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Editor-in-chief Alex Webber
7 Environment Smog 8 Poster Art Anna Frydrych 10 Public Art Bakcyl Studio
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Contributors: Michał Miszkurka Ed Wight
14 Valentine's Walk Łazienki and beyond 22 Food Donut Day! 24 Valentine's Day For two...
31 First Bite:
Muus 32 Foodie News Opasły Tom 33 Review: The Cool Cat 34 Review: The Farm 36 Review: Bułkę przez Bibułkę
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ell that was awkward, wasn’t it? Having devoted much of this space last month to warn about the severity of suffering that each winter brings, what did we get – yep, the mildest, most inoffensive January that anyone can remember. It would appear that, much like some governments that we choose not to name, our resident meteorological expert has also yet to fully comprehend the nuances of climate change. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a glorious spring, it’s just that we prefer it takes place when it’s actually meant to happen. But if our forecast went wrong last time around, there’s no chance of the next prediction falling flat on its face – whether you like it or not, Feb means Valentine’s Day, which is why this issue much of our content is dedicated with cupid in mind. Elsewhere, we’ve explored the story behind the tastiest day of the Polish calendar (Tłusty Czwartek, should you wonder), happened upon the largest Lego building in the world, and toured Ursynów to discover an outbreak of muralosis. As always, hope you enjoy it and see ya’ next month!
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DISCOVER Lego Exhibition 76 Museums 80 Essentials 94 Map 96 Events In February
Alex Webber email@example.com on the cover Valentine’s Day! See p. 24 for your comprehensive list of V.D. ideas… (Illustration by Michał Miszkurka)
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
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CAUSING A RUM-BLE …
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No Filter Needed
Warsaw woke up on January 17th to scenes reminiscent of Silent Hill. Blanketed in a thick fug of smog, particulate levels registered three times above the recommended maximum threshold. Remarkably, residents of the capital could count themselves lucky – according to statistics released by AirVisual, an independent air monitoring portal based in Switzerland, at one stage Wrocław held the dubious honor of being the second most polluted city in the world, behind only Pakistan’s capital, Lahore. On what was to prove a bleak day for Polish environmentalists, Kraków was ranked fourth. As it stands, latest figures from the World Health Organization show that of the European Union’s fifty most polluted cities, 36 are to be found in Poland. Accusing fingers have been pointed at the government for failing to take decisive and effective action to combat smog, with some cities choosing to tackle the problem themselves. Kraków, for instance, has taken a lead by becoming the first city in Poland to ban the burning of coal and wood whilst also introducing a slew of counter-measures such as free public transport on particularly bad air days.
A new poster campaign highlighting animal rights has sparked controversy for its graphic message…
n annual poster competition organized by Galeria Plakatu AMS has made headlines after being accused of employing shock tactics by its critics. Now in its 20th year, the latest edition challenged entrants to design a poster concerning “the rights of animals to lead a dignified life”.
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
“We already teach small children that an animal is not a gift and should be looked after responsibly,” said a statement from AMS, “so we wanted to remind people that animals have needs that should also be respected. Therefore, participants were tasked with designing a poster about the rights of animals to ‘live in
dignity’ with this slogan serving as the primary source of inspiration.” Receiving a record 779 submissions in all, it then fell to an independent panel of jurors to sift through the entries and decide on a winner. Having already handed out five distinctions, top prize was awarded to Anna Frydrych, a fourth year student at Warsaw’s Academy of Fine Arts. Herself the owner of a shelter cat, Frydrych’s entry depicted an emaciated dog along with the slogan, Uwaga Zły Pan (Beware, Bad Man). Speaking to Gazeta Wyborcza, the artist explained the motivation behind her work: “People still buy signs that warn ‘Beware of the dog’, which isn’t a very positive testimony. Even so, I don’t want to give firm answers, I’d rather people interpret my poster as they see fit – the important thing is that the message is noticed.” This it has been. Appearing at thousands of bus stops across the country, the poster has caused an outcry for its brutal representation of animal cruelty. But this is not the first time that the competition has come under fire. Last year’s theme, which focused on obesity, drew flak after bulimics, anorexics and health professionals criticized it for encouraging ‘fat shaming’.
PHOTOGRAPH BY KEVIN DEMARIA
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IN FRONT Together, Bartek Podlewski, Marcin Ślusarczyk and Zuzanna Podlewska have been responsible for over twenty of Ursynów’s murals… and more stand to come.
The Great Walls Of… Ursynów
A new mural paying homage to a classic TV show has joined several others that have given the dormitory suburb a bold, vibrant swagger…
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
lready responsible for several large format murals across Ursynów, the Bakcyl Studio agency found themselves again in the spotlight at the end of December after their latest effort was unveiled. Covering the flanks of two residential blocks on ul. Grzegorzewska (No. 1 & 3), as well as the entrance area of a nearby dentist’s practice, their most recent work celebrates the cult commie TV show Alternatywy 4, a 1980s satire based around the everyday lives of the residents of a fictional housing project. Depicting the show’s protagonists on one wall, and a map of the estate on another, the choice of canvas was by no
means incidental – it was on this very spot that one of the seminal shows of the PRL era was originally filmed. Bartek Podlewski of Bakcyl Studio takes up the story… WI: What were you looking to accomplish with this latest mural?
BP: It’s actually a collection of three murals that can be found at one rather special location: the estate where Alternatywy 4 was filmed. Back in the 80s it would be no exaggeration to say that practically everyone watched it; it was a gem of Polish pop culture but, as it turned out, not many people actually knew where it was shot. We thought we could change that and painting >>>
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF BAKCYL STUDIO
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IN FRONT murals commemorating the show seemed like a great solution. Our ‘mission’ was to honor the series in a way that was dignified but also visually attractive. What challenges did you face?
In the case of this mural, the situation was unusual because it was created as part of the Civic Budget. In short, that’s a local government initiative where citizens of Warsaw submit their ideas with the winning proposals decided by a public poll. So yes, the challenge we faced was winning enough votes to go ahead with it. To do so we promoted our murals heavily on social media and managed to qualify for funding. In all, a lot of people and institutions were involved in the realization of this project with the Red Sheels agency taking care of the final execution of the mural – they did a stellar job. Your work covers various creative fields, but murals (and Ursynów) seem recurring topics…
We have strong ties to Ursynów: we work and live here and know its history well. At Bakcyl Studio I work together with Marcin Ślusarczyk and Zuzanna Podlewska, and we once found ourselves walking around the area noticing all the empty walls and likening them to blank canvases. Seeing we specialize in visual identification we figured we could utilize those walls to say something special about the place. Five years on, we’ve completed over twenty murals in Ursynów and more are in the pipeline. What’s the reaction been to your work?
The feedback we’ve had from the locals has been really positive – of course you do get the occasional dissenting voice, but in general the vast
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
majority appreciate this form of art; murals lend life to public space and, in our case, many of them refer to the district’s history, shape the area’s image and serve as an attraction for tourists and outsiders. We’ve heard of some people describing them as ‘signposts’…
That’s right. Ursynów is a huge district and it’s something of a bane for cab drivers – fifty square kilometers filled with similar looking apartment blocks. It’s easy to get lost here so the murals, by their very nature, have become signposts for the area. You’ll hear people saying “I live under the bear”, or
“Find me opposite the angel”. They’re handy for newcomers! What are the factors you need to keep in mind when planning a mural, especially such biggies?
The mural needs to be prominent so it’s imperative you choose the right wall, one that will make it clearly visible. Further, it’s better if the wall isn’t positioned in direct sunlight as colors can fade fast in such circumstances. Also, make sure there’s enough space for the scaffolding and be mindful of the weather – for obvious reasons, spring to the end of autumn is the optimal window when painting outdoors.
For more on Bakcyl Studio, see: bakcylstudio.pl
Any secret details we should look out for when it comes to Alternatywy 4?
It’s not so much a hidden Easter egg as it is a little artistic touch: not everyone knows that the director of Alternatywy 4, Stanisław Bareja, also appeared in the series – he played the role of a militia officer. On the mural, we depicted him upside down, leaning sideways and looking closely at the other characters. We wanted to add a surreal element to the mural to echo the nature of his work. It’s also a reference to Bareja’s unique point of view – he saw communist Poland as an absurd world turned on its head.
What are your own memories of Alternatywy 4…
My first memory of the series was actually quite traumatic! I was six when I saw it for the first time, and there was a scene with a robot called Ewa-1 that totally terrified me. It was a humanoid robot constructed for the specific purpose of standing in the line at the grocery store. With queues during communism often stretching several dozen meters this was a groundbreaking invention – unfortunately, in the episode I watched Ewa-1’s head fell off during a scuffle over some ham. That scene, along with The Shining, haunted me for years!
"WE SPECIALIZE IN VISUAL IDENTIFICATION SO WE FIGURED WE COULD UTILIZE THESE WALLS TO SAY SOMETHING SPECIAL ABOUT THE PLACE. FIVE YEARS ON, WE’VE COMPLETED OVER TWENTY MURALS IN URSYNÓW... warsawinsider.pl
Then follow us on a Valentine’s prowl around Warsaw’s heart…
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
THE RENDEZ-VOUS Of course, there are far better times to visit the Chopin monument that stands amid Łazienki’s ‘rose garden’, not least when the aforementioned flowers are actually in bloom but, nonetheless, visit it you should if for no other reason than the sense of timeless melancholy it imparts when viewed under granite winter skies. Perfect for spy drops or illicit meetings with secret lovers, its at this time of year that the statue dedicated to arguably the city’s most romantic hero feels its
PHOTOGRAPH BY KEVIN DEMARIA
most moody and forlorn. And its back story isn’t bad either. First revealed in 1926, it became the first Warsaw monument to be destroyed by the Nazis when it was removed in 1940 under the orders of General Government chief Hans Frank. With Chopin regarded as one of the great patriotic figureheads of Poland, the monument’s destruction was a purposeful ploy to crush the Polish spirit – but if anything, the iconoclastic act galvanized
the local population. Apocryphal it might be, but the next day it is said a slogan appeared on the plinth as if painted by the composer: “I do not know who did this,” it read, “but I know why: so that I won’t play the funeral march for your leader.” Rebuilt in 1958, it today serves as flypaper for lovers, though particularly in summer when piano and poetry recitals are held at weekends. Out of season, it’s appeal is just as powerful. warsawinsider.pl
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appreciate the full might of Łazienki, but whistle-stop visits aren’t to be sneered at. First designed in the 17th century by the prolific Tylman van Gameren, its seen numerous modifications since, most notably during the reign of Poland’s last king, Stanisław August Poniatowski. Serving as the monarch’s summer residence, it was under his auspices that architect Dominik Merlini added such structures as ‘the White House’ which was used as a bolt hole for his majesty’s mistress of choice. You’ll cross this on your walk from the Chopin Monument, and so too the New Orangery, an intricate glass and steel structure built on the orders of Tsar Alexander II to house Europe’s largest collection of tropical plants. Stranger still, next comes a Chinese Garden, the idea of which was originally coined by King Poniatowski. The current garden was completed in 2014 and based upon Prince Kung’s Mansion in Beijing and never loses its eccentric sense of magic. A throwback to the Imperial Age, its hard not to be awestruck by it all, and that feeling is compounded when paths inevitably intertwine with the park’s legendary peacocks. Pulling yourself away from it all is hard, after all, there’s still palaces and waterways that lie right ahead, but for the sake of timing, do so – after all, Łazienki isn’t going anywhere.
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
INTO THE FRAY! It takes days to fully explore and
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on a foggy day, when halos of light form around the 19th century gas lamps that line it, one is swept away by the sheer timelessness of the scene. True, this corner of Warsaw has seen its stock sink a little since the departure of the award-winning Atelier Amaro restaurant, but in the form of the Baroque-style Ujazdów Castle it has another beacon of light. Built as a royal residence, but frequently press-ganged into serving as a field hospital throughout numerous wars and insurrections, its current function as the Center of Contemporary Art (CSW) has earned it a strong reputation for often scandalous art. Though their message stands to get 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 its corridors is a thrill in itself. Having had your dose of art, cross Trasa Łazienkowska by making use of the footbridge that spans it to reach your next destination.
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN DEMARIA
NEXT UP… Make the gentle climb up ul. Agrykola;
AIt feels RURAL BREAK like every few months we find a
reason to namedrop Osiedle Jazdów but the reasons we have are really quite valid: offering a taste of the countryside slap bang in the city, it’s one of the best kept secrets in the whole of Poland. What is it? Well, for the benefit of those not in-the-know, consider it a tiny micro-community of cozy wooden cabins sprouting from the woodland. Known to some as the Finnish Houses, their story is straight forward. Built in July 1945 to house the architects and engineers working on piecing Warsaw back together, approximately 95 chalets were assembled from ready-to-build kits confiscated from Finland as part of post-war reparations. Although originally given a ten-year lifespan, around thirty have doggedly survived to this day, the majority of which now function as homes to NGOs and other such ventures (among others, find an Embassy for Traditional Music, a food sharing point, a co-working space and an urban beekeeping unit). With smoke wafting overhead, and squirrels darting between bushes, it’s not unlike finding yourself in a forgotten, rustic village that’s been cut off from the world.
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it isn't so much an oversight as a move of near criminal negligence. Once serving as a military parade ground under the last King of Poland’s reign, it later morphed into an annual summer fairground before being remodeled in its entirety in the late 19th century by Franciszek Szanior, the Chief Municipal Gardener of the era. The fruits of his labor are evident to this day with the gently curving paths taking strollers past an array of discreet nooks and secretive alcoves. Having familiarized yourself with the maps that stand at the entrance, chalk off points of interest such as a nude Perseus hoisting aloft the head of a Medusa; a statue named Ewa that was designed by one of Rodin’s protégés, as well as a curious green cabin housing one of only two such weighing scales existing on the planet – once exhibited at the 1900 Paris World Fair, past users include Charles De Gaulle. But history be damned. The reason you’re here is to woo and seduce. Do so alongside the banks of the lake or under the decorative pergola. If you’re going so far as to propose (don’t do it!), then head to the super cute rock pool – the humpbacked bridge that curves over it is one of the city’s great romantic secrets: a point affirmed by the lovelocks that keep getting clamped to its railings despite the best efforts of the park’s guardians.
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN DEMARIA
AWithPLACE TO PROPOSE? a location a stone’s throw from Łazienki it’s easy to understand why Park Ujazdowski falls under the radar – but ignoring
plac Trzech Krzyży
Atelier Amaro (3) Pl. Trzech Krzyży 10/14 If you haven’t already booked then forget about it for Valentine’s. If you have, anticipate groundbreaking Michelin-starred modern Polish cuisine inside world class interiors.
Park ie Ujazdowsk Ko sz 2. yk ow a
Belvedere (4) Łazienki Park As settings go, Belvedere can’t be beat: dine on ceremonious Polish food in an imperial orangery filled with intricate latticework and botanical exotica as peacocks strut outside the window.
wskie Al. Ujazdo
Brasserie Warszawska (5) ul. Górnośląska 24 Offering a comforting air of formality, the sophisticated menu of this pristine brasserie includes some of the best oysters and foie gras to found in the city.
Chopin t Monumen
And For Afters…
Defrosting with dinner and drinks is practically compulsory, and there’s no shortage of places in which to do so in style… Ale Wino (1) ul. Mokotowska 48 What comes first, the wine or the food? It’s impossible to play favorites in this intimate wine bar-restaurant, for it seems that everything they do never falls short.
Amber Room (2) Al. Ujazdowskie 13 A pre-war palace provides the imperious setting for this fine dining adventure. The intelligent cuisine is matched by simply stunning interiors that are made for proposals.
Flaming & Co. (6) ul. Chopina 5 Seemingly inspired by a Long Island shoot for Hilfiger, the laidback, effortless affluence of Flaming marks it out as an easy choice for Valentine’s. Mamma Marietta (7) ul. Górnośląska 24 Feel the vibe of modern Italy in Mamma Marrietta, a contemporary-styled eatery ruled by the ebullient Andrea Scarantino. Regina Bar (8) ul. Koszykowa 1 Fun and flirty, Regina Bar channels the spirit of NYC’s China Town with a familiar menu, a retro kitsch interior and a spiritually inspired ‘magic cocktail’ list. Rusiko (9) Al. Ujazdowskie 22 Known for its convivial, intimate atmosphere and home-style cooking, finish your Georgian experience with a nightcap in their wine bar next door. warsawinsider.pl
A Hole-Some Business
As TĹ‚usty Czwartek approaches, the Insider visits the home of the most famous donut in townâ€Ś
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
I PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN DEMARIA
t’s said that the earliest customers arrive at four in the morning, staking their claim in the February chill to join a queue that will eventually stretch to become the longest recorded in Warsaw on that given day. By ten, that line will have expanded to loop behind the block before merging with the horizon and vanishing from view. Though good humor defines these early stages, as the hours tick by patience wears thin – in particular, with those cheeky rascals caught cutting the queue. Cross words are spoken and, while rare, the occasional fistfight is not unknown. What is this? Welcome to the phenomenon that is Tłusty Czwartek. Held during the Christian ‘carnival’ season, “Fat Thursday” is dedicated to feasting on goodies otherwise shunned by God-fearing worshippers over the course of the upcoming period of Lent. Occurring on the last Thursday preceding this solemn time (yep, February 20th), for eons Poles have used this day to partake in the near pathological consumption of donuts. At times, you suspect, the day has more in line with an extreme eating competition than anything religious. But while you can anticipate immense queues outside any store dealing in donuts (paczki), one stands apart from the rest of the field: Pracownia Cukiernicza Zagoździński. Set in an otherwise anonymously grey wedge of Warsaw’s Wola district, the capital’s favorite donut stop was founded in 1925, and though the location has since changed due to the Nazi practice of demolishing cities, the secret recipe conceived by its creator, Władysław Zagoździński, remains just the same. Wrapped in waxy paper and then bow-tied with string, what you have in your hand is exactly what once awaited their most famous client: the founder of modern Poland, Marshall Józef Piłsudski.
Cramped, dishevelled and seemingly sporting the same wood-heavy design that they’ve touted since opening their current premises in 1975, the appeal of Zagoździński lies beyond the modest, ramshackle aesthetics. Under the current ownership of Sylwia Domaskiewicz, granddaughter of Władysław Zagoździński, this cult pastry shop continues to sidestep modern innovation and artificial nasties to produce donuts of unmatched authenticity, a point not lost on their devoted band of clients: of the 100 million donuts that Poles are set to chomp on throughout the course of the day, 10,000 will come from Zagoździński, with the scramble being such that even the most regular customers find themselves limited to a maximum purchase of twenty. Laboring round-the-clock, it’s a day that sees all-hands to the pump as staff work like automatons behind the scenes to keep up with the shouted demands. As anxiety rises outside, it’s commonplace to see members of the public trying their luck and sticking their heads through the kitchen door to request “just the one”. They’re on a hiding onto nothing, their whines and pleas met with short-tempered refusals and colorful language. The tension in the kitchen is palpable and the crates of Red Bull evidence of the long slog ahead – watching this crew in action brings to mind frontline troops fending off an assault. If ever there’s ever a time for unsung heroes, then here you have it. Yet this scene is not rare, rather repeated with frequency in the bakeries and pastry shops spread around town – and being part of it, whether it be in the production, the consumption or just stuck in a queue, is to witness a unique, fleeting moment in which the essence of Poland truly comes alive. Pracownia Cukiernicza Zagoździński ul. Górczewska 15 warsawinsider.pl
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Just The Two Of Us
As Valentine’s Day approaches, the Insider presents fourteen ideas for the fourteenth of Feb…
SOMETHING STEAMY And breathe! February blues be damned: rejuvenate and recharge by pampering yourself and your partner in a super-lux spa. In terms of the mega star treatment, the Raffles Europejski gets another whole-hearted endorsement for a style like no other: restored PRL mosaics, chandeliers and a comprehensive list of expert treatments. Further afield, Hotel Narvil’s Niagra Spa, forty kilometers from Warsaw, is a spectacular indulgence with a tropical twist. Or, back to the center, Ambasada Urody has a strong reputation born from years of experience.
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
A damning indictment on the times it might be, but Warsaw’s most famous heart isn’t Chopin’s (which you’ll find pickled in cognac and encased within a pillar inside the Church of the Holy Cross), but rather the big, glimmering sign at the center of Pl. Europejski. Since making its debut the Kocham Warszawę sign on ground level has become as much of a landmark as the Warsaw Spire that teeters above it. A selfie stood with your head(s) sticking out from the heart-shaped ‘O’ is now a local Valentine’s custom – do it, your followers with love it.
DATES ON SKATES Bypassing the fact
the winter never really got going, faint hopes still fester that the snow will arrive. This being the case (and even if it isn’t), there isn’t much that beats skating hand-in-hand on the ice rink at the heart of the Old Town’s Rynek. Wooshing over the ice as the lights twinkle above is one of those little, magic pleasures of which memories are made. When you’re finished with falling on your bum or colliding into barriers, why not retreat to the relative sanctuary of the small, timber chalets vending scalding mulled wine.
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MAKE SCIENCE SEXY
When it comes to gifts, perfume or aftershave are a default choice. But forego the big brands this year and instead check into Mo61 (mo61.com), a fancy schmancy ‘perfume laboratory’ in which him and her can join forces to create their own special scent under the guidance of some of the best noses in Poland. Occupying a timeless pre-war space, the experience is fun, fragrant and totally unforgettable.
Who cares for eating alongside oncea-year diners who can barely identify a spoon. Save the restaurant for another time and instead book yourself onto one of the zillions of cooking classes that have kept couples in their thoughts. As ever, the Whirlpool Academy (fb. com/AkademiaKulinarnaWhirlpool) inside Soho Factory leads the line with a special Valentine’s themed course conducted by Italian chef Marco Ghia, whilst Skład Bananów (fb.com/SkladBananow) offer two nights of classes dedicated to aphrodisiacs. Elsewhere, Go Cook (fb.com/gocookpl) are promising to explore Italian cuisine on the 14th before focusing in on vegan aphrodisiacs the following day.
GET PHYSICAL … Not like that, you dirty minded so-and-so, but by joining up with approximately 150 other active couples for the sixth installment of Bieg Dla Par. Taking place in Park Skaryszewski on February 15th, this 5.4 kilometer run can get seriously competitive. As it stands, you’ll be looking to beat the current record holders Arkadiusz and Izabela who set a new record last time around by completing the course in just under thirty-four minutes. For registration info and further details, take a gander at the Polish-language website at: biegdlapar.pl
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
PHOTOGRAPHS CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT, SHUTTERSTOCK, FACEBOOK (2), ZACHĘTA, CSW, KEVIN DEMARIA
COOKING WITH CUPID
DISCOVER THE ART OF THE MATTER For an intellectu-
ally charged date with a difference then head thee to the Zachęta for a dose of challenging modern art. First ponder Anna Siekierska’s Weeds & People exhibition before discussing what it all means along the meandering, duck-obstructed pathways of Saski Park opposite. In a similar vein, peruse Miriam Cahn’s I As Human at the Museum of Modern Art and then take a riverside stroll along the icy, empty boulevards that stretch by the Wisła. With the exhibition in mind, topics you’ll touch on will include violence, sexuality, relationships and death…
BOOK THE BACK SEATS!
There’s nothing wrong with zonking out in front of the latest Hollywood blockbuster down your nearest multi-screen, but come on, where’s the romance in that? Instead, how about supporting the little guy for a change and sashaying down to your local indy cinema. A bygone relic from the PRL period, the magnificently strange Kino Iluzjon will be spooling Casanova on the 13th and La Strada on the 14th in their original languages. Of the other cinemas, check the timetables of Kino Kultura, Kino Muranów and U-Jazdowski Kino closer to the date.
LEAVE YOUR MARK
The unrelenting, universal fad for lovelocks is alive and kicking in Warsaw, and there’s no better place to leave a personally inscribed piece of your heart than the view point in the city’s Old Town. Accessed via ul. Dawna, an alleyway bookended by two navy blue buildings arching over the cobbles below, find the aforementioned street opening out onto a small alcove with majestic views over the river ahead. Consider the railings fair game for your padlock – everybody else does.
VA L E N T I N E ' S DAY
CROSS THE WATER
Who knows why, but there’s something inherently captivating about bridges that makes them the ideal kiss spot on a wintry date. Having appeared in cheesy rom coms such as Tylko Mnie Kochaj and Nigdy w Życiu, Most Świętokrzyski is the one loved by locals and its reputation as the country’s most filmed bridge says much for its allure. Further north, Most Gdański’s prize feature is a spiraling staircase on the Old Town side – its hypnotic quality isn’t lost on the newlywed couples that use it as a backdrop for their big Just Married photo. For those exiled in Wilanów, then Mostek Zakochanych is a dinky 12-meter number embellished with illuminated hearts that arc overhead.
SAY IT WITH FLOWERS
DANCE, DANCE, DANCE
Get the glad rags on and forget about tomorrow! Whip yourself into a sexy South American sizzle by joining a tango class at Caminito (caminito.pl), or sink to the other end of the scale by joining nihilists and other fringe dwellers for a ‘Party for Sad People’ at the grungy Hydrozagadka. In between those extremes, other events include a silent disco at Kulturalna, jazzy love songs performed by songstress Aga Zaryan at Spatif and so on and so forth.
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PHOTOGRAPH THIS PAGE BY KEVIN DEMARIA, OPPOSITE PAGE FACEBOOK
When it comes to floral gifts there’s a ton of upmarket, boutique-style affairs to pick from that specialize in the kind of grand arrangements you see in design magazines. Great as they are, none can compete with the gritty sense of urban adventure served up at Hala Mirowska’s outdoor flower market. Here, find a couple of dozen green canopied stalls run by rough-talking market traders who’ve seen all life has to offer. Open till way late, it’s a Godsend for last gasp panic purchases when all else has failed.
BED DOWN Pack the overnight bag and book into one of Warsaw’s top hotels for a romp to remember. Choose H15 for designer luxury with a pop art spin or the Indigo for a look that juxtaposes modern aesthetics against the historic airs and graces of this ornate central residence. Act the role of a celebrity couple and indulge yourselves at the Raffles Europejski, and don’t overlook the slick sophistication of the Hotel Warszawa. Or how about an evening swim inside Europe’s highest pool – that pleasure awaits at the InterContinental. It’s likely all the aforementioned will be offering some kind of Valentine’s package.
HEAD YONDER Trapped in the gloom and grind of downtown Warsaw, it’s easy to forget that the back-of-beyond is just a short skip away. In the shape of Kampinos, Warsaw has a stunning nature reserve right on its doorstep – and let’s be honest, who doesn’t enjoy a woodland walk with just the sounds of nature playing in the background. For something every bit as accessible yet a little more dramatic, walk the ruined ramparts of bijou Czersk Castle fifty minutes south.
MODERN INDIAN CUISINE
Our focus from the start has been to create modern Indian dishes and drinks, served in a relaxed space. We combine local seasonal ingredients with the authentic flavors, aromas and spices of India and the orient.
Widok 8, Warszawa www.gururestauracja.pl facebook.com/gururestauracja TEL. 22 857 0604
PHOTOGRAPH KEVIN DEMARIA
DON’T DESSERT ME!
Muus states its case as Warsaw’s top treat…
arsaw’s taste for luxury desserts has not waned, but Muus steps into new territory by offering something that feels modern yet also strangely homely. Inside a pretty pink interior adorned with gold trim and big, bold succulents, this bijou space could have been designed with Instagram in mind – and as perfect as it is to look at, it’s even more perfect to nibble on. Caramel brownies, blueberry meringue, pistachio cheesecake, mango & passionfruit tart – the list goes on and makes more than fine reading. At Muus, taste is not sacrificed for show. The pretty boutique styling sure is eye-catching, but the biggest points are saved for spectacular flavors that have given the city’s patisserie scene a high voltage shock. Is this a recommendation? You bet.
Muus ul. Tamka 22/24, fb.com/muuswarsaw
Warsaw’s Opasły Tom restaurant found itself plunged into the global spotlight in January after being shortlisted by Wallpaper* magazine in the restaurant category of its annual design awards. Though losing out to Europe’s only underwater restaurant, Norway’s much-acclaimed Under, the eatery nonetheless found itself heaped with praise by the style bible’s discerning panel of jurors. Modelled courtesy of the Wrocław-based Buck Studio, the eatery’s interior was praised for its “almost gleeful baroque abandon,” features of which include “corrugated steel upholstered in velvet, Art Deco accents, geometric terrazzo floors and globular stalactite lamps.” The competition it faced was stiff with other nominees including the sensually pink Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, the highly minimalist Statera in Lima and The Mazoni in Milan.
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN DEMARIA
EYE FOR DESIGN
EAT! Review BREAKFAST REVIEW
COOL FOR CATS?
In its unrelenting search for Warsaw’s top brekkie, the Insider touches down in Powiśle’s Cool Cat… The Place
In terms of the interior, what you’re looking at is a venue cast from concrete and tangles of pipework. There are blasts of contemporary artwork, but your attention lingers more on the school seats and drab coloring – more so in these winter months when the arched, floor-to-ceiling windows do a good job of revealing the soot and murk outdoors in all its miserable glory. But it would be wrong to think of The Cool Cat as soul-sapping and it takes less than a minute to realize it’s anything but. Having come to represent Powiśle at its hippest, the seeming lack of color is compensated for by a crowd that prizes extrovert fashions, tatts, piercings and styles – and in this regard, the staff lead the way. As the regulars (might) say: it’s dope!
Proving to be more than just a fleeting flash in the fire, The Cool Cat has prospered since premiering five years or so ago and that’s for reasons beyond being considered edgy by the readers of Vice and Noizz. The food, a playful collection of Pan Asian and Pacific Rim dishes, is executed well, and that also applies to breakfast. Though limited in choice, these are great plates that dare offer something different for the first meal of the day: banh mi sandwiches loaded with pickles, “Korean pate”, fried egg and crispy bacon; creamy avocado toasts; and a deeply warming Shakshuka that’s best described as ‘middle east for the millennial’. Then supporting these, find a range of filter coffees, Kombucha drinks and experimental smoothies such as the Bananut (banana, peanut butter, miso, cinnamon and almond milk).
The Final Word
In The Cool Cat you don’t just begin the day well, you do so in a way that’s entirely unexpected of Warsaw. True, the air of underlying cool acts as an invisible barrier to those who like to eat breakfast in a suit, but that’s not a bad thing. Fun and quirky, it’s a place that feels perfect for Powiśle. The Cool Cat ul. Solec 38, fb.com/thecoolcatbar
THE GOOD COUNTRY LIFE Mokotowska’s latest opening brings the farm to your fork…
You get the idea that no expense has been spared on an interior developed to feel comfortable, classical and high on natural charm. For the diner, that means two principal seating areas, the first, a narrow strip of tables for two running alongside the windows, and the second, a raised mezzanine with more room to maneuver. A feeling of familiarity flitters over both, with the use of chunky woods, copper light fittings and black and white floor tiles casting a pleasant sense of intimacy across the venue. The quality of finishing leaves no doubt you’re somewhere upmarket, but the overriding sensation is of being somewhere welcoming and warm. Boosting the homespun charm are wall paintings depicting pastoral scenes from pre-war Prussia.
The clue’s in the name. Preaching a message of farm-to-fork, this ambitious eatery takes its produce seriously – to the extent they have their own farm in the lake district to the north. Half-joking they might be, but its for good reason they’ve marketed themselves as something of an unofficial embassy for the regions of Warmia and Mazury.
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What We Ate
Already buoyed by an introductory bottle of cider from the artisanal Kwaśne Jabłko brand, our starters set the tone nicely – a herring tartar with horseradish ice cream and baked beetroot and a ‘badger flame’ beetroot carpaccio with a lavish arrangement of walnuts, rocket and regional cheese. Simple in their aesthetics, both servings are works of such immensity that the table nearly totters and falls on its side. But if they look big, brash and basic, the flavors of both dishes speak clearly for a chef that adores his ingredients. Likewise, the mains. On this side of the table, a roe deer stewed in Ukiel beer and served in a pan under a light puff pastry. Absolutely glorious this is, with the only negative being the lack of warning concerning the skillet (hot, hot, hot!). Facing me, steak, as ordered from the butcher’s counter at the back of The Farm. The seeming simplicity of both belies the tastes that come through with each loving bite. Perhaps most complex of all is the dessert, an apple strudel with salty caramel and cinnamon clove ice cream. Again, it’s not naturally photogenic, but this dessert takes some beating in terms of results: full marks from this reviewer.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN DEMARIA
The Farm ul. Mokotowska 8, the-farm.pl
What We Paid
For the standard, very good indeed. Starters average out at zł. 30 whilst mains vary between zł. 55 and zł. 98. Desserts, meanwhile, are zł. 25 across the board. Including the tip, the Insider ate and drank well for zł. 300.
The Final Word
The Farm is by no means the finished article, but having been open for just a few months its highly unlikely that they themselves would ever claim to be so. As such, a few pointers: staff, whilst courteous, seem oddly unforthcoming when imparting their knowledge – ingredients like this have a story, so why not let’s hear it. On the food front, portioning appears curiously out-of-control (at least with starters are concerned) whilst presentation feels a little clunky and could do with some polish. These, though, are minor comments that need to be taken in the spirit that they’re meant for the food puts not one foot wrong. The quality of the ingredients is unimpeachable as too are the fundamental talents of the team in the kitchen. Matched with The Farm’s underlying ambiance and you have a restaurant that’s certain to thrive.
Bułkę przez Bibułkę ul. Żurawia 6/12
Already present in four locations across Warsaw, the team at Bułkę przez Bibułkę have kicked off the new year by revealing their most ambitious project to date… The What
Like their other ventures, there’s an enduring feeling of warmth and that’s despite the outsized dimensions: set in one of the hulking PRL leftovers that line Żurawia, the ceilings seemingly reach for miles but so too do the windows, leaving Bułkę basking in the comforting glow of the morning sun. Bristling with palm fronds and pot plants, the place buzzes through the day with clamor, clatter and lively conversation – there’s a goodness in here that flows through the blood.
When opening their original flagship eight years back, the decision to serve breakfast was made spontaneously the night before launch. Since then, all-day breakfasts have become their hallmark with primary pulls including a wealth of bagels and, the star of the show, the so-called ‘lumberjack breakfast’. Composed of fresh bread, a hard-boiled egg, pickles, greens and a pair of sausages supplied by the legendary Pogromcy Meatów, it’s the kind of jump-start that every day demands. But these are exciting times indeed. Not content with doing what they’ve always done, expect Bułkę przez Bibułkę to leave their comfort zone to soon unmask an on-site bakery as well as a cocktail menu aimed at lifting their evening profile.
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By in large, you can expect to pay between zł. 20-35 for starters, and zł. 35-70 for mains. Expect those prices to double in the case of the city’s fine dining venues. Those wishing to cut costs should seek out the weekday business lunch deals now offered by most restaurants. When tipping, 10-20% is considered polite though be aware of automatic service charges in some venues.
american 38 bakeries 38 balkan 38 chinese 38 comfort food 39 desserts 40 fine dining 41 food halls & happenings 44 french 42 georgian 42 greek & turkish 43 hungarian 43 indian 43 indonesian 45 international 46 italian 50 japanese 51 jewish 52 korean 52 latin & spanish 54 mexican 54 middle eastern 54 polish 55 scandinavian 59 seafood 59 specialty food 60 steak houses 60 thai 62 ukrainian & russian 62 vegan 61 vietnamese 62
american Champions Sports Bar The heavy décor brings to mind the trans-Atlantic sports bars of the 90s, with glinting trophies, whirring machines, clacking pool tables and a cacophony of commentaries. Hell, there’s even a
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
boxing ring. But you can’t criticize their consistency: the food is always on-point while the generous floor plan makes it suitable for unwieldy groups of large and loud lads. (D5) Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79 (Marriott Hotel), champions.pl
this has not been to the cost of the overall quality. Many locations, sam.info.pl
Koko & Roy Spotlighting ‘New American Cuisine’, the thrust here is on comfort food, albeit several steps beyond what you’d rustle up at home: the Odds & Ends (deep fried pigs tails and chicken hearts tumbled into a big bowl and served with pickled red onions and a lash of sriracha aioli) are bold, unexpected and utterly delicious. Fun, innovative and pleasingly casual, it’s a bit like visiting friends who really know how to cook. Take it all in inside a brill interior that’s all Sputnik lights, intriguing artwork and mustard-toned finishes. (D5) ul. Wilcza 43, kokoandroywarsaw.com
Na Bałkany This newbie modernizes the Balkan experience in a manner Warsaw’s yet to see: raw, industrial aesthetics meet head on with a menu that adds a delicate finesse to a cuisine better known for its heavy, rustic style. The addition of a light, sophisticated hand has not, however, been to the detriment of taste. Of the favorites, the swordfish steak, lamb goulash and beef plejskavica sell particularly well. It feels all the more complete with a rakija or three. (D6) ul. Koszykowa 47 (entry from ul. Koszykowa 53), nabalkany.pl
bakeries Aromat That many consider this their favorite bakery says it all. French flour and an expert baker ensure brilliant results, while the lemon éclairs deserve their own Facebook page. (C4) ul. Sienna 39, fb.com/ piekarnia.aromat Charlotte While the fancy crowd isn’t to everyone’s liking, the atmosphere feels truly continental: even more so in warm weather when the terrace packs out. Al. Wyzwolenia 18 (enter from pl. Zbawiciela) & Pl. Gryzbowski 2, bistrocharlotte.com Rano The rise of Stalowa street is to be taken seriously, and the existence of Rano is one rather good reason. Looking – and smelling – like you’d imagine an artisanal bakery to be, the standard is such that a number of the city’s top restaurants have begun ordering from here. You will as well. ul. Stalowa 47 SAM Co-owner Małgorzata Kusina-Doran is a fine-bread connoisseur, honing her skills at a bread-making course chaired by Raymond Blanc. While SAM have expanded to cover numerous locations,
Pańska 85 Ample in size, the interiors speak of money well spent. This is especially true because despite the 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. (B4) ul. Pańska 85, panska85.com Regina Bar 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
EAT! Listings chandelier and the tallest mirror in Poland (possibly). (E6) ul. Koszykowa 1, fb.com/Reginabar
comfort food Barn Burger Considered one of the founding fathers of Warsaw’s burger culture, Barn Burger have withstood the test of time and emerged as the yardstick all others are judged against. Prepped using freshly ground Charolais beef, choices include the jalapeno-laid Muppet and the outrageous Bypass (400g of beef with quadruple cheese and bacon). If you want to go down in legend, enter one of their American-style speed eating comps. (D4) ul. Złota 9, barnburger.pl
outside, sit amid crates filled with palms, inside, among funky-style furnishings that pair well with the PRL look of this high-ceilinged chamber. (C1) ul. Andersa 21, fb.com/kurwino Okienko When the chips are down and you’re looking for emergency nourishment, then join the queue outside Okienko: serving Belgian-style frites in paper cones, this street-side hatch is a true window of life. The roster of sauces, written up in marker
pen on the wall tiles, are often superb. (D7) ul. Polna 22 Pizza Boyz Colors of lipstick pink and electric blue have you thinking you’ve walked into a packet of Skittles – if you don’t have a headache then you will in a second. A satirical comment on the modern world or a fascinating anthropological study of millennial culture? Whatever it is, Pizza Boyz is as in-yer-face as the name may suggest: order extreme pizzas
Burger Bar Warsaw has come full-circle: years after burgers briefly starred as the national food, it’s the original burger joint that still bosses the field. ul. Puławska 974/80 (enter from Olkuska) & ul. Krucza 41/43, burgerbar.waw.pl Kura Pairing fried chicken with double-fried chunky chips, think of this budget stop as an artisanal take on KFC for the post-hipster generation. And best of all, check their homemade sauces: from the tart and spicy Challenger No. 3, to the tangy Mango-BBQ option, these are sauces that open the gateway to addiction. The ultimate definition of comfort food, look on Kura as one of the city’s best examples of street food culture gone right. (B2) ul. Nowolipki 15, restauracjakura.pl Kur & Wino It’s hard to fault a concept when it’s executed this well. In this case, that means chicken from Podlasie and guineafowl from Wielkopolska cooked rotisserie-style and then served with an array of homemade sauces. And then there’s the sandwiches, beautiful things served on focaccia and smeared with honey mustard. Sure, you could call it street food, but doing so underestimates the level of love awarded to the product. That you’ll be enjoying it in a cool, funky backdrop makes it all the better:
Plac Inwalidów 10 | tel. 22 322 82 28 | www.trattoriarucola.pl fb.com/TrattoriaRucola | Insta.com/TrattoriaRucolaWarszawa warsawinsider.pl
rant, ha s of ng ’s the nish to preember m l d sh Royal
As recommended in the Warsaw Insider's 2019 Best of Warsaw issue!
with names like Coke Dope Cheezy Eazy (jalapeno plus Coca Cola BBQ sauce) or the Carolina Reaper, a pizza that boldly claims to the be the hottest on earth. The food isn’t great, but as daft as the concept is, people here have fun. Much against our will, we did as well. (D7) ul. Marszałkowska 17 Pogromcy Meatów Dude food doesn’t get much better. Specializing in slow-cooked meats, find artisan buns stuffed with ribs, beef tongue, pastrami and the like before being given extra oomph with locally grown greens, homemade kimchi or house pickles. A savage, primal pleasure of dripping sauce and juicy meat, the homespun quality of Pogromcy Meatów catapults it above the competition. (E6) ul. Koszykowa 1
and ue. hed n ginal ar tes’, or the pork ce of esn’t ect, oodie scalePl. zawa),
Przyjemność It’s a squeeze alright, with all manner of jiggling and jostling needed before taking your position amid a design that feels cool and millennial: plants, wire mesh panels and a bit of funky neon. Food, and Californian pizza is the order of day, with wacky choices including Gringo Chicken, a wondrous creation that features dollops of sour cream and guacamole thwacked onto heaps of achiote chicken, jalapeno, coriander and red onion. It sounds daft, but it’s become our fave pizza of the year – and the spritzers are damn good as well. (D5) ul. Marszałkowska 68/70, fb.com/ pizzawarszawska Warburger While Warsaw has lost its appetite for burgers, you wouldn’t necessarily tell by popping in WarBurger. Set inside a diminutive cabin, join the scrum for jazzed-up burgers that use slow-food ingredients. If not the best, they’re most certainly up there. (E9) ul. Dąbrowskiego 1, warburger.pl
Le Cedre Lounge
t, ist, moer , he ver ad to ess cook.pl
Grzybowska 5A Tel 22 299 7299
Le Cedre 61
(opposite the zoo) Al. Solidarności 61, Praga Tel 22 670 1166
Le Cedre 84
(opposite the court) Al. Solidarności 84 Tel 22 618 8999
rsastive ll tc. x
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blogger / photographer / model Justyna Pankowska, it’s a charming, bijou space of fun, frilly style – think pretty pink seats and a wall overlaid with hundreds of rosebuds. (D6) ul. Śniadeckich 12/16 Kukułka A funky two-level space with monochrome floors, spirally stairs and little blasts of color set against the stark, minimalistic concrete finishes. Widely blogged about, the real reason for the general clamor soon becomes apparent: desserts that lift Warsaw into heavenly directions. Cream puffs are the specialty, but other winners include their brioches, raspberry tarts, blueberry crumbles and whipped cream meringue. ul. Mokotowska 52 Lokal Dela Krem That you can now buy vegan, mojitoflavored cupcakes in Warsaw is an indication of the city’s fanatical commitment to healthy living. A roaring success, the first vegan cake shop in the country has become a local staple. (D5) ul. Hoża 27A Lukullus Founded in 1946, Lukullus have evolved into a funky boutique cafe chain noted for quirky interiors and buzzy atmosphere. Oh, and desserts. Renouncing short cuts and low-cost ingredients, this family enterprise has earned a name for top quality desserts that see traditional favorites updated for the modern times. Various locations, lukullus.pl
Miss Mellow Mixing sophisticated desserts with those that fall more on the filthy food porn side of thigs, Miss Mellow have hit the bull’s eye by offering something for everyone that enjoys the sweeter things in life. Lauded even by Vogue, find a wicked rundown of toasts, brioches, financiers, brownies, cookies and cakes. Eschewing chemical nasties, it’s a place in which the owners’ commitment towards quality resonates throughout. (D5) ul. Wilcza 62
El Krepel The rather tantalizing donuts include dulce de leche with cinnamon sugar or rich, creamy donuts topped with marshmallows. The work of Łukasz Kawaller (he of Hell’s Kitchen fame) and
MOD Warsaw has always loved donuts, but it took the arrival of MOD to elevate this humble doughy vice to new levels with a glam New York-inspired makeover. The mango topped donut is our favorite by miles. (D7) ul. Oleandrów 8
EAT! Listings fine dining Atelier Amaro If Wojciech Amaro’s eponymous restaurant isn’t the most famous in the country, then it’s certainly the most important. Awarded Poland’s first Michelin star in 2013, it’s a venue that continues to set the pace in terms of innovation. Changing weekly, his ‘calendar of nature’ seeks to present forgotten ingredients such as little-known berries, herbs and flowers against meats and other ingredients reared or grown at the Atelier farm. One for any bucket list, there are occasions when dining here can feel like an out-of-body experience. Abandoning their original home at the start of 2019, the new location feels a world class venue seemingly designed with a second star in mind. (E5) Pl. Trzech Krzyży 10/14, atelieramaro.pl Amber Room at the Sobański Palace Set in the pre-war Pałac Sobańskich, this pristine manor house is everything you expect: hushed, lavish, cultured and classy. The food fits the backdrop with a contemporary menu often drawing spontaneous outbreaks of collective joy. Maze-like in its layout, there’s enough nooks and secret rooms to make Amber Room the ideal address for expense account meetings.(E6) Al. Ujazdowskie 13, amberroom.pl
Belvedere Łazienki Królewskie Set in an imperial age glass orangery, it’s festooned with intricate latticework and botanical exotica. The updated interiors are the work of acclaimed set designer Boris Kudlicka, and lend a fresh, contemporary tone that goes hand in hand with the menu. But behind the gels and emulsions and pretty little swirls, this is cooking of substantial depth; it’s cooking that takes you to the very soul of Polish nature. (F6) ul. Agrykoli 1, belvedere.com.pl Epoka 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 forever: stars await, and anything less would be a miscarriage of justice. (D2) ul. Ossolińskich 3 Europejski Grill The flagship restaurant of the Raffles Europejski has cut no corners in their bid to become one of the city’s top
restaurants. A seriously swish interior of pearl white colors is teed-up against contemporary flashes (hexagonal lighting, outsized plates hanging from the wall) and gleaming silverware. Enjoying precisely composed dishes such as beetroot tartar or Dover Sole is a welltailored crowd that expects nothing but the best. (D3) ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 13, raffles.com/warsaw N31 Been there, done it all. That’s Robert Sowa, a national treasure widely hailed for modernizing Poland’s gastronomic sector back in the country’s culinary dark days. A common sight on TV, the chef’s public profile has meant there’s no shortage of bums on seats in his flagship restaurant, but this is more than a chef trading on his past. A chic city center bubble beloved by business types, the food is first class with Sowa’s international travels reflected by surprises such as flawless tuna partnered with kabayaki sauce, yuzu, wasabi dressing and turnip salad. The flavor combinations are exceptional. (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 31, n31restaurant.pl Nolita For many diners, there is no bigger night out than one that begins and ends in this enclave of
EAT! Listings class. Dashing in its monochrome colors and muted gunmetal shades, Nolita is where Warsaw heads to live the life of the 1%. Lacking the magic tricks of some, the ‘show factor’ might be subdued but the tastes definitely aren’t. Who to credit? Two words: Jacek Grochowina. Cooking with poise and focus, his menu is a marriage of the classic and creative, with core ingredients given unexpected lifts with cunning turns and inspired little twists: maybe some yuzu with the tartare or konbu with the eel. (D5) ul. Wilcza 46, nolita.pl
PamPam Large spaces, high ceilings, globe-shaped bulbs and plush rouge furnishings lend a sense of refinement to PamPam, a feeling that’s in line with a sophisticated menu that promises much with elegantly presented dishes such as sea bass with herbal curry sauce and oyster mushrooms. (C5) ul. Emilii Plater 9/11, pampam.com.pl Platter by Karol Okrasa It’s a fact that Okrasa’s appearances in the kitchen are fleeting and rare, but that’s done nothing to hurt this restaurant’s prestige. Head chef Łukasz Pielak has proved to be a lethal assassin, executing the ideas of his mentor with accuracy and passion. The cooking is detailed, balanced and elegant, with the highlight of our visit being deer in plum sauce. A thing of imperial, velvety richness it’s a dish that turns up the volume on a memorable experience. (C4) ul. Emilii Plater 49 (Hotel InterContinental Warsaw), warsaw.intercontinental.com Senses Diners are best advised to leave logic outside. Inspired by the idea of ‘note-by-note’ cooking, Italian-born chef Andrea Camastra isolates and extracts molecules from ingredients to obtain the purest flavors before matching them up with unlikely partners. What unfolds is a dazzling show of near illusory brilliance; the technical proficiency of the kitchen is exceptional and makes the steep prices easier to swallow. Wrap-up the evening with a pungent, edible cigar. (C2) ul. Bielańska 12, sensesrestaurant.pl
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Signature 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. (D5) ul. Poznańska 15, signaturerestaurant.pl Szóstka Head to Floor 6 of the swank Hotel Warszawa. There lies Szóstka, a long, slick space decorated with steel tubing, bursts of greenery and a coved glass ceiling. But it’s outside where everyone heads, to a sparsely furnished terrace with killer views of the city below. As for the food, drums please for Dariusz Barański, tipped by some as the next Pole headed for a Michelin star. Over summer, we loved the elegant tomato-based starter, the prime beef rib served as a main, and the sorrel and mint parfait that arrived at the end. In this case, the rave reports seem fully justified. (D4) Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 9 (Hotel Warszawa), warszawa.hotel.com.pl
L’Arc Looking elegant with its black/white floors and subtle decorations bills at L’Arc can become big number affairs – especially if you hanker for seafood. Pick from numerous types of oysters or delve into the fish tank for the lobster of your choosing. The catchment area extends beyond the borders of Mokotów, not just because of their ‘fresh from France’ seafood, but because of classic dishes such as Mulard duck and Burgundy snails. (E8) ul. Puławska 16, larc.pl Monsieur Leon Found resting on the corner of a quiet residential street, Monsieur Leon is surely
one of Mokotów’s best kept secrets. Here, simplicity is the name of the game, with a brief blackboard menu that involves cheese boards, salads and a hefty croque monsieur. With wine tipping down and conversation wafting around this compact, casual space, it doesn’t take a giant leap of imagination to think yourself in France. Reopened after a sabbatical, Leon’s return is cause for celebration. (E8) ul. Sulkiewicza 5
georgian Chmeli Suneli The ‘modern-folk’ interior blends clean colors and exposed brickwork with slanted timber shelving and bright caricatures of Georgian gents: it looks just fab. Then there’s the food: served in clay pots and on thick, wooden boards, the nosh is wholehearted and ideal for early autumn and those long months ahead. The experience peaks with the presentation of the grilled, skewered shashliks. ul. Wilcza 26 Leo’s Marani An ambitious newbie launched in July, Leo’s Marani mixes Georgian and Armenian flavors to present a menu that feels slightly more novel than the others: for example, refer to lamb chops marinated in coffee, cognac and pomegranate juice. Other success stories involve the Armenian-caught trout and huge shashlik sets for two. Not all reviews have been glowing, but there’s much to suggest that any inconsistencies stand to be ironed out over time. Early days yet, but most who visit end up promising to return. ul. Marszałkowska 85 Rioni Warsaw’s foodies like talking of ‘cursed locations’, and they don’t get more hexed than Mokotowska 17. But despite its history of failed ventures, Rioni feel better placed than most to break the jinx. Set in a curving brick room lit by dangling overhead bulbs, join a young-ish crowd for juicy Georgian dumplings oozing with meat and herbs, hearty soups and big, doughy wheels of cheese-filled chaczapuri. ul. Mokotowska 17 (enter from Pl. Zbawiciela)
EAT! Listings Rusiko 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
straight from the wood-fired oven. Al. Krakowska 240/242, maho.com.pl
greek & turkish
Santorini Santorini looks scuffed and tired but there’s a bonhomie present that instantly engages. The kitchen attaches no value to things like presentation, preferring instead to simply treat diners to piles of grilled and skewered food that consistently tastes right – enjoying it is easy. ul. Egipska 7, kregliccy.pl/ santorini
Maho The generic diner decor bothers no-one, and for pretty good reason – the food is thunderbolt good. Get the Iskender: layers of juicy doner meat served with scoops of tomato sauce and fresh pide bread
Mr. Greek Souvlaki Enticing with its cute, pocket-size dimensions, array of pot plants and navy blue colors, Mr. Greek bubbles with homespun warmth. The menu is a simple work but the quality is outstanding: fluffy pitas wrapped around freshly grilled chicken; skewers of pork; piping hot pots of moussaka; and delicious meatball-style dishes that are devoured within moments. ul. Londyńska 16
hungarian Borpince Modernized versions of traditional Magyar cuisine come served in surrounds that feel even more familial given the 100-odd wines from the various regions of Hungary. (D4) ul. Zgoda 1, borpince.pl
indian Bollywood Lounge Known for their raucous dusk-till-dawn parties, there is another less hedonistic roll filled by Bollywood: that of a restaurant. The menu is an uncomplicated, classic affair that’s an ideal primer for the party ahead. (D4) ul. Nowy Świat 58, bollywoodlounge.pl
FOOD HALLS Across Warsaw, everyone is eating together! Join the revolution at the following game changing venues…
Hala Gwardii Set within a charmingly distressed piece of Tsarist-era brickwork, it’s not just the depth of the offer that has kept crowd figures high, but the quality as well. Standouts in this food hall are too numerous to mention, but hat tips go towards the Gorilla coffee point; the meaty treats of Beef’n’Roll; the delicious dumplings at I Love Pierogi; and the English-style spuds served by Pieczone Ziemniaki. Last but not least, no-one in Poland scoops better ice cream than the team at Ice Pot. (C3) Pl. Mirowska 2, halagwardii.pl
Postępu 5 Christened Mordor by the despairing employees who head there each working day, the area around Domaniewska doesn’t have the best public image. though, there isn’t just hope, but also a solution to realign the spirit of this quarter. Call it Postępu 5, a collection of street vendors housed in a line of former garages and storage units. Highlights inc. Blin (for Russian-style pancakes), Hotto Doggu (Japanese hot dogs), and Roger That Foods, a close quarters burger stop immediately identifiable by the monster smoker set outside. ul. Postępu 5, postepu5.pl
Hala Koszyki Nirvana for the aspirational classes, careful surgery has preserved the heritage of this early 20th century marketplace and juxtaposed it against the urban tapestry of modern Warsaw. Appealing to everyone from foodies and families to Instagram scenesters, its success has sparked a nationwide wave of doubles and duplicates. But despite their best efforts, none come close to feeling quite so global. Walking around Koszyki, find all from Korean noodles, Spanish tapas, Mexican burritos, Greek kebabs and so much more. (D6) ul. Koszykowa 63, koszyki.com
Fort 8 Warsaw’s penchant for reviving historical addresses and injecting them with bold food concepts shows no sign of abating: for latest proof, refer to Fort 8, a 19th century Tsarist barracks since reimagined as a complex housing workshops, stores and restaurants. Belonging to the latter group find, among others, Dziurka Od Klucza (already famed for their Powiśle venture), Garo Sushi, Fort Whisky and Fort Bistro. With more openings set to follow, and a location bordering Ursynów, Mokotów and Wilanów, this could yet emerge as the area’s F&B anchor. ul. Fort Służew 1B, fort8.pl
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EAT! Listings Bombaj Masala 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. Committed fans should keep in mind their Praga outpost in the Koneser complex, reputed to serve the only ‘Indian tapas’ in the country – we’ll visit soon. (B3) Al. Jana Pawła II 23, bombajmasala.pl Bombaj Masala Praga 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. And when you want it hot, the Kerala lamb curry comes with the capacity to challenge all the senses as it sends you into sniffles of unbridled joy. (G1) ul. Ząbkowska 29 (Centrum Praskie Koneser), bombajmasala.pl/praga Curry House 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, curry-house.pl
Curry Leaf The post-industrial style is diluted by the number of Indian trinkets hanging off the vents and pipes. Owned by the same crew behind the lauded Curry House, you’d be completely correct to assume the same consistency and excellence. ul. Conrada 5, curryleaf.pl
Guru Moving into the space vacated by the lamentable BrewDog pub, Guru joins the city’s (very) shortlist of higher end Indians. 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. Plus points for Indian-themed cocktails that really hit the mark – easily one of our favorite openings of 2018. (D4) ul. Widok 8, gururestauracja.pl House of Curry Heat seekers can ‘enjoy’ a genuine deathby-fire experience at House of Curry, though far milder curries are available for more sensitive palettes – either way, the experience is fantastic, and good news for those stuck out in the depths of Józefów. ul. Patriotów 11 A, house-of-curry.pl Smak Curry There’s been a nationwide pandemic of average Indian restaurants, but despite the rather slim menu Smak Curry can’t be included in that list of disappointments. On the contrary, what the menu lacks in size it compensates in taste: from big, walloping whacks of lavishly spiced pork Madras to sweet but subtle mango chicken, here’s a restaurant that feels it genuinely adds something extra to a saturated market. (E8) ul. Belwederska 44
indonesian Gado Gado Previously known as Warung Jakarta, the
EAT! Listings menu here has a street food edge with secret magic recipes extending to Nasi Goreng and a lively chicken Rendeng. Accessible to all levels of income, it’s become one of the true unsung glories of ethnic Warsaw. (D6) ul. Piękna 28/34
international 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. (F5) ul. Mokotowska 48, alewino.pl Aurelio Run by a ‘neuro-gastronomist’, Aurelio aims to connect art and emotions with health and wellbeing via the medium of food. Psychobabble aside, what you’ll find is a beautifully laid-out restaurant with some mesmerizing art, a busy cultural program and a globally-inspired menu based on toxin free produce. For instance, order up a Thai-style duck breast served with orange-ginger puree, elderflower foam and smoked plum sauce – it’s likely you’ll be impressed. (D4) ul. Świętokrzyska 14, aurelio.pl CLOSED AT PRESS TIME Bez Tytułu Gosh. Co-owned by the Kasia Michalski Gallery to the flank, the restaurant feels like a natural extension: find contemporary art and photography set against raw brickwork while pendant bulbs cast a soft light down. Onto the important stuff, and Erwan Debono’s menu makes much of his native French background as well as Poland’s own rich access to produce. The results come together in a way that’s nuanced and subtle. (D5) ul. Poznańska 16, beztytulu.com Bibenda Preserving the prewar heritage of the
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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.(D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 10, bibenda.pl Brasserie Warszawska Looking for classic cuisine with no daft flights of fancy? Here you have it. At a time when everyone wants to be Ferran Adrià, Brasserie has both a menu and interior that you can understand: panfried foie gras; elegant beef Rossini; and sinful apple tarte tatin, all served inside posh interiors of zinc-plated mirrors and chessboard floors. Their Michelin Bib Gourmand is a source of pride, but it’s the number of repeat clients that are the ultimate paean to the skills of the chef. (E5) ul. Górnośląska 24, brasseriewarszawska.pl Bubbles Occupying a small, square room, it’s intimate and relaxed: a place busy with blackboards and bottles, crates and clutter. It radiates warmth and honesty. The food is exquisite, and includes big, meaty snails farmed in Mazury, and their signature dish: Swiss-style raclette. Presented on a wooden chopping board, this cheese dish is classic melty goodness, and served alongside a pile of potatoes, onions marinated with caramel and candied pumpkin. Considering the place doubles as a champagne bar the prices are remarkably moderate. (D2) Pl. Piłsudskiego 9, bubbles.com.pl Der Elefant This leviathan restaurant unravels in a maze of wrought iron and monochrome tiles – beautiful to look at (it was created by Oscar-winning set designer Allan Starski), it’s caused a stir for more than just this alone. Where once the menu looked like it was devised by throwing darts at a cookbook, the focus has now been narrowed. While some of the dishes are strictly middling, the filet mignon (zł. 69) is one of the best meat deals in town in terms of quality / price / consistency. (C3) Pl. Bankowy 1, derelefant.com
EAT! Listings Dyletanci 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 neobistro 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. (F5) ul. Rozbrat 44A, dyletanci.pl Fest Port Czerniakowski There are those that claim Fest’s best months are in summer, and sure, their argument is convincing: hidden down twisting roads flanked by glinting waters and thick, tangled woodland, it’s an unexpected picture of pastoral bliss. But make no mistake, winter ain’t bad either.
A general restyling hasn’t just given this timber cabin a lighter look, but also introduced Agata Wojda as head chef. Her presence adds a finesse to a place formerly recognized as a primordial celebration of meat and brawn. A hymn to Poland’s rural resources, her cooking bridges fanciful sophistication with homely familiarity. (G6) ul. Zaruskiego 8, fest.rest First Floor Restaurant Chic, elegant touches combine with a fully open kitchen visible from practically all angle. Live music is an inseparable element of the First Floor experience, with blues, hazz and Latino performances scheduled every weekend. ul. Kasprzaka 31 (Varsovia Apartamenty), firstfloorrest.pl Flaming & Co Seemingly inspired by a Long Island shoot for Hilfiger, Flaming has long
been hailed as one of Warsaw’s summer heroes thanks to a picket-fenced garden with plentiful greenery and well-spaced tables. It works in other seasons as well though, with a cool and confidently affluent interior that sits well against a pan-European menu that offers outstanding continental breakfast options. (E6) ul. Chopina 5
GarMasz Combining the functions of a store, butchery and, above all, a restaurant, GarMasz is the creation of Piotr Pielichowski, a cook best-known for his appearances on the Polish edition of Master Chef. A keen promoter of natural ingredients and fancy delicacies, his restaurant is stunning in every respect: three years in the making, even the interiors will blow you away. Designed by Gdańsk-based architect
Dawne Smaki Restaurant Traditional Polish cuisine
Serving traditional Polish dishes of the very highest quality at Dawne Smaki we offer more than just magnificent cuisine. Well linked to both metro lines and easily accessible from all corners of the city, our central location on one of Warsaw’s most prestigious streets is ideal for meetings and events that are sure to make an impact! ul. Nowy Świat 49, tel: 22 465 83 20, email@example.com, www.dawnesmaki.pl
EAT! Listings Krystian Rassmus, details include oak finishes, 18th century tiling and swish chandeliers. (E4) ul. Kopernika 5
taking off as a local secret. (B2) Al. Jana Pawła II 45A
Kieliszki Na Hożej Pristine in its whiteness, the corner tenement housing Kieliszki looks like a big wedge of wedding cake. Justly, the interiors are every bit as delicious with their glimmering glass and geometric patterns. All this though pales into insignificance on account of a menu that’s noted for its rich, strident tastes and loving presentation: on this juror’s visit, that meant suckling pig bathed in mustard home brew, and a walloping dessert of honey cake and plum jam. Our experience was not some oneoff: in an area thick with good restaurants, consider Kieliszki as one of the best. (D5) ul. Hoża 41, kieliszkinahozej.pl
Loft Color, that’s what Loft has. It’s everywhere – from the design, which is all bubble shaped lights and splashy, bright cushions, to the drinks: extravagant cocktails that possibly glow in the dark. The menu is full of playful experimentation, something reflected by a seasonal menu that has, in the past, presented such choices as chicken with strawberries. (D4) ul. Złota 11, restauracjaloft.pl
Kromki Better known for kebab stores and booze outlets, this section of JPII does at times chuck up the occasional surprise: Kromki, for one. The menu is a Jack-ofall-trades, with pizza and burgers rubbing shoulders against pierogi, steak and sharing plates. Yet despite the randomness of the choices and the curious location, there’s something here that really strikes the right note. Expect tastes that work inside a informal, casual space that’s fast
MOD BEST WAWA 2019“Casual Dining” 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 and contributors to Vice. (D6) ul.
Oleandrów 8, fb.com/MODOleandrow8 Mokotowska 69 Set inside a rotunda at the tail end of the street, it’s a place that exudes elegance and class. Most of all, however, it’s a restaurant to be enjoyed. Brought to you by the same team credited for Merliniego 5, Mokotowska’s appreciation of steak has been lifted from their elder sister. Yet the virtues of this restaurant extend beyond steak alone: on our last visit, the Insider enjoyed a volley of greats – creamy breaded calf brains, sophisticated smoked eel, and Mazurian crayfish served in a deep, joyous sauce of rowan berry and brandy. (E5) ul. Mokotowska 69, mokotowska69.com Momu Dominated by meat that’s cooked using the only smoker of its kind in Poland, the menu is comforting and strangely familiar: these are flavors reminiscent of campfire nights – brawny, smoky tastes with towering Reuben sandwiches, juicy steaks, bone marrow and wooden slabs brimming with meats from MOMU’s smokehouse. Impromptu art, tweeting birds and a neo-industrial design add oomph to the busy ambiance. (C2) ul. Wierzbowa 11, momu.pl Niewinni Czarodzieje 2.0 Kuba Wojewódzki, a.k.a. Poland’s biggest media celeb, has caused tremors by joining forces with restaurateur Józef Krawczyk (Warszawski Sznyt) to unleash a cool, post-industrial venue that strives to be one third club and two thirds restaurant. Swank and arty but also surprisingly affordable, it’s already made waves for its clever international menu and cool, casual vibe. Full report soon. (E3) ul. Zajęcza 2B, niewinniczarodzieje2.pl Opasły Tom The ground floor – all swanky lighting and navy blue seating – is often packed, so it’s downstairs you may head to an intimate space more reminiscent of the original location formerly found on Foksal: here, it’s about muted colors and reassuring shadow. Characterized by its balanced, nuanced flavors and thoughtful combinations, the first menu to debut at this relaunched restaurant sees a medley of dishes you demand to eat again: pumpkin and curd dumplings served in a
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EAT! Listings cheese sauce being the prime example. (D2) ul. Wierzbowa 9 Projekt 44 Warsaw’s credentials as a global city look all the stronger for places like Projekt 44, a chic-casual spot rooted at the bottom of Daniel Liebeskind’s landmark Złota 44 tower. Heavy on raw materials and moodily-adjusted lighting, the background goes well with a rounded menu offering a 360 view of international cuisine: vegan poke bowls; rib-eye steaks; and cocktails divided by the way they’re served with ice (that is, with a block of ice, ice cubes, crushed ice or nitro). People are excited, and deservedly so. Full report soon. ul. Złota 44 Restauracja Warszawska BEST WAWA 2019 “Newcomer” 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 not a big menu, but it doesn’t need to be: exceptional in every respect, this restaurant has become one of foodie Warsaw’s biggest talking points. (D4) Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 9 (Hotel Warszawa), warszawa.hotel.com.pl Rozbrat 20 BEST WAWA 2019“Neo-Bistro” This busy neo-bistro fuses upmarket, casual styling with an exciting wine list, interactive service and the kind of atmosphere you can’t get enough of. Under chef Bartosz Szymczak’s leadership, Rozbrat’s grown to become one of the blogospheres favorite write-ups. Never the same, if there’s a consistent thread to visits then it’s the playful inventiveness that has come to define Szymczak’s cooking. (F5) ul. Rozbrat 20, rozbrat20.com.pl Stixx Wola: what was once a sad, dusty wasteland has blossomed to become the business district of tomorrow. Nowhere symbolizes this evolution as much as
Europejski square with its glittering towers and fancy water features. Looking onto all that is Stixx, a smart, spacious hangout that’s as slick and international as the guests that visit. A well-oiled operation, its diverse menu, professional staff and consistent quality control mark it out as ideal for sealing the deal. (A4) Pl. Europejski 4A, stixx.pl Supperlardo Run as a side project by Mąka i Woda (quite literally – it’s right next door), it’s a stylish-looking spot that’s fresh, contemporary and even a little edgy: for evidence, refer to a mural designed by Swansky, a local big gun on the street art scene. As for the menu, that’s a riotously meaty romp that involves wood-fired hams, sandwiches composed of pork belly pastrami and salt-cured meats from Puławska and Mangalica pigs. With orders taken at the counter, it’s a place that lifts the canteen concept to new, unseen heights. (D4) ul. Chmielna 13A, fb.com/Supperlardo White One Looking impressive from the off, it’s a place of stylish fittings, glinting surfaces and big splashes of contemporary art. Straight away, you feel you’re somewhere that’s serious about itself. So it proves. Hotly tipped for big things in the future, chef Paweł Chomentowski has constructed a menu that’s cogent, compelling and not short on twists: the kind of dish you want to take home on a dark, lonely night, the Insider was knocked bandy by beef cheeks slicked in a chocolate / coffee sauce. It’s the dailychanging tasting menu, however, that really allows Chomentowski to flaunt his talent and fan his feathers. One to watch. (D6) ul. Koszykowa 47, whiteone.pl
‘Simplicity, elegance and atmosphere’
Cafe • Wine Bar • Restaurant • Whisky Bar • Wine Cellar ul. Hoża 25A, tel. 515 037 001 www.hoza.warszawa.pl www.facebook.com/hoza25 Open 12:00-23:00, Sun 12:00-21:00
Zoni BEST WAWA 2019 “Modern Polish” Located in a former Tsarist era vodka distillery, the interior revels in cast iron kilns, flooring produced from 19th century vodka barrels, long shadows and industrial bits and pieces that have been lovingly restored. Sprawling, historic and not short on statement, it’s an address to impress. Incoming chef Michał Gniadek has already earned a name as a star of tomorrow and his menu is a committed foray into what he terms as “seasonal warsawinsider.pl
EAT! Listings international cuisine with a Polish twist”. Think BBQ pork ribs that land with a thwunk, Agnolotti pasta expertly folded over Oscypek cheese and tuna served tataki-style. (G1) Pl. Konesera 1, zoni.today
italian Altro Locale Set in a quiet section of Old Mokotów, it’s little wonder the plaudits haven’t ceased. Owned by chef Andrea Carillo, authentic, homespun tastes vie for attention inside a charming space that’s chic and modern but never spartan. You can tell Carillo has invested his heart and soul in this venture, and the result is an ever-changing menu featuring lamb chops, sirloin, and sea bream done the Italian way – don’t think you’ll be getting any pizza here! Fittingly, its reputation is now extending beyond the district’s natural border. (E8) ul. Willowa 9 Ave Pizza The argument over who serves Warsaw’s best pizza goes right to the wire, but there’s no doubting that Ave Pizza are up there on the leaderboard. Set across a sparse, metropolitan area, this fashionable L-shaped joint comes endorsed by the capital’s notoriously picky Italian community. Order the pillowy calzone and you’ll soon learn why. (E3) ul. Topiel 12, avepizza.pl
Dziurka od Klucza An enchanting locale in which enigmatic, lavender-painted doors sit embedded into the walls, as if waiting to be magically opened by the mysterious keys that hang from the numerous interior details. Set with empty picture frames and cotton ball lights, interiors just don’t get any cuter. As for food, the concise, daily-changing menu is centered around homemade pasta – pride of place is given to the black colored pasta served with seafood. (E3) ul. Radna 13, dziurkaodklucza.com.pl Focaccia 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. (D2) ul. Senatorska 13/15, focaccia.pl Mąka i Woda Purists applaud an approach that uses a custom-made oven from Naples and imported ingredients such as 00 Caputo flour and DOP certified San Marzano tomatoes. Scrupulously authentic, it’s no wonder that it’s packed to the gunnels every night of the week – even their Facebook page warns of 20-minute waiting times for a table alone. (D4) ul. Chmielna 13A
A MODERN BISTRO IN WARSAW'S MURANÓW Jana Pawła II 45a, lok. 38, Tel: 666 043 043 kromkibistro.pl fb.com/kromkibistro
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
Otto Pompieri If you judge pizzerias on choice then Otto Pompieri’s modest count of eleven pizzas doesn’t promise much – but then it arrives. At zł. 21 for 42 centimeters, the margherita offers the best value per sq/cm than anything out here, while the artichoke pizza reveals itself in an orgy of melty virtue. The retro Little Italy look is rounded out by a cooking brigade that engage in banter and bravado while spinning dough in the air: it feels and tastes ideal. (C3) Pl. Bankowy 1, fb.com/ otto.pompieri Posypane 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. In an area already rife with niche eateries aimed at the modern day Varsovian, Posypane feels like a satisfying addition. (D5) ul. Hoża 43/49 Prosciutteria Powiśle Buzzing with warmth, here an interior composed of pre-war floor tiles, exposed brickwork, and black and white images of Italian icons sets a casually good mood that’s sustained by the owners. They’re knowledgeable, as well. If Prosciutteria feels good, then it tastes even better. Based around cold cuts, find heavy wooden boards loaded with imported delicacies from small producers that the couple have befriended: Ubriaco cheese bathed in Prosecco; pork belly fat drycured for six months; salami from Milan and Naples… There’s more, of course, but it all becomes one in this orgy of pleasure. (F4) ul. Solec 85 Smaczneego In one room, an informal space set with groceries and baked goods amid crates and tables, and in the other, an intimate dining room that exudes warmth and wellbeing and feelings of home. For food, the first class selection includes Ragusano cheese, matured for 24-months; meaty Etna olives marinated in sea salt and olive oil; Il Viceré cheese with saffron and black peppercorn; and layers of ham
EAT! Listings from small-scale producers. It gets better still with Ligurian-style focaccia that’s soft and oily and everything good. Washed down with wines from the likes of La Torre, the feeling is of languorous good times on a holiday abroad. ul. Warszawska 60 (Konstancin-Jeziorna), fb.com/smaczneego Trattoria Rucola The secret at this chain enterprise? Despite a cut & paste interior (white tables against forest-themed wallpaper) the underlying and consistent quality has you thinking you’re dining somewhere unique. Find a vast selection of pizzas and other Italian standards cooked to a level that never falls below high. ul. Francuska 6, Krucza 6/14, Miodowa 1, Klimczaka 1 & Inwalidów 10, trattoriarucola.pl Tutti Santi With a kitchen team trained by champion pizzaiola Valerio Valle you’d be right to expect something a few steps beyond your standard high street pizza. Cooked in a woodfired Valoriani oven, the attention to detail is something else: sauce from Pelati tomatoes, Milano salami and Farina Le 5 Stagioni flour. (C3) ul. Królewska 18, tuttisanti.pl
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. (D6) ul. Piękna 54 Fat Buddha Huge in size, there’s a confident feeling of decadent ostentation: with light kept at bay by vast mulberry-colored drapes, what would otherwise appear as an over-sized hall feels intimate and sensual,
dark and delicious. Japanese in spirit, the menu pitches a refined selection of exceptional dishes – elaborate dragon rolls; delicate gyoza; and beef tataki that’s lightly seared and thinly sliced. It’s all perfect. (D3) ul. Mazowiecka 2/4 Mizu Irresistible, immaculate and imaginative, Mizu’s sushi sets a benchmark that Warsaw’s other Japanese joints can only aspire to. The off-center location adds to the impression of dining somewhere that only those in the loop know about. ul. Duchnicka 3, mizusushi.pl Mugi More and more Japanese ventures are proving there is life beyond sushi, and Mugi is one such place. Specializing in ramen noodles and kushiage skewers (battered meat and veg served on a stixk), further bonuses include Choya liqueurs and a fun design that’s not short on Manga graphics. (D5) ul. Wspólna 37/39 Sakana Sushi & Sticks It’s not uncommon to hear the preparation of sushi described as a form of art, and in Sakana that’s exactly what it is. Using premium ingredients and unusual combinations, their creations are a vivid blast of color and freshness. (D2) ul. Moliera 4/6, sakana.pl
MODERN TAKE ON JAPANESE CUISINE
Sato Gotuje Signposted by its own splash of Mangastyle art adorning the exterior wall, this Commie era pavilion feels small and squashed and assembled on a budget. Who cares? No-one. An exciting departure from the norm – no sushi here – the menu is a selection of bitey Japanese street food such as grilled mackerel fillet with shavings of grated radish. Prices and quality ensure you don’t stop until you’ve gobbled your way through much of the menu. ul. Pawińskiego 24 Shoku Most places that claim to serve fusion do so because of an identity crisis. At Shoku, though, the mix and match approach when it comes to Asia (if it’s tasty, stick it on the menu!) feels rational and put together. Never short of custom, locals gather inside a bright, contemporary space to slurp down bowls of ramen, share shoku bowls or click chopsticks
OPEN EVERY DAY 12:00-23:00 GROUND FLOOR WARSAW SPIRE, PLAC EUROPEJSKI 2 +48 668 925 959 WABU@WABU.PL | WWW.WABU.PL WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/WABUSUSHI
EAT! Listings over small plates of dim sum and wonton. (A4) ul. Karolkowa 30, shoku.pl Uki Uki 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. (D5) ul. Krucza 23/31, ukiuki.pl
jewish Mazal Tov Operated by the same group behind Momu and Aioli, their experience in pleasing the masses is mirrored by Mazal Tov, a restaurant whose menu is inspired by Ashkenazi cuisine. The tastes have an addictive street food style, while the courtyard garden is a shaded refuge from the Old Town hubbub.
(D1) ul. Podwale 29, mazaltov.pl Wabu Sushi becomes a heaven’s gate spiritual experience in Wabu with the evening passing in a blur of beautiful compositions, of silky slithers of fish crowned with expert pinches of this, and little brush strokes of that. That’s all elevated even further by deliciously upscale interiors befitting of the Spire location. (A4) Pl. Europejski 2 (Warsaw Spire), wabu.pl Yatta Originally born from a food truck, Yatta’s stationary address is everything you want: scruffy, frayed and busy, and the living embodiment of the street food vibe. The ideal outlet for their concept, step inside a rackety interior to join other hip creatures Instagramming the only jiro ramen to be found in Warsaw. Once you’re done doing that, kick back to slurp over big, steamy bowl of spicy miso ramen. (E3) Bartoszewicza 3, fb.com/YattaBowl
korean The Cool Cat Proving something other than just a faddish flash in the fire, The Cool Cat has caught the zeitgeist by the horns and come to represent the hip Powiśle style; casual and convivial and absent of aloofness, it’s a place in which all life seems to gather for a taste of good times. 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 K-Fries (a big messy mass of kimchi, chips, bulgogi beef) are spot on. (F4) ul. Solec 38 (also on Marszałkowska 8) KoreaTown Rest Here, the ubiquitous KFC (Korean fried
chicken) is all crunch and crackle and the bulgogi tender, juicy and the right side of sweet; accompanying them, an assortment of bitey dishes heaving with chilli flecked kimchi, daikon radish and pickled bits and bobs. All very good, but nothing compared to the bossam, braised pork belly scooped up by hand inside glistening perilla leaves: it’s a dish that soothes, gratifies and leaves diners looking every bit as pleased as the pipe-smoking tiger that gazes from the wall. (E9) ul. Olesińska 2, fb.com/KoreaTownRest Miss Kimchi Cheap and cheerful Korean street food served in a small, steamy space that’s frequently packed to the rafters. Box sets come piled high with meat, rice and veg. The spotlight falls on the bibimbap, a satisfying mess of shredded veg, lively spices, a fried egg and beef bulgogi. This is replenishment in its truest form. (B4) ul. Żelazna 58/62 Onggi Positive transformations aren’t confined to Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares: after a dreadful start characterized by bland, claggy dishes, this Korean restaurant has spun a U-turn that’s left the competition reeling. The menu is daunting in size, but contains wildly interesting finds such as a streaky bacon stir fry, spicy pickled Daikon radish and lotus root simmered in soy sauce. (D2) ul. Moliera 2
Hungarian cuisine, modern interiors and a wine cellar in the very heart of Warsaw
ul. Zgoda 1, tel. 22 828 22 44, www.borpince.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
FOOD & DRINK AT KONESER
Bar 3/4 Bistro WuWu Bombaj Masala Praga Columbus Coffee Ferment Praski Frankie’s Koneser Grill Moxy Hotel Bar ORZO Papa Diego Pijalnia Czekolady E. Wedel Syreni Śpiew Koneser Van Dog Wuwu ZONI
FOR THE KONESER… Warsaw’s latest culinary beacon shines a new light on Praga… Every once in a while along comes a concept that blows Warsaw’s collective mind – a place that changes the trajectory of the city by giving it a fresh set of wings: now welcomed into that fold is Centrum Praskie Koneser, a project that has galvanized the right rump of the capital and given credence to its growing reputation as the place to be. Forming a key cornerstone of that has been a social offer that has made it the largest food and drinks hub in the city. Naturally, this shouldn’t come as a surprise given its former life as one of the biggest producers of vodka in the country. Now revived as an enthralling mixeduse development, a significant portion of the historic redbrick buildings that once housed the Koneser Vodka Factory have been given over to F&B outlets that have set a new standard in atmosphere and quality: from Ferment Praski's nostalgic Polish classics and the stunning interiors of Zoni (named one of the seven most beautiful restaurants in the world), to the gentrified Indian street tastes of Bombaj Masala Praga, there’s enough choice here to keep lovers of good living in permanent rapture. And that’s before exploring the nocturnal angle at such game-changing venues such as Syreni Śpiew Koneser. Centrum Praskie Koneser Pl. Konesera, koneser.eu Parking from ul. Białostocka and Ząbkowska
Insider’s Pick KONESER GRILL Everything that restaurateur Daniel Pawełek touches turns to gold, a point affirmed by the Michelin bibs awarded to his five other ventures spread around Warsaw. You can expect the newly opened Koneser Grill to pick up its own gongs once awards season begins, for here lies a restaurant that truly merits the hype. Amid suave, industrial fittings, dine on a refined grill-based menu that has sent ripples of awe around the city’s blogosphere. ul. Ząbkowska 29 (Centrum Praskie Koneser), konesergrill.pl
EAT! Listings latin & spanish
Ceviche Bar BEST WAWA 2019 “Ethnic Dining” 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 – raw fish marinated in citrus juices and cilantro – 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 the salmon tiraditos: served with teriyaki and sweet potato mash, it’s a joy of satisfying sensations: sweet, dreamy, spicy, creamy. (C4) ul. Twarda 4, cevichebar.pl
mexican Gringo Bar A Mexican wave is upon us, and high time too. After years of suffering frozen ingredients, timid flavors and daft Mariachi music to persuade us it’s all
authentic, a raft of new cut-price eateries are showing the rest how it’s done. Cooked and folded by fist bumping lads in back-to-front caps and baggy t-shirts, the food at Gringo is fiery, fresh and full of zing. There are detractors who claim this is a Polonized version of this cuisine, but the informal Gringo remains one of the market leaders. (E9) ul. Odolańska 15, gringobar.pl La Sirena You don’t even have to think twice when asked to name the best Mexican in the capital. 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. (D5) ul. Piękna 54
middle eastern Dar Mounia Moroccan food finds itself lifted to new levels at Dar Mounia, a beautiful space that strikes a careful balance between the refined and the exotic: decorative floor tiles, cascading greenery and gold fixtures
deliver a look that feels deliciously alluring and full of subtle promise. The food befits the backdrop, with a menu that presents authentic dishes assembled with a delicate, sophisticated hand. Full report soon. (D5) ul. Hoża 58/60, darmounia.pl Kumin One of the big hits of 2018 is back open, this time in new digs on Gagarina. Casual and easy on the eye, features of the new address include a woodsy outdoor terrace and a laidback vibe set to a permanent state of chill. The food? Wow. Few places do a better job of replicating the aromatic taste of Middle Eastern lamb. (F8) ul. Gagarina 33
Le Cedre With the decadent dazzle of a bedouin tent, nights in Le Cedre are best celebrated with blasts on a sheesha and their Friday night belly dancer. Otherwise, just settle for the best Lebanese food in CEE; of particular note, the charcoalgrilled lamb chops. (E1) Al. Solidarności 61, lecedre.pl
Le Cedre 84 Le Cedre just keep on getting it right. Authenticity is key in this chainlette (well, there’s another two to pick from), as you’ll discover when talking to Tony, the Lebanese owner. To see the diversity of this cuisine, order the balbaak (six cold starters) or the byblos (six hot). And food aside, it’s the atmosphere that carries them that extra yard: the whole philosophy of this cuisine is to share and share alike, making it a uniquely engaging experience when dining with friends. (B3) Al. Solidarności 84, lecedre.pl
Le Cedre Lounge Furnished in voluptuous Middle Eastern style, the latest subsidiary of the Le Cedre empire bursts with fancy sheesha pipes,
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
EAT! Listings extravagant rugs and shimmery satin drapes. It’s a look that’s fun, familiar, intimate and warm. Less encyclopedic than that of its two sister ventures, Le Cedre Lounge has a slimmer menu that introduces several new tastes to fans of Lebanese cuisine. Helplessly more-ish, it’s food that’s in line with the vibey atmosphere and casual air. (C4) ul. Grzybowska 5A, lecedre.pl
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 add-ons that start landing on the table: a creamy baba ganoush with a gently smoky taste; zingy tabbouleh salad that screams with perky freshness; and an addictive mechouia dip made with roasted
peppers and tomatoes. But these are a precursor for mains such as tajine dishes defined by their big-hearted richness – in this, the beef is the king, with a deep velvet sauce of honey and ginger and knuckle-sized prunes. ul. Burakowska 9, maghreb.pl Tahina There’s so much to love about Tahina that it’s hard to know where to begin: eventually, though, thoughts will inevitably turn to Warsaw’s best wrap. Contained within a featherlight lavash, the 36-hour slowcooked beef all but melts in the mouth. One bite and you’ve found heaven. In a city where eating Middle Eastern cuisine still has the feeling of a high risk game of roulette, Tahina hits the jackpot. Look out for look out for Iraqi-style scrambled eggs with dates, not to mention generous tahini bowls cascading with juicy chunks of chicken, and traditional coffee heated in a pan of sand. (C5) ul. Wilcza 26, fb.com/ TahinaWilcza
polish Bazar Kocha Mimicking the look of a contemporary farmers’ market, awnings cover the counter at Bazar Kocha and pickled produce lines the shelves – what you see on them is available to buy. Loyal to the concept of terroir, the menu makes a strong case for contemporary Polish cuisine with a seasonally-adjusted choice that involves mutton dumplings; smoked eggplant risotto; or beef cheeks with a silky lovage mousse. (D6) ul. Mokotowska 33, bazarkocha.pl Bez Gwiazdek BEST WAWA 2019 “Best Chef” BEST WAWA 2019“Tasting Menu” While Bez Gwiazdek rejects the core principles of fine dining, don’t for one minute expect anything less than food that whispers refined sophistication. Focusing each month on a different region
Flavours of Warsaw - traditional Polish cuisine with a distinctive modern touch. Everything is made from fresh seasonal ingredients. Enjoy, among many others, roasted pumpkin steak with quinoa, oyster mushrooms and beetroot purèe. Or try our mouth watering pork ribs with Jack Daniell’s sauce, roasted potatoes, cherry tomatoes and rocketoasted daddle of deer with chestnuts, smoked celery purèe and pan fried Brussels sprouts. Or perhaps you have a taste for duck breast with bean puree with French potatoes and marinated strawberries. To finish off delight in our home made pastries. tel. 48 22 621 82 68 Żurawia str. 47/49 Warsaw www.smakiwarszawy.com
Traditional Polish Cuisine,
(traditional sour rye soup)
(roast pork knuckle)
(potato pancake with gulash)
We serve Polish dishes on hot pans and sizzling cast iron and are winners of many culinary competitions Hand making our own pierogi since 1913 Pierogi z owocami Fruit dumplings
but don’t miss the pierogi OUR LOCATIONS IN WARSAW U L . K R A KO W S K I E P R Z E D M I E Ś C I E 5 5 | T E L . 2 2 6 9 2 7 2 0 4 U L . N O W Y Ś W I AT 6 4 | T E L . 2 2 6 9 2 4 1 3 5 AL. JEROZOLIMSKIE 28 | TEL. 22 826 7484 U L . F R E TA 1 | T E L . 2 2 8 3 1 6 1 9 0 UL. ŚWIĘTOJAŃSKA 13 | TEL. 22 635 6109 U L . F R E TA 1 8 | T E L . 2 2 6 3 5 7 9 5 9
EAT! Listings of the country, Robert Trzópek’s tasting menu takes diners to the very heart of the Polish soul and does so via tastes that betray his fine dining background: delicate and precise, it’s the polar opposite of the standard Polski feast. Just when you thought you had worked out the nation’s cuisine, along comes Robert Trzópek to rewrite the rules. (E3) ul. Wiślana 8, bezgwiazdek.com.pl Czerwony Wieprz An amusing restaurant that looks back at communism through a rose-tinted lens. Under the glowering gaze of commie tyrants, staff dressed like obedient members of the party’s Youth League deliver hefty dishes from a cheeky menu that is in itself a collector’s item. (B3) ul. Żelazna 68, czerwonywieprz.pl Dawne Smaki The atmospheric interiors hark to bygone years, while in sunnier times the back garden promises an oasis-like experience: if you’re new to Warsaw, it’s actually worth hanging around a few months just to see it. Specializing in traditional cuisine, the deer steak is recommended by all who try it. (D4) ul. Nowy Świat 49 Kuchnia Czwerwony Rower Identified by the red bike hanging outside, this canteen-style affair is an antidote to the rampant monetization of Praga. Aiming to get those with social problems
back on track, this social project hands the initiative back to those down on their look by providing employment in their kitchen. Simple but effective in its style, it’s one of the cheapest feeds around. (F1) ul. Targowa 82 Delicja Polska Looking stately (pink bows, gilt touches and immaculate linen) but never stuffy, Delicja have a modern Polish menu that includes sous-vide salmon marinated in beetroot leaves, then topped with horseradish foam and dill emulsion. Brilliant. But then so was everything else we tried, including the exquisite seasoned roast beef. (D6) ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 64 Dom Polski Almost like it was designed for the manor born, Dom Polski has the rarefied atmosphere of a country retreat: bow-tied staff who click their heels, decorative antiques and a menu that’s a sumptuous anthology of posh Polish cooking. When you need to give visitors a sense of classic Warsaw, Dom Polski is the first out of the hat. (H4) ul. Francuska 11, restauracjadompolski.pl Elixir by Dom Wódki There are some who call the food here ‘deconstructed Polish’. In actuality, 'reconstructed' would be closer to the mark. The chef has taken local classics and redrafted the recipes with the swoosh of a contemporary pen. The
outcome is a pleasure from start to finish: a life affirming żurek, a tartar that could fulfill ambassadorial duties for Poland, and a handsome beef tenderloin sprinkled with crispy potato shavings. Thoughtful pairings with lesser-known, boutique vodkas add another dimension that serves to complete this pleasing, patriotic adventure. (C2) ul. Wierzbowa 9/11, domwodki.pl Folk Gospoda If you missed the last train to Zakopane, then a night in Folk Gospoda is the next best thing. Kitted out like a typical tavern in the Tatras, it’s a good-humored celebration of mountain-slope traditions: heaps of meat and lard with plenty of vodka and song in between. (B3) ul. Waliców 13 Kieliszki na Próżnej You’ll find Kieliszki na Próżnej, the latest restaurant to mark the rehabilitation of Próżna, so named after the 1,116 wineglasses that hang tantalizingly over the bar. As an anchor feature the suspended glassware is arresting and equaled only by a long stretch of wall art doodled by Mariusz Tarkawian. The food matches up to the interiors, with a modern Polish menu that – on our visit – involved a thick, brilliantly spreadable foie gras pate, a thick slab of brawn and a delicate piece of moist Baltic cod. It’s pure seasonal comfort. (C3) ul. Próżna 12, kieliszkinaproznej.pl Le’pię In a restaurant that feels pure and feminine with its pristine tilework, gold cutlery and pastel pink finishes, the dumpling is given a remarkable, artisanal makeover. Handmade with love, find unlikely fillings such as pear and peach complimented by a pour of honey-ginger syrup, or black pudding squashed in with cranberry and crispy shallots. It’s all quite brilliant, in fact, brilliant enough to feature in a BBC travel segment aired over Christmas. (E3) ul. Topiel 12 Polana Smaków 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
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
EAT! Listings blobs of orange pumpkin. Desserts are a sin and have, in the past, included a boozy donut soaked in punch and puffed to extreme with a blast of vanilla cream. It’s sophisticated yet reassuringly simple. (C5) ul. E. Plater 14, polanasmakow.pl Pyzy Flaki Gorące Insulate yourself against the chill with a hearty helping of homemade dumplings that are squished into jars. Budgetminded in both cost and appearance, it’s become one of Praga’s worst kept secrets with several of Poland’s top food writers praising it to the hilt. Filled with a wide cast of characters, nowhere does a better job of expressing the district’s soul than this ramshackle eatery. (G1) Brzeska 29/31 Restauracja Polska “Różana” The rarified atmosphere of Różana is a pleasure indeed. Close to the frontline of Mokotów / Śródmieście, you’d never guess the proximity of the center. Seated in their garden, one feels removed from the city – a fountain burbles quietly in the background, starlings hop around the trees. From the inside, one hears the distant tinkle of the house pianist. Just being here is a thrill in itself, and the food is a Polish dining extravaganza served from the top table: farmhouse duck, saddle of venison, etc. (E8) ul. Chocimska 7, restauracjarozana.com.pl Schabowy 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, fb.com/ schabowy.warszawa Stary Dom 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, restauracjastarydom.pl Świętoszek Tartuffe A subterranean venue set with arcing brick walls and polished bits of fancy, it’s
elegant enough for something special yet casual enough for walk-ins. A place of hospitality, human warmth and big, heartfelt tastes, the Insider’s December visit involved premium tartare revealed from under a smoking glass dome; pumpkin soup to die for; and deer steak with juniper sauce. Conclude with the Kajmak cake, a modernized version of the original 1986 recipe. You leave having eaten well and enjoyed every minute. ul. Jezuicka 6/8, swietoszek.pl Talerzyki It sounds a little absurd, but Talerzyki manage the implausible by Polonizing the concept of tapas and coming up trumps. Fiercely Polish in spirit, the menu looks to revive the essence of inter-war Warsaw with its selection of classic recipes presented in scaled-down form: blood pudding with apple and cinnamon; beef tongue and horseradish; and white sausage with fermented flour sauce. It sounds glum and gory but its anything but – and the style mavens of Mokotowska appear to agree. (D6) ul. Mokotowska 33/35 U Fukiera New arrivals looking to get a grasp of local cuisine have many options in varying price brackets. U Fukiera is definitely in the big spend category, but visitors come away with a common sense of wonderment. That’s largely due to enchanting interiors that have guests exploring twinkling chambers that unravel like a fairytale. Set in a 500-year-old townhouse, the beautiful backdrop is accompanied by a grand menu of duck, venison, veal and lamb. It can be argued, however, that the food never quite hits the heights that the atmosphere warrants. (D1) Rynek Starego Miasta 27, ufukiera.pl Wuwu Concrete finishes, illuminated tubes of light, glass block walls and graphic illustrations lend a slick smartness to this narrow, bluish space. Busy with start-up entrepreneurs and off-duty business bods, they’re here to enjoy the food that connects vodka with the forgotten classics of inter-war Warsaw. With items like duck tongues on the menu, and a shared address with the Vodka Museum, these are ambitions that are realized. Pl. Konesera 1 (Centrum Praskie Koneser), wuwu.bar
Zapiecek Seven Warsaw locales, with our favorite found in the vaulted passages of Świętojańska. The menu is highly traditional, with courses ‘cooked to grandma’s recipes’. It’s for the pierogi though for which they’re famous; find approx. fifty types delivered by servers dressed like saucy country maids. Locations inc. ul. Nowy Świat 64, Al. Jerozolimskie 28, Freta 18, Freta 1 & Świętojańska 13 & ul. Wańkowicza 1, zapiecek.eu Zielony Niedźwiedź A sanctuary of elegant fancy, it’s a place of long, dark shadows and discreet decorative touches: From the outset, you’re made to feel that good things will happen, and this they do. Certified by Poland’s fledgling slow food movement, the menu gives star billing to the suppliers that keep the pantry full; but the truth is these aren’t the only heroes. Taking the reins in June, new chef Oliwia Bernady has grown in stature and skill preparing a daily tinkered menu that opens your eyes to the real tastes of Poland. (E4) ul. Smolna 4, kafezn.pl
scandinavian Nabo Open-faced Smørrebrød sandwiches are a specialty with toppings including ribbons of herring with curry egg paste and a flurry of greens, but Nabo also extends to cover other aspects of the new Nordic style: the fish goulash is recommended. ul. Zakręt 8, nabocafe.pl
L’Arc Plucked alive and kicking from a burbling fish tank, L’Arc’s lobsters and crabs are among the best in the biz. Known for their warsawinsider.pl
EAT! Listings obsessive devotion to seafood, other choices in this elegant, monochrome venue include six kinds of oysters and a bouillabaisse to blow your mind. (E8) ul. Puławska 16, larc.pl U Rysia Devoid of frills bar a glowing neon sign and a brooding mural of Jesus, it looks like a Polish fish restaurant should – basic but with an undercurrent of bustle that keeps the mood bright. It tastes like the real thing as well. Sourcing their catch from the freshwater lakes of northern Poland, the offer is divided into fish that have been smoked, steamed, fried or baked. Check out the perch ‘chips’ fried in batter. (C4) ul. Marszałkowska 140 (enter from ul. Rysia), urysia.com.pl
specialty food shops Bazar Olkuska Once a sad little side street, Olkuska has evolved to become just about the worst kept secret in Warsaw. Home to the city’s top eco-market, trips here end with shopping bags filled with French cheeses, Italian hams, Hungarian sausages and fresh fruit and veg. (E10) ul. Olkuska 12 BioBazar With its previous home in Wola undergoing a substantial redevelopment, the BioBazar has moved to Mokotów. At the forefront of Poland’s food revolution, it’s a place that shines a light on ecologically certified goods and produce. Fresh fish, cheese, eggs, bread, cured sausages, honey... on it goes. Comprehensive in its pitch, everything you need to pursue a bright, happy life is here on this spot. ul. Wołoska 3, biobazar.com.pl (B4) ul. Żelazna 51/53, biobazar.org.pl Dobrze Co-op The Dobrze Food Co-op aims to ‘widen access to healthy, seasonal food’ while also supporting sustainable agriculture. Founded in summer, 2014, the project collaborates with over 20 farms and local businesses and sells fresh vegetables and fruit alongside cereals,
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dried goods and other bits and pieces. ul. Wilcza 29A & ul. Andersa 27, dobrze.waw.pl Forteca Kregliccy Spot the stars of Warsaw’s restaurant scene perusing the stalls at this weekly farmers’ market. Held each Wednesday, look for Pan Ziółko, Poland’s first celebrity farmer (!), Portobello’s from the country’s only organic mushroom farm and the magical yogurts from Mleczna Droga Manufaktura Serów. ul. Zakroczymska 12, kregliccy.eu/forteca Hala Gwardii Taking its cue from the market places of Lisbon and Marseilles, Hala Gwardii aims to reprise its former pre-war role as the city’s best-known food market. Designed to complement rather than compete with Hala Mirowska outside, the market is a sensory big bang with dozens of stalls specializing in everything from cheese and sausages, to rolled Thai ice cream and posh pet supplies. (C3) Pl. Mirowska 2, fb.com/halagwardii Hala Mirowska As popular with undercover chefs as it is with queue-jumping pensioners wielding walking sticks like sabers, the accessibility of its price tags is bettered only by the rich bounty of produce that awaits. In the post-war units attached to the core building, Darek at No. 17 has amassed a legendary reputation for his edible flowers and hard-to-find herbs; at 115, cheeses and handmade sausages are the order of the day; whilst Pani Anna at 114 has been called the Queen of Mirowska for her peerless skills handling a butcher’s cleaver. Noisy and unkempt, chaotic and crammed, it’s a sensory overload that sends volts through the foodie. (B3) Pl. Mirowski 1 Kram A supermarket worth your time. Putting small scale producers to the fore, find veggies courtesy of the Majlert farm and grocer Pan Ziołko, daily deliveries from the Mąka i Woda bakery, dairy courtesy of Mleczna Droga, and several cult Polish brands such as Concept Stu Mostów. Craft beers, bio wines, and softs from the likes of Fentimans and Galvanina complete the quite extraordinary lineup. ul. Duchnicka 3, facebook.com/kram. nativeingredients
steak houses Beef n’ Pepper Beef N’ Pepper presents itself in a buzzy urban flash of violet blue lighting, slick banquette seating and open kitchen action. Straight away, you get the feeling of being in a place that’s alive and active, a feeling that’s affirmed by a busy backlit bar from behind which black-shirted staff fling sunny cocktails for the after-work crowd. Of course, it’s the food angle that takes precedence, and at Beef N’ Pepper that translates to a decent choice of surf’n’turf. Highlights include thumping T-bones and a 60-day aged Argentinean top loin. (C5) ul. Nowogrodzka 47A, beefandpepper.pl
BykBar Casual and affordable to all, Byk unassuming interior flatters to deceive: you’re talking about a top quality meat-centric menu that out guns many of the bigger and more high-profile players. . (F6) ul. Rozbrat 8, fb.com/bykbar Butchery & Wine When Butchery opened in 2011 it completely transformed the way Poland viewed its steak. The first ‘new wave’ meat joint in the country, it’s launch lit the fuse for a steak revolution. Now an institution in its own right, this cosmopolitan spot remains one of the most sought out bookings in the capital – bookings are advised. (D5) ul. Żurawia 22, butcheryandwine.pl Ed Red Warszawa You can tell they’re serious about their meat just by looking at the starters: big, juicy marrow bones, mountain oysters, blood sausage and calf’s brain. The steaks are the calling card though, and here you’ll find them dry aged and consumed with the aid of hunting knives. The desserts seem a lumpy afterthought, but they get enough right elsewhere (even decent craft beer at the bar) to keep that little more than a mild annoyance. (B3) Pl. Mirowski 1, edred.pl
VEGAN Recognized by the HappyCow portal as the sixth most vegan friendly city in the world, the Insider slashes through Warsaw’s fifty plus choices to bring you the cream of the crop…
mind with regular guest slots for ‘junk food’ that’s given a full vegan makeover. Offhand, that’s meant vegan kebabs, cheesesteaks, burgers and zapiekanka, all of which have been pretty darn fabulous. (D5) ul. Krucza 23/31, lokalveganshop.com
Edamame Vegan Sushi 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: sugar snap peas, radish, carrots, asparagus, etc. In HappyCow’s rankings, it scores the highest of the lot. ul. Wilcza 11
Momencik Steamy, tight and sweaty, this pokey subterranean cavern has one key credit to its name: burritos that outrank the majority of ‘proper Mexicans’ in town. The salsas, too, are magnificent (ooh, pineapple). (D5) ul. Poznańska 16, fb.com/momencik
Falla ul. Oboźna 9 Both pricing and location combine to keep this venue blocked solid with a muddled mass of students from the uni nearby. Looking simple, maybe even spartan, crowds flock to this corner unit for recipes inspired by the Middle East and Asia: huge wraps tightly packed with pungent kimchi; generous pans brimming with shakshouka; and an array of hummus in unfamiliar forms – chipotle, coriander, carrot and more. Krowarzywa Tatts, hats and plaid shirts aplenty in Krowarzywa: a survivor of the hipster era, for many it’s the epitome of Warsaw’s vegan scene. The burgers set a benchmark that all but a few can surpass. (D5) ul. Marszałkowska 27/35, ul. Hoża 29/31 and Hala Gwardii, krowarzywa.pl Kuchnia Konfliktu First founded to provide work for refugees fleeing conflict zones, this social project has won acclaim not just for social initiative, but also for its food. With employees hailing from the likes of Iran, Afghanistan, Chechnya and Iraq, prepare to dive deep into the exotic. (D5) ul. Wilcza 60 Leonardo Verde 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’. (D5) ul. Poznańska 13, fb.com/ leonardo.verde.restaurant Lokal Vegan Bistro Aside from a small menu consisting of standard vegan offers, this stalwart keeps Homer Simpson characters in
Sabich Marketing themselves as a wellness deli, credit Sabich for introducing a vegan spin to Middle Eastern street eats. A fun, sociable space, touchdown in this eatery to feast your way through a menu involving seitan shawarma boxes, Yemeni soup loaded with lentils and veg, ready-to-go shakshouka boxes, and Israeli-style sabich sandwiches rammed with avocado, eggplant, potatoes and mango mayo – all squished inside a pita or baguette. Whoever invented that combo, come forth to receive your medal. (E6) Al. Wyzwolenia 13 Tel Aviv A major icebreaker in terms of Poland’s vegan revolution, Tel Aviv woo with a super-funky, design that evokes the spirit of the Israeli capital through its raw finishes and street art motif. The food is a bonanza of Middle Eastern tastes and has, in the past, been wolfed down by passing members of Depeche Mode. (D5) ul. Poznanska 11, restauracjatelaviv.pl Vegan Ramen Shop Prior to opening the management traveled Asia to track down the best ramen joints before heading back to Poland and trying to ‘veganize’ what they saw. Woah. These complex bowls of restorative goodness have been described as ‘world class’ by HappyCow, and this they are. Enjoy your noodles inside cool interiors filled with cute Japanese props on dozens of ‘levitating shelves’. (G3) ul. Finlandzka 12A Uki Green Brought to you by Taira Matsuki, the owner of the outrageously successful Uki Uki, 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
EAT! Listings Hoża Wine and steak: it sounds simple, but Hoża have taken two simple pleasures to another level. It’s an ebullient space with service right out of charm school, and a kitchen team with a real knowledge of cows. A red-blooded affair, the menu is a steak sensation and well paired with a handpicked wine list. (D5) ul. Hoża 25A, hoza.warszawa.pl Koneser Grill In line with the rebooted factory surroundings, the interior opens out to present a space that feels industrial at its core but not short on smart, chic details: smooth lighting, blond woods, metal fixtures and outbreaks of rich teal colors. As the firewood stacked under the kitchen counter suggests, fire is central to the plot with the menu little more than a fullblooded foray into carnivorous worlds. But away from the meaty grill dishes there’s also plenty of sophistication: delicate quail Scotch eggs, grilled Fine de Claire oysters and grilled octopus served with duck hearts. (G1) ul. Ząbkowska 29 (Centrum Praskie Koneser), konesergrill.pl Merliniego A classic looking steakhouse that swirls in shadow, brickwork and elegant touches, it’s a place to immerse yourself in an atmosphere that’s all surreptitious conversation and distant clinking glasses. The steaks are out-of-this world, with USDA prime beef from New York’s legendary Ottomanelli & Sons and Scottish beef from London’s Smithfield Market. On our last visit we splurged on the Grade 9+ wagyu ‘kobe’ rib-eye and found ourselves eating the steak of a lifetime. Simply amazing. (E10) ul. Merliniego 5, merliniego.pl Mięsny What’s not to like about a butcher, deli and bistro all rolled into one meaty treat. Set down a leafy side street in posh Saska Kępa, this Saska Keeper presents a handful of wooden tables inside a monochrome-floored, white-tiled interior adorned with an azure-colored neon and graphic illustrative wall art depicting tasty farmyard animals – if you’re vegan, shoot yourself now. Typed onto a sheet of paper, the menu is an atavistic joyride that arouses primal, caveman urges: sweetbreads with chestnut puree; bone
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marrow with parsley salad; duck rillettes; and Red Angus steaks of every description. Nothing disappoints. ul. Walecznych 64, miesny.pl
Poland and pre-war Lviv, dishes include Galician-style herring and beef cooked in pork fat and served with white porridge and fried cabbage – as classic as they sound, presentation is pure 21st century and fitting of the luxurious surroundings of this one-time palace. Full review coming soon. (E7) Al. Szucha 17/19
Bangkok Soi In terms of interior design, find no more than some Chang beer pennants, Muangthong United football scarves, and film posters with unidentifiable titles. Strangely, however, the basic look feels pleasingly honest. Replicating the street tastes of Bangkok, find vigorously spiced red curry, Som Tam salad containing hard-to-find ingredients such as green papaya, and Tom Sap soup loaded with lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves and tomato. In this whir of full-throated flavors, it’s easy to become hopelessly lost in waves of bliss. (B2) Al. Jana Pawła II 50
Skamiejka As a social point, this family-run restaurant works incredibly well. Filled with assorted clutter and Russian bits and pieces (album covers, books, jars of pickles and jumble sale finds), the welcome is second-to-none, while beverages include a wide range of vodka and beer from the former Soviet-bloc nations. The food is hefty, comfort-driven and ideal for long, wintry nights. (G1) ul. Ząbkowska 37
Thai Thai A visual feast of ink black colors and shimmering deities this is by far the most formal of Warsaw’s Thai options – and also the best. Peaks include a grilled beef salad full of citrusy twists, lively flavors and vibrant colors, and sundried pork neck that’s all manly crunch and nose-clearing sauce. And then there’s the tuna tartar, a dish zinging with fresh hits of coriander, mint, lime and chili. There’s no point in complimenting the chef, he’s heard it all before. (C2) Pl. Teatralny 3, thaithai.pl
Oh My Pho A busy, family-run joint, OMP’s specific claim to fame is what many are terming the best and most authentic pho in the ward. Steamy and aromatic, this is pho as it should be: full of big herby thwacks, ribboning noodles, and soft strips of meat in a clear, restorative stock. Often cited as being the ‘soul of the nation’, just a few noisy slurps are all that’s needed to corroborate the life-affirming goodness of this beautiful broth... (D5) ul. Wilcza 32, fb.com/ohmyphowilcza
ukrainian & russian Kanapa Ukrainian food gets a fine dining makeover inside a plush villa that’s all sweeping staircases and theatrical chandeliers. Rich and raucous in some parts, refined and delicate in others, the food is a credit to the cunning of the chef. (E8) ul. Narbutta 10, fb.com/kanapa. restauracja Rest.Baczewskich A grander opening there has not been this year. Inspired by the cuisine of Old
Vietnamka Divey but lively, diners step down into Vietnamka to find a shouty little lair of mint green walls and wobbly wooden tables. Infused with a gentle sense of chaos (drinks after mains, mains before starters), there’s a certain charm at work that feels authentic and convincing. As for the food, you suspect that’ll be ’nam good when TV chef Kurt Scheller wonders in for a take-out. And boy, yes it is. Squiggled onto a crumpled sheet of paper, menu items include giant bowls of warming pho, steamed goat with lemongrass and more-ish spring rolls. Exceptional in every respect, the cooking here sails Warsaw’s Asian scene into uncharted waters. (D5) ul. Poznańska 7, fb.com/VietnamkaPoznanska
First Sips FOR THE RECORD
PHOTOGRAPH BY KEVIN DEMARIA
The combination of vinyl and coffee ain’t nothing new, but at Asfalt you feel that the very heart of the concept has been completely remastered. Helping that is a choice of tunes that’s nothing if not alternative: reggae, dub, hip hop, funk, soul and a little bit of jazz. And being owned by a Polish record label, there’s no shortage of maverick local sounds either. Having flipped through the records and CDs, take stock of your purchases over alt. coffees served inside mugs crafted by the nearby Fenek ceramic studio. Laidback and neighborly, it’s a place designed for hip locals to drop in, chill out. You should as well. Asfalt ul. Tamka 37
SIPS FOR TWO
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF RAFFLES
With dinner done comes the next Valentine’s quandary – where to head for post-prandial drinks?
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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
12 on 14
ul. Noakowskiego 16 For a country with such a noble jazz tradition the paucity of dedicated clubs in the capital feels like an aberration. Doing a sterling job of filling that void are 12 on 14, a venue whose courtyard location lends a feeling of stepping into the unknown. Decorated with the requisite portraits of trumpet tooting legends, the debonair, moody confines match well with the sounds at hand. Visit on Valentine’s Night and you’ll be listening to the sultry tunes of the Basia Gąsienica-Giewont Quartet – book ahead.
ul. Mokotowska 48 Warsaw has wine bars, just not that many good ones. But who needs anything more when you have Ale Wino. Genial and romantic, Ale Wino’s small but labyrinthine layout, informed service and compelling menu make it a must for date night. And it feels all the more magical arriving laid down with bags after splurging on the boutiques of Mokotowska.
Bar & Books Podwale
ul. Marszałkowska 45/49 Up the stairs you go to enter Gram, a small room that invokes feelings of stepping inside a circus Big Top. Where Valentine’s is concerned it’s a wildcard suggestion, but one that hits the target in terms of something wacky. 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...
Long Bar (pictured left)
ul. Wąski Dunaj 20 For fireside cocktails in a book-lined, wood-paneled parlor then look no further than Bar & Books. Soothing and sophisticated, trust the intuitive, black tie service to find the drink for the moment. Given the location, it goes without saying that any Valentine’s evening spent here should conclude with a moonlit walk around the Old Town walls – and so much the better should it ever finally snow.
ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 13 (Raffles Europejski Hotel) Posh doesn’t begin to cover it. Clad in smooth marble, natural oak, eyecatching 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.
Pl. Piłsudskiego 9 Functioning as the capital’s only legit champagne bar, such is the ambiance of Bubbles that one gets the idea that inside these walls Valentine’s reigns forever. Despite sounding like a 1980s
Essex nightclub, find this bistro locked inside an eternal state of romance. A charismatic assembly of rickety crates, Tolix chairs and deep forest greens, this compact space is ripe for dating. Order a glass of bubbles before plunging into a menu inspired by the slow food philosophy. Damn right there’s a lot to like at Bubbles, but there’s even more to love.
ul. Widok 9 (Puro Hotel) It’s quite possible that the design stage of Loreta didn’t envision a great big tower block being built next door, but while the view from this top-floor bar isn’t quite as sweeping as it might
have been, it does more than enough to feel a little special. Back indoors, find a cool décor that channels the spirit of this design-led hotel brand through its funky décor and eclectic art: think soft pinkish colors, leafy succulents and loungey extras. For drinks, then turn to house sips such as the Loreta Cup – a sophisticated mix of whisky, agave, chili and lemon. And being perched atop of a hotel, well, why not book a suite and pass the night in style…
ul. Bagatela 10 Under the hollow gaze of hundreds of skulls (“About 400,” speculates the owner), guests kick back inside a dark, shadowy bar that seems to summon the spirit of H.P Lovecraft. Blurring the line between the theatrical and macabre, it’s fitting that this venue has become the premier spot for a taste of the burlesque: visit on the 13th to watch the likes of Pony Boy Boylesq, Juicy Jane and other such prancing artistes, or else swing by on the 14th for ‘live love songs’ as performed by former Voice of Poland star Filip Rychcik.
Pl. Trzech Krzyży 16 Set in a 200-year-old carriage house within a secretive courtyard, Wozownia started life looking raw and ramshackle – in parts, it still does, but that’s not to say improvements haven’t been made, not least to a Lynch-esque winter garden that feels brilliantly dream-like. Drinks-wise, kick-ass cocktails sell just as well as the Prosecco, which remains arguably the cheapest glass of sparkly you’ll find in the city. Pair that with a sceney crowd of off-duty DJs, camp dudes with manbags and slender nightlife creatures and you have a place that feels on the front end of hip. Being here, so are you. warsawinsider.pl
drink! Listings bars & pubs 2Koła Sat in the abandoned backspaces and brickyards behind Zachodnia station, 2Koła feels like Warsaw’s dirtiest little secret. Still stained and smelling of grease and oil, this former garage is piled high with dented sofas, warehouse palettes and motorcycling detritus. Yet the supremely friendly owners have turned this shadowy lair into a cult bar that’s specifically celebrated for rowdy jam sessions that cover everything from ragtime to rockabilly. ul. Tunelowa 2B The Alchemist A small place with a big bag of tricks: upscale pub grub from the British chef, fancy cocktails, and a self-serve wall of beer from a choice of global brewers. Poland’s still getting used to the idea of ‘a pint after work’, but in The Alchemist the idea of a post-office drink seems so very right. (D3) Pl. Piłsudskiego 3, thealchemist.pl 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. (C5) ul. Hoża 61
Bar Studio The dehumanizing dimensions of the Palace of Culture are softened in warmer weather when Pl. Defilad turns into a quasi-party zone. Should it rain, seek shelter under the covered colonnades: there’s room for everyone. And with no nearby residents to pester, it’s just about one of the only places in Warsaw where noise is never an issue – scream and no-one cares. Inside, the gaudy, echoey interiors are juxtaposed against an arty events program that includes book launches, silent discos, communal breakfasts and gramophone nights. (C4) Pl. Defilad 1, barstudio.pl
Beirut & Kraken Somewhere, amid all the junk relating to the Lebanese conflict (grenades,
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
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. (D5) ul. Poznańska 12, beirut.com.pl
Central Bar The natural focal point of Hala Koszyki is the Central Bar, a long, long space serving microbrews and classic cocktails such as Pimm’s under a spectacular wrought iron ceiling. Not many places feel as international, and three years after opening it remains one of Warsaw’s top check-ins. Talent spotting doesn’t get any better. (D6) ul. Koszykowa 63 (Hala Koszyki) Centrum Zarządzania Światem Covering a couple of levels (and including a secret room snuck behind a bookcase), this social-cultural space is best described as a composition of molecules that celebrate the suburb: balustrades from Targowa street, street lights from Park Praski and no shortage of murals from local talents. And the toilets? Step inside a cargo container. Something of a multi-use environment, you might walk into a flamenco evening one night and improv comedy performances the next.
of a David Lynch film. Craft beers and a smoking zone earn bonus points. ul. Zwycięzców 49
Koko & Roy Somewhere along the line Koko & Roy have blossomed into one of the Insider’s favorite weekend nights. With its quirky-cool design, multinational crowd and funky sounds, it’s the kind of place you hit pre-club before deciding to drop the club bit altogether. And in the event that things are slow, you can rely on the owners to grab the evening by the horns and lead you down a murky rabbit hole involving off-the-cuff cocktails and offbeat conversation. Before you know it, by God, is it really nearly three? (D5) ul. Wilcza 43, kokoandroywarsaw.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. (C5) ul. Emilii Plater 25, legendsbar.pl
Wilcza 9A, fb.com/foton.bar
Miejsce Chwila Surviving the move from their former digs is the giant mural of a weatherworn babcia, and it’s under her watery gaze that drinkers congregate to make the most of a decent fridge generously stocked with specialty beers from Poland’s more leftfield producers. Also successfully enduring the challenges of their cross-city move is the underlying spirit that made them so famous. Defiantly arty in its character, the creative mood that prevails manifests itself in a quirky design that involves retro accents, refurbed armchairs, a neon of Lennon and the compelling illustrations of Izabela Wójtowicz. (D5) ul. Żurawia 47
Klubokawiarnia Towarzyska Saska’s nightlife is limited to the point of being virtually non-existent, so the existence of Towarzyska is welcome indeed. Set inside a 1950s pavilion and signposted by zippy neon sign, find a cool café on ground level, and a moodier space downstairs that has the atmospheric feel
Offside Located opposite a mural of a giant goose and a gaudy statue of retro football star Kazimierz Deyna, this wreck announces its intention from the off with a piece of graffiti over the bar declaring that, “this is not a f***ing cocktail bar”. Despite the somewhat threatening slogan, it’s
(F1) ul. Okrzei 26, centrumswiata.com
Foton It’s good, seriously good. Part of that is down to a design that’s startlingly simple yet beautifully composed: think raw materials, steel frames and a vast, green fleet of tumbling plants. The F&B ain’t bad, either. Pimped up Latin American street food is the order of the day, and it all rhymes well with a drinks menu involving exotica such as chili mango margaritas. The later it gets, the better it is. (E5) ul.
Drink! Listings a place of amiable anarchy and warm camaraderie. The neo Berlin aesthetic sits well with a crowd composed of maverick artists, local radicals and volunteers from Poland’s first ‘democratic’ football club, AKS ZŁY. (G1) ul. Brzeska 16 Paradox Billing themselves as a ‘sci-fi / gamers / role play asylum’ this is a cradle of geeks, nerds and people who collect serial killer memorabilia. Decorated with plastic black crows, a map of Mordor and figurines of goblins, soak in the vibe as oddly attired suspects engross themselves in ‘for hire’ games with names like Hobbit and Bewoulf. (B1) ul. Anielewicza 2, paradox-cafe.pl
Plan B Plan B is the very essence of dive Warsaw. Weekends pass by in a raucous blur, with the party spilling out under the colonnades outside – it helps to look like a DJ, but in truth everyone is welcome to this hive of debauchery. (D6) ul. Wyzwolenia
and watch the world spin around. (E7) ul. Marszałkowska 17
Targowy God knows what their secret potion is, but it’s probably something to do with a democratized offer that has something for all: craft beers, hardcore vodkas, decent cocktails and a staff that’s friendly, enthusiastic and always ready with a one-liner. The design is basic (plastic crates, blue lights), but they don’t need anything more to make it feel special. (B3) Pl. Mirowski 1
Ulubiona Set inside the archway, look for a heavy door next to a dented ashtray seemingly unemptied for the last couple of months. Shadowy and shabby, you’ll usually find barflies strumming guitars or engrossed in a solo game of chess. An intensely personal experience, it’s a bar that compensates for its lack of glitz with a stoner-style ambiance that soon sweeps over all. (D4) ul. Nowy Świat 27
18 (Pl. Zbawiciela), planb.pl
Praska For Praga at its craziest and most creative, Praska doesn’t disappoint. Beers from Brooklyn Brewery keep the open-minded crowd lubricated with other amusements arriving in the form of regular DJs and a quite extraordinary interior: Christmas lights, giant, toy tigers, heaps of plants and other scrapyard finds dominate what rates as our weirdest discovery of 2019. (G1) ul. Brzeska 23 Stixx A slick industrial design and a location in the long shadow of the Warsaw Spire keeps this venue’s huge dimensions occupied with workers fleeing their offices once the clock strikes five. Even with the terrace roof now rolled back in for winter, there aren’t many better spots in which to enjoy the noble tradition of an after-work pint. (A4) Pl. Europejski 4A, stixx.pl Świetlica Long and narrow, dark and murky, it’s as raw as they come: toilets of grubby menace, a smoking room clad in spray can art, broken fittings and general gloom. Basically, it’s everything you demand from the last bar of the night – a place where you can slide into the shadows
W Oparach Absurdu Somewhere, buried beneath the Persian rugs, dusty velvety drapes and wobbling antiques, you may find a bar. On your way, obstacles in this louche dive may include vodka fueled grans, scriptwriting beatniks and the trumpet tooting members of the Bum Bum Orchestra. Expect the unexpected. (F1) ul. Ząbkowska 6, oparyabsurdu.pl
Warszawa Powiśle The prime months for this former ticket booth arrive each summer when the deckchairs outside provide ample opportunity for the city’s young and fashionable to gather in an almost carnival-like atmosphere. Once seen as the hipster Center of Power, it still maintains great popularity with whiskered, tattooed sorts. (E4) ul. Kruczkowskiego 3B, warszawapowisle.pl
Worek Kości H.P. Lovecraft would love it. Decorated with replica skulls (400 reckons the owner!), this place is nothing if not a passionate celebration of the beautiful and bizarre. Burlesque shows are their specialty, but at other times don’t be too shocked to stumble in on meetings with private detectives, seminars by criminal
EPIC PUB CRAWL! An alternative world of swirling smoke and cackling laughter, the pavilion bars are ensconced in local legend. Looking jumbled and sounding chaotic, it takes a second or two to adjust. Or, more pertinently, a shot or two. And you’ll find these in abundance. Approximately twenty bars occupy a series of low-budget, prefabricated cabins, presenting possibly the highest concentration of bars in the capital. While seen from a birds eye perspective this collection of scuzzy pavilions form an upside-down T-shape, from the ground they feel almost maze-like. Emanating a warm glow, reddish lights pour from the windows, glinting off the puddles that invariably collect in the shattered paving slabs outside. Adding to the gentle sense of confusion comes the realization that so many bars look the same – accessed through clattery, barred doors, visitors walk into what can only be described as murk. From the traditional favorites, PRL-themed Pewex has long been a pre-Luzztro muster point thanks to its firm commitment to electronic sound. At Komix, walls come sheathed in scenes from Marvel while Precedens go for a harder vibe by matching their rock policy with A4 posters of legendary acts. As for the most infamous? Step inside Klaps, a bar boldly decorated with dildo beer taps and illuminated boobs: with that in mind, is it really a surprise to find drinks called Flogger, Punisher and Gangbang on the menu? Though it’s easy to write the pavilions off as a student zone, doing so misses the mark. Sure, there’s a heavy presence of Erasmus types, but find these bolstered by representatives from all walks of life – crowd-wise, you won’t find a more democratic audience in the whole of the city. And as such, neither will you find a night that’s quite as wild and unpredictable as an evening spent here.
The Pavilions Nowy Świat 22/28, pawilonynowyswiat.pl
drink! Listings profilers or gigs by bands with names such as Bipolar Order. Crazy, brilliant, etc., and ideal for a night with a difference. (E7) ul. Bagatela 10
cafés Być Może It’s all about artisan bread and breakfast in the industrial looking Być Może. It’s taken the concept of Charlotte (groan, there’s even a communal table), and improved it with excellent breads and a crowd that’s a little less pleased with itself. (E7) ul. Bagatela 14, bycmoze.com.pl Coffeedesk Looking flawless in her pearl white colors, Coffeedesk is a place that does it right. Brewed by expert coffeeologists, the humble cup of Joe becomes an object of adoration. Populated round-the-clock by head-phoned freelancers and digital nomads tapping into their Macs, it’s a light, bright spot with a dynamic style and a keen sense of sexy. (D5) ul. Wilcza 42, fb. com/coffeedeskwilcza
Cophi 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. (D5) ul. Hoża 58/60
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. (C3) ul. Elektoralna 11, forum.coffee
Hałas Vinyl + Coffee At 15 sq/m it’s a squeeze but Hałas doesn’t half pack a punch within its small footprint. Doubling as a friendly record store, it’s the kind of place where super hip punters stock up on Winehouse and Bjork while ordering up coffee ordered from roasters such as London’s Dark Arts roastery. Find their younger sister operating in a chilled out basement on Saska Kępa’s Elsterska 10 – it’s impossible to say which we prefer. ul. Jagiellońska 30 Krem A chic city center hangout with all the swanky, urban elegance of the 8th arrondisement. Opened by the same team behind Monsieur Leon, find their latest little baby decorated with monochrome tiles, marble-topped tables, and retrostyled mirrors. A place of hip sophistication and laid-back vibe, the menu is built around French cheeseboards, raclette and super sexy baguettes. (D6) ul. Śniadeckich 18
Forum Born with Instagram in mind, Forum has it all: super cool Afro-haired staff, a
Stor A giant presence on the coffee map of Warsaw, Stor is the ultimate feelgood
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
Yestersen Not content with ruling the domestic scene where online vintage furnishings are concerned, Yestersen have gone one better and opened a bricks-and-mortar venture – complete with coffee while you browse! More in line with wading into an aesthetic wave of bliss, on stepping inside visitors are confronted by a sea of beautiful objects: from iconic wall units by Volák to retro tables by Halabali. On the coffee front, find specialty brews supplied by Cophi and no shortage of pretty little cakes and tarts courtesy of Muus. (C6) ul. Lekarska 5, fb.com/yestersen.warsaw
clubs Enklawa Forget Tinder, Enklawa is the best pick-up joint around – a classic kitschy, glitzy disco, it draws in huge crowds with a simple lineup of pop and dance hits. Still regarded as the best Wednesday night in Warsaw, it’s the place for singletons looking for a one-night confidence boost. (D3) ul. Mazowiecka 12, enklawa.com
Relaks Now in their ninth year of business, any Hall of Fame (suburban or otherwise) just wouldn’t feel complete without the inclusion of this evergreen institution. Jacketed in chipboard panels and retro posters, the buzz about Relaks has lasted so long as to become ingrained in their DNA. (E9) ul.
FatWhite_CoffeeBar Attached to the hippest barber shop in town (tatts, beards and crazy whiskers!), the presence of this pocket-sized café gives Muranów a fresh, bold swagger. Coffee aside (the cold brew rocks), the disarmingly friendly staff and locals generate one of the best café scenes for miles whilst the collection of toy figures (Bart Simpson, DC action heroes and a gun-toting Pacino) feels brilliantly off-beat. (C1) ul. Andersa 6
café: a place of slanting shadows and streaming sunlight, the irresistible ambience is matched only by peerless coffee prepared by expert baristas. (E3) ul. Tamka
Relax Na Wilczej 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. (D5) ul. Wilcza 17, fb.com/RelaxNaWilczej
Luztro Don’t sit down, you don’t know what you might catch! Dark and generally grubby, Warsaw’s most (in)famous club only gets going around about three. As the hours click towards daybreak, the scenes of depravity are like something from Sodom and Gomorrah. Enjoyed by zombies that quite definitely don’t have to be up for work anytime in the next 48 hrs, it’s not just the full-on techno that will leave the brain rattling – it’s the craziest night in Poland! (E4) Al. Jerozolimskie 6, luztro.pl Mr. Oh A semi-secret world for those In The Know, find Mr. Oh in one of the Harry Potter towers that prop up Poniatowski Bridge. Dark, decadent and redolent of an after-hours members club, this latest concept from Enio Chłapowski-Myjak (formerly of 6 Cocktails) is firmly on its way to becoming the coolest address in
Drink! Listings town. Late nights, Asian-themed cocktails and an A-list crowd await: full report soon! (F4) Al. 3 Maja / ul. Kruczkowskiego Sen Entering this top-floor joint, visitors are hit by a tidal wave of gorgeousness: wallto-wall with George Clooney lookalikes, off-duty celebrities and catwalk glamor pusses, the carefree hedonism is like something from a film – only tonight, you’re one of the stars. Sod the bank account, you think, bring me champagne: enjoy just that on a terrace deck slung with Edison bulbs, or indoors in an area festooned with deluxe sofas and floor-to-ceiling windows that stare out onto the National Stadium opposite. (F4) ul. Wioślarska 6
Spatif Just a smashing night all round: from jazzy singers to funk and soul via a dose of Britpop, the ever likeable Spatif is what Warsaw needs – a place that’s not up its own arse! A labyrinth of pre-war chambers add atmosphere, as does the kind of basement smoking room that encourages obscure chat with indiscriminate strangers. Spatif’s main success lies in replicating the spontaneous feel of a house party that’s spiraled out of control. (E5) al. Ujazdowskie 45, klubspatif.pl
Syreni Śpiew Koneser Almost mad in the scale of its vision, the multi-floor set up is a big, sexy mash of steel stairs, plush sofas and industrial ephemera. Cocktails are flawless and enjoyed by a glam, pussycat crowd that ranges from downright delicious to the kind of club creatures that stop you dead in your tracks. As for the weekend parties, these are an exercise in excess with all kinds of lunacy breaking out all around: trapeze artists, sword swallowers, burlesque dancers and more. Leaving, it’s with the senses spinning in a swirl of disbelief. (G1) Pl. Konesera 4, fb.com/
drinks as if they were trophies: the ambiance is nailed down to such an extent that those who use this speakeasy for pre-club drinks often find themselves skipping the club bit altogether. And why bother with anywhere else when you have masterpiece cocktails that are immaculate, imaginative and mixed with practiced expertise. (D6) ul. Koszykowa 49A, fb.com/ BackRoomWarsaw
Biała Saska’s premier cocktail spot reaches the peak of its powers each summer thanks to an attractive back garden that sits in the shade of this pearl white modernist villa – it’s worth visiting just to swan down the outdoor spiral staircase with a glass of something bubbly. The rest of the year ain’t bad either, with sophisticated seasonal cocktails attracting a glam crowd looking for pre-city center drinks. (H4) ul. Francuska 2
Ceviche Bar Though primarily celebrated for their Latin American menu, the ‘bar’ part of the name isn’t there for window dressing. The modern design, DJs and drinks work seamlessly to generate an ambiance that’s buzzy, energetic and something of a scene. Cocktail-wise, order Warsaw’s best Pisco Sour or explore a ‘Nikkei’ card that blends Peruvian and Japanese ingredients to present truly unique tastes. (C4) ul. Twarda 4, cevichebar.pl
Cosmo Bar Though they’ve made a big noise about embracing a variety of initiatives aimed at maximizing sustainability, Tomek Roehr’s Cosmo Bar project, is more than a one-trick pony. Beyond the novelty factor is a scrupulous attention to detail that manifests itself in impeccable cocktails based around Polish produce – rowanberry, sea buckthorn and suchlike. Occupying a plush, little corner of the Cosmopolitan Tower, this is luxury with a conscience.
(C4) ul. Twarda 4, cosmobar.pl
The Cuba Libre Rum & Cigar House Envelope yourself in luxury at Cuba Libre, a no expense spared venture aimed at those who deal with nothing but the best. Gathering the bright and the beautiful inside sophisticated tobacco-colored interiors, the warming ambiance is primed for an evening of cigars and
Back Room Plush fabrics, muted lighting, intuitive service, a well-scrubbed crowd, a flickering fireplace and shelves displaying
conversation over pedigree-style cocktails and limited edition rums. (D5) ul. Poznańska 37, thecubalibre.pl
Dom Wódki Those expecting Dom Wódki to be a standard mucky shot bar are in for a surprise. Sparkling with over 250 artisanal vodkas, find them incorporated into inspirational drinks mixed by Tomasz Małek, a world champion flair bartender. More than just show, the tastes are incredible. (C2) ul. Wierzbowa 9/11, domwodki.pl
El Koktel The pert and pretty are here, so too the well-groomed modern man, but there’s a balance to the crowd that prevents any whiff of snob. As a bar it feels open-minded, engaging and intelligent, and those are traits that rub off on those present. Drinks – such as the smoking Out Of The Box – are insanely good, and served in a small, high-ceilinged interior busy with framed vintage posters, cyan-colored wallpaper, baffling photos of Lynch-esque scenes and gleaming strainers and shakers. (D4) ul. Wojciecha Górskiego 9, elkoktel.pl
La Sirena Though primarily known as the best Mexican restaurant in the country, the cocktails are of such a standard that it’s become impossible to ignore La Sirena’s credentials as an exceptional bar as well. Fixed using a range of premium tequilas, the innovative tastes feel all the better for the intriguing surrounds: walls of corrugated iron and peeling plaster are coordinated with crossed machetes, shrill neon and decorative tiles. The final effect brings to mind a deadly cool recreation of a drug baron’s jailhouse cell. (D5) ul. Piękna 54
R C Podwale Bar & Books P T M Occupying the kind of charismatic C W gatehouse you’d read about in Dickens, ≈ W C position≈ yourself in front of the upstairs C C fireplace ≈ for a celebratory cigar and a glassTof≈something tall and lovely: the P E cocktails ≈ are in a class of their own and L S specifically customized for the season. EFRESHINGLY LACES
PODWALE BAR AND BOOKS
Wąski Dunaj 20, 00-256 Warsaw Tel.: +48 225.599.199
drink! Listings Spooling, silent Bond films, regular burlesque shows and random decorative monkey figures add an unexpected ‘element of weird’. (D2) ul. Wąski Dunaj
de resistance? Those are the scale models of local landmarks that hang from the ceiling. Instagram them now before everyone else does. (D6) ul. Marszałkowska 45/49
The Roots Having recruited some of the top bartenders in Poland, The Roots have a serious artillery on which to rely. So committed is this haunt, its walls are graced by a vast collection of cocktail memorabilia: antique jiggers, shakers, coolers, not to mention an original signed copy of the world’s first cocktail handbook (published: 1862!). (C2)
Weles Named after the Slavic god of the underworld, everything about Weles evokes the spirit of indulgence: a zinc 1920s ceiling imported from the States, a crystal chandelier and a wooden bar carved from a British carousel. A work of refined craftsmanship, the cocktails stand out as the most sophisticated in the city. (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 11, welesbar.pl
ul. Wierzbowa 11
Warmut Set in the Commie era No Man’s Land between Zbawiciela and Konstytucji, it’s become one of the hottest nights in town. This vermouth-inspired cocktail bar features classic and house creations, and a spectacular design involving street art, greenery and mirrored walls. But the piece
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
craft beer Artezan Pub The country has crazier breweries for sure, but does it have anyone more consistent than the lads at Artezan. Famed for their Pacific – the quintessential
domestic IPA – Artezan’s flagship bar is a standard bearer not just for quality, but for Poland as a whole. (D4) ul. Moniuszki 1A Cześć It started as a café, but now Cześć is better known as being at the forefront of the new generation of ‘quali-tap’ bars – small little places with six or so beers on the go. The two owners, Piotrek and Kuba, take their beer seriously, so do expect plenty of new finds as well as traditional favorites from stalwarts like Artezan and Pinta. The laidback, neighborhood atmosphere makes it ideal for an after-work chillout pint. (C3) ul. Grzybowska 2 (through the side passage), czesc.waw.pl
Drugie Dno The natural start (or finish) point of any Nowogrodzka pub crawl, head to The Double D for a space that conjures to mind a disused power station: sporting rugged brickwork and a scuffed style, the neo-industrial look is ramped up
Drink! Listings with the liberal use of steel girders, vintage voltage meters and toilets disguised as elevator shafts. Sixteen taps to drink through, many of them offering extreme drinking solutions from Europe’s most radical breweries. Looks great, tastes great, a factor that ensure a male-to-female ratio that feels roughly equal. Equally interested, is their Ochota location on leafy Tarczyńska 5/9. (D5) ul.
saw’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. (D5) ul.
Jabeerwocky 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.
Kufle i Kapsle Powiśle Doing it in a way that feels shabby, gritty but yet totally cool, this is a bar that riffs on themes of industrial and retro to maximum effect. Ground floor: a small bar area with a secret strip of seating snaking back behind; upstairs, the kind of retro furnishings last seen when Brezhnev was wearing shorts. On tap, find a fluctuating (D5) ul. Nowogrodzka 12, taproom.pl choice of 12 crazy beers sourced from the kind of breweries that make Poland seem Kufle i Kapsle progressive. When you’re done, prove your Warsaw Insider reklama PVM half_page_H_144x102.ai 1 19.06.2019 14:21:41 allegiance to KiK by visiting their third Found somewhere round the top of War-
venue in Żoliborz. (E3) ul. Solec 46A Małe Piwo Oleandrów’s reawakening began on this very spot! Opened six years back, MP preempted the craft beer trend to become one of Warsaw’s first places for something better than a pint of Piss-kie. Looking wholly unfinished and fashionably distressed, it’s got that New York dive vibe down to a tee – you imagine The Strokes rolling in right after band practice. (D7) ul. Oleandrów 4
Mikkeller Bar Warsaw A complete geek-gasm of ultra-niche, rare foreign finds, the onus on Scandinavian beers guarantees steep prices that have been known to reach (and even exceed) the zł. 50 mark. Ouch. In return, you’re getting blinding beers that break brewing boundaries – past examples include yuzu Berliner Weisse, triple barrel-aged imperial beetroot stout and watermelon & pomegranate IPA. Not for cheapskates,
POLISH VODKA MUSEUM
Taste the knowledge!
Centrum Praskie Koneser Plac Konesera 1 Warszawa
drink! Listings if nothing else the presence of a Mikkeller pub makes Warsaw feel a well-rounded, 21st century city. (D4) ul. Chmielna 7/9, fb.com/MikkellerBarWarsaw
Same Krafty 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. (D1) ul. Nowomiejska 10
spoken word performances, vegan BBQs, old skool rave nights and hardcore gigs from bands with names like Cancer Bats and Moscow Death Brigade. They’ve had bingo nights, as well – hosted by Charlotte Drag Queer. In a city that’s always felt a little lacking in the ‘live’ department, Pogłos punches past sensibility to present evenings that are raw, uncompromising and always high on action. ul. Burakowska 12 Niebo Noted for the diversity of its events program, Niebo does it all: from comedy nights to vintage markets via performances from cult acts such as Neneh Cherry and Black Sun Empire. The gritty look complements the artsy, off-radar vib. (D4) ul. Nowy Świat 21, fb.com/niebo
for gentlemen Playhouse Housed in a former subterranean bomb shelter, the talk now is of bombshells: namely the 57 stunners they’ve got listed on their books. Inspired by high class joints in London and Vegas, it’s a refined choice with a no-pressure atmosphere and door staff that don’t look like they’re going to kick your head in. (B3) Al. Solidarności 82A, playhouse.pl
live music Hydrozagadka / Chmury Set out in the wildlands of Praga, consider this pair of neighboring venues as the definition of unforced cool. Known for their alternative music scene, the lowceilings and their tight, crowded confines generate an electrifying atmosphere where the audience and band become one. Walking a fine line between industrial and straight out decrepit, the ambiance is second to none: drinks flow, strangers meet and music smashes out – you can feel something special happening here. ul.
Pardon To Tu Prepare for a heady swirl of innovative sounds, with the foggy atmosphere given a helping hand by an unorthodox audience that gels together into one vibrant mass. Set across two floors, find bordello colors set against a wall of glory namechecking the obscure musical heroes through which this venue channels its spirit. Adding an extra layer of depth to Warsaw’s social scene with its flexi hours, maverick music policy and air of unforced cool, PTT win brownie points for their cool craft beers and cracking focaccia. (D6) Al. Armii Ludowej 14, pardontotu.pl
wine bars Ale Wino! Summers here are magical, with drinkers congregating on a courtyard deck shielded from the sun by a slanted white sail; but winters aren’t too shabby either – lose yourself within a warren of warmly-lit rooms that feel snug, intimate and even a little rustic. The choice of 250 plus wines is supported by some of the best cooking in the city. (E5) ul. Mokotowska 48, alewino.pl
11 Listopada 22
Klub Pogłos Scuzzy and a bit seamy, this alt. performance venue gives Warsaw an interesting, if not utterly random direction with an events schedule that involves
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
Dyletanci The archetypal all-rounder, Dyletanci has it all: an approachable bistro style; adventurous cooking; and a wine list with no discernible Achilles Heel. Burgundy is a particular strength, as too are Polish
wines (including those from the proprietor’s own vineyard, the upcoming Dom Bliskowice). (F5) ul. Rozbrat 44,dyletanci.pl Kieliszki Na Hożej Go on, count them: hanging tantalizingly over the bar are 1,116 glasses, a testament to Kieliszki’s promise to serve all the wines they have (and there’s a motherlode to pick from) by the glass. Enjoy them on a cobbled street that’s been magnificently restored to its pre-war prime. (D5) ul. Hoża 41, kieliszkinahozej.pl Mielżyński Wine Bar Tangled in vines and creeping ivy, this brick warehouse comes into its element each summer when drinkers pile outside to drink amid rustling trees and pristine lawns. Set within a former factory compound, the area has been revived with the legendary Mielżyński Wine Bar at its core. A flagbearer when it comes to consistency and quality, this post-industrial space remains a default favorite of the Warsaw public. (A1) ul. Burakowska 5/7 (also on Czerska 12), mielzynski.pl
Nowina The striking interior that catches the eye from across the street – restored pre-war tiling, glinting surfaces, a world map rendered from corks and an engaging reddish glow all do their bit to lend Nowina the kind of atmosphere that’s missing in most local wine bars. Add to that an exciting international menu and a selection of over 400 wines and you have an absolute winner. (D4) ul. Nowogrodzka 4, nowina.waw.pl
Rusiko Wine Bar The perfect foil for the Rusiko restaurant next door, this high-ceilinged, sapphirecolored haunt showcases Warsaw’s biggest selection of Georgian wine inside an interior decked out with elaborate rugs horded by the owner. Having first enjoyed the food opposite, finish the night in this genial, cozy bar. (E5) Al. Ujazdowskie 22 Winosfera Once a pre-war cinema, now a stunning wine bar / store with one of the most impressive collections in Poland: an expense account comes in handy. Equally notable is the ambitious fine dining menu of Jakub Adamczyk. (B3) ul. Chłodna 31, winosfera.pl
ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL
PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN DEMARIA
Five escapes with the season in mindâ€¦
hough still awaiting official confirmation from officials at Guinness, early indications suggest that a replica of Notre Dame Cathedral has smashed all previous records to become the largest Lego building in the world. Measuring 2.72 meters in height, 378 centimeters in length and 143 centimeters in width, the blockbusting super structure was unveiled in mid-January at the temporary Lego exhibition currently showing at the National Stadium. Constructed by Ivan Angel over the course of 500-hours, in excess of 400,000 Lego bricks were used to recreate the iconic landmark in its pre-inferno form. However, this isn’t the only supersized attraction that’s got people talking. Spread over a footprint of 3,000 sq/m, over 120 Lego models have been unveiled, none of which have ever been viewed in Poland before. Of this number, highlights number a seven-meter tall model of the original World Trade Center built using 260,000 Lego blocks, an intricate mock-up of St Mark’s Square that was transported by plane from the States as well as XL Lego renderings of the Seven Wonders of the World. Beyond the quite staggering collection of buildings on display, the exhibition also presents a range of figures built to a 1:1 scale, among them characters from the Harry Potter series, Flintstones, Smurfs, Minions and Ninja Turtles. Away from the realm of fantasy, other stars topping the bill include Freddie Mercury, Elvis and domestic sporting idols such as Robert and Anna Lewandowski as well as speedway legend Tomasz Gollob. Now in its fourth year, and running till March 8th, talking points at this stunning display come thick and fast with further points of interest involving a “Room of Fears”, a 15-meter roller coaster and an awe-inspiring model of a Star Destroyer. Lego Exhibition PGE National Stadium (Al. Poniatowskiego 1), wystawaklockow.pl Tickets from zł. 28
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN!
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… N AT I O N A L M U S E U M 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 stunning. Al. Jerozolimskie 3, mnw.art.pl T H E WA R SAW R I S I N G M U S E U M When it comes to the definitive story of the insurgency, the Warsaw Rising Museum leaves no stone unturned. 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 MUSEUM OF LIFE UNDER COMMUNISM A deeply personal insight into the former system by allowing visitors to view what Communism meant to the everyday person. Here, rifle and rummage through a room mocked-up 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
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
FRYDERYK CHOPIN MUSEUM
M U S E U M O F WA R SAW
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.museum
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, muzeumwarszawy.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 houses several dozen neons that once lit up the capital and beyond. Beautiful in every respect, 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
PAW I A K
M A R I E S K ŁO D O W S K A - C U R I E M U S U E M
MUSEUMS Car Museum Home to over 300 vehicles, displays include a 1930s Polish-produced Buick, WWII trucks and tanks, a Ford Thunderbird and Buick Skylark. From behind the Iron Curtain, car boffins will go bananas over the Russian-made Volgas, John Paul II’s Pope Mobile, and domestic classics such as the Syrena 104. ul. Warszawska 21 (Otrębusy), muzuem-motorzyacji. com.pl
Dulag 121 Though much is now known about the Warsaw Uprising, the fate of the civilians driven from their homes remains rather more murky. Dulag 121, a former prison and transit camp in Pruszków, redresses the balance by documenting this grim exodus in detail. On the NoM night tours of the grounds will be conducted by hisorians. ul. 3 Maja 8A (Pruszków), dulag121.pl
Earth Museum Staring at bits of rock and fossils isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, but a visit here isn’t
necessarily a snore. The building itself is magnificent, and considered “one of the best achievements of contemporary Polish architecture as far as decorative stone is concerned.” The real curiosity, however, is the patch of blood left by an unknown soldier during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. The stain has survived to this day. Al. Na Skarpie 20/26, mz.pan.pl
Ethnographic Museum Considerably revamped to meet the demands and attention-spans of the 21st century sightseer, the Ethnographic Museum is a visual pleasure that showcases colorful costumes, fabrics and ceramics from Poland and beyond. ul. Kredytowa 1,
Jewish Historical Institute 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
Katyń Museum This museum commemorates the murder of 21,000 Polish officers by the Soviets in the spring of 1940. Beyond its quite staggering architectural merit, the museum has done a stunning job of collecting and presenting artifacts relating to the slaughter. ul. Jeziorańskiego 4, muzeumkatynskie.pl
The Heritage Interpretation Center 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.
Legia Warszawa Museum Marketed as Poland's biggest football club, this museum seeks to confirm this status with the usual spread of glinting silverware. More interesting are the weird bits and pieces: a chunk of the old floodlights, vintage match posters and a collection of paraphernalia connected to Legia’s favorite son – 80’s super star Kazimierz Deyna.
Brzozowa 11-13, mhw.pl
ul. Łazienkowska 3
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Museum Reopened after a significant re-haul, this museum celebrates the groundbreaking scientist that discovered polonium. The Curie-osities include lab equipment, her trademark black dress and even her nail file. ul. Freta 16, Miniature Park Magnificently detailed 1:25 scale models of Warsaw’s vanished, pre-war architectural treasures make this a stand-out little secret. Here, landmarks such as Saski Palace, the ‘summer theater’ and Żelazna Brama have been lovingly brought back from the dead in astonishing fashion. ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 66
Polish Vodka Museum 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,
Europe and two remarkable Rembrandt paintings. Pl. Zamkowy 4, zamek-krolewski.pl
Train Museum 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. Outside is where the real anoraks head though, namely to clamber over fifty trains and carriages in various stages of life. 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.
Museum of Praga 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
Palmiry National Memorial Museum 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
Towarowa 3, stacjamuzeum.pl
EXPERIENCES Copernicus Science Centre 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
Pawiak 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
Fotoplastikon 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
The Royal Castle in Warsaw 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
Invisible Exhibition Head to the Invisible Exhibition to learn first-hand the challenges faced by the blind. This includes everything from crossing the road to ordering a drink in a bar. Al. Jerozolimskie 123A,
Pinball Station An unruly riot of beeps and flashes and jolly jingles, Pinball Station presents fifty plus machines from the pre-digital age. Can you touch them? Yes, yes and yes! For a flat rate of zł. 30, visitors can spend as much time as they have testing their skills on classics such as Dirty Harry, Buck Rogers and Revenge From Mars. ul. Kolejowa 8A,
GALLERIES & EXHIBITION S PAC E S Caricature Museum Having recently fought off an attempt to merge it into the Museum of Warsaw, the museum still stands on its own feet fulfilling its mission to bring mirth and a bit of mayhem to Warsaw’s cultural scene. ul. Kozia 11, muzeumkarykatury.pl
Dom Spotkań z Historią 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
Museum on the Vistula Previously used to temporarily house Berlin’s Kunsthalle, this riverfront pavilion has housed a number of edgy contemporary exhibitions including, most recently, one dedicated to the works of Daniel Rycharski. ul. Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 22, artmuseum.pl
Salon Akademii This gallery presents and promotes contemporary art and artists associated with the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Individual and group exhibitions feature both Polish and foreign artists. Pl. Konesera 10, salonakademii.asp. waw.pl
Zachęta National Art Gallery Regarded as one of Poland’s most prestigious galleries, the Zachęta has a busy program of temporary exhibitions that frequently showcase some of the biggest names in domestic and international contemporary art. Pl. Małachowskiego 3, zacheta.art.pl
w W a r s a www.city-tour.com.pl
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T H E R O YA L C A S T L E
Cut through the chaff and time manage your visit as effectively as possible.
The Old Town, raised from the rubble after WWII, is symbolic of the ‘phoenix city’ that ‘survived its own death’. The Royal Castle is a maze of fancy chambers and important paintings by the likes of Rembrandt and Canaletto, while the Museum of Warsaw offers a peerless peek into the complexities of Warsaw’s story: the view of the Old Town Square from the top is worth the admission alone. Close by, check out the city that once was at Park Miniatur, a beautiful exhibition displaying intricate scale models of the city’s pre-war architectural glories. To soak in the extravagances of Poland’s imperial years, take a walk around the immaculate Łazienki Park or, further out, visit Wilanów Palace: frequently nicknamed ‘the Polish Versailles’, the landscaped gardens are glorious at the best of times but even better when illuminated each winter as part of the Garden of Light project. Finally, tap into the very essence of the Polish soul by visiting the Vodka Museum on the right side of town.
Memories of WWII still cast a long shadow over the town. Learn about the 1944 Warsaw Uprising at The Rising Museum: it’s deservedly
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
rated as among the most important cultural institutions in the country. Lesser known, the Old Town’s ‘Heritage Centre’ documents the destruction (and subsequent reconstruction) of the city, while three separate museums, Pawiak, Szucha and Katyń, cover equally somber chapters in Poland’s dark history. To get up close and personal to military hardware, visit the Polish Army Museum. Having marked the 70th anniversary of both the Nazi and Soviet aggression just last year, visiting all feels particularly relevant.
Though largely flattened, the former Jewish Ghetto contains numerous memorials, among them the Umschlagplatz monument marking the spot where trains departed for the gas chambers of Treblinka (itself worthy of a day trip, if only to peruse the small museum and wander the forlorn, outdoor memorial). The one synagogue that survived (Twarda 6) is the center of local Jewish life, while the innovative Polin museum covers all aspects of this nation’s Jewish history. More old school in style, the Jewish Historical Institute often hosts thought provoking exhibitions linked to the wartime suffering of the Jewish population.
A full tour of Stalin’s Palace of Culture is essential: the basements (protected from rodents by a team of feline guardians) are intriguing and the top-floor viewing terrace unimpeachable. Explore the more ambient side to Communism in the Neon Museum and then head across town to check the the Czar PRL Museum (czarprl. pl). A warm and eccentric look at daily life under Communism, this fantastic museum is established as one of Warsaw’s quirkiest attractions. Lastly, take a look at what’s on at Dom Spotkań z Historią, a small exhibition space that specializes in interesting photo exhibits that delve into Warsaw’s past – though subject matter varies, the PRL era receives the lion’s share of attention.
Wonder amid rioting children and whirring machines in the Copernicus Science Centre and after, visit the university library to explore the stunning, cosmic rooftop garden. The Museum of Modern Art is a short walk away whilst across the water, the state-of-the-art National Stadium conducts regular tours and thrills both stadium geeks and football fans alike (in winter, find the pitch transformed into a ginormous ice rink). In the Old Town area, the Museum of Illusions promises a surrealistic dose of fun for all ages.
Serious art lovers flock to the National Museum for its determined presentation of art through the ages – reserve time for their brilliantly retro Gallery of Polish Design. The Zachęta, the Modern Art Museum and CSW are more alternative with captivating exhibitions that excite non-conformists. And keep your eyes peeled outside: some of the city’s best art is found on its walls – the Praga district is especially celebrated for its large format wall murals while Muranów is filled with smaller wall paintings often linked to the area’s past.
KONESER IN NUMBERS
Seen as a city within a city, we dig out the stats behind Centrum Praskie Koneser…
The founding year of the Koneser Vodka Factory: the Tsar’s Russian garrison needed vodka, the creation of Koneser was the answer!
Square meters of space – covering five hectares in all, the footprint includes nineteen inter-connected buildings whose varied functions reflect the diversity of this new lifestyle center.
Rooms ready at your disposal in the on-site hotel, the Moxy Warsaw Praga. Dynamic in concept, find the post-industrial interiors decorated with playful decoys ranging from pink plaster dogs to pops of neon and a hopscotch board laid out on the floor. And that’s just the lobby!
Feeling Lost? Don’t. For further info about Koneser and the wider area, swing into the Tourist Info point on Pl. Konesera 2. For latest news from Koneser, check: fb.com/centrumpraskiekoneser
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
Museums to visit. You’ve heard of the Museum of Polish Vodka, but don’t forget the Museum of Contemporary Jewelry and the soon-to-launch Museum of Illusion – where the latter is concerned, previews suggest a full-tilt trip into Dali-like worlds.
Types of vodka… at Zoni. More than just an awardwinning restaurant, it’s doubtful anywhere else in Poland boasts a larger collection of boutique vodkas!
Bars and restaurants, a number that’s likely to rise by a further two in the coming future.
10,000,000 Liters! According to the history books, that’s how much vodka was poured onto the streets in 1915 as retreating Russian troops bade a swift exit from town. The locals, it is said, enjoyed quite a party…
The year Centrum Praskie Koneser was launched. With just occasional war-enforced breaks, vodka production continued right until the start of this century. Thereafter, what followed was a bold project to transform the decrepit Neo Gothic complex into a swanky mixed-use development housing offices, restaurants, stores, apartments and, even, a Museum of Polish Vodka. Already, the center has become something of a creative and spiritual anchor for the wider area as a whole.
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warsaw montessori family
Warsaw Montessori Schools
American School of Warsaw Students aged 3-5 are encouraged to try new things, ask questions, and take risks in a nurturing environment in which they learn life skills alongside academics. Following the Primary Years Programme (PYP), our young students become caring, active participants in a lifelong journey of learning. Contact admissions@ aswarsaw.
Accepting applications for our programs and locations: Infant & Toddler Tatrzańska 5a Badowska 19
British Primary School of Wilanow 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 email@example.com to organise a visit.
Casa dei Bambini Badowska 19 Szkolna 16, Hornówek
The British School Early Years Centre The British School provides EYFS classes from Pre-nursery (age 30 months) to Reception (5 years old). Children develop quickly and their Early Years practitioners aim to do all they can to help your child have the best possible start in life and become a lifelong learner. ul. Dąbrowskiego 84 (Early Years
„Erdkinder” Middle School Tatrzańska 5a
Montessori High School
Contact Office: 692 099 134 firstname.lastname@example.org
979 100, canadian-school.pl
Casa dei Bambini & Toddler School (multiple locations) Warsaw Montessori School Warsaw Montessori and Casa dei Bambini 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 2 1/2 to 6 years of age. ul. Badowska 19 (Mokotów), tel. 22 851 6893; ul. Szkolna 16 (Izabelin), tel. 22 721 8736, mob. 692 099 134, warsawmontessori.edu.pl
International Trilingual School of Warsaw Established in 1994, the Trilingual School of Warsaw offers nursery, primary and pre-school education with a French and international curriculum for children aged from one to twelve. The fill-immersion trilingual setting allows for the choice between English, Polish, Spanish / Chinese, or English, Polish, French. Teachers are highly qualified native speakers from the US, France, Spain and China. ul. Nobla 16, tel. 501 036 637, ul. Karowa 14/16, tel. 503 072 119, ul. Królowej Aldony 23/25, tel. 533 321 084, 3languages.pl/saint-exupery.pl
Centre), tel. 22 646 7777 , thebritishschool.pl
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
reklama montessori 1/3_46x206.indd 1
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
The Canadian School of Warsaw Preschool Welcoming students from the ages of 2.5 to 6 years old, currently
The English Playhouse 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
from Rotmistrzowska/Petyhorska), tel. 531 599 444, mapletreemontessori.pl
4 (Konstancin), Open 8:00-16:45, tel. 502 315 022, montessoriacademy.eu
Międzynarodowa Szkoła Podstawowa Argonaut This elementary school is open for children of all nationalities and backgrounds. It places a focus on learning English as well as additional languages, and has an attractive list of available extracurricular activities.ul. Radarowa 6, tel. 504 509 504, argonaut.edu.pl
Maple Tree Montessori 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
Montessori Academy for International Children An English-speaking pre-school (16 months to 6 years of age) with two locations. The school’s policy is to comply with Montessori standards, using the Montessori Method in English. The school’s philosophy is based on the joy of learning, which comes from discovering and furthering the individual development of each child. ul. Królewicza Jakuba 36 (Wilanów), ul. Sadowa
Montessori Stepping Stones 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 the spontaneous use of the human intellect. ul. Przyczółkowa 140, tel. 728 939 582, montessoristeppingstones.pl
Trilingual Pre-school and Nursery “Three Languages” Center The only trilingual pre-school and nurs-
of excellence We promise to support your child to love learning and achieve more than they ever thought possible.
Please email email@example.com or call (0048) 22 842 32 81 ext. 125 to arrange a tour
ery teaching English, Spanish and Polish through total language immersion. All educators are native speaker pre-school teachers. The comprehensive curriculum follows American, Spanish and Polish curriculum standards. The pre-school was awarded European Language Label in 2012. ul. Karowa 14/16 lok 6 (3-6 year olds); ul. Cicha 5 lok 1 (1-2 year olds), tel. 517 872 682, 3languages.pl
British Primary School of Wilanow 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to organise a visit.
American School of Warsaw 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: email@example.com or 22 702 85 00, ul. Warszawska 202 (Konstancin-Jeziorna), aswarsaw.org
The British School 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
Accepting applications for Nursery to Year 9 bsw.com.pl +48 221 110 062 ul. Hlonda 12, Warsaw firstname.lastname@example.org
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
Casa dei Bambini & Toddler School (multiple locations) Warsaw Montessori School Guided by trained specialists, students will be responsible for managing their household, operating small businesses, caring for local flora and fauna as well as domesticated animals, taking charge of the younger children and much more. “Adolescence Program” activities, integrated with academic studies, help students discover their inner strength to meet life’s real challenges. ul. Badowska 19 (Mokotów), tel. 22 851 6893; ul. Szkolna 16 (Izabelin), tel. 22 721 8736, mob. 692 099 134, warsawmontessori.edu.pl
Casa dei Bambini Warsaw Montessori School A leader in the field of Montessori education, well-trained teachers guide students to independent and successful learning with both English and bilingual classrooms provided. Located just steps from Lazienki 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; ul. Tatrzańska 5A (grades 5-8), tel. 604 137 826; ul. Pytlasińskiego 13 (high school), tel. 787 095 835, wmf.edu.pl
The English Primary 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
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 email@example.com
037 808, tep.edu.pl
The Canadian School of Warsaw International Elementary and Middle School Located on two campuses in the Mokotów this is the only authorized IB School with PYP programs taught in
International Trilingual School of Warsaw Established in 1994, the Trilingual School of Warsaw offers nursery, primary and pre-school education with a French and international curriculum for children aged from one to twelve. The fill-immersion trilingual setting allows for the choice between English,
Polish, Spanish / Chinese, or English, Polish, French. Teachers are highly qualified native speakers from the US, France, Spain and China. ul. Nobla 16, tel. 501 036 637, ul. Karowa 14/16, tel. 503 072 119, ul. Królowej Aldony 23/25, tel. 533 321 084, 3languages.pl/saint-exupery.pl
Monnet International School Located in Mokotów, the Monnett is the only school in Poland that implements the International Baccalaureate Program from kindergarten level all the way through to secondary school. The fully-qualified staff are committed to delivering only the highest standards of education. ul. Stępińska 13, tel. 22 852 06 08, maturamiedzynarodowa.pl
Warsaw Montessori School Focuses on the Montessori curriculum with an education based on the integration of conceptual learning and real-life experiences. ul. Szwoleżerów 4, tel. 22 841 3908, warsawmontessori.edu.pl
The English speaking preschool and primary school.
Wilanów Zawady: ul. Syta 78
ul. Płyćwiańska 14a, ul. Obserwatorów 8 and ul. Cisowa 13 www.tep.edu.pl 696 904 687
Willy Brandt Schule Warschau One of the city’s best renowned schools offers a kindergarten as well as primary and secondary education conducted to a German curriculum. Św. Urszuli Ledóchowskiej 3, wbs.pl
antiques Antykwariat Grochowski For the undisputed heavyweight of printed material, look for Antykwariat Grochowski, a maze-like space with over 130,000 books in its arsenal. Among the haul, find Polish comics such as Kapitan Kloss and Kajko i Kokosz, vinyl records, graphic art and old currency. Warsaw. ul. Kickiego 12, agrochowski.pl
Cup of Polish Personalized Polish classes adapted to meet your needs. Also home/company visits and online courses. For a free 60-minute trial email: firstname.lastname@example.org. cupofpolish.com
Kolo What looks like a soggy tent city transforms each Sunday morning into a hopelessly addictive flea market offering wartime militaria, religious icons, chinaware, furniture from unverified periods of history, and even the occasional suit of armor. ul. Obozowa 99, gieldastaroci.waw.pl
Frog Acclaimed language school aimed at all levels of competency. Flexible schedules and a history of working with foreigners make it one of the ‘go to’ choices for new arrivals wanting to polish their Polish. ul. Mazowiecka 12/24, frog.org.pl
Kwadryga Antique books, faded photographs, yellowing maps and dog-eared magazines – the atmosphere is timeless. The PRL-era lifestyle magazines are an amazing insight into the past. ul. Wilcza 29, kwadryga.com
Klub Dialogu Outstanding programs for foreigners living in Poland: a variety of courses aimed at every level. Using over ten years of experience, the leaning process becomes an adventure at Klub Dialogu. ul. Ordynacka 13/5, klubdialogu.pl
Lapidarium Cavalry swords, pre-war Judaica, Orthodox icons, books, scrolls, helmets, cameras, chess sets, jewelry… The opportunities for rummaging are endless. ul. Nowomiejska 15/17, lapidarium.pl
Prima Porta Antiquities At the top end of the scale the Germanrun Prima Porta specialize in pieces from ancient Rome, Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia and Asia. ul. Hlonda 8
books Atticus You can smell the history in this old curiosity shop; this antiquarian bookstore has a rich stock of dusty tomes piled higgledy-piggledy on towering shelves. English-language texts are also present and procurable in this hoarder’s heaven. ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 12, atticus.pl
Fundacja Bęc Zmiana A small curiosity shop selling trendy trinkets and a fair amount of art and architecture books with an accent on modern Warsaw. ul. Mokotowska 65/7 Moda Na Czytanie Some brilliant Warsaw-focused coffee table books, as well a half-decent collection of English-language books that range from classics to contemporary fiction. ul. Bracka 25 Radio Telewizja Their offer isn’t just based around Polish and English-language reading material and extends further into quirky gifts. ul. Andersa 29
monnet international school
PADDINGTON BEAR KINDERGARTEN
IB World School no 001483
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Education for a better world
Belwederska 6a, Warsaw
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
FASHION Ania Kuczyńska Ania Kuczyńska is becoming well known for her highly fashionable, minimalist clothing designs. The store also carries adorable baby clothes and various accessories. ul. Mokotowska 61 Balthazar An atelier, boutique and private tailor with several unique brands. Book your meeting by calling tel. 535 545 728. Al.
such as Michael Kors and Jil Sander.ul. Mokotowska 49 & Pl. Uni Lubelskiej, tel. 22 647 0394, chiara-online.pl Cloudmine Presenting fashion lines and design items from a personally selected pool of Polish designers and artists, Cloudmine’s philosophy is built around support for young, independent and upcoming designers. “We don’t chase trends and one-season brands,” they says, “instead, we love classics, minimalism and style.” ul. Paryska 17, cloudmine.pl
Rzeczypospolitej 18/68, balthazar.pl
Cafardini Complete suits start at zł. 2,600 and rise to zł. 4,500, depending on the fabric. Using the finest natural raw materials, Cafardini even offer a ‘suit spa’ – a special care package that will see you suit regain its fresh look if it has been worn intensively. ul. Grzybowska 5A, cafardini.com
Chiara A solid assortment of Marc Jacobs and other top international designers
Femi Stories Aimed at the young, active woman of today, Femi Pleasure’s dynamic range of clothing is both urban and outdoorsy. ‘Unique design, quality and comfort’ are the sacred three pillars upon which their philosophy is built. ul. Browarna 4, femistories.com
Just Paul Exuding confident femininity, this energetic brand is characterized by its light and unobtrusive elegance and sense of effortless nonchalance. Founded in 2012
by designers Justyna and Paula, Just Paul seeks to address the needs of the modern woman with its line in chic but casual clothing and more dazzly evening wear. ul. Mokotowska 61, justpaul.pl
Centrum Praskie Koneser Set in the dynamic Praga district, this restored vodka factory is a shopaholic pleasure with a host of niche shops inside Pasaż Konesera: handmade Polish eyewear from Muscat, beautiful domestically produced jewelry and adornments from MintyDot, Polish fashion brands (from Polish Design and Freeshion) and many more besides. Pl. Konesera 10 (Pasaż Konesera), koneser.eu
Lui Store Elegant female fashion store with brands including Attico, Rixo London, 3.1 Philip Lim, Les Coyottes de Paris, Jonathan Simkhai, as well as lesser-known names making their first in-roads into the world of high fashion. ul. Mokotowska 26, lui-store. com
Highlights at Koneser BEAUTY
4 Szpaki Run as a family business, this artisanal producer specializes in the manufacture of natural cosmetics that eschew the use of preservatives or animal-based formulas. Beautifully packaged using attractive, eco-friendly materials, find a wide choice of organic deodorants, natural soaps, body butters, peels, candles, oils, shampoos and much, much more. Pl. Konesera 5, 4szapki.pl
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
Muscat An on-trend Polish eyewear store specializing in the production of high quality, durable frames made by hand from the highest quality acetate. Featuring a stylish design that will emphasize your own unique style, final costs are kept low thanks to a distribution path that cuts out the middle man. Pl. Konesera 9 & ul.
Guns & Tuxedos Fusing the formal with the casual, designer Rafał Czapul seeks to prove you can be a rebel in a suit with his collection of groundbreaking, men’s attire. Tailored using imported materials from Como, Biella, Prato and Bergamo, but proudly made in Poland, his apparel injects masculinity into the world of elegant fashion.
Chmielna 30, muscat.pl
Pl. Konesera 5, gunsandtuxedos.com
Moliera 2 Boutique Brands: Alexnadre Birman, Alexandre Vauthier, Aquazzura, Balmain, Beach Bunny, Burberry, Buscemi, Casadei, Christian Louboutin, Cult Gaia, Francesco Russo, Gianvito Rossi, Golden Goose, Herve Leger, Isabel Marant, Kenzo, Maison Michel, Marc Jacobs, Manolo Blahnik, Moncler, OneTeaspoon, Self-Portrait, Tod’s, Tory Burch, Victoria Beckham, Yves Salomon, Zimmermann. ul. Moliera 2, moliera2.com
Pl. Trzech Krzyży 3/4 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
Reykjavik District Chic, well-cut menswear for all occasions as designed by upcoming Icelandic native Olly Lindal. ul. Burakowska 15, reykjavikdistrict.com
Sabotage Those in-the-know know Sabotage as one of the places to buy funky deconstructed denim and sportswear pieces. Here you’ll find a wide array of unique clothes, hats, belts and handbags in a variety of fabrics and styles that hail straight from New York, London and Tokyo. ul. Burakowska 5/7 Snobissimo Top labels from design houses like Jimmy Choo, Sonia Rykiel, Les Copains, Sergio Rossi etc., etc. With shoes and accessories all provided for, it’s a one-stop shop to re-boot your wardrobe.
Pan Tu Nie Stal Polish design at its peak: fashion is prominent, but there’s also interesting bitsy things such as aprons, jam jars, notebooks and mugs – all with a defiantly Polish twist. Eccentric, unusual and emphatically on-trend, it’s a must-visit. Koszykowa 35/40,
Risk. Made In Warsaw Mixing modern shapes with expert tailoring, the idea was to create a look that’s both comfortable yet chic. That they’ve been featured in the likes of Vogue and Elle suggests that this target has been accomplished. ul. Szpitalna 9,
The Odder Side From small beginnings The Odder Side have grown from a cult brand to one of the most influential labels on the domestic fashion market. Few do a better job when it comes to making simple sexy. ul.
Koszykowa 5, theodderside.pl
ul. Mokotowska 28
HEALTH & BEAUTY gyms Artis Wellness Club Found in Royal Wilanów, this state-of-the-art gym boasts the latest technological advances in personal fitness, as well as a massive program of courses that range from group cycling and yoga to Zumba and body combat. ul. Klimczaka 1 (Royal Wilanów), artisclub.pl
Gravitan Set in Janki and Targówek, Gravitan features state-of-the-art equipment, group classes and numerous specialists ranging from trainers and physios to beauticians and dieticians.
panorama of the city and is almost worth the membership fee alone. Annual prices begin from around zł. 4,000. ul. Emilii Plater 49 (InterContinental), riverview.com.pl
spas & salons
63 (Hilton), Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79 (Marriott), holmesplace.pl
hair & beauty Creamy Creamy Creative Cosmetics offering a wide range of cosmetics which are based mainly on the deeply nourishing Haitian Moringa Oil. Created by Zofia Pinchinat-Witucka, a Haitian-Pole whose life goal has been to bring the two countries closer, Creamy’s cosmetics are vegan and cruelty-free and do not contain any synthetic dyes nor fragrances, petroleum components, sulphates or silicones. ul. Chmielna 6 (Warsaw), creamy.pl
Pl. Szwedzki 3 & ul. Malborska 39, gravitan.pl
Holmes Place Swimming, sauna and steam room facilities are available, as are a varied timetable of classes plus personal training. ul. Grzybowska
The Pedicure Place A luxury pedi/manicure clinic with room for 10. All the latest OPI varnishes and over 200 colors guarantee you’ll find the latest in styling and nail care. ul. Pokorna
Fifth Avenue Originating in Dublin, Fifth Avenue specialize in luxurious facials, waxing, massages and treatments for the hands and feet. Using a range of OPI varnishes and creams specially created for them in Germany, they’ve become synonymous with top-class treatments. ul. Mokotowska
Barberian Academy & Barber Shop This standout has a rebel chic layout and barbers who are experts in their field. ul. E. Plater 25 & ul. Koszykowa 9, barberian.pl
Bartek Janusz Salon The staff here takes a no-nonsense approach to cutting hair – it goes along with the minimalist chic interiors of the place. ul. Mokotowska 19 / ul. Wilcza 72, bartekjanusz.pl
BodyClinic Thorough body care for everyone. From the usual options to a huge variety of massages and some very exotic treatments, BodyClinic covers all the bases. ul. Oboźna 9 lok. 104, bodyclinic.pl
Dotyk SPA Probably the only place in Warsaw where you’ll get a facial yoga session. Going further east, treat yourself to Japanese, Polynesian or Indian massage. Biały Kamień 3, dotykspa.pl
Little Gym Targeted at children, expect an age specific fitness curriculum, a high instructor-to-child ratio, original music and a weekly theme to engage the child’s imagination and sense of fun. ul. Bruzdowa 56, thelittlegym.pl
Quantum Fitness A place of quiet, understated luxury, equipment is state-of-the-art and complemented by expert trainers at the peak of their game. This is the full 24-carat gym experience. ul. Piękna 15, quantumpiekna.pl
RiverView Wellness Centre Top-class facilities and equipment, private instructors and small classes. The view from the highest pool in Europe offers a glorious
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
ouch! DEPILACJA WOSKIEM
Ouch! Experts in waxing, Ouch! aim their offer at ‘busy women looking for express treatments with lasting effects who, at the same time, appreciate a sense of intimacy’. ul. Belwederska 32, ouch.pl
PARDON MY FRENCH
Pardon My French Manicure and pedicure treatments with high quality lacquers and an awareness of global trends: if you need an endorsement, Paul McCartney visited when he was in Poland! ul. Belwederska 32; Bonifraterska 8; ul. Mokotowska 56, ul. Wilcza 3 pardonmyfrench.pl
Ferajna Rated by many as the No. 1 barber shop in PL, this is a male grooming experience like no other – there’s even arcade games to wile away waiting time. ul. Andersa 6, ferajna.pro
Fiuu Fiuu Day Spa A wonderful quick fix salon that makes use of the latest Ericson products and other top brands. Regarded as one of the top ladies day spas in the country. ul. Mokotowska 48
Rostowski Barber Shop A true celebration of the vintage barber shop, Rostowski have the ambiance nailed to a tee thanks to a crew that’s ready for banter and an interior replete with jack-up chairs, glinting zinc and restored floor tiles. ul. Koszykowa 58, rostowskibarbershop.pl
HOME & DESIGN
Porcelanowa Award-winning, contemporary Polish porcelain produced by cult, internationally recognized brands such as Aoomi and Fenek. ul. Kredytowa 2,
Galeria Mokotów Stores inc. Calvin Klein, Hollister, Hugo Boss, New Balance, Royal Collection and Timberland. ul. Wołoska 12, galeriamokotow.com.pl
Art Sułek Space Acquaint yourself with the work of Marek Sułek, a multi-disciplinary artist specializing in sculpture, photography, graphics and painting. Especially known for his cutesy “Praga angels”, his works are ideal as gifts or statement pieces for the home. Pl. Konesera 2, fb.com/artsulekspace Dom ze sztuką Founded by Katarzyna Czajka, the paintings inside this gallery have been donated by artists with the proceeds going towards homeless charities. Pl. Konesera, fundacjagodniezyc.pl
Grill Plus Home Trick out your garden, kitchen, living room and more with appliances from Bugatti, Japanese blades from the likes of Tajiro, Nagomi, Global, wine accessories from Vin Bouquet, and a whole range of innovative grill contraptions from a diverse selection of market leaders. Pl. Konesera 3 Lata 60-te Specializing in expertly refreshed furniture from the PRL era, it’s become a favorite of design mavens looking to trick out their home with a pre-loved retro statement piece. ul. 11 Listopada 54,
Reset The influence of the golden years of Polish design is never far away. Pluck through everything from retro screen prints to the kind of handle-less cups made famous by Poland’s milk bars. Stashed amid these, find gems such as pre-war German SABA radios repurposed as bedside tables, classic circus posters and 50s tea sets. ul. Dąbrowskiego 36, sklep.resetpoint.pl
Slou Founded from a love of simple, beautiful things, this suburb treasure is an enclave of design-minded items that range from ceramics and plant pots to stationary, clothing, cosmetics and art. Diverse as it is, all objects are linked by their extraordinary aesthetics. Polish designers are prominent, but by no means the only stars at this cult Bielany store. Al. Zjednoczenia 11,
Klif House of Fashion 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
To Tu Art A contemporary gallery featuring paintings, sculpture, graphics, drawings, photographs and ceramics that are aesthetically suited for both personal and commercial use. Pl.
Mysia 3 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
Konesera 5, totuart.com
malls & department stores Arkadia Stores inc. Mango, Lacoste, Guess, Hilfiger and Peek & Cloppenburg. Al. Jana Pawła II 82, arkadia.com.pl
Koneser Koneser’s post-industrial confines provide a gorgeous backdrop for a shopping experience involving established Polish fashion brands, design shops and interesting additions such as the HappyJa Kids Concept Store, the Alembic alcohol emporium and, even, a Tesla dealership. Pl. Konesera, konesera.eu
Le Pukka For interior inspirations take a look at Le Pukka: highly original furniture and decorative pieces for the home come from the likes of Smeg, AreaDeclic, HK Living and Zuiver. ul. Solec 58/60,
Galeria Północna Poland’s first outpost of Hamley’s, as well as stores such as Forever 21, Lagerfeld and Guess. Part of the ‘fourth generation of shopping centers’, add-ons number a rooftop garden and some of the best kid’s facilities on Poland’s retail map. ul. Światowida 17,
Plantarium Focusing on low maintenance air plants, owner Kamila Burchardt has accrued a number of big, leafy ferns, towering succulents, hard-to-find plants that are uncommon to Poland and accompanying accessories to lift up your home. Impressive in scope and outlook, your apartment won’t ever feel the same.
Designer Outlet Warszawa Just 30-minutes from central Warsaw, and within a building influenced by Poland’s baroque period, discover over 100 brands offered at all year discounts of 30-70%. Brands include Boss, Hilfiger, Liu Jo, Furla, Michael Kors and many more. ul.
ul. Mokotowska 71, plantarium.pl
Puławska 42E, designeroutletwarszawa.pl
Plac Unii One of Warsaw’s latest mall counts Armani Jeans, Liu-Jo and Pandora amongst its upmarket tenants. ul. Puławska 2, placunii.pl
Vitkac Poland’s first luxury department store gathers the world’s top designers under one roof, with brands including Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton, Stella McCartney and Rick Owens. And that’s the tip of the iceberg. Vitkac, ul. Bracka 9, likusconceptstore.pl Złote Tarasy Over 200 stores, restaurants and cafes, plus a Multikino cinema inside an award-winning piece of architecture. ul. Złota 59, zlotetarasy.pl
BiaĹ‚y K amieĹ„
Moving? Also immigration assistance, fine art shipping, pet transport and consulting services. ul. Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79, tel. 22 630 8160, moveonerelo.com
Admission is free.
FOOD & DRINK Wielka Uczta
EDITOR’S PICK The Editors
Ongoing @ Zachęta Gallery, Pl. Małachowskiego 3 Promoted as a “manifesto against the marginalization of non-human neighbors such as wild plants and animals”, Anna Siekierska’s daring exhibition critically examines humanity’s approach to nature through installations, photographs, sculpture and film. zacheta.art.pl
ART I As Human
Ongoing @ ul. Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 22, Museum on the Vistula The first Polish retrospective of the Swiss artist Miriam Cahn, one of the most important and acknowledged painters of the last few decades, contemplates
EXHIBITION Tel Aviv - Gdynia
the contemporary human condition in uncompromising style.
Ongoing till 3 Feb @ Polin, ul. Anielewicza 6 Three-thousand miles apart, yet bonded by several underlying similarities, the POLIN museum seeks to explore the entwining commonalities between Gdynia and Tel Aviv through stunning photographic exhibits, architectural renderings and assorted art.
FAMILY Royal Garden of Light
CONCERT Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
5 Feb @ Torwar, ul. Łazienkowska 6
Often spurring comparisons to Echo & The Bunnymen and Joy Division, The Editors bring their dark brand of indie rock to Warsaw for what’s set to be a sellout night at the Torwar.
ART Weeds & People
1-2 Feb @ Centrum Praskie Koneser (Pl. Konesera) The third installment of Wielka Uczta will include a food market as well as a diverse range of food stalls, live cooking shows and competitions – as well as Warsaw’s longest communal table!
Ongoing @ Wilanów Palace, ul. S.K. Potockiego 10/16 Lit by in excess of 300,000 pulsating diodes, lose yourself in a sea of thematic garden areas whilst tunes by Tchaikovsky and Vivaldi tinkle in the background. It’s beguiling, bewitching and even a little bewildering. wilanow-palac.pl
1 Feb @ Centrum Praskie Koneser (Pl. Konesera) The ninth edition of this DIY fair will showcase the latest upcycling trends, unique ceramics, handmade jewelry
Warsaw Insider | FEBRUARY 2020
4 Feb @ Progresja, Fort Wola 22 Having shifted 40 million records since forming in 1978, these British pioneers experimental electronic, new wave and synth pop require zero introduction. Expect all their greatest hits to get an airing, including such seminal numbers as Enola Gay and Sailing On The Seven Seas. progresja.com
SPORT Legia v ŁKS
9 Feb @ ul. Łazienkowska 3 Following on from a winter
break that felt like it’d never end, Legia fans are counting the days till they return to action in a match that pits the table topping Warsaw side against bottom-of-thetable ŁKS. legia.com
ART Ignacy Łopieński
Till 16 Feb @ National Museum, Al. Jerozolimskie 3 The exhibition presents the life and work of Ignacy Łopieński, a Polish printmaker who followed in the footsteps of his great predecessors, most notably Rembrandt, devoting a substantial part of his creative activity to original prints. mnw.art.pl
FOOD Tłusty Czwartek
20 Feb @ everywhere! Taking place on the last Thursday preceding Lent, Tłusty Czwartek is the day traditionalists and religious types feast on sinful goodies before denouncing them for the duration of Lent. Everyone else – and we mean, everyone – uses the day as an excuse to hit the donut shops. For more info, see p. 22.
MUSIC Polin Music Festival
28 Feb to 1 March @ Polin, ul. Anielewicza 6 A three-day celebration of music, the Polin Music Festival will present ‘new Jewish music’ whilst posing questions relating to the significance of Jewish identity to contemporary composers and musicians. polin.pl
and small-batch bags, toys, accessories and interior decorations.