Warsaw Insider October 2020 #290

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The Capital’s Original City Magazine Since 1996


OCTOBER 2020 FEATURES: The loving touch: get to the bottom of Warsaw’s love for artisanal goods - from dusty old stores to the new wave of cool – p.16

Beer we go! From Warsaw’s first craft brewery to the best of its tap rooms, we take a dip into the world of craft beer – p. 46




INDEKS 334901 ISSN:1643-1723





tel.: 228277099, www.Moliera2.com



Contents October 2020

Reviews: EAT!

First taste: Señor Lucas – p.29 Full review: Naboku – p.30

Alex Webber insider@warsawinsider.pl


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

Publisher Morten Lindholm mlindholm@valkea.com

Advertising Manager Jowita Malich jmalich@valkea.com

Art Director Kevin Demaria kdemaria@valkea.com

Distribution Manager Krzysztof Wiliński kwilinski@valkea.com

ey Account Manager K Adam Fogler afogler@valkea.com

Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020


First sip: Funky Fluid – P.45 Round-up: Craft Beer – p.46 Full review: Baron the Family – p.49


In store: Nagramy – p.55 Events: Warsaw Gallery Weekend Warsaw Film Festival – p.56 Artist Danuta Karsten at Wolskie Rotundy – p.57


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

VALKEA MEDIA S.A., ul. Ficowskiego 15/17, Warszawa, Poland; tel. (48 22) 639 8567; e-mail: insider@ warsawinsider.pl All information ©2020 Warsaw Insider.


NOTICE ANYTHING DIFFERENT? That’s right, down in the boiler room we’ve used the month wisely to shake the sheets and return with a revised, refreshed look that’s hopefully cleaner on the eye and more contemporary in its style. And yes, well aware that before you needed a telescope to enjoy this engaging little pamphlet, we’ve even ramped up our font size to ensure maximum readability. But if that’s the changes, then what’s stayed the same? Our commitment, you’ll be pleased to learn, to providing the city’s best source of lifestyle information hasn’t wavered and remains as keen as ever. In terms of this edition, that’s meant an exploration of the artisanal world in honor of the creatives that have taken the city forward: to those fine warhorses, this issue is dedicated. Beyond that, we’re also chuffed to bring you the latest developments on the food and drink frontline, the back story behind the region’s creepiest building and news of what rates as the most stunning artistic installation we’ve yet to see. And, of course, we remain firmly devoted to providing the city’s most emphatic and accurate set of restaurant and bar listings. I’ll drink to that, and I recommend you do as well. Cheers!

Full review: Klonn – p.32


Moliera 2


tel.: 226221416, www.Moliera2.com

ART ISTIC AUTUMN • concerts • exhibitions • theater performances • kids & young adult workshops •


For more see www.koneser.eu

Koneser Autumn An artistic autumn fit for the Highlights! connoisseur awaits this fall

at Centrum Praskie Koneser…


ot on the heels of a successful summer program, Centrum Praskie Koneser invites all for an Artistic Autumn set within the heart of Praga’s revitalized, post-industrial 19th century vodka factory. Featuring daily performances, concerts, fairs, exhibitions, vernissages and various workshops for children and teenagers find all this and more running until mid-December. With several hundred events already scheduled, attractions include multi-sensory performances both large and small aimed at the theater lover. Additionally, children will find the best of Polish theatre courtesy of Atofri, Arlekin, Guliwer, Triki Tashka and Ka Theater. Elsewhere, the Wytwórnia publishing house has planned several workshops that seek to develop creativity and literary skills and these will be joined by other child friendly initiatives encouraging interest in the environment, courage, tolerance, healthy competition, friendship and cooperation. With art playing a big part in Centrum Praskie Koneser’s philosophy, numerous events dedicated to sculpture and painting will also take place, including those organized by the Art Sułek Space in which kids will

learn to master plasticine and participate in workshops and admire exhibitions. Likewise, the ToTuart gallery will also organize vernissages involving paintings, sculpture, and installation art. In addition, Dom ze Sztuką, Galeria Salon Akademii ASP and the Leonarda Art Gallery will present works by many Polish artists. The latter will introduce visitors to the edgy form of street art. Neither will music be overlooked. Running every Thursday from September 17th, visit Galeria Dom ze Sztuką for classical concerts that will include their already popular Chopin recitals or to listen to Smykofonia’s jazz / swing concerts, Jewish music, opera and… the Trio Bastarda! If that wasn’t enough, find the schedule bulked up with chess tournaments for kids and adults, the Koneser Restaurant Week (family edition!), the Jestem Slow fair, volume ten of the Festival Przerób-my, the Ekocuda natural cosmetics fair, the Trends4Kids Fair and something intriguingly dubbed as being a Clown Invasion!

Centrum Praskie Koneser Pl. Konesera, koneser.eu

Benefit from drinking ready to drink teas brewed by tea masters! All bottles and cans are made from recycled materials. Order online today: SHOP.SOTINATURAL.COM


On A Roll


The next stage of the ongoing development of the second metro line is underway after City Hall voted on final names for the city’s next three underground stops. Due to open in September 2021, the zł. 1.4 billion investment will see a trio of stations added to Warsaw’s left side, the names being: Zacisze Bródno Kondratowicza


Home Improvements

Two days after celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Old Town’s inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List, city authorities rubberstamped a two-year project that will see the renovation of the historic center. Scheduled works will include repairs on Zygmunt’s Column, new pavements and the addition of a statue honoring Jan Zachwatowicz – the man credited with raising the area from ruin in the postwar years.


Style Benchmark

Mimicking the wave-like designs of architectural guru Jerzy Sołtan, a series of 12 public benches have been unveiled as part of a campaign to humanize Pl. Defilad. First submitted as part of 2017’s civic budget, the benches replicate ones first installed by Sołtan at Warszawa Śródmieście train station sixty years back and which are now fondly remembered as outstanding examples of PRL era Polish design philosophy.

Celebrating the man that shifted Poland’s capital to Warsaw, Zygmunt’s Column was so coveted by Russia’s Peter the Great that the Tsar investigated possibilities of transporting it to Russia.



In brief

zł. 210,000 1934 Omega Watch





zł. 1.3 million

zł. 75,000


1935 Mont Blanc Pen


Steinway Piano




Hitting The Right Note


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020

zł. 28,000 Pre-war metronome

zł. 17,000 Travel chess set


Items once belonging to Władysław Szpilman were auctioned off for a total of zł. 2.5 million in September, setting a domestic record for the sale of personal memorabilia. Immortalized in the Oscar-winning film The Pianist, Szpilman survived the Holocaust despite numerous close shaves with death. In the defining moment of his life, he famously performed for a kindly German officer that had happened upon his hiding place at the tail end of the war; impressed by his skills, the officer, Wilm Hosenfeld, furnished Szpilman with supplies that got him through the final days of the occupation. A successful musician prior to the occupation, Szpilman resumed his career in peacetime and penned his memoirs in The Death of a City, a book that Roman Polanski would later adapt for the silver screen. Attracting massive interest, the auction saw over fifty objects sold, among them a Steinway piano for zł. 1.3 million. Notably, two items that Szpilman kept throughout the war also went under the hammer: an Omega watch and a Mont Blanc pen.

In brief


Off Season Blues

Data released by the Central Statistical Office has shown the full extent of Warsaw’s tourist crisis caused by the ongoing pandemic situation. Visited by just 73,000 people from April to June, numbers were 92% down on the previous year and foreign footfall down by a staggering 97%. Of those that made it from abroad, Warsaw was most visited by Ukrainians (1,400), followed by Germans (1,000) and Americans in third (900). Hoteliers, meanwhile, have reported vacancy rates of 90%.


The decrease in people visiting Warsaw in Q2 of 2020 as compared to the same period last year.



Feeling Ele-phantastic?

Warsaw Zoo came to international attention after it was revealed that its elephants are to be part of a pioneering scheme to test medical marijuana. Coined after an elephant started grieving following the death of one of the herd in March, the project will be the first time cannabis extract oil has been trialled on animals of such size.


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020

As part of celebrations marking what would have been the 90th birthday of Magdalena Abakanowicz, two works from the hand of “the godmother of installation art” have been unveiled in Bródno Park. Christened Zinaxin and Dolacin, the sculptures depict two striding, featureless figures and are intended to raise questions relating to “individuality in a crowd”.


Still Life

In brief CULTURE

Credits Roll For Kino Atlantic

The race is on to save Warsaw’s oldest cinema from demolition after it was announced that a company already notorious for closing historic cinemas would be taking charge of operations from December onwards. Originally opened in 1930, the Atlantic was relaunched in its current guise in 1960 and was later modernized and expanded in the 1990s. Signed by over 130 eminent Polish movie figures, a petition has already been presented to the Mayor as clamor grows for the building to be added to the city’s list of protected monuments. MUSIC

Knives Out


A Crap Idea?

Marketed as “the No. 1 App for No. 1 & No. 2”, a service calling itself Air PnP was outed as a hoax devised by the portal Miasto Jest Nasze to raise awareness as to Warsaw’s chronic lack of public toilets. Claiming to direct desperate people to the nearest ‘toilet for hire’, the service promised users the chance to rate their experiences as well as offering people the option to join the app as Air BnB-style hosts. An accompanying website (airpnp.pl) was also launched containing, among other features, a map of restrooms available to the public.


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020


Warsaw band Noże (Knives) caused a stir at the Opole Song Festival after appearing on stage with instruments discreetly bearing rainbow flags. Meant as a show of support for the country’s embattled LGBTQ community, the move was seen as a direct affront to the conservative state television broadcaster, TVP, who have long broadcast the annual music event. “Why did we do it? Because we have to react when authorities attack minorities in order to legitimize their rule,” explained guitarist Jan Biedziak.

Cover star

On Top Of The World

Known for his stunning aerial images, the Insider takes a deeper look at the work of this month’s cover artist, photographer Jasiek Zoll‌


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020

Cover star


aised on a diet of skateboarding and rap music, the former hip hop promoter discovered his passion for drone photography three years back whilst working in television and advertising. Entirely selftaught, the Warsaw-born photographer describes his work as minimalist with his images peeling aesthetic layers to present his subjects in their most accurate form.

For more on Jasiek, see: mrflyguy.pl

WI: Why do we love drone photography so much? JZ: Simply because it shows the world from an angle that we’re not used to. This form of photography enables people to become birds, traveling the world and seeing it from this perspective. What are the advantages of photographing with a drone? As above! By allowing people to see what the world looks like from a bird’s eye view, this form can show people perspectives they’d never normally see. It’s a great way to discover a city. What do you want to show about Warsaw? I’ve lived here since I was born and have seen it grow and change: skyscrapers have gone up while other buildings have gone down. I want to show the changing face of the city, and the architectural contrasts that have come about because of war and history. I want people to see places they’re familiar with from a top-down perspective. The city’s had a hard life, but I want to show that these wounds have healed and that the city is moving forward and growing stronger as a European city. I love this place! So on the subject of love, what do you loooove about photographing Warsaw? The everyday differences and the way it’s developed. You might think it looks the same, but the same place will look completely different in sunlight, at nighttime, in the fog, in the winter, or in the height of summer. In fact, it looks different every minute of the day. And then there’s its size. It’s a big city so there’s always something new to shoot. Thanks to drone photography, I’ve got to know my city better and discovered places I’d never even heard of.




Made with love Where once craft professions looked in danger of being phased out by mass production, the last few years have seen a strong rebound as a new generation looks to embrace artisanal techniques that were in danger of being forgotten. No longer mistaken as being part of a hipster economy, this manufacturing revolution has now penetrated the mainstream with its quality-led approach. This issue, join us in celebrating the artisans and craftsmen that have enriched the way we eat, drink and live and love our lives. 16

Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020

Voices Of Experience… You’ll have seen them a jillion times before: those tiny, cobwebbed curiosity stores specializing in handcrafted goods such as badger hair brushes or personalized gloves. Relying on knowledge passed down the generations, it’s in these dens of intrigue that users will discover the true meaning of the word artisanal. Coated with charm, dust and memories, it’s as much about the experience as it is the expertise. For an emphatic list of the city’s remaining traditional bespoke havens, see: rzemieslnicy.waw.pl


Pracownia pędzli i szczotek Ryszard Baryliński ul. Poznańska 26, tel. 22 621 7656


Artystyczne drobne rymarstwo ul. Wilcza 26, tel. 22 629 8774





Rękawiczki ul. Hoża 35, tel. 22 621 7310

If many of the more old school stores and establishments have been left feeling outdated and obsolete by a generation demanding shiny new things that look good on Instagram, that sentiment has not been shared by Poland’s new wave of artisans. Though lacking the heritage and the hand-me-down knowledge of the old guard, their vaulting ambition, creativity and talent have been met with an enthusiastic response by the public. This issue, we present some of our favorites…

04 Only Wood onlywood.onlyresin@ gmail.com


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020

Looking personal, chunky, rustic but contemporary, seek out Only Wood for customized, madeto-order pieces that range from tables and bookshelves to sunbeds and cutting boards. A paean to craftsmanship, their expertise is impossible to question: a perfect fit, therefore, for steakhouse-butcher hybrids such as Meatologia on Krucza.


The New Wave

05 Fenek ul. Tamka 45B

With no business plan to speak of, Fenek was founded in 2014 by Agata Klimkowska and Tosia Kiliś, two uni friends disappointed by the lack of quality ceramics on sale in Poland. An immediate hit, their projects – mainly (but not only) bowls, mugs, vases and pots – have since become known for their one-of-a-kind splatter finishes and quirky illustrations. Looking just how you’d want a ceramic workshop to appear, visit for no other reason than to soak up the good vibes and to add something special to your tables and cupboards.

06 Kłosy ul. Tamka 40, klosy.pl

For Warsaw’s best blades, Kłosy have established themselves as the go-to source for kitchen knives and tools produced using the highest quality steel and carefully selected exotic woods. And you too can learn their secrets at their small-scale workshops held each month. warsawinsider.pl



“I come from Puglia, a region where mozzarella is awarded the same importance as our daily bread,” says Francesco Micaletti, a former consultant that left the office life behind to launch Bianca Mozzarella along with his partner, Kaja Przygońska. Twinning his business acumen with Kaja’s knowledge of cheese, the pair have taken Warsaw by storm since unleashing their mozzarella. Pairing recipes gleaned from their time in Italy with the best Polish milk they could find, the results have floored the foodie public and won a heap of admirers in the process – and eating it, you learn why. To read their full story, check our interview with the couple at: warsawinsider.pl/bianca.


07 Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020

Bianca Mozzarella Instagram.com/ bianca_mozzarella/


Say Cheese!


Cała W Mące Krasińskiego 18 calawmace.pl

On The Breadline “My bread reflects my experiences,” says Monika Walecka, the driving force behind Cała w Mące. “Every loaf tells its own story and includes elements from people that have either inspired or taught me: each one is like having baby with your baker friends!” Milling the flour herself then baking the bread with wholegrain flour so that the most nutritious parts don’t get sifted, the results are impossibly fluffy breads as well as loaves that use ancient grains such as spelt, emmer or einkorn. “Bread should be made with a desire to nourish and nurture,” she concludes. “Things like technique are just a consequence of that.”





Cophi ul. Hoża 58/60

It’s exceptional, right up there with the UK, Germany and the Czech Republic and slowly coming to the feet of the Asian market. The scene just keeps growing and despite the pandemic, there’s light at the end of the tunnel – those that come out of this will do so even stronger as it’s meant they’ve created a few different streams of income to survive. What does Warsaw drink? For specialty cafes, a lot of attention is given to seasonality. From the customer point of view, Poles are big fans of Colombian coffee, Ethiopian and Kenyan, though we’re also seeing more and more cafés looking towards Bolivia, Peru, Papua New Guinea and Sudan. There’s a real mix of choices.

Cophi’s Uri Wollner on the specialty coffee scene... What do you love about the coffee world? It’s all about emotion. On top of that, options are endless: every client has their own unique preference and that makes it challenging and fun. Where does the city’s specialty coffee scene stand…

Uri On Covid

Gimme’ your dream for Poland! Being a barista is still regarded as an in-between job rather than a legitimate profession. Opinion is slowly changing but it’s still not normal to see a 50-yearold making your coffee. Instead, you get a high staff turnover which means as an owner you’re always restarting from scratch; simply put, the longer people work as baristas, the more knowledge they gain which, ultimately, guarantees a better user experience.

“Since March we’ve seen a sizeable percentage of the market choosing to pursue their coffee adventure at home – that market has really developed. With regards to cafes themselves, of course we’ve had our incomes hit hard, which has meant we’ve had to look for innovative ideas and solutions. Importantly, we’ve had to look to improve our takeaway options and really focus in on making the takeaway experience a high quality experience for the user.”


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020


Full Of Beans

What’s happening in the coffee world! The specialty sector is always striving to create the perfect cup, something that’s influenced by the espresso machine, the grinder, the water, the barista and the product. These are all constantly improving and in Poland it’s helping that more and more schools and academies are offering SCA approved certification – that’s a global organization, not some Humpty Dumpty academy!


Don’t Miss A Beat!

For the latest trends and stories from Warsaw join us at warsawinsider.pl Follow on: facebook.com/warsawinsider & instagram.com/warsawinsider



Palatum Fb.com/BrowarPalatum

The Hopologist WI: We last caught up with you four years ago when Palatum was first starting out – what’s changed! LK: Back then it was just one guy working part-time. Me! Now I’ve got two other fulltime people on the books as well as my wife. If not in terms of taste, there’s definitely been a significant change in workload. We’ve also started producing our beer in bottles as well as targeting the market in our immediate locality. You’re a bit of a family business, yeah?


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020

Totally. The brewery isn’t just close to where I live, it’s actually part of the house! Even my daughter is involved – she started designing our labels when she was 13 and three years on I think it’s become really visible that she’s reached a professional standard. What makes a successful craft brewery? It sounds obvious but the beer has to be drinkable – that’s the basic starting point. Then you need to be ready to commit your time to it. In my case, I’m devoted to


Catching up with Palatum founder Łukasz Kojro...

Palatum for 16 or 17 hours a day. Thirdly, and this goes for any business, you need to understand the figures and be ready to make tough decisions based upon them. You mentioned you’re reaching out to target the areas right by you… Yes – Wawer and those kind of parts. I wanted to do that from the very beginning but it is a real balancing act. You need to keep the beer portfolio relevant enough for the beer geeks while also producing beers that are understandable enough for those who aren’t so accustomed to craft beer. It’s a challenge.

“The brewery isn’t just close to where I live, it’s actually part of the house!”

What’s happening on the craft scene? Things change quickly and brewers need to keep aware of what the beer geeks are drinking, what pub beer managers are demanding and what other breweries are doing. Right now, for example, it’s all about pastry beers and DDH beers (double dry hopped). The Polish scene is still small so trends really reverberate strongly around the market and you have to follow them. It’s a pity really, because a tiny brewery might be producing an excellent saison but unless they’ve also got a pastry or DDH beer in their portfolio then they’re simply not seen as being relevant. What does your crystal ball say we’ll be drinking a few months down the line? There’s a race between brewers to use higher hop rates, and I also think there’ll come a time shortly when we revert back towards favorites such as West Coast or East Coast IPAs or even just original American IPAs. We’re guessing you’re happy you went to fulltime? For me craft beer is closely entwined with good food, nice venues and interesting people so I love this industry. Furthermore, nothing is stable. You’re constantly evolving or adjusting – it’s an exciting business to be in!

Small Beginnings

Having been gifted a zł. 200 brewing kit for his birthday by his dad and brother thirteen years back, it didn’t take long for cosmetics analyst Łukasz Kojro to twig that the stuff he was making was better than the mass-produced beers available in the shops. Soon, other people noticed that as well with the end result being the eventual birth of Palatum in 2016. After years in the wings, Warsaw finally had a bona fide craft brewery it could call its own…




11 The Art Of The Craft Responsible for some of the most popular branding campaigns in Poland, no agency has left quite such a mark on the craft industry as Ostecx Créative…

WI: How does focusing on craft industries differ from mass branding? Ostecx: We all used to work for mass brands and we still engage in such projects but it’s the craft brands that I think really stand out in our portfolio – if you don’t have a million dollar budget then a product needs to be able shout as loudly as it can from the shelf. That’s our recommendation to those involved


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020

in craft. By their very definition, craft brands are small- or medium-sized firms so business intuition and social / human factors really count for more. What inspires you? When you’re creating brands or designing packaging you look for inspiration everywhere and in everything. If you limit yourself to just scrolling through the work of others you’ll never bring anything new to the market. How would you define a successful project? That’s one that makes it onto the shelves – still too many end up in the drawer. More seriously, nothing gives us more pleasure than creating a brand that’s

Maltgarden really stands out – we felt we’ve really moved forward and set a path for others to follow. Poland’s craft sector stands alongside some of the best in the world – but does its branding? We’ve got a lot to be proud of but there’s still a lot of work ahead to catch up with the best. It doesn’t help that many brewery owners think that investing in branding isn’t any different to buying some brewing equipment – but I think it’s become clear, if you don’t put the money into branding from the very outset then you’ll quickly come to regret it.

loved by the customers and profitable for the client. How do you see your role in such a rapidly evolving scene? Polish craft is evolving rapidly but not symmetrically – only a few breweries have reached a higher level of organization. As an agency working for businesses of various scale we need to be able to link creativity with professional service right away. Which projects have totally thrilled you? When it comes to beer, we were doing the designs for Alebrowar from the very start of the beer revolution so that’s been very rewarding. Currently, our work with

How does the branding process differ between industry segments – for instance, between beer and vodka? Though the workflow is the same each segment has its own distinct social and cultural conditions – what passes in the beer world would be unacceptable in the vodka world. Polish people are very serious about this alcohol! What have you learned since starting out? One thing has remained constant: the importance we award to building a strong brand. Of course, we’ve made mistakes along the way and we’ve had unexpected reactions as well – for example, there was a real social media storm after we featured a monk on one Alebrowar label. Somebody noticed a monstrance in the illustration and then it all went from there… What’s the future of Polish craft! The future is bright… but only the best will survive!





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

First Bite


Señor Lucas ul. Hoża 41 (enter from Poznańska 16)


LET’S TACO ’BOUT LUCAS It’s an unfortunate fact of life that any new Mexican in Warsaw is going to find itself benchmarked against the spectacular La Sirena, a place so fabulous as to make you feel sorry for their rivals – when it comes to providing competition, what’s the point in even trying? But wait! In the shape of Senor Lucas a new option exists, one so unlikely in its greatness that you leave a little stunned. Submerged down one of those cramped, little walk-down units on ul. Poznańska, its tiny proportions (one

table and a counter to lean on) and basic aesthetics (a blackboard and some crates) belie a standard that sits there with the best. Based around handmade tortillas, find a small menu of tacos and burritos stuffed with marinaded meats and ringing with peppy salsas and big flavor contrasts. Ladies and gentlemen, a new cult is born. Just one word of warning: check the seemingly randomized opening hours in advance to avoid disappointment.



Eat! Review


From Nabo to Naboku, a Sadyba legend rebrands and returns to the big time! THE BACK STORY

Opened by a Danish-Polish couple around about 2012, the story behind Nabo (Neighbor in Danish) is, in many ways, something you’ve probably heard before: husband & wife leave the corporate rat race to pursue their dream of running the kind of little place they’d hang about in themselves. So far, so normal. What happened next was a little more unexpected. Cast out in the far reaches of Sadyba, what had been intended as a niche operation took Warsaw by the horns. First came recognition from this humble publication, then top prize at Gazeta Wyborcza’s Knajpa Roku awards.


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020

“Honestly speaking,” says Steffen, co-creator of Nabo, “that wasn’t something we ever expected.” At a stroke, the award(s) plunged Nabo into the spotlight, bringing with them all the pros, cons, pressures and attention usually associated with some kind of mega bucks win on the lotto. “Our business plan never anticipated such a thing happening,” confesses the Dane, “but all of a sudden we were getting huge crowds of people turning up demanding some kind of grand restaurant experience – but that was never what we had in mind.” So what exactly was Nabo about? Committed to a family forward philosophy, it was simply meant as a comfortable meeting and eating venue. A place where once could sip coffee, grab breakfast, enjoy dinner or stop after work for a drink. “Like Cheers in the TV sitcom,” wrote the Insider’s reviewer at the time, “only Scandinavian in style.” And it’s on this point we should linger. If Nordic cuisine is now known the world over, back in those years it was recognized only by the staunchest of local foodies. Pre-dating Warsaw’s food revolution by about three milliseconds, Nabo acted as a precursor to what was to come by focusing on food that was simple, natural but beautifully composed. A showcase of the whole farm-to-fork philosophy that would later sweep the city, they were among the first crop of venues to repackage the concept of casual dining and take it into fresh, new directions. The awards that followed were well-earned indeed.


Much, yet simultaneously not much at all. After a good innings as Nabo, this summer saw a move of sorts and a subtle rebranding of what had come before. Shifting twenty meters to a slightly smaller neighboring unit in

Eat! Review the same pavilion, Naboku (a Polish play on words meaning ‘to the side’) has retained much of the former’s spirit: entering via a sun drenched wooden-decked terrace, a rattly steel door clatters open to reveal a space that feels likeable in an instant: geometric tiled floors rescued from the PRL age, framed retro posters, super cool lighting and little bits and pieces such as a decorative miniature bike and tiny Danish flags. Despite that, you don’t need to be Danish to feel immediately at home. Entirely more conspicuous has been the shift away from being overtly kid-friendly. Sure, you can still bring the munchkins, just now it all feels a little more mature. “Our own kids grew up,” grins Steffen, “so we felt it was time for Naboku to grow up as well.”



Smørrebrød – open-faced sandwiches – were the specialty and they remain just that. For the uninitiated, they’re worth the trip alone. They sound basic (and yeah, they are) but it’s perhaps because of their simplicity that you notice just how much love has been invested into the ingredients that comprise them: pinkish roast beef with fried onions and remoulade sauce; curls of Bornholm herring with potato and beetroot salad; delicate, crispy fishcakes; and goat’s cheese salad with indulgent ribbons of raspberry sauce. More, more, bring me more. And speaking of more, yes there certainly is: when it comes to the substantial offerings, visit for a towering burger involving true, proper bacon; ribeye steaks; or fish stew pimped up with chili, chives and garlic; and don’t think for a moment that drinks have been ignored. To Øl and Mikkeller remain on the frontline of craft innovation, and you’ll find brews by both represented in abundance.


Naboku ul. Zakręt 8, fb.com/ naboku. restauracja

In this little pocket of Denmark, a good mood prevails throughout and just by being here, you gain a little understanding why the Danes are often cited as the happiest people alive. And why the hell not. If this is the food they eat, the drinks they drink and the kind of atmosphere they’re accustomed to, then you’d be pleased as well. Herein, lies a bloody important point: Naboku isn’t about the food and Naboku isn’t about the drink. It’s about feeling fantastic and loving the moment.



Eat! Review



Modern, hybrid dining arrives with a bang…


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020

Eat! Review WHERE AM I?

Lovers of the good life will already be familiar with the addy – once home to Poland’s original Michelin starred restaurant, Atelier Amaro, Klonn finds itself planted inside a low-level building just a whisper from Ujazdowski Castle. Designed by co-owner Mirosław Nizo, it’s an interior that immediately seduces thanks to a slick, dark look that’s given oomph and adventure by its intelligent lighting and brash bursts of street art. That’s particularly noticeable outside where the façade outback has been reserved for “painting and graffiti” intended to reveal “the visionary potential of Klonn”.

with sophisticated and creative with understandable and that latent philosophy is echoed in a menu that’s in perfect step with the wider design. A harmony of flavors, that much is evidenced by starters such as a luxuriously creamy burrata served with caramelized figs and flowery greens. For mains, a beef fillet arrives with chanterelles and a red wine jus and is devoured in the kind of record time that usually needs a stopwatch. More subtle in its beauty, sous vide salmon is a fantasy of skill featuring cameos from beer braised chicory, crispy duck and fragrant Ras el Hanout curry, while on the other end of the scale, pizzas turn up drizzled with truffle oil, cured pork cheeks and lightly scorched onions – yes please. Desserts, meanwhile, are a fast track to happiness. Tied for first place, a slice of salted caramel tart with a yogurt sherbet competes against a rich chocolate mousse with blackberry jelly, chocolate soil and thyme basil oil. Both I’d return for in the good name of research and so too the drinks – sophisticated cocktails that are original and bold.


Polish Lesson No. 284: Klonn means maple tree, and that’s exactly what you’ll find while lounging outside. Said to be 180-years-old (give or take the odd year or two), find it acting as the cornerstone of a back garden scattered with tables and bristling with greenery. If it looks good now, expect it to get even better once the so-called Golden Autumn hits its true stride mid-October. And with an all-weather glasshouse in the pipeline, you can expect to be enjoying the area’s natural allure long into the year. Oh, and the double N in the name? That’s a reference to its co-owners, Mirosław Nizio and Andrzej Nizio.



After ten years cooking in some of London’s biggest ticket restaurant, chef Bartłomiej Brzuska has learned a thing or two utilized that experience to present a menu that he calls hybrid in style: casual and accessible, yet also brimming with invention and appreciation for the product.


Klonn’s aesthetics bridge casual

Klonn ul. Jazdów 1B, klonn.pl

More often than not, places that rattle on about linking art with food just don’t deserve your trust: victims of their own hubris, they’ll often pan out to be an exercise in vanity that falls flat on its fate. Not Klonn, though you probably guessed that. Managed by Arkadiusz Żochowski (also responsible for the group’s other two restaurants, the award-winning Zoni and Wuwu), high expectations are rightly met. Smartly thought out and brilliantly executed, in here everything joins together to form one natural whole – and yes, that means prices as well. Excluding your drinks intake, a memorable meal for two shouldn’t exceed much more than a couple of hundred notes – a spectacular deal given the quality that you face.



Eat! listings 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 – p. 34 chinese – p. 34 comfort food – p. 34 fine dining – p. 35 french – p. 36 georgian – p. 36 greek – p. 36 indian – p. 37 international – p. 38 italian – p. 40 japanese – p. 40 korean – p. 41 latin & spanish – p. 42 mexican – p. 42 middle eastern – p. 42 polish – p. 43 seafood – p. 44 steak houses – p. 44 thai – p. 44 vegan – p. 44


he ongoing pandemic T situation and subsequent economic knock-on forces us to keep our listings skimpier than usual: for a more comprehensive set of restaurant reviews join us online at: warsawinsider.pl


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020


comfort food



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. ul. Wilcza 43



Despite the over-the-top luxury trimmings Pańska looks good without ever losing its dignity. With their kitchen staff headhunted from across China, the food sets a standard that has yet to be seen in any Chinese restaurant in Warsaw: there’s delicate salmon rolls wrapped in mango; dim sum that are pouches of pure goodness; and Sichuan-style pork that’s a blaze of sizzle and spice. The Beijing Duck, carved and served table-side, is the highlight. ul. Pańska 85


Answering Warsaw’s call for Asian street food, Parowóz feels exactly as it should: steamy, congested and full of big, tasty smells. Expertly cooked, the Chinese-style dumplings are epic pouches of greatness. ul. Solec 109

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. ul. Nowolipki 15


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. 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: outside, sit amid crates filled with palms, inside, among funky-style furnishings that pair well with the PRL look of this high-ceilinged chamber. ul. Andersa 21


Dude food doesn’t get much better. Specializing in slow-cooked meats, find artisan buns stuffed with ribs, beef tongue, pastrami and the like before being given extra oomph with locally grown greens, homemade kimchi or house pickles. A savage, primal pleasure of dripping sauce and juicy meat, the homespun quality of Pogromcy Meatów catapults it above the competition. ul. Koszykowa 1


Roll in for beautifully juicy chicken inside a crispy, crunchy coat smothered and slathered in an array of sauces ranging from mango-chilli to classic hot; savagely messy, these are things of near profound, holy

Eat! listings beauty. Not in the mood for wings? No problem. Instead, wrap your jaw around buttery, meaty sandwiches the size of a breeze block. And food aside, the hip hop / steam punk vibe (corrugated iron sheets, stools with bicycle pedals for foot rests, ammo boxes, and turntables emblazoned with music heroes), jives well with an atmosphere that’s high on banter and bravado. ul. Poznańska 7

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. Closed since the lockdown, the ongoing recruitment of new staff suggests the imminent and keenly awaited relaunch of this world-class venue. Pl. Trzech Krzyży 10/14

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. ul. Ossolińskich 3


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 well-tailored crowd that expects nothing but the best. ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 13


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


For many diners, there is no bigger night out than one that begins and ends in this enclave of class. Dashing

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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. ul. Agrykoli 1


Wheely Good!

Launched over 15 years back as the first delivery service of its kind in Poland, Room Service’s reputation for breaking boundaries and setting new standards is peerless. Already collaborating with some of the best restaurants in town, they’ve pushed the envelope again, this time by introducing ergonomic three-wheel scooters to the streets of Warsaw. Promising maximum maneuverability on the capital’s busy streets, never before has the food delivery process been smoother – or more punctual.

Preserved 19th century cornices



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

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. As for the food, drums please for Dariusz Barański. 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. Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 9



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


On Floor 6 of the swank Hotel Warszawa, Szóstka is a long, slick space

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. 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 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. Pl. Konesera 1



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. ul. Puławska 16

georgian 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

greek & turkish MR. GREEK SOUVLAKI

Enticing with its cute, pocket-size dimensions, array of pot plants and


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020

Eat! listings navy blue colors, Mr. Greek bubbles with homely 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. Warsaw has enjoyed good Greek food before, but now it can offer something even better. A place of authentic hospitality and fabulous food, that this is a labor of love is manifestly obvious from the moment one enters. ul. Londyńska 16

you leave. Al. Jana Pawła II 23


Looks-wise it’s a feast for the eyes with 1,760 copper pipes hanging from the ceiling to generate a warming glow that mixes naturally with the brick finishes and spirited works of art. Differing from their mothership on JPII, the menu here involves street food-style tapas such as flat-fried Kachori dumplings and crispy

cauliflower pakoras to outstanding tandoori dishes like marinated zander with garlic chili sauce. ul. Ząbkowska 29 (Centrum Praskie Koneser)


Ask for something extra hot in Curry House and by Suresh that’s what you’ll get. Yet at Curry House there is more to sing about than just Poland’s highest voltage vindaloo. The curries are rich


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


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. ul. Nowy Świat 58


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

SASKA KĘPA, ul. Francuska 6, 733 323 233 WILANÓW, ul. Klimczaka 1, 791 027 070 CENTER, ul. Krucza 6/14, 22 465 18 36 (pickup and delivery) ŻOLIBORZ, Plac Inwalidów 10, 22 322 82 28 (pickup and delivery) www.pinsa.pl fb.com/pinsaWarszawa | Insta.com/pinsa_warszawa



Eat! listings food halls & happenings ELEKTROWNIA POWIŚLE

Such is the choice you could eat here for a year and still never get bored. The food hall is a beauty with highlights involving cheesesteaks from Philly’s Finest and hot wings from Kura Złota, but there’s no shortage of legitimate sit-down restaurants either. Created by Poland’s biggest media celebrity, Kuba Wojewódzki, Niewinni Czarodzieje 2.0 offers an edgy menu (bao burgers, kimchi hot dogs, ceviche, batata fries) complimented by funky cocktails and a post-industrial interior. ul. Dobra 42


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 Englishstyle spuds served by Pieczone Ziemniaki. Last but not least, no-one in Poland scoops better ice cream than the team at Ice Pot. Pl. Mirowska 2


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. ul. Koszykowa 63


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020

and sumptuous and consistently cited as among the best in the city. If in doubt, the chicken tikka masala is a fail-safe request. ul. Żeromskiego 81 & ul. Hoża 54


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


Heat seekers can ‘enjoy’ a genuine death-by-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 11A

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,

Eat! listings labyrinthine design that’s ideal for when it’s cold and grim, and a shaded courtyard terrace that’s perfect for when it’s not. ul. Mokotowska 48


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


Looking for classic cuisine with no daft flights of fancy? Here you have it. At a time when everyone wants to be Ferran Adrià, Brasserie has both a menu and interior that you can understand: pan-fried foie gras; elegant beef Rossini; and sinful apple tarte tatin, all served inside posh interiors of zinc-plated mirrors and chessboard floors. Their Michelin Bib Gourmand is a source of pride, but it’s the number of repeat clients that are the ultimate paean to the skills of the chef. ul. Górnośląska 24


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. Pl. Piłsudskiego 9


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 – come here for all-day breakfasts that include the hefty Lumberjack. Żurawia 6/12


Entered into the Michelin Guide for the first time in 2018, Dyletanci’s inclusion in the foodie’s bible was further evidence of the trajectory its taken in the three years it’s been open. The epitome of the neo-bistro style, find an attractive space that’s been seamlessly designed to feature a wine store, kitchen and dining room(s) that somehow feel organically joined. The atmosphere is lifted by faultless cooking that combines a little bit of Polish with a little bit of eclectic: it’s a combination that works and often magnificently well. ul. Rozbrat 44A


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. ul. Złota 11


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. ul. Oleandrów 8


Set within a leafy Tsarist era complex whose battered fortifications have since been turned over to house ad agencies and think tanks, the interiors aren’t shabby with huge spaces filled with checkered flooring, industrial girders, elaborate lighting arrangements and tables made from retrieved barn doors. The menu is where it gets really good, however, with an array of little plates that present seasonal produce with unexpected forays down uncharted paths: oyster mushrooms, for example, served inside pillowy bao with rice mayonnaise or sorrel soup that’s so vivid and refreshing as to defy expectations. ul. Racławicka 99


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 excep-



Eat! listings tional. Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 9 (Hotel Warszawa)


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. ul. Rozbrat 20, rozbrat20.com.pl


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. Pl. Europejski 4A


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! ul. Willowa 9


Upping sticks from their spiritual home in Powiśle, the DoK team have magically teleported themselves to Fort 8 where they’ve carried on much as before: knocking out beautiful homemade pasta and other Italian staples that go far beyond mere good.

This they do in a spectacular vaulted interior decked out with door frames and hanging plants. Fort Służew 1B


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

japanese ARIGATOR

This Japanese-style noodle joint whisks you to the narrow, steamy back alleys of late night Tokyo. Clad in corrugated iron and dark, weathered wooden slats, it’s got that buzzing sense of chaos that feels familiar from the films. And the food, gosh, they get that right as well. From a tiny menu order up dainty pork dumplings, braised kakuni bacon or deep-fried tofu before hitting up a feisty bowl of ramen emanating life-affirming goodness. A complex tangle of interlacing flavors, it’s the sort of dish you’d happily queue up for: and yes, people do. ul. Piękna 54


How much do the locals appreciate Warsaw’s original udon bar? Enough to queue outside the door? That’s right. Dining is a close quarters experience here, but is done so without complaint: that electric pasta maker turns out noodles of such chewy goodness that everyone leaves beaming. ul. Krucza 23/31


Sushi becomes a heaven’s gate spiritual experience in Wabu with the


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020

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


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. Bartoszewicza 3


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. ul. Solec 38 (also on Marszałkowska 8)


A courtyard cubbyhole that’s scuffed, informal and fashionably ramshackle. Such has been the stir created by it, diners arrive in the knowledge that they’ll be scavenging a table and eating what little might be left over from another sell-out day. Yet here’s the point of contention: is it really all that’s

the pizza box AVE PIZZA

Modern in its look, this restaurant is the real deal when it comes to Neopolitan-style pizza. Made using imported ingredients and dough fermented for 72-hours, their devoted fan base say you won’t find anything better throughout the rest of Poland! ul. Topiel 12


Looking like an old school pizzeria should, Ciao a Tutti eschew aesthetic niceties to simply produce glorious pizzas that have you reminiscing about your weekend in Naples. There’s definitely more fashionable pizza places in Warsaw, but few do it better. Al. Niepodległości 217


Powiśle loves pizza and you can see why when you look at the choices. That the public have taken Cytryny to their heart owes itself to their commitment to authenticity. ul. Topiel 15


The seeming simplicity of the design belies its striking beauty: like strange, alien planets, spherical lights dangle from the tall ceilings casting the concrete colored interiors in a pinkish-amber glow that feels tastefully restrained. Food-wise, you’ll enjoy it. ul. Andersa 22


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. ul. Chmielna 13A


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. Pl. Bankowy 1


Salsiccia’s glories extend further than simply fab pizza: delivering till 2.30 on weekend mornings, post-party food has rarely tasted better. Give them a medal! ul. Łukowska 7A


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


Founded by Ula and Emanuele, this snug corner eatery has shot up Warsaw’s pizza rankings since opening last year. The informal, neighborly atmosphere is bettered only by the generous slices of pizza served from behind the counter. ul. Tamka 9



Eat! listings cracked up? The kimchi is exemplary, but not everything works so well. ul. Koszykowa 59


Korean food is big news in Warsaw, though increasingly it’s the Americanized K-food style you’ll find. Sora returns to the roots with tabletop BBQs, lively spices and lashings of Makkoli wine. The number of Korean guests is an endorsement in itself. ul. Wronia 45

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 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 musthaves including the salmon tiraditos.

Served with teriyaki and sweet potato mash, it’s a joy of satisfying sensations: sweet, dreamy, spicy, creamy. ul. Twarda 4

mexican 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. ul. Odolańska 15


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. ul. Piękna 54


Exuding the rackety, rickety feeling of a food shack, it’s an environment that’s ideal for such a simple street food staple as the “Mission burrito”. Lively and engaging, it’s exactly the required kind of backdrop when dealing with hand-held food. And what’s with the “Mission” part? That sees the burrito given a treatment first devised in Frisco’s Mission district, with the tightly-rolled tortilla steamed rather than grilled to give it a more elastic texture that’s suited to packing it to the max with slow-cooked ingredients and boisterous homemade salsas. ul. Zgoda 3

middle eastern 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 charcoal-grilled lamb chops. Al. Solidarności 61


To see the diversity of this cuisine, order the balbaak (six cold starters) or the byblos (six hot). And food aside,


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020

Eat! listings it’s the atmosphere that carries them that extra yard: the whole philosophy of this cuisine is to share and share alike, making it a uniquely engaging experience when dining with friends. Al. Solidarności 84

with a modern Polish menu that – on our visit – involved a thick, brilliantly spreadable foie gras pate, a thick slab of brawn and a delicate piece of moist Baltic cod. ul. Próżna 12


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


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 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. ul. Wiślana 8


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. ul. Nowy Świat 49


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,



Adjusted with the seasons, the menu on our visited included a roe deer stewed in Ukiel beer and served in a pan under a light puff pastry. Using chunky woods, copper light fittings and black and white floor tiles, the interior finishing leaves no doubt you’re somewhere upmarket, but the overriding sensation is of being somewhere welcoming and warm. ul. Mokotowska 8


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)


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



Eat! listings things will happen, and this they do. Certified by Poland’s fledgling slow food movement, the daily tinkered menu that opens your eyes to the real tastes of Poland. ul. Smolna 4



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 obsessive devotion to seafood, other choices in this elegant, monochrome venue include six kinds of oysters and a bouillabaisse to blow your mind. ul. Puławska 16

steak houses


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 highlights include thumping T-bones and a 60-day aged Argentinean top loin. ul. Nowogrodzka 47A


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


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launch lit the fuse for a steak revolution. Now an institution in its own right, this cosmopolitan spot remains one of the most sought out bookings in the capital. ul. Żurawia 22


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. ul. Hoża 25A


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 full-blooded foray into carnivorous worlds. But away from the meaty grill dishes there’s also plenty of sophistication: delicate quail Scotch eggs or grilled Fine de Claire oysters. ul. Ząbkowska 29 (Centrum Praskie Koneser)


Set down a leafy side street in posh Saska Kępa, Mięsny 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: bone marrow with parsley salad; duck rillettes; and Red Angus steaks of every description. Nothing disappoints. ul. Walecznych 64


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. Al. Jana Pawła II 50



Sushi without its star ingredient sounds ridiculous, but this vegan sushi joint manages to out-maneuver its traditional competitors by replacing below-par fish with fresh, vegetarian produce: pak choy, shiso, avocado, eggplant, oyster mushrooms, asparagus, etc. In HappyCow’s rankings, it scores the highest of the lot. ul. Wilcza 11


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


First Sip

Funky Fluid Fb.com/funkyfluid

GET FUNKY! If the craft beer sector has been molded by far out and largely lunatic inspirations, then few breweries have done as much to stand out from the crowd as the lads at Funky Fluid: hellbent on resetting boundaries, recent escapades have involved such brilliance as Raspberry & Yuzu Gelato Pastry Sour; Peanut Butter Breakfast Stout; and imperial stouts with tobacco and black lava salt. Yep, it sure ain’t a pint of Żywiec. But while most of Funky Fluid’s portfolio will you get you tiddly in ten

minutes, they’ve also kept non-boozers in mind with a fun and fine range of low alcohol options such as Point 0 Five. Notably, they’ve also replicated their legendary pastry sours in a form more palatable for drivers with combinations including, among others, passion fruit, peach and heaps of pink guava. If the non-alcoholic craft beer boom has been one of the big surprises of recent seasons, then in local terms at least think of Funky Fluid as the mind-bending leaders.



Drink! Round-up

The Kings Of Craft!

Boasting fifty-one craft beer pubs at press time, this issue we pick the wheat from the chaff to bring you the bars that you’d be a mug to miss out on…


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020

Drink! Round-up ARTEZAN PUB

ul. Moniuszki 1A 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: enjoy the full scope of their portfolio inside clean cut, Scandi-style interiors that make the best of an office block location.


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


ul. Nowy Świat 6/12 Opened in 2013 (gosh, that long!?), Cuda’s 33,000 Facebook fans are a testament to the popularity of Warsaw’s first bona fide tap bar. Drink outside on a deck-chaired terrace or inside a modern glass cube built into a scary, blockish building that once housed the HQ of the Poland’s commie party.


ul. Grzybowska 2 It started out as a café, but now Cześć is better known as being at the forefront of the city’s new generation of ‘quali-tap’ bars – small little places with six or so beers on the go. The two owners, Piotrek and Kuba, take their

beer seriously, so do expect plenty of new finds as well as traditional favorites from stalwarts like Artezan and Pinta.


ul. Nowogrodzka 4 The natural start point to any Nowogrodzka pub crawl, drinkers 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 with the liberal use of steel girders, vintage voltage meters and toilets disguised as elevator shafts. There’s sixteen taps to drink through, with many of them offering extreme drinking solutions from Europe’s most radical breweries. Looks great, tastes great, a factor that ensures a male-tofemale ratio that feels roughly equal. Smaller, but also worth a look, Drugie Dno Ochota (Tarczyńska 5/9) is also well worth your time if you’re headed that direction.


ul. Twarda 42 Musty, muggy, murky. Plunge the basement depths of the fishing institute to discover Chmielarnia, a subterranean tap bar where artisan beers rule the roost: check the ‘glass tomb’ filled with mainstream macro lagers to shudder at what we once drank before the piwolution came about. The bar gets loud and rackety, sweaty and sticky, and seems especially popular with geeks and know-it-alls discussing their beer’s ‘finish’ and ‘nose’.


ul. Marszałkowska 10/16 Points are earned by whoever thought to add an Indian menu, while other pluses are awarded for a fridge housing exciting brews trending around the globe: from mega cool Bermondsey breweries to Scandinavian stars, it’s a

place you feel actually broadens your horizons: and in that respect, it helps that the staff are happy to share their knowledge and talk for days about the beers.


ul. Wilcza 29 GZ is the antithesis of the slick bars that Warsaw has embraced. Therein lies its charm. Oblivious to wider trends, there’s nothing faddish about this pokey bar and it’s this feeling of neighborly normality that its ardent band of regulars hold dear. Seen from afar as a greenish glow, that warming sense of home is especially pronounced during winter’s long, murky nights. But beyond all that, what really holds it altogether is that this bar is simply the place for an exceptional pint. A bad scoop is inconceivable.


ul. Chmielna 27/31 You’re in safe hands here – opened under the patronage of the Pracownia brewery, this small-scale operation goes beyond merely offering the beers of its sponsor. There’s 12 taps in all, a decent fridge to geek over and a captive crowd that feels way more mixed than that found in some of Warsaw’s other big hitters.


ul. Nowogrodzka 12 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. From Warsaw’s rich array of craft choices, there’s many that rate this joint as the No. 1 pub in the city, something reflected by the crowds that descend once the calendar strikes Friday.



Drink! Round-up KUFLE I KAPSLE

ul. Nowogrodzka 25 Found somewhere round the top of Warsaw’s hierarchy of craft beer bars, Kufle welcomes all, from entry level novices taking their first faltering steps into the craft world (yeah, they’re the ones holding up the line asking half-witted questions) 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. Especially radical are the beers in the fridge, so it’s one of life’s great shames that it’s nigh on impossible to peer inside.


ul. Solec 46A 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 choice of 12 crazy beers sourced from the kind of breweries that make Poland seem progressive.


ul. Szeroki Dunaj 11 Just round the corner from the Rynek, Maryensztadt occupies a lesser-known charming, cobbled corner of the city’s Old Town that feels aptly serene and picturesque. As a craft brewery, Maryensztadt have continued to expand their portfolio and the proof comes via the increasingly adventurous choice to be discovered at this bar.


ul. Żurawia 32/34 (enter from ul. Parkingowa) You can tell the beer snobs: they’re the ones that sneer at Piw Paw. True, with


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020

Above: Kufle i Kapsle Powiśle Below: Artezan Pub

beers like Beck’s on tap the purity of their mission can be questioned, but what can’t be is the scope: with roundthe-clock opening hours and 57 taps on show, most are prepared to overlook the grubby toilets and sticky surfaces. Once Nowogrodzka closes for the night, it’s to Piw Paw that we head.


ul. Nowomiejska 10 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.

Sustenance comes by way of big wheels of pizza that are surprisingly good.


ul. Nowomiejska 11/13 When it comes to pubs, Same Krafty tops any Old Town hit list, but try getting served at peak drinking time. No problem, head five meters opposite to Bar No. 2. Pass under a dragon’s head before stepping into a supremely friendly room with ten taps, a strong bottle line-up and an atmospheric side chamber. You will find tourists, but even before Covid, it was the locals that were the majority: a telling indicator that says much for their general approval rating.

Drink! Review BARON TIMES

Aleksander Baron’s latest venture looks to give us an autumn to remember…


The last ten years have seen Aleksander Baron evolve from maverick talent to something of a national treasure: credited with re-popularizing the country’s love affair with fermented products, his use of historic techniques and recipes from bygone times (and we’re talking several centuries here) is as celebrated as his often unconventional approach and risky cuisine. Currently the Insider’s reigning Chef of the Year, his return to the battle lines of Warsaw’s food and drink scene is a welcome boost for a sector left feeling flattened by that strangest of summers. Baron The Family ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 4, baronthefamily.pl/grillbar


Lit with strings of lightbulbs overhead, and emblazoned with a hashtag that announces “Ferment Bitch”, find an attractive network of open-air wooden cabins constructed on pristine timber decking set just off the so-called Royal Route. But as the quality of the carpentry suggests, this is not some seasonal venture rather something altogether more permanent: set to function through the year, all-weather canopies are to be added to protect the public from the elements whilst retaining the outdoorsy feel that comes with being here.



“Fire and smoke are the main components of the kitchen,” says Baron, and as such people visit for a masculine menu involving suckling pigs (order in advance); sausages flavored with gingerbread spice; tartare served inside fried bread; piles of ribs; and other hefty foods that make you feel good about life. “This food is all about pleasure,” he says, and we couldn’t agree more.


To feel the full spirit of this project, it’s important to visit at night and leave the car back at home. Carefully curated, the drinks card is designed to rhyme with the food: small batch ciders produced by Kwaśne Jabłko; bottled beers from Trzech Kumpli; trending Polski wines; foamy Czech lagers from specially built tanks; and killer cocktails such as the smoky, whisky Bloody Mary.



Drink! listings bars & pubs THE ALCHEMIST

A small place with a big bag of tricks: upscale gastro-pub grub from Brit chef Ed Shellard, 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 just seems so right: even if you choose to disregard all of the above, head here for a gorgeous summer terrace filled out with leafy succulents and wooden decking. From the off, it’s a place that screams, “off with the tie, there’s drinks to be had!” Pl. Piłsudskiego 3, thealchemist.pl


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


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


Somewhere, amid all the junk relating to the Lebanese conflict (grenades,


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 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. ul. Poznańska 12


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. ul. Koszykowa 63 (Hala Koszyki)


Moving past the people coiled out on the deckchairs outside, the food hall indoors opens out into a sea of neon signs and a sleek, manicured crowd posing for selfies over cocktails. And yes, drinks are every bit as important here as the food. Having first filed past security that are there to enforce pandemic hygiene rules, guests then choose between a craft beer vending station or the two principle bars that bookend the complex: Centrala Bar at one end or the more cocktail-driven Kandela at the other. ul. Dobra 42


Up the stairs you go to enter Gram, a small room that invokes feelings of stepping inside a circus Big Top. Order up a craft beer from the fridge before making your way around the arcade games and pinball machines squeezed inside – come on, there’s not much to beat the feeling of outscoring your date on Space Invaders and Pac-Man. Between turns, count the number of

monkey figures parachuting from the ceiling... ul. Marszałkowska 45/49


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? ul. Wilcza 43


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. Al. Armii Ludowej 14


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. ul. Wyzwolenia 18 (Pl. Zbawiciela)


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.

Drink! listings 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. Pl. Europejski 4A


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. Pl. Trzech Krzyży 16


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. ul. Wilcza 42


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

cafés ASFALT

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. Laidback and neighborly, it’s a place designed for hip locals to drop in, chill out. You should as well. ul. Tamka 37


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. ul. Bagatela 14



Drink! listings the interiors act as a beacon to the public. ul. Hoża 58/60


Born with Instagram in mind, Forum has it all: super cool Afro-haired staff, a fashionably frayed interior, and a devoted client base that’s all about out-sized headphones and razor-thin laptops. Changing weekly, the big pull is a menu of specialty coffees from acclaimed roasters such as Five Elephant and The Coffee Collective fixed up by Poland’s AeroPress and Brewers Cup champion. ul. Elektoralna 11


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


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. ul. Puławska 48


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 lineup of alt. coffee haunts. ul. Wilcza 17


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020


A giant presence on the coffee map of Warsaw, Stor is the ultimate feelgood café: a place of slanting shadows and streaming sunlight, the irresistible ambience is matched only by peerless coffee prepared by expert baristas. ul. Tamka 33


Forget Tinder, Enklawa is the best pickup 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. ul. Mazowiecka 12


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


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

spontaneous feel of a house party that’s spiraled out of control. al. Ujazdowskie 45, klubspatif.pl

cocktails AURA

The mousehole dimensions of Aura are tempered by the tall ceilings and Moroccan-style design: dark, mysterious and intriguing, the overriding sentiment extends to the drinks, many of which incorporate Aura’s exhaustive collection of bourbons. Promoting the heavy use of swivelly chrome stools and Persian rugs, the heavy dose of retro glam is balanced out by a crowd that strays into the head turning category. ul. Hoża 27


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 conversation over pedigree-style cocktails and limited edition rums. (D5) ul. Poznańska 37, thecubalibre.pl


Perched on the top of the Polish Vodka Museum this bar offers more than just stonking views of the Praga district from their sunny terrace: of note are beautiful vodka-based cocktails prepared in an atmospheric interior molded from carefully restored raw materials. Pl. Konesera 1


As night falls, retreat to a deck signposted by a neon the color of bubblegum pink; here, amid bristling greenery and low-slung seating, join

Drink! listings other cocktail hounds enjoying house sips such as the Loreta Cup – a sophisticated mix of whisky, agave, chili and lemon. Good as these signature drinks are, the best bet is to challenge the gunslingers at the bar to make something a little more personal: their ad-libbed cocktails are a highlight. ul. Widok 9 (Puro Hotel)


crowd await: full report soon! Al. 3 Maja / ul. Kruczkowskiego





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

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














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


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


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, pussy-

Visit Our LOcatiOns in new YOrk and Prague


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Drink! listings cat 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. Pl. Konesera 4


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 de resistance? Those are the scale models of local landmarks that hang from the ceiling. Instagram them now before everyone else does. ul. Marszałkowska 45/49


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. ul. Nowogrodzka 11

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. Al. Solidarności 82A


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020

wine bars


For something naughty but nice 1 Sun Salon offers body-to-body tantric massage with just about the happiest ending you could possibly wish for. Staffed with flighty college girls, and equally welcoming to stag groups as they are business travelers, head here to wallow in plush VIP rooms while every whim and fancy is satisfied and served. ul. Marszałkowska 24/26, 1sun.pl

live music 12 ON 14

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. (D6) ul. Noakowskiego 16

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

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)


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


The perfect foil for the Rusiko restaurant next door, this high-ceilinged, sapphire-colored 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


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

In Store Na Gramy Piękna 24/26A


NO PLASTIC? FANTASTIC! First debuting in Łódź this time last year, Na Gramy have extended their operations to cover the capital, and in the process have become Warsaw’s most charming source of zero waste products. Dealing out everything from natural cosmetics and bulk cleaning products to books, jewelry and groceries, it’s the latter offer that’s perhaps the most interesting: jars of nuts, pastas, rice and beans compete against aromatic

teas and coffees, pungent spices, dried fruits and other bits and pieces. Attractively decorated with tree trunks and hanging succulents, it’s a place that looks good but keeps faithful to its underlying pledge to put the planet first: using recyclable packaging, closed loop supply logistics, local sources and animal friendly products, you’d be right to view them as being positively pioneering.




Art Overdose Celebrating its tenth year of activity, Warsaw Gallery Weekend has, in the past, been promoted as a show of muscle from the capital’s privately-run galleries. Created to air the talents of both Poland’s established and upcoming stars, whilst offering an escape from the elitism of the capital’s big players, this year’s edition will see twenty-nine galleries welcome visitors for exhibitions as well as a range of talks, discussions and curator tours. Aimed at everyone from collectors to novices, the event has carved a well-earned reputation as Central Eastern Europe’s leading contemporary art festival. In the words of the organizers, “this is more than just an opportunity for audiences to view the latest works by prominent artists or to enlarge their collections: it’s a chance to encounter artists and curators in person, and the best time of year to start a contemporary art collection.”

Abzgram “by Karolina Wojtas at the Fort Institute of Photography (Racławicka 99 - Fort Mokotów, building 06), October 1 - November 29, 2020.

Warsaw Gallery Weekend Oct 1st – 4th Various locations, warsawgalleryweekend.pl


It’s A Cut!

Starting out in 2000 in front of audiences that barely numbered a dozen foreign guests, the Warsaw Film Festival has since developed to become one of Poland’s bestknown cultural festivals – something that was recognized globally when, in 2009, the WFF became one of 14 international film fests to be endorsed by the International Federation of Film Producers Association. Showcasing the best of Polish, European and international cinema, the audience will also be offered the chance to get involved by voting for the best foreign film, and interaction is further encouraged by a series of meetings and seminars with those involved in the film industry. Divided into different categories, such as best screenplay, director, documentary, etc., overall winners will be chosen by a selected jury. Warsaw Film Festival Oct 9th – 18th Kinoteka & Multikino Złote Tarasy, wff.pl


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020

Above: Rockfield: The Studio on the Farm Below: Tragic Jungle


Casting new light on Wola’s gas towers, a new art installation has left Warsaw awed…

A spooky flashback to the Industrial Revolution, urbex fiends have long awarded Wola’s derelict brick gas towers the nickname of Warsaw’s Colosseum. With shafts of light streaming through the windows, the effect isn’t unlike entering some ruined gothic masterpiece: serene, surreal and strangely unsettling. Now, that feeling has been amplified yet further by an installation authored by Polish-German artist Danuta Karsten. Seeking to “turn this cathedral to the industrial age into a sacred space”, the voluminous voids of this red brick rotunda has been transformed with the addition of 240 transparent plastic tubes each measuring 104 meters in length. Dangling from top-to-bottom, and shifting gently with the wind, it’s a work of art that stops you in your tracks. “The installation’s appearance depends on the season and time of day, creating an event-like experience in the here and now,” says Karsten. “Time and space blend together in permanent transience. The building’s interior breathes, the overwhelming scale of this spectacle in all its entirety dwarfing human presence.” Purposefully designed to overwhelm with its dimensions, it’s something the like of which Warsaw just hasn’t seen before. Premiering at the end of September, catch it till early Spring. Wolskie Rotundy ul. Ignacego Prądzyńskiego (open 10 a.m. till sunset; tickets zł. 6)



health & beauty

a range of cosmetics inspired by ideals of health-powered holistic beauty. ul. Mysia 3 (second floor)


spas & salons


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


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 49, fifthavenuewarszawa.pl

shopping accessories ALBA 1913

Founded in 1913 by Mieczysław Rychlicki, Alba’s high performance, self-care essentials harness three generations of herbal wisdom to create


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020

Luxury jewelry and the best in the biz. In stock: high end treasures from Nialaya, Lene Bjerre Design, Ti Sento, Christensen and Dryberg/Kern. ul. Mokotowska 63


A pioneering brand offering both ready-to-wear and customized female footwear that mixes traditional know-how with the latest trends and technologies. Recognized by Twój Styl magazine as among the best in the business, it’s the founders belief that “every woman should be able to express her true self through a pair of shoes.” ul. Mokotowska 52A


Top quality Polish jewelry composed using gold, silver and natural stone. Contemporary in style, these are accessories that radiate class and craftsmanship while at the same time exuding a subtle sense of timeless romance. ul. Bracka 5


Billed as a ‘perfume laboratory’, Mo61 allows customers to create their own scents under the expert guidance of staff trained by Zygmunt Marczewski (“the best nose in Poland”!). ul. Mokotowska 61


A collection of hand-selected designer eyewear that is serious in terms of quality control, but entirely whimsical when it comes to design. ul. Hoża 40


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


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


Latest fashion from See by Chloe, Calvin Klein, Calvin Klein Jeans, Melissa, UnitedNude, Bronx and many more. For online shopping, check: sklep.lollypop.pl Al. Jerozolimskie 169 lok 45A (C.H. Blue City, level 1)


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


Founded by Ilona Majer and Rafał Michalak, MMC have earned a name for unconventional designs manufactured using non-standard materials. ul. Żurawia 2


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

occasions as designed by upcoming Icelandic native Olly Lindal. ul. Burakowska 15

home & design COLLAGE


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


Chic, well-cut menswear for all

The idea is simple: to present all a woman needs under one roof. Specializing in beauty products and design pieces, Collage’s portfolio ranges from jewelry and fashion to succulents and tableware. Always stylish, the underlying quality of the products isn’t for dispute. ul. Rozbrat 28/30


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


Award-winning, contemporary Polish porcelain produced by cult, internationally recognized brands such as Aoomi and Fenek. ul. Kredytowa 2


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

Bring The Kids To Koneser!

Starting in October, and brought to you by the Tashka publishing house and Triki Tashka café, visit Centrum Praskie Koneser for the National Festival of Children’s Theater! Lasting until December, expect 12 performances from theater groups from Poznań, Łódź and Warsaw. Including both premiers and more well-established plays, the program kicks-off on October 23rd at 5.30 p.m. with a performance of Nie wywołuj wilka by Warsaw’s Teatr Baj! Triki Tashka (Centrum Praskie Koneser) Pl. Konesera, tashka.pl




Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020

learning preschools 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.


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


Welcoming students from the ages of 2.5 to 6 years old, currently 45% of their admissions are international students. The dedicated, IB-trained teachers deliver an innovative program (PYP) in English designed for modern world needs. The program offers a combination of Literacy, Maths, Social Studies, Science, Physical Education, Art, Music & Rhythmics, French and Polish classes. ul. Ignacego Krasickiego 53, tel. 697 979 100, canadian-school.pl


(multiple locations) Casa dei Bambini and Toddler School have three green and harmonious locations in Mokotów and Izabelin. The school in Izabelin is set in the quiet of the Kampinos Forest just outside the city. Teachers are fully trained in early-childhood education in English according to the Montessori philosophy. Registration open to children 12 months to 6 years of age. ul. Badowska 19, ul. Tatrzańska 5a (Mokotów), ul. Szkolna 16, (Izabelin), tel. 692 099 134, wmf.edu.pl

Warsaw Montessori Schools

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

Casa dei Bambini Badowska 19 Szkolna 16, Hornówek

Elementary Szwoleżerów 4

„Erdkinder” Middle School

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 Centre), tel. 22 646 7777, thebritishschool.pl

warsaw montessori family

Tatrzańska 5a 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,

Montessori High School

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


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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


The English Playhouse functions in two green and quiet residential districts of Mokotów and Wilanów. The pre-school follows the English National Curriculum and accepts children from 12 months up till six-years-old. For more info or to arrange a tour call Justyna Nowak on tel. 784 037 808 or email:

jnowak@theenglishplayhouse.com ul. Pływiańska 14a, tel. 22 843 9370, tep.edu.pl


Maple Tree Montessori is a family-run, international preschool that offers an authentic Montessori curriculum supported by a Music & Art program, with a natural playground and a strong focus on an ecological & healthy lifestyle. They have two classes: a toddler group (15 to 30 months) and a casa class (2.5 to 6 years). ul. Piechoty Łanowej 46A (entrance from Rotmistrzowska/Petyhorska), tel. 531 599 444, mapletreemontessori.pl

An intimate, international, English-speaking preschool located in Powsin that follows the Montessori philosophy which emphasizes the individuality of each child. Children from the ages of 1.5-years-old to 6-years-old are welcome, with the school’s goals aimed at facilitating the individual development of the child, both physical and mental, through a system that is focused on the spontaneous use of the human intellect. ul. Przyczółkowa 140, tel. 728 939 582, montessoristeppingstones.pl

Admissions open for Early Years, Primary, Secondary and IB

Contact our Admissions Team for a tour or a personalised Virtual Discovery Meeting

admissions@thebritishschool.pl (0048) 22 842 32 81 ext. 125 www.thebritishschool.pl


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020



The only trilingual pre-school and nursery teaching English, Spanish and Polish through total language immersion. All educators are native speaker pre-school teachers. The comprehensive curriculum follows American, Spanish and Polish curriculum standards. The pre-school was awarded European Language Label in 2012. 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


Akademeia High School is an academically selective international school in Warsaw, offering iGCSEs and A Levels whilst preparing students for the best universities in the world. The staff body consists of alumni of the world’s best universities, whilst facilities at what has become Poland’s most prestigious school include an art studio, auditorium, sports hall and roof garden. ul. Ledóchowskiej 2, akademeia.edu.pl


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

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


A values-driven school offering a world-class education based on the best of British Education. BSW is the first school in Poland to be accredited as Compliant

by the Council of British International Schools (COBIS). Based in a purpose built premises in Wilanow BSW is accepting applications from Nursery to Year 9. Please email admissions@ bswilanow.org to organise a visit.


Premium international school established in 1992 by Nord Anglia Education. The curriculum is designed to provide the highest academic quality of education. They follow the English National Curriculum, adapted to the needs of their international student community: from Primary through to the Secondary Key Stages to the IGCSE examinations and a well-established International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program. ul. Limanowskiego 15, tel. 22 842 3281, thebritishschool.pl


The English Primary is designed specifically for children in the primary education ages, just as children experience in England but in an international

monnet international school


IB World School no 001483

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

Education for a better world

Belwederska 6a, Warsaw




community. Pupils are taken through the key learning stages so that they can achieve to the best of their ability through a fun learning experience. The Core Curriculum subjects include English, Phonics, Science, Mathematics, French, PE and Swimming, Music, Personal, Social and Health Education. ul. Rzodkiewki 18, tel. 784 037 808, tep.edu.pl


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

411 573 / 885 420 044, secretary@ canadian-school.pl or secretary. olimpijska@canadian-school.pl


Established in 1994, the Trilingual School of Warsaw offers nursery, primary and pre-school education with 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


Treating pupils with mutual respect but

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


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020

not at the expense of being demanding, the methods used are hard on the problem but soft on the person. Taking into account what students think, feel, learn and want for themselves and their world, Joy Primary teaches important life skills as well as respect, care for others, problem solving and co-operation. Here, children are challenged to discover their abilities and competences, while encouraged to explore personal strength and autonomy. ul. Syta 131A, tel. 722 305 333, sekretariat@ joyprimaryschool.pl


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 A leader in the field

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


Guided by trained specialists, students are responsible for managing their household, operating small businesses, caring for local flora and fauna as well as domesticated animals, taking charge of the younger children and

much more. “Adolescence Program” activities, integrated with academic studies, help students discover their inner strength to meet real life challenges. ul. Tatrzańska 5A (grades 5-8), tel. 604 137 826, wmf.edu.pl

School for the Diploma Programme – code 061201. ul. Pytlasińskiego 13A, tel. 787 095 835, wmf.edu.pl


Personalized Polish classes adapted to meet your needs. Also home/ company visits and online courses. For a free 60-minute trial email: kontakt@ cupofpolish.com. cupofpolish.com

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

adult learning CUP OF POLISH


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. ul. Mazowiecka 12/24, frog.org.pl





museums CAR MUSEUM

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


Intricate, dainty and delicate in their beauty, these are not the tacky Barbie houses one imagines, rather spectacular creations that are a paean to craftsmanship. Pl. Defilad 1 (PKiN), muzeumdomkow.pl


A visual pleasure that showcases colorful costumes, fabrics and ceramics from Poland and beyond. And those assuming an ethnographic museums lack punch are


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020

in for a surprise: exhibitions are brilliant in their scope, wit and quirkiness and have included explorations of the Disco Polo genre, Hungarian erotica, iconic streetwear, etc.ul. Kredytowa 1, ethnomuseum.pl


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


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


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

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


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, en.muzeum-msc.pl

The Polish Vodka Museum features five thematic rooms that do a slick and entertaining job of documenting the national tipple. Highpoints number a smart collection of salvaged bottles and an interactive room in which visitors learn can test their knowledge on a quiz machine and strap on some trippy goggles to experience the effects of being completely sloshed. Pl. Konesera 1, muzeumpolskiejwodki.pl




Magnificently detailed 1:25 scale models of Warsaw’s vanished, pre-war architectural treasures make this a stand-out little secret. Here,

The Praga Museum tells the story of the area with such charm and simplicity that it manages to leave an unlikely impression that’s as punchy

as that of the big institutions. Star billing goes to a restored Jewish prayer room and the Flying Carpet: an exhibit festooned with various trinkets and treasures once available for purchase from local pavement traders. ul. Targowa 50/52, muzeumwarszawy.pl


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


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


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



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


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


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


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, niewidzialna.pl


Though their message stands to get a little more conservative with the recent appointment of a new director, its likely this will remain one of the leading gallery spaces in Poland – and even if not, just creeping around the corridors of this baroque castle is a thrill in itself. ul. Jazdów 2, u-jazdowski.pl


The History Meeting House wins points for small but frequently excellent exhibitions that cover topics such as ‘rebuilding Warsaw’ and ‘Socialist Realist architecture.’ ul. Karowa 20, dsh.waw.pl


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


This gallery presents 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


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


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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 | OCTOBER 2020



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.

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,

ul. Okólnik 1, chopin.museum



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



Praga Zoo

10 ki aw

Powązki Cemetery



7 Jewish Cemetery

6 Old Town

5 1

2 ska kow

szał Mar

4 9 km

ska bow



4 a zysk tokr Swie




olim eroz

Palace of Culture & Science

Al. J




8 2


Łazienki Park

1 19 km


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020

3 4 km




shopping exeriences 1

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

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


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

Galeria Północna ul. Światowida 17, galeriapolnocna.pl 5

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

Koneser Pl. Konesera, koneser.eu 7

Plac Unii ul. Puławska 2, placunii.pl 8

Mysia 3 ul. Mysia 3, mysia3.pl


Vitkac ul. Bracka 9, likusconceptstore.pl 10

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

Złote Tarasy ul. Złota 59, zlotetarasy.pl

museums 1

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

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


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

POLIN ul. Anielewicza 6, polin.pl

stores 1

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

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


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

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

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



Hidden history

Don’t Go Into The Woods! As Halloween edges closer, the Insider takes a look at Zofiówka, Mazowiecka’s most terrifying building…


Warsaw Insider | OCTOBER 2020

Buried in the woodland around Otwock, the back story of this abandoned psychiatric facility could easily pass for a horror film script: founded in 1908 on the back of charitable donations from Zofia Endelman, ‘Zofiówka’ was created as a sanatorium for Jews with nervous conditions. Seen as a modern institution, it embraced the experimental techniques of the time such as electroshock therapy. When the Nazis roared into Poland, it became the only Jewish mental health institute in occupied Poland and notorious for its brutality. After its bloody liquidation in 1942 the Nazis found another use for Zofiówka and for the next couple of years Ary-

an-looking Polish children were raised here as part of plans to ‘Germanize’ them. Resuming its medical function after the war, it operated first as a tuberculosis hospital and then as a rehab center. By the time it was shut in the mid-90s, unexplained happenings were well underway: paintings would fall from walls and piercing screams could be heard coming from empty halls. Night watchmen, it is said, refused to work alone. Now derelict and disintegrating, the dark residual energy that hangs over Zofiówka has not dissipated. A hotspot for paranormal investigators, it returned to the news in 2015 when a package with a Warsaw stamp was delivered to a Swedish blogger. Containing a DVD, the contents were uploaded to YouTube under the title of 11B-X-1371: featuring footage of a sinister plague doctor and weird background noise, it quickly earned the title of “the world’s scariest video”. Some speculated that it was a message from a serial killer others that it was a warning from a bio-terrorist organization. But while its meaning remains unknown, internet sleuths did manage to trace the location where it all happened to be filmed – none other than Zofiówka.

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