Page 1

The Capital’s Original City Magazine Since 1996



INDEKS 334901 ISSN:1643-1723



SEPTEMBER 2021 Features:

Warsaw’s Mural HQ! Usurping Praga, the southern suburb of Ursynow makes its case as Warsaw’s outdoor canvas. – p. 18


Hidden Old Town – p. 28 Back to school: university gems – p. 14 Shrunken history! Miniature park – p. 63


every weekend 10:00-13:00

ul. Pańska 85, Warsaw / +48 512 671 756 /

Contents September 2021

Reviews: EAT!

Hesu Warsaw – p. 33 Foodie News – p. 34 Chicken Sando Shop – p. 35 Ósma Kolonia – p. 36

DRINK! NOLA – p. 53

SO THAT’S THAT THEN – another summer chalked off and added to our little box of memories. But as those last days of the summer trickle to their close, it’s natural to squeeze the season of its every last pleasure before bidding it do widzenia. And guess what, that’s exactly what we’ve done, which is why we’ve spent numerous days up in Old Town exploring its every corner. Do so yourself, for as you’ll discover there’s hidden charms aplenty – just don’t, whatever you do, visit on a Sunday. Make that mistake and you’ll end up killing someone before turning the murder weapon on yourself. Yes, the foreign tourists might have vanished, but the Polish ones certainly haven’t. Taking advantage of the weather, we’ve also gone on foot patrol in Ursynów to present its case as Warsaw’s new center of mural art – move over Praga. And neither have we forgotten that September means the noisy return of the student population: as such, we bring you an architectural guide to the city’s most beautiful faculties. Of course, that’s all jammed between the usual assortment of stories dealing with everyday occurrences such as alien fireballs and underground Bond villain lairs. Enjoy!

Piwna Beczka – p. 53


Miniature Park – p. 63


Praga Museum – p. 66

Alex Webber

Subscription Editor-in-chief Alex Webber

Publisher Morten Lindholm

Art Director Kevin Demaria

Distribution Manager Krzysztof Wiliński

Advertising Manager Jowita Malich

12 editions of the Insider zł. 99 (inc. VAT) in Poland. Orders can be placed through: Printed by Zakłady Graficzne TAURUS Tel. (022) 783-6000

VALKEA MEDIA S.A., ul. Ficowskiego 15/17, Warszawa, Poland; tel. (48 22) 639 8567; e-mail: insider@ All information ©2021 Warsaw Insider.


In brief H


It Came From Outer Space?


Demystifying Warsaw's mysterious fireball!

aving left onlookers speechless in disbelief, a fireball that whizzed over Warsaw in mid-August was later revealed to have been an elaborate stunt masterminded by the Red Bull drinks brand. First spotted at 10 p.m. on August 11th, reports of a fireball being tailed by helicopters quickly swamped social media with some people speculating that a UFO had targeted the city. Others theorized that the object was a meteor or some kind of failed military exercise. The next morning, however, the fears and fantasies of the public were allayed when Red Bull came forward to take credit for the action. With a rich shower of Perseid stars forecast to fill the skies on August 12th, Red Bull chose to precede the natural phenomenon with their own spectacular show featuring flare-carrying skydivers dressed in illuminated wingsuits. In a statement published online, Red Bull said: “the skydivers jumped from out of the helicopter at an altitude of around 2,500 meters and flew with lit flares over the river covering a distance of approximately three kilometers. After opening their parachutes at the very low altitude of 400 meters, they landed safely on Rusałka beach on the Praga side of the river. The unusual action took place on the night before the peak of the Perseid shower and was something of a surprise for people spending the evening on the Vistula boulevards.”



This way, Mr. Bond Underground Aston Martin garage to open in Warsaw...


ointly designed by Arup and Unism on the behalf of the collection’s owner – KDW Automobile – the hitech garage has been described by the design team as “a cave-like space inspired by the cinematic universe of James Bond.” “Hidden under a grassy knoll in one of the Warsaw’s leafy residential areas, a winding


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

access ramp slithers into the subterranean car showroom, where curved walls add texture to this sophisticated showroom,” they continue. Designed so that daylight seeps in via a three-meter wide skylight, it will be built so that the subtle lighting scheme “creates a dusk-like glow which will intensify the visitor experience.”

Of the other features, this fanciful subterranean cavern will include a rotating platform, an exhaust extraction system, sustainable water retention solutions and a pump system to collect geothermal energy to provide allyear heating. Ultimately, though, most striking is an underlying aesthetic that seeks to blur the boundaries between the natural and artificial world. Housing eight cars in all, the exact location has yet to be revealed but is for sure to become a cult point of pilgrimage for both car enthusiasts and Bond fans – watch this space!


In brief


Black Cat Dies

The Czarny Kot Hotel finally is no more...


egarded as one of Warsaw’s most notorious eyesores, the saga of the Czarny Kot Hotel finally drew to a close after its owners surrendered the keys to the property to city officials earlier in August. First built in 1990, the six-story behemoth was consistently cited as one of the

capital’s ugliest structures, not to mention its best example of Gargamelizm – a flamboyantly gaudy architectural style unique to post-communist, turbo-capitalist Poland.

Low on taste but sky-high with jutting turrets and decorative panthers, the first stage of the hotel’s construction was conducted


In brief within the correct legal parameters, but much of what followed completely overlooked permits and permissions. Authorities, however, found themselves embarking on a wild goose chase through the district courts, and for years had to watch on glumly while the Cat’s owners stacked more embellishments onto their monstrous creation. Having avoided the executioner’s axe for so long, many started to suspect that this was a cat with nine thou-

sand lives. Alas, last year city demolition teams finally moved in to shave off entire floors from the hotel. Then, last month, bailiffs finally seized the keys thereby marking the end of its existence. With the property now set to be flattened entirely to make way for a homogenous skyscraper, many have been left mourning the demise of a structure that had come to symbolize the new freedoms of the wild 90s.


Feeling Bookish? Intricately illustrated, a new architectural atlas offers insight into the city center’s glories.


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021



oining the ranks of its predecessors, SAS, ŻOL, MOK, OCH, POW and PRA, a new book titled ŚRÓD PN has won acclaim for its deep exploration of the architectural gems of Warsaw’s city center. Focusing on the northern part of the district, the illustrated atlas presents the stories of 76 buildings in all found within the borders of Jana Pawła II, the W-Z highway, Al. Jerozolimskie and the eastern escarpment. Accompanied by beautiful graphic illustrations, the bi-lingual book casts an expert eye at various objects and architectural elements to reveal the district’s multi-layered story. “The illustrations,” say the authors, “have been created not from an artistic perspective, but from the architect’s so that we can highlight and understand the designer’s intention.” Published by Centrum Architektury, the series has become a phenomenal success since first debuting in 2012. Pre-

viously placing the city’s individual suburbs under the spotlight, this is the first time that the city center has been brought under their umbrella. Released in August, it’s guaranteed to become a cult collector’s item.


In brief


Ups & Downs


Going Green A new 'sports square' is to debut in the city's north...


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021


he city’s greenery authority have launched a tender process that will lead to the creation of a “sports square” in the vicinity of Ratusz Arsenał. Selected by the public as part of the annual civic budget, the square would transform the unused space above the metro station and see it redeveloped as a area dedicated to sports and recreation. The project will include the addition of a one-meter high embankment to buffer any noise from Andersa, as well as a “purple sensation” of trees and plants. The plans also account for exercise areas, as well as trails for roller-bladers, skateboarders and scooters.


Join us for a glance at the changing face of Warsaw’s skyline…


link and you’d have missed all the action – erected in record time (for Poland, anyhow), the overground part of the 155-meter Skysawa was completed in the space of a year, with floors 17 to 40 taking just 150 days. According to the developer, at one stage levels were being finished every four days. A quite staggering achievement, the building – found on Świętokrzyska 36 – is the city’s first ‘pencil skyscraper’ and is slated to open for business in Q3 next year. But it’s not all about construction for destruction, too,

is afoot. A symbol of Warsaw’s Dynasty-style aspirations during the unhinged capitalistic period that reined through the 90s, work has begun on dismantling the Ilmet Tower on Rondo ONZ. Completed in 1997, and noted for its revolving rooftop Mercedes sign, never before has a building of such height been erased from the capital. Set to last until next year, the demolition process is being carried out step-bystep beginning from the inside. Eventually, the tower stands to be replaced by a 188-meter giant more in keeping with the times.


Feature SPORT

It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over

After a sustained period of decline and uncertainty, the future of Marymont’s stadium has finally been secured…


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

their eventual third place finish in the World Cup the following year, while for England, the result ensured they’d be watching the finals at home on TV. But enough of that, back to Marymont. The club’s fortunes never really took off after their brief 50s heyday, but nonetheless their sports ground remained a complex of importance. Zbigniew Boniek made his debut for Poland’s youth team on this pitch, while a couple of decades later Zinedine Zidane also graced the turf playing for France’s juniors. Elsewhere, the surrounding

training facilities were used by gold-winning Olympians such as the fencer Witold Woyda. Allowed to fall into ruin in the years that followed, the decay of the sports club has been reflected by the general dishevelment of the stadium – a place of overgrown terraces, broken glass and freaky acid trip graffiti, its death had been long and painful. But despite rumors that it stood to be flattened to make way for apartments, both sports and architecture fans have been left celebrating the news that stadium stands to be returned to its best.



he traditional home of MKS Marymont, a knackered but historic stadium has seemingly been saved from the bulldozers after the city announced a PLN 2 million renovation that will see the restoration of the ground’s main stand. A pearl of post-war modernism, the stadium was constructed between 1950 and 1955 with the development coinciding with the local club’s glory years. Advancing as high as the second tier of Polish football, it was during this era that capacity crowds of 10,000 would regularly fill the arena. Had you been there yourself, you’d have been cheering on players like Kazimierz Gorski – in later years, he’d earn his place in the pantheon of Polish greats when he masterminded Poland’s draw at Wembley in 1973. For Poland, it paved the way for


Creator Of BUW Park Remembered An exploration of Warsaw's finest modern park...


est-known for authoring the design of BUW’s stunning rooftop garden, landscape architect Irena Bajerska has died at the age of 78. Nicknamed Zieleniara because of her devotion to greenery, Bajerska is also credited with



rian Marta Leśniakowska as acting as “a symbolic keystone between culture, nature and the cosmos.” Wandering its sloping metal walkways and leafy alcoves, its easy to let the day drift away. Infilled with the granite sculptures of Ryszard Stryjecki, silvery willows, miniature apple trees and vine encrusted pergolas, it


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

is a park with no equal. Completed by a rich spread of water features and a viewing platform offering spectacular sightlines of the riverfront, it’s particularly powerful when scarlet sunsets settle over the Wisła right ahead. Quite simply one of Warsaw’s most beautiful enclaves, it’s a striking, magical tribute to the talents of Bajerska.


the creation of the ‘mountain of plants’ in the Powsin Botanical Gardens as well as numerous projects in Ursynów. However, it is the BUW park that has come to be considered her defining work. Hailed as “one of the largest and most beautiful rooftop gardens in Europe”, the project was implemented nineteen years ago. Divided into two sections – a lower part and an upper part – the park helped elevate Powiśle’s reputation long before the district became fashionable. Now firmly ensconced as one of the area’s greatest treasures, it was described by art histo-

“One of Warsaw’s most beautiful enclaves, it’s a magical tribute to the talents of Bajerska.”


Back To School


As students again file back to their lecture halls, join the Insider’s class nerd for a look at the higher educational beauties that you just can’t miss…


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

Faculty of Maths & Information Sciences (Polytechnic)

Completed a decade ago, the Polytechnic’s mathematics faculty (Koszykowa 75) rates as among the more triumphant educational projects in recent memory. Radically glazed, architects designed it so that the glass shell would reflect and emphasize the older neighboring buildings and act as “an illustration of infinity”. Adorned with razor-like fins on the façade, it’s equally special from the inside with natural light, raw materials and stark white colors endowing it with an unambiguous openness.


Warsaw University of Technology If the Polytechnic looks grand from the outside, then it’s positively jaw-dropping inside. Designed after the architects toured 11 universities in six countries within a three-week window, what sprouted was a majestic structure inspired by the Italian Renaissance. Opened in 1901, the main building (Pl. Politechnika 1) was defined by a cloistered pentagonal courtyard fringed by ornate staircases and capped by a stunning glass ceiling. Operating covertly during the war, its professors were credited with getting to the bottom of Germany’s wunderwaffe secrets, and in all its estimated that 3,000 students managed to continue their studies during the war – classes officially resumed just five-days after the Red Army’s liberation, albeit in rather drafty conditions given the extent of the bomb damage. Stunning to this day, alumni include the inventor of the walkie talkie and the fictional Bond villain Ernest Stavro Blofeld – according to Ian Fleming, the world’s biggest menace earned a degree in Engineering and Radionics from here during the inter-bellum.


Feature SGH Warsaw School of Economics

Little less than an architectural masterpiece, the main building of the School of Economics (Niepodległości 162) was completed in 1956 and immediately hailed as “a model of social progressiveness” worthy of the conscientious Communists that would be educated within – it was ironic, therefore, that one of its most famous students, Leszek Balcerowicz, was later credited with leading Poland’s free market reforms throughout the 90s. Principally, though, you visit to view the ‘parachute hall’, a glorious atrium capped with glass pyramid composed of 224 windows. Further south at No. 128, Budynek C is equally worthy of a site inspection. Opened in 2006, this clay-colored building has proved not just a welcome addition to the campus but the city, as well – featuring a ribbed exterior and a slanted overhead roof, it was voted Building of the Year in 2006.

Fryderyk Chopin University of Music


Named after its most famous pupil, the University of Music on Okólnik 2 was rebuilt in the first half of the sixties in a manner that has since been lauded as one of Warsaw’s greatest exhibitions of post-war modernism. Squat, overwhelming and bunker-like from the outside, blend in with the students to reach a vast inner courtyard – views of this are best from the swirly, spiral staircase that stares out onto it. But there is also another reason to visit – when temperatures climb, and windows are flung open, you’ll be treated to free gigs aplenty as you listen to aspiring talents tinkling on their instruments.


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

Academy of Fine Arts

For the architecturally inclined, the Powiśle campus of the Academy of Fine Arts (Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 37/39) is a beautiful marriage of old and new. First completed in 1914 to a concept by Alfons Gravier, the older section was funded by the philanthropist Eugenia Kierbedź (whose father, incidentally, designed the first permanent bridge connecting Warsaw’s left and right banks). A century on, this grand Neo-Classical structure was joined to a new building authored by JEMS Architecki – pure, harmonious and ascetic, their project has won repeated praise for the way it’s created a seamless dialogue between two different centuries. An angled, narrow courtyard driven between the structures provides for rich photographic opportunities. Just as famous is the older campus found in and around the Czapski Palace on Krakowskie Przedmieście 5. Serving as the city’s best example of the Rococo style, it was handed its current educational purpose in 1959 following its wartime destruction – previously, it passed through ten different owners with one of its floors even serving as Chopin’s last Warsaw apartment before the composer fled to France.

University of Warsaw Established in 1809, Poland’s biggest university has been a springboard for many of the nation’s biggest heroes: Ludwik Zamenhof (inventor of Esperanto), Nobel-prize winner Olga Tokarczyk, wartime legend Jan Karski, poet Julian Tuwim and scores of politicians and leading intellectuals. Entering via the main gate at Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28, you get a sense of this history walking around the palaces that comprise the main campus. A patchwork of manicured lawns and Neo Classical buildings, perhaps the most well-known of these is the Kazimierz Palace where Chopin’s father once worked. Offsetting this bygone world of tradition are numerous faculties and departments spread across the city – often pioneering in there contemporary style, few have garnered as much attention as the mint green BUW library (see p. 11) or the nearby multi-colored linguistics department. Together, the pair have helped reenergize Powisle both visually and through the influx of young students.



Ursynów: The Land of Murals Forget Praga, it’s the southern ‘burb of Ursynów that has become the de facto capital of Warsaw’s mural movement… PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN DEMARIA


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021


f ever you’re caught in a word association game (hey, never say never), then the chances are that you’ll find the word ‘mural’ answered with ‘Praga’. That’s no surprise considering that for the last decade it’s been persistently drummed into us that the heart of Warsaw street art lies east of the river. But is that still the case? Certainly, Praga’s immense contribution should never be dismissed, but her dominance has flaked like her murals themselves.

Instead, more and more art hunters are shifting their sights to the other end of the city: Ursynów. Witness to an epidemic of ‘muralosis’, the city’s southern rump has seen an outbreak of XL wall art that has been breathtaking in its speed. In itself, that should have been expected for few sections of the city offer such a large, prospective canvas as this oft-overlooked suburb. To this extent, Ursynów’s very background provides cause for inspection. Incorporated into Warsaw in 1951, until then the area had been little more than a collection of villages such as Kabaty, Imielin, Pyry and Moczydło. When WWII broke out, a sum total of fewer than 3,000 people lived in the entire district. This, though, was soon to change when the government embarked on a flagship investment to construct a suburb capable of housing 100,000 people inside pre-fabricated blocks. Beginning construction in 1975, such was the project's value that the Communist leader, Edward Gierek, visited workers in 1977 to personally

praise their labors. But what sprung up was not free from criticism and many noted its “omnipresent ugliness” and “disastrous quality”. In part, this was in no small degree down to the habit of employing prisoners as construction workers. The area, however, was not abandoned, and it was rapidly filled with families. Following the political transition, its development continued unabated, this time spurred by work on the metro line as well as a new rash of private sector apartment blocks. Currently home to an estimated 150,000 residents, the effects of these factors had left Ursynów topheavy with towering blocks and ‘blind’, empty walls staring into nothing – to soften this effect, murals were touted as the ideal retort. Pushed through as part of the civic budget by a local design agency, Bakcyl Studio, a flurry were revealed in 2016. Since then, and thanks largely to the ongoing efforts of the aforementioned Bakcyl – a small team of three comprised of born-and-raised Ursynów enthusiasts – many more have followed, several of which have been executed by RedSheels, an all-female crew specializing in mural art.



Local Flavor

Possibly the biggest triumph relating to Ursynów’s murals has been how they have sought to remain relevant to the area. On Teligi 2, for instance, a Sleeping Mermaid (2018) clasps a teddy bear whilst dozing in bed, a cheeky dig at those who view the area as little more than a dormitory suburb, Beyond, at Polinezyska 6, another cheerful mural depicts Thumbelina. Based on drawings made by kids after a story-telling class and a 2-hour meet-and-greet with Bakcyl’s Zuza and Bartek (whose own daughter attended the school), the jaunty work was likewise delivered in 2018. And then, there’s the one no-one can miss. Titled Greetings From Ursynów (Małej Łąki 21), this Bakcyl creation was inspired by the cheesy American postcards you’d have found in the 70s. Contained in the letters, find pictures depicting elements of local 80s pop culture.


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021



Faces To Remember

While getting lost amid Ursynów’s tangle of blocks, you’ll find yourself coming face-to-face with numerous other characters. Football hero Kazimerz Deyna stands stoically at Kazury 16 and the beret-clad painter Zofia Stryjeńska at Kazury 8. Known for his fairytale ballads, a colourful Tadeusz Nowak emerges from Wiolinowa 14, while at Hirszfelda 11 stands what many understand to be the area’s first mural. Unveiled in 2014, it depicts a female figure that is representative of the Polish women that were deported to Ravensbruck concentration camp.


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

Underground Art

Using vector-style graphics, since 2018 the area’s metro stops have found themselves emblazoned with the faces of local legends: the area’s patron, Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz; the trio of cryptologists (Marian Rejewski, Jeży Różycki and Henryk Zygalski) credited with cracking the Nazi Engima ciphers whilst quartered in Pyry; humanitarian and educator Maria Grzegorzewska; and Witold Pilecki, a.k.a. the man that infiltrated Auschwitz to confirm the rumors of its horrors.



The Natural World

Adding a natural vibrancy to the area, a number of murals celebrate the glories of the environmental world – a butterfly fluttering above a bear (Meander 16), a pair of swifts (Koński Jar 8), a seven-story tree entwined around typical housing blocks (Koński Jar 3), two swallows (Nutki 1), and an elegantly lifelike flock of birds (Na Uboczu 4). Often complete with actual nesting boxes, these murals were created to reconnect the suburb with the natural world. Others, of course, are more abstract, and these include a girl with a super-cool meadow growing in place of her hair (Małej Łąki 7) and a whale (Magellana 2) to depict Magellan’s maritime adventures.


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021




Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

Back To The PRL

With its modern roots lying in the PRL era, it follows logic that a couple of the key murals commemorate figures from these times. At Metro Ursynów, that means engineer Stefan Karwowski and technician Roman Maliniak, the two protagonists of a cult comedy from the times. In between their often farcical exploits, this duo were often depicted helping build the housing estates of Ursynów. But it is Alternatywy 4 for which the area is best remembered. An outrageously popular 1980s satire based around the lives of the residents of an Ursynów block, the show was filmed around ul. Grzegorzewska and it is here (No. 1 & 3) that you’ll find two murals showing the cast engaged in various interactions on a stairwell as well as a map of the fictional estate that they inhabited. If ever there was an antagonist, then it was the building’s administrator, Stanisław Anioł Stróż, and he’s commemorated by way of his very own mural on Kazury 10.



More Than A Tourist Trap! Beyond all the helium-filled unicorn balloons, towering ice creams and men dressed as bears, there’s another side to Old Town full of nooks and treasures. Join us for a tour of our favorite hidden highlights and lesser-known gems… PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALEX WEBBER


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

Northern Soul

The northern end of the Rynek doesn’t just host the fab Museum of Warsaw (if you don’t know: the top floor view is stonking), also a cracking array of sights. For example, I can never resist following in Napoleon’s footsteps and traipsing down Kamienne Schodki. On this stone stairwell he was meant to have pondered Eastern conquests in 1806. Though generally defiled by squiggles, keep an eye out for a piece of street art called The Watcher by the Poznan rebel artist Noriaki. Onwards! Brzozowa street was far from faithfully rebuilt, but it’s not short on quaint charm:

pointy-roofed tenements accessed by private footbridges as well as hidden back courtyards that would have once led you to the mythical Tomba Tomba – a hedonist’s paradise complete with Jacuzzi frolics! I love how now this feels like a secretive residential quarter, but not as much as I enjoy walking past the hideous statue of the city’s founders, Wars & Sawa, before climbing the concrete spiral stairwell for unimpeded views of the colorful New Town. Walking the defensive walls, the Barbikan should be avoided at all costs during peak tourist hours, but outside of these it has a haunting quality that’s particularly pronounced when

tall, dark shadows dance on the cobbles. Cutting back to the square, you’ll pass my favorite antique store (previous finds inc. an anti-vampire kit), the ace Same Krafty craft beer den and the curious Murzynek. Now judged a controversial word loaded with racist meaning, it’s not nearly as bothersome as the café’s ‘semaphore’ sign. These intricate signs were added in the PRL period to flag up local businesses: all were innocent enough (a pair of specs to highlight an optician, etc.), but because Murzynek sold black coffee it was deemed logical for the sign to feature a coffee-sipping African with exaggerated features.



Eastern Promise?

If you’ve forgotten your camera, you’re a prat. But if so, then at least see how the professionals do it by ducking into the ZPAF photographic gallery – photos aside, visit this vaulted chamber to listen to evening Chopin concerts before heading into their super-secret back garden. Moving on up, you’ll be passing under an overhead passage spanning Kanonia: that’s from 1620 and was built after a deranged nobleman tried to bludgeon the King to death as he made the short stroll from the Castle to the Cathedral. In the center of square,


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

make a wish by circling the bell three times before impressing everyone by telling them how it was glued-up after the war after crashing from its original perch in the Cathedral. If you like little things, then that skinny house at Kanonia 50-52 is proof that micro-living isn’t a modern fad. Only just slightly wider that its door frame, its narrow form was a cunning ploy by its 17th century owner to avoid paying a hefty property tax bill. After, pass the unicorn on Jezuicka (the crest of a 16th century priest) before heading down Dawna, a charismatic lane bookended by two cutesy archways – it’s so romantic you want to kiss the next passing

stranger. And there’s more such heartshaped shenanigans out front. Spilling onto what was once the town’s sewage heap (syphilitics would be buried neck deep to cure them of their evils), find a semi-circular platform with beautiful views of Praga and railings garnished with lovelocks. The Heritage Center right by is one of Warsaw’s greatest underrated museums, and you’ll leave with your head filled with facts and figures about the Old Town’s reconstruction – when you’re done, finish by walking up Celna, a steeply inclined street with some surviving Gothic walls and, at No. 2, a 1966 relief honoring the Knights of Mazovia.

Southern Charms Doesn’t he look dashing? Waving his sword, and occasionally draped with a Legia scarf, King Zygmunt has been watching Warsaw from the top of his 22-meter column since 1644 – at least he was until 300-years later when a single artillery round felled him. Pitted with bullets, the original column stands to the side of the castle and is lucky to touch (not that we’ve had any). When you’re done, slip down towards the Pod Blachą Palace where, until December, you’ll find Ikaria, a bare-bottomed and slightly erotic monu-

ment by the esteemed sculptor Igor Mitoraj – for more of his work, check “the Angel Doors” that sit next to the Cathedral on Świętojańska. While we’re on the topic of the Cathedral, don’t forget to peek around to its flank – doing so reveals a track salvaged from a German Borgward IV. Wrongly identified by the plaque as belonging to a Goliath, it’s all that remains from a remote controlled demolition vehicle that was used in the 1944 Uprising to blast the Polish defensive barricades. For history’s lighter side, zoom to Świętojańska 2, a building noted for the stuffed dummy hanging from the win-

dow. That marks the eccentric Castle Inn hotel, an address prone to strange phenomena such as shifting furniture, rattling windows and whispered conversations held in archaic Polish – the place has been haunted ever since a cook was wrongly accused of poisoning the party-loving Prince Stanisław in 1524. With all those ticked off, finish up with some window-shopping. Perusing the glass fronts reveals the standard collection of plastic souvenirs, but oddities such as a model of the Titanic rendered in amber and, in the case of the Rynek’s pharmacy, a drizzle of giant pills: it’ll have you thinking of your raving days!



The West Is The Best? How sweet you might think, there’s even a statue of a doddering old man – well that dude is Jan Zachwatowicz, the guy credited with pushing through the post-war reconstruction of the Old Town at a time when some were calling for it to be rebuilt as a housing estate. Further up, find the saber-rattling statue of Jan Kiliński, a cobbler-turned-18th century revolutionary. Shifted numerous times, his monument was hidden by the Nazis in the National Museum – the next day, scouts painted a rousing message on


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

the wall: “People of Warsaw, I Am Here!” We all love and know the Little Insurgent – the first bona fide monument to honor the 1944 Warsaw Uprising – but he’s particularly touching at this time of year when the heap of candles and flowers at his feet grows to inestimable proportions. And while you’re in the area, keep your head tilted up: made from glass waste, the mechanical clock at Piekarska 20 typifies the wacky mosaics of the PRL period; personally though, I love the shamrock that marks the defunct and diabolical Shamrock Irish Pub on Wąski Dunaj – about two decades ago, veteran expats will remember it as the

site of the Loch strip club, and yep, there were certainly a few loch-ins back in the day. Finally, take a look at the pigeons on Piwna 6: they honor Kazimierza Majchrzak, a woman that continued her hobby of feeding the birds even during the privations of the occupation. She claimed that two in particular reminded her of the two sons she had lost earlier in the war.

Eat! First Bite

HESU WARSAW ul. Oboźna 9


SPECIAL K. Another gem joins the jewels of Oboźna…



FOOD The staff, almost predictably, come with mustaches, tatts and Hawaiian shirts, but their welcome is warm and sincere and it is these trend-conscious foot soldiers that you’ll find bringing forth what must surely be one of the best kimchi salads in town. The bulgogi bibimbap likewise checks all the boxes confidently, though from a personal point of view, their ‘spicy chicken’ is a little less crunchy and decadent than the Korean KFC it appears to be inspired by – but at least the chicken is organic! INSIDER TIP Cocktails taste nice but maybe a little too loaded. On the food front, mull over their jarred goodies before taking a couple home – you won’t be disappointed. (KD)


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

FOODIE NEWS THE LEGEND IS BACK! Memories of margarita soaked nights came flooding back when the long-defunct Blue Cactus issued a bombshell statement over summer announcing their imminent return. Quickly going viral, the news was met with disbelieving excitement from their battalion of die-hard fans. Completely revolutionizing Warsaw’s social scene when they opened back in 1996, we’ve been told they’ll be relaunching in an ambitious and revised format later in the year inside Elektrownia and Norblin.


A Warsaw pizzeria is lapping up the acclaim after placing 30th in a rundown of Europe’s Top 50 pizza restaurants. Issued by the Italian-run Top 50 portal, the rankings (which excluded pizzerias in Italy) included Warsaw’s Ciao a Tutti who were deemed worthy of 30th position in the ratings. Founded in 2012, and since spawning two sister restaurants, the pizzeria was credited by the portal for both introducing Neapolitan pizza to the city and also the provenance of its imported ingredients.


Already enjoying a cult reputation in Praga, Pyzy Flaki Gorące have expanded their operations to open on Podwale 5 on the edge of Old Town. Famed for their pyzy (dumpling-style creations stuffed into jars and lathered with various toppings), this venture is immense compared to their original on Brzeska, with their ambitions reflected by a wider menu of vintage Polish classics. Judging by the lines that form outside at weekends, it’s success is already assured.


DESIGN If you googled the term ‘millennial color palette’ you most likely wouldn’t have to scroll far before coming across the same vibrant color choices that lacquer the walls of this new Korean joint – even their rice is blue. Slotted inside an area that’s enjoying a gastronomic blossoming, Hesu seems to fit the algorithm and sits naturally among the likes of Falla, Basil & Lime, Baron The Family and Nonna. Looking at the design components isn’t unlike viewing a Pinterest board featuring all the other new-wave joints around town, and that familiarity even extends to a logo that shares a striking similarity to that of Mr. Oh.



Brought to you by the same team behind Mąka i Woda, a new fried chicken concept has set the city on fire… THE BACKGROUND

What’s inside? That’s none of your damned business! Operating solely in an online delivery capacity, what goes on behind closed doors has become one of Warsaw’s little mysteries – at least that was the case until our photographer was allowed to snoop inside and record the whole process. Created in response to the delivery revolution that was brought about by covid (you see, we told you there’d be some fringe benefits!), the management say they’ve been fans of chicken sandwiches for 20-odd years, and that passion has now been put into practice with their launch of Chicken Sando Shop. Sending food out via Wolt and Bolt, ignore the troublingly uncreative name and concentrate instead on the food in hand.


Actually, first things first, and we’ll retract the last criticism – who hates scrolling through a food portal having to guess the kind of food that a place may serve. Chicken Sando Shop cut out that issue entirely by doing exactly what their name announces: chicken sandwiches. Brief and to the point, the menu involves five in all made using free-range chicken and bread baked on-site. Using their own secret recipe (as all chicken places should!), their spice mix is a winner that makes itself known the moment you bite into the perfectly crisped skin. So far, our go-to order has been the ‘spicy sando’, a gooey temptation decked with drizzles of sauce and kohlrabi, but other options include a ‘Mexica sando’ with salsas, coriander and pineapple, as well as a ‘Cheesy sando’ served with whippings of you-know-what. Also banging out a small range of side such as potato salad & mustard as well as mac’n’cheese, they’ve already accomplished much by ousting the local Indian as our delivery of choice – and on that front, praise doesn’t come much higher.


Yes! This isn’t the only ghost kitchen that they have. Also operating Salve Pasta, look to that for ‘vegan-centric’ pasta dishes. If rumors are to be believed, neither have the owners ruled out the possibility of opening stationary ventures in the future. Chicken Sando Shop


Review bulbs, design isn’t so much minimal as it is non-existent, but that fits in with the underlying spirit of natural cool. FOOD Recommended by a waitress alert to my indecisive mulling, I ended up with eggplant meatballs with fresh mint, pine nuts, parmesan, ricotta and dashes of paprika powder. A heap of green goodness, the tasty potato parcels hidden beneath it all really hit the spot, reminding me how delicious eating sustainably can be when you really get it right. Word has it that most of the produce is sourced from grocer extraordinaire Pan Żiołko and the dairy from the cult Mlezcna Droga – with the tastes being what they were, this would not surprise me one bit. INSIDER TIP Look out on their FB page for regular events such as celebrations of their own seasonally inspired kombucha. (KD)

A overdue look at a neighborhood star…


aving been established in 2014, this gem of a vegetarian/ vegan restaurant opened long before the plantbased fad landed in Warsaw. The brainchild of their neighbor, Secret Life Café, the proprietors already knew at that stage what the new generation of Żoliborz locals wanted and needed to be seen eating.


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

VIBE The atmosphere is a little kinetic with guests using the opportunity to sashay in as if on show – the see-me vibe can be a little off-putting (especially if you’re just back from hols and wearing the same shirt as the day before), but it’s still nice enough to be inside a place that feels so fiercely intended to net the local crowd. A place of distressed concrete and dangling bare

Ósma Kolonia Słowackiego 15/19, osmakolonia



Eat! listings author’s cuisine ALE WINO

You could eat in Ale Wino a hundred times – and we know some people that have – and still never be bored. That alone says much for the consistency and creativity of a kitchen that has come to be admired as the source of some of the best cooking in the city. Regularly adjusted to utilize the best items the season has to offer, chef Sebastian Wełpa’s menu is a triumph of expertly balanced tastes. Rounding out the experience is an intimate, labyrinthine design that’s ideal for when it’s cold and grim, and a shaded courtyard terrace that’s perfect for when it’s not. ul. Mokotowska 48


Preserving the prewar heritage of the building, the warm, busy interiors of Bibenda feel ripe for a pint: and yes, thanks to a rotating roster of craft beers, a good pint is what you can expect. Catching the ambience perfectly, the menu is an interesting work that specializes in spotting unlikely combinations that actually work: for instance, ‘cilantro funky pork sausages’ with pickled carrots, brussels sprouts and fried peanuts. Even better, the curvy bar is perfect for loners with dinner for one in mind! ul. Nowogrodzka 10


Entered into the Michelin Guide for the first time in 2018, Dyletanci’s inclusion in the foodie’s bible was further evidence of the trajectory its taken in the three years it’s been open. The epitome of the neo-bistro style, find an attractive space that’s been seamlessly designed to feature a wine store, kitchen and

dining room(s) that somehow feel organically joined. The atmosphere is lifted by faultless cooking that combines a little bit of Polish with a little bit of eclectic: it’s a combination that works and often magnificently well. ul. Rozbrat 44A


Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” Attractively located in a lush expanse of leafy parkland, Klonn finds itself planted inside a low-level building just a whisper from Ujazdowski Castle. Dark and slick on the inside, the reverse is true of an exterior dedicated to expressions of street art. Yet while a big deal has been made of the visual creativity, it’s the food that leaves the real impact. A harmony of flavors, the hybrid cuisine includes luxury pizzas, hearty beef fillets and sophisticated desserts: it’s all a fantasy of skill. ul. Jazdów 1B


An incubator for the unorthodox, this cool and kooky venture pushes the envelope when it comes to being different. Devised by Trisno Hamid, a Singaporean chef with a classic French background, glories include ramen noodles in a steamy yuzu broth and Angus beef rump steak served with tahini mashed potatoes and a big thump of chili and fig relish. Adding to the sense of being somewhere current, find a seriously cool vibe inside an interior featuring a retro mirrored wall, upside down plants and busy tables filled with the kind of people that you’d mistake for rising fashion photographers. ul.

Oleandrów 8


Humongous in size, the vast spaces and lack of natural light never feel an issue. Loaded with slick finishes

and polished raw materials, find this subterranean venue unraveling amid the giant original foundations that support this pre-war skyscraper. Divided into ‘snacks’, ‘plates’, ‘sides’ and ‘desserts’, big shouts go to a golden schnitzel the size of a tricycle wheel as well as the spicy pork dumplings served in a vibrant essence of paprika. It’s exceptional. Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 9 (Hotel Warszawa)


Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” This busy neo-bistro fuses upmarket, casual styling with an exciting wine list, interactive service and the kind of atmosphere you can’t get enough of. Under chef Bartosz Szymczak’s leadership, Rozbrat’s grown to become one of the blogospheres favorite write-ups. Never the same, if there’s a consistent thread to visits then it’s the playful inventiveness that has come to define Szymczak’s cooking. ul. Rozbrat 20

bakeries AROMAT

“Good bread needs good flour,” says Mathieu, one half of the mother / son duo that founded Aromat back in 2014. Sourcing theirs from a small French mill, the attention to detail has not been lost even as Aromat have blossomed to cover numerous addresses around Warsaw. And aside from bread, also anticipate a choice of coffee and pastries – the lemon eclairs deserve their own fan club. Various locations


“My bread is a reflection of my experiences,” says Monika Walecka, “every loaf tells its own story and includes elements from others


Eat! listings that have either inspired or taught me – each one is like having baby with your baker friends!” Milling the flour herself then baking the bread with whole grain flour so that the most nutritious parts don’t get sifted, the results are white, fluffy breads as well as loaves that use ancient grains such as spelt, emmer or einkorn. ul. Krasińskiego 18


There’s just no way you won’t already be acquainted with Charlotte. A game-changer when they launched, their Parisian-inspired concept has since been widely mimicked across not just the city but also Poland as a whole. Eschewing artificial nasties, the bread – baked on-site at each location – is consistently reliable in its overall quality. Various locations


Set on upcoming Stalowa street, the number of top restaurants that are using this place to source their bread is indicative of their unquestioned quality. Looking – and smelling – exactly as you’d imagine an artisanal bakery to do so, find their offer given an extra boost by indulgences such as brioches and scones. ul. Stalowa 47

chinese PAŃSKA 85

Despite the over-the-top luxury trimmings Pańska looks good without ever losing its dignity. With their kitchen staff headhunted from across China, the food sets a standard that has yet to be seen in any Chinese restaurant in Warsaw: there’s delicate salmon rolls wrapped in mango; dim sum that are pouches of pure goodness; and


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

Sichuan-style pork that’s a blaze of sizzle and spice. The Beijing Duck, carved and served table-side, is the highlight. ul. Pańska 85


Taking their inspiration from New York’s Little Italy and Chinatown, the menu at Regina is the very definition of ethnic comfort food: won-ton dumplings, ribs in sticky hoisin sauce and the best-selling General Tso chicken – famed for its healing properties, it’s one of the best hangover remedies around. On the Italian front, leopard-spotted pizzas land are presented with wheel-bladed knives in a kooky, retro interior featuring a dangling chandelier and the tallest mirror in Poland (possibly). ul. Koszykowa 1

comfort food KUR & WINO

Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” Formerly demonized for its brutally dehumanizing architecture and Orwellian atmosphere, Andersa street has evolved to become something of micro scene rich in hip haunts: in this renaissance, Kur & Wino have more than played their part. Cooked rotisserie-style, the big points go to chicken from Podlasie and guineafowl from Wielkopolska served with a medley of creative sauces. The cool, funky backdrop adds to the buzz, as does a terrace crowded with crates and palms. ul. Andersa 21


Dude food doesn’t get much better. Specializing in slow-cooked meats, find artisan buns stuffed with ribs, beef tongue, pastrami and the like before being given extra oomph with locally grown greens, homemade

kimchi or house pickles. A savage, primal pleasure of dripping sauce and juicy meat, the homespun quality of Pogromcy Meatów catapults it above the competition. ul. Koszykowa 1


Looking dashing in its shades of pastel pink and gold trim, it looks perfect with its pristine parquet and heart-shaped seats. Scattered with flowers (pink of course) and marble-topped tables, it’s classy, fun, feminine and smart – but it’s the eclairs you’re visiting for. Featuring embellishments such as swirly rainbow-colored unicorn manes, and fillings that include posh chocolate, seasonal fruit and even savory additions, the only place you’ll find anything better is Paris itself. ul.

Kurcza 23/31


Mixing, so they say, French philosophy with New York creativity and Polish heart, a visit to Frank is like happening upon a little, local secret. The pastries are a standout, but you know what, so too is the ice cream. Pastry or ice cream? Spoil yourself: have both. ul. Polna 18/20


Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” Recruiting the acclaimed Beza Projekt studio to handle the design, the result is a funky two-level space with monochrome floors, spirally stairs and little blasts of color set against the stark, minimalistic concrete finishes. But what really gets you are desserts that lift this piece of Warsaw in the direction of heaven – the cream puffs are something else.

ul. Mokotowska 52

Eat! listings MISS MELLOW

Mixing sophisticated desserts with those that fall more on the filthy food porn side of thigs, Miss Mellow have hit the bull’s eye by offering something for everyone that enjoys the sweeter things in life. Lauded even by Vogue, find a wicked rundown of toasts, brioches, financiers, brownies, cookies and cakes. Eschewing chemical nasties, it’s a place in which the owners’ commitment towards quality resonates throughout. ul. Wilcza 62

food-from-the-source and triggered a city-wide trend that’s shown no sign of slowing. Though imitations have come thick and fast, none have matched this original in either size or scope: fresh fish, cheese, eggs, bread, cured sausages, honey... you name it, they’ve got it. Comprehensive in its pitch, everything you need to pursue a bright, happy life is here

in this legendary farmers’ market. ul. Wołoska 3


Spot the stars of Warsaw’s restaurant and blogging scene perusing the stalls at this weekly farmers’ market. Held each Wednesday, look for Pan Ziółko, Poland’s first celebrity farmer (!), Portobellos from the


Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” Shoebox in its size, it’s here you’ll find a steady queue lining up for their award-winning NYC-style donuts – featuring toppings like hibiscus; mango; salted caramel; matcha; and lemon and poppy, they’re a fab deviation from the standard Polish pączek. ul. Paryska 27


Cake: good. Sugar: bad. We all know that. But what you might not know of is the existence of Słodki Bez, a small little store specializing in sugar-free desserts. And it’s not just sugar they’ve dispensed of altogether, but also white flour, gluten, lactose and all the other synthetic nasties that we’re meant to dislike. Using natural substitutes, find a rich array of cakes and sweets such as vegan banoffee pie, chocolate nut cake, chickpea brownies, macarons, tarts and pralines. ul. Hoża 54,

farmers’ markets BIOBAZAR

First founded in 2010, BioBazar pre-dated Warsaw’s love of

Miodowa 1, tel.888 575 457 | Hours: Wed-Sun: 12:00-21:00 |


Eat! listings country’s only organic mushroom farm and the magical yogurts from Mleczna Droga Manufaktura Serów. Even the bottom-feeding carp here tastes bang on. ul. Zakroczymska 12


Designed to complement, rather than compete, with the market outside, find a natural gravity effect that works to benefit both Gwardii and Hala Mirowska. Operating only weekends, Gwardii has become a well-loved addition to Warsaw’s gastro scene, with its farmers’ market working well with the food booths on the other side of this historic hall. Pl. Żelaznej Bramy 1


As popular with undercover chefs as it is with queue-jumping pensioners wielding walking sticks like sabers, the accessibility of its price tags is bettered only by the rich bounty of produce that awaits. In the post-war units attached to the core building, Darek at No. 17 has amassed a legendary reputation for his edible flowers; at 115, cheeses and handmade sausages are the order of the day; whilst Pani Anna at 114 has been called the Queen of Mirowska for her peerless skills handling a butcher’s cleaver. Your best bet is to pencil in a full afternoon here. Pl.

Mirowski 1

fine dining EPOKA

Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” Preserved 19th century cornices and baroque-style drapes lend an enveloping sense of luxury inside this A-Class space. Scene of the Insider’s most impressive dining moment of 2019, Epoka’s menu is based on Polish cookbooks from


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

different epochs (hence the name, dummy!), with the dishes reconstructed in a way that’s innovative, unexpected and a roller coaster of thrills. Oh gosh moments include jellied apple compote; a sweet and boozy pumpkin pottage; razor thin chestnut with marinated celeriac; and bigos like no other. You want to pause the evening for at least forever. ul. Ossolińskich 3


Decked out in tan and vanilla shades, hexagonal lighting installations, glinting mirrors and bold, blue ceramics, there’s a character that bridges the classic with the contemporary to magnificent effect. Basque chef Beñat Alonso has used the lockdown to simplify his menu, a work which gives regional suppliers an all-star role. But ‘simple’ is a relative term. The Europejski Grill has not lost its sophistication, as proved by a summer visit that saw us bowled over by a as a hazelnut soup with fig leaves and wild rocket and an artichoke confit served with a lightly grilled shallot cured for six weeks. ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 13


Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” Famously founded by Meir Teper, Nobu Matsuhisa and some aspiring actor by the name of Robert De Niro, it’s a space that promises simplicity, elegance and minimalism, not to mention a harmonious sense of modern, zen-like luxury. On the menu, meanwhile, expect their signature squid ‘pasta’; new-style sashimi; and black cod miso as well as killer cocktails such as lychee & elderflower martini. ul. Wilcza 73


For many diners, there is no bigger night out than one that begins and

ends in this enclave of class. Dashing in its monochrome colors and muted gunmetal shades, Nolita is where Warsaw heads to live the life of the 1%. Lacking the magic tricks of some, the ‘show factor’ might be subdued but the tastes definitely aren’t. Who to credit? Two words: Jacek Grochowina. Cooking with poise and focus, his menu is a marriage of the classic and creative, with core ingredients given unexpected lifts with cunning turns and inspired little twists. ul. Wilcza 46


Flirting with fine dining – yet at prices a notch below – the menu is a succession of highs that are a tribute to the sophisticated palate of chef Wojciech Kilian. Adding to the sense of being somewhere special is a setting inside the former inter-war Soviet Embassy. Adorned with original, auction-bought photos of Marilyn, pretty pink colors and luxury fittings, Signature washes over you in waves of bliss. ul. Poznańska 15


Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” Found on the sixth floor of a 1930s tower that was, for a time, ranked Europe’s second tallest building, Szóstka was the fine dining experience that EVERYONE loved over the last year. For that, credit goes to Dariusz Barański, a highly skilled chef fond of presenting such dishes as crab meat toast with lime and mango. And there’s the setting, as well: seen as a long, slick space decorated with steel tubing, bursts of greenery and a coved glass ceiling, dining here has been one of the Insider’s great, recent pleasures. Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 9 (Hotel Warszawa)

Eat! listings georgian RUSIKO

Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” To the uninitiated, Georgian food is representative of the heart, spirit and passion of its people; it’s a cuisine that values the concept of the feast: wine, laughter and song find themselves elevated to roles of primary importance. A food of life, spice and whole-hearted tastes, consider Rusiko as the best ambassador there is for this surprisingly diverse kitchen, and award-winning chef Davit Turkestanishvili the string-pulling master. There’s nowhere else in Poland that does Georgian better. Al.

Ujazdowskie 22

greek & turkish MR. GREEK SOUVLAKI

Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” With its smart navy blue exterior festooned with pot plants, this tiny townhouse seduces all who pass – but if the front terrace is a gem, then enter to find a place that simply bubbles with warmth and the engaging air of gentle chaos. While there’s no frills or fancy with the food, there really doesn’t need to be: you dine on pillowy pittas and skewers of meat while enjoying carafes of wine brought to you by Takis, an enthusiastic owner that wears his heart on his sleeve. By the time the evening closes, you feel like one of the family – and that, surely, is the essence of hospitality. ul.

of Mykonos – it’s simply immense. Though undeniably slick, never does the cosmopolitan style lose the fundamental casual effervescence one naturally associates with the jewel of the Aegean. The food scores highly as well. It’s not rocket science – Greek cuisine rarely is – but it is everything you remember from your holiday by the sea: unfailingly delicious. ul. Grzybowska 62


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 – enjoying it is easy. ul. Egipska 7


Known for their raucous dusk-tilldawn parties, there is another less hedonistic roll filled by Bollywood: that of a restaurant. The menu is an uncomplicated, classic affair that’s an ideal primer for the party ahead. ul. Nowy Świat 58


Londyńska 16

Not just the best looking of Warsaw’s Indian restaurants, Bombaj Masala also has some of the best cooking. With so many restaurants reliant on one ‘master pot’ for their curry, this classy venue feels unique in delivering a variety of rich, intense tastes. The vindaloo is a special standout, with big, punchy flavors that leave you tingling long after you leave. Al. Jana Pawła II 23



You’re struck first by the sheer size

Looks-wise it’s a feast for the eyes

with 1,760 copper pipes hanging from the ceiling to generate a warming glow that mixes naturally with the brick finishes and spirited works of art. Differing from their mothership on JPII, the menu here involves street food-style tapas such as flat-fried Kachori dumplings and crispy cauliflower pakoras to outstanding tandoori dishes like marinated zander with garlic chili sauce. ul. Ząbkowska 29 (Centrum Praskie Koneser)


Ask for something extra hot in Curry House and by Suresh that’s what you’ll get. Yet at Curry House there is more to sing about than just Poland’s highest voltage vindaloo. The curries are rich and sumptuous and consistently cited as among the best in the city. If in doubt, the chicken tikka masala is a fail-safe request. ul. Żeromskiego 81 & ul. Hoża 54


The menu is a union of local, seasonal ingredients (organic this, farmyard that) and imported spices, coming together to blast the competition out of the water. From the openers, the chili chicken fry stands out as a dish that’s all snap and crackle, while of the mains the tikka masala is exceptional in taste. And when you want to take the nuclear option, sign the disclaimer before being flattened by the phaal – it’s Poland’s hottest curry! ul. Widok 8


Deviating from the more standard Indian menus (if you’ve seen one you’ve seen ’em all), order here for self-proclaimed “immunity boosting” dishes such as prawn garlic curry; lamb and spinach deewani; or chicken in a rich mango sauce. Specializing in delicious southern Indian dishes, find also a number of


Eat! listings f & b super hubs


Set in the revitalized space of a 19th century vodka factory, Koneser has seamlessly blended modernity with post-industrial scenery to create an energetic dynamic reflected by its rich cultural and artistic offer, niche boutiques, local stores and impressive food and drink offer. An island of prosperity in the otherwise largely gritty Praga suburb, props go to the Koneser Grill and Bombaj Masala. With the pandemic still lurking in the background, Koneser’s wide open plaza acts in its favor. Pl. Konesera



Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

The big headlines last year were set aside for Elektrownia Powiśle, a magnificent reinvention of a historic power plant that once kept the city fed with electricity. Today, it’s feeding Warsaw something a helluva’ lot more tastier. Comfortingly stringent in their hygiene practices, you swing in for a food court that’s dazzling in both its offer and visual impact: neon is king! Cocktail bars, a craft beer point and an exhaustive selection of street food units (e.g. Philly cheese steak!) give cause to visit, and if you’re antsy about staying indoors then head out to find the immense spaces outside dotted with deckchairs and – as of this year – a huge, ventilated marquee with well-spaced tables and full shelter from the elements. Beyond these quite copious attractions, it is the retention of its historic character contrasted against the newly inserted elements that makes it such a visually enticing, standout hub. ul. Dobra 42



Eat! listings



Introducing the absolutely bleeding obvious, Hala Koszyki changed Warsaw’s mindset when it first opened in 2016. Gathering dozens of niche venues under the wrought iron ceiling of a historic market place, it transformed the way Warsaw eats, meets, drinks and plays. Still highly influential, it’s guaranteed that once the weather warms up its front courtyard will again become one of the best people watching spots you’ll find in the city. ul. Koszykowa 63


If you’ve not visited Fort Mokotów before, shame on you. Like enter-

ing a secret world, a potholed lane flanked by scraggly bushes opens up to reveal a former Tsarist era military complex whose battered brick fortifications have since been turned over to house ad agencies, art studios and assorted creative think tanks. Food and drink also play a role here, with the lead taken by Żywa Kuchnia, an eatery that promises to regenerate the mind and body with their “bio-active, healing foods”. Schodki, meanwhile, is just about the most atmospheric gem you’ll ever wish to find: a place of battered brick, creaking wood and tangled vines, it’s a sublime setting for a bottle or three. ul. Racławicka 99


The penchant for reviving historical addresses and filling them with food and drink concepts has become a nationwide fixation, and Fort 8 stands as an example to all. Set at the point where Ursynów, Mokotów and Wilanów all meet, this 19th century Tsarist barracks has been buffed up spectacularly and its vaulted units infilled with workshops, stores and restaurants. Smashed sideways by the pandemic, the return of this upmarket bastion is good news for those that appreciated the charms of Dziruka od Klucza, Fort Bistro and Wine Corner. ul. Fort

Służew 1B


Eat! listings non-standard curries and starters including fluffy lentil pancakes and dosa stuffed with cheese. If there’s a complaint, then it’s the chef’s reticence to go completely psychotic when it comes to assaulting us with spice. Al. Jerozolimskie 87,

Górnośląska 24





Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” Having upped sticks from their spiritual home in Powiśle, the DoK team magically teleported themselves to Fort 8 where they’ve carried on much as before: that is, knocking out beautiful homemade pasta and other Italian staples to appreciative audience that’s followed them for years. And it looks pretty fine as well – immerse yourself in an intimate and engaging interior decked out with door frames and hanging plants. Fort Służew 1B


The big surprise at Focaccia is that there’s no Italian in the kitchen – it appears they don’t need one. Looking splendid in its crystal white colors, this dining room has plaudits aplenty for its selection of pizzas and more sophisticated mains: order the duck breast with marsala sauce for a failsafe choice. ul. Senatorska 13/15,


Opened pretty much the minute that the lockdown was eased, the latest concept from restaurateur Daniel Pawełek is a celebration of la dolce vita, a stylish, carefree journey through the joys of modern Italy. Cooking, and that’s been left to Przemysław Samul, a chef with experience in several Miche-


lin-starred international restaurants, and his menu is a deep dive into homemade pasta and Venetian-style cicchetti. Wine, too, plays a distinct role, though it’s their Negroni that could well become the ‘order of the summer’. Full report soon! ul.

Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

This Japanese-style noodle joint whisks you to the narrow, steamy back alleys of late night Tokyo. Clad in corrugated iron and dark, weathered wooden slats, it’s got that buzzing sense of chaos that feels familiar from the films. And the food, gosh, they get that right as well. From a tiny menu order up dainty pork dumplings, braised kakuni bacon or deep-fried tofu before hitting up a feisty bowl of ramen emanating life-affirming goodness. A complex tangle of interlacing flavors, it’s the sort of dish you’d happily queue up for: and yes, people do. ul.

Piękna 54


It’s not uncommon to hear the preparation of sushi described as a form of art, and in Sakana that’s exactly what it is. Using premium ingredients and unusual combinations, their creations are a vivid blast of color and freshness. ul. Moliera 4/6


Signposted by its own splash of Manga-style art adorning the exterior wall, this Commie era pavilion feels small and squashed and assembled on a budget. Who cares? No-one. An exciting departure from the norm – no sushi here – the menu is a selection of bitey Japanese

street food such as grilled mackerel fillet with shavings of grated radish. Prices and quality ensure you don’t stop until you’ve gobbled your way through much of the menu. ul.

Pawińskiego 24


At Shoku, the mix and match approach when it comes to Asia (if it’s tasty, stick it on the menu!) feels rational and put together. Never short of custom, locals gather inside a bright, contemporary space (or vast back garden) to slurp down bowls of ramen, share shoku bowls or click chopsticks over small plates of dim sum and wonton. ul. Karolkowa 30


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. ul. Krucza 23/31


Sushi becomes a heaven’s gate spiritual experience in Wabu with the evening passing in a blur of beautiful compositions, of silky slithers of fish crowned with expert pinches of this, and little brush strokes of that. That’s all elevated even further by deliciously upscale interiors befitting of the Spire location. Pl. Europejski 2 (Warsaw Spire)


Refusing to take themselves too seriously, the angle is fun and forward-thinking, something that’s

Eat! listings evidenced by way of an occasionally wacky menu of Americanized Asian food (the matcha ice cream donut is insane in both idea and taste!). The cocktails are equally eccentric yet also reveal some devastating talent: the Kimchi Mary is pungent, punchy and above all potent! ul. Solec 38 (also on Marszałkowska 8)


Co-owner Czesio has injected his life, soul (or is that Seoul?) and personal artistic journey into K-Bar, not least via his DJing background – no matter when you may visit, there’s something of a party feeling. Like being buzzed into an artist’s loft apartment, its packed with neon, flea market finds and Korean groceries. The KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) will satisfy desires for something sweet, spicy and fried. For a healthier option, K-Bar’s Vegan Bibimbab are nothing short of bliss. ul. Piękna 28/34


Here, the ubiquitous KFC (Korean fried chicken) is all crunch and crackle and the bulgogi tender, juicy and the right side of sweet; accompanying them, an assortment of bitey dishes heaving with chilli flecked kimchi, daikon radish and pickled bits and bobs. All very good, but nothing compared to the bossam, braised pork belly scooped up by hand inside glistening perilla leaves: it’s a dish that soothes, gratifies and leaves diners looking every bit as pleased as the pipe-smoking tiger that gazes from the wall. ul.

guests is an endorsement in itself. ul. Wronia 45

latin & spanish CEVICHE BAR

With chef Martin Gimenez Castro injecting his passion and personality into the venue, this is an address that punches through the greyness of everyday Warsaw. Ceviche is the default order with the Atun one of the best sellers: chunks of tuna given a rich zing with the addition of chili, lime and roasted coriander. The Japanese influence on South America’s dining habits isn’t forgotten either, with must-haves including the salmon tiraditos. Served with teriyaki and sweet potato mash, it’s a joy of satisfying sensations: sweet, dreamy, spicy, creamy. ul. Twarda 4

mexican DOS TACOS

Who doesn’t like asking for

something that’s ‘under the counter’. In the case of Dos Tacos, doing so means inquiring about their range of ‘salsa clandestinas’: extra hot sauces designed for reckless thrill-seekers. But the true secret weapon at Dos Tacos is Isabel Balderas, a Mexican chef that has mastered the bright, bold tastes of her native country. ul. Jasna 22


Age hasn’t wearied El Popo one iota. Old it might be, but that hasn’t been to the detriment of the atmosphere. A place of happiness, the full color of the Mexican kitchen is brought to life via the full-fisted flavors of chef Angel Aceves. ul. Senatorska 27


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

Olesińska 2


Korean food is big news in Warsaw, though increasingly it’s the Americanized K-food style you’ll find. Sora returns to the roots with tabletop BBQs, lively spices and lashings of Makkoli wine. The number of Korean


Eat! listings seasonal sensations


When Lunapark first premiered in 2019 we named it “the most imaginatively insane F&B concept that Warsaw’s ever seen”. Nothing we’ve seen since has changed our mind on that. Occupying a derelict outdoor leisure complex, this weekend market gets a Coney Island makeover complete with a bar set around a carousel; a circus-style big top entered via the mouth of a grinning clown; a shot bar disguised as a shooting gallery; and a bank of fairground games. A


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021


wild world of top quality food stalls, games, drinks and weirdness, it’s a haven of hip and a hedonist’s asylum. Defined by its incredible energy and madcap backdrop, visiting at the weekend is one of the big joys of Warsaw. ul. Wał Miedzeszyński 407


Will it ever die? Three years after they first announced their permanent closure (or is it four!?), Nocny Market have returned for a final hurrah – so they say. Set out on an

abandoned railway platform livened up with strips of neon, this weekend night market has become nothing sort of an institution. Gathering together dozens of street food vendors to form a patchwork of uber cool traders and hip little stands, organizers have this time promised to give preferential treatment to those hit hardest by the pandemic, as well as brands just starting out in their gastro adventure. To miss it is to miss out on an essential part of summer! ul. Towarowa 3 (Warszawa Główna)



Eat! listings



Whenever a new street food hub open, the temptation is to benchmark it against the Nocny Market. But OFF has its own distinct sense of identity, a factor helped by its location. Set against Brzeska street – a chipped, broken back road with something of a hairy past reputation – this alone contributes to a raw vibe that’s helped by the presence of an arty Praga crowd that feels far more Bohemian than anything in town. Though relatively small

in its size, the vibe is fab: drink craft beer under overhanging canvas sheets strung with colorful streamers that wave in the breeze. Not short on vegan options, the alternative feeling is aided and abetted by DJs, local bands and a crowd determined to make it a night to remember. ul.

Brzeska 25


Alternating locations between Mokotów and Żoliborz, this open-air weekend extravaganza


is a bit of everything: a food market, a picnic, even a place to get the bike fixed or to stock up on vintage vinyl. First debuting about a five-thousand years ago, you could point to Targ Śniadaniowy as being Warsaw’s first true street food concept – doing so wouldn’t be incorrect. Still boasting a staunch following, check in on their social media accounts to see what’s in store – not ones to stand still, you’ll find most weekends assigned a different theme or ethnic focus.


Eat! listings is fiery, fresh and full of zing. There are detractors who claim this is a Polonized version of this cuisine, but the informal Gringo remains one of the market leaders. ul. Odolańska 15


Inspired by the ultra-violent films of Danny Trejo, the hardcore interior heaves with machetes, holy shrines, skulls and wire mesh; but if La Sirena looks fab, it tastes even better. Introducing a new dimension to Warsaw’s parched Mexican landscape, highlights inc. poblano peppers stuffed with pork/beef, peach, apple and apricots, as well as a ‘near death’ salsa that’s finally living up to its name. ul. Piękna 54


Submerged down one of those cramped, little walk-down units on ul. Poznańska, its tiny proportions (one table and a counter to lean on) and basic aesthetics (a blackboard and some crates) belie a standard that sits there with the best – actually, it’s become our favorite Mex in town! Based around handmade tortillas, find a small menu of burritos and rolled quesadillas stuffed with marinaded meats and ringing with peppy salsas and big flavor contrasts. ul. Hoża 41 (enter from Poznańska 16)


Joel Sharing Concept seeks to channel the atmosphere and tastes typically found in the food markets and bazaars of contemporary Tel Aviv. As such, find yourself ordering from a small galaxy of bites that range from pittas stuffed with beef and lamb kofta to mezze dishes such as baked beetroot served with


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

stewed tomatoes, cranberries and cumin. ul. Koszykowa 1


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. Al. Solidarności 61


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. Al. Solidarności 84


Maghreb is a place to call home – a warm, familiar restaurant whose bijou interior falls on the good side of casual. The sense of natural goodness is emphasized by the addons that start landing on the table: a creamy baba ganoush with a gently smoky taste; zingy tabbouleh salad that screams with perky freshness; and an addictive mechouia dip made with roasted peppers and tomatoes. But these are a precursor for mains such as tajine dishes defined by their big-hearted richness. ul. Burakowska 9

polish (modern) BARON THE FAMILY

Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” Set around a spacious network of canopied outdoor wooden cabins, the Insider’s former Chef of the

Year, Aleksander Baron, presents a casual food offer around his passion for ‘food from the fire’. Yes sir, that means suckling pigs; sausages flavored with gingerbread spice; tartare served inside fried bread; piles of ribs; and other hefty foods that make you feel good about life. Having evolved from maverick talent to national treasure, this is The Good Baron at his thundering best! Krakowskie Przedmieście 4


Focusing each month on a different region of the country, Robert Trzópek’s tasting menu takes diners to the very heart of the Polish soul and does so via tastes that betray his fine dining background: delicate and precise, it’s the polar opposite of the mundane Polski feast. For many, it’s the best restaurant in the city! ul. Wiślana 8


The chef has taken local classics and redrafted the recipes with the swoosh of a contemporary pen. The outcome is a pleasure from start to finish: a life affirming żurek, a tartar that could fulfill ambassadorial duties for Poland, and a handsome beef tenderloin sprinkled with crispy potato shavings. Thoughtful pairings with lesser-known, boutique vodkas add another dimension that serves to complete this pleasing, patriotic adventure. ul. Wierzbowa 9/11


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

Eat! listings 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. ul. Próżna 12


Compact and woodsy, Polana Smaków has lost none of its copious charm since trading a no-man’s land location for city center Warsaw. Few chefs do a better job than Andrzej Polan when it comes to making herring sexy, with his interpretation arriving with a homemade bagel and blobs of orange pumpkin. It’s sophisticated yet reassuringly simple. ul. E. Plater 14

polish (classic) PYZY FLAKI GORĄCE

Insulate yourself against the chill with a hearty helping of homemade dumplings that are squished into jars. Budget-minded in both cost and appearance, it’s become one of Praga’s worst kept secrets with several of Poland’s top food writers praising it to the hilt. Filled with a wide cast of characters, nowhere does a better job of expressing the district’s soul than this ramshackle eatery. ul. Brzeska 29/31


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. ul. Chocimska 7


The simplicity of both the design and the dishes belies the quality. Start with a classic tartar before advancing into the real reason you’re here: a choice of breaded pork chops made from Mangalica or Złotnicka pork. This is Polish home cooking at its best. ul. Obrzeżna 1


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. ul. Puławska

WELCOME TO GREECE! For authentic Greek food & hospitality, look no further than Mr. Greek Souvlaki! ul. Londyńska 16 (Saska Kępa)


steak houses BUTCHERY & WINE

When Butchery opened in 2011 it completely transformed the way Poland viewed its steak. The first ‘new wave’ meat joint in the country, it’s launch lit the fuse for a steak revolution. Now an institution in its own right, this cosmopolitan spot remains one of the most sought out bookings in the capital.

ul. Żurawia 22


Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” Brought to you from the same stable as Rozbrat 20 and Butchery & Wine, the Ferment Group’s latest opening ticks just about every box going. Amid smooth lighting, blond woods, metal fixtures and outbreaks of rich teal colors, visit for a menu based around the concept of ‘fire’. Yes, that means meat. But beyond that, do also anticipate unexpected glories such as quail Scotch eggs and grilled Fine de Claire oysters. It’s all

BEST of WA R S AW 2020

Insider Approved: Best of Warsaw WINNER 2020!


Eat! listings stonkingly brilliant. ul. Ząbkowska 29 (Centrum Praskie Koneser)


Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” Already firmly embedded in the hearts of the surrounding community (and beyond), this local champion has long been hailed by foodies for a menu that offers an atavistic joyride through primal, caveman pleasures: if there’s a better chateaubriand being served in Poland then we’ve yet to find it. Set inside a monochrome-floored, white-tiled interior adorned with an azure-colored neon and graphic illustrative wall art depicting tasty farmyard animals, it does more than simply serve our favorite meaty cuts; it makes the neighborhood feel complete. ul. Walecznych 64

original Mokotow venue. Complete with a beautifully shaded pavement terrace, you can’t help but suspect the move has worked in their favor. Opening themselves to an entirely new audience in the center, this cult venue looks set to last on account of the skilled cooking of Thanawat Na Nagara. More on this soon! ul.

Oboźna 9


Vivid colors and a busy open kitchen lend the place a happy buzz that lasts through the day, yet despite this many have voiced concerns that Thaisty’s runaway success has come at a cost to the overall quality. Even so, the BBQ skewers remain a good order. Pl. Bankowy 4


russian & ukrainian



Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” In a city where most Thai is overpriced and under-spiced Bangkok Soi are a knight in shining armor. Dispensing entirely of formality, order from a crumpled sheet of paper at the counter before seating yourself in a basic room decorated with Chang beer pennants and Muangthong United football scarves. Replicating the street tastes of Bangkok, what next arrives is a whir of full-throated flavors that you never expected. It’s easy to become hopelessly lost in waves of bliss. Al.

Seemingly designed to make visitors go ‘woah’, Baczewskich is nothing if not a fully-fledged exercise in unrestrained fancy: a composition of plush fabrics, gleaming glassware, framed certificates and contemporary extravagance, the high impact visuals set the tone for a distinguished few hours dining on the cuisine of Old Poland and pre-war Lviv. Though modernized in their look, these are good old-fashioned tastes befitting of the palace that they’re served in. Al. Szucha 17/19

Jana Pawła II 50


One of only a handful of Thai restaurants in Poland to be certified by the international Thai Select organization, Basil & Lime are back after being forced to close their


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

vegan EDAMAME VEGAN SUSHI Sushi without its star ingredient sounds ridiculous, but this

vegan sushi joint manages to out-maneuver its traditional competitors by replacing belowpar fish with fresh, vegetarian produce: pak choy, shiso, avocado, eggplant, oyster mushrooms, asparagus, etc. In HappyCow’s rankings, it scores the highest of the lot. ul. Wilcza 11


Geometric patterns, plant arrangements and the large format illustrative artwork of Dominique A. Faryno decorate Leonardo Verde, an upmarket – but inexpensive – Italian joint. Pizza is the forte, and you’ll see why after ordering the ‘hot romantic’. ul. Poznańska 13


Nothing short of a phenomenon, that they’ve continued to expand in the face of a pandemic illustrates the demand. Now found in Saska Kępa (a cool venue decorated with ‘levitating shelves’), Mokotów (wall art, bamboo and a giant cat), and Muranów (Street Fighter arcade game and a pink surfboard), their fans head here for what many have described as ‘the best noodles in the world!’ Order the spicy miso ramen and you too will become a convert. ul Finlandzka 12 a, ul. Kazimierzowska 43 & Al. Jana Pawła II 52/54


Exceptional in every respect, Youmiko’s tasting menu is one of the undisputed highlights of what’s become known as the vegan square mile. “Our aim,” declares their manifesto, “is to mix traditional Japanese approaches with Polish creativity and surprise you with new textures and flavors.” Mission accomplished. ul. Hoża 62

Eat! listings ice cream FRANK WARSZAWA

Mixing, so they say, French philosophy with New York creativity and Polish heart, a visit to Frank is like happening upon a little, local secret. The pastries are a standout, but you know what, so too is the ice cream. Pastry or ice cream? Spoil yourself: have both. ul. Polna 18/20


Ice Pot finished has long been one of the Insider’s favorite scoop – and they keep getting better. Produced by a true enthusiast, the seasonal flavors and occasionally wacky experiments (mulled wine, apple pie, etc.) never score less than a perfect ten. And if the tastes are a different level, then the service is as well. Hala Gwardii


What is it with Mokotów and ice cream? Amid a hugely competitive field, the wide flavor choice, quality ingredients and loving hand of Jednorożec mark them a notch above their immediate competitors. ul. Narbutta 38


Named in honor of the rainbow that once stood in the center of Pl. Zbawiciela, this vibrant spot occasionally likes to push the envelope when it comes to flavors, but it’s the fruity flavors that seem to work the best: the kiwi mascarpone is another level, as is the apple sorbet. Al. Wyzwolenia 15


Frozen with liquid nitrogen, just watching the process is enough to make customers feel like they’re watching some NASA sponsored experiment. Smoother than midnight velvet, the result sees super creamy classic tastes jazzed up with sprinkles of Lion bar, Gummi Bears and other such greatness. ul. Zwycięzców 11


Made to Italian recipes reputed to be 160-years old (with some personal magic thrown in to boot), Pallone pride themselves on quality ingredients: chocolate from Belgian and Colombia, citrus fruits from Sicily, and the finest cream and milk you’ll find in Poland. There’s nothing too wacky about the flavor choice but the tastes will punch you out. Wow!!! ul. Brzeska 29/31


This Pruszków-based gelateria raised eyebrows earlier this year after it was ranked 42nd in the latest edition of the Gelato Festival World Rankings. Owned by Peter Bertoti, the parlor is no stranger to accolades, having previously scooped domestic awards for its plum and blueberry flavors. ul. Jasna 4B (Pruszków)


Although it looks rather budget-minded, Roszki have won hearts for an offer that’s especially

strong on chocolate-based ice creams. The chocolate habanero comes with a fiery twist and a fan club that extends beyond Muranów’s geographic borders – full marks! ul. Andersa 37


Interesting variations such as coconut & blackberry are well received, but it’s the basics that are truly exceptional: no-one does strawberry better! Made outside of Warsaw by the owner’s parents (and to a recipe coined by the family before the war), the scoops here speak of a true labor of love. ul. Francuska 48


The choice isn’t just vast, it’s sugar-free thanks to their commitment to using natural stevia instead. Few leave with anything but rave reviews, and their cause is furthered by an equally impressive choice of cakes and tarts. It’s a Żoliborz legend – and rightfully so. Al. Wojska Polskiego 41


Known as the vegan square mile on account of its proliferation of vegan restaurants and cafes, it’s no surprise to find a vegan gelato stop (‘vegelato’) opening in the area. Top marks to sugar-free creations such as the mango lass or raspberry & cardamom. ul. Poznańska 26


Drink! First Sip


NOLA ul. Wilcza 43,

ALL THAT JAZZ Step into NOLA for the soul of New Orleans…


kid you not, never before – not once in my whole adult life – has a place divided my thinking in the same way as NOLA. And writing this, I still have no idea if I like it or hate it or absolutely love it. I think it’s the latter, but it’s sent me schizophrenic and that’s the complete and utter truth. So where the hell to even begin?


Review ty creatures; polished-looking expats; friends of the management; and the random kind of people you’d usually find around the corner in places like Kraken. NOLA is fun.


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

been added but otherwise the revisions appear to have halted at a few nips and tucks: vinyl records and cymbals on the walls plus some black and white pictures. Maybe a couple more palm fronds. It looks great, but when even the awning above the entrance looks pretty much identical you begin to question the originality of the concept. WHICH IS… NOLA: as in New Orleans, Louisiana. Jazz! Hedonism! Etcetera! And this is where NOLA shows its capabilities and its genuine potential. The vibe is great – even on a quiet Tuesday evening, you feel something good. That’s as much down to the playful nature of the staff as it is to the diverse band of people that have started to trickle in: pretty young pre-par-

BOTTOM LINE So there’s a little bit to moan about, but then that’s my job. But looking underneath all that, would I return? Absolutely. If they exercised a little more confidence to assert their own identity, then you sense there’s a strong future here – already, they’ve got the atmosphere, the staff, the drinks and the location to really make it work. I hope they do.


THE PLACE Located on the ashes of one of my most favorite bars in recent memory (Koko & Roy, should you ask), it was always going to be a big ask for their successor to pass muster. But I’m not just speaking for myself, I’m speaking for all of the other people who formed part of the riotous, weekend family that gathered in Koko. Given the loyalties that the previous tenant fostered, you’d have hoped that the new incumbents would shake up the sheets and do something fresh – you know, just to start with a clean slate and remove themselves from the shadows of the previous tenant. On that front, I’m not convinced they have. Take the interior as an example: the lights have been dimmed (a lot) and a toilet has

THE DRINKS Say the word Pimm’s to this Englishman and you immediately have his attention – but wait! This isn’t the Brit version that you find served in jugs at Wimbledon and Lord’s, but the NO drink that was born in Napoleon House in the late 1940s: lacking the minty, fruity hit of the stuff you find in Britain, it’s a far simpler jolt involving Pimm’s, gin, 7Up and a sliver of cucumber. There’s no skimping on quality ingredients at NOLA, and you can rest easy that they’re in the right hands – the staff know what they’re doing and they do it very well as proven by their range of other cocktails – Sazerac and exotic creations with names like Absinth Frappe. On the beer front, these are honorably represented by the likes of Blue Moon and more regional breweries. There’s definitely enough here to make you rather happy – and remember that vibe that I mentioned. I repeat, NOLA is fun.


Expats of a certain vintage will recall this address as the home of the Cork Irish Pub, a mythical venue decorated with faux stained glass, sticky floors and antique pictures of Dublin prostitutes. Found a sharp whistle from the Wilanowska Metro, Piwna Beczka hides inside a chipped-looking mixed-use pavilion dating from the PRL period – surrounded by modern office developments, you enter this faded, graffiti clad block with the sense of stepping back in time.



In time for their first anniversary, we swing into Piwna Beczka for an overdue pint...

Welcoming as it actually is, you find yourself sitting inside the courtyard of a dilapidated building surrounded by uncut grass and the distant sounds of kids playing football. Pallets and crates double as tables and chairs, and the place exudes the kind of masculinity that you’d get if a handyman turned his garage into a mancave for his friends to hang out, chuck darts and occasionally hold jam sessions. In a city chockfull with generic options, the originality, character and fundamental warmth of this place is indeed most welcome.


If you’re looking for a hidden local spot or just seek out something unusual then this pub offers three of their own beers as well as a rotating offer from high-caliber craft breweries such as Monsters, Palatum and Markowy – and that’s just on tap. Co-founded by a Fin, look into the fridge for the occasional Finnish beer. With this address also doubling as a shop, expect a generous offer of bottled goodies from Poland’s craft and regional breweries. In our case, we can’t help but call out Darz Bór from Browar Gościszewo – smoky in taste, it’ll bring about memories of summer campfires.


You know how we said this place isn’t unlike visiting a mate’s place? Well, their international friends swing by each Saturday to jam and bring the place alive – ask for their homemade moonshine and you’ll be sure the party will hit the next level. (KD)

Piwna Beczka Niepodległości 19 lok 7


Drink! listings after work classics CENTRAL BAR

The natural focal point of Hala Koszyki is the Central Bar, a long, long space serving microbrews and classic cocktails under a spectacular wrought iron ceiling. Not many places feel as international, and four years after opening it remains one of Warsaw’s top check-ins. Talent spotting doesn’t get any better. ul. Koszykowa 63 (Hala Koszyki)


Looking insta friendly with its interior of brickwork, succulents and marble-topped tables, Dzień I Noc have earned a cult following since opening at the height of the pandemic. Offering authors cocktails and mainstream beers, it offers the promise of a solid night out in these paranoid times. Pl. Mirowski 1


The indoor food hall indoors opens out into a sea of neon signs and a sleek, professional crowd posing for selfies over cocktails. And yes, drinks are every bit as important here as the food. Choose between a craft beer vending station or the two principle bars that bookend the complex: Centrala Bar at one end or the more cocktail-driven Kandela at the other. (E3) ul. Dobra 42, elektrowniapow-


The brollies that dangle teasingly over the terrace are one of Saska’s most photographed sights, but this café earns its visitors by providing ace coffee brewed using Chemex, Aeropress and Drip methods, as well as a range of French crepes, above-average cocktails and a


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

healthy smattering of craft beer. Cool, minimal and reassuringly artistic, it’s a café-bar that feels central to the social function of Saska. ul. Francuska 30

LEGENDS Run by Graham, an ex-embassy bod and devout Everton fan (well, someone has to be), this Brit pub has become the de facto choice when the football is on. Or the rugby. Or the cricket. Or just about any other sport that expats care to watch. Whether it’s the Champions League or Bristol City on a wet, Tuesday night, there’s just no better space for boozy banter while the match unfolds. ul. Emilii Plater 25,


Wozownia brings together a good-looking crowd inside a 200-year-old carriage house whose competent cocktails and cheapy Prosecco keep it busy. Accessed through a discreet pink-lit passage, and decked out with crates of herbs and flowering plants, the courtyard feels like a cool, private realm. Pl.

Trzech Krzyży 16

clubbing LUZTRO

Dark and generally grubby, Warsaw’s most (in)famous club only gets going around about three. As the hours click towards daybreak, the scenes of depravity are like something from Sodom and Gomorrah. Enjoyed by zombies that quite definitely don’t have to be up for work anytime in the next 48 hrs, it’s not just the full-on techno that will leave the brain rattling – it’s the craziest night in Poland! Al. Jerozolimskie 6


Entering this top-floor joint, visitors are hit by a tidal wave of gorgeousness: wall-to-wall with George Clooney lookalikes, off-duty celebrities and catwalk glamor pusses, the carefree hedonism is like something from a film – only tonight, you’re one of the stars. Sod the bank account, you think, bring me champagne: enjoy just that on a terrace deck slung with Edison bulbs, or indoors in an area festooned with deluxe sofas and floor-to-ceiling windows that stare out onto the National Stadium opposite. ul. Wioślarska 6


Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” Almost insane in the scale of its ambition, the multi-floor set up is a big, sexy mash of steel stairs, velvet sofas and industrial add-ons. As for the weekend parties, these are an exercise in excess with all kinds of lunacy breaking out: trapeze artists, sword swallowers, burlesque dancers and more. Leaving, it’s with the senses spinning in a swirl of disbelief. The very definition of debauched decadence, the brilliance is underlined by flawless cocktails and the best-looking crowd in the country. Pl. Konesera 4


Just a smashing night all round: from jazzy singers to funk and soul via a dose of Britpop, the ever likeable Spatif is what Warsaw needs – a place that’s not up its own arse! A labyrinth of pre-war chambers add atmosphere, as does the kind of basement smoking room that encourages obscure chat with indiscriminate strangers. Spatif’s main success lies in replicating the spontaneous feel of a house party that’s spiraled out of control Al.

Ujazdowskie 45

Drink! listings cocktails AURA

Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” Nestled inside a small nook on Hoża, the mousehole dimensions of Aura are tempered by the tall ceilings and Moroccan-style design that’s so cool it found itself featured in Dezeen magazine. Promoting the heavy use of swivelly chrome stools and Persian rugs, the heavy hint of retro glam is balanced out by a crowd that, at times, strays into the head turning category. Find them lapping up a cocktail list firmly zoned around Aura’s collection of bourbons. ul. Hoża 27


Crowd: glam & vampy. The venue: equally so. Occupying the first floor of a pre-war tenement, there’s a magic here that summons the age of F. Scott Fitzgerald – Gatsby would love it. The ace in the pack is a ‘subconscious menu’ from which clients order mystery cocktails based on their scent. ul. Mokotowska 39


The pert and pretty are here, so too the well-groomed modern man, but there’s a balance to the crowd that prevents any whiff of snob. As a bar it feels open-minded, engaging and intelligent, and those are traits that rub off on those present. Drinks – such as the smoking Out Of The Box – are insanely good, and served in a small, high-ceilinged interior busy with framed vintage posters, cyan-colored wallpaper, baffling photos of Lynch-esque scenes and gleaming strainers and shakers. ul. Wojciecha Górskiego 9


With its perfect white colors, the

glass-fronted oblong form of this pearl of interwar modernism has an elegant sophistication to it that’s ravishing to look at. But it becomes even more so out the back. It’s here you’ll find a garden that’s been in-filled with well-spaced wooden decks hiding amid the vegetation and plant life. A garden in the truest sense of the word, the best view is from the balcony on top. Accessed via a glorious spiral staircase, it’s from here you gaze down on the impeccable Saska crowd that gathers below to sip sparkly wines, house lemonades and author’s cocktails. ul. Francuska 2


Posh doesn’t begin to cover it. Clad in smooth marble, natural oak, eye-catching art and soft tan leather, Long Bar imparts a sense of luxury that feels elegantly timeless yet never excessive nor ostentatious. This being part of the venerable Raffles chain, you’d be missing the mark if you ordered anything but their signature Slings – make a night of it by roaring through their ten different versions of this trademark drink. ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 13 (Raffles Europejski Hotel)


Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” Well who doesn’t love a rooftop bar? That’s the setting of Loreta, a bar that channels the spirit of this design-led hotel brand through its funky décor and eclectic art. The terrace, though, is the clincher. As night falls, retreat to a deck signposted by a neon the color of bubblegum pink; here, amid bristling greenery and low-slung seating, join other cocktail hounds enjoying house sips such as the Loreta Cup. ul. Widok 9 (Puro Hotel)


A semi-secret world for those In The Know, find Mr. Oh in one of the Harry Potter towers that prop up Poniatowski Bridge. Dark, decadent and redolent of an after-hours members club, this latest concept from Enio Chłapowski-Myjak (formerly of 6 Cocktails) is firmly on its way to becoming the coolest address in town. Late nights, Asian-themed cocktails and an A-list crowd await. Al. 3 Maja / ul. Kruczkowskiego


Occupying the kind of charismatic gatehouse you’d T R C read about in Dickens, position P T M yourself C Win front of the upstairs ≈ W C fireplace for a celebratory cigar and ≈ C C something tall and lovely: a glass of ≈ T the cocktails are in a class of their ≈ P E own and specifically customized for ≈ S theL season. Spooling, silent Bond P B B films, regular burlesque shows and random decorative monkey figures add an unexpected ‘element of weird’. ul. Wąski Dunaj 20 HE MOST



















Wąski Dunaj 20, 00-256 Warsaw Tel.: +48 225.599.199


Hip and happening, the concept at Reginabar is a wacky amalgam that mixes elements of New York’s V O L Little Italy with China Town next a P i n Y door. The menu rocks, but find it augmented by a dynamic cocktail list that reflects the crazy things happening in Warsaw’s world of drinks: that means, the regular sips aside, ‘magic cocktails’ with names such as Power Spells and Star Dust. Dazzly and mysterious, lap these up in an interior that joins the retro with the avant garde. ul. Koszykowa 1 n





OcatiOns nd


BaB_inzerce_Warsaw.indd 1

12.08.15 20:49


Twenty-one floors high, find The Roof perched on one of Wola’s


Drink! listings newest skyscrapers. Featuring indoor and outdoor seating, the air of sophistication manifests itself by way of inspiring house cocktails (e.g. a Warsaw-themed sarsaparilla), a vampish crowd and a design that feels luxurious, elegant yet tastefully restrained: sleek furnishings and well-deployed plants and spherical lights that never detract from the star attraction: stonking views of the glittering city. Rondo Daszyńskiego 2 (The HUB)


Having recruited some of the top bartenders in Poland, The Roots have a serious artillery on which to rely. So committed is this haunt, its walls are graced by a vast collection of cocktail memorabilia: antique jiggers, shakers, coolers, not to mention an original signed copy of the world’s first cocktail handbook (published: 1862!). ul. Wierzbowa 11


An 80s-themed cocktail bar snuck inside a pocket-sized brick cellar lit with fun, garish neon and pics of the era’s defining legends. Supremely fun, order cocktails named after figures like Cyndi Lauper, Billy Idol and, of course, The Hoff, and enjoy them on a pavement terrace that teems with life and laughter once evening strikes. Poznańska 7


Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” Found in a saucer-shaped building that began life in the 60s as a ticket booth, the retro-inspired Warszawa Powiśle is even better than the cult bar once found here. Polished up, and still touting original features such as power boxes and concrete floors, giant windows and a PRL era neon perched atop of the building, the scene is set for classic cocktails imbibed and enjoyed in a rotunda


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

decorated with vintage tables, velvety poufs, leafy plants and an underlit, marble-topped bar. It’s nothing less than super cool. ul. Kruczkowskiego 3B


Humble and unpretentious, CBM’s rising stock has been reflected by their growing reputation as one of the finest tap bars with a suburban postcode. Split over two levels, as basic as the aesthetic is (screechy chairs and some murals that reference the brewing process), it’s an atmosphere that feels warm and clattery and like a local pub should. Deserving credit for their consistency (a dodgy pint is totally unheard of), look to CBM’s sixteen taps for renegade beers that push frontiers. ul. Andersa 23


Set in the former Communist Party HQ, find Warsaw’s first legitimate multitap bar slotted inside a glass prism hidden amid the solid, socialist era arcades. Drenched in sunlight that comes slanting through the glass walls, queue inside to order from the 15 taps firing out beers from various European craft breweries, before heading out to enjoy a humungous terrace dotted with deckchairs and tables. Watching the sunset while looking out towards the city’s iconic palm tree installations is a pure Warsaw moment. ul. Nowy Świat



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 beers on the go. The two owners, Piotrek and Kuba, take their beer seriously, so do expect plenty of new finds as well as traditional favorites from stalwarts like Artezan and Pinta. ul. Grzybowska 2 (through the side passage)


To plug into the pounding heart of Warsaw’s craft beer scene, look no further than Nowogrodzka. Joining the ranks of the street’s multi-tap bars is Drugie Dno, a three-level space that’s been themed to evoke the look of a disused power station. Sporting rugged brickwork and a scuffed style, the industrialized look has been amped up to the max through the use of steel girders, vintage voltage meters and toilets disguised as elevator shafts. ul. Nowogrodzka 4


Drowned in boisterous babble and general pub racket, the affable Jabbers is home to what most rate as the most adventurous choice of craft beer in the city: pioneering international breweries are well represented, but don’t overlook the sensational drinks produced by Jabeerwocky’s very own master brewer. ul. Nowogrodzka 12


Found somewhere round the top of Warsaw’s hierarchy of craft beer bars, Kufle welcomes all, from entry level novices taking their first steps in the beery world to note-taking nerds conducting research for their blogs. Interiors are respectful of the building’s pre-war heritage and are thick with noise, clamor and the reassuring smell of spillage. The edgy beer selection becomes is even more radical when you look down in the fridge. ul. Nowogrodzka 25

Drink! listings PINTA

Taking the space once occupied by the ill-fated Mikkeller Bar, Pinta’s flagship bears many of the hallmarks of the previous tenant: a pared down Scandi design set across two glass-fronted floors round the back of Chmielna. Featuring plenty of concrete and chunks of shipping containers, the sparsity of the design keeps your attention on the beer – and it’s brilliant. Pinta, if you don’t know, can be considered the founding fathers of Poland’s craft beer scene, and this bar gives their portfolio the attention it deserves. ul. Chmielna 7/9


For those living on the city’s right

side, Raj Piwosza became a legend of the lockdown – an off-license and general lifeline selling an emphatic choice of craft beers, niche wines and other artisanal liquid somethings. Perhaps driven by the discovery of the area’s thirst for their offerings, they’ve gone another step by launching a bar with a similarly exhaustive selection of drinkies. Set in a newish residential development on the frontline of Grochów, Gocław, Saska Kępa, it’s a sure bet to become a neighborhood essential.

and rough plaster walls, Same Krafty have rescued Old Town from big beer brands peddling piss. Offering artisan alternatives, this intimate bar lures daring tourists looking to explore the more subversive side of Polish brewing. Too busy? Head five meters opposite to Same Krafty Vis-à-vis. You will find tourists, but locals are often the majority, a telling indicator that says much for their approval rating. ul. Nowomiejska 10



ul. Bora-Komorowskiego 56A

Squashed into two narrow, rugged rooms decorated with benches

dive bars Sat in the abandoned backspaces and brickyards behind Zachodnia


Drink! listings 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. ul. Tunelowa 2B


For the highest condensation of bars in the capital head to ‘the pavilions’, a collection of ramshackle drinking cabins, shot bars and sheesha lairs inside a tight grid of shadowy back alleys. 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 and chaos. Find them through the passageway at Nowy Świat 26.


Located opposite a mural of a giant goose and a gaudy statue of retro football star Kazimierz Deyna, this wreck announces its intention from the off with a piece of graffiti over the bar declaring that, “this is not a f***ing cocktail bar”. Despite the somewhat threatening slogan, it’s a place of amiable anarchy and warm camaraderie. The neo Berlin aesthetic sits well with a crowd composed of maverick artists, local radicals and volunteers from Poland’s first ‘democratic’ football club, AKS ZŁY. ul. Brzeska 16


For Praga at its craziest and most creative, Praska doesn’t disappoint. Beers from Brooklyn Brewery keep the open-minded crowd lubricated with other amusements arriving in


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

the form of regular DJs and a quite extraordinary interior: Christmas lights, giant, toy tigers, heaps of plants and other scrapyard finds dominate what rates as our weirdest discovery of 2019. ul.

Brzeska 23


Long and narrow, dark and murky, it’s as raw as they come: toilets of grubby menace, a smoking room clad in spray can art, broken fittings and general gloom. Basically, it’s everything you demand from the last bar of the night – a place where you can slide into the shadows and watch the world spin around. (E7) ul. Marszałkowska 17


Somewhere, buried beneath the Persian rugs, dusty velvety drapes and wobbling antiques, you may find a bar. On your way, obstacles in this louche dive may include vodka fueled grans, script-writing beatniks and the trumpet tooting members of the Bum Bum Orchestra. Expect the unexpected. ul. Ząbkowska 6

late night legends BAR PACYFIK

Seemingly based upon the kind of Tijuana dive bar you’d have happened upon during the Miami Vice era, Pacyfik is all candy floss pink and shades of teal: a raw-looking den that looks purposefully imperfect. Keeping the hip international crowd on the wrong side of drunk are kick-ass drinks such as their Clamado Michelada or Kimchi Bloody Mary – three sips and you think you’re Superman. ul. Hoża 61


The dehumanizing scale of the Palace of Culture is diluted in warmer weather when Pl. Defilad turns into something of an outdoor party thanks to Bar Studio’s presence – and no worries if it rains, the epic colonnades were built as if to provide shelter from the storm. And with no nearby neighbors to ruin the party, it’s just about one of the only places in Warsaw where noise is never an issue – scream and no-one cares. Pl. Defilad 1


Somewhere, amid all the junk relating to the Lebanese conflict (grenades, sandbags, ammo boxes, a rocket…), you’ll find the spirit of Poznańska contained within this long, skinny bar. As fashionable now as it was when it opened, forget not to finish the evening in their connecting venture, the Pirates of the Caribbean-style Kraken Rum Bar. Everybody else does at some stage or other, with evenings often dissolving into a wild, happy whirl of international voices. ul. Poznańska 12


Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” Looking good with a design that’s startlingly simple yet beautifully composed, think raw materials, steel frames and a vast, green fleet of tumbling plants. The F&B ain’t bad either with Latin American street bites and a dynamic cocktail list involving exotica such as chili mango margaritas. Most of all though, it’s the atmosphere you return for. ul. Wilcza 9A


Up the stairs you go to enter Gram, a small room that invokes feelings of stepping inside a circus Big Top. Order up a craft beer from

Drink! listings the fridge before making your way around the arcade games and pinball machines squeezed inside – come on, there’s not much to beat the feeling of outscoring your date on Space Invaders and Pac-Man. Between turns, count the number of monkey figures parachuting from the ceiling... ul. Marszałkowska 45/49

live entertainment HYDROZAGADKA / CHMURY Set out in the wildlands of Praga, consider this pair of neighboring venues as the definition of unforced cool. Known for their alternative music scene, the low-ceilings and their tight, crowded confines generate an electrifying atmosphere where the audience and band become one. Walking a fine line between industrial and straight out decrepit, the ambiance is second to none: drinks flow, strangers meet and music smashes out – you can feel something special happening here. ul. 11 Listopada 22


Scuzzy and a bit seamy, this alt. performance venue gives Warsaw an interesting, if not utterly random direction with an events schedule that involves spoken word performances, vegan BBQs, old skool rave nights and hardcore gigs from bands with names like Cancer Bats and Moscow Death Brigade. They’ve had bingo nights, as well – hosted by Charlotte Drag Queer. In a city that’s always felt a little lacking in the ‘live’ department, Pogłos punches past sensibility to present evenings that are raw, uncompromising and always high on action. ul. Burakowska 12


Now positioned inside a corner of the PWC office building just south of Zbawiciela, the upgrade in surrounds hasn’t been to the detriment of the atmosphere of old – they’ve retained that leftfield spirit thanks to flexi hours, a commitment to obscure sounds, and a well-spaced interior that references their former venue through its decadent color scheme and wall of favored musicians. The air of friendly, unforced cool is unmatched in the city! aleja Armii

Ludowej 14


H.P. Lovecraft would love it. Decorated with replica skulls (400 reckons the owner!), this place is nothing if not a passionate celebration of the beautiful and bizarre. Burlesque shows are their specialty, but at other times don’t be too shocked to stumble in on meetings with private detectives, seminars by criminal profilers or gigs by bands with names such as Bipolar Order. Crazy, brilliant, etc., and ideal for a night with a difference. ul. Bagatela 10

specialty coffee COFFEEDESK

Looking flawless in her pearl white colors, Coffeedesk is a place that does it right. Brewed by expert coffeeologists, the humble cup of Joe becomes an object of adoration. Populated round-theclock by head-phoned freelancers and digital nomads tapping into their Macs, it’s a light, bright spot with a dynamic style and a keen sense of sexy. ul. Wilcza 42


Already established thanks to an uber-cool location on Wilcza, discover their latest outpost sitting on gloriously restored pre-war Próżna. Featuring brick finishes, warm woods and elegant lighting, the commitment to quality is underlined by a wall of coffee ephemera, a pair of La Marzocco machines and a glassed-in coffee lab set aside for trainings and workshops. ul. Próźna 7


The phrase three’s a crowd could have been coined with Cophi in mind. Its super-snug dimensions are ideal for an afternoon spent curled up on an armchair watching the leaves tumble down on Hoża outside. A passion project whose small footprint is counterbalanced by the depth of its offer, the living room vibe mounts when the temperatures start dropping and the interiors act as a beacon to the public. Note: currently open for window-side take-outs only. ul. Hoża 58/60


Already established on Hoża as one of Warsaw’s favorite sources of specialty coffee, Cophi have cast their net a little further (and we mean a little – as in 500 meters or so) to cover Lwowska. And what a gem it is: personally designed by Uri, the owner, find a bijou space lavished in shades of candy cotton pink and rich, forest green; finished with a healthy, heavy dose of fresh wood, poster art and patterned floor tiles, it’s a place you’d like to hang around in. ul. Lwowska 2A


Attached to one of the hippest, most Instagram-able barber shops in town, highlights of this adjoining cafe include a rocking cold brew,


Drink! listings wickedly friendly staff and a halfmad collection of toy action figures (from Simpson models to a bad ass Al Pacino in full Scarface mode!). Tiny in its footprint, what it lacks in size it makes up for in heart: find a beauty of an interior that’s all swan white colors with walls graced by bookshelves and contemporary art that references Muranów’s past. ul.

Andersa 6


Launched in 2007 by Konrad Konstantynowicz, Filtry was the original specialty coffee café, a groundbreaking operation that led by example. Enjoy your coffee in a high-ceilinged unit clad in chess board colors and scuffed PRL flooring – considered by the city’s coffee afficionados as a place of pilgrimage, the responsibility falls to us to ensure it’s still standing when this lunacy ends. ul. Niemcewicza 3


Born with Instagram in mind, Forum has it all: super cool Afro-haired staff, a fashionably frayed interior, and a devoted client base that’s all about out-sized headphones and razor-thin laptops. Changing weekly, the big pull is a menu of specialty coffees from acclaimed roasters such as Five Elephant and The Coffee Collective fixed up by Poland’s AeroPress and Brewers Cup champion. ul.

Elektoralna 11


This neighborhood café offers a human touch in an area filling itself with gleaming glass blocks and gated compounds. Acting as a magnetic force, the homemade nitro machine (“I just like making things,” says the owner), is a thing of legend. ul. Łucka 18


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021


An evergreen institution, the specialty coffee at Relaks commands respect across Poland. Jacketed in chipboard panels and retro posters, the buzz has lasted so long as to become ingrained in their DNA. ul. Puławska 48


Set in the heart of Stare Bielany – an attractive, inter-war development not dissimilar to the leafier parts of Saska and Żoliborz – there’s something about Roślina that everyone loves. Using their shoestring budget to maximum effect, the plant-filled, concrete interior feels social and creative, though to catch the last of summer heard to the magical little garden. ul. Schroegera 80


Heaven for freelancers and people watchers, visitors bask in natural light amid outbreaks of greenery and quirky design touches: over some of the best specialty coffee in the city, time runs away here and before you know it hours have passed. Though it feels like a neighborhood warrior, it comes as no surprise that Stor’s patrons hail from all over Warsaw. ul. Tamka 33

wine bars ALE WINO

Summers here are magical, with drinkers congregating on a courtyard deck shielded from the sun by a slanted white sail; but winters aren’t too shabby either – lose yourself within a warren of warmly-lit rooms that feel snug, intimate and even a little rustic. The choice of 250 plus wines is supported by some of the best cooking in the city. ul. Mokotowska 48


Despite sounding like a 1980s Essex nightclub, find this bistro locked inside an eternal state of romance. A charismatic assembly of rickety crates, Tolix chairs and deep forest greens, this compact space is ripe for dating. Order a glass of bubbles before plunging into a menu inspired by the slow food philosophyľ. Pl. Piłsudskiego 9


Deeply relaxing in its own quietly fashionable manner, the setting pairs well with a crowd that’s professional, sophisticated and impeccably turned-out. With the name referring to the colors of the German flag, you’d be right to expect a wine list that offers a deep dive into German wines. The menu, too, isn’t to be sniffed out – the wafer thin Flammkuchen are fab. ul.

Koszykowa 49A


The archetypal all-rounder, Dyletanci has it all: an approachable bistro style; adventurous cooking; and a wine list with no discernible Achilles Heel. Burgundy is a particular strength, as too are Polish wines (including those from the proprietor’s own vineyard, the upcoming Dom Bliskowice). ul.

Rozbrat 44


Formerly a restaurant serving pre-war cuisine, Rausz na Wilczej used the pandemic to reposition themselves as a wine store / bar, building on their previous reputation for sourcing quirky labels you wouldn’t have necessarily heard of before. “In general,” says co-owner Izabela, “we want to present wines we drink ourselves from regions that are interesting and well worth knowing.” ul. Wilcza 27



Treasured by young and old alike, the miniature park has again returned to action…



a range of meticulously detailed 1:25 scale models of some of the city’s no longer existing buildings. Showcasing the lost architectural gems that earned Warsaw its reputation as ‘the Paris of the East’, visitors can once again get up close to such treasures as the Saski Palace, the wooden Summer Theater that once stood in Saski Gardens, the Great Synagogue demolished after the Jewish Ghetto Uprising and, even, the

city’s first shopping center. Designed to withstand all weather conditions, the devil is in the detail. Each building takes the team of historians, architects and 3D printing boffins months to create with the bulk of the time taken by painstaking background research. With each model typically weighing 100 to 120 kilograms, and built from the same material used in Lego bricks, the attention to specifics is staggering; even the


aving enjoyed numerous short and not-so-short residences in various addresses around the city, Warsaw’s much-loved Park Miniatur is back in business, this time at a new open-air location bang in the heart of the center. Settling for a three-year lease on the corner of Świętokrzyska and Marszałkowska, this remarkable labor of love presents


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

Park Miniatur Corner of Świętokrzyska and Marszałkowska, Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.,

roofs are made from genuine roofing material such as copper. The aim, says the management, isn’t to just show what the city lost as a result of the war, but to highlight the stories of the people and the places that once made Warsaw such a ravishing gem. All the more powerful for being juxtaposed against the soaring sight of looming cranes and modern skyscrapers, this collection of miniature marvels must be seen to be believed.

Each building takes the team of historians and architects months to create with the bulk of the time taken by painstaking research


Back To The 70s

A new exhibition reveals the unseen side of Praga’s past…


ffering a compelling glimpse into the past, a new exhibition has opened in the Praga Museum to provide a photographic portrait of the everyday lives of the locals in the 1970s. Born in 1939, Albert Krystyniak moved with his family to Warsaw’s eastern suburb after the war, and spent his childhood growing up amid the district’s shattered tenements. Years later, he returned to his former stamping grounds to document the Praga of his youth. Using a Pentacon Six


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

camera, Krystyniak shot around 260 photographs between 1973 and 1976, many of which captured normal, mundane scenes: kids playing games, neighborly conversations and so forth. Offering a sympathetic insider’s view of Praga, his images portray both the poverty and camaraderie that came to define this maligned area, as well as the changes and transformations that were starting to take root. Cited as an early example of street photography in its rawest form, around 80 of Krystyniak’s images have been selected for the purposes of this exhibition,

and they’ve been supplemented by a series of archival materials that reveal the efforts that were undertaken to breathe new life into what was then a roughand-tumble area. Connecting the past with the present, many of the topics broached remain relevant to this day, with the exhibition confronting questions such as how to heal degraded urban tissue. An absorbing testimony to a bygone era, it’s an exhibition that captivates and draws you inside the social complexities of this of this often misunderstood part of Warsaw.


Praga Museum ul. Targowa 50/52,

The Museum of Delights

New book uncovers Łazienki’s galaxy of delights…


nchanting visitors since its inception, a new book has sought to capture the treasures and magic of Łazienki in a way previously unseen. Praising it in her review, Dr. Weronika Kostecka, a lecturer at the Faculty of Polish Studies

of the University of Warsaw wrote: “Anyone who has been on a walk in the Royal Łazienki Park knows that this park is like a book full of intriguing riddles, clues and surprises. Yes, Łazienki can be read: every alley and sculpture, every garden, pavilion and building has its own individual story.” Filled with beautiful pictures, it’s not short on trivia and stories that enable readers to discover the extraordinary phenomena of King Stanisław August’s former residence. Authored by Anna Zajda, Agnieszka Palińska and Zofia Zaccaria, find the palace and its gardens come alive with drawings and descriptions of its trees, shrubs and flowers, as well as insects, birds and animals. These include the peacocks that pose for photographs, huge carp lurking in the ponds, the butterflies found perching in the lavender flowerbeds and, of course, the squirrels that wait eagerly for tourists carrying nuts. And neither is there a shortage of curiosities. Armed with this book, readers will learn where to view furniture carved with duck-shaped legs, a rare clock featuring a bird, a vase for storing ice cream and chocolates decorated with the royal monogram and a best-before date of 1795. Available in Polish and English versions, the “Museum of Delights! A Pictorial Guide to the Royal Łazienki” can be purchased in the museum shop (or in their e-shop) for PLN 45. Find the store open from Tuesday to Thursday from 10 a.m. until 3.45 p.m. or from Friday to Sunday between 10 a.m. and 5.45 p.m.


learning preschools AMERICAN SCHOOL OF WARSAW

warsaw montessori family

Warsaw Montessori Schools

Students aged 3-5 are encouraged to try new things, ask questions, and take risks in a nurturing environment in which they learn life skills alongside academics. Following the Primary Years Programme (PYP), our young students become caring, active participants in a lifelong journey of learning. Contact admissions@aswarsaw.

Accepting applications for our programs and locations: Infant & Toddler Tatrzańska 5a Badowska 19

Casa dei Bambini Badowska 19 Szkolna 16, Hornówek



A values-driven school offering a world-class education based on the best of British Education. BSW is the first school in Poland to be accredited as Compliant by the Council of British International Schools (COBIS). Based in a purpose built premises in Wilanow BSW is accepting applications from Nursery to Year 9. Please email admissions@ to organise a visit.

Szwoleżerów 4

„Erdkinder” Middle School Tatrzańska 5a


Montessori High School

Pytlasińskiego 13a Contact Office: 692 099 134 68

Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

reklama montessori 1/3_46x206.indd 1

The British School Warsaw provides EYFS classes from nursery to Year 1 (6 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

18.12.2018 12:32

lifelong learner. ul. Dąbrowskiego

84 (Early Years Centre), tel. 22 646 7777,


Welcoming students from the ages of 2.5 to 6 years old, currently 45% of their admissions are international students. The dedicated, IB-trained teachers deliver an innovative program (PYP) in English designed for modern world needs. The program offers a combination of Literacy, Maths, Social Studies, Science, Physical Education, Art, Music & Rhythmics, French and Polish classes. ul. Ignacego Krasickiego 53,

tel. 697 979 100,


(multiple locations) Casa dei Bambini and Toddler School have three 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 12 months to 6 years of age. ul. Badowska 19, ul. Tatrzańska 5a (Mokotów), ul. Szkolna 16, (Izabelin), tel. 692 099 134,


Established in 1994, The Trilingual

School of Warsaw offers nursery, primary, and pre-school education with an international curriculum for children aged from one to 15. The full immersion trilingual setting allows for the choice between English, Polish, Spanish or Chinese, French or Japanese. Teachers are highly-qualified native speakers from the US, France, Spain, China and Japan. ul. Nobla 16 (tel. 501 036 637),

ul. Karowa 14/16 (tel. 503 072 119), ul. Krolowej Aldony (tel. 533 321 084),,

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 call Justyna Nowak on tel. 784 037 808 or email: jnowak@ ul. Pływiańska 14a, tel. 22 843 9370,

& Art program, with a natural playground and a strong focus on an ecological & healthy lifestyle. They have two classes: a toddler group (15 to 30 months) and a casa class (2.5 to 6 years). ul. Piechoty Łanowej 46A (entrance from Rotmistrzowska/ Petyhorska), tel. 531 599 444,


Maple Tree Montessori is a family-run, international preschool that offers an authentic Montessori curriculum supported by a Music


An intimate, international, English-speaking preschool located in

Admissions open for Early Years, Primary, Secondary and IB

Contact our Admissions Team for a tour or a personalised Virtual Discovery Meeting (0048) 22 842 32 81 ext. 125


Powsin that follows the Montessori philosophy which emphasizes the individuality of each child. Children from the ages of 1.5-years-old to 6-years-old are welcome, with the school’s goals aimed at facilitating the individual development of the child, both physical and mental, through a system that is focused on the spontaneous use of the human intellect. ul. Przyczółkowa 140, tel. 728

939 582,



Akademeia High School is an academically selective international school in Warsaw, offering iGCSEs and A Levels whilst preparing students for the best universities in the world. The staff body consists of alumni of the world’s best universities, whilst facilities at what has become Poland’s most

prestigious school include an art studio, auditorium, sports hall and roof garden. ul. Ledóchowskiej 2,



With over 50 nationalities, ASW has been welcoming students from around the world since 1953. As an IB Continuum school, our students follow the PYP, MYP and DP throughout their learner journey. These programmes develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who are motivated to succeed. They are inspired by our highly qualified and international teaching staff. Students graduate with either the IB diploma or an American high school diploma. All programs are conducted in English, with integrated EAL support for non-native speakers. Contact: or 22 702 85 00, ul. Warszawska 202 (Konstancin-Jeziorna),

A values-driven school offering a world-class education based on the best of British Education. BSW is the first school in Poland to be accredited as Compliant by the Council of British International Schools (COBIS). Based in a purpose built premises in Wilanow BSW is accepting applications from Nursery to Year 9. Please email admissions@ to organise a visit .


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

monnet international school


IB World School no 001483


's ton B g n i d LU Pad EN'S C EN LDR CHI OW OP N

Education for a better world

Belwederska 6a, Warsaw

Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

community: from Primary through to the Secondary Key Stages to the IGCSE examinations and a well-established International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program. ul. Limanowskiego 15, tel. 22 842 3281,


The English Primary is designed specifically for children in the primary education ages, just as children experience in England but in an international community. Pupils are taken through the key learning stages so that they can achieve to the best of their ability through a fun learning experience. The Core Curriculum subjects include English, Phonics, Science, Mathematics, French, PE and Swimming, Music, Personal, Social and Health Education. ul. Rzodkiewki 18, tel. 784

037 808,


Located on two campuses in the Mokotów this is the only authorized IB School with PYP programs taught in English and Polish. French is taught as a third language. Offers a wide range of extra activities, a summer school, and employs a full time psychologist. Provision is made for additional Polish and English support. International staff, cultural events and challenging student initiatives create the perfect learning environment. ul. Bełska 7, tel. 692

411 573 / 885 420 044, secretary@ or secretary.


Established in 1994, The Trilingual School of Warsaw offers nursery, primary, and pre-school education with an international curriculum for children aged from one to 15. The full immersion trilingual setting allows for the choice between English, Polish, Spanish or Chinese,

French or Japanese. Teachers are highly-qualified native speakers from the US, France, Spain, China and Japan. ul. Nobla 16 (tel. 501 036

637), ul. Karowa 14/16 (tel. 503 072 119), ul. Krolowej Aldony (tel. 533 321 084),,


Treating pupils with mutual respect but not at the expense of being demanding, the methods used are hard on the problem but soft on the person. Taking into account what students think, feel, learn and want for themselves and their world, Joy Primary teaches important life skills as well as respect, care for others, problem solving and co-operation. Here, children are challenged to discover their abilities and competences, while encouraged to explore personal strength and autonomy. ul. Syta 131A, tel. 722

305 333,

Accepting applications for Nursery to Year 9 +48 221 110 062 ul. Hlonda 12, Warsaw


MONNET INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL Located in Mokotów, the Monnett is the only school in Poland that implements the International Baccalaureate Program from kindergarten level all the way through to secondary school. The fully-qualified staff are committed to delivering only the highest standards of education. ul. Stępińska 13, tel. 22 852 06 08,


Warsaw Montessori High School aims to teach students the values which Maria Montessori outlined in her educational philosophy such as: responsibility for one’s own development, care for others, honesty, empathy, and service. The school continues to meet the principles of Maria Montessori through implementing the IB Diploma Program principles and practices. Warsaw Montessori High School is an authorized IB World School for the Diploma Programme – code 061201. ul. Pytlasińskiego 13A, tel.

787 095 835,


A leader in the field of Montessori education, well-trained teachers guide students to independent and successful learning with both English and bilingual classroom provided. Located just steps from Łazienki Park the school resides in vibrant surroundings near to museums, embassies and natural settings which provide students with learning outside the classroom. ul. Szwoleżerów 4 (grades 0-4), tel. 608 488 420,


Guided by trained specialists, students are responsible for managing their household, operating small businesses, caring for local flora and fauna as well as domesticated animals, taking charge of the younger children and much more. “Adolescence Program” activities, integrated with academic studies, help students discover their inner strength to meet real life challenges. ul.

Tatrzańska 5A (grades 5-8), tel. 604 137 826,


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

shopping accessories EYEBAR

At Eyebar the expert team meets needs through their perfect eyebrow care and makeup products. If you dream about having the perfect brows, their sets are available from Eyebar salons or online at our website.


Widely hailed by Poland’s fashion glossies, this store sells modern furnishings with all the trimmings and colors you could ask for. ul.

Narbutta 83 (entry from ul. Łowicka)


Lekko offer four specialized oils that are strong but gentle and sharpen the senses. Using CBD extracts, they strongly focus on concepts

of self-care and wellbeing. made from the highest quality crops and sourced from farms run in accordance with the principles of sustainable agriculture, all products are approved by verified labs.


Valuing traditional craftsmanship and the finest materials, Mandel’s mission is to add ‘a classy touch to every story’. This they do with clothing suited to all occasions and every personality. ul. Nowogrodzka 18A,


Brands: Alexnadre Birman, Alexandre Vauthier, Aquazzura, Balmain, Beach Bunny, Burberry, Buscemi, Casadei, Christian Louboutin, Cult Gaia, Francesco Russo, Gianvito Rossi, Golden Goose, Herve Leger, Isabel Marant, Kenzo, Maison Michel, Marc Jacobs, Manolo Blahnik, Moncler, OneTeaspoon, Self-Portrait, Tod’s, Tory Burch, Victoria Beckham, Yves Salomon, Zimmermann. ul. Moliera 2,


Brands: Beach Bunny, Buscemi, Canada Goose, Casadei, Christian Louboutin Men, Dsquared2, Fay, Gianvito Rossi, Hogan, Kenzo, Moncler, Mr & Mrs Italy, OTS, Ralph Lauren, Tod’s, Tom Ford, Tory Burch, Valentino, Yves Salomon. Pl. Trzech Krzyży 3/4,

shopping experiences ARKADIA

Not many Polish malls do it better. Stores inc. Mango, Lacoste, Guess, Hilfiger and Peek & Cloppenburg. Al.

Jana Pawła II 82,


Four levels of high end fashion, with Woolrich, Mason’s, Lardini, Boglioli, Borelli and Seventy all represented.


One of Warsaw’s latest mall counts Armani Jeans, Liu-Jo and Pandora amongst its upmarket tenants. ul. Puławska 2,


Set in Poland’s former censorship office, the line-up includes Scandinavian fashion in Cos, shoes from My Paris, unconventional fashion from Nenukko and more. ul. Mysia 3,


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. ul. Bracka 9,


Over 200 stores, restaurants and cafes, plus the Multikino cinema and the Pure Jatomi Health and Fitness Club. ul. Złota 59,

ul. Mokotowska 63,


Offering year-round discounts ranging from 30-70%, discover over 130 designer brands within a stunning complex designed to effect the look of Warsaw’s Baroque historic center. Labels include Lacoste, Made in M (with MaxMara, Marella, Max&Co. and Pennyblack), Marc O’Polo, Swarovski, Tous and Twinset. ul. Puławska 42E, design-


Stores inc. Calvin Klein, Hollister, Hugo Boss, New Balance, Royal Collection and Timberland. ul.

Wołoska 12,


Białołęka’s first major shopping center includes Poland’s first outpost of Hamley’s, as well as stores such as Forever 21, Lagerfeld and Guess. ul. Światowida 17,


Warsaw’s original luxury shopping center has a line-up of top boutiques that include Max Mara, Paul & Shark and Pinko. ul. Okopowa 58/72,



Warsaw’s rich history and cultural significance has left it with no shortage of museums to visit. Offering a well-rounded view of the city’s past and present, these are the seven you just shouldn’t miss… FRYDERYK CHOPIN MUSEUM

The 18th century Ostrogski Palace is the perfect foil for the ultra-modern content of this multi-sensory space. The personal items are captivating (his death mask, gifts from his muse, etc.), but the big victory here is the museum’s ability to suck visitors right back into the times of Chopin through the use of interactive sights and sounds. ul. Okólnik 1, chopin.



A deeply personal insight into the former system by allowing visitors to view what Communism meant to the everyday person. Here, rifle and


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

rummage through a room mockedup to resemble a typical household apartment, watch propaganda films, peer inside a phone box, paw at vintage keep-fit gear or covet the ladies fashions of the time. Detailed in its captions, witty in its presentation and comprehensive in its content, it is a place where normal items such as aftershave bottles, postcards, clothing and crude household appliances are allowed to shine on a totem and tell their own story. A haven of trinkets and collectibles, its small size belies its utter magic. ul.

Piękna 28/34,


Reprised as a maze-like treasure filled trove glimmering with

curiosities, thousands of objects have been gathered here to detail the story of Warsaw in a non-linear style that can at times feel overwhelming. Peculiar souvenirs, scale models, old postcards and recovered works of art all combine with a mass of trivia to leave visitors boggled with knowledge. The vertiginous views of the Rynek below are worth the admission alone. Rynek Starego Miasta 28-42,


Famed for its collection of Dutch and Flemish masters, it’s also the final word in Polish art, with all the greats represented – inc. Matejko, Witkiewicz and other such stars.

That’s reason enough for many, but for others the museum’s ace card was revealed at the end of 2017 with the opening of the Gallery of Polish Design. Offering a full 360 view of Polish 20th century applied arts, it’s an aesthetic joy featuring everything from iconic PRL era wall units and tulip chairs to kitschy toys and gizmos. Frankly, it’s a stunning museum that just keeps getting better – though delayed by covid, the start of the year saw the world class Gallery of Ancient Art added to the mix. Featuring 1,800 ancient relics, papyrus scrolls, Iranian golden masks and even an Egyptian mummy! Al. Jerozolimskie 3,


Playing a key role in the government’s attempts to fuse socialist ideology with consumerism, the campaign to ‘neon-ize’ Poland saw gloomy cities still bearing the scars of war boldly gleam once more under lights designed and produced by many of the leading

artisans of the time. Salvaged from the scrapheap (in many instances, literally), this museum was created by Ilona Karwinska and David Hill who inadvertently kickstarted a nationwide trend and reignited the country’s appetite for neon. Housing several dozen neons that once lit up Poland, these renovated signs make for Warsaw’s coolest attraction: Instagram them now! ul. Mińska 25 (Soho Factory),


Composed of eight galleries, this architectural marvel covers different stages of local Jewish history, from the middle ages to the present day. Highlights of this museum include a staggeringly beautiful replica of the ceiling of Gwoździec synagogue, and a ‘remake’ of a typical inter-war Jewish Warsaw street. That it was named the European Museum of the Year in 2016 such much for its ambitions to focus on more than the Holocaust alone. ul.

Anielewicza 6,


If the throngs and sheer informational overload can often be daunting, it remains the most important museum in the capital, and quite arguably the country. Points of interest are rife and include a life-size replica of a B-24 Liberator plane as well as a claustrophobic ‘sewage tunnel’ through which visitors squeeze to get an idea of the kind of conditions combatants once faced. But it’s not the A-list sights that make the biggest impact, rather the smaller, highly personal curios: a pair of wedding bands forged from bullets; an Omega watch, it’s hands frozen at the same moment a bomb killed its owner; and a lucky cuddly mascot made from a German overcoat. Of course, the aftermath is also covered in heartrending detail and concludes with a 3D film that takes viewers swooping over the smoldering ruins of the capital. ul. Grzybowska



museums CAR MUSEUM

Home to over 300 vehicles, displays include WWII trucks and tanks, a Ford Thunderbird, Russian-made Volgas, Wałęsa’s bullet-proof Volvo, a ZIS 110 Cabriolet once used to carry Yuri Gagarin, and Gierek’s Cadillac Fleetwood. ul. Warszawska 21 (Otrębusy)

Marie SkłodowskaCurie Museum


A visual pleasure that showcases colorful costumes, fabrics and ceramics from Poland and beyond. And those assuming an ethnographic museums lack punch are in for a surprise: exhibitions are brilliant in their scope, wit and quirkiness and have included explorations of the Disco Polo genre, Hungarian erotica, iconic streetwear, etc.ul. Kredytowa



Zachęta National Art Gallery

This small venue tells the complex story of Old Town’s reconstruction: if the first section about Warsaw’s physical elimination is poignant, then the others do a fabulous job of sharing the optimism and alacrity that followed. ul. Brzozowa 11-13,


Officially opened in 1947 the Jewish Historical Institute was created to serve as an archive of Jewish culture in Warsaw. It contains artwork, historical artifacts and important documents from the city’s rich Jewish past. ul. Tłomackie 3/5,

Copernicus Science Centre


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021


Formerly found inside PKiN, this beautiful treasure features spectacularly crafted doll houses that provide

a stunning ‘freeze frame’ into the past. Now, the collection has been boosted by the addition of toys and games, many of which are from the PRL era. ul. Krzywe Koło 2/4


The Praga Museum tells the story of the area with such charm and simplicity that it manages to leave an unlikely impression that’s as punchy as that of the big institutions. Star billing goes to a restored Jewish prayer room and the Flying Carpet: an exhibit festooned with various trinkets and treasures once available for purchase from local pavement traders. ul. Targowa 50/52,


An excellent multimedia exhibition set next to a cemetery holding the graves of 1,700 Poles executed in the first years of Nazi occupation. The museum tells their forgotten story as well as that of the siege and subsequent occupation of Warsaw. Palmiry,


What was once a Tsarist prison assumed a doubly sinister function under the Nazis. Some 100,000 Polish political prisoners were held here, 37,000 of which were executed on-site. Split in two sections, cells are found on one side, while on the other the full story of the invasion and occupation. ul. Dzielna 24/26


The Polish Vodka Museum features five thematic rooms that do a slick and entertaining job of documenting the national tipple. Highpoints number a smart collection of salvaged bottles and an interactive room in which visitors learn can test their knowledge on a quiz machine and strap on some trippy goggles to experience the effects of being

completely sloshed. Pl. Konesera 1,


Highlights include the lavishly restored 18th century royal apartments with 22 paintings by Canaletto, the Senators’ Chamber in which the Constitution of the Third of May was signed, the biggest collection of oriental rugs in Europe and two remarkable Rembrandt paintings. Pl. Zamkowy 4,


Inside, find 200 scale models of locomotives and steam engines, some beautifully detailed model villages and all kinds of train related ephemera: clocks, timetables, uniforms, etc. Top billing goes to a 1942 German armored artillery train, and the walnut-clad personal wagon once used by Poland’s first post-war leader, Bolesław Bierut. ul. Towarowa 3,


Zillions of interactive exhibits allow visitors to experience an earthquake, walk on the moon, look at the world through the eyes of a snake and discover if your partner’s a good liar – and that’s the tip of the iceberg. ul. Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 20


Thought to date from 1905, Warsaw’s Fotoplastikon generates 3D perspectives from a set of 2D images: visitors peer through an eyepiece and are taken on a trip around the world while music from days yore parps away in the background. Al. Jerozolimskie 51,


Ghosting around the city, the spectacular miniature park now has a new home! Find magnificently detailed 1:25 scale models of Warsaw’s vanished, pre-war architectural treasures. ul. Marszał-

kowska 105

galleries CENTER OF CONTEMPORARY ART (CSW) Though their message stands to get a little more conservative with the recent appointment of a new director, its likely this will remain one of the leading gallery spaces in Poland – and even if not, just creeping around the corridors of this baroque castle is a thrill in itself. ul. Jazdów 2,


The History Meeting House wins points for small but frequently excellent exhibitions that cover topics such as ‘rebuilding Warsaw’ and ‘Socialist Realist architecture.’ ul.

Karowa 20,


Previously used to temporarily house Berlin’s Kunsthalle, this riverfront pavilion has seen a number of edgy contemporary exhibitions including, most recently, one dedicated to the works of Miriam Cahn. ul. Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 22,


Consistently challenging our perception of “what art is”, the Zachęta’s reputation precedes itself: a bastion of contemporary art, its ever-changing lineup of exhibitions have presented a range of Polish and international artists. Always on-edge, this is arguably the most famous gallery in the country. Pl. Małachowskiego 3,


Praga Zoo

10 ki aw

Powązki Cemetery



7 Jewish Cemetery

6 Old Town

5 1

2 ska kow

szał Mar

4 9 km

ska bow



4 a zysk tokr Swie




olim eroz

Palace of Culture & Science

Al. J




8 2


Łazienki Park

1 19 km


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

3 4 km




shopping exeriences 1

Designer Outlet Warszawa ul. Puławska 42E, 2

Elektrownia Powiśle ul. Dobra 42, National Stadium


Galeria Mokotów ul. Wołoska 12, 4

Galeria Północna ul. Światowida 17, 5

Klif House of Fashion ul. Okopowa 58/72, 6

Koneser Pl. Konesera, 7

Plac Unii ul. Puławska 2, 8

Mysia 3 ul. Mysia 3,


Vitkac ul. Bracka 9, 10

Westfield Arkadia Al. Jana Pawła II 82, 11

Złote Tarasy ul. Złota 59,

museums 1

National Museum Al. Jerozolimskie 3, 2

The Warsaw Rising Museum ul. Grzybowska 79,


Museum of Warsaw Rynek Starego Miasta 2842, 7

POLIN ul. Anielewicza 6,

stores 1

Moliera 2 Boutique ul. Moliera 2, 2

Pl. Trzech Krzyży 3/4 Krzyży 3/4,


Museum of Life Under Communism ul. Piękna 28/34, 4

Fryderyk Chopin Museum ul. Okólnik 1, chopin. museum 5

Neon Museum ul. Mińska 25 (Soho Factory),


To Do List cubic meters of water (27 more times than an Olympic pool!), depths reach 45-meters.

FLYSPOT Why not be a bird for the day? Vertical in height, at FlySpot visitors step inside a cylindrical object before high-powered ventilators (producing an airstream that reaches speeds of 330 kilometers per hour) blasts them several meters into the air. With technological solutions designed by the Space Engineering Department at the Technical University of Berlin, the experience is like no other.


Attention thrill-seekers: for the ultimate white-knuckle experience this September, check out these five bloodcurdling legends…

2WIEŻE CENTRUM SPORTÓW Allow fear and madness to collide at 2Wieże, a complex set in a post-industrial landscape of abandoned factories and towers. Among the activities, choose between a range of freefall options include the socalled Atrium Dive: inspired by Mission Impossible II, you’ll be launching yourself down into a silo – yes, really!

DEEP SPOT Briefly holding the title as the world’s deepest artificial dive, you visit this place to swim amid Mayan ruins, underwater caves and, even, a small shipwreck. Set in the town of Mszczonów, the innovative filtration system gives the waters a crystal clear transparency. Containing 8,000


Warsaw Insider | SEPTEMBER 2021

WALK IN THE SKY Live out your dreams of being Spiderman with Walk In The Sky – assisted by their on-site daredevils, find yourself staring down from the top of a city center skyscraper before descending face first towards the ground below. Gulp! Starting at zł. 129, they promise to deliver “the longest five minutes of your life”. Good to know: for an extra zł. 20 they’ll fix you up with a helmet camera to record your endeavors.


DARE TO DREAM! At Misja Drzewa a walk in the woods takes on an entirely new meaning. Found 25km from central Warsaw, learn the art of tree-climbing under the guidance of an expert. Catering to all levels of experience – and most ages too – courses begin at zł. 250 for two-days. For advanced climbers, you’ll be moving between trees without ever hitting the ground.

WARSAW'S BIGGEST Visit us at Hala Gwardii for positive vibes and the best market food and international street tastes!


Open Friday through Sunday Plac Żelaznej Bramy

Profile for Valkea Media Pro

Warsaw Insider September 2021 #301  

Warsaw Insider September 2021 #301  

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded