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JANUARY 2021 FEATURES: A year to forget! Look inside our 2020 Warsaw Time Capsule – p. 22 PLUS: WARSAW’S ALIEN INVASION – p. 10 The Insider Pizza Challenge – p. 32

MISBHV: the world class fashion brand rewriting the rules – p. 12 Too hot to handle? Hot sauce special! – p. 31 Our cover snapper speaks – p. 16


FAT THURSDAY ORDER NOW BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE #savethedate moddonuts.com

Paryska 37, Warszawa Oleandrรณw 8, Warszawa

Contents January 2021

Reviews: EAT!

First taste: Lubelskie Słoiki – p.29 Hot sauce special – p. 30

Pizza challenge – p.32

IF YOU ASKED ME the best thing about 2020 then I’d tell you in a heartbeat – the fact that it bloody ended. But let’s not kid ourselves, there is no magic wand. A new year, same old problems: stringent Covid regulations, a disillusioned public, and general confusion about where we’re headed. And that’s before you explore the social unrest that defined 2020. But the Insider has never been a suicide manual, nor will it ever. So this issue, find yourself cordially invited to block out reality for just a moment and join us as we consort with aliens; undertake a pizza challenge; and bury a time capsule somewhere in Skaryszewski. And while you’re here, plunge into the world’s deepest pool, meet a Greek-British soprano, uncork a bio wine and learn the story behind Poland’s hottest fashion label. And remember, one day we’ll all wake up and find it was just a big, bad dream. Smile!


First sip: Coffeedesk – P.47 Natural Rascal – P. 48 Brewer’s Corner – P. 50


Alex Webber insider@warsawinsider.pl

Zero Waste Polska – p.56 Interview: Danae Eleni – p. 57

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

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ey Account Manager K Adam Fogler afogler@valkea.com

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In the News... ART

Going, Going, Gone!


Sparks Fly CITY

Poor-Sche Driver

Just 12-hours after debuting on the streets of Warsaw, a Porsche Cayenne that had been introduced as part of Panek’s popular carsharing portfolio found itself written-off after being involved in an accident. But whilst the other driver was found to be at fault, it could ultimately be the Porsche’s driver that foots the bill after being found to be slightly over the legal limit.


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021

A precious neon has found itself at the center of a politicized scandal after a glowing red lightning bolt was added in a show of solidarity with the pro-abortion, female strikers that have adopted the sign as their symbol. Depicting a female volleyball player, the landmark neon was first unveiled in 1961 on a Pl. Konstytucji rooftop before being restored by artist Paulina Ołowska in 2006. “I liked that it shows a strong, dynamic woman,” said Ołowska at the time. Topically, the recent addition of a lightning bolt has given the volleyball figure an even greater sense of importance. Despite outraging traditionalists and government hardliners, the city’s conservator confirmed that no crime had been committed.


A rare painting by Wojciech Fangor became Poland’s most expensive artwork after smashing all previous auction records. One of only three ‘rosettes’ ever produced by the artist, M22 fetched zł. 7.3 million at an online auction held by the Warsaw-based DESA Unicum. Created in 1969 at the height of Fangor’s international fame, the work was later displayed at New York’s Guggenheim Museum. Pioneering in his spatial approach to art and technical methodology, Fangor died in 2015.



In brief


Now You See It, Now You Don’t!

Poland’s first automated underground bicycle rack is to premier at Wola’s Norblin mixed use development. The so-called BiceBerg solution was developed by a Spanish firm and will have the capacity to hold 95 bikes. Taking just 15-seconds to use, the rotating installation will store two-wheelers six-meters below ground.

The Past Remembered MURALS

Writing On The Wall?

A historic mural could be at risk after the café in which it was housed closed as a casualty of Covid. Found in what was originally Lajkonik café on Pl. Trzech Krzyży 16, it was during the 50s that its creative regulars got proactive and decorated their drinking den in colorful caricatures: among others, Konstanty Sopocko painted a saucy piece of art featuring a stockinged good time girl applying some lipstick. Jerzy Flisak added a pitchfork wielding devil, while Irena Kuczborska contributed a come-hither looking mermaid. When Lajkonik was sold in 2003, its new owners plastered over the murals. Later, however, an unlikely savior emerged when Starbucks took over the premises and cooperated with the Museum of Caricature to restore the walls to their original. Now, though, with Starbucks out of the picture fears have risen that the art could again vanish from view.


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021

December 7th marked the 50th anniversary of Willy Brandt’s Kneifall. Taking place in front of The Monument to the Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the German Chancellor’s silent act of penance is regarded as one of the greatest conciliatory gestures in contemporary history. Speaking in remembrance of the groundbreaking moment, Germany’s current Ambassador to Poland, Arndt Freytag von Loringhoven, noted: “The genuflection of Brandt in Warsaw became the symbol of acknowledgement of German guilt and reconciliation between Poles and Germans. In light of the countless conflicts afflicting our world today, this message of humility and sincerity is more relevant now than ever.”



The Future Is Now


Released in December by Warsaw games developer CD Projekt, Cyberpunk 2077 has delivered on the hype…


lready celebrated for The Witcher, the Warsaw-based CD Projekt set the gaming world on fire in December with the long-awaited release of their latest RPG, Cyberpunk 2077. In an openworld, action-adventure set in Night City, a neon-lit megalopolis whose population are fixated in their pursuit of power and glamor, users find themselves playing V, an urban mercenary outlaw with three lifepaths to choose from: Nomad, Streetkid or Corpo. Taking place in “the near future”, as V you’ll be chasing possession of a one-of-a-kind implant that holds the key to eternal life. Guided by Johnny Silverhand, a super-cool rock star played by Keanu Reeves, players “journey through a city that’s larger than life” while exploring gang-infested quarters. Along the way, you’ll be striking deals with scumbag fixers, fallen celebs, street toughs, corporate sleazeballs and other maverick characters. Easily the most hyped game of 2020, eight million pre-orders and a slew of pre-release awards have underlined CD Projekt’s growing status in the gaming world, and while early glitches have been met with frustration in some quarters, overriding opinion has proved thunderingly one-way in its full-frontal enthusiasm.





Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021

Google Search(ed) With the curtain drawn on 2020 (good riddance!), Google have revealed Poland’s most searched for terms…



ot surprisingly, the reigning pandemic – and effects thereof – dominated the rankings with the search term ‘koronawirus’ topping the list, followed by ‘koronawirus w Polsce’. Corona tips (‘koronawirus porady) came fourth, whilst requests for a coronavirus map placed seventh. ‘How to sew a mask’ and ‘how to make antibacterial liquid’ occupied first and second spot in Google’s ‘how’ category. Elsewhere, virus-enforced shifts in human behavioral patterns could be noted by the popularity of searches for Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams. With boredom proving one of the biggest enemies during the lockdown, other search terms included ‘ideas for the balcony’ (eighth in the ‘Ideas For’ category) and ‘how to make yeast’ (third in the ‘How to Make’ category). Surprisingly, given that Poland held its own election in 2020, the US presidential race pipped interest in the domestic ballot process. On the human front, Poles searched out Joe Biden more than any other person, followed by Kobe Bryant. Actor Paweł Królikowski who died in February came third, while French Open winner Iga Świątek was forth. Rounding out the Top 5 was Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski. Though universally panned as one of the worst movies EVER made, the softcore Polish thriller 365 Days was the most searched for film.




The world’s deepest dive opens outside Warsaw…


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021



In Off The Deep End

ecorated with Mayan ruins, underwater caves and, even, a small shipwreck, the deepest swimming pool in the world finally opened for business at the tail end of November. Set 50 kilometers southwest of Warsaw in the town of Mszczonów, Deep Spot skirted covid restrictions and was allowed to open due to its status as a practice center. Targeted at divers of all levels of competency, the facility features an innovative filtration system that gives the waters a near crystal clear transparency. Containing 8,000 cubic meters of water – approximately 27 times more than an Olympic swimming pool – it is, however, the project’s depth that has caused a splash among the world’s diving community. Reaching depths of 45-meters, Deep Spot has usurped Italy’s Y-40 Deep Joy (42-meters deep) to become the planet’s deepest controlled dive, a title it will hold until the 50-meter Blue Abyss opens in England at the turn of 2022 / 2023. For those averse to getting wet, the complex also features a glass tunnel for observers and an underwater hotel that was scheduled to welcome its first visitors as we went to press. Despite being located in deepest central Poland, the area has become synonymous with aquatic adventure. Earlier in 2020, Suntago Waterworld became Europe’s largest indoor waterpark when it launched in February. Featuring a ‘water jungle’ complete with Europe’s longest slide, snow chambers, salt caves, thermal pools and over 700 palm trees imported from Costa Rica, Malaysia and Florida, the one billion złoty investment premiered to great fanfare only to be hit hard by the government’s regulations related to the Coronavirus.

Coming Soon!

A look at a trio of projects that stand to change the Warsaw we know…

Zielona Marszałkowska

The city center is a step closer to receiving its long-touted makeover after City Hall announced that funds had been secured to engage in preparatory work and acquire the necessary documentation. As part of the Zielona Marszałkowska project, one of Warsaw’s main arteries will be spruced with greenery and see the introduction of numerous passages, crossings and cycle paths. The completion date has been set for 2023.

Pl. Pięciu Rogów

In the pipeline for several years now, work is to finally begin on the creation of Pl. Pięc Rogów, a new pedestrian-friendly zone that will see the intersection of Zgoda, Bracka and Chmielna reinvented as an ‘urban living room’ featuring generous dollops of greenery and street furniture. With a contractor finally selected to execute the project, work should begin in the coming months.

Pl. Kabacki

Plans have been released for a stunning residential estate on the fringe of Kabacki Forest. Designed by WWAA and MOFO Architekci, the future-forward concept envisions rising gardens, well-tended public spaces, a glass enclosed orangery and a network of buildings raised on stilts. Built with pedestrians in mind, the investment will see all car traffic routed underground so as to cut noise pollution and increase the standard of living.






Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021

It Came From Outer Space? Warsaw gets its own alien monolith…


oland has been added to the growing number of countries to report the appearance of mysterious metal monoliths. Purportedly the work of visiting aliens, a spate of similar such installations have been recorded around the world in countries as diverse as Finland, Romania, Paraguay and Australia. First found in the Utah desert in November, sightings have spread across the world and now, Poland too can include itself in that number after two monoliths were discovered: one in a quarry outside of Kielce, and the other on the banks of the Wisła close to Warsaw’s Świętokrzyski Bridge. Drawing a steady stream of curiosity seekers since being found by joggers on December 9th,

the capital’s monolith has quickly become a cult attraction. Held together by screws, and looking a little less dramatic than those pictured elsewhere, some visitors have been left underwhelmed: “I was expecting some kind of metaphysical experience, but it’s not really all that impressive,” one woman told AFP. Yet others, though, have come face-to-face with human-sized figures with conical heads, almond-shaped eyes and latex-style skin. Reminiscent of the monolith in the sci-fi classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, the installations have puzzled the world with some attributing the phenomenon to aliens and others to God. Yet others, though, claim the monoliths are simply a passing fad perpetuated by pranksters.


Those looking for close encounters of a third kind have more options in Poland: 30km south of Nałęczów sits the village of Emilcin, and on its outskirts, a weird statue commemorating a 1978 alien abduction. Having first mistaken his captors for foreigners (hey, easy mistake) on account of their slanty eyes and strange vocabulary, farmer Jan Wolski found himself probed on a spaceship before being later released. Unveiled in 2005, the statue’s inscription reads: “the truth will astonish us in future.”



How Polish brand MISBHV took on the world –­ and won…


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021

elf-professed proponents of the DIY style, Polish brand MISBHV have become one of the big breakthrough names of the past few years since captivating the fashion world with their bold, on-edge vision of what constitutes maverick urban streetwear – in the process, they’ve found themselves sported by A-listers running from Bella Hadid and Rihanna to A$AP Rocky and Kim Kardashian. In short, they’ve hit the big time. This, though, was never part of the plan. In fact, there never even was one. Born as little more than a personal hobby, the story began in 2010 when


Exemplary S

Misbehavior law student Natalia Maczek started producing clubwear-style pieces for her friends. Snowballing in popularity, a lack of formal design education did nothing to stop the demand for designs that frequently found themselves on the backs of nightclub DJs and other cool club creatures. Joined by another law student, Thomas Wirski, the pair have become the driving force behind MISBHV, a label that has sought to raise nostalgic, noughties memories of Poland’s sweaty techno dens whilst combining this style with a pinch of futurism. Embodying the raw, unconventional and dynamic nature of youth culture but using the best

European and Japanese materials and customized Italian hardware, the brand’s reputation has grown at a meteoric rate. Often learning the ropes as they went along, the pair’s first Paris showroom – a grotty, 25 sq/m unheated gallery – earned deals with Browns in London, GR8 in Tokyo, Louis in Antwerp and Antonioli in Milan. With zero budget, next to no experience and just an Instagram account to their name, the fledgling brand found itself stocked in four of the world’s most important clothes stores. Since those early days, the duo have rarely had time to pause to consider their success. Shows at



FASHION New York and Paris Fashion Week have followed in tandem with a burgeoning international reputation that has seen their clothing make its mark in seventy big ticket stores from Shanghai and LA to Perth and Dubai – and, of course, in the looming shape of Vitkac, Warsaw’s very own bunker of luxury. And while industries the world over found themselves mothballing in a bid to ride the universal challenges of 2020, MISBHV still made a splash with the launch of MISBHV Recordings and a much talked about collaboration with Reebok (described by Hypebae as “the ultimate 80s throwback) – all that before finding time to declare that all of their profits from Black Friday would be getting redirected to UNICEF, WHO and the women’s rights organization Centrum Praw Kobiet.

“We’ve always believed in doing what intuitively feels right”


WI: MISBHV was launched with zero battleplan – so… how did you get it so right? Thomas Wirski: It was never intended as a business which is why we believed in the project so much; because of that, we were able to build a family of like-minded creatives that were hungry to make things that feel right. What was your big break? The experience of our debut show in Paris was quite shocking. Three-thousand people showed up trying to get into the parking lot we staged the show in – the police had to block the streets. It was literally mayhem. Just pure craziness. It felt great! Every interview you’ve ever given seems to reference the club scene as an inspiration. How has music influenced your designs? The memory of pre-Instagram clubs and the music of the era really left a mark on us: decadence, rawness, tension, sex, freedom… What else fires your imagination? Art, architecture, film. We like the idea of silence, as well: emp-


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021

tiness in art. That’s expressed by some of our favorite artists, for instance, figures like Vervoordt, Antonioni, Bergman, Rothko, Anish Kapoor, Fontana, Fangor. Does Poland inspire your work? Yes! That’s exactly why we decided to stage our first show in Warsaw, rather than Paris. We wanted to be away from the big lights of the press and the influencers. We wanted something that celebrates our community, both past and present. Tell me more! We brought in a legend of Polish poster design, Professor Rosław Szaybo, the traditional dance group Śląsk as well as a young producer DJ Felicita who juxtaposed the folkdance experience with bedroom techno. Where! Stalin’s gift to Poland: the Palace of Culture & Science. The idea was to reclaim the building for Polish youth and bridge today’s new wave of art with the creativity of the 60s – that was a golden era for Polish music, cinema and culture. Speaking of gold, what’s your golden rule? We’re intuitive and keep our planning to minimum. Perhaps that’s not the greatest rule to have, but we’ve always believed in doing what intuitively feels right. How does the fashion world perceive you, your brand and Poland? We’ve been lucky to have received tremendous support from the global community right from the very outset. Poland is exciting – it represents uncharted territory that the fashion world is curious about. 


Much has been made of the foreign celebs wearing MISBHV. Alive or dead, who’d be your fantasy client? David Bowie. We just love his European mind, his intellect, grace, eccentricity and decadence. He’d have made the perfect MISBHV character. 2020 was a little… crazy. How did it effect MISBHV? It’s not been easy, but we’ve always believed you have to make the most out of what the world throws at you. When someone playing with Miles Davis hit the wrong note would he stop

playing? Of course not, he’d just follow the note and see where it took him. So any lessons learned from 2020? For certain it’s made our team stronger. Moreover, it made our processes better. We’re now much more open to working with creatives remotely and it’s also given us space to push our sustainability efforts as well as reevaluating the foundations of our business. MISBHV misbhv.pl





Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021

Capital Eye Erik Witsoe, the Insider’s photographer of the month, spills the beans on photographing the capital... This Spread: “Using the PKiN as part of the focus, I wanted to capture a nostalgic moment with model / actress Karolina Jaźwińska.”




Above: “Bookstores are disappearing in the States, so it pleases me so much to see them alive and appreciated here. I find the simplicity of a book display inspiring.”

riginally hailing from Seattle, it was in the States that this month’s cover photographer, Erik Witsoe, first began his adventure with photography. “I started around about 2008,” he tells the Insider, “and spent the first few years exploring the medium and learning to operate the camera. Then, the focus was on objects and details around my daily life. That changed when I moved to


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021

Poland nearly a decade ago with my partner, Agnieszka. Exploring the unfamiliar aspects of my new home, it was then that my focus shifted more onto street photography.” First based in Poznań, the couple moved to the capital at the start of 2018. “That helped refresh my work output once again and brought with it a new series of inspirations,” says Witsoe. Shooting with a variety of cameras, both digital and analog, the photographer credits his move to Poland for expanding his perspectives and opening new horizons. “I consider living in Poland a gift,” he says. “It’s taught me more about myself than I ever imagined and I hope that my work conveys just how much I love living here.”

Above: “This is one of my favorite puddles in the city as it gives a great reflection of PKiN and the people who cross it.” Below: “I was looking for some of the contrast between the women’s strike, the church and the people who carry on one way or another. This moment presented itself in my neighborhood of Ochota.”




Above: “Reflections and duality are themes that I constantly explore – this image was captured while waiting for the tram to arrive.” Below: “For this portrait session, I wanted to create something cinematic and dynamic with Karolina Jaźwińska. We started the session just as the sun was setting and the long shadows emerged. The backdrop of the city was the perfect setting to enhance the mood. Later, I made this into a double exposure to make it even more dynamic.”


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021

Above: “Łazienki Park is wonderful all year, but during the autumn is when I find it the most appealing, colorful and meaningful to my imagination.” Below: “I had to think quickly seeing a cyclist coming as I was crossing the road; but people in the fog are always appreciated.”



Time Capsule: 2020 With 2020 finally in the bin, we sort through all our accumulated junk to present to you a time capsule that captures the spirit of this most memorable of times…

IN HISTORY This isn’t the first time a rainbow has sent locals loopy. Once found straddling Pl. Zbawiciela, a nine-meter tall rainbow composed of 23,000 artificial flowers sent traditionalists apoplectic with rage after debuting in 2012. Decried by some clerics as “a symbol of deviancy”, it was set on fire seven times in all, most notoriously during the 2013 Independence Day riots. Coinciding with the area’s heyday – a time which saw it unofficially renamed Pl. Hipstera – the installation was dismantled once and for all in 2015.

There’s some countries in which a rainbow-colored bag would be seen as a light-hearted expression of individuality; perhaps a way to stand out from the concrete urban background. Not Poland. Now inexorably linked with anti-government protest, this seemingly benign accessory became the subject of front page scandal after masked cops were seen manhandling a grandmother who they alleged had “assaulted” them with just such a bag during a November rally.


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021


Rainbow Bag


Flares Whether it be public or private, no event in Poland is truly complete without a volley of pyrotechnics to really underscore the red hot atmosphere. Enthusiastically fired at everything from funerals to football matches, they’ve become particularly prevalent at the manifestations and marches for which Warsaw is famed for – embraced by both sides of the political divide, protests and parades just aren’t the same without the sight of billowing red smoke enveloping the masses in a thick fug of smoke; and let’s face it, we saw plenty of both in the year just gone.

We can’t thrill you with tales of Poland’s pyrotechnic history (we couldn’t find any info), but we can tell you about flares of a different kind. As everywhere else in the world, these were big news in the 60s and 70s, and you’d have found many people taking their fashion tips from style icon Barbara Hoff. It was her weekly column in Przekrój that advised the public on how to turn mundane household materials (e.g. curtains and umbrella taffeta) into essential fashion must-haves.

IN HISTORY Historically well-adjusted to facing privations and force majeure happenings, this wasn’t the first time Poles had to be pragmatic and think on their feet. In this regard, the communist epoch was a great training ground with substitute goods and ersatz products ruling the roost – imagine, if you must, feasting on a chocolate bar that used vegetable oil in place of cocoa.

Hand Gel It wasn’t just the toilet paper that ran out when the first lockdown was announced, hand gels too became a quasi-currency. With shelves stripped bare, Poles again showed their ingenuity by magicking their own homemade sanitizers based on rectified spirits and squirty aloe vera. warsawinsider.pl


Time Capsule 2020

Protest Placard Teachers, taxi drivers, farmers, miners… and that’s before you get onto the pro-EU lobby and, well, women in general. The year just gone saw a swell of strikes and protests, many of which left the streets of the city center mired in gridlock. With this in mind, what would our time capsule be without a placard shouting for truth and justice: power to the people!

Welcome to protest city – seeing the streets teeming with angry people isn’t anything new for the Polish capital, and we were reminded of that last month when the city marked the 39th anniversary of the imposition of Martial Law. Declared by General Jaruzelski, the state of emergency lasted for 586 days: the sight of brutal street battles and armored personnel carriers disrupting gatherings became commonplace.


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021



IN HISTORY Although Poland’s first pizzeria didn’t open till 1974 (in Słupsk, if you ask), the dish was already well-known in the country having been introduced to tables in the 16th century by Queen Bona Szfora. In fact, in 1518 it was even served at her wedding to Zygmunt I. That’s not all; Bona is also credited with bringing over numerous other gastro treats from her native Italy, including cucumbers, leeks, cauliflower and carrots.

Pizza Box When Covid first sank its bat-like fangs into Poland, the restaurant industry responded by unleashing an assault of home delivery options on us. But let’s be honest, for all the fine-diningto-your-door, it was the good old pizza that we all loved the most. In fact, we did so even before the coronavirus reared its head: as early as Feb, Rzeczpospolita had declared the food as Poland’s “new national dish”.

Face Masks Remember that acute feeling of social embarrassment the first moment you strapped on a mask? Well, here we are ten months on with more masks in our closet than spare pairs of underpants. That they would become an essential and mandatory accessory still feels all a little bit bizarre. Remember what your friends looked like without them?

IN HISTORY That we wear these things in the first place is largely the work of a Pole: known for his work at Jagiellonian Uni in Kraków and the University of Breslau (today’s Wrocław), 19th century surgeon Jan Mikulicz-Radecki is commonly regarded as one of the original pioneers of the surgical mask. Good work geezer!



Time Capsule 2020


Toilet Roll Nothing said 2020 more than the serious business of hording toilet paper. Yep, if we originally chortled at YouTube vids of pillocks brawling over loo roll (“don’t be daft, that’ll never happen here!”) then we were the first to clear the shelves once the pandemic hit Poland. Fortunately, with the domestic bog roll industry worth zł. 1.6 billion annually, early shortages proved but a fleeting issue.

Toilet paper shortages ain’t nothing new. During the Communist era they were the defining (t)issue of the day: the situation had become so desperate that those living in Warsaw were said to make do with just seven rolls per year – and they were the lucky ones. In Radom, it’s rumored that residents had to survive on the equivalent of two meters of paper over the course of twelve months. Seen as something of a luxury product, when deliveries of stock finally arrived those at the head of any queue could often be seen excitedly leaving with a string of rolls tied like flowery garlands around their neck.

Paper Money Bank notes – remember them? The fear of transferring yucky germs made contactless payments de rigueur, and with cash becoming a memory of the past, so too did the image of customers scrabbling around purses and wallets to pay angry shopkeepers with exactly the right amount.

Prior to the 1995 redenomination of the złoty Warsaw was one big millionaires club: but with hyperinflation brought to heel, the government ruined all the fun by lopping four zeroes off the złoty and thereby ending the days of the one million and two million złoty note. Ah, the good days of paper money!


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021




It Never Happened! It was all mapped out – 2020, we predicted, was going to be a real year to remember. Well, we sure got that bit right, only for all the wrong reasons. Nevertheless, with all fun cancelled until further notice, we have at least a rich bounty of promotional posters for events that never happened to stuff into our time capsule: from beer festivals, concerts, club launches, etc.

Disregarding things like war, it’s not the first time we’ve seen long-awaited events go down the chute. In more recent times, can any sports fan forget the fiasco that marked the English football team’s visit to Warsaw in 2012. Despite torrential rain being forecast, officials opted against closing the roof of the state-of-the-art stadium, leaving the match unplayable and thousands of fans soaked in the stands.





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

Eat! First Bite

Lubelskie Słoiki fb.com/lubelskiesloiki (available from bedziepieklo.pl)



It’s not unusual to hear of young Poles jacking in city life to pursue an artisanal career in the middle of nowhere, but even so, Diana and Marcel Galiński have pushed the envelope. Better known for his musical collaborations with acts such as Hemp Gru and Grubson, Galiński has traded music stardom to instead grow peppers on a Lubartów farm in the Lublin Voivodeship. Looking to mimic the explosive tastes found on their international travels, the couple’s

foray into spice has culminated in the production of sharp, addictive sauces with names such as Nie Ma Dymu Bez Ognia and Adremaline. Combining local fruits with homegrown tropical chilies such as Red Scotch Bonnet, Hainan Yellow Lantern and Purple UFO, the results have seen an array of highly individualistic sauces whose firepower ranges from “interesting” to “bring me the milk – NOW!” Yep, Poland just got a whole lot hotter!



Eat! Roundup




Scouring Warsaw for its fieriest foods, the Insider presents the fruits of its labors…


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021

Who doesn’t like asking for something that’s ‘under the counter’. It’s an action that promises something illicit and hidden: forbidden fruit savored only by those with a taste for the taboo. In the case of Dos Tacos, doing so means enquiring about their range of ‘salsa clandestinas’: extra hot sauces designed for reckless thrill-seekers. In our case, that meant a raspberry salsa that, on first taste, was as sweet and delicious as a summery jam. Then, in seconds, it hit: a flush of fire ripping through the body before tingling around the mouth in persistent waves – a simultaneous assault of pain and joy. Taste: 5/5 Heat: 5/5


Mexican chef Angel Aceves has a wicked streak and that much is evidenced via his signature MF salsa (any guesses what those initials stand for?); an unpredictable atom bomb of heat and fire, it’s a sauce with that special little something: hot like lightning, but with the kind of kick that keeps you dipping in for more – a perfect condiment for Angel’s expert tacos and chunky guacamole. Downside? Good lord, the after effects (no, we won’t spell out exactly what they involved) lasted well into the next day. Taste: 4/5 Heat: 5/5



aving been temporarily deprived of our sense of taste because of you-know-what, the Insider’s recovery from the sickness that shan’t be mentioned involved a headlong plunge into Warsaw’s hottest foods in what turned out to be a vaguely perverted quest to revive the gustatory system – and that wasn’t the only bodily function that got jumpstarted in the process.


Eat! Roundup



Poland’s Indian scene is heating up – and in Guru’s case, literally. Not content with serving some of the more sophisticated ethnic tastes in the city, they’ve now covered the other end of the Scoville scale by introducing the country’s first phaal to their far-ranging repertoire. Complete with a legal disclaimer (along the lines of, “eat this and die”), it’s a weapons grade curry and the deadliest rung of all on the Indian ladder. Not too different from having a couple of cobras writhing inside your guts (and no, we don’t mean the beer), think of it as a true test of mettle for heatseeking palates. Taste: 4/5 Heat: 4/5


Ideal for those taking their first nervous steps into the world of

heat, Kura’s Challenger balances a life-affirming level of heat with a gimme’ more taste that pairs brilliantly with their hot wings and chicken strips. You won’t require first aid treatment, but you will come away with an appreciation for the skill with which they make their hottest sauce. Judged on taste alone, it’s our favorite hot sauce in town. Taste: 5/5 Heat: 2/5


For years La Sirena have bossed the local Mexican market, setting a new nationwide benchmark when it comes to authenticity. The tastes are sublime, and that’s reflected in a range of creative salsas such as pineapple & agave: you’d happily eat the entire jar for breakfast. Hottest of all, mind you, is the Almost Dead, a richly tangy gloop of habanero


peppers and roasted tomatoes. But though deliciously prickly in its taste, it doesn’t match the hype that its title promises. Taste: 5/5 Heat: 2/5


Graded from one to seven, the No. 7 is no laughing matter and demands respect. Aimed ONLY at hardcore hotheads, it begins with a bead of sweat. Then a couple of tears. Then the real pain starts and doesn’t retract until you’ve rolled on the floor and died for twenty minutes. You imagine Warsaw’s most X-rated sauce getting banned in some countries, and to be honest, it wouldn’t be the worst idea if Poland did as well. This is as extreme as Warsaw dining gets. Notably, their softer salsas are often totally divine (the city’s best chipotle? You bet!). Taste: 3/5 Heat: 5+/5



Eat! Roundup

(Clockwise from the bottom: Pizzaiolo, Maką i woda, Włoski Strajk)


e all love pizza, right? But who loves it the most? That’s right, the kids. Give them a choice of food, and you just know that nine times out of ten they’re going to scream pizza: and that’s a scientific fact. And so it was, one Friday night when dinner hour loomed. With four kids unable to reach a cordial agreement as to where to source the mighty pie from, the Insider chose to avert a volatile situation by simply ordering from all mooted venues: from this, The Pizza Challenge was born; a unique opportunity for a gaggle of Warsaw’s keenest little experts to cast their judgement and score three of the capital’s wood-fired pizza havens on their sauce, cheese and crust. The results are thus…


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021

Tasting Notes • Pizza looks and tastes better with more basil • No question, Pizzaiolo looks the best! • Włoski Strajk has too much cheese, but make up for it with their sauce Maką i Woda ul. Chmielna 13a, tel. 22 505 9187 Włoski Strajk ul. Złota 8, tel. 797 437 660 Pizzaiolo Krucza 16/22, tel. 795 479 433


IN PIZZA WE CRUST Four kids, three pizzas, one living room: what could go wrong!

Eat! Roundup Pizza Rating Sauce Cheese Crust Maką i woda (winner) Hannah Magda Roza Staś

5 3 2 5 5 5 3.5 2.5 3.5 5 4 4

18.5 14.5 14.5 47.5 Pizzaiolo

Hannah Magda Roza Staś

5 5 5 5 3 3 3.5 3.5 2.5 2 4 3

15.5 15.5 13.5 44.5 Włoski Strajk

Hannah Magda Roza Staś

3 4 2 5 2 2 3 2 1.5 4 3 4

15 11 9.5 35.5



Eat! listings african 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.

african – p. 34 author’s cuisine – p. 34 bakeries – p. 35 chinese – p. 36 comfort food – p. 36 desserts – p. 36 fine dining – p. 37 food halls – p. 38 georgian – p. 38 greek – p. 39 indian – p. 39 italian – p. 40 japanese – p. 40 korean – p. 42 latin & spanish – p. 42 mexican – p. 42 middle eastern – p. 43 polish (modern)– p. 43 polish (classic)– p. 44 scandinavian – p. 44 seafood – p. 44 steak houses – p. 45 thai – p. 45 russian & ukrainian – p. 45 vegan – p. 46


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021


African restaurants have traditionally floundered in Warsaw, but there’s no danger of that happening at Tako, a cheerful venture whose trump calling card is an exotic menu offering spicy onion and mustard stews, meat pies, fried plantains and other delicious diversions. ul. Wagów 20

author’s cuisine ALE WINO

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


Gosh. Co-owned by the Kasia Michalski Gallery to the flank, the restaurant feels like a natural extension: find contemporary art and photography set against raw brickwork while pendant bulbs cast a soft light down. Onto the important stuff, and Erwan Debono’s menu makes much of his native French background as well as Poland’s own rich access to produce. The results come together in a way that’s nuanced and subtle. ul. Poznańska 16


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


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


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

Eat! listings Covid-19 Update

Be aware that these listings reference the good old days of gastronomy when we could actually sit down to eat. They do not take into account the restaurant shutdown that was in operation at press time; however, whilst restaurants will not be accepting sit-down custom until at least January 17th, the majority are still offering take-away, pick-up and delivery services.


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


Kuba Wojewódzki, a.k.a. Poland’s biggest media celeb, has caused tremors by joining forces with restaurateur Józef Krawczyk to unleash a cool, post-industrial venue that strives to be one third club and two thirds restaurant. Swank and arty but also surprisingly affordable, it’s already made waves for its clever international menu and casual vibe. ul. Zajęcza 2B


Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” Set within a Tsarist era complex who battered fortifications have since been turned over to house ad agencies and think tanks, the interiors aren’t shabby either with the huge space 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. ul. Racławicka 99


Humongous in size, the vast spaces and lack of natural light never feel an issue. Loaded with slick finishes and polished raw materials, find this subterranean venue unraveling amid the giant original foundations that support this pre-war skyscraper. Divided into ‘snacks’, ‘plates’, ‘sides’ and ‘desserts’, big shouts go to a golden schnitzel the size of a tricycle wheel as well as the spicy pork dumplings served in a vibrant essence of paprika. It’s exceptional. Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 9 (Hotel Warszawa)


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

bakeries AROMAT

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


“My bread is a reflection of my experiences,” says Monika Walecka, “every loaf tells its own story and includes elements from others that have either inspired or taught me – each one is like having baby with your baker friends!” Milling the flour herself then baking the bread with whole grain flour so that the most nutritious parts don’t get sifted, the results are white, fluffy breads as well as loaves that use ancient grains such as spelt, emmer or einkorn. ul. Krasińskiego 18


Affirming Powiśle’s status as a baking powerhouse is Pochlebnie, a smallscale bakery that requires advance orders. The fuss is well warranted, especially when it comes to more non-standard offers such as sourdough



Eat! listings croissants, rhubarb buns and various other bits and pieces that go beyond the ordinary in both name and taste. ul. Solec 81B


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



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


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


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021

featuring a dangling chandelier and the tallest mirror in Poland (possibly). ul. Koszykowa 1

shakshuka and even on pizza. Love it! ul. Solec 50

comfort food

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


Warsaw has come full-circle: years after burgers briefly starred as the national food, it’s the original burger joint that still bosses the field. ul. Puławska 974/80 (enter from Olkuska) & ul. Krucza 41/43


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


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


This place was practically designed for the new millennial: craft beers, hanging succulents, neon signage and a communal table. Using pastrami as their hero ingredient (you’d never have guessed, right?), find it inside sandwiches, burgers, bowls of


desserts KUKUŁKA

Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” Recruiting the acclaimed Beza Projekt studio to handle the design, the result is a funky two-level space with monochrome floors, spirally stairs and little blasts of color set against the minimalistic concrete finishes. But what really gets you are desserts that lift this piece of Warsaw in the direction of heaven – the cream puffs are something else. ul. Mokotowska 52


That you can now buy vegan, mojito-flavored cupcakes in Warsaw is an indication of the city’s fanatical commitment to healthy living. A roaring success, the first vegan cake shop in the country has become a local staple. ul. Hoża 27A


Mixing sophisticated desserts with those that fall more on the filthy food porn side of thigs, Miss Mellow have hit the bull’s eye by offering something for everyone that enjoys the sweeter things in life. Lauded even by Vogue, find a wicked rundown of toasts, brioches, financiers, brownies,

Eat! listings Eat! listings #290



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NOVEMBER 2020 FEATURES: Forgetting the coronavirus for just one moment, we bring you the restaurants and bars that have this year proved to be… The Best of Warsaw! – p. 6

NOVEMBER 2020 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



interiors are the work of acclaimed set designer Boris Kudlicka, good things will happen, andand thislend they a fresh, contemporary tone that goes do. Certified by Poland’s fledgling slow good things happen, and this they handmovement, in handwill with the menu. But food the daily tinkered do. Certified by Poland’s fledgling slow behind theopens gels and emulsions and menu that your eyes to the real food daily tinkered prettymovement, little swirls,the this is cooking tastes of Poland. ul. Smolna 4 of menu that opens eyes to the substantial depth;your it’s cooking thatreal tastes of Poland. ul. Smolna 4 takes you to the very soul of Polish nature. ul. Agrykoli 1 290_Redesign_Cover_3.6_spine.indd 1

classic polish classic polish EPOKA

Best of Warsaw DAWNE SMAKI2020 “Hot List” Preserved 19th century cornices BEST WAWA 2020 “Winner”

BESTyears, WAWA 2020 “Winner” enveloping sense ofinluxury inside this bygone while sunnier times The atmospheric interiors hark to A-Class space. of the the back gardenScene promises anInsider’s oasis-like bygone years, while in sunnier times most impressive dining moment of experience: if you’re new to Warsaw, the back garden promises an oasis-like 2019, Epoka’s menu is based on Polish it’s actually worth hanging around a experience: ifjust you’re new to Warsaw, cookbooks different epochs few monthsfrom to see it. Specializing it’s actually hanging around a (hence the worth name, dummy!), with the in traditional cuisine, the deer steak few months just tobysee dishes reconstructed aSpecializing way is recommended allinit. who trythat’s it. ul. in traditional cuisine, theand deera steak innovative, roller Nowy Światunexpected 49 is recommended by all who try it. ul. coaster of thrills. Oh gosh moments Nowy includeŚwiat jellied49apple compote; a sweet


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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

BEST of WA R S AW www.curry-house.pl


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fine dining


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cookies and cakes. Eschewing chemical nasties, it’s a place in which the WUWU owners’ towards tubes quality Concretecommitment finishes, illuminated WUWU resonates throughout. ul.and Wilcza 62 of light, glass block walls graphic Concrete finishes, tubes illustrations lend a illuminated slick smartness to of light, glassbluish blockspace. walls and MOD DONUTS this narrow, Busygraphic with illustrations lend a slick smartness Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List”to start-up entrepreneurs and off-duty this narrow, bluish space. Busy with Shoebox in its size, it’s here you’ll business bods, they’re to enjoy start-up entrepreneurs and off-duty find a steady lining up for their the food that queue connects vodka with business bods, they’reofhere to enjoy award-winning NYC-style donuts – feathe forgotten classics inter-war the food that with turing toppings like hibiscus; Warsaw. Withconnects items likevodka duck mango; tongues thethe forgotten of and inter-war salted caramel; matcha; lemon and on menu, classics and a shared address Warsaw. With items like duck tongues poppy, aMuseum, fab deviation from the with thethey’re Vodka these on the menu, and aare shared address standard Polish pączek. ul. Paryska are ambitions that realized. Pl. 27 with the Vodka Museum, these Konesera 1 (Centrum Praskie are ambitions that are realized. Pl. Koneser) Konesera 1 (Centrum Praskie Koneser) ZIELONY NIEDŹWIEDŹ A sanctuary of elegant fancy, it’s a ZIELONY BELVEDERE ŁAZIENKI place of long,NIEDŹWIEDŹ dark shadows and A sanctuary of elegant fancy,From it’s a KRÓLEWSKIE discreet decorative touches: place darkmade shadows and Set in of anlong, imperial age glass orangery, the outset, you’re to feel that discreet decorative touches:latticework From it’s festooned with intricate the outset, you’re made to feel that and botanical exotica. The updated


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FEATURES: Forgetting the coronavirus for just one moment, we bring you the restaurants and bars that have this year proved to be… The Best of Warsaw! – p. 6 PLUS: THE PANDEMIC ALL-STARS! – p. 30

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and boozy pumpkin pottage; razor thin chestnut with marinated celeriac; and DELICJA POLSKA bigos likestately no other. Ossolińskich 3 Looking (pinkul.bows, gilt touches DELICJA POLSKA and immaculate linen) but never Looking stately (pink bows, giltPolish touches EUROPEJSKI GRILL stuffy, Delicja have a modern and linen) but never Theimmaculate flagship restaurant of the Raffles menu that includes sous-vide salmon stuffy, Delicja have Europejski has cut anomodern cornersPolish in their marinated in beetroot leaves, then menu includes sous-vide bid to that become one of thefoam city’ssalmon top dill topped with horseradish and marinated inAbeetroot restaurants. seriously swish interior emulsion. Brilliant. Butleaves, then sothen was topped horseradish foam and dill of pearlwith white colors is teed-up against everything else we tried, including emulsion. Brilliant. But then wasul. contemporary flashes (hexagonal the exquisite seasoned roastsobeef. everything else weplates tried,hanging including lighting, outsized Krakowskie Przedmieście 64 from the roast beef. ul. the exquisite wall) and seasoned gleaming silverware. Krakowskie Przedmieście 64 dishes Enjoying precisely composed LOKALNA BISTRONOMIA suchmenu as beetroot tartar Dover The summons theorspirit of Sole Old LOKALNA BISTRONOMIA is a well-tailored crowd that expects Praga with appearances from heritage The menu spirit Silesian of Old nothing butsummons the best. the ul. soup, Krakowskie dishes such as sour-rye Praga with appearances heritage Przedmieście 13 pie andfrom dumplings, potato chopped dishes such as sour-rye liver. Everything screamssoup, MadeSilesian in dumplings, chopped NOBUrightpotato Poland, downpie to aand drinks list that liver. Everything screams Made in Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” involves beer from the local MaryenszPoland, right down to drinks Famously founded byaMeir Teper, tadt brewery. ul. Nieporęcka 6list that involves beer fromand thesome local MaryenszNobu Matsuhisa aspiring tadt ul. Nieporęcka 6 actorbrewery. by the name of Robert De 25/09/2020 2:04 pm

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Eat! listings 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

lime and mango. And there’s the setting, as well: seen as a long, slick space decorated with steel tubing, bursts of greenery and a coved glass ceiling, dining here has been one of the Insider’s great, recent pleasures. Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 9 (Hotel Warszawa)


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

For many diners, there is no bigger night out than one that begins and ends in this enclave of class. Dashing in its monochrome colors and muted gunmetal shades, Nolita is where Warsaw heads to live the life of the 1%. Lacking the magic tricks of some, the ‘show factor’ might be subdued but the tastes definitely aren’t. Who to credit? Two words: Jacek Grochowina. Cooking with poise and focus, his menu is a marriage of the classic and creative, with core ingredients given unexpected lifts with cunning turns and inspired little twists. ul. Wilcza 46


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


Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” Found on the sixth floor of a 1930s tower that was, for a time, ranked Europe’s second tallest building, Szóstka was the fine dining experience that EVERYONE loved over the last year. For that, credit goes to Dariusz Barański, a highly skilled chef fond of presenting such dishes as crab meat toast with


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021



Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” Flashing with neon amid the industrial ephemera, the food hall is a multi-ethnic extravaganza and complimented by the presence of more bona fide sit-down restaurants such as Niewinni Czarodzieje 2.0 (the creation of Poland’s biggest media celebrity, Kuba Wojewódzki). Though hamstrung by Covid, the summer did much to show the eventual potential of this game-changing social hub – already excellent, expect it to get even better once life becomes more… normal. 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 English-style spuds served by Pieczone Ziemniaki. Last but not least, no-one in Poland scoops better ice cream than the team at Ice Pot. 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

georgian RUSIKO

BEST WAWA 2020 “Winner” 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

Eat! listings greek & turkish Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List”


With its smart navy blue exterior festooned with pot plants, this tiny townhouse seduces all who pass – but if the front terrace is a gem, then enter to find a place that simply bubbles with warmth and the engaging air of gentle chaos. While there’s no frills or fancy with the food, there really doesn’t need to be: you dine on pillowy pittas and skewers of meat while enjoying carafes of wine brought to you by Takis, an enthusiastic owner that wears his heart on his sleeve. ul. Londyńska 16


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

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


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


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

29 (Centrum Praskie Koneser)


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


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


A highly respected Turkish eatery with a wondrous beef mussaka and a wholly admirable lineup of other ethnic dishes: the lamb shashlik has never failed us. Pleasingly informal, this neighborhood redoubt feels cheerfully unforced. An easy place to hang around in, it’s an Insider favorite for drawn-out, boozy dinners. ul. Wilcza 71


Known for their raucous dusk-till-dawn



Eat! listings Poland’s hottest curry! ul. Widok 8


Deviating from the more standard Indian menus (if you’ve seen one you’ve seen ’em all), order here for self-proclaimed “immunity boosting” dishes such as prawn garlic curry; lamb and spinach deewani; or chicken in a rich mango sauce. Specializing in delicious southern Indian dishes, find also a number of non-standard curries and starters including fluffy lentil pancakes and dosa stuffed with cheese. If there’s a complaint, then it’s the chef’s reticence to go completely psychotic when it comes to assaulting us with spice. Al. Jerozolimskie 87, indiagate.pl


Presented by chef / owner Andrea Carillo, authentic, homespun tastes vie for your attention inside a charming space that’s chic and modern but never spartan. Passionate in its approach to modern Italian cuisine, Locale never misses a step. ul. Willowa 9


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


The big surprise at Focaccia is that there’s no Italian in the kitchen – it


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021

appears they don’t need one. Looking splendid in its crystal white colors, this dining room has plaudits aplenty for its selection of pizzas and more sophisticated mains: order the duck breast with marsala sauce for a failsafe choice. ul. Senatorska 13/15, focaccia.pl


A casual restaurant with handmade pasta made fresh on the day and a choice that includes ravioli with chorizo and shrimp, bucatini Bolognese with seasoned beef and rosemary, and a creamy mushroom pappardelle. Then, adding to the sense of being somewhere young, fun and a little bit hip, is an edgy design featuring a wall of kitchen implements, hanging ropes and exposed concrete. ul. Hoża 43/49

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


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

of bitey Japanese street food such as grilled mackerel fillet with shavings of grated radish. Prices and quality ensure you don’t stop until you’ve gobbled your way through much of the menu. ul. Pawińskiego 24


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


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


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


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

Eat! listings the pizza box AVE PIZZA

Arguments about Warsaw’s best pizza aren’t complete without someone suggesting Ave. Using a 72-hour process to make their dough, the authenticity of this Neopolitan-inspired pizzeria isn’t to be questioned. ul. Topiel 12


Looking like an old school pizzeria should (gingham tablecloths, tiled interiors, strings of garlic), Ciao a Tutti eschew aesthetic niceties to simply produce glorious pizzas that have you reminiscing about your weekend in Naples. Al. Niepodległości 217


Old Town gets a bad rap when it comes to food, but buried amid the garbage is the occasional diamond: Ciao Napoli, for example. Specializing in Neapolitan pizza, the highlight is the Gorgonzola e Pera, a decadent affair featuring pear, walnuts, crudo ham and gorgonzola. ul. Długa 6


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. You won’t get to see their spectacular interior during the lockdown, but you can still at least enjoy knock-out pizza delivered to your door. Fort Służew 1B


Such is the quality of Focaccia that most express their surprise at the

lack of Italian roaming the kitchen. Sophisticated mains are available, but the pizzas are well worth a look as well. ul. Senatorska 13/15


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


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, for many this is the best pizza in Poland, no questions asked. DIY pasta also available. ul. Chmielna 13A


One of the most exciting Italian openings in recent times, Mamma Marietta’s menu involves a the lavishly thick Tuscan tomato soup, a range of pasta options and inventive pizzas cooked with passion by chef Andrea Scarantino. And they even deliver to Ursynów! ul. Górnośląska 24


Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” Even before we switched en-masse to home-delivered, box-friendly foods, 2020 was shaping up to be the Year of the Pizza. And you saw just why with the entry of places like

Nonna to the market. Raising the bar in an already competitive field, their wood-fired, Neapolitan pizzas captivated the public way before we locked ourselves down, and have continued to make waves for their simply stunning authenticity. ul. Oboźna 11


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. 24 for 42 centimeters, the margherita offers the best value per sq/cm than anything else out here, while the artichoke pizza reveals itself in an orgy of melty virtue. Pl. Bankowy 1


Present on Uber Eats and Wolt, Przyjemność break all conventions to bring you wacky ‘Californian’ pizzas with names like Ninja Turtle and Gringo Chicken. Despite the millennial commitment to breaking form and tradition, it’s by far our fave pizza of 2020! ul. Marszałkowska 68/70


Taking their inspiration from New York’s Little Italy and Chinatown, on the Italian front, leopard-spotted pizzas are the order of the day – compliment them by ordering up some of their pre-mixed cocktails. ul. Koszykowa 1


It might be a chain, but that point is easy to forget once the pizza arrives. Offering a vast selection, the standards rarely drop below top notch. Various locations



Eat! listings doing that, kick back to slurp over big, steamy bowl of spicy miso ramen. Bartoszewicza 3


Refusing to take themselves too seriously, the angle is fun and forward-thinking, something that’s evidenced by way of an occasionally wacky menu of Americanized Asian food (the matcha ice cream donut is insane in both idea and taste!). The cocktails are equally eccentric yet also reveal some devastating talent: the Kimchi Mary is pungent, punchy and above all potent! ul. Solec 38 (also on Marszałkowska 8)


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


Here, the ubiquitous KFC (Korean fried chicken) is all crunch and crackle and the bulgogi tender, juicy and the right side of sweet; accompanying them, an assortment of bitey dishes heaving with chilli flecked kimchi, daikon radish and pickled bits and bobs. All very good, but nothing compared to the bossam, braised pork belly scooped up by hand inside glistening perilla leaves: it’s a dish that soothes, gratifies and leaves diners looking every bit as pleased as the pipe-smoking tiger that gazes from the wall. ul. Olesińska 2


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021


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

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


The popular practice is to order so many plates and bottles that the table becomes a Magic Eye of kaleidoscope patterns. A great place for sharing and general interaction, the ambiance and quality belies the corporate anonymity of the location. Though the gazapcho is first class it’s bettered by the patatas bravos: fried potatoes in a ballsy tomato sauce. ul. Grzybowska 63

mexican DOS TACOS

Who doesn’t like asking for something

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


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


A Mexican wave is upon us, and high time too. After years of suffering frozen ingredients, timid flavors and daft Mariachi music to persuade us it’s all authentic, a raft of new cut-price eateries are showing the rest how it’s done. Cooked and folded by fist bumping lads in back-to-front caps and baggy t-shirts, the food at Gringo 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

Eat! listings SENOR LUCAS

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. ul. Hoża 41 (enter from Poznańska 16)

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


Maghreb is a place to call home – a warm, familiar restaurant whose bijou interior falls on the good side of casual. The sense of natural goodness is emphasized by the add-ons that start landing on the table: a creamy baba ganoush with a gently smoky taste; zingy tabbouleh salad that screams with perky freshness; and an addictive mechouia dip made with roasted peppers and tomatoes. But these are

a precursor for mains such as tajine dishes defined by their big-hearted richness. ul. Burakowska 9

polish (modern) BARON THE FAMILY

Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” Set around a spacious network of canopied outdoor wooden cabins, the Insider’s former Chef of the Year, Aleksander Baron, presents a casual food offer around his passion for ‘food from the fire’. Yes sir, that means suckling pigs; sausages flavored with gingerbread spice; tartare served inside fried bread; piles of ribs; and other hefty foods that make you feel good about life. Having evolved from maverick talent to national treasure, this is The Good Baron at his thundering best! Krakowskie Przedmieście 4


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


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


Following a chic neo-bistro format, chef Michał Kornas presents global recipes cooked with seasonal Polish produce inside a stylishly casual, modern interior. Despite the varied scope of the menu, it is the local dishes that warrant the most praise, in particular, those directly influenced by the Praga neighborhood. Modernized for the 21st century palette, these include ‘Prague Zeppelins’ stuffed with meat. Pl. Konesera 10A


You’ll find Kieliszki na Próżnej, the latest restaurant to mark the rehabilitation of Próżna, so named after the 1,116 wineglasses that hang tantalizingly over the bar. As an anchor feature the suspended glassware is arresting and equaled only by a long stretch of wall art doodled by Mariusz Tarkawian. The food matches up to the interiors, with a modern Polish menu that – on our visit – involved a thick, brilliantly spreadable foie gras pate, a thick slab of brawn and a delicate piece of moist Baltic cod. ul. Próżna 12


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


Preaching a message of farm-to-fork, this ambitious eatery takes its produce seriously – to the extent they have their own farm in the lake district to the north. 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



Eat! listings 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)

polish (classic) DAWNE SMAKI

The atmospheric interiors hark to bygone years, while in sunnier times the back garden promises an oasis-like experience: if you’re new to Warsaw, it’s actually worth hanging around a few months just to see it. Specializing in traditional cuisine, the deer steak is recommended by all who try it. ul. Nowy Świat 49


Looking stately (pink bows, gilt touches and immaculate linen) but never stuffy, Delicja have a modern Polish menu that includes sous-vide salmon marinated in beetroot leaves, then topped with horseradish foam and dill emulsion. Brilliant. But then so was everything else we tried, including the exquisite seasoned roast beef. ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 64


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021


The menu summons the spirit of Old Praga with appearances from stalwart heritage dishes such as sour-rye soup, Silesian dumplings, potato pie and chopped liver. Everything screams Made in Poland, right down to a drinks list that involves beer from the local Maryensztadt brewery. ul. Nieporęcka 6


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


Seated in their garden, one feels removed from the city – a fountain burbles quietly in the background, starlings hop around the trees. From the inside, one hears the distant tinkle of the house pianist. Just being here is a thrill in itself, and the food is a Polish dining extravaganza served from the top table: farmhouse duck, saddle of venison, etc. ul. Chocimska 7


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


A classic restaurant in style and history: back in the day it was a favorite haunt

of jockeys and race goers from the horse track nearby. Pre-war recipes form the basis of the menu, with the team using seasonal produce and the latest technology to bring out its best. ul. Puławska 104/106

scandinavian NABOKU

Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” In this little pocket of Denmark, a good mood prevails throughout and just by being here, you gain a little understanding as to why the Danes are often cited as the happiest people alive. Inside a sunny room filled with retro posters, super cool lighting and original PRL floor tiles, gather to enjoy staple Nordic favorites such as fish stews, open-faced smørrebrød sandwiches, heaving steaks and curious beers from the likes of To Øl and Mikkeller. Great things happen here. ul. Zakręt 8

seafood L’ARC

Plucked alive and kicking from a burbling fish tank, L’Arc’s lobsters and crabs are among the best in the biz. Known for their 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


Open for something along the lines of 18-hours per week (!), the limited times have created a supply / demand situation that makes reservations almost mandatory. Touting the basic aesthetics of a pop-up, the simple surrounds are outweighed by a weekly-changing menu showcasing

Eat! listings what most foodies understand to be the most extraordinary fish in Warsaw. ul. Kwiatowa 1/3/4

steak houses BEEF N’ PEPPER

Beef N’ Pepper presents itself in a buzzy urban flash of violet blue lighting, slick banquette seating and open kitchen action. Straight away, you get the feeling of being in a place that’s alive and active, a feeling that’s affirmed by a busy backlit bar from behind which black-shirted staff fling sunny cocktails for the after-work crowd. Of course, it’s the food angle that takes precedence, and at Beef N’ Pepper highlights include thumping T-bones and a 60-day aged Argentinean top loin. ul. Nowogrodzka 47A


Casual and affordable to all, Byk unassuming interior flatters to deceive: you’re talking about a top quality meat-centric menu that out guns many of the bigger and more high-profile players. ul. Rozbrat 8


When Butchery opened in 2011 it completely transformed the way Poland viewed its steak. The first ‘new wave’ meat joint in the country, it’s launch lit the fuse for a steak revolution. Now an institution in its own right, this cosmopolitan spot remains one of the most sought out bookings in the capital. ul. Żurawia 22


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



Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” In a city where most Thai is overpriced and under-spiced Bangkok Soi are a knight in shining armor. Dispensing entirely of formality, order from a crumpled sheet of paper at the counter before seating yourself in a basic room decorated with Chang beer pennants and Muangthong United football scarves. Replicating the street tastes of Bangkok, what next arrives is a whir of full-throated flavors that you never expected. It’s easy to become hopelessly lost in waves of bliss. Al. Jana Pawła II 50

Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” Brought to you from the same stable as Rozbrat 20 and Butchery & Wine, the Ferment Group’s latest opening ticks just about every box going. Amid smooth lighting, blond woods, metal fixtures and outbreaks of rich teal colors, visit for a menu based around the concept of ‘fire’. Yes, that means meat. But beyond that, do also anticipate unexpected glories such as quail Scotch eggs and grilled Fine de Claire oysters. It’s all stonkingly brilliant. ul. Ząbkowska 29 (Centrum Praskie Koneser)


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


Set inside a rotunda at the tail end of the street, it’s a place that exudes elegance and class. Most of all, however, it’s a restaurant to be enjoyed. On our last visit, the Insider enjoyed a volley of greats – creamy breaded calf brains, sophisticated smoked eel, and Mazurian crayfish served in a deep, joyous sauce of rowan berry and brandy. ul. Mokotowska 69



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

russian & ukrainian REST.BACZEWSKICH

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



Eat! listings SKAMIEJKA

As a social point, this family-run restaurant works incredibly well. Filled with assorted clutter and Russian bits and pieces (album covers, books, jars of pickles and jumble sale finds), the welcome is second-to-none, while beverages include a wide range of vodka and beer from the former Soviet-bloc nations. The food is hefty, comfort-driven and ideal for long, wintry nights. ul. Ząbkowska 37


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


First founded to provide work for refugees fleeing conflict zones, this social project has won acclaim not just for social initiative, but also for its food. With employees hailing from the likes of Iran, Afghanistan, Chechnya and Iraq, prepare to dive deep into the exotic. ul. Wilcza 60


Aside from a small menu consisting of standard vegan offers, this stalwart keeps Homer Simpson characters in mind with regular guest slots for ‘junk food’ that’s given a full vegan makeover. Offhand, that’s meant vegan kebabs, cheesesteaks, burgers and zapiekanka, all of which have been pretty darn fabulous. ul. Krucza 23/31


Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” No Problem’s menu registers a direct hit when it comes to health-minded comfort food but there’s a bar scene as well with a range of craft beers served in a buzzy space that’s Berlin in its spirit: rough-hewn walls painted with street art, wobbly wooden furniture and posters advertising upcoming gigs. There’s no longer a shortage of places that have nailed the whole resto-bar concept, but this is the first vegan joint to try and actually pull it off. ul. Bracka 20


It’s a squeeze alright, with all manner of jiggling and jostling needed before taking your position amid a design that feels cool and millennial: plants, wire mesh panels and a bit of funky neon. Food-wise: expect seriously inventive, high quality pizzas with far out names like Clockwork Orange and Pizzaghetti. ul. Marszałkowska 68/70



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


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021

A fun, sociable space, touchdown in this eatery to feast your way through a menu involving seitan shawarma boxes, Yemeni soup loaded with lentils and veg, ready-to-go shakshouka boxes, and Israeli-style sabich sandwiches rammed with avocado, eggplant, potatoes and mango mayo – all squished inside a pita or baguette. Whoever invented that combo, come forth to receive your medal. Al. Wyzwolenia 13


There’s so much to love about Tahina that it’s hard to know where to begin: eventually, though, thoughts will inevitably turn to Warsaw’s best wrap. Contained within a featherlight lavash, the falafels are a different class. One bite and you’ve found heaven. In a city where eating Middle Eastern cuisine still has the feeling of a high risk game of roulette, Tahina hits the jackpot. ul. Wilcza 26


A major icebreaker in terms of Poland’s vegan revolution, Tel Aviv woo with a super-funky, design that evokes the spirit of the Israeli capital through its raw finishes and street art motif. The food is a bonanza of Middle Eastern tastes and has, in the past, been wolfed down by passing members of Depeche Mode. ul. Poznanska 11


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


Brought to you by Taira Matsuki, the owner of the outrageously successful Uki Uki, the menu includes alternatives such as kimchi-cheese gyoza dumplings, spiced soy meat and ‘vegan eel’. The real plaudits, however, are reserved for the ramen. Tag yourself up in an interior that’s big on Japanese wood joints and concrete finishes. ul. Koszykowa 49A


First Sip CoffeeDesk ul. Próźna 7, coffeedesk.pl

MODERN DRINKING There are many who would argue that Warsaw’s best cup of coffee can be found at CoffeeDesk and they wouldn’t be too far from the truth. Already established thanks to an uber-cool location on Wilcza, discover their latest outpost sitting on gloriously restored pre-war Próżna. Featuring brick finishes, warm woods and elegant lighting,

the commitment to quality is underlined by a wall of coffee ephemera, a pair of La Marzocco machines and a glassed-in coffee lab set aside for trainings and workshops. And once the pandemic passes (come on, it can’t last forever, can it?), stick around longer for a menu that promises to include bio wines and craft beers.



Drink! Wine


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021

Drink! Wine

You Little Rascal! Meet the naughty rascal that everyone’s talking about…


ounded by interior designer Dominika Buck and film producer Radek Drabik, Natural Rascal caught the zeitgeist to become Warsaw’s most talked about importer in 2020. Specializing in natural wines sourced from small, artisanal wineries, the diverse and extensive portfolio favors the unconventional with the pair choosing only to work with organic or biodynamic vineyards. “The wines we present don’t use pesticides or herbicides,” they say. “The winemakers we use harvest and select their grapes by hand and the wines are fermented spontaneously without the use of artificial additives. They’re as close to nature as possible, which makes them not just healthy but hangover free.” Really? Yes!


For the time being, find their wines available at many of Warsaw’s top restaurants: MOD, AleWino, Forty, Epoka. In the longer-term, they’ll be opening Poland’s biggest natural wine bar at a yet-to-be disclosed city center venue.

Selected Wines Lammidia Bianchetto In this wine, find balanced acidity with earthy and zesty notes going with a pinch of tannins. Combining the expressive nature of an orange wine with a mineral and salty finish, it’s ideal for a slow afternoon spent with friends. Vulcanica If a Pét-Nat from Slovakia sounds crazy, then it’s not as crazy as this creamy, peachy wine. Blending Pesecká Leánka and Pinot Gris, and matured in oak casks, drinkers are urged to take note of the name: it likes to go off! Beaujolais Rouge Gisous A good, slow sip, this Gamay is produced using ninety-year old vines that pay tribute to Gisous, the manufacturer’s grandmother. Though satisfying and rustic, it’s also elegant and minimalist. Costadila Móz This beautiful, light orange Pét-Nat is a Prosecco col fondo – with sediment. Unfiltered and unrefined Glera with added Moscato brings plenty of citrus tastes along with wild rose and bergamot. The glou-glou style of this wine see bottles run dry within the snap of a finger. naturalrascal.com



Drink! Shops

The Booze Bin

With bars unlikely to resume operations this month, we bring you a selection of some of our favorite off-licenses, liquor lockers, tap rooms and wine stores – because no bars doesn’t have to mean a sober January!


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021

Drink! Shops craft beer A MOŻE PIFKO

Kabacki Dukt 8 Kabaty has a gold mine in the form of A Może Pifko, a store with some 500 or so different beers and about fifteen taps manned by well-informed staff accustomed to everyday dealings with craft nerds. When you’re done stocking up on booze, add also some pint glasses produced by Krosno to your shopping basket – your beer will taste better!


Rondo Waszyngtona (underpass) Those living in Saska Kępa have a neighborhood hero in the shape of Dr. Beer. Find a roster of six taps as well as a diverse shelf offer featuring a broad range of Polish ciders, salted snacks and every genre of beer you could ever imagine. And if you’re a regular, find yourself rewarded with loyalty card points.


ul. Popiełuszki 19/21 Taking a hammering from Covid-19, Kufle i Kapsle are keeping their head above water by reprising their Żoliborz branch into a booze shop. There’s a couple of taps operating for takeaways and not but a wide-reaching selection of bottles to clunk back home with you.


Blue City & Galeria Młociny Reminding us that not all malls are bastions of big brand rubbish are Nalewak, a beer emporium with locations in two retail centers. Boasting just under 20 taps in each, find them firing a selection of Czech lagers, Polish craft and Prosecco. Bottled craft beers and wines compliment the offer.


ul. Bora-Komorowskiego 56A Ok, so we all prefer drinking in a pub, but if there’s one thing we learned during the opening lockdown it was just how easy it was to enjoy a brewery fresh pint from the safety of a sofa. Pouring fresh-batch deliveries from 12 taps into bottles and growlers, Gocławbased Raj Piwsoza have proved a pandemic all-star. More points are awarded for ample fridge and shelf space dedicated to both domestic and international artisan beers.


ul. Giełdowa 4E A stone’s throw from the Rising Museum, it’s easy to understand why White Whale were named the Warsaw Beer Trail’s ‘Shop of the Year’ in 2018. Complimenting the eight taps are a motherlode of beers from game changing international breweries that have yet to fully penetrate the domestic market. It’s the ultimate beer geek heaven.

wine & spirits ALEMBIK

Pl. Konesera (Centrum Praskie Koneser) Touting a prestigious portfolio of whisky, cognac, champagne, gin and rum, consider Alembik an alcohol emporium. For the biggest ace up their sleeve though, find an impressive selection of Polish vodka to reflect this store’s location in a former vodka factory.


ul. Czerska 12 & Burakowska 5-7 Credited with sparking Poland’s wine revolution when it first opened around

15-years ago, Mielżyński’s invincible reputation has been well-earned. The warehouse dimensions of the two branches allow for a sizeable offer that numbers approximately 700 wines covering all categories and price points, as well as spirits, fortified wines and deli boxes. Online delivery also available.


Al. Komisji Edukacji Narodowej 51 The extensive portfolio includes champagne, cognac, brandy, grappa, rum, Polish nalewki and, of course, vodka. In this regard, the choice includes pedigree brands such as Ketel One and Black Cow. Premium brands proliferate across the board.


Biały Kamien 5 & Fort 8 A legend, plain and simple. Slanted heavily towards Italy, though also featuring other European powerhouses, choices involve biodynamic, unfiltered and natural wines from both established and on-trend producers.


ul. Bracka 9 (Vitkac) A diverse, premium-minded choice that fits with the over-arching philosophy of Poland’s most luxurious department store. Wines from Italy, Spain and France are especially prominent, though with celebrations in mind look at their champagnes.


ul. Jana Kazimierza 30 On the whisky front, there’s a thousand to browse – from Scottish single malts to more maverick choices from Sweden and Egypt. Elsewhere, Warsaw’s broadest choice of champagne includes several rarer labels whilst the wine offer has been tweaked to involve a fair few trending Polish wines.



Drink! Interview


The Insider talks to Nick Fitzwilliams, the founding force behind the celebrated JAVA Coffee Roasters brand… So, 2020! That was fun… This time last year, 98% of what we were doing concerned the wholesale of coffee; our workload focused on the hospitality sector, namely independent cafes. Always that was out magnetic north. Now though, many of those cafes have either closed – temporarily or permanently – or resorted to serving paper cups through a doorway. Basically, our customer base was decimated. How have you responded? We’ve had to pivot our business model. But while our wholesale volume has dropped 60 to 70%,


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021

we did find our online sales lighting up. It’s meant we’ve had to reallocate responsibilities and learn how to navigate the labyrinth that is online retail. Arguably, we could have done it a lot quicker, but we got there in the end. It’s brought challenges, no doubt… We’ve adapted to a whole new model. For instance, private consumers aren’t going to be buying the big bags we were selling to cafes so we’ve had to switch to smaller bags. That’s meant five or six times more packaging; more stickers. You name it. There’s a lot more work on our plate but at least it’s kept us busy! I can also say I’m very lucky that I’ve got twenty people working that are completely passionate about coffee. Of course, the hierarchy of needs means that they’re in this job for a salary, but they also clearly love what they do. It’s a pleasure to work with them –

even in a year like 2020! How did your Warsaw adventure begin? By accident. I was meant to go to Johannesburg but a last minute change meant I was sent to Warsaw instead – working for a multinational at the time, it wasn’t something I had a say in. This was the mid-nineties, just as the London coffee scene was opening up and while I could see how popular that sector was becoming in London, there was of course nothing like that in Poland at the time. How did you get involved in the Warsaw café scene? It was while I was working fulltime that I became a minority investor in a café project – essentially, I got involved because I’d always been interested in the business of coffee and cafes. I’d always been fascinated by the café culture and how it was that in these places

Drink! Interview

people gathered to talk and make decisions. Coffee is a great leveler – over coffee, everyone is equal. I’ve always loved that. What happened next… We must have opened and closed twelve locations. Finally, the business went bankrupt in 2003 so I decided to step in with what little money I had to try and salvage what was possible. Pretty much immediately I realized that continuing in the café business was too high risk and required too much money. Then there were the headaches attached to it – getting up at five in the morning and remembering to put the lettuce on a sandwich before the tomato just wasn’t that much fun. But the business was already involved in roasting and wholesale so that was the area I decided we should expand on. From there JAVA was born: we’ve build out brand by ethically sourcing higher grade ‘specialty coffee’ and applying the best roast profile to unlock the most delicious notes inside the bean. At which point did you become interested in roasting yourself? It was a revelation to me! I’ve always been a foodie, and it just struck me that the coffee that we were roasting ourselves was so much more superior than anything else on the market. Back then most cafes were sourcing their coffee from the big Italian and German firms, but while their marketing was slick, it dawned on me that we were producing something far better with our little machine.

Over the years, what trends have you seen emerge? We’ve got quite a sophisticated community here that’s very aware of quality. Consumers are becoming more discerning and, moreover, we’ve seen a willingness to experiment and break boundaries in Poland. People are bold in trying new products. Most recently, we’ve seen experimentations with barrel-aged coffee, while the last couple of years we’ve seen a rise in non-standard processing methods involving fermentation or carbonic maceration. These are all inspirations that have come from the wine industry. As importantly, what’s actually selling! Specialty light roasts. Typically our customers gravitate towards Ethiopian, Kenyan or Columbian coffee. In terms of brewing, Chemex, V60, Kalita and Aeropress tend to be the most popular specialty brewing techniques. Outside of the geek talk, what consumer patterns have you noted? There was a bit of cabin fever I think this year, but that helped drive online coffee sales. People wanted to escape and coffee allowed them to do that. We found a whole new group of customers that decided to be a little bit adventurous. When it came to coffee, we saw a lot of people decide to trade up from what they usually drank. How do you advise people to enjoy their coffee? It sounds silly, but the customer really is always right. The coffee

ritual is an intensely personal thing, so it’s not down to me to dictate what people should do. However, what we can do is gently guide people. But really, it’s not complicated. You can get choosy about the water, but the most important ingredient is fresh coffee that’s been roasted well – then just add water. Getting the brewing method right or the temperature correct really isn’t all that difficult. Anything you want to see happening in Warsaw this year? Last year the city was meant to host the World of Coffee event. Simply put, everyone on planet earth involved in coffee would have been in Warsaw for that, and it would have been a terrific platform for our roasters and independent cafes to show what they could do. I have no doubt it would have put Warsaw on the world map, so I’d love to see that rescheduled. Will things get better! The end of the first lockdown was a great reminder of how quickly things can return to normal. The café scene felt like it exploded in the summer! It will happen again. When? I’ve no idea. But I am certain it will. I just hope that the smaller places can cling on. Independent cafes compete against chains with better quality. They work harder for less margin. Basically, buy local or say bye bye local! JAVA Coffee Roasters javacoffee.pl



Drink! listings Covid-19 Update

These listings do not take into account the seismic changes currently effecting the drinks sector. Instead, we’ve taken an optimistic (ha!) longer-term view in the hope that those we feature will survive the challenges of the present. As things stand, the government has stated that bars, clubs and cafes will not reopen for sit-down service until at least January 17th. In the meantime, find those that are able to (principally cafes), running a skeletal take-away and delivery service.

specialty coffee

the living room vibe mounts when the temperatures start dropping and the interiors act as a beacon to the public. Note: currently open for window-side take-outs only. ul. Hoża 58/60



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. Take stock of your purchases over alt. coffees served inside mugs crafted by the nearby Fenek ceramic studio. ul. Tamka 37


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,


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021

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


Attached to one of the hippest, most Instagram-able barber shops in town, highlights of this adjoining cafe include a rocking cold brew, wickedly friendly staff and a half-mad collection of toy action figures (from Simpson models to a bad ass Al Pacino in full Scarface mode!). Tiny in its footprint, what it lacks in size it makes up for in heart: find a beauty of an interior that’s all swan white colors with walls graced by bookshelves and contemporary art that references Muranów’s past. ul. Andersa 6


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


Hałas is that brilliant little secret that every neighborhood deserves: a cool little café snuck down a leafy residential street – amid the vinyl albums for sale, find a crew of staunch regulars arriving for weird non-alc. beers and specialty coffee brewed by a super friendly team inside an attractive basement comprised of crisp white walls and retro fittings. You want summer to return just to be able to sit on their outdoor bench and wallow in the shade. ul. Jagiellońska 30 & Elsterska 10


Head to this warm den to sink inside comfy retro chairs and wallow in the natural light that seeps through the window. Prepared on a Nuova Simonelli machine, the coffee hails from a range of pedigree roasters such as Warsaw’s own Coffee Lab. Creaky wooden floorboards, local artwork and

Drink! listings non-obtrusive colors make it a prime perch after a wintry prowl through the parks of Powiśle. ul. Fabryczna 28/30


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


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


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


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


Creaky floorboards and references to the address’s former function as a tailor’s shop lend a warmth that’s particularly pronounced once the overhead draftsman’s lamps are switched on. Homemade cakes, hipster

colas and coffee sourced from the likes of Gesha keep it packed with a friendly crowd of local aficionados. ul. Siennicka 3

cocktails AURA

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


Plush fabrics, muted lighting, intuitive service, a well-scrubbed crowd, a flickering fireplace and shelves displaying drinks as if they were trophies: the ambiance is nailed down to such an extent that those who use this speakeasy for pre-club drinks often find themselves skipping the club bit altogether. And why bother with anywhere else when you have masterpiece cocktails that are immaculate, imaginative and mixed with practiced expertise. ul. Koszykowa 49A


Though primarily celebrated for their Latin American menu, the ‘bar’ part of the name isn’t there for window dressing. The modern design, DJs and drinks work seamlessly to generate an ambiance that’s buzzy, energetic and something of a scene. Cocktail-wise, order Warsaw’s best Pisco Sour or explore a ‘Nikkei’ card that blends Peruvian and Japanese ingredients

to present truly unique tastes. ul. Twarda 4


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. ul. Poznańska 37


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


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


Though primarily known as the best Mexican restaurant in the country, the cocktails are of such a standard that it’s become impossible to ignore La Sirena’s credentials as an exceptional bar as well. Fixed using a range of premium tequilas, the innovative tastes feel all the better for the intriguing surrounds: walls of corrugated iron



Drink! listings and peeling plaster are coordinated with crossed machetes, shrill neon and decorative tiles. The final effect brings to mind a deadly cool recreation of a drug baron’s jailhouse cell. ul. Piękna 54


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


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


concept from Enio Chłapowski-Myjak (formerly of 6 Cocktails) is firmly on its way to becoming the coolest address in town. Late nights, Asian-themed cocktails and an A-list crowd await. Al. 3 Maja / ul. Kruczkowskiego


Occupying the kind T ofR charismatic gatehouse you’d read C P T M about in Dickens, position yourself C W in front ≈of the upstairs fireplace for a W C ≈ celebratory cigar and a glass of someC C ≈ and lovely: the cocktails are thing Ttall ≈ in aPclass E of their own and specifically ≈ customized for the season. Spooling, L S silent Bond P B Bfilms, regular burlesque shows and random decorative monkey HE MOST



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

















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Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021

12.08.15 20:49

Drink! listings figures add an unexpected ‘element of weird’. ul. Wąski Dunaj 20


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


Having recruited some of the top bartenders in Poland, The Roots have

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


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

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


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



Drink! listings their consistency (a dodgy pint is totally unheard of), look to CBM’s sixteen taps for renegade beers that push frontiers. ul. Andersa 23

for gentlemen


Set in the former Communist Party HQ, find Warsaw’s first legitimate multitap bar slotted inside a glass prism hidden amid the solid, socialist era arcades. Drenched in sunlight that comes slanting through the glass walls, queue inside to order from the 15 taps firing out beers from various European craft breweries, before heading out to enjoy a humungous terrace dotted with deckchairs and tables. Watching the sunset while looking out towards the city’s iconic palm tree installations is a pure Warsaw moment. For those averse to the sun, find outdoor seating extending well beyond and into the echoing, shaded courtyard of this immense, impressive building. ul. Nowy Świat 6/12


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. ul. Nowogrodzka 12


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


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021

Tolix chairs and deep forest greens, this compact space is ripe for dating. Order a glass of bubbles before plunging into a menu inspired by the slow food philosophy. Pl. Piłsudskiego 9


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


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

wine bars ALE WINO

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


Despite sounding like a 1980s Essex nightclub, find this bistro locked inside an eternal state of romance. A charismatic assembly of rickety crates,

For those wineing out, Czarne Czerwone Złote features over 80 Deutsche weines from 13 producers – carefully selected after the owners’ travels through Germany, the carefully curated choice has been matched to a cool, modern design and a menu offering cheeseboards, olives and an extraordinary tarte flambee. ul. Koszykowa 49A


The archetypal all-rounder, Dyletanci has it all: an approachable bistro style; adventurous cooking; and a wine list with no discernible Achilles Heel. Burgundy is a particular strength, as too are Polish wines (including those from the proprietor’s own vineyard, the upcoming Dom Bliskowice). ul. Rozbrat 44


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. 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. ul. Nowogrodzka 4



Best-known for her epic Coffee Spots guide to Poland’s specialty cafes, Agnieszka Bukowska returns to the limelight with her latest release, a superb work targeted at those in the hospitality and food industry. Highlighting the immense amount of food waste we create, Less Waste Polska seeks to combat the issue by offering practical solutions and ideas to positively influence future generations. Less Waste Polska lesswastepolska.com




What’s a British / Greek soprano doing in Warsaw during lockdown? The Insider talks to opera singer Danae Eleni to find out…


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021

First off, why Warsaw? What brought you here? A 22-hour bus from London during lockdown! But also my husband’s job. It’s exciting to live in a European capital city that has such an active cultural life, great food and friendly people.

bining my two passions (Music & Maths) in an accessible way. There’s also been a lot of time to practice and to connect online with awesome musicians all over the world.

Does the city have an artistic soul? Definitely. Warsaw is a hugely artistic place with awesome sculptures and heaps of innovation in theatre and visual arts, as well as music. The first time I visited, I passed three piano recitals on the walk from the tram stop to where I was staying.

Do your neighbors get regular free concerts!? Yes... sometimes even their dogs join in! I warm up every day and am currently preparing for a Greek Art Song CD recording. I’m thinking of giving a concert for the neighbors from my balcony, so I’ve started learning a couple of Polish carols too! Singing isn’t just a lot of vocal exercises. You need to keep in good physical and mental shape too. Singers have to train their bodies to be able to make a beautiful sound that can carry over an orchestra. But, luckily for those next door, there’s also a lot of silent work that can be done: translating the text, writing it out phonetically, and all the reading around the stories and poems we sing, not to mention the research that goes into studying a character...

How has covid impacted your work? Since last March, all of my live performances have been cancelled. Even a series of Christmas concerts I was due to sing here were postponed until further notice. So I’ve been acquiring new skills: working out how to host concerts online and exploring new methods of com-

Many people have a set impression of what opera is and what it involves. What don’t we know that will surprise us? Opera is really just about telling a story but through music. Anyone can be part of it. I’ve led workshops culminating with hundreds of children singing and acting their hearts out on stage, sometimes in costumes they’ve helped

You’ve performed all over the world – how does Warsaw compare in its enthusiasm for opera? Warsaw produces some amazing musicians and I’ve been lucky enough to meet a few of them since arriving. Behind some of the imposing, grey exteriors, the city is buzzing with musical energy.

design. It’s incredible to witness them feeling the excitement of being in the middle of this amazing art form. Is the job as glamourous as it sounds? Not always! I’ve performed in numerous ‘interesting’ venues: squelching about in the damp tunnels under London’s Waterloo Station in my wellies; cycling around a stage whilst singing in Cosi fan tutte; and even hanging upside down from an aerial hoop. Tell me an opera singer’s secret! Cider apple vinegar, lemon, ginger, turmeric & honey in hot water – so comforting! What is the power of opera? Opera can really speak to people’s souls. It’s a uniquely moving experience for artists and audiences alike. When you sing you’re expressing yourself in a vulnerable way, baring your true emotions for everyone to feel through a wave of sound. Listening to opera can give people power to visit their innermost feelings, and singing is great for breathing and releasing endorphins too. The healing power of opera is definitely something the world could do with right now! For more on Danae, see: danaeeleni.com



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

Casa dei Bambini Badowska 19 Szkolna 16, Hornówek

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.

Elementary Szwoleżerów 4

„Erdkinder” Middle School


Tatrzańska 5a

Montessori High School

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

www.wmf.edu.pl 62

Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021

reklama montessori 1/3_46x206.indd 1

The British School Warsaw provides EYFS classes from nursery to Year 1 (6 years old). Children develop quickly and their Early Years practitioners aim to do all they can to help your child have the best possible start in life and become a lifelong learner. ul. Dąbrowskiego 84 (Early Years Centre), tel. 22 646 7777, thebritishschool.pl

18.12.2018 12:32


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


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


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


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



Education Is A Relationship

Marta Rudzka, Headmaster of Joy Primary School, reveals her educational philosophy in an interview with Ewa Świerżewska.


he student-teacher relationship should be built on respect and the student’s autonomy, says Marta Rudzka from Joy Primary School: “Students have to feel their opinions are valued, that there are no wrong answers, and that mistakes are a natural part of the learning process. Mistakes show the students are taking initiative and, in fact, prove that the learning process is taking place. These ways to educate people who believe in themselves, people who are able to pick themselves up from any failure and take up new challenges.”

Ewa Świerżewska: Education is so very important and evokes a lot of emotions, because the future


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021

depends to a great extent on its quality. Visionaries appear from time to time who initiate positive change. Professor John Hattie, who developed the concept of ‘visible learning’ is certainly such a figure. Marta Rudzka: Hattie conducted a meta-analysis of many scientific studies on pedagogical activities, pedagogical interventions and their impact on academic performance. On that basis, he ranked over 250 techniques, strategies, methods and their effectiveness. He came to the conclusion that we should move away from the teaching culture and concentrate on what learning is. To look at the educational process as a learning process, as seen through

the eyes of the student; as a dialogue between the teacher and the student. Hattie recognized that the teacher has a huge impact on the student; the teacher must be very aware of that, has to thoroughly understand the student’s needs and constantly review his or her teaching skills. This means avoiding a focus on grades or perfecting favorite teaching methods, in favor of constantly adapting teaching techniques, strategies, and methods used in class to the needs of the students, based the feedback they give. Moreover, Hattie distinguished three key elements: clear goals students need to know what their purpose is, why they are learning something, and their goal. A situation


in which goals are not clearly defined can be compared to visiting a foreign city without a map; success criteria, or ways to achieve them. The teacher should show the student how to improve his tools, skills and competences in order to achieve a specific goal. Feedback should not be limited to a description, characteristic, or grade - it should inform the student how to proceed going forward.

How does that look in practice? I think the most prominent element is formative assessment. Hattie says that formative assessment and feedback are very important. He also proposes the concept of “feedforward,” i.e., in addition to commenting on what the student did and describing the work, we outline ways for further work – how to make up for some gaps, what to improve. Formative assessment is not only an evaluation, but an approach that determines the entire educational cycle. It is a twofold kind of feedback – firstly, for the student, regarding where they are and how to proceed going forward, but also for the teacher on how her or his techniques and teaching methods affect this specific group of students or a specific student. It is much more motivating than other methods of assessment, because it prevents students from studying for a grade, in favor of themselves, which means we build internal motivation – and further progress depends on that. The grading process itself has educational value. The student takes part in self-assessment and learns to be systematic, to look at themselves and their work from the outside. Self-awareness, self-steering and critical thinking are awakened. In today’s world, there is a lot of talk about relationships. The most important one is between parents and children, but the relationship

between the child and the teachers is quite close to it. What should that relationship be like for both sides to benefit as much as possible? Education is a relationship, so the teacher should establish a close, positive relationship with the student through deep respect and by considering the student’s needs. The teacher should be empathetic and curious, provide the student with the space for expression, self-realization, and focus on students’ independence. This independence is expressed in many ways: as independence in thinking, speaking and writing, but also as independence in the selection of learning materials.

Self-awareness, self-steering and critical thinking are awakened

So, does it make sense to use textbooks less? The approach outlined above is very engaging and requires the teacher to deviate from ready-made solutions. Abandoning textbooks, or at least the traditional ways of using them, would be a good example here. It is worth getting involved in projects, because while implementing the core curriculum students can pursue their passions, because they run the projects.

What are the advantages of working with the project method? By using the project method, we teach students how to ask questions and formulate answers; we shape a person who is independent and avoids ready-made solutions. The method is very good in this respect, as it shows the student that there is more than one good source of knowledge. Now, they have knowledge at their fingertips and the ability to assess and evaluate whether information is credible, reliable, true, and adequate to our task - all this is extremely important for students in achieving independence. How do students acquire this skill? It is worth focusing on critical thinking, which is ‘a level up’. In order to teach children to think critically, we need to go back to the basics and look at how we present knowledge (sources of knowledge) and how we strive for children to acquire this knowledge. And here again: projects, open tasks, discussions and then verifying knowledge with open tasks, presentations, self-presentation, cooperation, i.e., group tasks, joint investigations to solve problems. These are the ways, strategies, and techniques that teach critical thinking. Any open-ended tasks that require a little more effort will help children develop this kind of thinking. What is the importance of Hattie’s contribution to the development of education and the creation of a ‘new school’? In short, Hatti’s great analysis is a roadmap for all educators, teachers, schools, and education systems for which direction to choose. First and foremost, it is a cue to keep reflecting on your work; be aware of what kind of student you are working with and what she or he needs.




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

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


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021


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 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

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


Treating pupils with mutual respect but not at the expense of being demanding,

WARSAW MONTESSORI SCHOOL A leader in the field of Montessori

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




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

company visits and online courses. For a free 60-minute trial email: kontakt@ cupofpolish.com. cupofpolish.com



Guided by trained specialists, students are responsible for managing their household, operating small businesses, caring for local flora and fauna as well as domesticated animals, taking charge of the younger children and much more. “Adolescence Program” activities, integrated with academic studies, help students discover their inner strength to meet real life challenges. ul. Tatrzańska 5A (grades 5-8), tel. 604 137 826, wmf.edu.pl


Warsaw Montessori High School aims to teach students the values which Maria Montessori outlined in her educational philosophy such as: responsibility for one’s own development, care for others, honesty, empathy, and service. The school continues to meet the principles of Maria Montessori through implementing the IB Diploma Program principles and practices. Warsaw Montessori High School is an authorized IB World School for the Diploma Programme – code 061201. ul. Pytlasińskiego 13A, tel. 787 095 835, wmf.edu.pl

adult learning CUP OF POLISH

Personalized Polish classes adapted to meet your needs. Also home/


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021


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

Outstanding programs for foreigners living in Poland: a variety of courses aimed at every level. Using over ten years of experience, the leaning process becomes an adventure at Klub Dialogu. ul. Ordynacka 13/5, klubdialogu.pl

for a great souvenir. ul. Wilcza 29


Another antique bookstore that comes filled with leather-bound tomes, regal looking scrolls and elaborate maps. Also known for their pre-war prints and paintings of Warsaw before it was knocked down. ul. Nowomiejska 7


Cavalry swords, pre-war Judaica, Orthodox icons, books, scrolls, helmets, cameras, chess sets, jewelry… The opportunities for rummaging are endless. ul. Nowomiejska 15/17



At the top end of the scale the German-run Prima Porta specialize in pieces from ancient Rome, Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia and Asia. ul. Hlonda 8



For the undisputed heavyweight of printed material, look for Antykwariat Grochowski, a maze-like space with over 130,000 books in its arsenal. Among the haul, find Polish comics such as Kapitan Kloss and Kajko i Kokosz, vinyl records, graphic art and old currency. Truly, it’s one of the wonders of right bank Warsaw. ul. Kickiego 12

ANTYKWARIAT NA TAMCE Presided over by a super-friendly hippy-looking dude, consider this a mine of rare vinyl (Beatles, Hendrix, Sabbath, weird Polish PRL stuff), as well as 15,000 comics and books. ul. Tamka 45B


Antique books, faded photographs, yellowing maps and dog-eared magazines – the atmosphere is timeless. The PRL-era lifestyle magazines are an amazing insight into the past and make


You can smell the history in this old curiosity shop; this antiquarian bookstore has a rich stock of dusty tomes piled higgledy-piggledy on towering shelves. English-language texts are also present and procurable in this hoarder’s heaven. ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 12


A small curiosity shop selling trendy trinkets and a fair amount of art and architecture books with an accent on modern Warsaw. ul. Mokotowska 65/7


A supremely cheerful bookstore peddling everything from pop-up books and fairytales to history and legends. The ace up their sleeve is a sizeable selection of English-language literature: and that includes The Gruffalo! ul. Chmielna 10

health & beauty spas & salons

the senses. Using CBD extracts, they strongly focus on concepts of self-care and wellbeing. made from the highest quality crops and sourced from farms run in accordance with the principles of sustainable agriculture, all products are approved by verified labs. lekko.com



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


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


Lekko offer four specialized oils that are strong but gentle and sharpen

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


Natural, Polish-made cosmetics are the specialty, and include lifting masks with bamboo, limited edition raspberry balm, perfumes and a deep-resin line featuring green coffee with tobacco. mokosh.eu


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


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


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


Poland’s first luxury department store gathers the world’s top designers under one roof, with brands including Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton, Stella McCartney, Stone Island and Rick Owens. And that’s the tip of the iceberg. ul. Bracka 9



Praga Zoo

10 ki aw

Powązki Cemetery



7 Jewish Cemetery

6 Old Town

5 1

2 ska kow

szał Mar

4 9 km

ska bow



4 a zysk tokr Swie




olim eroz

Palace of Culture & Science

Al. J




8 2


Łazienki Park

1 19 km


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021

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



Final Note

Goodbye, Farewell As F&B venues close down in waves, we look back at the legends lost…


Warsaw Insider | JANUARY 2021

It’s not unusual for us to use this back page for stop-gap obituary purposes, but never before have we applied the RIP rites to an entire industry. Ok, we’re falling a little prone to exaggeration (only a little though), but if Covid failed to kill off the F&B sector it did at least do the next best thing and leave it violently castrated. Of course, Warsaw’s seen big closures before (find us a veteran that doesn’t lament the loss of the swampy Morgan’s Irish Pub, the licentious Bar Below, the perverse decadence of Le Madame or Piekarnia’s blurry dawns), but never have they come in such a short frame of time. Within months we’ve bade farewell to a string of favorites,

from the elegant Opasły Tom to the hot wing hero that was Zkurczybyk. And if we follow logic, Closed For Business signs will be flipping on dozens more venues in the coming months. But it’s a nailed on fact that nowhere will be mourned in these quarters quite like the closure of Koko & Roy. After a painfully slow start in 2017, this slow-burner bloomed to become the Insider’s favorite Friday night; with its quirky-cool design, multinational crowd and funky sounds, it became the kind of place where people gathered pre-club before jacking in the club part altogether. And in the event things were slow, you could always rely on the owners to grab the night by the horns and lead you down a rabbit hole involving off-the-cuff cocktail inventions and offbeat conversation. Before you knew it, dawn was breaking. There was a magic here, a magic found before only in the smallest clutch of venues. “Please don’t be sad and miss it,” wrote the owners after the final hurrah. “Because in all honesty we won’t. We still have it. There is nothing to miss about four walls. What we all created is beyond that.” They’re right of course, but that doesn’t make it any better. You’ll be missed. So too the others. And as for those battling on – you have our best wishes. Let’s do this!

Delivering Warsaw's Best To You

Delivering Warsaw’s Best To You To make an order call tel. +48 22 651 9003 or order online at: www.roomservice.pl

To make an order call tel.+48 22 651 9003 or order online at: www.roomservice.pl

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Warsaw Insider January 2021 #293  

Warsaw Insider January 2021 #293