Warsaw Insider January 2022 #305

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The Capital’s Original City Magazine Since 1996

#305 INDEKS 334901 ISSN:1643-1723



JANUARY 2022 Features:


A piece of Paris? Exploring Mokotowska – p. 16 Another brick in the… Wola – west-side murals – p. 6

Ginspirational! Lane’s Gin Bar – p. 54 Poland’s best kebab revealed! – p. 40

Contents January 2022

Reviews: EAT!

Japonka – p. 29 Będzie Dobrze Piekarnia – p. 32 Browary Warszawskie’s Food Hall – p. 34 Źródło – p. 37 Fazir Kebab – p. 40 Munja – p. 42

DRINK! Chaiwala – p. 53

Lane’s Gin Bar – p. 54 Dobre Materia – p. 57 The Shamrock – p. 58


Moya Matcha Oleandrów – p. 60

ANYONE EVER GET THE FEELING that we’ve all been here before? Okay, so far we’ve not had a lockdown this winter (shh, don’t tempt fate!), but let’s not kid about, for the second year on the spin the new slate begins with gloom, confusion and general disillusionment. But as we’ve said before, the Insider ain’t no suicide manual, so for the briefest of moments let us freeze reality and look at the good things that are happening. And in Warsaw’s case, that’s meant a food and drink scene that’s proved remarkably resilient in the face of the odds stacked against it. For this reason, we bring you a bumper set of reviews, all the way from a hedonistic Irish den to the swankiest cocktail bar in town. Beyond, join us for a safari around the murals of Wola, a provocative exhibition at MSN, and a deeper look at glamorous Mokotowska – it’s not Paris, but it’s the next best thing if you’ve canned your weekend break. Enjoy!

Alex Webber insider@warsawinsider.pl


Exhibit: Who will write the history of tears at MSN – p. 65 Caravaggio at The Royal Castle – p. 67

Subscription Editor-in-chief Alex Webber insider@warsawinsider.pl

Publisher Morten Lindholm mlindholm@valkea.com

Art Director Kevin Demaria kdemaria@valkea.com

Distribution Manager Krzysztof Wiliński kwilinski@valkea.com

Advertising Manager Jowita Malich jmalich@valkea.com

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In brief


Center Stage New plans for the center have finally been revealed following the conclusion of a competitive process…


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022



et to become the defining accomplishment of Mayor Trzaskowski’s tenure in office, City Hall’s campaign to remold the city center took an ambitious turn last month when new plans by RS Architektura were revealed for Złota, Zgoda and Marszałkowska streets. Currently notable for its mass of concrete and cars, the area of Złota and Zgoda stands to be transformed by the addition of 167 trees and nearly 3,000 sq/m greenery; cars, meanwhile, will be shifted underground with the development of a subterranean car park similar to that found below Pl. Powstańców Warszawy. Other changes will see the tunnel on Złota disappear, and the car park in front of the pre-war House Under The Eagles beautified to become “an insta-friendly” public space. Based upon a new spatial constitution designed to create a locally-focused, healthy and dynamic city, the Nowe Centrum Warszawy project stands to completely reshape the center. Of the other pipeline projects, the next few years will also see the completion of a Museum of Modern Art outside the Palace of Culture, the renovation of Hala Gwardii, the reinvention of Rondo Dmowskiego and the creation of Plac Pięciu Rogów. Furthermore, Marszałkowska and Jerozolimskie will also be revived as eco-friendly arteries.



In brief Howl About That? Dog-owners tired of dealing with the unpredictably of Uber Pets and suchlike now have a dedicated ‘dog taxi’ service on which to fall back on. Titled Kudłate Taxi, the paw-some idea is the concept of Hubert, a driver and volunteer at an animal rescue foundation. Priced at zł. 2 per kilometer (and with a zł. 20 cleaning fee), Hubert promises to take any dog, anywhere. Although advance bookings are appreciated, he pledges to drop everything in the case of a vet emergency or other such last-minute dashes. Contact him at tel. 516 846 671.

Prowling The Neighborhood Too cold to leave home? Quarantined? Or just missing Warsaw? With these people in mind, Warsaw’s Tourism Office has premiered a series of interactive walks that give users the chance to prowl the Old Town from the comfort of their home. “At a time when travel is difficult, we want to give tourists from Poland and abroad the chance to experience Warsaw in the ‘here and now’,” said Paweł Moras, director of the Warsaw Tourism Bureau. Available in Polish, English, Italian, German and Spanish, take a walk yourself at warsawtour.pl.


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022


Right On Track Entering the 21st century, the city’s transport authority have taken another leap forward after launching their own souvenir line for fans of their work. Socks, bobble hats, mugs and t-shirts are available, but so too a range of beautifully graphic posters by eminent practicing artists. Featuring trams both old and new set against iconic landmarks such as the Rotunda and King Zygmunt’s Column, the artworks have already won praise for their stunning style.


Bolt From The Blue

A historic neon returns to the news…



classic neon sign found itself at the center of scandal in December after an order was issued by the city’s conservator for the removal of a lightning bolt recently added to supplement its form in an expression of support for Poland’s women’s rights movement.

First erected in 1961 to advertise a ground floor sports store, Pl. Konstytucji’s best-known neon was designed by Jan Mucharski to depict a female volleyball tossing a ball in the air. But having fallen into disrepair after years of neglect, it wasn’t until 2006 that it was restored thanks to the efforts of artist Paulina Ołowska. Financing the renovation through the sale of her own art, Ołowska later commented that she undertook the project because it portrayed a strong female character. In November 2020 she returned to her work, this time adding a lightning bolt – the symbol adopted by the women’s strikes sweeping the nation. Immediately outraging rightwing commentators and traditionalists, the bolt was finally removed in December on the decree of Jakub Lewicki, the capital’s conservator. While the neon does not fall under his scope, the building on which it rests does and its ownership committee had been warned that they would face a potential penalty of up to zł. 50,000 if they failed to comply with the order. Though the denials have been issued that the threat was politically motivated, critics have voiced their suspicion.




Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022

Another Brick In The…

WOLA Whilst Ursynów and Praga scrap it out to be recognized as the leader of Warsaw’s mural movement, Wola’s been doing equally great things on the quiet… WORDS BY ALEX WEBBER | PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN DEMARIA

Notable for its cheerful cartoon style and green and yellow colors, this mural celebrates the life of MP Jan Lityński. Imprisoned numerous times for his anti-communist rhetoric, Lityński was a hugely admired figure, one whose popularity grew yet further after he busted out of jail in the 1980s. Known for his kindly demeanor, he died last February after plunging through ice while trying to save a dog from drowning. Found at the intersection of Towarowa and Solidarności, this tender artwork was designed by Bruno Neuhamer and unveiled by Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski towards the end of summer.



Feauture: Murals of Wola There’s no shortage of murals dedicated to the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, but none we know of beat the one at Płocka 41 for size. Authored by Damian Kwiatek, it presents scenes of everyday civilian suffering inside the silhouette of a soldier’s helmet. The location of the 180 sq/m artwork is not coincidental – the notorious Wola massacre, a one-week bloodbath that cost the lives of an estimated 40,000 people, was conducted in this area.

Best-known for his surreal, Warsaw-inspired watercolors, acclaimed artist Tytus Brzozowski has seen his work supersized in recent years in the form of several large-format murals across the length and breadth of Warsaw. Found on the side of the Spark building (Solidarności 173), this was the first of his works to be given the XXL treatment, and remains one of the finest. Celebrating the pre-war history of the area, it was painted in 2018 and contains several historical references amid its more dreamier motifs.


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022

The contrasts of Wola are perhaps richest on Wronia, a street on which you’ll find abandoned tenements and battered car garages rubbing shoulders with swank apartment blocks and soaring skyscrapers. With so much for the eyes to roam on, it’s easy to miss Swanski’s sharks at No. 47. Painted on the occasion of World Ocean Day, the mural was designed to draw attention to the dangers of over-fishing.

Visit Wronia 50 to view a sensitive mural that pays tribute to the ‘divine mothers’ that fight cancer while pregnant. Titled Rak’n’Roll, the mural was authored by Michał Warecki who designed it to be “feminine, dignified and reflective” whilst also being “energetic and expressive”. Officially unveiled on Divine Mother’s Day on October 6th, 2017, the mural was commissioned so as to serve as “a beautiful and lasting form of social communication”.


When Browary Warszawskie finally opened last year it came as little surprise that space had been saved for a mural. What was a little more unexpected was just quite where. Lauded as Warsaw’s ‘first stair mural’, Dawid Ryski’s work adorns dozens of steps that lead down to the former brewery’s social heart. Showing lots of happy people in beer clinking poses, the project stretches 17-meters to cover a total floor span of 50 sq/m.


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022


Feauture: Murals of Wola

Striking in its simplicity, Alicja Biała’s mural on Ogrodowa 65 is one of the true gems of Wola. “I was inspired by the old photos of my great-grandparents,” says the artist. Previously appearing as far afield as Portugal and Mexico, Biała’s work bridges the past with the present to act as a tribute to both the former and current residents of Warsaw; from the current perspective, the resemblance these whiskered cyclists bear to ‘the modern Warsaw man’ is almost hilariously uncanny.

Recognized as one of the biggest names in contemporary Polish art, the life of Edward Dwurnik (1943-2018) has been honored by way of a 90 sq/m mural on the side of the Norblin development. Based upon a painting executed by the artist in 2009, it features the factory complex standing amid a sea of neighboring blue buildings. Arresting in its vibrancy, the mural was executed by Red Sheels, a female collective specializing in wall art. warsawinsider.pl


Feauture: Murals of Wola Debuting on New Year’s Eve, 2019, this mural on Płocka 2 marks the home of the NCK, the national cultural center. Designed by illustrator Katarzyna Bogucka, this 170 sq/m painting depicts various jovial people engaging in cultured activities such as jamming on guitars and tooting on trumpets. The point of the mural, say NCK, is to remind passersby just how important culture can be.

This little-known mural (Chłodna 56/60) commemorates the Kometa Kino that once stood on Chłodna 47/49. Noted for its castle-style turrets and ramparts, the cinema was founded in the 1920s and was celebrated as being among the largest in the country. Holding 1,500 people, it was severely damaged in the first days of the war and later bulldozed entirely.


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022

Wola’s lurch towards the future hasn’t always met with critical acclaim, but visit Pl. Europejski to find an example of a developer doing it right. The brainchild of Ghelamco, this square isn’t short of attractions, but while it’s the water features and ‘heart’ sign that tend to get the publicity, two nearby murals have also done their bit to boost the area’s visual credentials. Designed by Belgian comic book guru Francois Schuiten and the renowned poster artist Rafał Olbinski, this pair of neighboring murals have turned the back-ends of two shabby tenements into genuine works of art. warsawinsider.pl


Feauture: Murals of Wola Absolutely immense in its size and scope, the details contained within Igor Chołda’s 400 sq/m mural on Żelazna 41 were inspired by the artist’s childhood memories. Growing up in Wola, Chołda’s magnum opus shows rattling trams, the railway museum, the circus that once occupied the corner of Solidarności and Towarowa and a jillion other little details. Marvelous to admire, it’s been stopping traffic ever since its implementation in the summer of 2018.

Awaiting discovery on Żytnia 46 is a slightly cosmic mural of musical legend Czesław Niemen. Widely regarded as ‘the Polish Bob Dylan’, Niemen tapped into the spirit of the 60s to become the voice of a generation. One of the first Poles to adopt a long-haired look and psychedelic style, his sound and avant-garde attitude were unheard of at the time. Locally idolized for his anthemic ode to the capital, Sen o Warszawie, this is a mural befitting of one of Poland’s greatest heroes.

Way before Warsaw first went nutty for murals we had Kamien I Co on Waliców 14. Painted by Wiktor Malinowski in 2009, this 1,400 sq/m monster covers a building that was heavily smashed during the war. Falling inside what was once the Jewish Ghetto, the artwork features a red balloon floating off into the air, and was designed so as to foster memory and raise consciousness about the city’s tragic past. Touching as this homage is, it’s future is under threat with real estate firms circling the property with dollar signs in their eyes.


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022

And now for something completely different. Going under the name of Galeria Tybetańska, this Wola roundabout / flyover found itself turned into a giant canvas after the Dalai Lama visited in 2009. Once a forbidding, concrete no-man’s land, it’s since been home to an ever-changing display of murals relating to Tibetan culture.

Deadening the effects of smog through its use of photocatalytic paints, this stunner on Ogrodowa 59A came into being on the behest of PGE. “As a producer of renewable energy sources, we have a positive impact on the lives of Poles,” says the firm’s president, Marcin Karlikowski. “In our mural, we expressed that on two levels: both on the level of artistic creation, as well as via the methods and materials used.” Meanwhile, the billboard that previously occupied this space also found itself doing some good after being recycled into hundreds of shopping bags. warsawinsider.pl




Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022

MOKOTOWSKA If covid has put your travel ambitions on ice, then swap your weekend in Paris for a prowl of Mokotowska… WORDS BY ALEX WEBBER | PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN DEMARIA



Street Walk: Mokotowska


ack in those golden years of the inter-bellum, Warsaw famously became known as ‘the Paris of the East’. We all know what happened next, but while much of the city center found itself flattened courtesy of the Wehrmacht, Mokotowska survived and today offers one of the best existing examples of the capital’s pre-war vibe. Distinguished by its tall, teetering tenements and designer boutiques, it offers a cosmopolitan slice of glamor that’s impossible to resist – even more so than on those misty winter days when its warming shopfronts glow in the grainy January air.

Opposites Attract Also known as that bit of Mokotowska no-one really visits, the street’s bottom south-westerly corner does a fine job of surmising the jarring contrasts to be found around modern Warsaw. Marking the very beginning of the street, the 60-meter Zebra Tower feels rare for the city: a contemporary skyscraper that does little to offend or attract the attention. Likened by some critics to “a dancing woman in a flowing dress”, it’s a curvy, discreet wonder that stands against the skyline as if it were an outsized sculpture. But if the Zebra is representative of Warsaw’s contemporary and consumerist face, then consider it counter-balanced by the building opposite at Mokotowska 4/6. Once the Engineering School Hipolit Wawelberg and Stanisław Rotwand, it was at this address that scouts involved in Poland’s wartime resistance destroyed several lists naming those that risked deportation. Destroyed towards the tailend of the conflict, it was rebuilt after in typically bumptious Socialist Realist style. Subsequently revived to house the Trade Union of Ceramics Construction Workers and Related Professions, today relics of the Communist era survive by way of the two monuments that sit above the entrance. Sculpted by Alina Szapocznikow, and depicting two chisel-jawed proles holding hefty books, these statues are a blast to the past, not to mention one of the earliest examples of the artist’s work. Passing from cancer in 1973, Szapocznikow has since been posthumously recognized as one of the nation’s greatest ever artists.

Onwards… To Pl. Zbawiciela Walking towards Zbawiciela you pass the scaffold-clad rump of the Church of the Holiest Savior. Though easily identified by its soaring twin towers, it took years for these to be rebuilt following the war – with this area falling inside the socialist showcase MDM district, it was thought that the towers would detract from the Utopian ideals presented by this reborn district. Indeed, only after Socialist Realism died a death did work commence on raising them again. All things considered, the church’s role in Warsaw’s story has not been immodest. During the war services were held here for Jews in hiding, while in 1946 a funeral was held for unknown victims of the Warsaw Uprising – over five tons of ashes were blessed before being transported for burial inside 117 coffins. In more recent times, the church also played a prominent role in the rainbow saga. Ah, yes, the rainbow...


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022



Street Walk: Mokotowska


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022

Hipster Heyday For the benefit of newcomers, Zbawiciela’s glory years came a decade ago when even the New York Times chose to pen a story about the area’s hipster revolution. The cradle of this was Zbawiciela, and at its center stood a rainbow composed of 22,300 artificial flowers. Peaking at a height of nine-meters, it infuriated the traditionalists for both its LGBT connotations and its proximity to the church. Branded a national perversion by some, it fell victim to arsonists seven times, most infamously when it was torched by rampaging nationalists during the 2013 Independence Day riots. Finally, it was dismantled for good in 2015. Still, remnants of Zbawiciela’s headiest of days survive in the form of the late night classic Plan B bar. Next door, meanwhile, Charlotte – founded in 2011 – can rightly claim to be one of the most revolutionary food and drink venues in modern times. Joining bread with wine over a communal table, this simple act changed the very way Warsaw socialized. Still referred to as Plac Hipstera by some misty-eyed nostalgists (for a while that title even appeared on Google Maps), Pl. Zbawiciela continues to play an important role in the city’s evening identity.

From Warsaw To Hollywood Looming over Zbawiciela, the immense dimensions of the tenement at Mokotowska 12 can’t be ignored. Completed in 1910, the 38-meter tall building was briefly the tallest residential structure in Warsaw, and widely celebrated for its luxury – among its frills, there were elevators, laundry services, ensuite bathrooms and even a top-floor solarium under a glazed glass dome. It was this latter feature that appealed to Aleksander Herz, a socialist bank manager that returned to Warsaw after a stint in Russian exile to found the Sfinks film studio in 1913. Though this date is disputed by some, the impact of Herz is not open to debate. Revolutionizing Polish cinema, it was he that discovered Pola Negri. Then known as Apolonia Chalupec, she would later successfully conquer America and become the first European to be contracted by Hollywood. Becoming one of the most popular actresses in the world, she delighted the gossip columns with torrid affairs with names such as Chaplin and Valentino. And to think, for her it all started here at Mokotowska 12. warsawinsider.pl


Street Walk: Mokotowska

The Middle Bit Often bathed in darkness, the section between Zbawiciela and Koszykowa has a habit of being overlooked by those that walk Mokotowska. But not so fast! Appearing like a diamond in the rough, the Cukrowników Palace at No. 25 is a dazzle of mock Rococo. Reputedly rebuilt to its current form around about 1912, this courtyard palace was once occupied by a sugar firm whose board added crazy little flourishes such as rooftop cupids and gallivanting bunnies. Later seconded by the Gestapo, it was their tenancy that ultimately saved it from destruction while much of Warsaw burned. Still looking glorious, nowadays it's home to the Adam Mickiewicz Institute. And how’s this one for trivia nerds: in 1914, one of the earliest recorded fatal car accidents in Warsaw occurred right outside Mokotowska 33. Careering around at an absolutely lunatic speed of 50 kilometers per hour, the driver, a 51-year-old teacher and children’s author, skidded out-of-control and was killed on the spot.

From Koszykowa to Piękna To all intents and purposes, it’s on this stretch that Mokotowska heats up to feature little boutiques and fancy-looking florists. And take note all budding members of the paparazzi: speaking a few years back to the French supplement Madame Figaro, catwalk queen Anja Rubik revealed that the planet’s best pastries were to be found at Słodki Słony (Mokotowska 48). Facing opposite, on the other side of a former underground public toilet, don’t miss Skwer Batalionu AK Ruczaj. Filling a triangular space where Mokotowska and Piękna intersect, this small plot was once filled with tenements. Gutted during the Uprising, such was the ferocity of the fighting that two informal ceasefires were arranged to clear the dead bodies. After the war, in a rare triumph for socialist planning, it was decided to turn the area into a memorial park, though even so it faced a new battle in 2011 when plans were mooted to build a skyscraper on this space. Thankfully, common sense prevailed.


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022




Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022

The Center Of The Universe! There can be few Polish designers that do not aspire to open a boutique on Mokotowska’s principal vein. From Piękna onwards find a who’s who of Polish fashion, with names to look for including Robert Kupisz, Vanda Novak and Ania Kruk. If you’re prone to temptation, window shopping can become a dangerous pursuit. Looking beyond the ritzy store fronts, the buildings themselves do much to indicate the kind of area you’d covet in Monopoly. Shielded behind the kind of mighty gateway you want to keep the peasants out, the structure at Mokotowska 51/53 is a staggering example of Monumental Classicism, and a prime show of the talents of architect Marian Lalewicz. Widely lauded for equally impressive projects in St. Petersburg and Gdynia, Lalewicz would later die at the hands of the Gestapo in 1944. Plaques asserting ‘they lived here’ are common, but none are more prominent than that at No. 50 affirming the residence of the founder of the modern Polish state, none other than Marshal Józef Piłsudski. Staying here for 16-days in 1918, it was one of his first abodes after returning from exile. Now, this swathe of Mokotowska buzzes with venues such as the Ale Wino wine bar and restaurant, the casually laidback Przegryź and the acclaimed Kukułka dessert store, but it’s pedigree is nothing new. At No. 48 Poland’s first student club, Hybrydy, once flourished attracting a licentious crowd of 1960s jazz afficionados and local celebs. Famed for its anti-authoritarian hedonism, it became the murky center of Warsaw’s demi-monde. In more recent times, the spotlight later switched to 6 Cocktails, a speakeasy-style cocktail bar that became a magnet for the city’s socialites when it first opened its doors to those In The Know back in 2014. Housed inside the posh, rambling flat in which the owner grew up in, it became an absolute legend in its five years of life. To this day, it’s worth lurking outside its address (No. 57) to admire the grandest façade on the entire length of the street. Named Kamienica Rodryga Mroczkowskiego after the Count for whom it was built, points of interest include the carved sculptures of Cracovians and Highlanders dressed in folkish attire. Propping up the loggias on their shoulders, they remain one of the most photographed features of this road. warsawinsider.pl


Street Walk: Mokotowska

And The Rest… As your tour of Mokotowska winds towards its conclusion, cross Wilcza keeping an ear out for odd, creepy noises: home to one of Warsaw's longest-running hauntings, residents have complained of flowers withering, women cackling and floors bleeding ever since a banker was murdered on the first floor in 1915. Others, meanwhile, have reportedly sighted a baleful German officer wandering around. Alternatively, immerse yourself in culture by dipping into the pocket-sized Bęc Zmiana, an independent bookstore specializing in artsy books and Warsaw-related ephemera. After, poke your nose into the courtyard of No. 65, first passing the bearded gnomes that stand guard at the courtyard’s gateway (they’re there to protect against horse carriage wheels in those days before Uber). Gritty and grimy, its in this ensuing yard that you’ll get a sense of Mokotowska before it rained money. An intriguing glimpse into the way things once were, note also the elaborate courtyard shrine – during Nazi occupation, shrines such as this served as meeting points and al fresco chapels.


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022






Japanese cuisine finds itself reimagined at Japonka…




LOOK Angled so as to reflect off the mirror behind the bar, the dominant feature of Japonka is a magenta-colored neon announcing its name. Pushing a look that’s casual but cool, this vibe is underscored by an interior featuring dappled terrazzo flooring, high-gloss shades of midnight black and an intricate cat’s cradle of bold red shelving. As for the playlist, you’ll be listening to everything from NWA to dancey electronica.


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022


BACKGROUND Though lacking the high and shouty profile of some Warsaw restauranteurs, no-one can call into question the impact Linh Nguyen has had on the capital. Credited with game-changing concepts such as Vietnamka, Koreanka, Viet Nem, Pho2 and lord knows what else, she has indelibly shaped the way we understand Asian cuisine. Moving into the Japanese sphere of things last year with Japonki, this project quickly became one of the biggest raves of 2021. But it did not stop there. Serving a dual role as a deli and sushi stop, Japonki turned out to be a precursor for Japonka, a restaurant opened a month later just up the road.

Japonka ul. Grzybowska 56, fb.com/japonkarestaurant

AT YOUR CALL Leading the lads in the kitchen is Dawid Uszyński, a chef whose history includes stints in numerous Michelin-starred London eateries as well as fiveyears at Yashin Ocean House. Servers, meanwhile, are young, English-fluent and seemingly keen about their work. CONCEPT Our initial server (we faced four different ones over the course of our meal) omitted to mention the concept behind the place, something we only learned while eavesdropping on the Tinder couple sat behind. In essence, it is thus: aiming to showcase the depth and versatility of the Japanese kitchen, for maximum enjoyment of the menu the idea is to pick as many little things to share as possible. Fortunately, being greedy, we did that regardless of Japonka’s philosophy. TASTING NOTES Starting snacks include bowls overflowing with huge, outsized pork scratching as well as a creamy tofu-based hummus, though some won’t resist hitting fast-forward and getting straight to the highlights. Of these, you’re looking at creative takes on sashimi such as, for instance, a ceviche-style sea bass or a tuna carpaccio that you fold with jelly to eat taco-style. Beyond, high-rollers can pick from a small choice of Wagyu options that top out with a grilled A5 cut priced at zł. 420. Yes, you can spend big here, but more modest budgets will appreciate the robata grill dishes. In our case, that meant teriyaki chicken (zł. 29),

though the range extends to glazed baby back ribs (zł. 70) and grilled eel (zł. 55). The star pull, however, are the omakase sushi sets. Now omakase, if you don’t know, refers to the Japanese tradition of putting your life in the hands of the chef in front. Given carte blanche by the punter, it falls to Uszyński & Co. to create magic based on intuition and product availability – you’ll be surprised and thrilled, and more so when gently reminded by the staff that “food made with the hands should be eaten with the hands”. Put those chopsticks away! Finishing, of the desserts

there are two, and for us that meant a smattering of blueberries concealed under a sour cream ice cream – a subtle, balanced conclusion to a nuanced Japanese adventure. FINAL WORD Capturing ‘the now’, the thinking behind Japonka feels unique to not just Warsaw, but Poland as a whole. But more than just a fad-driven enterprise, this pace-setter looks set to last the course. On the face of it, you suspect it was built with Tik Tokkers in mind, but there’s a depth and class here that’s impervious to fashion.





Warsaw baking heads in a fresh direction…


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022

Będzie Dobrze Piekarnia Puławska 23/25, fb.com/bedziedobrzepiekarnia

BACKGROUND Warsaw has enjoyed a baking renaissance these last few years, and Będzie Dobrze is a prime example of the good things that have resulted as a part of this. Tucked beside the monstrous Europlex building, their name refers to the optimistic motto adopted by the city during the first wave of Covid (Będzie Dobrze – ‘it’s going to be okay’). But having tried their bread, pastries and cakes, you’ll suspect the future promises to be more than just okay – it’ll be bloody amazing! VIBE The revolving door of regulars makes for a kinetic café / bakery experience, and that feeling is upped by the sight of shelves featuring a curated selection of delicious delicacies from Poland’s top producers – granola by Wikk Me, preserves from cool out-of-town restaurants such as Monka and Kocharz,

and nutty butters from brands like Sticky Blenders. Owned by Dagmara Rosiak and her partner Borys Roswadowski, watch the latter working his baking magic from behind a glass wall. Be warned, the aroma alone will see you buying far more than your pantry can hold.

THE FUTURE? As their team and reputation grows, plans have already been made to introduce shokupan sandwiches in both sweet and savory form. And we’re told, also, to expect breakfast once the weather allows them to set up tables outside.

BUY THIS Będzie Dobrze start the day by knocking out sourdough bread and breakfast pastries to go alongside coffee and tea from the specialty brand Hayb. But its shokupan that’s their flagship product. Better identified as ‘Japanese milk bread’, find this hauled fresh from the oven around about noon. Just after, visit also for fresh wheat-rye French baguettes and Poland’s iconic drożdżówka sweet rolls. Classic bread, a.k.a. Sunday Bread, uses four types of flour (wheat, spelt, wholemeal and rye) and constitutes, says Dagmara, the heart of the bakery.

OPEN OR CLOSED? The working hours are weird – closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, find them open the rest of the week between nine and seven on weekdays and nine and four at the weekend. If that strikes you as odd, the owners say that’s down to their desire to offer Warsaw’s residents fresh bread on days when they can’t otherwise find it. INSIDER TIP Shokupan has a longer life than regular bread and can last to make French toast on a non-working Sunday! KD






One of the undisputed hits of 2021, we take a deeper look at Browary Warszawskie’s Food Hall…

hould you believe what the real estate analysts are saying, then no other city in Europe other than London can boast a higher headcount of food halls than our own little capital right here in Poland. With competition so cutthroat, it’s therefore imperative to stand out, something that Browary Warszawskie have done so with style. Occupying the lowest level of the former Haberbusch & Schiele brewery, it was in these historic cellars that beer was once stored over 150-years back. Now, following a thorough revamp masterminded by Aleksander Likus (yep, of the same family that brought us the trendy Hotel Warszawa and the luxury Vitkac department store), the food hall at the center of it all has charmed Warsaw with its vibe and style. There is no shortage of the latter: occupying a beautifully lit vaulted chamber, this magnificently formed space presents an offer based around a “quality over quantity” strategy. Bringing together twelve food concepts in all, find these anchored around a bar that has dared do something special…


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Review BITES… Big, established names have been recruited to cook up a storm, but with the exception of Silk & Spicy all have chosen to present a new identity to that which you might be used to. That’s why, for instance, you’ll find the acclaimed Dziurka od Klucza team operating under the name of Octo. But if the name differs, the quality we’ve learned to expect for them has not, and it is here you can anticipate outstanding Neapolitan pizzas dispatched directly from a wood-burning oven imported from Italy. Also from their canon, discover the squid ink pasta that first made them famous when they started out over a decade ago. Elsewhere, also impressing is The Sushi, a unit from the hand of Alon Than, a sushi master who claimed the 2015 World Sushi Champion title at Tokyo’s World Sushi Cup. Arguably the most influential sushi guru working in Poland, Than’s precision and innovation breathes new life into a culinary sector that has at times felt tired and one-dimensional. There’s only so much you can eat on one visit, but do make room for Viet Nem. Created by Linh Nguyen, she’s revolutionized Warsaw’s gastro scene by launching venue after venue specializing in different Asian cuisines. In this regard, that means the food of her native Vietnam with the succinct menu showcasing generous bowls of pho slow-cooked with beef bones for ten-hours; crispy pancakes stuffed with shrimps and pork belly; noodle salads; and crunchy spring rolls. Aromatic and hopelessly addictive, it’s impossible not to fall in love.

with competition so cutthroat, it’s therefore imperative to stand out, something that Browary Warszawskie have done so with style...



Browary Warszawskie Food Hall ul. Grzybowska 58, browarywarszawskie.com.pl

The Central Bar dominates in more ways than one. Headed by Karim Bibars, he’s carved a name as one of the biggest talents in the world of Polish cocktails

… AND SIPS The Central Bar dominates in more ways than one. Headed by Karim Bibars, he’s carved a name as one of the biggest talents in the world of Polish cocktails. Presenting what he describes as “neo-classical cocktails based on homemade syrups and purees,” Bibars has crafted a compact but versatile menu that suits the mood and the food. “We’re less old school,” he says, “drinks should be fun, after all.” That much is apparent through options that hark back to summer such as the passionfruit sour. “Polish winter is depressing,” says Bibars, “so you always need to have some summer memories to remind yourself of what lies ahead.” Modern and easygoing, it’s a bar that does more than nail its brief. “Yes, we’re high volume,” says Bibars, “but whereas many such bars lack quality we’ve employed a bit of a different approach to planning and organizing so as to avoid that. Quality is not sacrificed.” The philosophy has reaped rewards, painting a just reflection not just on the skills of


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Bibars & Co., but also Poland as a whole. “Ten years back we didn’t have access to the spirits,” he says, “but product availability has improved beyond measure as have the bartenders themselves. You no longer have to be overly serious to create seriously good drinks and I think the Central Bar shows that.” We would agree.



Retro yet refined, Źródło promise an experience to remember…



Review distant. Find it within eyeshot of the onion domes of Praga’s Russian church and just steps away from Park Praski’s eastern entrance.

COORDINATES Speaking frankly, this is just about the last location we’d imagine working – but what do we know? Amassing over 3,000 fans since opening (well over average by Warsaw restaurant standards), Źródło have acquired a devoted following despite unfavorable GPS coordinates that see it housed on the ground floor of a commie block bound by tramlines. But as inauspicious as the surroundings are, it’s by no means


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The place looks great – hip but in tune with its retro address.

FOOD The menu is modest – just ten items on our visit – but is conducive to ordering lots of bits and pieces to share among your table. In our instance, that meant a thick slab of herring served on brioche with a smoked plum jam; a fabulous array of homemade bread; and a memorable lentil and sweet potato pate. Made with what clearly borders obsessive love, it is food to light the soul. But more than just celebrating the power of local produce (which restaurant doesn’t nowadays?), there’s a refinement at play that speaks of a kitchen team that aims for the exquisite. In this regard, the highlight is a tie between the pierogi with rich mushroom stock and smoked cottage cheese and the kopytka


STYLE The place looks great – hip but in tune with its retro address. Hardwood floors, exposed pipes and a flurry of plants equip an open area decorated with blasts of contemporary art, recycled furnishings, and other Boho bits and bobs – an old street sign rescued from Targowa, extravagant light installations designed by Justyna Oboladze, spherical mirrors and wobbly hat stands. It’s casual, quirky and full of personality. Being here is a buzz. Walking in, the welcome is immediate and sincere, and the good vibes of the staff carry through to the patrons.

Źródło ul. Targowa 81, fb.com/zrodlo.praga.warszawa

(potato dumpling) with sage and bryndza cheese. Served in a slick of pumpkin sauce, it is food that's subtle in its charm but also big in taste. DRINK The whole Made In Poland schtick is pushed home by a drinks list that features a good selection of craft beers, ciders produced by the acclaimed Ignaców and no shortage of trending bio wines. Drinking is as much part of the Źródło experience as anything else, and as such punters who wish to do only that are welcome to do so. FINAL THOUGHTS With most menu items hovering in the low-to-mid 30s, the prices make a mockery of the standard. It’s outstanding value, even if Źródło balance that out with steeper drinks prices (beers, for example, begin at 14 and rise to an eyewatering 38). Regardless, this place is an exciting representation of Poland, a passion project whose attention to detail feels second to none. warsawinsider.pl



TOTALLY KEBABILICIOUS Behold, the best kebab in Poland!


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Fazir Kebab ul. Piłsudskiego 40 (Józefów), fb.com/fazirkebab

WHERE AM I? Just outside of Warsaw, find Fazir sitting diagonally across the road from Michalin train station. Coming by car, journey time in favorable traffic should clock in at around 30-minutes from the city center. HOW DOES IT LOOK? From the outside, it appears much like any other roadside kebab stop. Set in a wooden shed-like structure, enter to find a small seated area to your right decorated with faded posters of Syria and fogged-up plastic windows, and an ordering area right ahead of the door featuring a coffee station and a couple of giant skewers of meat rotating over a charcoal fire. In a country in which kebab stores are often filled with a rancid, wretched stink, this aroma of grilling meats feels intoxicatingly magical. WHAT TO DRINK That coffee station doles out wonderful ‘sand coffee’, a strong, traditional sip brewed in pans of sand and heated over an open flame. It’s delicious, but on particularly cold days don’t be surprised to find the staff handing out warming cups of tea to the people that have gathered – the hospitality of the lads behind the counter is unlike anything you’ve seen before in Warsaw’s other kebab spots. WHAT TO EAT Rule No. 1. As tempting as it is, you simply need to stop drawing comparisons between this place and the rest. The others, they’re… kebabarians. Utterly

unique, this is the one place in Poland where the kebab meat is spun over a fire – does that make a difference? Hell yes! The meat alone (lamb or chicken) is spectacular, and of the kind you’d happily spend big bucks on were it served in a restaurant. Accompanied with homemade sauces, including a rich and tangy ‘spicy’ option, find the meats wrapped in fresh, grilled pittas that vary in size: for something that will last you through the day, the XXL is the length of a baseball bat.

FINAL WORD Not since its earliest days has the Insider reviewed a kebab joint, but this is something else. Enjoying a cult reputation, visit here to understand why it’s being openly called the best in Poland. Eat here and you’ll never enter a Kebab King again – Syrian run, this place changes every preconception you’ve ever had about kebabs. The falafel too gets rave reviews, but it might be several years until you choose to change your order.





VIBE Looking like identical twins, it’s impossible to differentiate between Munja A and Munja B. Positioned in the heart of Warsaw’s flourishing new business quarter, both locations have been styled accordingly to slot into their upmarket surroundings: floor-to-ceiling windows lead into slick interiors that feel high on gloss and polish. But there is warmth as well with light woods and tan leather the dominant colors. Featuring also tile-clad bars, open kitchens and a plethora of wine


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bottles, both have atmosphere in abundance. Here, the copyand-paste look does not detract from ambiance, and it’s hard not to feel immediately at ease. Busy throughout both the day and night, the bubbly ambiance is pleasantly infectious and lends itself equally to a variety of uses: work dinner? Date? Family meet-up? At Munja, the design has been carefully plotted to be suited to all of these and more. And, despite its size (and immense popularity), never is one left feeling forgotten by the service. They

say that the food and drink industry has been hit by chronic staff shortages, but at Munja one would never know. Friendly and professional, the service here speaks much of a smooth operation that knows what it’s doing. FOOD & DRINK Proclaiming themselves to be Poland’s first Adriatic restaurant (their words not ours), Munja’s menu is a joyful assembly of meat and fish cooked over flames. Reading it, you want to order everything. Doing so,


Ticking all the boxes, Munja demonstrate why they bossed 2021…

Munja Grzybowska 43 & Grzybowska 60 (Browary Warszawskie), restauracja-munja.pl

however, is a high-risk ploy as the generosity of the servings will leave you needing to be airlifted out. They’re not kidding when they say that the calamari starter (zł. 48) is “perfect to share”. If you initially baulk at the price, what lands next is a huge pile of breaded baby squid marinated in a zingy mix of citrus, chili and garlic. Delicious as it is, mains improve the mood further with the Insider’s highlight being the lamb cevapi (zł. 60): served on a wooden board, find these minced meaty rolls squashed inside home-baked bread and a pot of buttery potatoes and salad. Also scored highly, the Dinarko mussels (zł. 68) come heaped inside a spectacular tomato sauce pimped up with

tarragon, onion, parsley, capers, garlic and chili. Little room is left for dessert, but you miss it at your peril. Though looking a little busy on the plate, the Montenegrina (zł. 36) provides a beautiful finish with sea buckthorn sorbet slapped next to a swirl of meringue and a cooling semifreddo topped with a layer of raspberry sauce. THE NUMBERS At first glance, the menu offers ample evidence of how sharply prices have risen in Warsaw: starters are in their mid-40s, whilst mains average out at around zł. 70. As for desserts, they’re fixed at zł. 36. This, clearly, is not cheap, but so generous are the portions you

can’t help but feel you’ve ended up ahead of the house. With the quality also what it is, you come away with the feeling of money well-spent. FINAL THOUGHTS There’s no question about it, there is something formulaic about Munja. But is that a bad thing? Not at all. Everything here goes right, and though this is clearly a high-turnover venture the consistency never falls short. Book here (and yes, reservations are highly recommended), and you’ll naturally find that good times will follow. It’s been a tumultuous time for Warsaw’s restaurant scene, but Munja have done a brilliant job of showing what can still be achieved.



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


Breeze blocks, exposed metal girders, hovering steel lights and concrete surfaces inject a strong industrial aesthetic into the visuals, but these are softened by a proliferation of warming touches


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such as lavishly upholstered seats, leather banquettes and tiny antique details. This place is beautiful. But while most visit for the beer, the food is a winner as well. Of the highlights, find a range of steaks that include thwunking big Tomahawks to Wagyu beef, not to mention the best fish’n’chips we’ve had outside of England. ul. Haberbuscha i Schielego 2


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


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 writeups. 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

Eat! listings CAŁA W MĄCE

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


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 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

desserts BOZZO

As Poland’s first store specializing solely in ice cream and eclairs Bozzo have gained a devoted following in next to no time. Opened after ten-months of product testing, the results have reaped dividends with the French-style eclairs earning rave reviews. The work of pastry chef Adrian Edward Monik, the raspberry éclair is our handsdown winner. Chmielna 27/31 &

Dzielna 64


Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” This is arguably Warsaw’s most adored dessert stop, and though cream puffs are the specialty, they know a thing or two about eclairs as well. Using seasonal ingredients, recent winners have included a barnstorming blueberry concoction. ul. Mokotowska 52


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


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, slodkibez.pl


Vying for the title of the year’s most exciting opening, find Browary in a revamped 19th century brewery once operated by Haberbusch and Schiele. Along with the sensitive retention and refit of original properties and elements such as the Villa Schiele, the Browary area has blossomed anew with features such as the vaulted brick cellars turned over to house a food hall. Awash with food and drink options



Eat! listings that include, among others, a sports bar and restaurant owned by Robert Lewandowski, as well as a three-floor flagship brewpub, it’s a place that’s as ambitious as it is aspirational. Of its numerous food and entertainment attractions, props also go to a cabaret-style ‘show restaurant’ and the marvelous Japonka restaurant and store. ul. Grzybowska

60, browarywarszawskie.com.pl


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


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, but 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


Designed to complement, rather


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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


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 remains one of the places in which to be seen. ul. Koszykowa 63


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


Behold, Warsaw’s newest food hub! Set in the sympathetically restored Norblin Factory, you’re right to expect a banging atmosphere – food-wise, Tex-Mex, Israeli, Uzbek, Thai and Indian tastes are just some to look forward to. And next door, find the celebrated Bio Bazar We’re bringing you the full lowdown next issue, so watch this space. Żelazna 51/53

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 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

Eat! listings 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

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)

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


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



Eat! listings 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. Londyńska 16


You’re struck first by the sheer size 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


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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


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


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 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, indiagate.pl


With an entrance half-hidden behind a little cabin, find it set within a hulking Socialist Realist block inside a unit that once ticked by selling wedding dresses. Now, this address sells something a lot more valuable: curry. Though a little drab inside, the curry is a contender for the Insider’s favorite of 2021. Outside the more generic items, Southern Indian cuisine

Eat! listings is a specialty, and that’s affirmed by golden donut-shaped wada snacks, idli lentil rolls, fluffy uttapam pancakes and the altogether thinner dosa. ul. Nowolipki 14 (enter from Jana Pawła II)


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, focaccia.pl


A casual restaurant with handmade pasta made fresh on the day and a choice that includes ravioli with chorizo and shrimp, bucatini Bolognese with seasoned beef and rosemary, and a creamy mushroom pappardelle. Then, adding to the sense of being somewhere young, fun and a little bit hip, is an edgy design featuring a wall of kitchen

implements, hanging ropes and exposed concrete. ul. Hoża 43/49


When Prosciutteria first opened, ooh, three years or so ago, it was hailed a sensation and proof as to the far-reaching ambitions of Warsaw’s burgeoning gastro scene. Based around cold cuts and served on heavy wooden boards, here was a convincing Italian menu to be enjoyed in a snug, warm interior composed of pre-war floor tiles, exposed brickwork and black and white images of Italian stars. You felt like you were on holiday. Now also doubling as a deli, it’s an orgy of tastes: Ubriaco cheese bathed in Prosecco; salami from Milan and Naples; five-year-old Veneto cheese washed in beer. ul. Solec 85

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

japanese ARIGATOR

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


Looking like something straight out of Kung Fu Panda, this curious wooden shack serves just about the most complex and flavorsome ramen

BEST of WA R S AW 2020

Insider Approved: Best of Warsaw WINNER 2020!



Eat! listings the Insider has had to date. Offering up a spicy vege tantanmen loaded with fermented goodness, it’s an unforgettable potion of savory peanut essence topped with enough chili oil to put winter on hold. Guaranteed to dazzle, it’ll probably be too much for one person, so bring a partner and order a side of soboro fries to share and complete this eastern adventure. ul. Naruszewicza 29


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


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


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022

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

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 EL POPO

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


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

middle eastern MAGHREB

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. 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

Eat! listings 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


You’ll find Kieliszki na Próżnej, the latest restaurant to mark the rehabilitation of Próżna, so named after the 1,116 wineglasses that hang tantalizingly over the bar. As an anchor feature the suspended glassware is arresting and equaled only by a long stretch of wall art doodled by Mariusz Tarkawian. The food matches up to the interiors, with a modern Polish menu that – on our visit – involved a thick, brilliantly spreadable foie gras pate, a thick slab of brawn and a delicate piece of moist Baltic cod. 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


Terrazzo surfaces, orb-like lights and a clear white color palette give The Eatery a comfortable look that’s well-suited to a modern Polish menu delivered by chef Bartłomiej Trojanowski. Highlights from our visit – and there were many – included panko-crusted potato with creamy cottage cheese and pinches of charlock; art-like Ruskie pierogi; and a mushroom soup the like of which we haven’t tried before. Quite simply, think of The Eatery as the most unexpected pleasure you’ll

discover all year. ul. Ostrobramska

73E, eatery.pl


Preaching a message of farm-tofork, this ambitious eatery takes its produce seriously – to the extent they have their own farm in the lake district to the north. Adjusted with the seasons, the menu on our visited included a roe deer stewed in Ukiel beer and served in a pan under a light puff pastry. ul. Mokotowska 8

polish (classic) PYZY, FLAKI GORĄCE PODWALE 5

Polish pizza!? You gottit’. While it won’t provide competition for any of the new wave Neapolitan pizzerias around town, they’re still very decent and come with a focus on Polish-style toppings like beets, salmon and chanterelles. But the real deal here is the homemade Polish fare. Natutrally, pyzy are the highlight, and you should enjoy them with a nip of vodka to deal with any post-meal bloat. Though basic and mundane, the atmosphere is great. ul. Podwale 5


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 104/106


Sushi without its star ingredient sounds ridiculous, but this vegan sushi joint manages to out-maneuver its traditional competitors by replacing below-par 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


Not only is their kitchen all female, they’ve now sourced some international talent from Peru and India. Ignoring proteins like tempeh, soy or seitan, instead these kitchen heroes conjure magic from seasonal veggies whilst whipping out some Beyond Meat to give oomph to their wontons. ul. Mokotowska 58


The menu includes alternatives such as kimchi-cheese gyoza dumplings, spiced soy meat and ‘vegan eel’. The real plaudits, however, are reserved for the ramen. Tag yourself up in an interior that’s big on Japanese wood joints and concrete finishes. ul.

Koszykowa 49A



Drink! T

THE SPICE OF LIFE (a deliciously lively mix of rice, capsicum, pomegranate, sev and chutney). Lacking an alcohol license, order a shot of milky Indian chai and settle back to wallow in the animated babble of Chaiwala’s regulars. Though looking basic (the interior doesn’t really evolve beyond murals of bearded Indian folk and shelves of imported groceries), it’s a place that you feel improves Warsaw’s mood. For sure, it’ll improve yours. Chaiwala ul. Ogrodowa 1A (enter from Al. Jana Pawła II), fb.com/ChaiwalaOgrodowa


here are times you would be forgiven for thinking that Indian cuisine never really went beyond butter chicken – do the restaurants here actually ever cook anything else? Chaiwala set the record straight, and that’s thanks to a menu that reassesses everything you thought you knew about Indian food and drink. Billing itself as an Indian café and snack bar, you visit for a truly alternative take on this nation’s gastro offer – served on paper plates, the bites here are outstanding, and include cheese & chili toasts and pineapple jam sandwiches, to perky bowls of Bombay bhel




Cocktail culture takes a twist… 54

Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022

COORDINATES Celebrating its 120th birthday late last year, the Bristol has long distinguished itself as the grand dame of Polish hotels. Hosting a never-ending roll-call of A-list stars and celebs, it remains as relevant now as when it first opened. Hidden behind

dark reflective glass from the outside, find Lane’s occupying a front wing in a space formerly taken by the hotel’s wine bar. But much like the Bristol is more than a hotel, consider Lane’s as more than just a hotel bar. It’s more than that – it’s something truly special.



Review LOOK Designed by the London-based Sagrada group, you walk into Lane’s to learn the meaning of ‘love at first sight’. Soft on the eye, it’s peachy-pink colors exude a stylish warmth – think elegant and luxurious but in a way that’s subtle and discreet. Featuring no shortage of brass, glass, stone and satin, the floaty ambience is lent further oomph by a stunning geometric lighting installation that hangs over sofas that you may never want to leave. Perfectly proportioned, it’s intimate enough to feel like a private members club, and that sense of personalization peaks when seated at a bar that presents a motherlode of glimmering bottles set against a mosaic that gently riffs on the Bristol’s Art Nouveau and Art Deco spirit. TEAM TALK Heading the bar is Karol Rybicki, a premier league bartender whose two decades of international experience have seen him fix and mix for names like DiCaprio, Connery, Rihanna and Madonna. Yep, this guy’s the real deal. Not that this is by any means a one-man show. Headhunting staff based on both their skills and personality, Rybicki has assembled a tight team of maestros that will already be familiar to Warsaw’s cocktail afficionados. GINSPIRATIONAL! Gin plays the hero role in Lane’s, and that’s reflected by way of a menu that takes you on a foxtrot through the world’s finest gins. Covering Scandinavia, start with Skål a drink fixed with Harahorn, cloudberry jam, lemon, Regan’s orange bitters, and a drop of warsawinsider.pl


Lane’s Gin Bar Krakowskie Przedmieście 42/44, lanesbar.com

THERE’S MORE Lane’s cocktail menu – which you download to your phone – is a comprehensive ride that leaves no stone unturned. Classics are ably represented, though for something out of this world look to the section titled Lane’s Luxuries; here, find a trio of cocktails with ingredients that merit the nosebleed prices. That’s all very well, but to feel like a real insider then ask for the Little Black Book, a semi-secret tome whose pages are in the process of being filled by recipes concocted between Rybicki and his guests – and taking pride of place, none other than an entry by the best-selling author Szczepan Twardoch. Who co-created a signature cocktail with Belvedere Vodka named Morphine. FOOD You’re right to expect something special on the food front. Mixing Japanese and South American influences, the offered Nikkei cuisine clicks in harmony with the drinks to present a multi-sensory bang every bit as dynamic and creative as the cocktails in front: executed with style and precision,


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022

that means the likes of skewers of grade five Wagyu beef; crunchy corn tacos filled with salmon; and tuna tataki with watermelon, physalis, compressed cucumber and red onion. FINAL WORD With cocktails starting in the low 40s, it’s likely you’ll be spending serious money in Lane’s – but such is the experience, it’s a

fool that chooses to quantify it in material terms. Drinks are world class, as is the setting and service, and you leave feeling like you’ve enriched your life if only for a night. Warsaw has some truly exceptional cocktail bars, but you get the idea that Lane’s adds a new dimension to an already vibrant scene. More than merely brilliant, it’s something even better.


Amol to lend a sharp, chilly blast to your sip. Equally impressive, the Auguri brings Italy to your placemat with its playful mix of Marcati, Campari, basil & thyme cordial, Cointreau foam and clarified tomato water. If there’s a star, mind you, we find it in the form of the Perfect Lady, an immaculate creation of Mombasa Club premium gin, crème de peche, lemon and egg white presented in an impossibly tall, handcrafted glass. “It’s our Insta sensation,” admits Rybicki.

Review THE GOOD NEIGHBOR Warm feelings on Nowolipki…

SWEET BEGINNINGS When Dobra Materia opened last May, they marked their launch by handing out slices of cake baked to look like the building in which they’re set. As a gesture, it said much for their enthusiasm for Muranów and their will to connect to their neighbors. And in a round about way, that’s what this place is all about: connection. INSIDE Sleek low-lying black chairs hold the line with the bottom of the window pane encouraging gazing and making for an easy lounging experience. Hits of yellow in the porcelain cups provide a nice little

accent, whilst there’s a few tables capable of holding a laptop should you fancy a bit of remote working. IN THE BEANS Co-owners Marta and Andrzej are always sure to have a stock of beans from the Bydgoszcz-based Norwegian roaster Audun Sørbotten. In addition, other represented roasters include HAYB, Heresy, Momento, Five Elephant and Bracia Ziółkowscy. TASTING NOTES Food is covered by way of cakes from vegan producers such as Miód Makina and Sadki. Away from coffee, drinks include winter winners such

as their non-alcoholic mulled wine – called ‘meltwine’, it’s made using juices from Łąckie Ogrody (a brand certified by Slow Food Polska). Specifically, that means apple juice with cinnamon and rosemary, or plum juice with ginger, cinnamon and dried orange. INSIDER TIP Keep an eye on their Facebook page for the cupping sessions where you can try all their coffees to see which one is your new favorite of the month. KD Dobre Materia ul. Nowolipki 13, fb.com/kawiarniadobramateria




of expat silliness – when they closed, a little piece of Warsaw died along with them. True, other Irish pubs have continued to operate in Warsaw, only these have proved to be sly imposters run by Polish proprietors with little knowledge or enthusiasm for Ireland itself. News, therefore, of The Shamrock’s opening has been met with glee and excitement by the international community. Starting life as a stall knocking out Guinness and chips in Hala Gwardii, December saw operations super-sized and expanded to include an address on Zgoda.

At last, an Irish-run Irish pub sets down in Warsaw…


hen it comes to the issue of Irish pubs, Warsaw does not compare favorably to neighboring capitals – a baffling point given the city’s pedigree; no long-term expat will ever forget the imprint left by the Morgan clan and their murky dungeon bar under what is now the Chopin Museum. And when that finally expired, we simply relocated to Irish-run


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022

legends such as Bradley’s and Bar Below. Attracting an eclectic mix of adventurers, scammers, diplomats, gold diggers, pissheads, CEOs and chancers, these venues were the lifeblood of the expat scene – in these places, social barriers did not exist, we were all in it together and together meant drunk. Noted for their reckless excess and extraordinary characters, these bars represented a golden era

SO WHY VISIT? If The Shamrock lacks any overt visual glories it compensates for the dearth of aesthetic frills through its atmosphere – and of that there is plenty. Find a melting pot of nationalities slopping beers over each other while shouting their orders to Curtis and his family behind the bar – high on noise and bellowed banter, the atmosphere cranks yet further whenever Curtis grabs his guitar to lead



FIRST IMPRESSIONS It sure is basic. Devoid of the usual clutter and ephemera found in most Irish pubs (you know: signposts pointing the way to Dublin, vintage Guinness posters and quotes by Joyce), The Shamrock is little more than a bare room lit by a greenish Carlsberg sign. Up the stairs, find another room left bald and unbothered by things like design. Toilets, meanwhile, can get grisly as the night draws on.

The Shamrock ul. Zgoda 5 & Hala Gwardii, fb.com/theshamrockwarsaw

his audience in song. Lively and likeable, it’s a bar that swallows you whole and doesn’t let go until you’re nine pints to the good. To this context, meeting strangers comes guaranteed. FOOD & DRINK Fish’n’chips are the order of the day, and these are as convincing as any that we’ve tried in our twenty-one years in Poland. As for booze, find Magners on tap, as well as the black stuff – costed at zł. 23, the Guinness is poured with practiced expertise. It’s a fine pint you’ll get, and you won’t stop at one.

GOOD TO KNOW Events and promotions have thus far been frequent and have included beer pong tournaments, language exchanges, student nights and, even, something dubbed an Irish-Latino evening. It speaks much of a place that’s going hell-for-leather to build a community and a reputation for fun. Moreover, we’re told Sky Sports will be added for fans of British football.

FINAL WORD It’s actually refreshing to see an Irish pub that awards more importance to craic than bric-abrac. Sure, a few more interior details would be welcome, but for the time being they’ve got the most important thing right: atmosphere. One of our favorite nights out in recent memory, hopes are high that The Shamrock could yet enter the realm of nightlife folklore.



Opening MATCHA MADNESS! Matcha takes over Oleandrów…


unique combination of matcha bar, tea room and organic Moya tea store, the Polish-Japanese brand Moya Matcha has opened its first restaurant in Warsaw. Selling original Moya Matcha gift sets and ceramics, drink Matcha in its various versions or try a choice of menu curated by Marianna Medyńska. In an interior designed by Julia Jankowska, find matcha experts on-hand to advise you on your choices. Open daily from morning to evening, all menu items are also available for take away.


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022

ABOUT MOYA MATCHA Moya Matcha is a Polish-Japanese brand specializing in organic matcha and leaf teas from family fields grown according to the best ecological practices. Matcha is a powdered green tea and one of the best natural antioxidants. Recommended for sirtfood diets, it can be drunk, eaten or even used in home cosmetics. In addition to matcha, find also leaf teas at Moya Matcha, original gift sets, limited series ceramics created by local workshops and

much more besides. Founded by Maciek, Norbert and Hitomi, the latter is a graduate of the Urasenke Tea School and the prestigious Cordon Bleu culinary school in Paris. Together, it’s become their life mission to spread the word about matcha’s unique properties!

Moya Matcha Oleandrów ul. Oleandrów 6, moyamatcha.com / fb.com/moyamatchaoleandrow

Drink! listings after work classics ELEKTROWNIA POWISŁE

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, elektrowniapowisle.com

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, legendsbar.pl


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

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



Drink! listings 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

NOLA: as in New Orleans, Louisiana. Jazz! Hedonism! Etcetera! Almost identical to its predecessor, Koko & Roy, the intimate interior has seen a few nips and tucks – vinyl records, cymbals and some black and white pics added to the walls. Dark and shadowy, its proved popular with the younger expat generation who gather here for drinks that include the Americanized version of Pimm’s and exotic creations with names like Absinth Frappe. ul. Wilcza 43, nolabar.pl




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)



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Inspired by The Jetsons, the moon landings and the atom, it’s a joy of lunar lines, pea green colors and furnishings and fittings that are retro-futuristic. Adorned with plants and a curvaceously bizarre ceiling light, your eyes dart all over the place before settling onto a sweepy bar that’s as snaky as the letter ‘s’. Groovy muzak provides the audio, whilst the crowd is young, international and thirsty – the author’s cocktails are great, with our winner being the Green Bubble (melon liquor, cognac, tarragon, lemon juice and fizzy water). For food, order fondue or herring served with vegan caviar in the layered style of an éclair. ul. Poznańska 21


Hip and happening, the concept at Reginabar is a wacky amalgam that mixes elements of New York’s Little Italy with China Town next 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


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


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

Drink! listings craft beer BEER STATION CENTRUM

Traipse down a plunging set of stairs to reach a cave-like space whose warm brick skin can just about be discerned amid the darkness. Proudly Belarussian run, the welcome from the owners is warm, sincere and never short on cheer. Stay here for an hour and you’ll feel you’ve known them for years. For booze, there’s twelve beers on tap and these include some excellent craft swigs along with more standard drinks. ul. Lwowska 17


Beer is central to the swank-looking Browar Warszawski, and running that side of operations is the skilled Dawid Bąk. There’s 18 house beers on tap, and they do a grand job of broadly introducing Poland’s crafty direction. Recognizing that not everyone likes beer (!), they also fix a mean cocktail – the Browar Sour, based on Ostoya vodka, is brill. Feeling reassuringly cosmopolitan, it’s become one of the Insider’s favorite watering holes. ul. Haberbuscha i

Schielego 2

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 6/12


A breath of fresh air when compared to the original – literally. Points are earned by whoever thought to add an Indian menu, while other pluses are awarded for a fridge housing exciting brews trending around the globe: from super cool Bermondsey breweries to Scandinavian legends, it’s a place you feel actually broadens your horizons. ul.

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.




Marszałkowska 10/16

Humble and unpretentious, CBM’s

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


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



Drink! listings 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. ul. Bora-Komorowskiego 56A

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

cover 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




Squashed into two narrow, rugged rooms decorated with benches 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

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


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022

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


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 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

specialty coffee COFFEEDESK PRÓŹNA

Already established thanks to an uber-cool location on Wilcza, dis-

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


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


An updated upgrade of the original Relax found downtown, this modern day success story maximizes all available space and light with a clean-lined interior that’s embellished by a scattering of coffee tomes and a statement mural by Mariusz Tarkawian. A cracking edition to the capital’s line-up of alt. coffee haunts. ul. Wilcza 17



Never ones to shy from controversy, MSN’s newest exhibition takes an alternative look at the abortion debate…




SN’s latest exhibition seeks to present a personal perspective aimed at lending an existential dimension to… abortion. Freeing this topic from “destructive stereotypes”, the organizers hope to showcase society’s differing standpoints as well as the role of religion and the state in the debate. According to co-curator Magda Lipska, “the aim is to wrest the subject from the control of political


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022

cliches and restore its personal dimension.” Titled ‘Who will write the history of tears’, the name is borrowed from a painting by the American artist Barbara Kruger, and this itself will form an integral part of the exhibition. Alongside it will be a now-legendary poster that first appeared on the streets of poster in the autumn of 1991. Co-curator Sebastian Cichocki added: “Together with other museum institutions, we reviewed the art of the 1990s and its key traditions impacting current art. Our principal partner was the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. We identified numerous similarities between the social situations in Poland and Ireland in which the battle for women’s rights was central.” A documentary film has also been created especially for the exhibition, based on oral history, depicting the protests in defence of women’s rights in Poland in the 1990s. As for the exhibition space, that’s been designed by the German architect Johanna Meyer-Grohbrügge and alludes to Womanhouse, organized in 1972 by Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro, the first feminist exhibition in the United States.


Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 22, artmuseum.pl

The Royal Castle in Warsaw (Zamek Królewski w Warszawie) Pl. Zamkowy 4, zamek-krolewski.pl/en


ART OF THE MATTER In what’s been promoted as one of the biggest art coups in recent years, two paintings by Caravaggio have gone on public display in Warsaw’s Royal Castle…


ast exhibited in Poland in 1996, works by Michelangelo Merisi, a.k.a Caravaggio, have been made available for public viewing at the Royal Castle. Regarded as one of the greatest artists of the Baroque period, Caravaggio’s dramatic use of light and shadow paved the way for a new generation of painters and would later inspire such luminaries as Rubens, Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Velàzquez. Largely forgotten after his death in 1610, his work was later rediscovered thanks largely to the efforts of the eminent Italian art historian Roberto Longhi. His painstaking research just over a century ago helped elevate Caravaggio’s profile; amassing a huge collection of works, it

was thanks to his efforts that the Lombardy master was finally recognized as “the first painter of the modern era”. Supplemented by 40 works by his followers, the star attraction of the exhibition are undoubtedly a duo of canvases painted by Caravaggio: Narcissus At The Spring (15981599) and Boy Bitten By A Lizard (1596-1597). A hugely controversial character, Caravaggio’s life was beset by brawls, legal issues, adventure and misdemeanor. Fleeing Rome after being found responsible for the murder of a local gangster, Caravaggio died in 1610 at the age of thirty-eight. Ongoing until February, “Caravaggio and other Masters” has already been dubbed one of the most important exhibitions Warsaw has seen for years.



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


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@ bswilanow.org to organise a visit.

Elementary Szwoleżerów 4

„Erdkinder” Middle School


Tatrzańska 5a

Montessori High School

Pytlasińskiego 13a Contact Office: 692 099 134 office@warsawmontessori.edu.pl

www.wmf.edu.pl 68

Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022

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 lifelong learner. ul. Dąbrowskiego

18.12.2018 12:32

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


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, canadian-school.pl


(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, wmf.edu.pl


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), office@3languages.pl, itsw.edu.pl


The English Playhouse functions in two green and quiet residential districts of Mokotów and Wilanów. The pre-school follows the English National Curriculum and

accepts children from 12 months up till six-years-old. For more info or to arrange a tour call Justyna Nowak on tel. 784 037 808 or email: jnowak@theenglishplayhouse.com

ul. Pływiańska 14a, tel. 22 843 9370, tep.edu.pl


Maple Tree Montessori is a family-run, international preschool that offers an authentic Montessori curriculum supported by a Music & Art program, with a natural playground and a strong focus on an ecological & healthy lifestyle. They have two classes: a toddler group (15 to 30 months) and a casa class (2.5 to 6

years). ul. Piechoty Łanowej 46A (entrance from Rotmistrzowska/ Petyhorska), tel. 531 599 444, mapletreemontessori.pl


An intimate, international, English-speaking preschool located in 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

ADMISSIONS OPEN EARLY YEARS, PRIMARY, SECONDARY & IB admissions@thebritishschool.pl (0048) 22 842 32 81 ext. 125




the spontaneous use of the human intellect. ul. Przyczółkowa 140, tel. 728

939 582, montessoristeppingstones.pl



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, akademeia.edu.pl


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:

admissions@aswarsaw.org or 22 702 85 00, ul. Warszawska 202 (Konstancin-Jeziorna), aswarsaw.org


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 applica-

NEW NURSERY GROUPS Wilanów and Mokotów location Applications now open! www.tep.edu.pl


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022


696 904 687

tions from Nursery to Year 9. Please

email admissions@bswilanow.org 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 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, thebritishschool.pl


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, tep. edu.pl


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@ canadian-school.pl or secretary. olimpijska@canadian-school.pl


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), office@3languages.pl, itsw.edu.pl


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, sekretariat@joyprimaryschool.pl

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.

Accepting applications for Nursery to Year 9 bsw.com.pl +48 221 110 062 ul. Hlonda 12, Warsaw admissions@bswilanow.org



The fully-qualified staff are committed to delivering only the highest standards of education.

ul. Stępińska 13, tel. 22 852 06 08, maturamiedzynarodowa.pl


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, wmf. edu.pl

WARSAW MONTESSORI MIDDLE SCHOOL 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, wmf.edu.pl


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, wmf.edu.pl

shopping accessories BEAUTYLAB POLSKA

Rated as one of the biggest names in global cosmetics, the range of treatments run from anti-ageing to daily body care and essential skin care. beautylablondon.pro


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. eyebar.pl


Widely hailed by Poland’s fashion glossies, this store sells modern furnishings with all the trimmings and colors you could ask for. They also stock kitchen and bathroom accessories, as well as touting their own jewelry line. ul. Narbutta 83

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 | JANUARY 2022


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


Rings, bracelets, necklaces and watches produced using the finest Baltic amber. Or for a unique gift, how about an amber chess set or an amber cigarette lighter? ul. Piwna 12/14, ul. Piwna 26, ul. Świętojańska 11, worldofamber.pl


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, moliera2.com


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, plactrzechkrzyzy.com

experiences ARKADIA


Brands: Alexnadre Birman, Alexandre Vauthier, Aquazzura, Balmain, Beach Bunny, Burberry,

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

Jana Pawła II 82, arkadia.com.pl


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

Wołoska 12, galeriamokotow.com.pl


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, klif.pl


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


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, mysia3.pl


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

DISCOVER POLIN MUSEUM warsawinsider.pl



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 | JANUARY 2022

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, mzprl.pl


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, mnw.art.pl


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), neonmuzeum.org


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, polin.pl


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

79, 1944.pl



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

1, ethnomuseum.pl


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, jhi.pl

Copernicus Science Centre


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022


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, muzeumwarszawy.pl


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


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, muzeumpolskiejwodki.pl


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, zamekkrolewski.pl


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, stacjamuzeum.pl


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. Marszałkowska


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, u-jazdowski.pl


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, dsh.waw.pl


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, artmuseum.pl


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, zacheta.art.pl



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 | JANUARY 2022

3 4 km




shopping exeriences 1

Designer Outlet Warszawa ul. Puławska 42E, designeroutletwarszawa.pl 2

Elektrownia Powiśle ul. Dobra 42, elektrowniapowisle.com National Stadium


Galeria Mokotów ul. Wołoska 12, galeriamokotow.com.pl 4

Galeria Północna ul. Światowida 17, galeriapolnocna.pl 5

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

Koneser Pl. Konesera, koneser.eu 7

Plac Unii ul. Puławska 2, placunii.pl 8

Mysia 3 ul. Mysia 3, mysia3.pl


Vitkac ul. Bracka 9, likusconceptstore.pl 10

Westfield Arkadia Al. Jana Pawła II 82, pl.westfield.com/arkadia 11

Złote Tarasy ul. Złota 59, zlotetarasy.pl

museums 1

National Museum Al. Jerozolimskie 3, mnw.art.pl.pl 2

The Warsaw Rising Museum ul. Grzybowska 79, 1944.pl


Museum of Warsaw Rynek Starego Miasta 2842, muzeumwarszawy.pl 7

POLIN ul. Anielewicza 6, polin.pl

stores 1

Moliera 2 Boutique ul. Moliera 2, moliera2.com 2

Pl. Trzech Krzyży 3/4 Krzyży 3/4, plactrzechkrzyzy.com


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

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

Neon Museum ul. Mińska 25 (Soho Factory), neonmuzeum.org



This Month

in the shadow of the Palace of Culture by checking the rink on Świętokrzyska, while in the ’burbs check the indoor Figlowisko in Ursynów or the outdoor rink outside Royal Wilanów.


After a few years of only sporadic snowfall, the signs suggest this year could finally see the return of something resembling a traditional winter – and we all know that means skates, sleighs and horsedrawn sleds!


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2022


With the National Stadium again on covid duties, we again fall back to tradition when it comes to ice skating. The rink in the Old Town’s Rynek has long been a Warsaw fave, and this time around it’s been upgraded to feature a new surface that’s smoother and more environmentally friendly than that previously seen. Touting an area of 600 sq/m, it’s almost mandatory to finish up with a cup of mulled wine from the hatches nearby. Outside of Old Town, the rink in Pl. Konsera was one of the hits of 2021 and affords the chance to skate about in a beautiful post-industrial setting. In the center, swoosh around


The best things in life are free! Even the scantest fall of snow is enough to see the natives hauling out heirloom toboggans from the basement before heading off to the nearest hill to indulge in suicidal capers. Every local has their favorite spot, but it’s the Old Town’s Podzamce that’s historically the best. Elsewhere, Morskie Oko and Królikarnia in Mokotów both have impressive slopes as do Park Sowiński and Park Moczydło in Wola.



It’s easy to forget we live on the doorstep of a glorious National Park: Kampinos. To enjoy it to the max his winter, hire out a sleigh that will take you through the Narnia-style landscape before concluding with an ognisko – a bonfire involving sausages on sticks and hearty lugs of vodka and mulled wine. Numerous firms offer such excursions, just feed the words ‘Kulig Kampinos’ into Google.