could accrue the craziest items – that kind of relationship is great.
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Benihana Restaurant – Japanese cuisine, teppan grill and sushi ul. Twarda 4 (Cosmopolitan Tower), www.benihanapoland.com, reservations: tel. 22 370 2620, email@example.com
honest with regards to what they’re about. Customers aren’t stupid – they can tell if a style doesn’t fit.
WI: Not that long back there wasn’t too much in the way of individualism in Warsaw – Mexican restaurants looked the same. Same goes for Indian restaurants, sushi joints, pizza places, etc. How is the city evolving? 370: Warsaw is developing fast, things change on a monthly basis. But we’ve also got a situation in which a lot of people copy each other; there’s those who simply follow the latest craze. Just look at recent phenomenon like the trends for burgers, bubble tea and Belgian fries. There are certain designs that suit these kinds of places so we have to try and introduce originality. While designing, first we have to find what’s unique about the project and zoom in on that. The thing is, ask an owner what’s special about their place and sometimes, especially when they are new to the business, they don’t know themselves – that’s a problem. Again, that’s why a good client is someone with passion. We try to avoid the obvious; we adapt trends, or rather, add unique accents on them to make them a little different. WI: How do you do that? 370: We always like to add ‘a cherry on top’ – something unexpected. For instance, in the case of Mercer, a bespoke tailor’s, we created a classic, elegant space, but we needed something else, something ‘spicy’. For that we added a puppet dog being led on a leash by a mannequin. For La Sirena we unearthed things like old washbasin taps and rusty chains. These things aren’t expensive, but you can’t overestimate how much they do to add character. And with each new project we always seem to discover an amazing new source: we’ve started cooperating with this guy who collects old lamps. His collection is vast and he knows the backstory behind them all. People like that are like treasure for us. Of course the internet is a great friend, but you have to really get out and about visiting yard sales, auction houses, markets, trade fairs, etc. WI: Where do you seek inspiration? 370: Absolutely everywhere! Walking on the street, traveling, talking to people… All of us suffer from ‘work disease’: wherever we go our eyes catch details, interesting material combinations, colors, textures, all of which we “save for later” in our “inspiration box”. Trips are very enriching. Once you change
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
your surroundings you begin to notice more things and become more curious. If we visit a restaurant on a night out, it’s not food we think of first, instead our automatic reaction is to check the tables out, scope out the ceiling, etc. We design places we’d enjoy being in ourselves, so once we have the understanding of the client we play with different ideas and that in itself feeds and leads to further creativity. WI: Is there a motto you’d live and die by... 370: Without the right synergy this job becomes a nightmare. Cooperation demands trust, so if there was a motto it’d be: “it’s all about chemistry”. 370 Extremely Creative Studio 370studio.com
EURO 2016 JUNE SCHEDULE 23.06
10.06 11.06 12.06 13.06 14.06 15.06 16.06 17.06 18.06 19.06 20.06 21.06 22.06 24.06 25.06 26.06 27.06 29.06
ALB SUI 15:00
AUT HUN 18:00
RUS SVK 15:00
POL NIR 18:00
TUR CRO 15:00
SWE BEL 21:00
RB RF 21:00
NIR GER 18:00
WB 3A/C/D 18:00
ISL AUT 18:00
GER POL 21:00
POR ISL 21:00
ESP CZE 15:00
POR AUT 21:00
IRL SWE 18:00
ROU SUI 18:00
WA 3C/D/E 15:00
UKR POL 18:00
ESP TUR 21:00
FRA ROU 21:00
ISL HUN 18:00
WC 3A/B/F 18:00
HUN POR 18:00
FRA ALB 21:00
ITA IRL 21:00
ROU ALB 21:00
UKR NIR 18:00
ENG RUS 21:00
WD 3B/E/F 21:00
SUI FRA 21:00
BEL ITA 21:00
CZE TUR 21:00
CRO ESP 21:00
ENG WAL 15:00
GER UKR 21:00
BEL IRL 15:00
CZE CRO 18:00
ITA SWE 15:00
WAL SVK 18:00
SVK ENG 21:00
RUS WAL 21:00
WE RD 18:00
RA RC 15:00
WF RE 21:00
(Group A) FRA - France ROU - Romania ALB - Albania SUI - Switzerland • (Gourp B) ENG - England RUS - Russia WAL - Wales SVK - Slovakia • (Group C) GER - Germany UKR - Ukraine POL - Poland NIR - N. Ireland • (Group D) ESP - Spain CZE - Czech Republic TUR - Turkey CRO - Croatia • (Group E) BEL - Belgium ITA - Italy IRL - Rep. of Ireland SWE - Sweden (Group F) POR - Portugal ISL - Iceland AUT - Austria HUN - Hungary W - Winner, R - Runner-up, 3 - Third-placed
THE REAL HOME OF FOOTBALL Live English-language coverage and commentary, summer beer garden, drinks specials and the hottest atmosphere in Warsaw! Play your part in an epic month and join us for Euro 2016 at the Warsaw Tortilla Factory – nobody loves football more. ul. Wilcza 46, warsawtortillafactory.pl
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
ILLUSTRATION BY MARIA MILEŃKO
It’s not just smug nobility and writers you’ve never heard that get commemorated in stone. The city’s soft spot for animals has taken solid shape by way of numerous statues, memorials and wacky installations – with summer in full swing, take yourself on a safari with a twist…
ART & SCULPTURE ANIMALS
1. This doppelganger for the LOCH NESS MONSTER aims to ‘seduce and scare’ with its ‘eerie sensuality’. Whatever ‘it’ is was erected as part of plans to revitalize the river. (by Most Gdański) 2. Legia fans claim this bronze CIRCUS BEAR is waggling his bum at their nearby rivals, Polonia. The truth is, no-one actually knows why he’s there. (Wójtowska 11) 3. Made from red clay and metal, this BISON has been subject to recent surgery to restore a horn and tail. (Park Praski) 4. Standing around since 1981, this 13-METER GIRAFFE aims to tempt kids into visiting the zoo. The whole frame is riddled with holes for birds to chill-out on. (Park Praski) 5. What do you do when you run out of street names? Ask local kids to pick one. That’s why, since 1954, Warsaw has had a street called WINNIE THE POOH. (Kubusia Puchatka) 6. What looks like a DUCK is actually a princess that, according to legend, can only return to human form if a suitor fulfils a daft financial challenge. (Tamka 41) 7. Mirella Von Chrupek has transformed an outdoor display case into ‘Warsaw’s smallest gallery’. Her latest miniature world features a pair of CHIRPY BIRDS celebrating summer. (Marsazłkowska 43) 8. The dogs that once guarded Łazienki lie buried in close proximity to a statue of a drowsy POINTER that appeared in the works of novelist Adolf Dygasiński. (Organgery, Łazienki Park) 9. This park loves dogs so much it’s installed a monument of a smiling GOLDEN RETRIEVER CALLED LOKAT. He’s there to remind people that animals need love! (Pole Mokotowskie) 10. The university’s Department of Geology reminds everyone of their existence with the most underwhelming Jurassic thrill ever recorded: a life-size ALLOSAURUS. (Żwirki i Wigury 93) 11. Known for his animal sculptures, Stanisław Komaszewskiego’s 81-YEAR OLD CONCRETE BOAR has a bronze twin in Łazienki’s Museum of Hunting & Horsemanship. (Królikarnia) 12. CYRIL THE CAT (named after an internet poll) brings attention to the plight of homeless moggies whilst also encouraging wider respect towards the feline specie. (Park Nad Balatonem)
PHOTOGRAPH BY KEVIN DEMARIA
PUBLIC ART MURALS OF PRAGA
Gone To The Wall
For so long kept stony silent, the walls of Warsaw are speaking up, channeling the voice of the wider community through the medium of art. Loaded with relevant messages and subliminal meaning, the gargantuan works that have been splashed onto the sides of buildings are transforming the city, and nowhere more so than the gritty side streets of old Praga.
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
CASTLE (Mińska 12) Acting on the invitation of the 2013 Street Art Doping Festival, Sheffield-based artist Phlegm created
what many cite as being their favorite mural in Warsaw. Complex and mystifying, his intricate masterpiece depicts a castle floating on a planet maintained by downtrodden minions. Making full use of the building he used as his canvas, the structure’s windows have been integrated into the artist’s Kafkaesque vision. DZIURA (Mackiewicza 1) “To me holes are synonymous with childhood,” says German muralist 1010 in explanation of his 3D hole-in-the-wall. “They speak of trying to discover something that’s out-of-reach, something that will always remain unknown...”
PUBLIC ART MURALS OF PRAGA
WARSAW FIGHT CLUB (Środkowa 17) The creation of Irishman Conor Harrington, Warsaw Fight Club blurs the boundaries between classic and contemporary art. Painted in the space of three days, the work presents a pair of colonial-looking chaps engaged in an epic fist fight. “I paint brawling men,” says Harrington, “because I want to demystify the classical art which tends to portray these kind of figures as being elegant and statuesque. By presenting them in direct physical combat I wanted to show the harm they are capable of.” While Harrington’s work has been internationally acclaimed, local councilors have raised concerns that his imagery could encourage street violence on the otherwise peaceful streets of Praga.
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
GOOSE (Brzeska 14A) Possibly the most upbeat out of all of Warsaw’s murals, Praga’s giant goose dates back from 2012.
Added at a time when the city was counting down to the European Football Championships, Diego Miedo’s project aimed to show local kids that rather than loitering around the gates of the National Stadium, they could do something actually useful with their time. Also hoping to illustrate that street art can go beyond vandalistic scrawls, Miedo was joined by dozens of schoolchildren who helped with the design and realization of this jaunty endeavor. Highlights include an upside monkey, a cheerful lizard and a jolly-looking bear poised in mid-roar.
PUBLIC ART MURALS OF PRAGA
PLAYGROUND (Stalowa 51) The work of Ernest Zacharevic, Playground was added to Praga in 2015 as part of the Street Art
Doping event. Showing a group of children scaling a globe-shaped climbing frame, the mural aims to draw attention to Warsaw’s lack of urban planning. “Back in the old days,” explains the artist, “there was a proper play area in the patch of land in front of this building – now though, there’s nothing.” The idea for the artwork came about when Zachervic noticed local kids mucking around in the wasteland, making the most of what little their meagre surroundings offer.
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
BIRD & SNAKE (Bliska 23) It took one day for the Chinese artist DALeast to paint this strangely unsettling mural. Composed of several thousand tangled strands, these brittle-looking wires mesh together to form the image of a bird perched on a cobra. Both creatures project an air of pride, dignity and defiance, and itâ€™s not unknown for the dark intensity of this work to cause passing motorists to slow suddenly. That this moody mural fills the role of a speeding deterrent is unintended; its true purpose was to instill respect towards wildlife. Find it in close proximity to Dw. Wschodni bus station.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN DEMARIA
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
Embraced by the hipster generation, the art of neon has made an unlikely comeback. At the center of this resurgence is a small little workshop operated by Jacek Hanak… BY STUART DOWELL
arsaw, Targówek, ulica Rzeczna. Our fellow bus passengers have dwindled until it is just the photographer and I who emerge into an unloved, rusting part of Warsaw. The only sound is the siren of a distant goods train. The road is losing its battle with the potholes. On the face of it there is nothing here to see, but in the middle of a crumbling industrial park is the beating of heart of Warsaw’s neon renaissance. The workshop is an explosion of glass and colour. Neon signage from the city looks down at us from every angle. The large Radio Telewizja sign from the new bookshop of the same name is back for some final tweaks. Galeria Wypieków looks great in neon blue, and all around are smaller signs enticing us into transgression such as Bar and Wódki. “Fifty percent of all new neon signs are made here. Some other places do neon but they do other things as well. We only do neon.” Jacek Hanak, an intelligent, friendly man and the owner of HANAK Reklama, has worked in neon since 1976. He saw the end of
Warsaw’s golden age of neon, lived through its dark ages in the 1980s and 1990s and has been at the centre of its renaissance. The first neon sign in Warsaw was put up in 1926 on the corner of Marszałkowska and Al. Jerozolimskie and depicted a beer bottle with the word Porter. Since that time, the craft has changed little. “We use the same gases and the same method to bend the tubes. Sure, the lighting system has changed, but that is something different,” explains Jacek. “There are no guidebooks or manuals on how to make neon. You have to learn it by seeing and doing. You learn it over decades.” And here is the paradox: it is a graphic form adored by Warsaw’s younger generation yet one dominated by older men who appear to be a dying breed. A walk through South Śródmieście’s fashionable streets confirms the popularity of neon among hipster hangouts, with the new green Japanese girl adorning the entrance to Youmiko Vegan Sushi on Hoża, made by HANAK Reklama, being the perfect example. The tour of the workshop does not take long and we rewww.warsawinsider.pl
It is a graphic form adored by Warsaw’s younger generation yet one dominated by older men who appear to be a dying breed tire for a chat into the small back office, which doubles as a staff room. The other lads file in, open their lunch bags and eat their sandwiches in disciplined silence. I ask Jacek to tell me about Warsaw’s golden age of neon. “It was a time when outstanding artists were working in neon. The city looked completely different at night.” Why was neon so popular? “The authorities launched a programme called the ‘neonisation’ of Warsaw. Warsaw had been in darkness since the war and they wanted to bring light to the city and make it Europe’s capital of neon.” Whole streets and even districts were ‘neonised’ and it was a time when some of Warsaw’s best-loved neon signs were created, like the female volleyball player on Plac Konstytucji and the blinking cow with a bottle of milk by the milk bar on Krucza. Looking at old photos of the rebuilt parts of Warsaw from the 1950s and 1960s, I often have the impression that the city looked better then. Jacek agrees. “Neon provided a uniformity and simplicity that made the city look nice. Neon is made to last many years, but most of the advertising now is cheap looking and there is no overall concept. Now, when a shop opens they cover all the windows with plastic foil and it looks like the place is closed for refurbishment.” The time for the personal photographs approaches and the men start to look at each other nervously. One of them has already backed out. There is still a chance for a few more questions, though. Do they break down a lot? “Once they have been put up they are very reliable. We don’t encourage any of our customers to sign a regular service contract.” Are they expensive to operate? “No. An average size sign might cost the owner about 70 zlotys a month to illuminate.” Are most of your customers bars and restaurants? “Not really. A large number of them are museums, theatres and other cultural institutions. We even do smaller ones for private homes. In general, our customers are not rich but they have a lot of sentiment for neon and they also understand how practical it is.” The re-emergence of neon as an effective form of advertising after the plastic-dominated 1990s has been accompanied by efforts to save classic neon from buildings that no longer exist and also to secure the designs and archival drawings, which are an important record of Warsaw’s modernist history. Jacek has been involved in both cases. “When people want to restore old signs, they always come to us. I tell them that they have come to the right place because we made the sign originally years ago.” He was also able to hand over a thousand kilos of documents and drawings to the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. How do you see the future for neon? “Positively,” he says in a flash. Jacek has been described as the protector and continuator of Warsaw’s neon legacy, an epithet that sits uncomfortably on this modest man. Yet his passion is clear and burns as bright as any one of his many neon creations.
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
SPORT LOWER LEAGUE FOOTBALL
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
The Gory Game
As Euro 2016 approaches, the Insider explores the murky, desperate depths of the local lower leagues… BY ALEX WEBBER | PHOTOGRAPHS BY ED WIGHT
he eyes of the rest of Europe might well be on France this summer, but mine won’t. Where once I followed the England football team both home and away, nowadays I’ve lost interest: been there, done it, and did it when it mattered. The modern game has killed it for me – the swaggering players and petro-billions, the plastic stadiums and media fanfare. “Football’s never been better,” the commercials boast, but that’s a falsehood spread for TV. My football life began behind the goal at Bristol City, gathering each Saturday with other spotty youths and swaying, fat elders. Below solid clouds of cigarettes and cider, we’d surge as one bellowing allegiance to our team. It was magic. Like magic, that feeling vanished. I still follow my side, but the excitement isn’t the same. The game, at least the way I loved it, has changed. Yet buried deep down in the lower leagues, that raw, secret world still exists, both in England and in Poland. Amazingly – embarrassingly even – I’ve only just discovered it.
My first dalliance had been quite accidental. I was up in Bielany to visit, out of curiosity, an Italian military cemetery that I’d heard about for years. The graveyard was bolted shut, but the stadium next door wasn’t. A team called Hutnik Warszawa were entertaining – in the loosest possible meaning of the word – cross-city rivals Olimpia. At each end of the shambolic ground, dozens of hard core fans had assembled, and as the game petered out into boredom the respective ends resorted to creating their own diversions, lighting flares and unfurling banners. The attendance couldn’t have been more than a few hundred, yet the atmosphere was superior to anything I’d become inured to. At a stroke, ‘the football bug’ was back. A week on and the long May weekend has begun. But rather than heading to the pub in celebration, the photographer and myself have squashed into a taxi to watch Drukarz Warszawa, one of many local teams ploughing away in the leagues that don’t matter. Our request to be taken to their stadium – hidden in a north-easterly corner www.warsawinsider.pl
SPORT LOWER LEAGUE FOOTBALL
A complete howitzer of a shot blazes not just over the bar, but possibly the moon of Park Skaryszewski – is met with the Polish equivalent of ‘whaaaat?’, but after a few laps of the city the driver eventually pins the location. In contrast to the overgrown dustbowl I’d visited the week prior, the home of Drukarz is neat and well-tended. Wandering in for free, I’m expecting a pitch that looks like it’s been shelled by an artillery unit, but instead we’re met by the glorious sight of a prim-looking playing field as green as a billiard table. The stadium, it turns out, consists of a shallow bank of blue plastic seats that run-up one side of the pitch. For the two police officers on duty, this must be the easiest overtime they’ve ever claimed: there are no away fans, and a substantial part of the crowd consists of preadolescent kids from the Drukarz junior team. The rest of the fans are a mixed bag – a geek wearing a Dungeons & Dragons t-shirt, a dozing grandad, and a few groups of lads who mingle with each other sharing fist bumps and man hugs. So sedate is the atmosphere, we don’t actually notice that the game has kicked-off.
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
As expected, the football is dismal. Played at a low, lazy tempo against a vibrant green backdrop, it’s not unlike watching the snooker on mute. In his efforts to retrieve the occasional wayward shot, the goalkeeper probably covers more mileage than any of his outfield colleagues. By all rights we should be bored to tears, but in truth it all feels strangely relaxing. On the sound of the final whistle we retreat into the clubhouse to reflect on the day; for the photographer, it’s been an easy reintroduction to the world of football. Still shaken from being lynched by Croatian hooligans during Euro 2012, that he’s survived this match is cause for a beer.
uch like us, the next day feels muggy and downcast. It’s tempting to stay in bed, but we’ve another game to watch, an 11 a.m. kick-off at Olimpia Warszawa. The surroundings are despondent and decrepit, and the stadium a stark concrete memento of Communist times. In spite of a sparse crowd that barely touches 100, the atmosphere is lively thanks to a boisterous contingent of 30 or so blokes. Dressed in the colors of Legia Warszawa, they’re in lusty voice and maintain a barrage of noise throughout the proceedings that ensue. Their number might be few, but the din they generate is admittedly impressive and we spend most of our time with our eyes on the crowd. The alternative is watching a match of gross incompetence: a complete howitzer of a shot blazes not just over the bar, but possibly the moon.
SPORT LOWER LEAGUE FOOTBALL
Challenges are robust, occasionally psychotic, and when a tackle connects we wince at the crunch The long balls being launched by either side aren’t so much hopeful as they are completely hopeless; challenges are robust, occasionally psychotic, and when a tackle connects we wince at the crunch. This is proper grass roots football, complete with the appropriate aggression: when the players square up to each other, it’s not in the posturing way of the Premier League’s prima donnas, but like men ready for war. There are flashes of brilliance as well, moments of quicksilver pace and deft little tricks, but these are rare and the work of one lone wolf. All too often, his raking passes are left to bounce off out of play; no-one else is on his wavelength and frustrations between teammates comes to a fore. Confronted with such ineptitude, Olimpia’s manager stalks the sidelines silently seething. Half-time puts us out of our misery and provides the opportunity to explore the decaying, two-sided stadium, as well as for refreshment inside a rickety, wooden bar. Having been issued with press bibs before the game, we
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
stand out like neon toadstools and are regarded with suspicion by the vocal element of Olimpia’s support. Dirty looks are flashed, but these turn to bemusement when the realization is made that we’re actually foreign. “Why the hell are you here,” laughs the ringleader. It’s not exactly a rapport that we’ve struck, but it’s better than a beating. The second half resumes in the same vein as the first, and is defined by lots of huff and puff and wild miskicks. The referee plods around like a grazing cow, sporadically bursting into action to brandish a card. With the clock ticking down, the opposition – K.S. Raszyn – score a goal, and the scorer is solemnly announced by a young guy sat in a tent with a Karaoke mic. And so the game ends, 1-0 to the visitors. It’s been appalling and comical in equal measure, but as we leave it’s with a real sense of buzz. A world away from the egos and greed of the top-level game, it’s been a wonderful reminder of what football’s about.
NEED TO KNOW
Drukarz Warszawa ul. Międzynaradowa, ksdrukarz.eu
Olimpia Warszawa ul. Górczewska 56/60, wrksolimpiawarszawa.pl
Hutnik Warszawa ul. Marymoncka 42, hutnikwarszawa.pl
League fixtures 90minut.pl
LISTINGS RESTAURANTS 51 CAFES & WINE BARS 82 NIGHTLIFE 87 SHOPPING 96 FAMILY 105 HEALTH & BEAUTY 110 IN THE CITY 115
Taco The Town
With up to one in ten American restaurants selling Mexican food, no-one is better at sniffing out this cuisine than our trans-Atlantic cousins. So to find, therefore, important-looking US diplomats squeezing inside Urban Burritos is an endorsement in itself. Their faith is rewarded by high standard tacos and burritos heaped with fresh fillings. Whilst some say the habanero salsa lacks the dynamite touch, that hasn’t stopped this little chunk of Mexico from gaining a staunch following.
PHOTOGRAPHS KEVIN DEMARIA
Urban Burritos ul. Piękna 22, urbanburritos.pl
REVIEWS Dog Style First things first: BrewDog’s beers begin at zł. 17. On learning this there are some who scatter, others who scoff, but the facts are straightforward – you’re unlikely to find a cheaper pint of BrewDog in the world! Hailed as one of the top artisan breweries on the planet, if you think the prices are steep then either ask for a raise, rob a supermarket or stick to drinking the piss that you’re used to. Quality is the name of the game here: this is a place where the interiors rock and the beers go BOSH. No pub will do a better job this year. BrewDog Warszawa ul. Widok 8
RAISING THE BAR Fire Water A sophisticated bar half-sunk below street level, Woda Ognista evokes the jazzy air of a Chicago, Prohibition era speakeasy with a seriously stylish interior that includes a colossal collection of vintage cocktail shakers that glint behind glass. The drinks themselves, rattled up by dapper gents in braces and flat caps, are split between house creations and reprised classics from a bygone era. Some are more successful than others, and it’s a credit to the staff that they’re willing to take comments on board and adapt their precious recipes to suit fussy tastes. It might take a couple of attempts, but pure perfection eventually arrives. Woda Ognista ul. Wilcza 8
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
East Does It Krucza is in the process of amassing a number of cocktail bars, but most are marked out by a shouty immaturity that limits their appeal to a braying 20s crowd drinking on daddy’s money. Then you have Fokim, a place you actually want to visit. To like is an edgy interior that includes a neon that urges customers to ‘eat, drink, dance, riot’ and an Asian-inspired drinks list that features sake on-tap, shots with names like Karate Kid, and cocktails with proper verve: e.g., the Marry Me, a bonkers, bastardized version of the Bloody Mary that’s actually better than the real thing. Fokim
ul. Krucza 24/26
Right on track for the start of drinking season, Warsaw has delivered a series of bars that just can’t be missed. The best fab four since the Beatles, these are the venues that will change your summer…
Press The Palm Upmarket restaurants are a common sight on Żurawia, but its nightlife has never really kicked on that extra yard. The opening of Zorza late last year provided a glimmer of hope, and now the entry of Palmier looks set to seal the transformation. Here, class and high times are in abundance inside an interior that’s all cool stone and pot palms. But it’s the narrow terrace that promises to be the place to be seen: join and enjoy the ‘Warsaw scene’ alongside a crowd that’s been compared to a Ralph Lauren billboard. The author’s cocktails are fantastic. Palmier
ul. Żurawia 6/12
REVIEWS The Masterpiece of Muranów t’s been six years since I swapped my expat compound on Łucka for the grey, grimness of Muranów, and I don’t think a day has passed since that I haven’t bemoaned the area’s culinary coma. Now, almost without warning, the whole district has been jumpstarted by some intelligent property developments and the consequences have been huge. Take the Gdański Business Center, a network of polished office towers centered around a pristine piazza. It’s here, at the very axis of this new corpo center, one finds Joseph’s Bistro & Wine. Born in Botswana, and schooled at the venerable Westminster College, chef Joseph Seeletso has gone on to achieve considerable fame both in Poland and abroad. Reminders of that are present by way of a batch of his cookbooks that stand by the entrance, but if one suspects that his larger-than-life character is just for the cameras then you’re immediately proved wrong. Within minutes of arriving the chef has stopped tableside to talk topics covering everything from the pickpockets of Barcelona to the merits of Munich Airport. It’s hilarious. But there’s also talk of cooking: “I’ve grown-up a lot,” he confesses, “you can see that with the menu – international dishes made with local ingredients and an exotic twist. Yet there’s Nordic influences as well, my cooking is much more minimalistic now and even the interiors reflect that.” You can see his point: the venue is spacious and smooth on the eye; from behind a white-tiled bar, chefs work in an open kitchen with a quiet sense of purpose. It has the feel of a place where good things happen, and indeed they do. For starters there’s a visually enticing tuna tartar with a reduced beetroot sauce; almost evangelical about their wine, we take advice and twin it with a Spanish Sauvignon Blanc that pushes the freshness of the tuna. There’s also gherkin with rhubarb and cheese, a dish that sounds dangerously misbegotten and something of a risk. It’s frankly remarkable with all sorts of tastes popping out thanks to a marinade that involves passionfruit and chili. As a main, the duck breast is a simple thing of beauty and given extra vigor with a star anise demi-glace. The almost plum-like taste of the wine, a South African Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon, plays well with the course and it’s with glorious greed I leave the plate unblemished. A chocolate gateau with garlic sauce and toffee ice cream provides a flawless finish that combines the hot with the cold. I’m impressed, and in the process I’ve also impressed the photographer. “I’ve noticed something about you,” he observes in the cab after, “the more you like something the less you talk.” For this meal, I realize, I’ve kept more or less mute. (AW) Joseph’s Bistro & Wine
ul. Inflancka 4, josephs.pl
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
PHOTOGRAPHS KEVIN DEMARIA
Top-class dining puts Muranów on the map…
PHOTOGRAPHS KEVIN DEMARIA
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
A dilettante wine list and a diligent chef…
oland stopped making sense to me years back. How is it, for example, that the country suddenly has its own legitimate wine? That happened when? The last time I tried some – granted, several years back – the body’s gag reflex instantly kicked-in. I physically recoiled as if I had drunk diesel. And yet here I am in Dyletanci, not just enjoying a Polish wine, but openly discussing it as my potential tipple for the hot months ahead. I’m drinking something called Dom Bliskovice F&14, a fresh, mineral white that’s elegant, light and perfect for the weather: outside, the sun is out and Powiśle has revealed itself in a swirling cape of emerald green. The world feels good and Warsaw even better. It so happens that I find myself in the very crucible of all that positivity. It’s Monday afternoon but Dyletanci is close to capacity with crisp, modern citizens that radiate confidence. Spread on a green banquette, with Tom Dixon lamps hanging overhead, I savor the affluence in the hope that some rubs off. Wine is a big deal here, and it’s not just Polish. The co-owner, Maciej Sondij§, is perched in the wine store with spreadsheets in front. “Our portfolio,” he says, “is exceptional for Europe.
Nothing comes from secondary sources, every producer you’ll see on the shelf is known personally by us.” Opened in April, his idea was straightforward: to launch a restaurant that would serve as a platform for the wine. With Maciej handling that side, the food has been left to Rafał Hreczaniuk, a workaholic chef with outrageous talent. He enters the restaurant looking like he’s worked for 40 days straight (he has, he confirms), but if he’s jaded then you’d never guess: a brilliant performance sees our table run through a striking exploration of taste and flavor. “Some say I’m cooking modern Polish,” says Rafał, “but I prefer to call it eclectic – I’ll play with anything that’s fresh and hopefully pull it off.” He does: there a halibut carpaccio with umami and sprinkles of caviar; a beef tartar that’s exquisite in taste and presentation; and a zander fillet that thrills with every bite – if I wondered why Dyletanci was full, then now I know why. (AW) Dyletanci
ul. Rozbrat 44A www.warsawinsider.pl
Exploring a wonder from down under
pportunities to dine Australian-style don’t present themselves often in Poland, and when they do they usually end up going calamitously wrong. I’m thinking, specifically, of a restaurant I once visited in Poznań, a dreary-looking place with a leaky ceiling and unlit corners. Having been welcomed with an unenthusiastic ‘G’day’, lunch descended into a horror story with my colleague comparing the kangaroo to the blackened stump of a pirate’s leg. “And it tastes even worse,” he added with dismay. This wasn’t Ozzie cuisine, this was more like Ozzy Osbourne cooking after a month in the nuthouse. Still traumatized by the memories of all that, I greeted last year’s opening of Kalaya with something verging on hesitancy. Turns out, I was wrong to do so. Met with blanket praise, Kalaya looked and felt like ‘the restaurant that got it right’. But
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
a strong start means nothing in Warsaw, it’s the six months that come after that are the make-or-break. It’s during that time, after all, that most owners start acting shiftily and cutting back on costs – good for their margins, but not good for the diner. Would Kalaya be guilty of the same? We returned to find out… First of all, let me say this: Kalaya is one of the few places in Warsaw with the ability to lift my mood within moments of entry. I present this not as a causal observation, but as a fact. Service is natural and instinctive while the design plays on the Australian theme in a way that’s clever but not cliché: there’s steel to evoke Sydney Harbor Bridge, splashes of ocean color and plenty of pieces of reclaimed this and industrial that. It’s a style that’s light, fresh and completely engaging, something that is – whether by accident or design – in synergy
PHOTOGRAPHS KEVIN DEMARIA
The Australian Ambassador
with the menu. Starters, and we choose a few, demonstrate the strengths of Kalaya: there’s a swordfish carpaccio that comes alive in an explosion of citrusy bangs, a leek soup that leaves a swoony feeling of lingering luxury, and an avocado salad with a poached egg – it doesn’t make sense to me, but it comes together like some mad, crazy plan. I’m more suspicious of the kangaroo tartar. There’s lots of weird animals being bred for the dinner plate in Poland, but surely Skippy isn’t one? I’m right, confirms the waitress, but had she not told me I’d never have known – how they do it, I’ve no idea, but this is a standout dish of quite magnificent composition. Kalaya, you feel, is a legitimate representation of Australia: all those modern influences that have come via waves of mass migration are present and correct, but so too are the more traditional, masculine tastes one associates with the country. The grill gets a star billing, and the emu served for the main course causes all conversation to cease: the quality is such it demands reverence and respect. Presented on a black slate with a pinch of Australian sea salt, it’s a full-flavored meat with a distinctive taste. Elevating the course yet further is a serving of vanilla and parsley root puree, a dish of such addictive nature that at one stage I’m caught red-handed taking a dip with my fingers.
We’re told that the restaurant is home to what is, in all probability, the most prodigious collection of Australian and New Zealand wines in mainland Europe, and the pairings throughout reflect well on the knowledge of the staff. But, without wishing to lower the tone, I’m equally impressed by the inclusion of a couple of Australian craft beers: as we await dessert I’m left marveling over a clean, well-structured pilsner the like of which has been completely overlooked by Poland’s own piwolution. So damn right I’m in good spirits by the time dessert arrives, and the chef ’s final shot does nothing to dampen them: grilled pineapple is given an extra twist via a hit of chili, garlic and sea salt. It’s a simple feel-good ending that draws a line under an afternoon of sheer, total pleasure. Finding a good Australian restaurant in the heart of Poland feels as likely as finding a decent Polish place in the middle of the outback; but the surprise is that Kalaya isn’t just good, but that it’s actually quite outstanding. (AW) Kalaya
ul. Jasna 26, kalaya.pl www.warsawinsider.pl
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Mother Nature’s Son
As the only restaurant in Poland with their own ecological farm, June sees the arrival of fresh lettuce and pine shoots from chef Marcin Jabłoński’s farm. Dishes to look forward to include a chilled asparagus soup with mint caviar and a turbo confit with a dissolving chocolate sphere. “Open the holiday season,” say Naturel, “by staying close to nature”. Naturel ul. Klimczaka 1 (Royal Wilanow)
The Casa dei Bambini Warsaw Montessori School invites parents to learn more about the Montessori philosophy means at their summer open day. The meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. on June 15th, is targeted at parents of infants and toddlers aged from 18-months to 5-years old. Casa dei Bambini Warsaw Montessori School ul. Badowska 19 (behind ul. Sielecka 52)
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
Why Thai kick-off summer with a range of new dishes that combine fresh Thai ingredients with local seasonal produce. “Enjoy the new menu,” declares their PR blurb, “accompanied by our homemade lemonade or a specially selected wine inside our garden – it’s a little piece of Thailand in downtown Warsaw!”
Mid-May marked the opening of Plac Europejski, a new micro-district whose key features include the landmark Warsaw Spire and a tranquil square ribboned with walkways and water features. Set to become the new heart of Wola, watch out for a number of associated bars and restaurants coming your way.
Why Thai ul. Wiejska 13
Plac Europejski Pl. Europejski
Nowa Próżna Rises Classic tastes reinvented...
here once Próżna was symbolic of Warsaw’s urban decay, today it’s been rebooted as a swank street of brasseries and bistros. Nowhere captures the zeitgeist with the same élan as Nowa Próżna, an intimate corner unit that feels representative of the change. That’s especially true tonight: it’s a balmy May evening and members of the press and blogosphere have gathered for the unveiling of the new chef, Dawid Balana. The air is rife with anticipation: having graduated with honors from the Alain Ducasse Cooking School, expectations are high, and with formalities conducted Balana launches into a tasting menu that’s been specially curated to demonstrate his skills: a young onion soup sends pulses of excitement down the table, and these steadily grow as more courses land: green asparagus with almond cream; young rooster in an intense pool of jus and a zander encircled in a forest of greens. This is powerful stuff, food that leaves those assembled in a state of joy. If Nowa Próżna’s intention had been to herald the arrival of a new name to watch then they have succeeded, for this is cooking that sits on a pedestal. Nowa Próżna
ul. Próżna 10, nowaprozna.pl
neighborhood THINGS TO DO With summer under way the number of tourists wandering around Wilanów rises exponentially: primarily thanks to the following… In Motion…
Ambitious cyclists don’t think twice about embarking on the 45 km round-trip to Konstancin, but even those of lesser steel recognize the cycle routes of Wilanów as Warsaw’s best bike ride. Swathed with modern bike paths and rental points, bikes arguably become the No. 1 mode of transport on a sunny weekend. For a little more adventure, explore the trails that lead out to the river.
Błonia Wilanowskie This outdoor recreation area is best in summer. 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!
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
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
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.
Church of St. Anne
ul. Kolegiacki 1 What a dream to marry in the Church of St. Anne. Its current neo-renaissance look came when prolific architect Henryk Marconi gave it new swagger in the mid-19th century. Even by unrestrained Catholic standards, it’s magnificent.
neighborhood / wilanów
Basico ul. Branickiego 11, basico.pl Airy and spacious the mood is light and modern, the food, meanwhile, isn’t over-complicated. It’s simple, fresh and truthful to Italian standards. Bay Kebab Al. Rzeczypospolitej 12, baykebab.com Even your dapper Wilanowian enjoys a kebab: teething problems aside (mixed orders and general chaos), Bay is a notch above most inner city gambles.
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 crepes are exceptional.
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.
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? FE
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.
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.
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.
the most attractive store you’ll find selling meat. Beyond the token aesthetics, this is a place that’s deadly serious about their meat: sourcing their produce from selected farmsteads, find numerous specialty cuts as well as their own seasoned beef.
eat & drink
Gorący Pies Al. Rzeczypospolitej 10 Artisan burgers,
Kuchnia Otwarta ul. Klimczaka 1, kuchniaotwarta.pl A restaurant 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,
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. The Beer Store Al. Rzeczypospolitej 14 In an area where bar options are thin on the ground, The Beer Store is a veritable lifeline. Cult international beers and Polish craft ales served to a very grateful audience.
It's all about
Try polish dry aged premium beef steak’s!
Czerwona Krowa Al. Rzeczypospolitej 18 Presenting the new face of butchery, Czerwona Krowa is just about
Restauracja Bistecca Bistro ul. Branickiego 11, 02-972 Warszawa tel. 22 258 12 43, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.bistecca.pl
BROUGHT TO YOU BY: CZERWONA KROWA
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Mariusz Hańczewski of the Czerwona Krowa butchery talks about the importance of introducing top quality meat to your diet…
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
Where do you get your meat from? We use a few different small breeders with all of our suppliers’ placing an emphasis on quality over quantity. Cultivating a good relationship with them is important, and many have become good friends. You need to be able to trust them.
Can a butchery be beautiful? That’s something we’ve focused on. We wanted our store to be well-designed as that’s a basic indication to customers that we treat our ‘subject’ seriously. We want the whole process to be a pleasure from beginning to end. The interior is part of our philosophy: everything has to be perfect.
How important is marbling on beef? A good beef steak needs to have marbling. Why? Because this fat shows how tender and juicy the steak really is. There’s even a scale to show how much marbling a steak has, and this influences the price. For example, the most expensive beef is Japanese Wagyu; it’s the most expensive because it has the most marbling.
What’s the most common question you hear? To our customers a meat’s freshness is the most important aspect, then its extraction. Local knowledge has expanded a lot; people appreciate Argentinean beef and are actively looking for it. When they buy hams, they’re interested in the composition. Trust and strong relationships are a basic foundation so we’re always ready to answer any question.
Any BBQ tips? The most important aspect is of course the meat and the quality of the meat. If you’ve got the right meat then you’re 80% of the way there: the rest you can read about and learn. We’re always open to questions, in fact we’ve had customers call us while they’re in the middle of grilling.
There’s a lot of fuss made over organic, hormone-free animals, etc. What is your opinion of these? We respect and understand the choices people make. We also want to create our own trend, however, that being that people eat less meat but increase the quality of what they do eat. The extraction of our meat is very important to us, so we’re trying to increase our portfolio to ensure that the final product is the very best. I’m disappointed that meat and ham are such a big part of our diet and yet many people don’t really care about its quality.
Is there an underrated meat you stock? People are still suspicious of seasoned meat, but everyone who tries it comes back for more – it has an unusual taste: deep and mature. We actually make it in our store and keep it in a special fridge. Do you handle any unusual requests? We’re very open-minded. We try to educate people, and we’re also open to being educated by others. Our customers come from different backgrounds, so we have Koreans wanting extra thin slices of beef, or Danes asking us to prepare pork complete with the skin. Anything is possible – we enjoy the challenge.
What next? We’re looking forward to partnering with the Smolna 8 Studio for an event: the best chefs in Warsaw will be preparing meals using our meat so that’s obviously a huge honor for us. Czerwona Krowa
Al. Rzeczypospolitej 18, tel. 514 114 140 www.warsawinsider.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.
Saffron Spices is a reliable choice for the standard curries. Nothing complex here, but they do the basics well enough. Sucre ul. Klimczaka 5, sucre.pl Purveyors of Warsaw’s best natural ice cream, Sucre is worth visiting in all temperatures on account of their Parisian-style macarons. Danger: highly addictive.
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.
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.
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
Saffron Spices ul. Klimczaka 20, saffronspices.pl Much appreciated by Wilanów’s British population,
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Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
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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 in the country!
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.
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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.
butcher, Grzegorz Kwapniewski. No wonder it’s something a local cult.
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)
MANOUSH (ul. Jasna 10, manoush.pl) It’s rare to see Beef Wellington on a Warsaw menu, and even rarer to find it executed well. But that’s exactly what Manoush manage to do, presenting prime, pink beef wrapped in a flaky, puff pastry. The rest of the international, bistro-style menu is equally fulfilling, and includes a wondrous halibut. There’s no revolution going on at Manoush, but you sense it’s a place that knows exactly what it’s doing, and is doing it well.
THAI ME UP (ul. Foksal 16, thaimeup.pl) Taking the spot once occupied by Papaya, Thai Me Up offers up a far more informal experience than the former, something understood by one glance at the interior: gone are the gloss finishes of yesteryear, replaced by something far more casual, fun and cluttered (check the monkey lights!). As for the food, that succeeds in bringing the fresh, snappy tastes of Asia to Foksal. The wok dishes are a forte and deserve special attention.
african american asian australian balkan & russian british burgers cheap eats cooking schools cuban french georgian greek & turkish indian international italian japanese & sushi jewish latin & mexican middle eastern polish scandinavian seafood specialty shops steak houses thai whole foods www.warsawinsider.pl
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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. $$ Barn Smoque (D4) ul. Zgoda 5, barnsmoque.pl Okay, so 2015 won’t be remembered as the year of the grill house, but Warsaw is getting there. From the owners of Barn Burger comes Barn Smoque, a casual eatery decorated with number plates and… portraits of pigs dressed for the office. The menu is all about meat and fire, with dishes like wings, ribs, steaks and brisket. Don’t leave without sampling the Fuck Crack
Bacon: grilled bacon in beer batter with a side of jalapeno / BBQ salsa. $ Brooklyn Restaurant & Bar (B4) Al. Jana Pawła II 18 (Rondo ONZ), tel. 22 114 3434 Gone are the fancy pants culinary creations once found in the basement, ousted in favor of a menu of pimped-up soul and street food, salads and steaks. This means fresh tacos not to mention Mito’s Beef Ribs and 100% beef dogs. The ground floor burger bar is more prosaic, offering a standard line-up of burgers and wings: they’re loved by many. $$ Champions Sports Bar (D5) Marriott Hotel, al. Jerozolimskie 65/79, tel. 22 630 5119, champions.pl While the concept and style look dated, there’s no faulting the attention to detail – wherever you look (aside from under the table), there’s a TV. The heavy décor brings to mind the trans-Atlantic sports bars of the 90s, with glinting trophies, whirring machines, clacking pool tables and a cacophony of commentaries. Hell, there’s even a boxing ring. But you can’t fault their consistency: the food is always on-point, the staff are pro, while the generous floor plan makes it suitable for unwieldy groups of large and loud lads. $$ Hard Rock Café (C4) ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy), tel. 22 222 0700, hardrockcafe.pl Instantly recognizable by the giant neon guitar outside, Hard Rock has a pierced staff of skater boys and rock girls and
a menu that is, if nothing else, completely reliable. Peruse rock’n’roll swag that includes Joplin’s blouse, Prince’s guitar and Shakira’s pants. $$ Hell’s Chickens ul. Puławska 246, hellschickens.pl It’s all chicken feed here, with a menu comprised of wings, strips and chicken wraps served on paper plates alongside thick-cut fries and homemade sauces. Chow down in a budget interior that doesn’t far extend beyond tables and chairs manufactured from crates – the young crowd doesn’t mind at all. A decent comfort food option on a rainy / hungover day, the only downer is a location way out of the center. $ Jeff’s (B8) ul. Żwirki i Wigury 32 (Pole Mokotowskie Park), tel. 22 825 1650, 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. $$ T.G.I. Friday’s (B3) al. Jana Pawła II 29, tel. 22 653 8360, tgifridays.pl/warszawa The steaks are a missand-miss affair, and even the burgers can’t compare to Warsaw’s armada of burgeries. And the interiors are just as you’d remember: crass, vulgar and stuck in the 90s. Why do people bother? $$
asian ul. Nowy Świat 36 tel. 731 001 002 beefnroll.pl facebook.com/beefnroll.burgers
BEST BURGERS /WINGS /HOT-DOGS
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
Bliss Restaurant (D2) Rynek Mariensztacki, tel. 22 826 3210, blissrestaurant.pl Longevity aside, Bliss (alive since ’95) boast classically cliche interiors that make dramatic use of dragons and buddhas. Inconsistent accuse some, though you’ll struggle to find better Chinesestyle ribs. $$ Cesarski Pałac (D2) ul. Senatorska 27, tel. 22 827 9707, cesarskipalac.com A rouge tinted Chinese
listings / restaurants restaurant whose design even incorporates a footbridge. Widely acclaimed, this 18-year-old restaurant combines Sichuan and Cantonese cuisine to serve a variety of dishes in an elegant backdrop. The Dim Sum are something else. $$ Onggi (D2) ul. Moliera 2 Positive transformations aren’t confined to Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares: after a dreadful start characterized by bland, claggy dishes, this Korean restaurant has spun a U-turn that’s left the competition reeling. The menu is daunting in size, but contains wildly interesting finds such as a streaky bacon stir fry, spicy pickled Daikon radish and lotus root simmered in soy sauce. $$
didn’t work in the sushi and the kmichi-style salad served at the beginning was very pedestrian for such a place.” $ Toan Pho (D4) ul. Chmielna 5/7, tel. 888 147 307 Toan Pho’s bowls of soup with rice noodles come highly recommended; as does the chaos intrinsic to this type of casual Asian eatery. The short menu is in Vietnamese with
Polish decoding – although you can ask for an English version. $ Wi-Taj (D6) Pl. Konstytucji 4 Despite the name, it’s actually the cuisine of Vietnam that is the dominant entity in this restaurant. There is the odd moment of madness (glazed cherries appearing at random), but in general Wi-Taj does a grand job of representing a kitchen
Pantai (G3) ul. Wybrzeże Szczecińskie 1 With its surprisingly classy tropical look, the primetime to visit the beachside Pantai is summer. Beautiful cocktails play their role, but so too does a succinct menu of Asian food that includes Malaysian laksa soups, some dim sum options, and tempura duck: alas, rumors of a slide in standards persist – we’ll be checking them out shortly. In the meantime, find it in the slick construction that stands between the National Stadium and the riverside. $$ 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, 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
First American The First The American Steakhouse Steakhouse in Warsaw in Warsaw (since 1991) Al. Jerozolimskie 119 tel. (+48) 22 629 3969 www.restauracjaamigos.pl
listings / restaurants that hasn’t always enjoyed the greatest publicity in Warsaw. The crunchy, perky nem are a fine way to start, but it’s the steaming bowls of pho that have this Insider promising to return. As for prices, these rarely climb north of zł. 30.
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. $$ Banja Luka (E8) ul. Szkolna 2/4, tel. 22 828 1060, banjaluka. pl Lots of clunky timber and imported ceramics set the scene at this eatery, a Balkan stalwart that’s known for its economical pricing structure and bulky portions. Grilled meats are prominent and the food largely reliable. $$
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, though the service can come across as distracted and inattentive. $
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. $$ Ę Rybę (B4) Al. Jana Pawła II 18, erybe.pl Warsaw’s has done fish and chips before, yet nowhere has managed to capture the unique taste of the British seaside as convincingly as this place. Forget the grey and greasy offerings the city has previously volunteered, here’s a spot where the chips are golden, the fish fresh and the batter crisp and light. Doused with malt vinegar, and a couple of dollops of tartar sauce, here’s food that cuddles and comforts those Brits who miss home. $$ Legends (C5) ul. Emilii Plater 25, tel. 22 622 4640, legendsbar.pl It’s a British pub first and foremost, but massive steps have been taken to ensure that the food angle isn’t overlooked. 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. $
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
listings / restaurants burgers Barn Burger (D4) ul. Złota 9. tel. 512 157 567, barnburger.pl Retaining a loyal crowd ever since their 2012 entry on the burger circuit, Barn Burger offer a loud and lively atmosphere and much celebrated burgers with goofy names like Heart Attack and Muppet. The list by the door notes the results of their American-style eating competitions / greed-fests. $ 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. $
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. $
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. $
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. $
Między Bułkami (D4) Al. Jerozolimskie 23, tel. 22 126 0159 You want to yell, “stop opening burger joints!” But ‘Between the Buns’ is one of those additions we really don’t mind: there’s nothing original about the menu, nor the presentation, but the quality is a solid 8/10. $
Ziggi Point (B4) ul. Pańska 59, tel. 696 145 735 Diners are summoned to the counter to collect their order via a buzzer, before settling down to enjoy what has emerged as a real candidate for Warsaw’s best burger. The fiery Desperados is as perfect as a burger gets,
www.focaccia.pl tel.: +48 22 829 69 69, ul. Senatorska 13/15, Warsaw/Old Town email@example.com, fb.com/restauracjafocaccia
listings / restaurants 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. $ Bez Ości (D5) ul. Hoża 51, bezosci.com Those lamenting the loss of Warsaw’s first artisan sandwich stop – MeatLove – have been given hope by the opening of a new venture across the street. Specializing in fish-based sarnies and baguettes, the choice includes deboned catches fresh from a stint in the smokehouse served in bread baked in traditional brick ovens. The cod with horseradish choice is a particular bestseller. Find it occupying a tiny, converted space inside a former vodka distillery. $ 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. $ 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
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
delivery service is highly recommended for desk-bound officebots. $ 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. $ 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. $
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.
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! $ Wurst Kiosk (H4) ul. Zwycięzców 17, tel. 606 133 134 For memories of Munich and Mainz look no further than Wurst Kiosk. Imported German sausages are served through a hole-in-a-wall (or inside a unit shared with the despicable Bobby Burger) with big dabs of mustard and fresh buns to go with them. $
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.
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. $$ L’Arc (E8) ul. Puławska 16, tel. 519 000 050, larc.pl You sometimes suspect Warsaw doesn’t
listings / restaurants give seafood the respect it deserves. But the city’s shortcomings are atoned for by L’Arc. Choose from the lobsters swimming on Death Row, then settle back for a meal to die for. Likewise, the oysters and mussels never disappoint. $$ 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. $$
georgian Chinkali (D4) ul. Zgoda 3 Signposted by a Georgianlanguage shingle, there’s a real sense of pleasure about this place. More modern than your typical folksy ethnic outpost, Chinkali’s draw is indeed its chinkali: dough purses packed with meaty broth. There’s a genuine homemade quality to these slurpy bundles of joy, meaning that while they’re always authentic and tasty, consistency can vary. And don’t miss out on the red bean chachapuri washed down with a mouthwashcolored tarragon lemonade. $ Klukovka (B2) Al. Jana Pawła II 45A, www.klukovka.pl Jana
Pawła’s pavilions are the unlikely location of this culinary beacon: amid the aggressive waft of its kebab shop neighbors, Klukova presents itself as a warming winter mouse hole filled with banter, babble and rich aromas. Specializing in the foods of ‘the east’, this means a menu inspired by the tastes of Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and more. The mutton manty dumplings are great, and best appreciated with a bottle of unfiltered Lithuanian beer. That said, it’s never a surprise to find diners ordering up bottles of Georgian vodka before proceeding to share their way through the menu. $
Rusiko (E5) Al. Ujazdowskie 22, tel. 22 629 0628 Vodka shots at the ready! Rusiko finished 2015 voted Gazeta Wyborcza’s Knajpa Roku, a very public endorsement of all they’ve done right. The food is the equivalent of a warm cuddle on a cold day – it makes you feel good in the heart and soul – and when it comes to hospitality they’re in a league of their own. Live music lends the weekends a goodhumoured twist. Note: closed Monday. $$
greek & turkish Paros (D4) ul. Jasna 14/16, tel. 22 828 1067, parosrestauracja.pl Out of all of Warsaw’s Greek
SEBASTIAN OLMA, WINNER OF THE SECOND EDITION OF TOP CHEF POLAND, PRESENTS A MENU BASED ON QUALITY REGIONAL POLISH PRODUCE SOURCED FROM THE BEST SUPPLIERS. VISIT ON SUNDAY’S FOR A FAMILY EXPERIENCE ACCOMPANIED BY AN ANIMATOR (SET MENU PLN 59 PER ADULT, PLN 29 FOR CHILD). ul. Wilcza 50, tel. 22 623 0290, wilcza50.pl
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
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. $$ Santorini ul. Egipska 7, tel. 22 672 0525, kregliccy.pl/ santorini/ Santorini looks scuffed and tired but there’s a bonhomie present that instantly engages. The kitchen attaches no value to things like presentation, preferring instead to simply treat diners to piles of grilled and skewered food that consistently tastes right – and the milfei dessert is magic. $$ Sofra (C6) ul. Wilcza 71, tel. 731 847 731 A highly respected Turkish eatery with a wondrous beef mussaka and a wholly admirable lineup of other ethnic dishes: the lamb shashlik has never failed us. Pleasingly informal, 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
listings / restaurants restaurant. The menu is an uncomplicated, classic affair that’s an ideal primer for the party ahead. $$ Bombaj Masala (B3) Al. Jana Pawła II 23, tel. 606 688 777, bombajmasala.pl One of the best looking Indian restaurants in Warsaw, but the food rarely pokes above average. For a cuisine that prides itself on rich, intense tastes, Bombaj gets remembered for bland, oily dishes that only sometimes get finished. Yet business remains brisk, thanks in part to a combination of location and general culinary ignorance. $$ 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. Now also boasts a more salubrious location on Marszałkowska 10/16. $ Karma ul. Żurawia 22, tel. 501 400 386, restauracjakarma.pl Fresh, contemporary interiors impart a chic, classy look that’s leagues ahead of Warsaw’s other Indian restaurants. The food is largely impressive, with fresh ingredients and an expansive menu, though it does lack the extra punch you maybe looking for. If there’s a complaint, then it’s thus: a little timid for more robust tastes, a few extra spices in the pot wouldn’t go amiss. $$ Mandala ul. Emilii Plater 9/11 & ul. Etiudy Rewolucyjnej 9, tel. 22 428 44 54, mandalaklub. com or indiaexpress.pl Celebrating their 10th birthday this year, Mandala is well on its way to becoming a Warsaw institution. But rather than resting on their laurels, the management are using this landmark anniversary as an opportunity to rejig the menu and update their offer. Using the freshest ingredients, Mandala is characterized by its blitzing big spices and a vindaloo capable of giving the sweat glands a work out. For something calmer, the creamy mutton methi malai is a masterpiece. $ Mr. India Al. KEN 47, tel. 22 213 0689, mrindia.pl Split on two levels the design is contemporary if a
little characterless: leather banquettes that leave a sweaty bum print and wood paneling. No problem though, if it looks bland then the food isn’t. That means an incredible butter chicken that’s deep and immensely satisfying. Then there’s the vindaloo, an experience that leaves some close to spontaneous combustion. Undoubtedly one of the best regarded Indian restaurants in this town. $$
Original Indian Cuisine
Namaste India (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 15, tel. 22 357 0939, namasteindia.pl Responsible for first bringing quality, budget Indian food to Warsaw, Namaste have expanded from humble beginnings (three tables and cooking done in a cupboard-sized space behind a curtain) to evolve into a bona fide two-floored restaurant. Consistency, however, has become a problem. Whilst we rated a recent butter chicken as the best we’ve had for years, another Insider blasts the Madras as being, ‘the worst curry ever cooked!’ Good luck. $$ Rani Al. KEN 48/10, tel. 729 247 400, rani.com.pl Mere steps from Metro Natolin, this restaurant’s catchment area goes beyond just Ursynów. Owner Samir is a self-confessed foodie, and his vision includes a contemporary Indian menu that features pan-seared cod with turmeric, tomato salsa and mint chutney – wonderful. Rani will also please the traditionalists, with everything from creamy kormas to vindaloo’s that leave your ears blowing smoke rings. $$ Tandoor (D7) ul. Marszałkowska 21/25, tel. 22825 2375, 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. It’s no longer the self-styled, ‘the best Indian restaurant in Poland’, but it’s deservedly retained a loyal core of customers. $$ Welcome India ul. Eramza Ciołka 35 The Insider likes breaking good news, and when that news involves an Indian restaurant then so much the better. Found in the darkest depths of Wola, this unlikely find has an ace up its sleeve: a chef nabbed from under the noses
listings / restaurants of the once excellent Curry House. If you’re unfamiliar with his cooking, then look forward to the death-by-fire vindaloo, and a butter chicken that doesn’t have any rivals. The home delivery service is a godsend for those who don’t fancy journeying outside their neighborhood comfort zone. $
lar Mokotów Artkitchen hope to attract more than just the lunch break crowd with a busy jazz program overseen by musician Grzegorz Piotrowski. The modern international menu is composed by Michał Bassa, a man who appears to like foie gras: find it in burgers, ice cream and other combinations. $$
international Aioli Inspired by Mini (D6) pl. Konstytucji 5, aioliinspiredbymini.pl Such is the success of this venue, there are moments when the scrum at the bar threatens to spill into blood sport. The huge neo-industrial interior packs out with a young, lively demographic sinking ‘tank’ beer and powerful cocktails over a menu that chiefly encompasses pizza and burgers. $$
Bastylia (D6) ul. Mokotowska 17, bastylia.eu Part champagne bar, part cool creperie, Bastylia has been around 2001, since when they’ve been championed across the city for crepes that would make you swoon. White brickwork, mandarin sofas and champagne bits and piece lend a touch of class, while breakfast is served each day from 8. $$
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. $$
Bazar Kocha (D6) ul. Mokotowska 33, bazarkocha.pl Designed to evoke the spirit of a farmers’ market, the woodsy interior is filled with stall-style units neatly stacked with jars and pots. Yet these are not decorative decoys, but part of a thoughtful grocery offer aimed at showcasing Kocha’s own-made produce. Above all though, this is a restaurant whose menu is strongly influenced by concepts of ‘terroir’. The giant leg of lamb falls off the bone and is a dish to recommend and remember for several months to come. $$
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. $$ Artkitchen ul. Domaniewska 34A, artkitchen.pl Buried deep in the office blocks of white col-
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Bibenda (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 10, tel. 502 770 303, bibenda.pl With its weathered brickwork and a long wavy bar occupying a significant chunk of the entrance, you don’t get much more casual than Bibenda. ‘True food’, their menu calls it, before expanding to rattle on about ‘fresh, seasonal ingredients and home-style techniques’. On our visit that involved a potato salad with red onion and parsley: basic stuff, but delicious when mushed together; next, soft duck thigh placed on top of a tangy red cabbage reduction and served with charred parsnips; and dessert, a pink beetroot cake that was gobbled in seconds. $$ 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. $$ Brasserie Warszawska (E5) ul. Górnośląska 24, tel. 22 628 9423, brasseriewarszawska.pl Looking for classic cuisine with no daft flights of fancy? Here you have it. At a time when everyone wants to be Ferran Adrià, Brasserie has both a menu and interior that you can understand: pan-fried foie gras; elegant beef Rossini; and sinful apple tarte tatin, all served inside posh interiors of zinc-plated mirrors and chessboard floors. Their Michelin Bib Gourmand is a source of pride, but it’s the number of repeat clients that are the ultimate paean to the skills of chef Mateusz Wichrowski. $$$ Bubbles (D2) Pl. Piłsudskiego 9, tel. 512 540 913, bubbles.com.pl Occupying a small, square room, it’s intimate and relaxed: a place busy with blackboards and bottles, crates and clutter. It radiates warmth and honesty. The food is exquisite, and includes big, meaty snails farmed in Mazury, and their signature dish: Swiss-style raclette. Presented on a wooden chopping board, this cheese dish is classic melty goodness, and served alongside a pile of potatoes, onions marinated with caramel and candied pumpkin. Considering the place doubles as a champagne bar the prices are remarkably moderate. $$ Concept 13 (D4) ul. Bracka 9, tel. 22 310 7373 You’d expect a rooftop meal at Poland’s ultimate luxury department store to cost the earth, but that’s not the case. The zł. 50 lunch deal allows Joe Public to enjoy the considerable skills of Dariusz Barański. That he manages to create different pieces of art each and every afternoon is a testament to his talent – fellow chefs and foodies privately talk of him as a Michelin star in the making. $$$ 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
listings / restaurants 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. $$ Dom ul. Mierosławskiego 12, tel. 509 165 712 Here’s the very epitome of casual dining: set on the ground floor of a suburban house, the warm corners and garden views give Dom a real sense of homey charm. In line with all that is a menu that celebrates simple, honest cooking. Everyone who visits ends up loving the place. $$ Grand Kredens (B5) Al. Jerozolimskie 111, tel. 22 629 8008, kredens.com.pl This mighty veteran con-
tinues 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. $$ InFormal Kitchen (D3) Pl. Małachowskiego 2 (enter from Traugutta), tel. 531 918 534, informalkitchen.pl There’s plenty of fireworks over the course of a vibrant menu that sources its produce from regional eco farms: meat from within a 26 kilometer radius of Warsaw, dairy produce from Mazury and fish from Pomerania. The rump of lamb is a class act, and bettered only by the pear and thyme tart for dessert. $$ 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
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
2016-02-09 14:56:18 www.warsawinsider.pl 61
listings / restaurants 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. $$ Kotakota (E3) ul. Bartoszewicza 3 Short of eating in a tunnel, Kotakota is pretty much the darkest place you’ll ever eat in. Filled with donated furniture and peeling plaster walls, this
a great place to start (or end) your old town exploration
unique restaurant has got people talking thanks to a regularly changing menu that mixes up local ingredients with old recipes and modern techniques. People leave in a state of dumbstruck excitement. $$ 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 Brasserie Modern (D3) ul. Królewska 11 (Sofitel Warsaw Victoria), tel. 22 657 8332, sofitel-victoria-warsaw.com The interior of Didier Gomez whispers intimacy, yet it also embraces notions of space and light. The casual elegance that emanates from the design is accented by warm colors, low banquettes and glinting mirrors. Acting as a ballast to it all is an open kitchen, in which you’ll find Executive Chef Maciej Majewski honing his art. His is a menu that fits seamlessly with the surrounds: a fresh, modern look at French cuisine, but one that values clarity and simplicity. Always leave room for dessert, especially the ‘pear trio’ – delicate and refreshing and with the right hint of sweet. $$ La Maison (B3) ul. Chłodna 15, tel. 22 652 3660, lamaison.pl Everything here feels considered, from a wine list handpicked by importer Frank Telling, right down to the desserts, prepared by award-winning French pastry chef Michel Willaume – and my, what desserts. Backing the little details up is a menu of note: fish are a particular forte. All this in a casual background that features some whimsical Alice in Wonderland touches: patchwork armchairs, pinkish booths and hanging teapot-shaped lights. $$
ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 59 (just off Plac Zamkowy)
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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. $$$
L’enfant Terrible (D8) ul. Sandomierska 13 (enter from Rejtana), tel. 22 119 5705, eterrible.pl Chef Michal Brys might look like he’s just swaggered in from a rock concert, but his flair for experimentation is second to none: expect a menu that marries local produce with the latest tricks and techniques. The tasting menu (six courses for zł. 199) is a brilliant insight into the mind of a chef who likes to experiment and push boundaries. With all the hype you expect this place to be a little up its arse, but it’s anything but. Again, credit for that goes to Brys and his front-of-house staff. $$$
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. $$ Lokal 14 (D3) ul. Świętokrzyska 14, tel. 22 827 5480 Having served his apprenticeship at Tamka 43, you’re right to expect good things from upcoming chef Filip Kosiń. He doesn’t disappoint with his artful menu of modern European “author’s cuisine”. Topping his skills off is a pleasing environment that’s big on light, wood and metalwork. Getting used to being more than a construction site, the opening of Lokal 14 is positive news for this stretch of Świętokrzyska. $$ Manoush (D4) ul. Jasna 10, manoush.pl It’s rare to see Beef Wellington on a Warsaw menu, and even rarer to find it executed well. But that’s exactly what Manoush manage to do, presenting prime, pink beef wrapped in a flaky, puff pastry. The rest of the international, bistrostyle menu is equally fulfilling, and includes a wondrous halibut. There’s no revolution going on at Manoush, but you sense it’s a place that knows exactly what it’s doing, and is doing it well. $$ Między Ustami (E5) ul. Mokotowska 33/35, tel. 530 323 325,
listings / restaurants The design joins elements of classic Prague bordello against a London Soho bar, while the international menu features a decent steak nicely enhanced by a silky drizzle of demi-glace. You get the idea both the cooking and artisan cocktails need a little fine-tuning, but fundamentally this newbie is looking in the right direction – certainly one to keep a watch for. $$ 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. $$ BEST WAWA 2015 “Newcomer” Momu.Gastrobar (c2) ul. Wierzbowa 11, tel. 506 100 001, momu.pl Back open after a revamp and a rethink, the biggest talking point has been the star addition of a wood smoker imported from the States. Allegedly the only one of its kind in Poland, the menu has been adjusted accordingly to play to this strength – with this in mind, the ribs are a must-have. $
N31 (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 31, n31restaurant.pl One of the original pioneers of modern Polish cooking returns with renewed vigor. That’s Robert Sowa, and his N31 restaurant has already made a massive splash with an upmarket, showbizzy crowd enjoying complex cooking amid a luxurious interior of pristine linen and glinting tableware. $$$
equitable claim for the No. 1 spot. However, it’s Nolita that perch at the top, with a menu that sees largely classical recipes through a sharp, modern prism – chef Jacek Grochowina has created a place that’s coherent and understandable without sacrificing values of innovation. Looking chic and high end, the tastes and sensations in this restaurant are thrilling: diners are left speechless by the tuna tartar, while the aged beef fillet is an Insider mainstay. $$$
Naturel ul. Klimczaka 1, naturel7.pl Find here a beautiful space that’s generous on light, polished surfaces and bursts of color from seasonal flowers. Using ingredients largely sourced from the chef’s family farm, Marcin Jabłoński’s menu is a monthly-changing artwork that, on our visit, includes a deep and creamy raviolo, a full-flavored hanger steak with a feisty mushroom ragout, and desserts that are a different class: you want to see the sea buckthorn tart with meringue and avocado/apple ice cream preserved for eternity. $$
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. $$
Nolita (D5) ul. Wilcza 46, tel. 22 292 0424, nolita.pl The deluxe dining scene is filling out in Warsaw, and there’s now a few restaurants that can present an
Oliva (D4) ul. Ordynacka 10/12, tel. 501 497 410, restauracjaoliva.pl The spirit of the Mediterranean hangs over Oliva, a place where a milk color palette is matched against potted herbs and soft wooden touches. The menu has riffs of
listings / restaurants Italy, Spain and Greece, with particular pride attached to their gourmet olive oils. At times the cooking of Łukasz Żuchowski has been described as ‘inspirational’ and his talents come paired with a wine list selected by Marek Kondrat – an actor / wine merchant with an immense reputation. $$ 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
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
that Porkownia may lack something in the sophistication department don’t bear fruit – sprouting from the ashes of Jazz Bistro Piękna, the surrounds are chic and modern, not the blood-spattered butcher’s backroom you might otherwise expect. The food is similarly well-presented and scores highly for such dishes as apple/bacon and boar/artichoke/marmite. Showing plenty of creativity, here’s a kitchen that reinvents the pig! $$ Qchnia Artystyczna (E6) Zamek Ujazdowski, Al. Jazdów 2, tel. 22 625 7627, qchnia.pl Even on a cold, ashen day, can you question a view that spills down onto a canal and park way down below? And how about when that view comes from a candle-lit reconstructed castle… Endlessly romantic, this artistic eatery comes with a light look and a creative menu honed by Marta Gessler. $$ Renoma (E3) ul. Lipowa 7A, tel. 22 692 7239, bistrorenoma.pl Here’s a venue that suits all purposes at all times of day. Most of all, it’s a place that feels positive, a place where heart and mind work seamlessly together: that means breakfast to evening options – many of them gluten-free – including fab lunch deals and 60-day aged steaks. Great for afternoon ‘me time’ or a dinner date with a beautiful stranger, Renoma’s intimate style and soothingly stark interiors work with the personalized approach. $$
Salto (D5) ul. Wilcza 73 (enter from Emilii Plater), tel. 22 584 8771, saltorestauracja.pl For those who think Argentine chef Martin Gimenez-Castro is just about steak, then they haven’t been to Salto. The tasting menu is the best way to view his full oeuvre, and on our visit included ceviche with Portuguese corvina; a dainty tranche of cavala mackerel; and Porcini ice cream served in the shape of a mushroom. It’s a brilliant demonstration of the chef’s passion and personality, but most of all, it’s just bloody brilliant. $$$ 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 leanings. Everything we’ve tried here has been culinary gold, and that includes the surf & turf, tortillas and roast beef. $$ Senses (C2) ul. Bielańska 12, tel. 22 331 9697, sensesrestaurant.pl A spectacular experience from start to finish: begin by walking through a flame-lit tunnel, and then conclude the night with an edible cigar: a grand tobacco flavored pastry infused with whisky and cinnamon. In between our night includes beetroot bread with a teat pipette of apple
Restauracja Stary Dom ul. Puławska 104 / 106, 02-620 Warszawa
tel.: (+48) 22 646 42 08 www.restauracjastarydom.pl
Restauracja Zielnik ul. Odyńca 15, 02-608 Warszawa tel.: (+48) 22 844 35 00 www.restauracjazielnik.pl
Al. Niepodległości 132/136, 02-554 Warszawa
tel.: (+48) 22 856 77 88 www.restauracjapapu.pl
BREAKFAST SERVED ALL DAY
Plac Bankowy 4, Warszawa ZdrowaKonkurencja.pl +48 572 322 222
listings / restaurants essence; a beef rib that’s a big blast of smoke and crunch; and a shellfish goulash that’s rich and rough and rolling in flavor. Perfectly paced, expertly portioned and bristling with invention, their newly acquired Michelin star makes bookings essential. $$$ 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. $$ Soul Kitchen Bistro (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 18A, soulkitchen.pl If the previous venue was all slanted towards low-pitched business conversation then the new one is positively festive in comparison: scuffed brickwork, tall bar stools, a long communal table, etc. The seasonal menu is a pick-and-mix of small-to-medium plates, including a halibut gravlax, whose delicate taste juxtaposes well against the rougher, earthier kick of the radish, and crayfish presented in a bird’s nest of green beans,
fennel and leek. For mains, look for the braised beef. $ ŚRD / PŁD (D7) ul. Marszałkowska 17 From the same lot behind Powiśle’s Mr. Pancake, so already you know you’re getting yourself into a place that makes a big deal of being zany. So it proves: Coca Cola sausages and burger soup are a couple of dishes that immediately flash up. Beyond this, and the slightly jarring baby pink and powder blue colors, it’s not a bad detour from the culinary norm. We enjoyed the ‘chicken salsa’. $ Stółdzielnia (D9) ul. Kazimierzowska 22, tel. 22 845 00 67, stoldzielnia.pl A complete anomaly Stółdzielnia looks more like one of those one-day pop-up restaurants: unfinished looking, with odd-shaped tables and stark colors. But keep an open mind because the food scores big points. The pizza, pasta and seafood dishes incorporate imported Italian ingredients, and come close to blowing your mind. $$ 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. $$
Tamka 43 (E3) ul. Tamka 43, tel. 22 441 6234, tamka.43.pl Ground floor: upmarket cafe serving Chopin fans. Upstairs: a fine dining restaurant in which the seasonal menu sets the natural flavors of Poland against the culinary know-how of tomorrow. It’s easy to drop serious money here, but you’ll still feel it’s worthwhile. $$$ Warburger Na Talerzu (B4) ul. Żelazna 58/62 The easiest mistake one can make is to think this is a burger joint – in part it is, but the whole truth is that it’s so much more. A complete upgrade from their original joint in Mokotów, the real attraction is an enticing page of more-ish, meaty mains: oxtail, beef cheeks and other snips of bits and offal. $$
Wilcza 50 (D5) ul. Wilcza 50, dwietrzecie.waw.pl The helter skelter culinary history of Wilcza has seen umpteen openings and closings, and this L-shaped corner unit has been the principal killing field. The latest development has seen the acclaimed Dwie Trzecie rebrand as Wilcza 50, and in the process appoint Sebastian Olma as head chef. For those unfamiliar with Olma, his work history has taken in a number of Michelin rated kitchens. Most recently, he was the talent behind the rise of the excellent
Loft is the perfect place to pause for a moment for a coffee, to meet with friends for lunch or a late dinner – most of all, it’s a chance to escape the city bustle while remaining in the heart of Warsaw. ul. Złota 11 tel. 668 016 964 restauracjaloft.pl
listings / restaurants Zielony Niedźwiedź. We’re visiting next month to bring you the full story. $$
Yes please. Certainly, the quality befits one of Warsaw’s best wine bars.
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, 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 13:001:00, 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. $$ Żurawina (D5) ul. Żurawia 32/34, tel. 22 521 06 66, zurawina.eu First a wine bar, second a restaurant, but the food here is such that it merit attention. There’s only seven or so mains to pick from, and the chef has them down to a tee – rib eye with shallots and truffle butter?
Ave Pizza (E3) ul. Topiel 12, tel. 22 828 8507, avepizza.pl The argument over who serves Warsaw’s best pizza goes right to the wire, but there’s no doubting that Ave Pizza are up there on the leaderboard. Set across a sparse, metropolitan area, this fashionable L-shaped joint comes endorsed by the capital’s notoriously picky Italian community. Order the pillowy calzone and you’ll soon learn why. $ Bacio (D5) ul. Wilcza 43, tel. 22 626 83 03, bacio.pl New look Bacio has been de-cluttered and simplified and now features a stripped down look and a menu that peaks with the duck in red wine risotto. Portions are huge, and are matched by a quality that’s seen this once ailing giant reinstalled as one of the top Italian eats in town. $$ 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.
Le Cedre 61
opposite the zoo Al. Solidarności 61, Praga Tel 22 670 11 66
Still the Best after all these years (since 1997)!
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Le Cedre 84
opposite the court Al. Solidarności 84 Tel 22 618 89 99
listings / restaurants 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 interior that fresh and light and reflective of the food. $$ Kotłownia ul. Suzina 8, tel. 22 833 23 27, winiarnia-kotlownia.pl You’d never guess from the grey surrounds but Kotłownia is one of the emerging stars of Warsaw dining. Set in a historic disused boiler house (the Warsaw Uprising started right outside!) a generous helping of wooden touches warm the split level industrial interiors, but it’s the food that steals the show. The modern Italian menu reflects the owner’s passion for Italy, as does the handpicked wine list. The atmosphere makes it perfect for a long, lazy lunch. $$ 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 every night of the week – even their Facebook page warns of 20 minute waiting times for a table alone. Learning this, some storm off in a huff – they need their heads checked, for this is Warsaw’s best pizza. $ Parmizzano’s (C5) Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79 (Marriott Hotel, Floor 1), tel. 22 630 6306 The prices are highly intimidating, but are offset by cooking that never falls below brilliant. Hotel restaurants get a bad rep, but in the formal surrounds of Parmiazzano’s diners can expect Italian food at its very best. $$$ Ristorante San Lorenzo (B3) Al. Jana Pawła II 36, tel. 22 652 1616, sanlorenzo.pl Adorned with crisp, starched linen and Roman frescos this space is almost magisterial in design. The Tuscan menu is flawless and well worth the rather hefty bill. The wine bar on the ground floor features the same standards at a snip of the price, and
it’s here you’ll find Italian natives cheering the Serie A football. Now also on Żurawia 6/12, only with a more modish design clearly targeted at a slightly younger audience. $$ The Olive (E5) Sheraton Hotel, ul. Prusa 2, tel. 22 450 6706 Bursting with seasonal fruits and veggies, it’s a fresh, fun place to eat. Hot and cold buffet for zł. 90. $$$
Trattoria Murano (B1) ul. Pokorna 2, tel. 516 754 300, trattoriamurano.pl Boosted by a number of new real estate projects, Muranów is in the midst of an unlikely renaissance. A direct knock-on has been the birth of numerous restaurants, though few can compete with Trattoria Murano. Looking dapper with its zigzagging brick patterns, circular lights, and smart large terrace, the good mood is further enhanced by a highly credible menu that scores well on the Italian classics. The bistecca di manzo (beef tenderloin with green pepper sauce) is a wonder. $$ 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. $$$
‘Simplicity, elegance and atmosphere’
Cafe • Wine Bar • Restaurant • Whisky Bar • Wine Cellar ul. Hoża 25A, tel. 515 037 001 www.hoza.warszawa.pl www.facebook.com/hoza25 Open 12:00-23:00, Sun 12:00-21:00
japanese & sushi Benihana (C4) ul. Twarda 2/4, benihanapoland.com Fire, flash, show and sizzle: the Benihana experience merges cooking with cabaret with diners sat ringside around teppanyaki grills. These cooking stations are the stage for the Benihana crew to demonstrate their riveting range of nifty knifework and daredevil antics. Outside of the realm of the grill, the sushi is also strikes the right spot. $$ www.warsawinsider.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. $$ Izumi Sushi ul. Mokotowska 17 (pl. Zbawiciela), tel. 22 825 7950, izumisushi.eu The original location never ceases to amaze with its sushi, though it’s the addition on Biały Kamień that really gets people talking. Here it’s not just the food that wows, but the interiors: a huge venue whose open plan doubles as an indoor forest – you need to see it to believe it. $$ Łuski i Ości ul. Zajączka 9A, luskiosci.pl A fun design (cool wall art and a wraparound aquarium built into the bar) is ably supported by a comprehensive range of sushi – the imaginative presentation is fitting of some of the more unconventional pieces: the Californian rolls
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aren’t reticent about involving ingredients such as chili, passion fruit and jalapeno. Omami (D5) ul. Mokotowska 29 (enter from Krucza) Sushi has been side-lined and ramen is rising. Opened at press time, Omami promise four types of ramen, not to mention steamed buns and other budget-minded Japanese options. $ Ryż i Ryba (D6) ul. Piękna 20, tel. 22 627 4150, ryziryba.pl The art of sushi is given a new lease of life in this Piękna newbie. The flavors are a revelation, making it more than just a stop-off for passing office workers. $$ Sakana Sushi Bar ul. Burakowska 5/7 tel. 22 636 0505, ul. Moliera 4/6, tel. 22 826 5958, & ul. Wąwozowa 6, lok.10B, tel. 22 498 8899, sakana.pl Sushi as a fashion statement? That’s what you find in Sakana, a place where the glam and the great of Warsaw
peacock around with feathers on display. Ignoring the general vanity and unpleasantness, one can’t help but applaud the sushi – if there was one winner in the sushi wars of the noughties, then Sakana was it. $$ 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-of-mouth. In truth, it’s not hard to see what the fuss is about: occupying a cool, almost industriallooking 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. $$ Sushi Zushi (D5) ul. Żurawia 6/12, tel. 22 420 3373, sushizushi.pl The mania for sushi is in recess, and that’s a good thing – the rogue
listings / restaurants
Temari (D6) ul. Mokotowska 8, temari.pl Pristine, almost holistic in ambiance, the idea here is to create a top class joint for sushi ‘to go’. No expense has been spared on the packaging, ingredients and overall look, the trouble is, sushi doesn’t naturally keep. Our Little Kyoto Box was full of bright sparkly colors, but the rolls already showed the tell-tale signs of having lost their moisture. Fingers crossed they see sense and start making sushi to order instead. $$ 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 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! $
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Casa Pablo (C3) ul. Grzybowska 5A, tel. 22 324 5781, casapablo.pl “We give Spanish food a new twist,” declares chef Gonzalo de Salas, which explains why, in between pungent cheeses and acorn-fed Bellota ham, we find ourselves demolishing a variety of dishes that buck all notions of tradition: as a starter the beetroot-marinated salmon served with wasabi emulsion is a fine example of this. With de Salas performing balletic tricks in the kitchen, Casa Pablo presents a masterful menu that ripples with adventure. $$ Ceviche Bar (C4) ul. Twarda 4, cevichebar.pl Created by the award-winning Martin Gimenez Castro, Warsaw’s first specialist ceviche bar serves up various interpretations of this classic raw fish dish: the corvina is an explosion of peppy, citrusy tastes and leaves you in no doubt why some are tipping ceviche to become as big as sushi. Try for yourself inside a contemporary space in which the dining area merges seamlessly with a kitchen decorated with a mural of Maradona. $$ 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. $$
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operators are dead or dying off, and are survived by the best. And make no mistake, Sushi Zushi continue to be the No. 1 ex-pat choice. Appreciated by a stunning crowd, the rolls are often bold, creative and always astonishingly fresh. $$
ŚNIADANIE ST /BREAKFA0
mule+w ul. Okrzei 23 03-715 WarszaWa tel 22 40 45 489
Gringo Bar (E9) ul. Odolańska 15, tel. 22 848 9523 www.warsawinsider.pl
listings / restaurants A Mexican wave is upon us, and high time too. After years of suffering frozen ingredients, timid flavors and daft Mariachi music to persuade us it’s all authentic, a raft of new cut-price eateries are showing the rest how it’s done. Cooked and folded by fist bumping lads in back-to-front caps and baggy t-shirts, the food at Gringo is by far the best of the bunch: fiery, fresh and full of zing. Newly expanded, meaning diners no longer engage in games of Twister while grappling with their burrito. $ La Sirena (D5) ul. Pięka 54 Warsaw’s Mexican scene is finally showing signs of maturing beyond the 90s: La Sirena is particularly interesting, with an edgy interior that speaks of backstreet Mexico City. Brought to you by the same team as the amazing Dziurka od Klucza restaurant in Powiśle, the food has got this place packing out. Heat levels need to be adjusted upwards, but even so this looks set to be one of the breakthrough hits of 2016. $$
Tapas Gastrobar (A4) ul. Grzybowska 63, tel. 22 251 1310, tapasbar.pl The engaging design features scuffed timber tables supported by rescued factory metal, open ductwork and elaborate
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floor tiles of Iberian persuasion. But the food is what everyone is talking about: the first class gazpacho, prepared onsite then served in a bottle, is full of refreshing zing, while the beef cheek is pure melty tenderness. Our favorite, though, are the patatas bravas, perfectly fried potatoes served in a ballsy tomato sauce. Just amazing. $$
Le Cedre (E1) Al. Solidarności 61, tel. 22 670 1166, 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. Lebaneserun, the menu here is comprehensive with all the requisite hot and cold mezze and grilled and skewered meats. With decent prices and fresh flavors doing their bit to stir local interest. $$
listings / restaurants Sokotra (D5) ul. Wilcza 27, tel. 22 270 2766, sokotra.pl It says a lot for Warsaw’s developing tastes that it can now house a successful Yemeni venture. Bathed in chatter and chaotic kitchen sounds, Sokotra is an informal place with Indian twists on the menu, and a card that encourages plenty of plate sharing. $$
Ale Gloria (E5) Pl. Trzech Krzyży 3, tel. 22 584 7080, alegloria.pl Who said romance was dead? Here wedding white colors are fused with a strawberry motif inside this gourmet fave. Keeping patrons returning are aromatic dishes with a contemporary twist – try the duck in rose sauce. $$$
Amber Room at the Sobański Palace (E6) Al. Ujazdowskie 13, tel. 22 523 6664, amberroom.pl The Amber Room is, indeed, a bit of a treasure. You know all the chefs we bang on about in this mag? Bottom line, the good ones came through via this kitchen. But this is more than a training ground for
future stars, it’s a place that remains on the cutting edge in spite of its seemingly straight look. Positioned inside a majestic villa, the food is pure contemporary Poland, and well deserving of its Michelin nod. For that, thank chef Robert Skubisz. $$$
A cheeky celebration of days of yore, this commie-themed 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! $$
Atelier Amaro (E6) ul. Agrykola 1, tel. 22 628 5747, atelieramaro.pl The recipient of Poland’s first Michelin star, Atelier promotes pedigree Polish produce enhanced by modern techniques, with courses interspersed by occasionally bizarre interludes (leaves, flowers, twigs, etc.). Don’t miss the bespoke vodka menu, either. It’s an extraordinary dining experience, and one which confirms the growing cult of chef Wojciech Amaro. In the hours you’re here, the world stops and you leave feeling like James Bond. Reservations are mandatory, with a waiting list that is approximately two to three months long. $$$
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. $$
Czerwony Wieprz (Red Hog) (B3) ul. Żelazna 68, tel. 22 850 3144, czerwonywieprz.pl Shush! Big Brother is watching in the Red Pig, but the beady-eyed tyrants who stare down from the portraits do little to impede the sense of revelry.
Dom Polski (H4) ul. Francuska 11, tel. 22 616 2432, restauracjadompolski.pl Almost like it was designed for the manor born, Dom Polski has the rarefied atmosphere of a country retreat: bow-tied staff who click their heels, decorative antiques and a menu that’s a sumptuous anthology of posh Polish cooking. When you need to give visitors a sense of classic Warsaw, Dom Polski is the first out of the hat. The summer garden remains one of Warsaw’s seasonal highlights. $$$
enjoy modern, Polish cuisine Reservation: +48 22 102 20 70, address: 33 Mokotowska Street, 00-560 Warsaw, www.bazarkocha.pl
listings / restaurants 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. $$ Kafe Zielony Niedzwiedź (E4) ul. Smolna 4, tel. 731 996 006 Exceeding all expectations in their second year, the Green Bear has turned into the mothership
for all things relating to slow food: if in doubt, check the menu, an ode to provenance that comes complete with detailed biographies of their suppliers. Using creative techniques, this restaurant modernizes Polish food and rolls it out inside a stylish building popular with people who look like they might well be famous. Incidentally, the sea buckthorn cream was our top dessert of 2015. $$ 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. $$
AUTHENTIC POLISH CUISINE
Krakowskie Przedmieście 64 tel. +48 22 826 4770 email. email@example.com www.delicjapolska.pl
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
listings / restaurants Mała Polana Smaków (F9) ul. Belwederska 13/44, tel. 22 400 8048, polanasmakow.pl Put simply, it works on every level: from the service to the space – outside, a terrace featuring upcycled crates overlooking Morskie Oko, and on the inside, a cute little room with woodsy bits and big glass jars of mystery ingredients. It’s casual, but still fit for more serious roles: e.g. girlfriend night. And the food: exceptional. Lots of seasonally changing choices that on our visit meant salmon sausage matched with beetroot and horseradish sauce along with pinches of lavender and fennel. $$ 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. $$ BEST WAWA 2015 “Modern Polish”
Papu (D9) al. Niepodległości 132/136, tel. 22 856 7788, restauracjapapu.pl The elegant décor sees wood-paneled walls lined with champagne bottles, making it an experience that is at once intimate and romantic. Chef Bartek Kędra’s menu is specifically strong when it comes to white and red meats: order the beef rib. It’s a massive, brutal instrument that could be used to club someone to death. Falloff-the-bone good, this Flintstone monster is seriously memorable. Other courses are more sophisticated, and include a knee trembling, lipstick red strawberry tartar. $$ Restauracja Polska “Różana” (E8) ul. Chocimska 7, tel. 22 848 1225, restauracjarozana.com.pl The rarified atmosphere of Różana is a pleasure indeed. Close to the frontline of Mokotów / Śródmieście, you’d never guess the proximity of the center. Seated in their garden, one feels removed from the city – a fountain burbles quietly in the background, starlings hop around the trees. From the inside, one hears the distant tinkle of the house pianist. Just
being here is a thrill in itself, and the food is a Polish dining extravaganza served from the top table: farmhouse duck, saddle of venison, etc. Słoik (D4) ul. Złota 11, tel. 600 396 688, restauracjasloik.pl Jarheads will love Słoik, a place lined with glass jars brimming with colorful ingredients and bright preserves. Find natural Polish produce and traditionalsounding dishes treated with a careful and contemporary hand. The approach pits modernist against classic, and the winner is, well, you. This is traditional Polish food updated for the discerning, latter day palate – and it’s really quite something. $ Solec 44 (F4) ul. Solec 44, tel. 798 363 996, solec.waw.pl 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. $$
Traditional Polish cuisine Live music The best wine, regional beer and spirits Grand Kredens - 19 years full of tradition
Stary Dom ul. Puławska 104/106, tel. 22 646 4208, restauracjastarydom.pl A classic restaurant in style and history: back in the day it was a favorite haunt of jockeys and race goers from the horse track nearby. Pre-war recipes form the basis of the menu, with the team using seasonal produce and the latest technology to bring out its best. $$ U Fukiera (D1) Rynek Starego Miasta 27 (Old Town Market Square), tel. 22 831 1013, ufukiera.pl 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. $$$ Varso Vie (D6) Pl. Konstytucji 2, varso-vie.pl Despite the
Aleje Jerozolimskie 111 tel. +48 22 629 80 08 Mob. +48 697 900 000 firstname.lastname@example.org www.kredens.com.pl Share your opinion www.warsawinsider.pl
listings / restaurants concrete color palette Varso Vie retains a good buzz. It helps that on one side guests are flanked by punchy bursts of modern art, and on the other, an open kitchen that’s all clamor, commotion and general rumpus. The menu is modern Polish: duck stomachs in a flaky puff pastry with a thick smear of thyme sauce; Baltic trout served on a pinkish mush of red lentils and mint; and a coveted meringue mousse with mascarpone and passion fruit jelly. Exemplary. $$
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’.
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
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. $$
scandinavian Nabo ul. Zakręt 8, tel. 22 842 0256, nabocafe.pl The décor is, we’re told, typical Danish
cafe – bold open windows, simple lines, high shelves filled with books and games on the table. But what is Danish food? There’s Old Danish on the menu: meatballs and open face sandwiches with meat and fish in various textural configurations and then there’s New Danish: an emerging trend towards fresh, seasonal food (no microwave oven at Nabo), with locally sourced and innovatively concocted ingredients. $$
seafood Zmianu Klimatu (D5) 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. $$
listings / restaurants specialty food shops Bazar Olkuska (E10) ul. Olkuska 12 Olkuska has evolved to become just about the worst kept secret in Warsaw. Home to the city’s top eco-market, trips here end with shopping bags filled with French cheeses, Italian hams, Hungarian sausages and fresh fruit and veg. And don’t miss a chat with the nation’s most celebrated butcher: Pan Grzegorz of Crazy Butcher. Befsztyk ul. Puławska 176/178, tel. 22 843 6110, befsztyk.pl The Prokopowicz family has come a long way since launching Befsztyk in 1994. Top restaurants, celebs and ex-pats are listed as clients, and all agree that this operation is indisputably ‘top of the chops’. Find steaks seasoned for three weeks, gluten-free smoked meats, Merino lamb, BBQ kits and so much more. Home delivery, internet ordering
and English-speaking staff round out this legend. Bio Bazar (B4) ul. Żelazna 51/53, tel. 22 318 8855, open Wed, Fri & Sat (see website for details), biobazar.org.pl Fruit and veg in the first warehouse, some of it imported from as far as Argentina. In the second warehouse, find organic cheese varieties from sheep and goats, as well as import brands from Italy, France and the Netherlands. Forteca Kregliccy ul. Zakroczymska 12, kregliccy.eu/forteca Spot the stars of Warsaw’s restaurant scene perusing the stalls at this weekly farmers’ market. Held each Wednesday, look for Pan Ziółko, Poland’s first celebrity farmer (!), Portobello’s from the country’s only organic mushroom farm and the magical yogurts from Mleczna Droga Manufaktura Serów. Heritage (D6) ul. Mokotowska 17, tel. 22 857 0912
Some people use Heritage as a wine bar, while others see it as more than that. And so it is. Peruse the Italian hams and cheeses in their fridge, olive oils, sauces and of course wine. Lots and lots of wine. Kosher Shop (C4) ul. Twarda 6 Snuck to the side of the synagogue, stock up on Kosher produce from the friendly store, before hitting up the falafel tent outside for, aside from the obvious, kosher ice cream. Krakowski Kredens Various locations across town, check their website for details: krakowskikredens.pl Jams, syrups, honey and preserves, as well as hams and kiełbasa from the Galicia region. Kuchnie Świata Various locations, kuchnieswiata.com.pl The first stop for most ex-pats, with an offer that includes food and drinks from across the globe. The choice is vast. Internet ordering now also available.
listings / restaurants Le Targ ul. Mińska 25 (SOHO Factory), tel. 603 051 116 Find here a rather random array of products: stands display traditional meats, goat’s cheeses, unconventional preserves, Greek products, vegan ingredients… it all still seems a bit like a work in progress. The initiative is noble, however. 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. Martin’s Good Meat ul. Przejazd 4/7, tel. 797 866 131 Angus, Hereford and Limousine beef, not to mention lamb, veal and seasoned steaks. A candidate for Warsaw’s best butchery, no less!
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
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.
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 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.$$
Beef n’Pepper (C5) ul. Nowogrodzka 47A, tel. 731 307 377 A social space that encourages friends to gather and make merry over big meaty courses. Served on heavy tree stump plates, steaks here use Polish Angus aged for a
Downtown Restaurant (C4) ul. Emilii Plater 49 (InterContinental Hotel, level 2), tel. 22 328 8745 There’s now a few candidates for Warsaw’s best steak, and Downtown have certainly upped the erm, stakes, with their new menu. Yes, the doors
Samira ul. Powsińska 64A, tel. 22 825 3363, samira. pl Now in bigger and better premises, this Lebanese supermarket offers a comprehensive rundown of imported goods that ranges from spices, preserves and rubs to nuts, olives, teas and soft drinks.
listings / restaurants of Downtown are a gateway to heaven – particularly true if, like us, your vision of heaven is a rich green field filled with fat, juicy cows. But don’t for one moment assume the offer ends with cows. Now added to their menu are other animalitos like kangaroo. $$$ Hoża (D5) ul. Hoża 25A, tel. 603 778 275, hoza.warszawa.pl Wine and steak: it sounds so simple, but Hoża have taken two simple pleasures to another level. It’s a vibrant space with service right out of charm school, and a kitchen team with a real knowledge of cows. A red-blooded affair, the menu is a steak sensation and well paired with a handpicked wine list. $$
Not on our visit, though. Short and to the point, the menu is defined by its clarity, and we enjoyed a phenomenal yellow curry and banana fritters with the right combo of crunch and goo. Beautifully decorated with charcoal colors and punches of lime, the Insider felt good long after visiting. Will you? $$ Naam Thai ul. Saska 16, tel. 505 110 100
An anonymous design and out-of-town location never stopped guests flocking here. But that stands to change after the departure of chef Chanunkan Duangkumma. What was Warsaw’s best Thai now finds itself facing the biggest challenge of its existence. $$ Thai Thai (C2) Pl. Teatralny 3, tel. 601 818 283, thaithai.pl In terms of design it’s little short of perfect:
Merliniego 5 (E10) ul. Merliniego 5, tel. 22 646 0810, merliniego5.pl A classic looking steakhouse that swirls in shadow, brickwork and elegant touches, it’s a place to immerse yourself in an atmosphere that’s all surreptitious conversation and distant clinking glasses. The steaks are out-of-this world, with USDA prime beef from New York’s legendary Ottomanelli & Sons and Scottish beef from London’s Smithfield Market. On our last visit we splurged on the Grade 9+ wagyu ‘kobe’ rib-eye and found ourselves eating the steak of a lifetime. Simply amazing. $$$
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. $$$ BEST WAWA 2015 “Foreign Chef”
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Basil & Lime (E8) ul. Puławska 27, tel. 22 126 1943, basillime.pl Reports have been hit and miss, with one Insider noting calamitous service and food that was both over and undercooked.
listings / restaurants gold vaulted interiors lend a muted glow to a largely black on black space while serene looking Buddha’s peer on the diners below. As for the food, that’s one big success story with plenty of lively flavors and vibrant colors. The Tom Yang Kung, a deeply nourishing fish broth that awakens the senses with a sharp, spicy jolt, is a must! $$ Thai Me Up (E4) ul. Foksal 16, thaimeup.pl Taking the spot once occupied by Papaya, Thai Me Up offers up a far more informal experience than the former, something understood by one look at the interior: gone is the slick look of yesteryear, replaced by something far more casual, fun and cluttered. As for the food, that succeeds in bringing the fresh, zippy tastes of Asia to Foksal. The wok dishes are a forte and deserve special attention. $$
Thaisty (C2) pl. Bankowy 4, tel. 730 000 024, thaisty. pl The coup here has been the recruitment of Chanunkan Duangkumma, Warsaw’s favorite Thai chef. The menu has street food inspirations and also includes several recipes passed down Duangkumma’s family line: consider the BBQ beef skewers essential. Vivid colors and a busy open kitchen lend the place a happy buzz that lasts through the day. $$
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. $
whole foods Edamame Vegan Sushi (D5) ul. Wilcza 11, edamame.pl Sushi without its star ingredient sounds ridiculous, but this vegan sushi joint manages to out-manoeuver its traditional competitors by replacing belowpar fish with fresh, vegetarian produce: sugar snap peas, radish, carrots, asparagus, etc. The results are both magical and addictive, and leave you wondering if vegan sushi stands to be Warsaw’s next trend. $$ Krowazywa (D5) ul. Marszałkowska 27/35, tel. 881 777 894 ul. Hoża 29/31, krowarzywa.pl ul. Hoża 29/31, krowarzywa.pl Packed with girls wearing skating clothes and moon boots, this burgery makes a big boast that their whole menu is 100% plant-based and their
food compiled using ‘the best, freshest, unprocessed and full-balanced ingredients.’ The Warzywex, a burger composed of marinated and grilled slices of local veg, is an absolute winner. $ Lokal Vegan Bistro (D5) ul. Krucza 23/31, 517 615 122 Aside from a small menu consisting of more standard vegan offers, Lokal keep Homer Simpson characters in mind with regular guest slots for street food that’s given a full vegan makeover. Offhand, that’s meant vegan kebabs, cheesesteaks, burgers and zapiekanka, all of which have been nothing short of fabulous. Be sure to try their vegan alternative to Poland’s staple kotlet schabowy. $ Vege Bistro ul. Kopernika 25, vegebistro.pl The clue is in the name. We dropped in for a vege burger and, using Krowarzywa as the benchmark, were left a little underwhelmed. But a follow-up visit brought much better luck, with a peppery mushroom goulash doing its job of keeping chills at bay. The cakes, too, are a genuine pleasure. Youmiko Vegan Sushi (D5) ul. Hoża 62 Already well-established in Kraków, Youmiko enter Warsaw’s vegan sushi market hot on the heels of Edamame on Wilcza nearby. There’s definitely more of a hipster, ‘urban guerrilla’ feel to Youmiko, but the sushi is every bit a success. Often better than ‘the real thing’. $$
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cafes & wine bars 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.
INSIDER’S PICK KOS CAFÉ When I think of Chmielna it’s always as Chmielna A and Chmielna B. The former is the wide pedestrian street most people are familiar with; the latter, the strip that runs behind it. In terms of contrast, the difference between the two couldn’t be more pronounced. Whereas Chmielna A feels tired and tacky, Chmielna B is a secret little goldmine. In this case, B stands for Better. And it’s in here, settled between creative agencies and swish-looking guesthouses, you’ll find Kos, a neighborhood café that’s sent a rattle through the area. Actually, calling it just a café is a disservice: after all, Starbucks claim to be one as well. True, they both serve coffee, but even in these early days of business one gets the idea that Kos is about something more: it’s a place intent on stitching the neighborhood together. That much is made clear by a diverse events calendar that features a panoply of activities: from yoga courses to busy weekend brunches. As commendable as these social actions are, it’s the basics that Kos do so well. Drenched in natural sunlight, what risks being a standard oblong space is given impetus by a design involving deep armchairs, wooden windowsills splayed with cushions and a giant ‘fotomat’ – a mysterious machine that transpires to be a great, big selfie device. Yet while novelties and quirks abound, it’s the practicalities that push Kos that extra step: swift wifi, own-brand eco coffee from their sister establishment (the award-winning Cophi), and a menu of homemade snacks and bits. If there is something missing, then that’s the alcohol license, something that stands to be rectified in the very near future. KOS CAFÉ ul. Chmielna 9A
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
cafés 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.
menus’, truffles, tarts, pralines and Warsaw’s first cronut, expect to be hearing a lot about this operation in the coming few months. 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.
Crepe Café (E3) ul. Dobra 19 Is there such a thing as the perfect pancake? If not, then Crepe Café certainly comes close. Enjoy them in a contemporary interior that’s tiny in size: grab a seat up on the mezzanine level.
Czuły Barbarzyńca (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.
Cukiernia Miodowa (D2) ul. Senatorska 13/15 Gone are the days when Warsaw’s dessert / pastry shops were communist relics overseen by half-mad old bats. The rise of upscale dessert stores continues unchecked with the latest, Cukiernia Miodowa, possibly the most exciting launch thus far. Offering five-course ‘dessert tasting
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
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. Chmiel Café (D4) ul. Chmielna 27/31, chmielcafe.pl Rows and rows of Belgian beers occupy the shelves, while behind the counter find
Chmielna 9a 513 422 908
Find It… Kos – Chmielna’s Best Kept Secret www.warsawinsider.pl
listings / cafés & wine bars 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. 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. How U Doin’ (D4) ul. Zgoda 13 Apparently modelled on the café that appears in Friends, as questionable as the premise might sound there’s no doubting that How U Doin’ have hit the ground running. Packed most hours, while the décor isn’t the most faithful replica of you’ll find of Central Perk, this spot does manage to nail the neighborhood atmosphere down to a tee. And besides that, it works as a café in its own right: great coffee, health kicks and even a few maverick beers to their name. Kafka Café (E3) ul. Oboźna 3, kawiarnia-kafka.pl A chessboard floor and a collection of antlers on the wall characterize Kafka, a bookstore / café whose literary collection is composed of paperbacks rescued from recycling plants. Books are purchased by their weight (zł. 10 per kilo) while the menu includes pancakes, pastas and even doggy treats for your mutt.
French Bistro Cafe Bakery Nowy Świat 27 Phone: 22 826 44 61 www.petitappetit.com.pl Open Mon - Sun 8:00 - 23:00
KluboKawiarnia Towarzyska ul. Zwycięzców 49, klubokawiarnia.net Urban cool penetrates Saska. With an interior modeled by John Strumiłło, this 50s pavilion has an ascetic design defined by polar white interiors. Contrast is provided downstairs, with deep magenta walls and retro armchairs. Concerts, screenings and art happenings have made it into something of local cultural mainstay.
Kosmos (C4) Pl. Grzybowski 2 It’s all coming together nicely for Pl. Grzybwoski, and the opening of places like Kosmos is only good news. It’s relatively small floorplan 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.
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
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. Limoni Canteri 1952 (E9) ul. Dąbrowskiego 1 & ul. Zwycięzców 49 Appearing as a wooden cabin in an overgrown park (someone, clear it up please), Limoni get noted for Italian gelato that’s too good for words – join the line for tastes like cherry, plum and redcurrant, or go edgy and experimental with flavors such as salmon, tomato or basil. 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 think of Między Nami as being an antiquated has-been. Not so. Haunted by a mix of media types and local characters, this hip white piece of post-commie Warsaw has an enduring, almost timeless appeal. Ministerstwo Kawy (D6) ul. Marszałkowska 27, ministerstwokawy.pl Sourcing their coffee from Koppi, an internationally acclaimed Swedish roasting house, the ministry takes no short cuts in their pursuit of excellence. Utilizing Ethiopian, Costa Rican and Brazilian arabicas – some exclusive to Poland – barista Wojciech Rzytki has earned a reputation across Poland for his expert hand. Rave reviews are standard and appropriate in this standout cafe. 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
listings / cafés & wine bars 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. my’o’my (D4) ul. Szpitalna 8 (enter from Górskiego), myomy.pl Slightly rustic in design, with wooden panels painted white and winding stairs that lead to a charming second floor. The baked goods are courtesy of baker extraordinaire Zofia Różycka, and the rest of the food offer is pretty grand as well. Its popularity with Warsaw’s mid-20s set makes it occasionally claustrophobic. 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. OSiR (E3) ul. Tamka 40 OSiR’s manifesto declares it a ‘cycle culture’ café, which means incoming guests should brace for all kinds of bike related props in this urban, raw and ready hideout. Beyond the cycling propaganda, there’s much to recommend: rare find beers, street-style hot dogs, and a cool, tranquil crowd that livens up for DJ sets at the weekend from the likes of London Massive
and Kool & the Funk. 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. Prosta Historia (H4) ul. Francuska 24 Informal looking with its clean white finishes and stripped wood floors, it’s an ideal spot for a lazy weekend – few places in Warsaw feel so naturally continental. 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,
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 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. Stół ul. Nowolipki 17C Poor Muranów – while the rest of Warsaw joined the foodie revolution, Muranów was left looking at everyone else having fun. There is hope, and much of it is based around Nowolipki. Opening just days after Falafel Bejrut, Stół have created a buzz of their own thanks to a small menu of pancakes (both sweet and savory), sandwiches and homemade cakes. A place of genuine homely goodness, locals are already proclaiming it as the kind of place the area has lacked. Think Love Juices (H4) ul. Francuska 14, thinklove.pl Nutrition nut and supermodel Anna Jagodzińska reveals the secrets of her diet in this white-clad, summery-looking Saska café. As the name indicates, juice plays a massive part in that, with the rotating choice presenting a range of drinks that run from watermelon water all the way up to complex concoctions that ignore any shortcuts. The daily changing lunch deals are superb, but leave you in no doubt just why models are so skinny. WakeCup Café (C1) ul. Franciszkańska 14, wakecupcafe.pl A superb discovery landed in the no-man’s land that straddles New Town and Muranów. WakeCup don’t believe in taking coffee shortcuts (recommended: raspberry frappe), and have a fiendish obsession with beans from Brazil. Also notable and noteworthy for their fruity cocktails, pastries and energetic café buzz.
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.
Dekant Wine Bar ul. Zajęcza 15, decant.com.pl Expectations are high: even before they opened Wine Spectator magazine bequeathed Dekant with an ‘Award of Excellence’. Just what’s the buzz about? Primarily a wine choice that is set to eventually extend beyond 500 wines. Set inside an attractive open space, the opening of Dekant is a further indication of Powiśle’s shift from hipster epicenter to upscale playground.
Enoteka (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.
Ale Wino! (E5) ul. Mokotowska 48, alewino.pl At first you
Hoża (D5) ul. Hoża 25a, hoza.warszawa.pl You’ll prob-
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.
think you’re walking into a car park. And then, it hits you – a beautiful inner-city sanctum with wooden decking, a slanted sail shielding the sun, and bespoke, funky chairs from the esteemed Studio Rygalik. You want to dwell here for a bit longer than planned: and there’s no harm in doing so. One of the Insider’s favorite wine bars, Ale Wino’s food is also top-notch
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
ably 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. Portucale (E10) ul. Merliniego 2, portucale.pl The rule here is to keep it simple. Stick to the truly amazing seafood and good house wine, both of which promise a terrific Portuguese experience. $$ 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. WinKolekcja (E10) ul. Olkuska 7, winkolekcja.pl The selection of New World wines is exceptional, though classicists are also catered for via an extensive choice of Spanish, French and Italian wines. Their highly recommended restaurant provides further reason to linger inside a design that has the routine look of a club class lounge.
nightlife NEW & NOTABLE
DZIKI LOKATOR (ul. Międzynarodowa 67) A pizzeria, café, bistro and bar. But with the doors closing usually no later than 8 p.m., its function as the latter is often overlooked. That’s something of a mistake, especially in the summer months when the park location gives their outdoor terrace a true taste of escape: as the sun sets, the sensation isn’t unlike drinking in a shaded forest glade. Find the good mood further enhanced by a full portfolio of beers from the outstanding Maryensztadt brewery.
bars & pubs 2Koła ul. Tunelowa 2B Sat, as it is, in the abandoned backspaces and brickyards behind Zachodnia station, 2Koła feels like Warsaw’s dirtiest little secret. Still stained and smelling of grease and oil, this former garage is piled high with dented sofas, warehouse palettes and motorcycling detritus. Yet the supremely friendly owners have turned this shadowy lair into a cult bar that’s specifically celebrated for rowdy jam sessions that cover everything from ragtime to rockabilly. 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…
Afera Na Szpitalnej ul. Szpitalna 3 With white brick walls, goodhumored murals, and clean Scandinavian style furniture, the atmosphere at Afera seems a lot brighter than Warsaw’s other shot bars. But is it actually more sane? No chance! When the clubs have closed, top-up your alcohol levels by shooting little shots of magic from one of the most complete vodka menus in town. Soak up the booze with generous portions of traditional Polish food.
POZYTYWY (ul. Oleandrów 3) Oleandrów’s rebirth as Warsaw’s center of cool continues with the opening of Pozytywy, an interesting bar apparently owned by a sound engineer – hence a design that mimics a recording studio. In terms of drinks, it’s probably the most varied selection in the vicinity, with their proposal covering a choice of wines on tap, and dozens of bottled beers from Poland’s new generation breweries. As cool as the interior might be, the terrace is the place to be.
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 www.warsawinsider.pl
listings / nightlife members’ only Mayfair bar, find ‘classic with a twist’ cocktails mixed and muddled by the sort of charming bartenders you’d trust serving Bond. Bar Gemba (D5) ul. Wilcza 50/52 Despite occupying the bottom corner of an office development Gemba isn’t short of character: that is, at least, if you measure character by the number of thrift store armchairs and vintage extras. Furbished with lampshades, luggage and varying odds and ends, it’s the kind of dark, debauched bar that trended amongst artsy Poles in the
early 00s. Replacing the oddly downcast Jedna Trzecia, Gemba slots in well amongst the other post-hipster bars in the area. Bar Warszawa (D2) ul. Miodowa 2, barwarszawa.pl Thick with alcoholic fumes and the sound of drunken tantrums, Bar Warszawa excels in its role as a late night dive bar. Split on two levels, upstairs is where most head to flop around a retro lounge interior filled with nostalgic decorations that tempt kleptomaniacs. The cut price shots and pints do their bit in facilitating slurred conversations with a variety of strangers. Not surprisingly, evenings often extend beyond the advertised closing time of 4 a.m. 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. Bar Wieczorny (D8) ul. Wiśniowa 46, barwieczorny.pl Preparing for their first summer, it’s going to be one helluva’ place to visit once the weather heats up: that garden is going to get naughty! The cocktails are serious here, with top quality spirits (Vestal, Baczewski, Woodford Reserve) used with equally big name mixes (Fentimans, Big Tom, etc.). Further, you’ll find it’s the right products in the right hands – the staff really know their game.
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
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 as ever, Beirut has walls dusted with cult album covers, documentary posters and witty graffiti inspired by Banksy. Busy in the day, and absolutely packed at night, order unconventional beers (Noteckie, English ale, Erdinger) from androgynous staff standing behind a sandbag bar decorated with silver hand grenades and a model tank. Berlin-Warszawa Express (D5) Most Poniatowskiego (corner of Kruczkowskiego and al. 3 Maja) Set up a flight of stairs, a concrete footbridge at the top links the two bars either side: Berlin and Warszawa. It’s a Matrix moment, the red pill or the blue? Berlin’s the better, with industrial cage lights, and salvaged DDR memorabilia. Surveying the scene, it’s all wobbly tables, sticky surfaces and tight little alcoves fitted into impossible spaces. A great dive bar, the friendly nature of Berlin gets even friendlier after a few craft brews. Bierhalle Al. Jana Pawła II 82 (Arkadia), ul. Nowy Świat 64, ul. Marszałkowska 55/73, bierhalle.pl Having tapped their first beer six or seven years back, their microbrewery have morphed into a national phenomenon with outposts across the country. All three Warsaw locations have a cut/paste Bavarian atmosphere, hefty wooden fittings and waitresses dressed like mountain frauleins.
listings / nightlife Bollywood Lounge (D4) ul. Nowy Świat 58, bollywoodlounge.pl Now on Nowy Świat, the team have used the opportunity to upgrade their offer: gone is that low-rent feel of old, replaced in favor of a more classy look and a slicker crowd. What has remained constant is the energy. Ace cocktails (recommended: Jim Ban Chili), tottering talent and a range of sheesha pipes make it a weekend must, though the big news is the completion of their downstairs club: check it out for the bright, banging beats of the Bollywood sound. British Bulldog (D4) ul. Aleje Jerozolimskie 42, bbpub.pl In terms of aesthetic it’s the most accurate replica of an English pub you’ll find. And they get a further nod for a brilliant covered terrace that’s great in all weather. Not that you’ll find many British expats in here, they’ve been boycotting the place ever since the dismissal of the original British manager. Judging by the poor standards of beer and food, you might want to follow their example. What could have become an expat legend is, in essence, a big wet plop of disappointment. Bubbles (D2) Pl. Piłsudskiego 9, tel. 512 540 913, bubbles.com.pl Despite sounding like a 90s small town nightclub, Bubbles is in fact a worthy place of note: a small, warm venue with a slow food menu and a design that incorporates lots of upturned crates and dusty bottles. Champagne is the main draw here, with many labels that are exclusive to Poland. Some come with terrifying prices, but on the whole the price points are widely accessible: wine from zł. 10 and a flute of champers from zł. 29. Cafe Kulturalna (C4) Palace of Culture, pl. Defilad 1, kulturalna.pl The location is unbeatable and visiting the Palace late at night is an amazing, almost mystical experience. 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 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. pl With Warsaw’s tap bars all falling over each other to stock the latest tap beers, your options are frequently similar from bar to bar – which is when a good fridge becomes important. Not only can you actually see into Chmielarnia’s, you’ll find it housing the most exciting brews trending around the globe: from the edgy Bermondsey breweries to the Scandinavian giants. Broaden your horizons! Ciechan Na Foksal (A4) ul. Foksal 18, ciechan.com.pl/foksal If you’re happy to overlook the unsavory politics of the brewery’s owner, then you’ll doubtless enjoy the flagship bar of the BRJ brewing company. Find 16 taps showcasing their portfolio of regional beers, among them Ciechan, Lwówek and Bojan. The food is largely a stodge-fest, something that sits ill at ease with the smart, brick interiors. Maybe something more rugged would have worked better, but hey, who cares, it’s about the beer, right? Coctail Bar Max (D5) ul. Krucza 16/22, barmax.pl Can you trust a cocktail bar that can’t even spell the word? In this case, it’s a resounding yes. With its light wood touches and fruity montages Max looks bright, cheerful and fully loaded for the sun, and also comes with an alcove in the back stuffed with whisky and cigars. The cocktails are the main affair though, and here they’re extravagant efforts that resemble a tropical jungle in a miniature form. The only problem? By their very nature, cocktails aren’t concocted in two minutes flat – if it’s busy, waiting around is like Death by a Thousand Cuts. Column Bar (D2) ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 42/44 (Hotel Bristol) Just the look of Column Bar
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listings / nightlife 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. Elephant Belgian Pub (C1) ul. Freta 19 Signposted by a jolly, dancing elephant, this Belgian pub presents its cause the moment you enter – there’s twenty or so
taps laid right out in front, and to the left a fridge that’s expected to top out to cover 200 beers. The design is basic – brickwork, beer kegs and varying ephemera of the brewing trade – but it doesn’t need that much more: it’s about the beer, after all. Gorączka Złota (D5) ul. Wilcza 29, goraczka-zlota.com.pl Founded in 1996, Złota’s longevity is to be admired, even if the interiors aren’t. Small, dark and a little pungent, the interiors are rendered out of little more than varnished wood and hundreds of beer coasters. But that’s the clue! The secret of their success is down to the beer. Stocking a range of regional and craft beer (Ale Browar, Pinta, Kormoran, AltenMunster, Olbracht, etc.), this unfashionable bar has an underlying honesty that makes it a success. Hard Rock Cafe (C5) ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy), hardrockcafe.pl Full Throttle cocktails, lively staff and a classic rock soundtrack: the energy of HRC is hard to find fault with. And on the rare occasion there is a lull in the night, use the opportunity to sniff around memorabilia that includes a black leather number once worn by Madonna. Heritage Birreria Artigianale (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,
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
listings / nightlife 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, being the unisex toilet. The origami birds hanging from the ceiling, btw, are a reference to the post-war period when an old lady who fed the pigeons took-up brief residence in the ruins of where you now drink. Karowa 31 (D3) ul. Karowa 31, warsawbarproject.com Warsaw’s original speakeasy grants access via a retractable door disguised as a VHS collection – how cool is that!? Maze-like in layout, the retro-looking Karowa 31 unravels to reveal a series of chambers concealed in shadow, though for all that the cocktails are the real draw: masterful creations composed by Bram, the former manager of the London Cocktail Club. Kita Koguta (E5) ul. Krucza 6/14 Free from the pompous prattery of Bar Max down the road, there are times in Kita Koguta where sitting at bar level is like watching Dexter’s Laboratory: the staff aren’t afraid to get imaginative, and that includes serving cocktails in smoking coconut husks. Not all the experiments go as planned, but that’s part of the thrill – for a failsafe, order the Viterbo Breakfast: it looks like something that came out of a drainpipe, but it’s delicious! Kraken Rum Bar (D5) ul. Poznańska 12 Named after one of the ocean’s most feared mythical creatures (the scary squid from Pirates of the Caribbean), the wood-clad Kraken features a wall of cymbals, heavy furniture and some interesting photography. While there’s some decent bottles of rum, there’s perhaps not enough to justify calling it a rum bar. The house beer rocks though. Kufle i Kapsle (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 25, kufleikapsle.pl All levels of drinkers are catered for in this raw-looking space, from those ready to pay nosebleed prices for beers with spaceships on the label, right the way down to novices taking their first baby steps in the world of craft booze. Interiors are balanced with the pre-war heritage of the place, and are thick with noise, clamor and the spell of spillage. Unisex toilets, meaning there’s usually one idiotka putting a spanner in the queue code. 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. 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. 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. 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. Lolek (A8) ul. Rokitnicka 20 (Pole Mokotowskie), lolekpub.pl A boisterous pub with a Bavarian, bacchanal spirit and a park-centered location. Strangers squish together on shaky benches while sausages grill over an open fire inside this classic rough-and-ready drinkery. Catch it at its best in summer when the outdoor seating is thronged. Machinarium (E4) ul. Smolna 36, machinarium.pub Unfurling www.warsawinsider.pl
listings / nightlife in a metallic greenish haze the ground floor isn’t 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. 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. The four beer taps see frequent rotation and the fridge is kept busy with new wave beer. 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. 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. 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.
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 reinvented once again, only this time successfully: find slick, vibrant interiors redolent of London matched up with modern cocktails and twinkling views. Paradox (B1) ul. Anielewicza 2, paradox-cafe.pl Billing themselves as a ‘sci-fi / gamers / role play asylum’ this is a cradle of geeks, nerds and people who collect serial killer memorabilia. Decorated with plastic black crows, a map of Mordor and figurines of goblins, watch as oddly attired suspects engross themselves in ‘for hire’ games with names like Hobbit and Bewoulf. 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.
ESPERANZA SPALDING PRESENTS
29.06 - STODOLA CLUB, WARSAW 30.06 - STARY MANEŻ CLUB, GDAŃSK
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
20.06 - ICE KRAKÓW, CRACOW
9.08 - STODOLA CLUB, WARSAW 10.08 - KWADRAT CLUB, CRACOW
listings / nightlife 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. Plan B (D6) ul. Wyzwolenia 18 (Pl. Zbawiciela), planb.pl Plan B is the very essence of dive Warsaw. Weekends pass by in a raucous blur, with the party spilling out under the colonnades outside – it helps to look like a DJ, but in truth everyone is welcome. The hangover from this shabby, grubby bar is traumatic.
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. 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.
Pociąg do Piwa ul. Dereniowa 2 Jumping onto the multi-tap bandwagon is Pociąg do Piwa, a smallish locale whose one design element is a steam engine traced into the wall using bottle tops. There’s 12 taps in all, and they primarily distribute cult Polish beers from the likes of Pinta and AleBrowar.
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.
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.
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.
Pyk i Łyk (E4) ul. Nowy Świat 26 Thundering through a flimsy door, customers are met by a tiny, divey 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, once visitors settle into
Słoik (D4) ul. Złota 11, restauracjasloik.pl Słoik looks bright, loud and vibrant, so it’s no surprise to learn their cocktail maestros specialize in maverick creations. A source of particular pride are drinks that celebrate Poland: we’re talking about vodkas infused with juniper and vanilla, then mixed with marmalades
listings / nightlife venue, the artisanal cocktails are a work of elaborate craftsmanship, and incorporate everything from elite liquors to strips of bacon and flower petals.
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 commieera pavilion is the unlikely home of this Powiśle mainstay. The food – a gloriously gory celebration of nose-to-tail cooking – is spot on, but so too are the drinks. The bottled beers reflect the exciting times in the Polish brewing industry, but forego these in favor of a stunning cocktail list that makes use of seasonal ingredients and homemade syrups and mixes. The design of Julian Karewicz, these are drinks that stop you in your tracks: the sea buckthorn vodka sour is pure boozy bliss. Spiskowcy Rozkoszy (D5) ul. Żurawia 47/49, spiskowcy.pl The ground floor is an intimate space with lots of yet-to-be-famous beers and junky, antique furniture that reminds of the Boho hangouts in Kraków. But what was a packed, little bar is now a packed, big bar with the opening of the basement: find a labyrinth of rooms and psychedelic toilets with pulsating lights – you soon wonder who spiked your drink. And oh, the drinks. Expect IPA and APA beers served from the six taps. Syreni Śpiew (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. 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.
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
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. Vyceska ul. Polinezyjska 10 As welcome as the craft revolution has been, there are times you just want a good honest pint: so how about this, a multi-tap whose focus zooms on all things Czech. There’s eight taps and a wealth of bottles to traipse through as well as a small menu of food designed to sustain protracted drinking sessions. All this in an interior that’s dark and slick but not short of character – all of a sudden moving out to Ursynów seems a rather smart idea.
Zamieszanie (E4) ul. Nowy Świat 6/12 Cuda Na Kiju have built on their continuing success by adding this spot in the glass block next to their tap pub. Here though it’s cocktails that are the draw. Pre-bottled in a secret room downstairs, meaning none of the ad-libbed artistry of other cocktail bars, and tastes that are closer in line to 90s alcopop drinks than anything else. That doesn’t stop a young crowd from swamping the place come the weekend. Zorza (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.
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 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.
Żyrafa (E4) ul. Nowy Świat 22 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’s 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.
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
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. Blok (D5) Al. Jerozolimskie 57, blokbar.pl Up umpteen million stairs you go before hitting a stainedlooking venue with plenty of mirrored disco balls and adverts for Mr. Leather. The
listings / nightlife atmosphere is upbeat and inclusive 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. Capitol Theatre and Club (C3) ul. Marszałkowska 115, clubcapitol.pl An extravagant dance space with sparkly chandeliers, regal staircases and a modern Moscow, over-the-top style. Mark the Hed Kandi events in your diary for a night to remember. DJ Bar (D5) ul. Żurawia 32/34, djbar.pl Edge down a set of concrete steps to find a riot of tangled bodies celebrating a music policy based – depending on the night – around hip hop, soul, funk and electronica. Luminous shots from the longest bar in town ratchet the party up an extra notch. Eufemia (D3) Krakowskie Przedmieście 5 (enter via ul. Niżyńskiego), klubojadalniaeufemia. blogspot.com Eufemia unwraps into a series of side rooms furbished with VHS tapes, student artwork and furniture looted from your grandparents dining room. The claustrophobic atmosphere lends itself well to intimate gigs that see everything from improvised instrumentals to bands called Graveyard Drug Party. Hydrozagadka ul. 11 Listopada 22, hydrozagadka.waw.pl Set out in the wildlands of Praga, consider Hydrozagadka as the heart of unforced cool. Known for its alternative music scene, the low-ceiling and tight, crowded nature of it generate an electrifying atmosphere where the audience and band become one. Walking a fine line between industrial and straight out decrepit, the atmosphere is second to none: drinks flow, strangers meet and music smashes out: you can feel something special happening here. 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. Lab The Live Act Bar (D4) ul. Bracka 25, barlab.pl There’s an ad hoc nature to Lab, and that begins with the decor: geometric floor patterns, a breezeblock bar and retro-style tables and chairs. This individualistic temperament is further enhanced by various events that range from yard sales to concerts. But it’s as a club that Lab has gained attention, with its management pursuing a music policy that renounces the mainstream in favor of deep house and electronica. Level 27 (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. Nowa Jerozolima (D5) Al. Jerozolimskie 57 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 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. 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. www.warsawinsider.pl
A fresh spin on color by CONFASHION KINGA KRÓL The designs of Confashion Kinga Król pay tribute to color: ditch grey in favor of the color mix-max skirts, dresses and tops. Insider’s tip: if you can’t live without black, don’t forget that solids are perfect for mixing with colors. Blouse with pearls, zł. 399; pleated skirt, zł. 499; color blouse with print, zł. 399; dress with folk-inspired print, zł. 399; pleated dress, zł. 599. All items available at: showroom.pl
Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
Lend a hand – ACCESSORIES BY NATALIA KOPISZKA Minimalists will love these simple designs. Embrace finer and effortless jewelry and throw it back to childhood times with this hipsterish grab-and-go clutch: minimum impact, maximum effect. Clutch bag/ laptop etui, zł. 80; Kopi gold hand bracelet, zł. 69; Kopi gold earrings, zł. 59; Kopi gold/silver ring, zł. 30. Available at the Natalia Kopiszka Showroom at: ul. Koszykowa 35/50.
feature / fashion
DRESSING UP IS OUT, NONCHALANCE IS IN…
PHOTOGRAPHS BY FILIP OKOPNY
This is the 11th time that Nowy Świat and Krakowskie Przedmieście will close to traffic for the only fashion and music festival in Europe. Dorota Wróblewska, founder of the jewelry brand Forgetme-not and creator of Warsaw Fashion Street, guides us through the Polish style and talks about the event… BY MALGOSIA KRAKOWSKA
ABOUT WARSAW FASHION STREET WI: For the last couple of years, Polish street fashion has changed significantly. What are the most important differences between Polish Fashion Street AD 2006 and AD 2016? DW: It’s amazing to see how our awareness about fashion has changed through the years. Whether it’s online, on TV, in the press, information about fashion surrounds us. Beyond that, I believe that the recipe for style and looking fashionable has nothing to do with the size of our wallets. Every one of us can look stylish, it’s just a matter of imagination, creativity. Warsaw Fashion Street showcases young designers from all over the Poland, but because the subject of fashion is particularly close to the hearts of Varsovians, the festival has grown stronger over the years. From 20 thousand people in 2006, we peaked last year at over 100 thousand – this year, we’re expecting approximately 130 thousand visitors. Even so, the event is funded directly by our sponsors: it would be amazing if the City of Warsaw contributed as well, after all, Warsaw Fashion Street has become a really big event in Poland.
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WI: Does Warsaw Fashion Street attract the international attention as well? DW: Even though the event was tailored to the needs of our local fashion community and the people of Warsaw, it was the first Polish fashion event ever to be covered by CNN. This year, we’ve decided to combine both fashion and music. That’s the first such concept in Europe, and a total innovation. By introducing a competition for young musicians – IMS Warsaw Fashion Street – we hope to really shake-up the fashion scene in Poland. WI: Do you think of fashion as a form of art? DW: First of all, fashion is style. It’s about our personality and how we express it through the way we dress, match our clothes together and play with accessories. Clothes should reflect what lies inside; their function shouldn’t serve to cover our inner self. We can see this confusion, especially in the celebrity world. Some celebrities allow their stylists to impose a style of clothing which is wrong. Stylists should suggest what goes well with our lifestyle, personality, our silhouette... Fashion is the lightness of wearing clothes: dressing up is out, it’s nonchalance that’s in.
feature / fashion WI: Who are the designers we should be paying closer attention to? DW: There are many young, talented designers that are proving that age is not a limit. For instance, there’s Chi-chi Ude who blends modern tailoring with African influences; Tomasz Ossoliński, who is only 23-years old but tailors amazing forms; Mariusz Brzeziński who will present a new jewelry collection by the Forget-me-not jewelry fashion house; or Monika Ptaszek, the queen of avant-garde design. Of course, there’s many other talents in the country.
ON POLISH STYLE & FASHION WI: You’ve authored bestsellers about Polish fashion, fashion people and even a book about vintage bags. The book titled ‘Fashion People Poland’ makes me wonder which person best represents fashion for you? DW: Kora, the frontwoman of the legendary rock band Maan’am. Whatever she wore she always remained the same unique human being. There’s also singer Michał Szpak (editorial note: this year’s Polish Eurovision representative) who stands out from within the younger generation of singers and performers. Szpak has taken to show business like a duck to water. Also, it’s impossible not to mention Czesław Niemen, the David Bowie of the Polish music scene. He knew how to combine music with fashion. Niemen seized the reins from Polish musicians and stood out not only through his music, but also through his extravagant and colorful outfits. Who would you call iconic? WI: Jerzy Antkowiak, the creative director of Moda Polska (ed note: the only fashion house during communism). He had a brilliant vision of fashion and style at a time when fashion was perceived as a sign of western decadence. DW: Indeed. There were people who were brave enough, who did not want to look ‘sober’. For instance, Polish diva Maryla Rodowicz. Before every music festival the audience would hold their breath before Maryla’s performance. The style she represented evoked deep emotions; people would talk about it for weeks. Emotions felt real, today, emotions evoked by controversy feel cheap. It should not be like this. Fashion means being individual, it is not about following any specific pattern [of dressing up]. For example, if you’re wearing an intriguing, folk-inspired scarf, it shows that you have got your own individual style. That’s exactly what street fashion is about. WI: But it’s a thin thread that divides avant-garde and individualism from cheap controversy… DW: I’m afraid that we don’t yet know how to differentiate between an avant-garde or a cheap look.
WI: Why don’t Polish designers draw their inspiration from the nation’s folklore? Why is it we tend to choose dark shades over colors? There are some designers breaking the existing conventions and drawing inspiration from folklore and national heritage. For instance, Robert Kupisz has reactivated the Polish eagle by using it in his designs, and there are artists such as Monika Brodka, Kayah and Sebastian Bulecka from Zakopower. Our weather has a lot to do with the way we dress. In this respect, we remain under the influence of Scandinavia. We are not too tolerant of otherness: individualism is somehow condemned. However, on the other hand, I’m convinced that a real individualist never pays attention to what the masses say and follows his or her own path… which helps make-up the unique landscape of the Polish fashion street scene.
WARSAW FASHION STREET CHEAT SHEET
• Began in 2006. It started from a small catwalk on Chmielna Street. • It was the first event that introduced the tradition of closing Nowy Świat and Krakowskie Przedmieście from city traffic. • Models walk a distance of approx. 480 km during the event: equal to the distance from Warsaw to Zakopane. • Approx. 150 designers will be present at the event. • It was the first fashion event in Poland to be covered by CNN When: 25th and 26th June Where: Krakowskie Przedmieście and Nowy Świat Clockwise from top left: founder and creator of Warsaw Fashion Street, Dorota Wróblewska; dress by Mariusz Brzeziński; Warsaw Fashion Street 2015.
listings / 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… 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. Bagatt ul. Mokotowska 28, Wołoska 12 (Galeria Mokotów), bagatt.pl A savvy alternative to the upmarket brands up the street on Pl. Trzech Krzyży. 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
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footwear releases from prestigious brands such as Ballin and Loriblu. Handbags are also available inside a chic interior that exudes luxury. Glamourous Pochette tel. (+48) 798 089 959, Glamorous-Pochette. com Leave an unforgettable impression with 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. 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. 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.”
jewelry composed using gold, silver and natural stone. Contemporary in style, these are accessories that radiate class and craftsmanship while at the same time exuding a subtle sense of timeless romance. Mo61 ul. Mokotowska 61, tel. 601 652 593, open Mon-Fri 11:00-19:00, mo61.pl Billed as a ‘perfume laboratory’, Mo61 is the only place in Poland that allows customers to create their own scents. Under the expert guidance of staff trained by Zygmunt Marczewski (“the best nose in Poland”!), visitors compose their own perfumes inside a beautifully renovated pre-war space. Old Silos ul. Hoża 35, oldsilos.pl Relive the glory years of the 80s British ‘football casual’ in Old Silos, a sneaker store specializing in retro classics and Adidas originals. Omega Pl. Trzech Krzyży 16A, omegawatches. com Newly opened, Poland’s first Omega boutique showcases watches, leather accessories and jewelry across 200 sq/m of luxury real estate. Pingle Optyk ul. Hoża 40 A collection of hand-selected eyewear that is serious in terms of quality control, but entirely whimsical when it comes to design. Yes, you’ve got your ubiquitous Ray Ban classics, but you’ve also got the electric blue version. You’ve got your Chanel and YSL classics, then there are the leather-trimmed frames from Paul Smith and many more funky models straight from Paris. 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!”
Lilou ul. Mokotowska 63, lilou.pl Modular jewelry made simple, and a must for all Warsaw fashionista.
Pracownia Czasu ul. Wiejska 14, pracowniaczasu.pl A true market leader with brands including Paul Picot, Graham London, Vulcain, Cuervo y Sobrinos, Ulysse Nardin and so many more.
Minty Dot ul. Bracka 5, mintydot.pl Top quality Polish
Puppy Star ul. Niecała 7, puppystar.pl
listings / shopping You know those glam girls who carry yappy dogs in their handbag? This is premiumpriced salon and boutique is where they shop for their pooch. 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? 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.
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. Mokotowska 64 (Plac Trzech Krzyży), balthazar.pl An atelier, boutique and private tailor with several unique brands. Book your meeting by calling tel. 535 545 728. 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. Chiara ul. Mokotowska 49 & pl. Uni Lubelskiej, tel. 22 647 0394, chiara-online.pl A solid assortment of Marc Jacobs and other top international designers such as Michael Kors and Jil Sander. di Trevi Boutique ul. Piękna 11A, ditrevi.pl Aimed at both him and her, di Trevi present the freshest Italian footwear releases from prestige brands such
as Ballin and Loriblu. Handbags are also available inside a chic interior that exudes luxury. EM Cashmere Boutique ul. Szczygla 8, emcashmere.pl Available brands include Allude Cashmere, Annette Görtz, Studiorundholz and Sarah Pacini with 30-40% discounts on last year’s collections, and up to 70% on those of previous years. A truly beautiful find with the clothes offer supplemented with shoes and accessories. Frank A ul. Natolińska 3, franka.pl The interior is painfully chic and the clothing effortlessly elegant with a minimalist edge. Stocks major brands that you can’t find anywhere else in Warsaw, from handbags from Pauric Sweeney, perfectly fashioned tees from American Vintage and ballet flats from Bloch. Gosia Baczyńska ul. Floriańska 6/11, gosiabaczynska.com. pl This elegant boutique on the other side of the river features gorgeous, unique designer pieces. 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. Likus Concept Store ul. Bracka 9 (Vitkac), likusconceptstore.pl The Likus Concept Store brings ultra-chic designer clothing to Warsaw. The latest collections from Diesel, D2, Ferre, Sophia Kokosalaki and J. Lindeberg are all available and presented in this stylish three-floor department store. Madox ul. Browarna 4, madoxdesign.com Best known for the baggy crotched trousers that took Warsaw by storm a couple of years back, Damian Nowacki’s fashion store juxtaposes urban street casual against unisex ideas.
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, 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.Kolewww.warsawinsider.pl
listings / shopping kcje dla dzieci: Baby Dior, Dolce&Gabbana Kids, Dsquared2 Kids, Kenzo Kids, Moncler Kids, Ralph Lauren Kids, Tod’s Kids. Ptasia 6 ul. Ptasia 6, ptasia6.pl A unique ladies concept store showcasing the works of both emerging and established independent Polish fashion labels such as Eva Grygo, Confashion, Horror! Horror!, Kasia Miciak and Polanka. QπШ - Robert Kupisz ul. Mokotowska 48/204 (courtyard), robertkupisz.com One of Warsaw’s hottest fashion icons, and a trip here soon explains why. The exclusive, handmade garments are a guaranteed head turner. Redford and Grant Metropolitan Building, Pl. Piłsudskiego 3, redfordandgrant.pl This multibrand fashion store is the ultimate destination for designer style in Warsaw for men and women. Offers clothing and accessories from the newest collections from all the major international designers like Dior, YSL, D&G, Gucci, Miu Miu and Prada. Reykjavik District ul. 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. 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? Snobissimo ul. Mokotowska 28 Top labels from design houses like Jimmy Choo, Sonia Rykiel, Les Copains, Sergio Rossi etc., etc. With shoes
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and accessories all provided for, it’s a onestop shop to re-boot your wardrobe. Teresa Rosati Al. Witosa 31 (Panorama), teresarosati.com. pl Elegant cocktail dresses, gowns for special occasions and beautiful fabrics from one of Poland’s best-known designers. Ready-towear and custom-made services at discreet location in Sadyba by appointment. 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. Vintage Store ul. Dobra 56/66 (Level 1, University of Warsaw library), vintagestore.pl Since its inception the store has grown in many ways – now, used brands like Burberry, Barbour, dresses from the ’70s, Hermes scarves, snakeskin handbags, or original Adidas sweaters from the ’60s and ’70s (the owner is an avid collector) are not an uncommon find in the shop. 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. 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. 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.
home 3F Studio ul. Nowolipki 28b, 3fstudio.com.pl Offers furnishings and lighting from top contemporary Italian brands like BB Italia, Moroso, Living Divani, Desalto and Artemide. The in-house design team creates custom interiors for clients. Apteka Sztuki Al. Wyzwolenia 3/5 Apteka Sztuki is an art gallery that features collections by up-andcoming contemporary artists, preferring promising unknowns to big names. The exhibits, which rotate on a monthly basis, include a variety of media created by artists from all over Europe (although the focus is on Poland). Bo Concept ul. Młocińska 5/7 Lovely, clean lines make this one of the best places to invest in good furniture and statement accessories for the home. Ceylon Bazaar ul. Ząbkowska 27/31 (Koneser Factory) A remarkable collection of refurbished antiques, PRL gadgets, posters, T-shirts, handmade bags, etc. It’s an astonishing assembly of raw kitsch and cool bits and pieces. In their words: “pop in and become the owner of completely useless but indispensable things!” Cotton Ball Lights ul. Chmielna 27/31, cottonballlights.pl Offering 40 different varieties and colors of cotton-wrapped bulbs, these simple lights stand to transform your living space with their soft, gentle glow. Highly adaptable, and capable of slotting into any context, overhauling the whole mood of your home has never been easier… Coqlila ul. Lentza 20 (Wilanów), coqlila.pl Home products with a marked provincial French style. Among the offer are fabrics, fragrances, furniture and kitchenware. Dado Design ul. Mińska 25 (Soho Factory), dadodesign.pl ‘Beauty, modernity and functionality’. It’s on these foundations Dado’s philosophy is built. Touting brands such as Bruhl, Gaber, Slide and Infiniti, this design store carries pieces chosen for their style and originality. Find it
listings / shopping all from sofas and tables to picture frames and salt shakers. Your flat will thank you. Le Pukka ul. Solec 58/60, lepukka.pl For interior inspirations take a look at Le Pukka: highly original furniture and decorative pieces for the home come from the likes of Smeg, AreaDeclic, HK Living and Zuiver. Lipova Showroom ul. Lipowa 7A, lipova.pl Products from Bolon, Vitra and Philips take center stage in Lipova,
an edgy store that will reinvent your home / office. From Bolon, find unique 3D flooring, from Vitra, modern Swiss furniture pieces and from Philips, Lumiblade OLEDs and other innovative lights. Magazyn Praga ul. Mińska 25 (Soho Factory), magazynpraga.pl A visit to this home design store is guaranteed to transform your apartment. Showcasing emerging Polish talent, the items here are not without humor: ceramic French bulldogs are particularly popular. The
Warsaw-themed photo montages by artist Katarzyna Osipowicz are riveting, and a surefire conversation starter. Makutra ul. Oleandrów 5, makutra.com To know and not to cook, is not to know. This store has everything a master chef seeks: from tagines to mezzalunas, it’s got the lot covered. Huge stock of cook books and kitchenware. Mokotowska 71 ul. Mokotowska 71, mokotowska71.pl
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
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 there is text. ul. Piękna 11A, tel. 22 617 2222, ditrevi.pl
Bursztynek Bursztynek is the largest amber jewellery shop in Warsaw, though in addition to jewellery, you can also buy unique souvenirs related to amber and Warsaw as well as classic tourist souvenirs with Polish motifs. Part of the shop has been turned into a fascinating museum in which you can learn more about the history of amber. Rynek Starego Miasta 4/6, tel. 506 007 685, bursztynek.co
listings / shopping Offering creations by Belgian and French designers, this shop just screams elegance, beauty and style. Murano Casa Piękna 24/26A, muranocasa.pl Calling Murano Casa ‘interesting’ would be courting severe understatement. From high bling (fancy chandeliers and gob-stopping furniture) to more moderate offers (Venetian carnival masks), it’s a great place to add some pizzazz to the home. The quality of the Italian brands can’t be disputed. noon/noon ul. Pańska 98 (enter from ul. Prosta), noonnoon.pl Well-balanced as a coffee bar / showroom where you can interact and experience the functionality and quality of the furniture first hand. Pies Czy Suka ul. Szpitalna 8A, piesczysuka.com Husband and wife team Beata Konarska and Paweł Konarski push the boundaries of creativity in a home design store that’s heavy with statement pieces: life sized moldings of animals, illuminated Jesus statues, edgy art, etc. Product Placement ul. Leszczyńska 12, polishdesignnow.com Anyone doubting Poland’s growing reputation in the world of home design hasn’t been to Product Placement. Ceramics, furniture, textiles, kitchenware, bags and gadgets. Reset Point ul. Puławska 48 sklep.resetpoint.pl A treasure trove of renovated antique furniture, vinyl clocks, 70s style handle-less PRL mugs and modern art prints of legendary landmarks such as Dworzec Centralny and the Palace of Culture. Plenty of pieces and curios from upcoming and established domestic design studios. Secret Life (of Things) ul. Dąbrowskiego 15A, secretlife.pl An ‘eco lifestyle concept store’ full of bio-friendly scents, cosmetics, hand-made trinkets and housewares, rustic furnishings and detox teas. And it’s the multi-colored tins that greet you at the door, all of them crying out ‘drink me’. Check the prestigious porcelain by Kristoff, stock up on Madara cosmetics, or snap up a pair of handmade shoes. SH Studio ul. Wilcza 44, s-h-studio.pl Art, interior
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design and furniture are married together inside a tiny store stacked with beautiful antique and retro pieces that have been refurbished and redesigned to lend them a contemporary edge. An amazing place with surprisingly modest prices.
upcoming local designers, consider Blind your one-stop fashion solution. Find it all from eclectic jewelry from Anka Krsytyniak and Chocokate, eyewear from Cheap Monday and Woodyglasses, killer heels from United Nude and Melissa & Vivienne Westwood, etc
Silly Design Space Piękna 47, sillydesign.pl Looking for framed illustrations of bears dancing with sailors? Maybe a mug with a cheery croc gnashing his teeth? Or perhaps an owl-shaped salt shaker? Then Silly Design are here to help – find great little gifts from a brand with a sense of humor.
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
Take a Nap ul. Mysia 3 This two floor shop is full of bedtime accessories like comfy sheets, pillows, comforters and blankets, plus fun bits of furniture that merge the modern with a country living twist. Downstairs there’s a broader selection of bed frames, couches and mattresses. Velt ul. Próżna 12, wwvelt.pl Beautiful family-run glassware store whose pieces include the Leda lamp, awarded an honorable mention in the prestigious 2012 Red Dot Awards. Wawa Bla Bla ul. Dobra 15 A gift store with a difference: showcasing the working of Poland’s upcoming ‘street artists’, not to mention the British proprietor’s own photos of Warsaw’s graffiti, this shop is filled with unconventional keepsakes that include canvas prints, Warsaw-themed mugs and one-of-a-kind postcards.
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 Atelier Mokotowska 63 ul. Mokotowska 63 Four levels of high end fashion, with Woolrich, Mason’s, Lardini, Boglioli, Borelli and Seventy all represented. Intimate, discreet and above all luxurious. Blind Concept Store ul. Mokotowska 63/100, tel. 501 770 661 From established international names to
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, 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. 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 Barwy Muzyki ul. Niecała 14, tel. 22 188 18 27, barwymuzyki.pl This informal music school, with highly qualified teachers experienced in the Colour Strings program, acknowledges not every child will be a professional musician but that playing, listening and singing to music is an asset to their development. Group or individual lessons on piano, violin, guitar, cello and flute for 6-12yrs.
OLDIES, BUT GOODIES WARSAW ZOO (ul. Ratuszowa 1/3, zoo.waw.pl) There is something enchanting about Warsaw Zoo. Maybe it’s the dense greenery or its poignant WWII history. Maybe it’s the affordable entrance fee or maybe it’s just that my daughter has grown up believing this is her back garden? Home to many beautiful species, judging on its tasteful and purposeful renovations they’ve spent my annual subscription wisely. June 1: free. June 4 & 5: Zoo flea market.
PHOTOGRAPH BY GIL BOELMAN-BURROWS
PKIN (Pl. Defilad 1, pkin.pl) It’s the stud of Warsaw’s skyline and for 365 days of the year PKiN serves as the city’s focal point with everything from children’s theater to Hollywood-style premiers, via fashion markets, food truck meets, dinosaur bones and DJ sets. And then of course there’s the 30th floor viewing platform which make this iconic building the perfect place to start or end your day viewing Warsaw.
CHOPIN’S ŁAZIENKI PARK (lazienki-krolewskie.pl) The free concerts held each Sunday under the gaze of the Chopin statue put the ‘lazy’ into Łazienki. Grab your picnic blanket, find a shady tree to lean up against then sit back and wind away a Sunday afternoon listening to some of the top piano talents in the world pay homage to the great works of the city’s favorite son. SŁUŻEWIEC HORSE RACETRACK (ul. Puławska 266, torsluzewiec.pl) Races start around 2 p.m. with tickets available on the day for as little as zł. 5. Don a hat and take a slapup picnic hamper with a bottle of bubbles or wear flip-flops, eat from the grill restaurant and swig beer all afternoon. Even if you’re not a betting person this racecourse, complete with a pre-war pavilion and modernized children’s play area, offers a rather la-di-da day out. (GBB)
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. Fryzjerkowo ul. Foksal 12/14, tel. 22 827 2744, open Mon-Fri 10:00-19:00; Sat 10:00-18:00, fryzjerkowo.pl This 100% child friendly hair salon with jungle theme interior will guarantee no tears! Whilst having their locks chopped children sit in a toy car and watch a favorite DVD. Mum can peruse the retro toys and classic books on sale. Owner speaks excellent English. Advance booking recommended. Fundacja Atelier ul. Foksal 11, 22 826 8813 or 22 826 9589, open Mon-Fri 10:00- 20:00, Sat 9:30-20:30, atelier.org.pl Situated in an atmospheric 19th century building this foundation organizes affordable/flexible workshops to develop and inspire art education and creative skills (painting/drawing/sculpture/art history) for children, young people and adults. Gym Generation ul. Wybrzeże Gdyńskie 4 (Centrum Olimpijskie, floor 4), tel. 502 092 695, gymgeneration.pl A professionally developed curriculum that offers your child a range of experiences, providing new and exciting activities each time and engaging them in physical challenges, a variety of games and www.warsawinsider.pl
listings / family team puzzles. There’s a maximum of 15 kids to a class, with one instructor for every five children. Guitar Classes Tel. 732 860 825, arekniezgoda@hotmail. com Private guitar lessons either at your place or in a private studio in Wilanów. Classic, acoustic and electric guitar taught by Arek, a 35-year old teacher who covers most styles from classic to pop/rock. Previous work experience includes teaching in private music schools in California and at The British School of Warsaw. Both kids and adults are welcome. Hangar 646 ul. Wał Miedzeszyński 646, hangar646.pl Children with excessive energy levels should head to Hangar 646. Located in a former airport hangar, the 2,700 sq/m of trampoline space includes a swimming pool of sponges. Children from three years old are welcome to let off steam, with instructors available to teach acrobatics and suchlike; or you can just bounce off walls! HulaKula ul. Dobra 56/66, tel. 22 552 74 00, open Mon-Tue 12:00-24:00; Wed 12:00-1:00; Fri 12:00-3:00; Sat 10:00-4:00; Sun 10:0024:00, hulakula.com.pl Bowling alley and soft indoor playground: heaven for kids and hell for grown-ups! Children love to climb, explore and slide into large ball pools. Parents hate the lack of daylight and fast food menu.
Little Chef ul. Bałuckiego 30/1, tel. 501 093 691, littlechef.pl (visit for more information) Cooking classes for children age 3-16. Groups for younger children age 4-10 and Junior Chef courses age 11-16. Kids cook and eat healthy meals. Great fun! Classes in English and Polish, Mon-Sat.
The Little Gym ul. Bruzdowa 56 & ul. Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 45, tel. 22 842 0728, thelittlegym.eu Expect an age specific fitness curriculum, a high instructor-to-child ratio, original music and a weekly theme to engage the child’s imagination and sense of fun. Not only a great place for children, but tailored to a comfortable and relaxing stay for parents as well. 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. Teatr Guliwer ul. Różana 16, tel. 22 845 16 76/77, box office open 9:00-17:30, teatrguliwer.waw. pl Well worth a visit, even for non-Polish
speakers. An exciting colorful premises with creative costumes make this the choice place to introduce the kids to theater. Warsaw Zoo ul. Ratuszowa 1/3, tel. 22 619 4041, open Mon-Sun 9:00-18:00, zoo.waw.pl The hippopotami now have an indoor and outdoor pool, the gorillas a new pavilion, and the arrival of a shark means it now has an ‘aquarium’. Wilanów Golf Driving Range/ Ekberg Golf Academy ul. Vogla 19, tel. 22 424 7083, open Mon-Sun 9:00-21:00, 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:email@example.com 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
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listings / family 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, firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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. Badowska 19 (Mokotów), tel. 22 851 6893; ul. Szkolna 16 (Izabelin), tel. 22 721 8736, mob. 692 099 134, email@example.com, 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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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)
listings / family 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.
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 class facility. For further information and/ or to visit our school contact: admissions@ aswarsaw.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.
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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. Casa dei Bambini & Toddler School
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. pl An English primary school designed to prepare children for their next steps in education in a friendly, caring and nurturing environment. We take children from the international community through the key learning stages so that they achieve to the best of their best ability through a fun learning experience.
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
The Canadian School of Warsaw Elementary School ul. Bełska 7, tel. 692 411 573, admission@ canadian-school.pl, canadian-school.pl The Canadian School of Warsaw is the only authorized school in Warsaw teaching IB PYP in English. The Primary School offers bilingual education for 6-11 year olds. Highly qualified, international staff, challenging materials and a friendly atmosphere provide an optimal setting for the highest standard of education. Extra-curricular activities include visual arts, designing classes, ceramics/pot-
listings / family tery, 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 continuation of PREIB education for 11-15 year olds. International staff, cultural events and challenging student initiatives create a perfect learning and creative thinking environment. For further info, tours and school visits call or email. Also home to the Non-Public PsychoPedagogical Counseling Centre ‘Olimpia’ (tel. 885 620 066) which examines the level of mental, emotional, auditory and visual-motor functions’ development, and conducts individual and group pedagogical therapy, as well as individual psychotherapy..
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.
not be the first choice of fabrics around sticky, chocolaty paws but every mummy needs a bit of luxury from time-to-time. The café divides its limited square meters evenly between parent and child expectations, creating space to relax, eat and play in: however, the gigantic doll’s house does suggest Barbie got the best deal.
Kolonia ul. Łęczycka (corner of Ładysława), tel. 661 064 944 or 605 084 804, open 9:00-20:00, kolonia-ochota.pl Not just an excellent cafe, Kolonia is aslo equipped with a garden/ playground. Kolonia is the most kid-friendly (and pet-friendly) place in the area, offering fresh daily specials and a staff that always welcomes you with a smile.
Kopytko Mamuta ul. Boya-Żeleńskiego 2, kopytkomamuta.pl The creation of Kopytko Mamuta plugs a gap in the market, with beautifully cobbled shoes that are, in the words of the owner Agnieszka, ‘the essence of Parisian chic’. Specializing in trendy kicks from the likes of Mercredi Apres Midi, it’s the ultimate spoiler for your budding style maven and her little Prince Charming.
Nabo ul. Zakręt 8, tel. 22 842 0256, open Mon-Fri 8:00-21:30; Sat-Sun 9:00-21:30, nabocafe.pl Nabo is run by a Danish couple and its light and minimalist interior – designed by those who created R20 – lends itself to every occasion. But aside from its tasty and seasonal dishes, it’s the children’s corner that is causing the biggest commotion. Peek-a-boo ul. Karola Chodkiewicza 7, tel. 22 370 21 71, open Mon-Sun 10:00-20:00 The pale palette and plush velvet upholstered furniture might
Muppetshop ul. Kazimierzowska 43, tel. 532 689 212, muppetshop.pl An innovative concept store that offers a wide range of brands and products targeted at young people – babies, juniors, teenagers. The portfolio includes full-service for expecting parents as well as complete interior projects (from 0 to the first-owned apartment). On top of that expect a wealth of other design products (kitchen accessories, decorations, toys, bags, books etc.). It all serves to make it the No. 1 spot for your youngsters shopping.
You are invited warsaw montessori school
to our Prospective Parent's Meeting at Casa dei Bambini Warsaw Montessori School When: June 15th at 6 p.m. Where: Badowska 19 (behind building Sielecka 52) We will have a special presentation and experience true Montessori education. We are accepting applications for programs Toddler: age 18 months - 2,5 Casa: age 2,5 - 5 Please contact Ela: 692 099 134 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.warsawmontessori.edu.pl
health & beauty 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.
SWIMMING HOLMES PLACE PREMIUM (ul. Belwederska 23 (Regent), ul. Grzybowska 63 (Hilton), Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79 (Marriott), holmesplace.pl) All the ‘premium’ outposts of Holmes Place tout swimming pools: the Marriott is the smallest, though the ones in the Hilton and Regent are a respectable size. Enquire direct regarding membership fees. RIVERVIEW WELLNESS CENTRE (ul. Emilii Plater 49 (InterContinental), riverview.com.pl) A member’s only pool whose trump card is stunning views from the top floor of the InterContinental. Annual membership is available from approximately zł. 5,000. SZCZĘŚLIWICE (ul. Usypiskowa 18, basenszczesliwice.pl) A thoroughly modernized network of three outdoor pools of varying size. Extras include a waterslide and something dubbed a ‘water mushroom’. WARSZAWSKI UNIWERSYTET MEDYCZNY (pictured) (ul. Księcia Trojdena 2C (csr.wum.edu.pl) Opened in February, this Olympic-sized pool has dimensions of 25 x 51.3 meters. Part of a wider zł. 110 million sporting complex, other facilities open to the public include a climbing wall, sports hall and gym. AQUAPARK WESOLANDIA (ul. Wspólna 4 (Wesoła), 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.
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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, www.thelittlegym.pl Targeted at children, expect an age specific fitness curriculum, a high instructor-to-child ratio, original music and a weekly theme to engage the child’s imagination and sense of fun. Englishspeaking, as well.
listings / health & beauty 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 ArtDental ul. Łucka 18, tel. 22 654 3006, artdental.pl Well-known among expats, ArtDental’s service is widely praised for its honest service and moderate prices. English speaking and moderately priced. Aster Med ul. Św. Bonifacego 92, tel. 22 858 0354, www.astermed.pl Aster Med, while billing itself as a center of orthodontics and implantology, is really the full service with 14 dentists and 4 orthodontists and implant surgeons.
request. Lacking the ‘boutique’ charm of some of Warsaw’s more modish clinics, the service here is both efficient and moderately priced. Elektoralna Dental Clinic ul. Elektoralna 28, tel. 22 620 2140, elektoralna.pl State-of-the-art dental clinic featuring Poland’s first dental tomograph. Languages spoken include English, German, Spanish and Arabic. Malo Clinic Domaniewska 37 (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.
medical clinics Damian Medical Center Various locations, see website for details: damian.pl Established in 1994, Damian offer
a wide range of medical services in their hospital and five outpatient clinics. English spoken widely. Lux Med Medical Clinics Various locations, see website for details: www.luxmed.pl Medicover Various locations, see website for details: medicover.pl Hugely popular amongst ex-pats, Medicover offer a wide range of membership schemes for both private and corporate clients. The jewel in their crown is a state-of-the-art hospital in the Wilanów district. Therapy Warsaw ul. Filtrowa 69/13, tel. 601 532 319, www.therapywarsaw.com English-speaking therapy for couples and individuals dealing with relationships, eating disorders, trauma, stress and much more besides. Warszawskie Centrum Zdrowia ul. Nowogrodzka 76, tel. 22 857 3014, www.wcz.waw.pl Specializes in the prevention, early detection and treatment of cardiovascular disease.
spas & salons
0 Bali Spa ul. Nowy Świat 22, bali-spa.pl Let the Balinese therapists pamper you with authentic
DeClinic ul. Bernardyńska 16A, tel. 22 112 0400, declinic.pl Regarded as one of the most modern clinics in Europe, amongst other innovations DeClinic have swapped the traditional drilling process in favor of abrasive sandblaster – perfect for kids or those afraid of the dentist. DentaLux ul. Racławicka 31 & Puławska 257, tel. 22 787 878, dentalux.pl Englishspeaking service available, as well as 24hr emergency consultations. EuroDental Various locations, tel. 22 380 7000, eurodental.pl English-speaking dentists on
listings / health & beauty 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 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. BodyClinic ul. Oboźna 9 lok. 104, tel. 22 826 1160 or 784 677 618, open Mon-Fri 9:00-20:00; Sat 9:00-15:00, www.bodyclinic.pl Thorough body care for everyone. From the usual options to a huge variety of massages and some very exotic treatments, BodyClinic covers all the bases. Dotyk SPA ul. Biały Kamień 3, tel. 22 898 7272, open Mon-Fri 9:00-22:00; Sat 9:00-18:00, www.dotykspa.pl Probably the only place in Warsaw where you’ll get a facial yoga session. Going futher east, treat yourself to Japanese, Polynesian or Indian massage. Fiuu Fiuu Day Spa ul. Mokotowska 48, tel. 22 629 2414. A wonderful quick fix salon that makes use of the latest Ericson products and other top brands. Regarded as one of the top ladies day spas in the country. Hair a Porter ul. Belwederska 23 (Regent, level -1), tel. 22 558 1555, open Mon-Fri 9:00-20:00; Sat 9:00-17:00, www.hair-a-porter.pl A staunch favorite among the ex-pat crowd, Hair a Porter
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offer the ultimate hair experience utilizing talented staff and top-quality products. Haircology ul. Rozbrat 44A, tel. 669 780 669, open Mon-Fri 10:00-20:00; Sat 10:00-last guest, www.haircology.pl An upmarket ecologically minded hairdresser that eschews such things as synthetic fragrances, silicon and preservatives. The Hermit Barber Shop pl. Bankowy 1, thehermit.pl You know those London barber shops you see in 1930s film reels? That’s Hermit, a thrilling throwback right down to the barber’s pole and checkered flooring. But don’t be fooled, this is as upmarket as it gets, with top quality products and even some 16-year-old whisky with which to pair the experience. Izar Repechage ul. Moliera 1, tel. 604 209 900 or 22 827 7195, open Mon-Fri 8:00-20:00; Sat 8:0014:00, www.repechage.net.pl A gorgeous city spa which a range of treatments for the whole body. Komiks ul. Radna 12, tel. 881 436 056, komiks.waw. pl You know those weird haircuts that people like David Bowie and Lady Gaga have? Well, here’s the place to make that ultimate fashion statement and get one yourself. Henna art, manicure / pedicure also offered. La Perla multiple locations inc. Łowicka 21B/1, Wilcza 22A, Hilton Hotel, klinikalaperla.pl Here, the staff is adept and certified at a range of innovative treatments: from the non-invasive Bella Contour treatment to the Body Tite and Body Jet treatments that use the latest surgical procedures to slim and tighten. For summer the right spa/salon/clinic is key. La Perla’s all three in one! La Plata ul. Wielicka 42, tel. 517 576 667, laplataspa.pl Manual and mechanized massage in a relaxed space inspired by Buddhist philosophy. Treatments include herbal stamp Thai massage and hot coconut oil massage amongst others. Le Spa ul. Mokotowska 55, tel. 22 622 9428, open Mon-Fri 9:00-21:00, Sat 9:00-16:00. This little island of peace and beauty takes
you light-years away from the bustle of Warsaw.
Ouch! ul. Belwederska 32, 22 240 87 67; DEPILACJA WOSKIEM ul. Bonifraterska 8, tel. 22 298 11 12, ouch.pl Experts in waxing, Ouch! Aim their offer at ‘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). Rostowski Barber Shop ul. Koszykowa 58, rostowskibarbershop.pl A true celebration of the vintage barber shop, Rostowski have the ambiance nailed to a tee thanks to a crew that’s ready for banter and an interior replete with jack-up chairs, glinting zinc and restored floor tiles. Retro Day Spa Al. Ujazdowskie 18/11, no. 311, tel. 22 622 03 69 Royally indulgent interiors hark back to a different century, though the treatments are all hi-tech and include packages for pregnant women among the variety of beauty offers. Sante ul. Jagiellońska 55A, studiosante.pl The dry and wet steam room left the Insider impressed, but not as much as the ‘mood rooms’ – imagine a lunar landscape chamber with a salt-covered floor. The other, meanwhile, comes clad in minerals with recliners hewn from heated tiles. As you stare at the mantra above the mind lets go and you feel almost as if your body is moving. Amazing.
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listings / health & beauty Studio Jej i Jego ul. Wiertnicza 93A, tel. 22 885 0085, open Mon-Fri 9:00-21:00; Sat 9:00-19:00, www. jejijego.pl Hair and beauty treatments for men and women – inc. nail care, massage, facial and body treatments. You & You Maciej Wróblewski ul. Grzybowska 61 (Galeria Platinum Towers), tel. 606 994 226, youandyou.eu Poland’s premier hair stylist is Maciej Wróblewski, and his flagship salon fuses a personal approach with professional styling. Disappointments are unheard of.
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.
Warsaw International Triathlon Club warsawtriclub.com Serving the needs of the athletic community, the WITC is open to all interested in the disciplines of swimming, cycling and running. W Pionie ul. Nowowiejska 37B, wpionie.pl An 11 meter climbing wall founded by two mountaineers. Considered one of the most advanced facilities of its kind in the country, English-speaking instructors can be rustled up on request.
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.
wodnypark.com.pl When looking for a pool, most look no further: on-site find an Olympic swimming pool, recreational pool complete with artificial river, slides and tubes, a Russian ‘banya’ zone, not to mention other attractions like bowling and squash courts.
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.
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 ‘premier’ 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.
Pilates (Private Classes) Tel. 608 499 666. A private studio in Wilanów with classes for one to four people that guarantee 100% attention from Laura, your instructor.
Private Coaching Tel. 512 517 013, anthonypst.wix.com/ anthonypst Ozzie Anthony offers one-onone 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 Medica ul. Racławicka 28, tel. 22 409 0354, yogamedica.pl Using hatha yoga as the basis, the individualized approach to exercise comes from the founder’s background as a physiotherapist. Tailor-made programs ideal for those recovering from injury or health issues.
Sinnet Club ul. Gołkowska 2, tel. 22 550 3400, sinnet.pl An exclusive members sport club featuring full-size indoor tennis courts, two external courts, three squash courts, a 25 meter swimming pool plus spa and gym facilities.
RiverView Wellness Centre ul. Emilii Plater 49 (InterContinental), tel. 22 328 86 40, riverview.com.pl Another members only pool, and this one is really worth the membership cost – it’s the highest pool in Europe. Stunning views of Warsaw make this a swim to remember.
Warsaw Cricket Club ul. Romatyczna 3 (Panorama Country Club),
Wodny Park ul. Merliniego 4, tel. 22 854 0130,
Yoga Republic ul. Śniadeckich 18 lok. 1, tel. 790 805 853, www.yogarepublic.pl This studio combines the old school with the new, plus a nice dash of prewar charm with a touch of the east. Yoga Republic offers classes for pregnant women in addition to a full schedule of four other types of yoga to suit experience and expectations (Mysore, Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Beginner’s).
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.
warsawcricketclub.pl The oldest cricket club in the country is mainly comprised of Brits, Poles and South Asians. New members and supporters are welcomed – for details check their website.
114 Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
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, email@example.com, 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
www.expressrelocations.com Euro Move International Movers ul. Kineskopowa 1, Piaseczno, tel. 22 716 5566, www.euromove.pl
The Rialto Boutique Hotel ul. Wilcza 73, tel. 22 584 8700, www.rialto.pl
AGS Warsaw ul. Julianowska 37, Piaseczno, tel. 22 702 1072, www.agsmovers.com
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
CorstJens Worldwide Movers Group ul. Nowa 23, Stara Iwiczna, tel. 22 737 7200, www.corstjens.com DuX Consulting Agency ul. Panieńska 9/28, tel. 22 670 4280 or 502 216 606 www.duxconsulting.com.pl
Sofitel Warsaw Victoria ul. Królewska 11, tel. 22 657 8011, www.sofitel-victoria-warsaw.com Westin Al. Jana Pawła II 21, tel. 22 450 8000, www.westin.pl
Express Relocations ul. Szyszkowa 35/37, tel. 22 878 3535, www.expressrelocations.com Euro Move International Movers ul. Kineskopowa 1, Piaseczno, tel. 22 716 5566, www.euromove.pl Interdean International Relocation ul. Geodetów 172, Piaseczno, tel. 22 701 7171, www.interdean.com
Marriott Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79, tel. 22 630 6306, www.warsawmarriott.com
RESIDENTS relocation companies
Regent Warsaw Hotel ul. Belwederska 23, tel. 22 558 1234,
Express Relocations ul. Szyszkowa 35/37, tel. 22 878 3539,
Move One Relocations ul. Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79, tel. 22 630 8160, www.moveonerelo.com Also immigration
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listings / in the city storage
assistance, fine art shipping, pet transport and consulting services.
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.) See their website for more details.
services Domestina domestina.pl New to Warsaw, Domestina offer 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.
Legal Agent legalagent.pl, tel. 602 404 044 Trusted local advisors and international consultants specializing in every aspect of the property market. Offers advisory, analysis and legal support services with ex-pats in mind.
Wiecej Miejsca Tel. 733 002 014, www.wiecejmiejsca.pl A new storage service that will even go so far as to pick up your items for you and transporting them to their guarded warehouse. They’ll also the supply the storage bins which typically fit 90 books, 100 t-shirts, 25 jumpers. Larger items like bikes, suitcases can also be left with them.
polish for foreigners
Cup of Polish cupofpolish.com, tel. 508 700 508 Personalized Polish classes adapted to meet your needs. Also home/company visits and online courses. For a free 60-minute trial email: firstname.lastname@example.org
community 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. 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. 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. 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 only. 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.
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Biały K amień
AT E L I E R
If today’s trendsetters clamor for the city’s rooftop bars, back in the People’s Republic you’d have found the movers and shakers dipping down at their neighborhood pool… BY STUART DOWELL
uring the People’s Republic of Poland, the place to be and be seen in the scorching months of summer were Warsaw’s outdoor swimming pools. Loved by the elite and besieged by the masses, these oases of vanity were places where Varsovians could show off their beach bodies, hook a new squeeze or launch a career. The most fashionable was without doubt the swimming pool at Legia. On hot days, the queues to get in would wind all the way down the street and many would find themselves turned away. Built before the war, the pool was a pearl of modernist design. It survived WWII and was redesigned and extended by the authors of Stadion Dziesięciolecia. Officially, there was room for 2,500 people, but demand was so high that bathers would have to tread carefully not to step on heads, legs and other bronzed body parts. The grassy area on one side was for the ordinary folk, but the stands on the other side were where the elite gathered. Playboys with dubious incomes would glide up in convertible motors. Roman Polański was a regular, and it was allegedly here
120 Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2016
that he plucked the beautiful Jolanta Umecka out of the crowd and cast her in Knife in the Water. Girls who wanted to be picked up would gather in groups on loungers and emit smouldering glances to potential suitors. By sundown they would all have paired off with eager new partners. Appearing in the right bathing costume was a matter of unparalleled importance. The best ones, of course, came from America. Agnieszka Osiecka, in her classic book about the era Szpetni czterdziestoletni, recalls: “One day we received a package of Hungarian costumes, very similar to the American ones we really wanted. The only problem was the Hungarian label. One of the more resourceful girls immediately set about unpicking hers and replaced it with an American one she had found. Unfortunately, she had unpicked too many of the stitches. Standing on the high board ready to jump, the costume fell apart, and she was left just wearing the label!” There were other outdoor pools in Warsaw. Many of them were built in the 1960s and 1970s and most districts could boast one. Skra, Gwardia, Moczydło, Warszawianka and Powsin were all favourite spots. Some of the best ones were close together along the banks of the Wisła on Wał Międzyszyński in Saska Kępa. Hungry from a swim, bathers could savour a grilled sausage with mustard washed down with orangeade. Warsaw’s outdoor pools were envisaged as places where workers could relax after working on building the socialist utopia. That idea has faded into history and in its wake the majority of these pools have fallen into dereliction and disrepair.
TWO FLOORS OF THE BEST MUSIC PLAYED BY WORLD RENOWNED DJs WE CREATE A NEW, HIGHER LEVEL OF CLUBBING IN POLAND
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THE VIEW A: Twarda 18, Spektrum Tower / Reservation: email@example.com M: +48 663 971 942 / W: theview.pl / F: facebook/theviewwarsaw
This issue we nose around the murals of Praga, trace Warsaw’s neon resurgence and explore the world of lower league football.