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The Capital’s Original City Magazine Since 1996

A chat over cheese with Harold of La Buvette – p. 29

IT’S GOOD TO BE BACK! Warsaw’s bars and restaurants reopen their doors…

#298 INDEKS 334901 ISSN:1643-1723

JUNE 2021 FEATURES: Food & Drink Special: the trends and hotspots of the great revival! – p. 8



PLUS: Garden of Love – p. 5 Animals of Warsaw – p. 52 Czersk Castle – p. 55

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


Open Friday through Sunday Plac Żelaznej Bramy halagwardii.pl

Contents June 2021

Reviews: EAT!

First bite: La Buvette – p. 29 Review: Raffles Europejski Warszawa – p. 32 Review: Hala Gwardii – p. 34 Foodie News – p. 36


CARPE DIEM, and all that… In all probability, this isn’t the last we’ve heard of lockdowns, but for the time being it’s a refreshing feeling to focus on the present rather than guessing the future or gazing hopelessly into the past. But what does the ‘now’ mean? We’re still trying to figure that out ourselves, but in the meantime it’s been with a sense of newborn joy that we’ve re-entered our usual orbit and been able to enjoy basic pleasures such as restaurants and bars. For that reason, we’re buzzing to bring you a food and drink special – yep, it’s been thirsty work, but I think you’ll agree there’s nothing we all deserve more than a bloody good meal followed by a long, lazy drink. Cheers!

First sip: Winnice Mołdawii – p. 43 Boozy News – p. 45


Błonie Watches – p. 51

Alex Webber insider@warsawinsider.pl

Review: Museum of Warsaw – p. 52 Review: National Museum at Krolikarnia – p. 54 Warsaw Guide: Czersk – p. 55

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

Publisher Morten Lindholm mlindholm@valkea.com

Art Director Kevin Demaria kdemaria@valkea.com

Distribution Manager Krzysztof Wiliński kwilinski@valkea.com

Advertising Manager Jowita Malich jmalich@valkea.com

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

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





Feeling Blue?

Dynamic new mural lends life to Norblin…


Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021

dward Dwurnik, who died in 2018, has seen his work honored by way of a stunning mural that has been unveiled on the side of the Norblin development. Based upon his 2009 painting titled, fittingly, Norblin Works, the 90 sq/m piece depicts the factory complex standing amid a sea of neighboring blue buildings. Arresting in its vibrancy, the mural was executed by Red Sheels, a female collective specializing in wall art. Produced using environmentally friendly, ‘smog canceling’ paints, the large format work is just one of several initiatives aimed at endowing the project with a rich artistic motif. Set to launch in the second half of 2021, the revitalized factory is to be reprised as a mixed use center featuring commercial, retail and gastronomic zones. However, culture has also been placed high on the agenda with a factory museum in the pipeline as well as galleries, concert venues and a ‘boutique cinema’. Moreover, the Dwurnik connection will not end simply with the mural. The artist’s daughter, Pola – herself a successful painter and graphic artist – has also been invited to create “a monumental painting”.


In brief


Back Of The Net

Robert Lewandowski, the golden boy of Polish football, smashed Gerd Muller’s Bundesliga goalscoring record for a single season in May after scoring in the final minute of Bayern Munich’s last match of the season. The strike took the Warsaw-born player’s goal tally to 41, enough to break a record that had stood for 49-years.


Świątek Soars

Tennis sensation Iga Świątek moved up to tenth in the world rankings after bulldozing her way to victory at the WTA 1000 Tournament in Rome. The 19-year-old demolished Karolina Pliskova in the final, beating the Czech 6-0, 6-0. Świątek was catapulted to fame last year after winning the French Open and will be seeking to defend her title this month.


Legia Make It 15

Legia Warsaw have retained the league championship, making it a record busting 15 titles. The triumph marks something of a fairytale for veteran keeper Artur Boruc, with the 41-year-old shot stopper returning to Legia in the summer fifteen years after signing for Celtic. A firm fan favorite, Boruc last won the title with Legia some nineteen years ago. According to insiders, negotiations are now underway to extend his contract. warsawinsider.pl


In brief


Abandoned for over a decade, two wooden cabins – one of which was once the childhood home of Ryszard Kapuściński – are to be turned into a Center of Reportage. Found in Pole Mokotowskie, the pair of derelict huts are all that remain of 167 chalets confiscated from Finland by the Soviets as war reparations. Subject to a zł. 2 million refit, the buildings will house a cultural center that will honor Kapuściński, a legendary reporter who gained fame as one of Poland’s few foreign correspondents during the PRL era. Known particularly for his work in Africa, Kapuściński reported on 27 coups and revolutions.


Hi, Call Me Unit! PUBLIC ART

Egg-cellent News

Two months after plans for such were first mooted, the city’s Conservator for Monuments has greenlighted plans for a giant, noise-emitting egg designed by the same artist behind Warsaw’s iconic artificial palm tree. The work of Joanna Rajkowska, the two-meter wide egg aims to call to attention the environmental challenges faced by the planet, and will be located on Plac Pięcu Rogów, an urban project that is set to transform the junction where Chmielna, Bracka, Zgoda, Krucza and Szpitalna meet.


Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021

The 45-storey Warsaw UNIT has been granted an occupancy permit, and in the process become the latest completed skyscraper to adorn the capital’s horizon. Delivered by Ghelamco, features of the 57,000 sq/m project include a shimmering ‘dragon skin’ installation embellishing the exterior as well as innovations introduced with the pandemic in mind: for instance, UV lighting in lifts so as to allow for the easy detection of viruses and bacteria, a virtual reception, and an app that allows for contactless movement through the building.


Back From The Brink


The Secret Garden

Discover the astonishing sculptures of Juan Soriano in the rambling gardens of a rural estate…


ould you call it Warsaw’s best kept secret? Certainly not, but that’s only because to reach it you’ll need to exit the city limits and head instead to the tiny village of Owczarnia. Set halfan-hour’s drive from downtown Warsaw, it’s here you’ll find a remarkable sculpture garden brimming with the curious

works of the globally acclaimed Mexican artist Juan Soriano. A previous winner of Mexico’s National Art Prize, and a recipient of France’s Chevalier des Arts et Lettres, Soriano passed away in 2006 at the age of 85. His flame, however, burns as brightly now as it did before, and that’s largely due to the ongoing efforts of his life partner, Marek Keller.

Having been introduced to each other in Paris in the 1970s, at a time when Keller was working as a young dancer, the couple subsequently split their lives between France and Mexico. Despite this, Poland remained on the radar, and when they made it known that they were looking for a place outside of Warsaw, the actress Krystyna Janda told them about a scenic



estate in the village of Owczarnia. For Soriano, it was love at first sight, but the artist died before their move became final. Undeterred, Keller proceeded with the move, and it was whilst he was renovating the gardens that he realized that they would make an ideal backdrop for Soriano’s works. A beautiful partnership of art and nature, those that visit will find themselves walking


Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021

through immaculate gardens set with meandering paths, shaded alcoves and glistening, still ponds. Interspersed among these, sculptures that are often light-hearted and amusing: a group of frogs leaping from the waters; a defiant bull; and a series of beautifully posed birds. Bohemian in its underlying spirit, it’s little wonder that this extraordinary homage to

Soriano also goes under the unofficial name of “the Garden of Love”. Advertised only via wordof-mouth, it’s impossible not to be seduced by this little-known, magical kingdom.

Ogród Rzeźb Juana Soriano ul. Artystyczna 20 (Owczarnia), soriano.pl Free admission


In brief

“A beautiful partner-

ship of art and nature, those that visit will find themselves walking through immaculate gardens set with meandering paths, shaded alcoves and glistening, still ponds”

On Display In Warsaw

Soriano’s legacy lives on in Warsaw, as well. Found outside the Warsaw Financial Center on Emili Plater, view ‘Torreador’, an original Soriano sculpture donated by Marek Keller and unveiled in November, 2014, in a ceremony attended by the Vice President of Warsaw, the Mexican Ambassador and a cheerful Mariachi band. Fitting seamlessly with the modern urban landscape, the work depicts a matador and bull.




What’s Hot…

For Summer? For the last few years, food hubs, concept halls and street fairs have wielded the greatest power on the city’s food scene, and with all boasting ample outdoor spaces this does not stand to change…


Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021

Hala Koszyki

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




ul. Wał Miedzeszyński 407 When Lunapark first premiered in 2019 we named it “the most imaginatively insane F&B concept that Warsaw’s ever seen”. Nothing we’ve seen since has changed our mind on that. Occupying a derelict outdoor leisure complex, this weekend market gets a Coney Island makeover complete with a bar set around a carousel; a circus-style big top entered via the mouth of a grinning clown; a shot bar disguised as a shooting gallery; and a bank of fairground games. A wild world of top quality food stalls, games, drinks and weirdness, it’s a haven of hip and a hedonist’s asylum. Defined by its incredible energy and madcap backdrop, visiting at the weekend is one of the big joys of Warsaw.

Nocny Market

Will it ever die? Three years after they first announced their permanent closure (or is it four!?), Nocny Market have returned for a final hurrah – so they say. Set out on an abandoned railway platform livened up with strips of neon, this weekend night market has become nothing sort of an institution. Gathering together dozens of street food vendors to form a patchwork of uber cool traders and hip little stands, organizers have this time promised to give preferential treatment to those hit hardest by the pandemic, as well as brands just starting out in their gastro adventure. To miss it is to miss out on an essential part of summer!


Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021


ul. Towarowa 3 (Warszawa Główna)

Elektrownia Powiśle ul. Dobra 42

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

Centrum Praskie Koneser Pl. Konesera

Set in the revitalized space of a 19th century vodka factory, Koneser has seamlessly blended modernity with post-industrial scenery to create an energetic dynamic reflected by its rich cultural and artistic offer, niche boutiques, local stores and impressive food and drink offer. An island of prosperity in the otherwise largely gritty Praga suburb, props go to the Koneser Grill and Syreni Śpiew, an impossibly decadent night spot in which trapeze artists descend from the rafters to mingle with the slinking glamor pusses that have made this their home. It’s unknown how the nightlife scene will yet respond to the pandemic this summer, so Koneser’s wide open plaza will surely act in its favor. warsawinsider.pl



Fort Mokotów

ul. Racławicka 99 If you’ve not visited Fort Mokotów before, shame on you. Like entering a secret world, a potholed lane flanked by scraggly bushes opens up to reveal a former Tsarist era military complex whose battered brick fortifications have since been turned over to house ad agencies, art studios and assorted creative think tanks – there’s even a brilliant photo gallery. Food and drink also play a role here, and while tears were spilled with news that Restauracja Forty would not be reopening, their place has been taken by Żywa Kuchnia, an eatery that promises to regenerate the mind and body with their “bio-active, healing foods”. Practically buried in the undergrowth, Schodki, meanwhile, is just about the most atmospheric gem you’ll ever wish to find: a place of battered brick, creaking wood and tangled vines, it’s a sublime setting for a bottle or three.

Fort 8

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


Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021


ul. Fort Służew 1B

OFF Brzeska ul. Brzeska 25

Whenever a new street food hub opens, the temptation is to benchmark it against the Nocny Market. But OFF has its own distinct sense of identity, a factor helped by its location. Set against Brzeska street – a chipped, broken back road with something of a hairy past reputation – this alone contributes to a raw vibe that’s helped by the presence of an arty Praga crowd that feels far more Bohemian than anything in town. Though relatively small in its size, the vibe is fab: drink craft beer under overhanging canvas sheets strung with colorful streamers that wave in the breeze. Not short on vegan options, the alternative feeling is aided and abetted by DJs, local bands and a crowd determined to make it a night to remember.

Targ Śniadaniowy

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





Warsaw Have A Sweet Tooth?

Budka z Lodami / Sosenka

ul. Francuska 30

On sunny weekends you’ll find Saska’s longest queues building up outside this simple, street-side


Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021

cabin. With social distancing now ‘a thing’, those queues are likely to get even bigger! Everyone (including the Insider’s dog) agrees they’re worth the time, not least

for their lashings of frozen yogurt drizzled with freshly chopped fruits. And when it comes to ice cream, watch out for choices such as guava or watermelon.

Frank Warszawa

ul. Polna 18/20

Mixing, so they say, French philosophy with New York creativity and Polish heart, a visit to Frank is like happening

upon a little, local secret. The pastries are a standout, but you know what, so too is the ice cream. Pastry or ice cream? Spoil yourself: have both.


Yes it does – and these are your summer stars!

Quattro Si

Ice Pot

Hala Gwardii & ul. Soczi 6B

Ice Pot finished last year (really, we were still visiting them in the middle of December!) as the Insider’s favorite scoop – this year, they’ve only gotten better. Produced by a true enthusiast, the seasonal flavors and occasionally wacky experiments (mulled wine, apple pie, etc.) never score less than a perfect ten. And if the tastes are a different level, then the service is as well.


ul. Narbutta 38

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


ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 13 (Raffles Europejski Warsaw)

To go posh, and let’s face it, you’ll want to treat yourself after promenading up the Royal Route, then the Lourse patisserie covers all sweet indulgences – both icy and not.

Na Końcu Tęczy

Al. Wyzwolenia 15

Named in honor of the rainbow that once stood in the center of Pl. Zbawiciela, this vibrant spot occasionally likes to push the envelope when it comes to flavors, but it’s the fruity

flavors that seem to work the best: the kiwi mascarpone is another level, as is the apple sorbet.

Nitro Lody

ul. Zwycięzców 11

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


ul. Brzeska 29/31

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

Quattro Si ul. Jasna 4B (Pruszków)

This Pruszków-based gelateria raised eyebrows earlier

this year after it was ranked 42nd in the latest edition of the Gelato Festival World Rankings. Owned by Peter Bertoti, the parlor is no stranger to accolades, having previously scooped domestic awards for its plum and blueberry flavors.


ul. Andersa 37

Although it looks rather budget-minded, Roszki have won hearts for an offer that’s especially strong on chocolate-based ice creams. The chocolate habanero comes with a fiery twist and a fan club that




true labor of love: yep, we absolutely love it!

Stara Lodziarnia

Tłusty Kotek

ul. Francuska 48

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


ul. Hoża 51

Set within an old dairy plant, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find The Fat Cat appearing on every rundown of local ice cream faves. Functioning doubly as a cool café dealing in specialty coffee, the scoops never disappoint with choices including dollops of ice cream sandwiched between cookies.


Summer isn’t just about ice cream – nor should it be. While dessert shops have boomed the last few years, it’s two relatively new arrivals that stand out the most: already famous for their operations on Oleandrów, MOD Donuts now have a pretty in pink walk-in on Paryska 27 that pays tribute to the fun donuts the owners once enjoyed in New York City – stuck for choice? Then you can’t go wrong with the explosion of goo that is the yuzu bombolini. For something sugar free though, head to Słodki Bez (Hoża 54) for an array of cakes and sweets that are produced with zero synthetic nasties. It’s a sin-free legend.


ul. Poznańska 26

Known as the vegan square mile on account of its proliferation of vegan restaurants and cafes, it’s no surprise to find a vegan gelato stop (‘vegelato’) opening in the area. Top marks


Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021

to sugar-free creations such as the mango lass or raspberry & cardamom.

Ulica Baśniowa

Al. Wojska Polskiego 41

The choice isn’t just vast, it’s sugar-free thanks to their commit-

ment to using natural stevia instead. Few leave with anything but rave reviews, and their cause is furthered by an equally impressive choice of cakes and tarts. It’s a Żoliborz legend – and rightfully so.


extends beyond Muranów’s geographic borders.


The Party? Let’s see… It’s summer, yeah? Then it’s to the river you’ll be headed…



ith so many shuttered store fronts, locked hotels, unlit offices and empty parking bays, it’ll take a while yet for the city center to recover from the zombie apocalypse. Instead, for your best glimpse of ‘how life once was’ you’ll be heading to the Wisła – specifically, it’s left bank. Heard long before it’s seen, it’s a din that thereafter splits into a zillion sensations: disco polo dance tracks, thudding bass beats, buskers banging bongos, and the happy racket of thousands of people on a fast-track to drunkenness. And yes, we mean thousands. The pandemic may have delivered a mortal blow to several of Warsaw’s bars, but you would never have guessed that

visiting the riverfront last year. This time around, we expect much of the same. Acting as the city’s unofficial summer party zone, anticipate vast crowds drawn to the revamped boulevards that stretch by the banks. Once a slimy, mucky mess lined with ramshackle sheds selling plastics pints of fizzy lager to muscly thugs, today’s Wisła has become one of Europe’s hottest riverside scenes thanks to a gob-smacking revamp conducted under the tenure of the city’s previous mayor, Hanna Gronkiewicz Waltz. Gentrifying more and more each year, while you’ll still find battalions of youngsters sitting on the terraced steps passing around tins of beer, the river’s appeal has been broadened considerably thanks to ventures such Plac Zabaw – a

collection of street food vendors and drink points overseen by the team behind Plan B. Of the other highlights, visit Przystań Nowa Fala, a slick-looking vessel that outclasses all of the other boat bars; Barka Wynurzenie, a craft beer barge that gently sways with the tides; and Barka, a sexy looking boat covered with pristine white sails. On land, meanwhile, Grunt i Woda provide a hip and happy fusion of street food and party sounds, whilst no round-up of riverside attractions would be complete without saluting Sen. Regarded as Warsaw’s most glamorous night out before the lockdown, they’ll be seeking to re-establish themselves as the haunt of the A-list. Featuring a rooftop terrace with views of the National Stadium, it’s nothing less than a spectacular night.





Should I Head For Craft Beer? Beer nerds will agree, Warsaw has the best selection when it comes to liquid gold. Here is our choice for the top of the hops...


Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021



f there’s a person out there that hasn’t been dreaming of locking lips with a pint glass then we haven’t met them. Before covid struck, Poland’s craft scene – first established around about a decade ago – stood on the verge of greatness. Lauded as the next big thing by Steve Dresler (the beer guru that evolved Sierra Nevada into one of the world’s top breweries), it looked to be an unstoppable juggernaut – until, that is, it crashed into covid. “We ended up waiting several months for the ‘twoweek lockdown’ to end,” says Paweł Leszczyński, the co-founder of the Warsaw Beer Festival and one of the nation’s top authorities on all things craft. “And I think we can expect a similar scenario to what played out last year. Definitely, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for those breweries that have been unable to sell their beers in supermarkets, as the scene needs the variety they represent.” Even so, despite the diabolical predictions, Warsaw’s craft pub scene has proved remarkably resilient. “Many have survived, in fact, we’ve even seen a few new ones opened,” adds Leszczyński. Still, caution is needed he says. “I’m surprised that so many had the money and hope they keep their businesses running, but the hard times aren’t over and we’ll wait to see how they adapt to whatever the new reality may involve.” As before, the area around Nowogrodzka promises to again become the city’s big gargle, with stalwarts like Jabeerwocky, Kufle i Kapsle and Drugie Dno setting an example for others to follow. Away from this ground zero, it is the survival of the smaller places that merits the most celebration, neighborhood pubs such as Craft Beer Muranów, veterans like Gorączka Złota, or small quali-taps of the caliber of Cześć.

Insider Fav *Tapping into the

no-alc trend, check Trzech Kumpli's 'Unplugged' range...

What Are We Drinking?

Craft beer has not stood still. “Some of the new trends are truly exciting,” says Leszczyński, “for example the increasing scope and brilliance of low and non-alcoholic beers. For those that care about sweetness, we can expect more milky sweetness in our beers, as well as intense, creamy beers banged full of American hops. We’ll also see more fruit beers with salt or lactic acid bacteria, and these are just getting better and better.” If there’s a downside, Leszczyński also predicts rising prices. “It could take a while yet,” he warns, “but I do expect craft beer to become more expensive in bars and restaurants.”

Summer Sippin’

As for nearly a decade, summer drinkers are naturally going to gather in Cuda Na Kiju, a small glass cuboid whose biggest pull – aside from 16 taps – remains a vast courtyard in the former Communist Party HQ, and a deckchair covered front area overlooking the palm. Now that’s a party we dig! It remains to be seen if Same Krafty will again open a terrace in the Old Town’s Rynek, but if not – or even if so – then don’t overlook Maryensztadt’s scenic spot on Szeroki Dunaj. And if you’ve got your sea legs, bounce across the gangplank to drink on the gently bobbing beer barge that is Barka Wynurzenie – pouring the beer of the Raduga brewery, this year they’ll also be serving Asian street food as cooked by the gang at The Cool Cat.




beautiful garden set with crates and little lights dangling from the trees. Mokotów doesn’t have the best reputation for nightlife, but in Wieczorny the area has a star of some legend.

Flaming & Co. ul. Chopina 5


About Drinking To The Summer? Whether its bubbles, wine or a flouncy cocktail, we pick our faves for summery, sunset salutations Ale Wino

ul. Mokotowska 48

At first you think you’re walking into a car park. And then, BOSH, it hits you – a beautiful inner-city refuge with smart wooden decking, a slanting sail blocking out the


Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021

sun’s full power, and bespoke, funky chairs from the esteemed Studio Rygalik. You want to dwell here for a bit longer than planned: and there’s no harm in doing so, especially once you start thumbing through the

rather extensive wine list.

Bar Wieczorny ul. Wiśniowa 46

Fixed by some of the biggest names in Polish cocktail culture, the cocktails are a serious biz here and neatly complimented by a

Well-spaced tables separated by picket-fenced greenery allow for privacy, with the sophisticated air hitting new heights in the evening once the candles are lit. Shaded by the trees that loom overhead, it’s a space that feels cool, casual and confidently affluent – but guess what, exciting news ahead! Opening anytime soon, Flaming

will soon be hitting Saska, namely ul. Francuska 2. A surefire summer hit, find a leafy back garden shaded by the pearl white modernist landmark in front and a gorgeous spiral staircase that’s ideal to swan down with a glass of something bubbly.


ul. Jazdów 1B

Polish Lesson No. 284: Klonn means maple tree, and that’s exactly what you’ll find while lounging outside. Said to be 180-years-old (give or take the odd year or two), find it acting as the cornerstone of a back garden scattered with tables and



bristling with greenery. In an added boon, find a façade that’s been reserved for “painting and graffiti” so as to reveal “the visionary potential of Klonn”. Matched with cocktails of blistering invention and you have a cracking spot for the months ahead.


ul. Widok 9 (Puro Hotel)

Perched on the top floor of the design-forward Puro Hotel, Loreta is the cocktail den every city needs: serving inventive (and often ad-libbed) drinks poured using top-flight ingredients, the setting is eclectic and fun and rounded-out by

a shaded terrace bristling with plants, candles and beautiful people. Exuding a sense of cool, the skyscrapers feel almost touching distance away.

Tel Aviv Urban Food

ul. Zwycięzców 21

Warsaw’s venues have a history of being a little disingenuous when announcing they have a garden – often, that translates to mean a few tables on a cracked pavement. Then you have Tel Aviv: woah. Overlooki the street seating to head out back to a long, narrow garden with neat decking, strings of ribbons flowing overhead and a bounty of

The Roof


plants, trees and greenery. Given edge by progressive wall art, you’re happy to spend the entire evening here in the company of an alt. wine or a special little cocktail.

The Roof

Rondo Daszyńskiego 2 (The HUB)

Twenty-one floors high, find The Roof perched on one of Wola’s newest skyscrapers. Featuring indoor

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

Wozownia Pl. Trzech Krzyży 16

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





About The BBQ? Summer without a BBQ? Impossible!



Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021



arsaw’s BBQ laws are straight-forward enough – don’t have a smoke-out on your balcony, the forest or anywhere else with the potential to cause carnage, fire, death, etc. Doing so and you can expect a visit from the Straż and a hefty fine for the pleasure. Historic parks like Łazienki and Saska are also a big no. So where can you go? The more ‘people-friendly’ parks such as Pole Mokotowskie are a fave, though for something truly Varsovian then pack your gear and head to the right side of the river – that bit underneath Most Poniatowskiego is a local favorite for beachy barbecues that go way into the night. Onto product, and as everyone knows, good meat is 80% of the battle when it comes to pulling off a fabulous BBQ. This Warsaw now has in abundance. Our favorite, without any questions whatsoever, is Mięsny in Saska Kępa, though other places that score big points include Mięsny Premium by Pogromcy Meatów, the Crazy Butcher in Hala Koszyki, and Befsztyk who have a long history of serving high-end meats to a demanding audience. Finally, and we’ll be bringing you a more in-depth look at this guy soon, then contact Darren at Ke Nako (kenakofoods.pl) for massive South African-style Boerwors sausages. His brand has become something of an In The Know star with those that have used the service often claiming it to be the source of the best sausage ever sold in Poland!

Hot Sauces: Made In Poland

Good meat deserves good sauce – hot sauce! You wouldn’t think it in a nation of such conservative tastes, but the last few years have seen an outbreak of producers that have bent expectations to come up with A-Class sauces that will leave your mouth on fire. For a selection of the best, point your mouse at: bedziepieklo.pl

Razor Hot Sauces

“We want to cultivate and popularize our passion and also prove that spicy food can go hand in hand with good taste,” says Kamil of Razor. “This resonates with our motto, which is Pain has never been so tasty!” Tasting their cherry & Trinidad scorpion or plum & habanero and you’d agree.

Ostre Dzieje

Adorned with mystical Harry Potter-style lettering, the magic of Ostre Dzieje is apparent instantly: committed to using eco products and heritage ingredients, this mob have forged a rep for high-tingle sauces that flirt between the hothead concepts of heaven and hell!

Lubelskie Słoiki


Having first met in England, Konrad and Monika have spent the last few years pushing boundaries with some of Poland’s most thrilling sauces. The Carolina reaper with grilled onions and smoked paprika will be an insane addition to any BBQ!

Best-known for his musical collaborations with Hemp Gru and Grubson, ragga hall star Marcel Galiński has made a career U-turn to produce truly exceptional sauces such as his best-selling Adremalina, a lively raspberry and apple tinted mix. You can think of this lot as a real market leader.

Dziki Bill

Started in 2014 by a Polish dude and his brother-in-law from Minneapolis, Dziki Bill lay claim to be the first Polish hot sauce brand. Mixing Poland’s love of natural products with the American enthusiasm for hot sauce, the results are atomic!


Looking for the most natural solutions, PanDemonic have tried to bring out the chili flavor rather than just the heatseeking fire. “For a good product, you need to start with the seed,” says Karol of PanDemonic. “That’s why we grow all our own chilies, vegetables and fruits. We’re organically certified and won’t use any chemicals.”





Can I Find A Fancy Meal? As bookings have proved, we weren’t the only ones dreaming of a memorable meal in glittery surrounds…


Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021

restaurants, we’re looking forward to returning to the elegant tastes of Rozbrat 20, the world class indulgences of Epoka, and open-air dining at Dariusz Barański’s sixth floor Szóstka. Nolita, cruelly overlooked by Michelin for several years, also promise an exciting return as one of the finest formal meals in Poland, whilst Nobu – opened in the summer gap between lockdowns – will be looking to revive the buzz around their modern Japanese menu. It’s likely, though, that we’ve already



aving spent much of the last year (and a bit) eating from a box, the prospect of dining from beautifully composed plates is almost too good to imagine. That said, the whole eating out shebang looks likely to be dancing to a different rhythm. “I don’t think it’ll be about fine dining so much, but more about fine food,” says Beñat Alonso of the Europejski Grill. “I’m thinking we’ll see less emphasis on ‘baroque’ presentation. Less nonsense, basically.” This sentiment has been echoed across the higher echelons of the food and drinks sector, with many openly predicting a migration to more “accessible” concepts that will aim to remove any trace of snobbery from dining. “I’m imagining that we’ll be looking at food that’s more digestible, both with the eyes and the mouth,” says Alonso. Nonetheless, this simplification and ‘back to basics’ mindset will not mean ‘ugly food’, as proved by the Insider’s preview of Alonso’s new menu at the Europejski Grill. “What it means,” concludes Alonso, “is perhaps more attention given to a good piece of bread or an expertly cooked piece of fish.” The Europejski Grill aside, of Warsaw’s surviving top bracket

Clockwise from left: Bez Gwiazdek, Modest Amaro and Nobu

glimpsed the future in the form of Robert Trzópek’s Bez Gwiazdek – hiding the white tablecloths way before it became fashionable, his restaurant has become known around the country for its sensitive and sophisticated recreation of forgotten regional Polish classics, all inside an intimate interior conducive to good nights with close friends. “Looking at the fine dining restaurants around town,” says Robert Trzópek, “I realized that they all had the same sort of menu, the same ingredients and the same high prices. So instead of launching another restaurant like that, I had a look at what my chef friends from abroad were doing. All of them were retreating back to something much more normal and just concentrating on serving good food at normal prices.”

Can I Get A Michelin Meal?

In short, no – at least not in Warsaw. Last posting to social media in June of last year, Senses appear to have closed for good, with emails from clients that had bought pandemic vouchers reportedly going unanswered and their listing now removed entirely from the Michelin Guide. Meanwhile, Atelier Amaro, Poland’s first Michelin starred restaurant, have stated that they are “closely observing the situation” and will post any further details to their website. For certain, this is not the last the capital has heard of Wojciech Amaro (pictured). For the time being, Poland’s only active Michelin starred restaurant is to be found down in Kraków: FYI, that’s Bottiglieria 1881.



The Spirit of Tel Aviv Malka Kafka, founder of the Tel Aviv brand, talks about the role restaurants have in fostering social responsibility…


Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021



How has the response to this been from your customer base? Overall, very positive. You’ve got to realize, on our social media we don’t post things that are anti-government or suchlike, instead we keep to social issues. Yes, some of these are linked but it is not a political stance that we take. It’s very seldom we’ll get negative feedback on our social media channels, and usually it’s limited to people saying that as a restaurant we shouldn’t be involved in these kinds of things.

WI: You prominently display the rainbow in the Tel Aviv restaurants and proudly proclaim yourselves to be ‘hummusexual’! How have your social attitudes changed since the first Tel Aviv opened a decade or so back? MK: I think even from the outset we’ve always been ‘rainbow-ish’, and that’s because Tel Aviv as a city is like that itself. But this isn’t just about LGBT issues alone. I’d describe us as being, above all else, pro-humanity. Veganism is a core part of my philosophy and I think my attitude to life is simply an extension of that – if we can be kind to animals, then we should treat other humans with similar respect!

Do they have a point? Should restaurants stick to just cooking or should they use their position to convey a social message? We’ve built a community with the Tel Aviv brand. As such, we can reach people. We shouldn’t keep our eyes closed to the problems of the world. When you look at the bigger picture, across the planet more and more huge, multinational brands are realizing that they have a platform and responsibility to stand up for human rights. Even McDonald’s have a wonderful equality campaign underway and have demonstrated that they too have an opinion. You have close links with both cities of Tel Aviv and Warsaw – how do they compare in their social attitudes? There’s a huge contrast. I get the idea that here, even people who might have liberal opinions themselves are afraid to publicly express them because they’re afraid of hurting their image or business. Perhaps not so much in Warsaw, but I think outside of the capital you can really sense that divisions in Polish society have become all the stronger.

How would you define the Tel Aviv spirit – and I don’t mean the city, rather your brand? We’re friendly to all: human friendly, animal friendly, life friendly. Like the city, we’ve always wanted to have a vibe that says ‘freedom’. I think that’s encoded in our DNA, so we’re a place in which guests can have fun, flirt, be happy and feel good – and of course enjoy great food in a brilliant atmosphere! On an entirely different note, it’d be irresponsible of us to finish without asking how your pandemic played out. So… shoot! Generally speaking, it went well. Like many other people, I learned to work remotely and how to enjoy doing so. Moreover, the crisis taught me to count every groszy, and also to look beyond my own capabilities – that’s why I wasn’t afraid to establish a board of directors to aid the running of the Tel Aviv brand and seek their expertise. Thanks to this, the brand has developed faster than I could have imagined. And, of course, the pandemic really forced us to work on our takeaway and delivery offer. It was something I knew we needed to improve even before the pandemic – as a trend, it had become impossible to ignore in places like the UK, and it was clear that this demand would also come to Poland. On a more personal level, there were moments I felt imprisoned so it reminded me of the value attached to things like travel and friends. Having lost the ability to socialize in normal circumstances, I developed my relationships in other ways – now, friends have become more like family.





FALLING IN LOUVRE The French spot seducing Warsaw…



VIBE Unscathed by the war, La Buvette sits like a hidden gem, nestled on a charming street that radiates off Stara Ochota’s Pl. Narutowicza. Tree-lined and looking like a cloned version of a picturesque arrondissement of Paris, it’s a pleasure to sit on the terrace, a feeling more akin to a cruise up the Seine. Equipped with wine in hand – and often a small dog on the lap – it’s an atmosphere that’s struck a chord with the punters, as well. Come evening, it fills out as friends converge for an aperitif before cherry-picking their way through morsels of meat and wooden planks decorated with some of the planet’s best cheese.


Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021

GOOD TO KNOW The menu is small, consisting of authentic French products that turns out to be mostly cheese and meat which assemble their signature dish, Planchettes, plus a few tartines and salads. Small assortments of jars and other French products are on offer as well, not to mention a curated choice of wines. Do check their hours ahead of time, as these have been recently subject to change.



La Buvette Mochnackiego 4/43

 French products speak for themselves, but what really comes through are the things that money can’t buy – conversation!

WHAT TO ORDER Say cheese! Co-owner Harold, from Strasbourg, prides himself on his deli case. “These cheeses are what I grew up with in my own fridge,” he says. Clearly, this is a guy that gets a buzz from introducing guests to bites they’ve never tasted. “You can learn more about France’s regions through its cheese than you can through its wine,” he continues, and it’s his passion that really shines through. MEET THE OWNERS That’s Harold and his Polish partner Natalia – having worked the corporate grind, they’ve opted to follow their dream of opening an eatery that feels community driven. At a glance, you realize that this goal has already been met. MENU ALL-STAR French products speak for themselves, but what really comes through are the things that money can’t buy – conversation! The sincerity and passion of the proprietors is a standout, with the couple eager to share their expertise with guests. Leaving, it’s not just knowledge you depart with, but a sense of genuine human warmth.

WE ATE An artfully presented board with a knife stabbed upwards in the signature style of an exclamation mark – POW! Mimolette Extra Vielle Aged over 18-months with a distinguishable carrot-like color, this cheese has a full-rounded flavor and with small explosions of salt set on a sweet caramel-like background. Brillat Savarin with Truffle Triple Cream Semi-soft

cheese infused with truffles. Features a velvet-buttery texture that, when smeared on a crunchy baguette, is enough to send you to far-flung places.

and garlic in a natural beef casing.

(Monk’s head) A semi-hard cheese scraped in a circular rotation on the top which produces small florets which are so lush and delicate that they melt in your mouth.

Ham from Aveyron Sliced ham with a gorgeous marbling and an intense, full flavor.

Fav *TêteInsider de Moine

Rosette de Lyon A Lyon sausage blended with sea salt, peppercorns

Saucisse Perche A small red pork sausage speckled with fat that’s recognizable by its u-shape which comes from being cured on poles.

WE DRANK Côtes-de-gascogne An elegantly balanced rose with delicious notes of strawberries, raspberries and melon.





Simple means stylish at the Europejski Grill…

INSIDE… When the Europejski Hotel reopened in June, 2018, under the banner of Raffles, its inauguration was the culmination of an indulgent restoration that saw no expense spared. Setting a new benchmark in luxury, it followed suit that the flagship restaurant would fully reflect the swish, sumptuous nature of the hotel. Decked out in tan and vanilla shades, hexagonal lighting installations, glinting mirrors and bold, blue ceramics hung to the walls, it looks the part with a character that bridges the classic with the contemporary to magnificent effect. Looking around, you know you’re somewhere special.

WHOSE COOKING? Ever since Raffles Europejski Warszawa opened, executive chef Beñat Alonso has been the face of the dining experience – proudly Basque, Martin Bersategui and Juan Mari Arzak are cited as his influences, and Alonso’s menu is a creative paean to natural goodness. Frequently featuring herbs grown in the hotel’s courtyard garden, an emphasis is further handed to the local producers that the restaurant works with. “We only import when we absolutely really have to,” Alonso tells the Insider.


Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021


OR OUT? To savor the views of Pl. Piłsudskiego, head outdoors to a terrace that feels as spacious and airy as the square that sits opposite. Spruced up with strategically placed greenery and oversized lights that arc over the tables, you’ll be dining under an awning that does a peerless job of providing you with shelter from any summer drizzle. Being here, you feel a million bucks.

Europejski Grill ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 13 (Raffles Europejski Warsaw), raffles.com/warsaw

Whilst the chef openly admits to missing the adrenaline charge of service, the lockdown has been used widely to play with new ideas and reassess the menu. “Fine dining was changing anyway,” says the chef, “the pandemic just pushed those changes forward.” As a result, diners will face a more simplified menu on which regional suppliers are handed an all-star role. ON THE MENU Simple is a relative term and that much becomes apparent when the first dishes land – high on sophistication, these include starters that feature an artichoke confit served with a lightly grilled guanciale cured for six weeks and a glassy carrot glaze, as well as a hazelnut soup with fig leaves and wild rocket – light, subtle and pretty, these are dishes that lend themselves to extreme satisfaction. Mains follow this lead, with a rump of Galway lamb twinned with a Tunisian sauce packed with coriander and parsley, as well as a fantastically smooth mash of Maris Piper potatoes. Also on the side, deep sighs of appreciation follow a roasted cauliflower with curry leaf – you’d happily live for a month on this alone. And then, fish, in this case, poached Cornish haddock with a thin, gelatinous skin that melts in the mouth. Encapsulating the spirit of summer, this a menu that feels primed for the sticky months ahead; more so, they’re a loud proclamation of a chef that has grown and flourished in his role as the leader of this hotel’s much-storied kitchen. And if for nothing else, visit for desserts of a caliber infrequently seen in the city – rice custard pain perdu and strawberries served below a wafer thin layer of burnt caramel and a quenelle of yogurt sorbet: it’s a fitting finale to a meal becoming of what has arguably become the most famous hotel in Poland.

 Fine dining was changing anyway, the pandemic just pushed those changes forward... warsawinsider.pl





ompleted in 1902 as the twin sister of Hala Mirowska next door, the existence of Hala Gwardii has long been written into the city’s DNA. Withstanding the vicissitudes of time to become an ingrained part of local folklore, Gwardii combined with its sibling to become the largest and best-known food market in pre-war Warsaw. Having survived WWII with all but token scarring, Hala Gwardii briefly functioned as a bus depot before being handed


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over to a sports club named Gwardia Warszawa. Under the inspirational guidance of trainer Feliks ‘Papa’ Stamm, the boxing team based here scored success after success on the domestic and international stage. But whilst Stamm masterminded Olympic gold triumphs, his finest hour came inside Gwardii when his charges racked up nine medals at the 1953 European Boxing Championships – among these, victories over fighters representing bitter enemies such as Germany and the Soviet Union.


Having provided a lifeline to normality during Warsaw’s various lockdowns, Hala Gwardii has once again proved to be a city-wide legend…

Hala Gwardii Pl. Żelaznej, Bramy 1, halagwardii.pl

Despite this glorious history, later years saw Gwardii lay dormant, until that is it was recharged in 2017 by CBR Events as the food and drink hub we see today. Combining its historic function as a farmers’ market with that of a hall filled with independent street food vendors and drinking points, it quickly assumed a catch-all role as a lively center of social life – something that even covid was unable to curtail. Mixed with the raw authenticity of the architecture, the depth of its backstory and the sheer diversity of its offer, today’s Gwardii is an irresistible concept that engages all the senses to standout as something unique amid a sea of more contrived copycats – when people talk of Warsaw’s buzz, it is Gwardii that encapsulates it. warsawinsider.pl



ul. Górnośląska 24 Opened pretty much the minute that the lockdown was eased, the latest concept from restaurateur Daniel Pawełek is a celebration of la dolce vita, a stylish, carefree journey through the joys of modern Italy. Taking the place of Brasserie Warszawska, gone is the Parisian-style décor, replaced instead by deep, dark shades and bold, pops of color. For the summer though, it’s the long, narrow terrace that looks the place to be. Cooking, and that’s been left to Przemysław Samul, a chef with experience in several Michelin-starred international restaurants, and his menu is a deep dive into homemade pasta and Venetian-style cicchetti. Wine, too, plays a distinct role, though its their Negroni that could well become the ‘order of the summer’. Full report soon!

ul. Koszykowa 1 Bravely opened in February, at the height of the pandemic, Joel Sharing Concept seeks to channel the atmosphere and tastes typically found in the food markets and bazaars of contemporary Tel Aviv. As such, find yourself ordering from a small galaxy of bites that range from pittas stuffed with beef and lamb kofta to mezze dishes such as baked beetroot served with stewed tomatoes, cranberries and cumin. With our experience of Joel limited so far to home delivery, we’re looking forward to enjoying the fresh, vibrant tastes in an interior we fully expect to match up to the concept.


Would you order sushi from a pavement kiosk cabin? We did, and lived to tell the tale. In fact, such has been the success of Izula that several sushi huts have been rolled out across the city, including locations such as Powiśle, Mokotów, Ursynów and Ochota. You won’t be surprised to learn that it’s not the greatest sushi you’ll ever eat, but it’s affordable, convenient and certainly fills a hole – you’ll do a lot worse in several restaurants that charge a lot more.


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Eat! listings author’s cuisine ALE WINO

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


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


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

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


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


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

ul. Oleandrów 8


Humongous in size, the vast spaces and lack of natural light never feel

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


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

chinese PAŃSKA 85

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


Taking their inspiration from New



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

comfort food BURGER BAR

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


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

ul. Andersa 21


Attached to the modern art museum, people flood here to enjoy an atmospheric wooden-decked terrace, an exciting choice of spritzers and food that captures the


Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021

zeitgeist: artisanal cheeseboards; stuffed rotis; fish tacos; vegan ice cream and so much more. ul. Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 47


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

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 stark, minimalistic concrete finishes. But what really gets you are desserts that lift this piece of Warsaw in the direction of heaven – the cream puffs are something else.

ul. Mokotowska 52


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


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

ul. Paryska 27


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

farmers’ markets BIOBAZAR

First founded in 2010, BioBazar pre-dated Warsaw’s love of foodfrom-the-source and triggered a city-wide trend that’s shown no sign of slowing. Though imitations have come thick and fast, none have matched this original in either size or scope: fresh fish, cheese, eggs, bread, cured sausages, honey... you name it, they’ve got it. Comprehensive in its pitch, everything you need to pursue a bright, happy life is here in this legendary farmers’ market.

ul. Wołoska 3


Spot the stars of Warsaw’s restaurant and blogging scene perusing the stalls at this weekly farmers’ market. Held each Wednesday, look for Pan Ziółko, Poland’s first celebrity farmer (!), Portobellos from the country’s only organic mushroom farm and the magical yogurts from Mleczna Droga Manufaktura Serów. Even the bottom-feeding carp here tastes bang on. ul. Zakroczymska 12

and baroque-style drapes lend an enveloping sense of luxury inside this A-Class space. Scene of the Insider’s most impressive dining moment of 2019, Epoka’s menu is based on Polish cookbooks from different epochs (hence the name, dummy!), with the dishes reconstructed in a way that’s innovative, unexpected and a roller coaster of

thrills. Oh gosh moments include jellied apple compote; a sweet and boozy pumpkin pottage; razor thin chestnut with marinated celeriac; and bigos like no other. You want to pause the evening for at least forever. ul. Ossolińskich 3


The flagship restaurant of the Raffles


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


As popular with undercover chefs as it is with queue-jumping pensioners wielding walking sticks like sabers, the accessibility of its price tags is bettered only by the rich bounty of produce that awaits. In the post-war units attached to the core building, Darek at No. 17 has amassed a legendary reputation for his edible flowers; at 115, cheeses and handmade sausages are the order of the day; whilst Pani Anna at 114 has been called the Queen of Mirowska for her peerless skills handling a butcher’s cleaver. Your best bet is to pencil in a full afternoon here. Pl. Mirowski 1

fine dining EPOKA

Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” Preserved 19th century cornices

Miodowa 1, tel.888 575 457 | Hours: Wed-Sun: 12:00-21:00 fb.com/TrattoriaRucola | Insta.com/TrattoriaRucolaWarszawa www.trattoriarucola.pl



Eat! listings Europejski has cut no corners in their bid to become one of the city’s top restaurants. A seriously swish interior of pearl white colors is teedup against contemporary flashes (hexagonal lighting, outsized plates hanging from the wall) and gleaming silverware. Enjoying precisely composed dishes such as beetroot tartar or Dover Sole is a well-tailored crowd that expects nothing but the best. ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 13


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


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


Flirting with fine dining – yet at prices a notch below – the menu is a succession of highs that are a


Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021

tribute to the sophisticated palate of chef Wojciech Kilian. Adding to the sense of being somewhere special is a setting inside the former interwar Soviet Embassy. Adorned with original, auction-bought photos of Marilyn, pretty pink colors and luxury fittings, Signature washes over you in waves of bliss. ul. Poznańska 15


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

georgian RUSIKO

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

Ujazdowskie 22

greek & turkish MR. GREEK SOUVLAKI

Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” With its smart navy blue exterior festooned with pot plants, this tiny townhouse seduces all who pass – but if the front terrace is a gem, then enter to find a place that simply bubbles with warmth and the engaging air of gentle chaos. While there’s no frills or fancy with the food, there really doesn’t need to be: you dine on pillowy pittas and skewers of meat while enjoying carafes of wine brought to you by Takis, an enthusiastic owner that wears his heart on his sleeve. By the time the evening closes, you feel like one of the family – and that, surely, is the essence of hospitality. ul. Londyńska 16


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


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

Eat! listings BOMBAJ MASALA

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


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


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

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

design featuring a wall of kitchen implements, hanging ropes and exposed concrete. ul. Hoża 43/49


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

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


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

japanese UKI UKI

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


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,



Eat! listings a rich zing with the addition of chili, lime and roasted coriander. The Japanese influence on South America’s dining habits isn’t forgotten either, with must-haves including the salmon tiraditos. Served with teriyaki and sweet potato mash, it’s a joy of satisfying sensations: sweet, dreamy, spicy, creamy. ul. Twarda 4


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

Przedmieście 4

middle eastern

Puławska 104/106

Hoża 41 (enter from Poznańska 16)


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

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

Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021

polish (classic) STARY DOM

A classic restaurant in style and history: back in the day it was a favorite haunt of jockeys and race goers from the horse track nearby. Pre-war recipes form the basis of the menu, with the team using seasonal produce and the latest technology to bring out its best. ul.

steak houses BUTCHERY & WINE

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


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. Al. Jana Pawła II 50


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


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



THE MAGIC OF MOLDOVA In a shaded northern suburb, the magic of Moldova comes alive in the leafy side streets of Żoliborz...




t’s taken the Insider a while to get here, but get here we did – only a mere 17-years after they first opened for business. And embarrassingly almost, we’ve missed quite a treasure. Set in a 1920s villa that miraculously survived the war, you’ll be visiting for a family-run business specializing in the import of Moldovan, Georgian and Romanian wines (and produce, come to think of it). Covering both classics and the latest trends (orange wine, so says the owner, is the current go-to tipple), it’s a portfolio that’s broad in its style and aching to be discovered inside a converted garage attached to the house. But say it loudly: the days of take-out are over! With the country’s health on the mend (fingers crossed), lurk around instead to wallow in the suburban serenity of their leafy garden. Doing so, you’ll come close to drowning in bliss and enthusiastic hospitality.

Winnice Mołdawii ul. Czarnieckiego 63A, winnicemoldawii.pl


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PINTA ul. Chmielna 7/9 Having seen their plans for an October launch thwarted by covid, Pinta are finally up and running – and not a moment too soon. Taking the space once occupied by the ill-fated Mikkeller Bar, Pinta’s flagship bears many of the hallmarks of the previous tenant: a pared down Scandi design set across two glass-fronted floors round the back of Chmielna. Featuring plenty of concrete and chunks of shipping containers, the sparsity of the design keeps your attention on the beer – and it’s brilliant. Pinta, if you don’t know, can be considered the founding fathers of Poland’s craft beer scene, and this bar gives their portfolio the attention it deserves. For newbies, the Atak Chmielu is commonly cited as being Poland’s first craft beer.


Żurawia 32/34 Hot on the heels of Pinta we have another brewery bar, this one dedicated to the works of Hopito, an experimental producer that thinks nothing of creating drinks such as Grizzly, a hazelnut and Brazilian coffee imperial pastry stout. Appealing to a far younger, more party-oriented crowd than Pinta, find a sloshed audience weaving around a neon lit room with black and white doodles. The beer offer is commendable, though you fear slightly lost on the spirited punters. Note, also, the presence of this year’s must-have accessory. A wood-fired pizza oven imported from Naples.


Browary Warszawski Launching this year, Browar Warszawski promises to take the city’s craft beer scene in a more refined, gentrified direction. Set, we’re told, in the 160-year-old cellars of a historic brewery complex, you’ll be turning up to drink from 18 taps inside a vast, neo industrial interior that will see no expense spared. Basically, watch this space! warsawinsider.pl


Drink! listings after work classics THE ALCHEMIST

Poland’s still getting used to the idea of ‘a pint after work’, but in The Alchemist the idea of a post-office drink just seems so right. From the off, it’s a place that screams, “off with the tie, there’s drinks to be had!” Back under new ownership, the terrace remains the place to be seen. Pl. Piłsudskiego 3


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

63 (Hala Koszyki)


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


The indoor food hall indoors opens out into a sea of neon signs and a sleek, manicured crowd posing for selfies over cocktails. And yes, drinks are every bit as important here as the food. Having first filed past security that are there to enforce pandemic hygiene rules, guests then choose between a craft beer vending station or the


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two principle bars that bookend the complex: Centrala Bar at one end or the more cocktail-driven Kandela at the other. ul. Dobra 42


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


Set in a 200-year-old carriage house within a secretive courtyard, Wozownia started life looking raw and ramshackle – in parts, it still does, but that’s not to say improvements haven’t been made, not least to a Lynch-esque winter garden that feels brilliantly dream-like. Drinkswise, kick-ass cocktails sell just as well as the Prosecco, which remains arguably the cheapest glass of sparkly you’ll find in the city. Pair that with a sceney crowd of off-duty DJs, camp dudes with manbags and slender nightlife creatures and you have a place that feels on the front end of hip. Being here, so are you.

Pl. Trzech Krzyży 16

clubbing LUZTRO

Dark and generally grubby, Warsaw’s most (in)famous club only gets going around about three. As the hours click towards daybreak, the scenes of depravity are like something from Sodom and Gomorrah. Enjoyed by zombies

that quite definitely don’t have to be up for work anytime in the next 48 hrs, it’s not just the full-on techno that will leave the brain rattling – it’s the craziest night in Poland! Al. Jerozolimskie 6


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


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


Just a smashing night all round: from jazzy singers to funk and soul via a dose of Britpop, the ever likeable Spatif is what Warsaw needs – a place that’s not up its own arse! A labyrinth of pre-war chambers add atmosphere, as does the kind

Drink! listings of basement smoking room that encourages obscure chat with indiscriminate strangers. Spatif’s main success lies in replicating the spontaneous feel of a house party that’s spiraled out of control Al. Ujazdowskie 45

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


The pert and pretty are here, so too the well-groomed modern man, but there’s a balance to the crowd that prevents any whiff of snob. As a bar it feels open-minded, engaging and

intelligent, and those are traits that rub off on those present. Drinks – such as the smoking Out Of The Box – are insanely good, and served in a small, high-ceilinged interior busy with framed vintage posters, cyan-colored wallpaper, baffling photos of Lynch-esque scenes and gleaming strainers and shakers.

ul. Wojciecha Górskiego 9


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)


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


Occupying the kind of charismatic gatehouse you’d T R C read about in Dickens, position P T M yourself C Win front of the upstairs ≈ W C fireplace for a celebratory cigar and ≈ C a glass ofC something tall and lovely: ≈ HE MOST











the cocktails are in a class of their own and specifically customized for the season. Spooling, silent Bond films, regular burlesque shows and random decorative monkey figures add an unexpected ‘element of weird’. ul. Wąski Dunaj 20


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

dive bars 2KOŁA

Sat in the abandoned backspaces and brickyards behind Zachodnia station, 2Koła feels like Warsaw’s dirtiest little secret. Still stained and smelling of grease and oil, this former garage is piled high with dented sofas, warehouse palettes




warsawinsider.pl PODWALE BAR AND BOOKS


Drink! listings and motorcycling detritus. Yet the supremely friendly owners have turned this shadowy lair into a cult bar that’s specifically celebrated for rowdy jam sessions that cover everything from ragtime to rockabilly. ul. Tunelowa 2B


Contained within a grotty bridge support, divey Czeska is permanently immersed in a foggy, yellow glow. Boisterous but extremely friendly, there’s a reason for all the man hugs and back slaps: everyone’s smashed! The frothy pints of lager are sourced from the owner’s favorite small town breweries, and the fridge kept stocked courtesy of his own cross-border forays. Tower 22A, Most Ponia-

towskiego, czeskabaszta.pl


Successfully enduring the challenges of their cross-city move is the underlying spirit that made them so famous. Defiantly arty in its character, the creative mood that prevails manifests itself in a quirky design that involves retro accents, refurbed armchairs, a neon of Lennon and the compelling illustrations of Izabela Wójtowicz. ul. Żurawia 47


For the highest condensation of bars in the capital head to ‘the pavilions’, a collection of ramshackle drinking cabins, shot bars and sheesha lairs inside a tight grid of shadowy back alleys. Adding to the gentle sense of confusion comes the realization that so many bars look the same – accessed through clattery, barred doors, visitors walk into what can only be described as murk and chaos. Find them through the passageway at Nowy Świat 26.


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Located opposite a mural of a giant goose and a gaudy statue of retro football star Kazimierz Deyna, this wreck announces its intention from the off with a piece of graffiti over the bar declaring that, “this is not a f***ing cocktail bar”. Despite the somewhat threatening slogan, it’s a place of amiable anarchy and warm camaraderie. ul. Brzeska 16


For Praga at its craziest and most creative, Praska doesn’t disappoint. Beers from Brooklyn Brewery keep the open-minded crowd lubricated with other amusements arriving in the form of regular DJs and a quite extraordinary interior: Christmas lights, giant, toy tigers, heaps of plants and other scrapyard finds dominate what rates as our weirdest discovery of 2019. ul. Brzeska 23


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


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


Set inside the archway, look for a heavy door next to a dented ashtray

seemingly unemptied for the last couple of months. Shadowy and shabby, you’ll usually find barflies strumming guitars or engrossed in a solo game of chess. An intensely personal experience, it’s a bar that compensates for its lack of glitz with a stoner-style ambiance that soon sweeps over all. ul. Nowy

Świat 27

late night legends BAR PACYFIK

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


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


Somewhere, amid all the junk relating to the Lebanese conflict (grenades, sandbags, ammo boxes, a rocket…), you’ll find the spirit of

Drink! listings Poznańska contained within this long, skinny bar. As fashionable now as it was when it opened, forget not to finish the evening in their connecting venture, the Pirates of the Caribbean-style Kraken Rum Bar. Everybody else does at some stage or other, with evenings often dissolving into a wild, happy whirl of international voices. ul. Poznańska 12


Best of Warsaw 2020 “Hot List” Looking good with a design that’s startlingly simple yet beautifully composed, think raw materials, steel frames and a vast, green fleet of tumbling plants. The F&B ain’t bad either with Latin American

street bites and a dynamic cocktail list involving exotica such as chili mango margaritas. Most of all though, it’s the atmosphere you return for. ul. Wilcza 9A


Up the stairs you go to enter Gram, a small room that invokes feelings of stepping inside a circus Big Top. Order up a craft beer from the fridge before making your way around the arcade games and pinball machines squeezed inside – come on, there’s not much to beat the feeling of outscoring your date on Space Invaders and Pac-Man. Between turns, count the number of monkey figures parachuting from the ceiling... ul. Marszałkowska 45/49

live entertainment KLUB POGŁOS

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



Drink! listings to present evenings that are raw, uncompromising and always high on action. ul. Burakowska 12


After a cpl of years of flirting with temporary accommodation, PTT finally returned in full a couple of years back, positioning themselves inside a corner of the PWC office building just south of Zbawiciela. But despite the upgrade in surrounds, they’ve retained the leftfield spirit of old thanks to flexi hours, a commitment to obscure sounds, and a well-spaced interior that references their former venue through its decadent color scheme and wall of favored musicians. The air of friendly, unforced cool is unmatched in the city! Al. Armii Ludowej 14


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

specialty coffee ASFALT

The combination of vinyl and coffee ain’t nothing new, but at Asfalt you feel that the very heart of the concept has been completely remastered. Take stock of your purchases over alt. coffees served inside mugs crafted by the nearby Fenek ceramic studio. ul. Tamka 37


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


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


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

Andersa 6


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. Elsterska 10


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


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

wine bars CZARNE CZERWONE ZŁOTE 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


MAKING GOOD TIME Founded in 1953, Polish timekeeping firm Błonie have done much over the last few years to revive themselves as an onedge brand offering design-forward solutions for the modern day gent. A case in point is their latest range produced in collaboration with the acclaimed designer Bartek Mejor. A graduate of the ceramics and glass department of the Royal College of Art in London, Mejor’s craftsmanship shines through in a series of watches that come adorned with wafer thin, hand-cut porcelain dials. Finished with ceramic glaze, his process lends the timepieces an added depth and gloss, not to mention a unique one-off pattern that’s as stunning on the eye as it is on the wrist. Błonie zegarkiblonie.com





Examining the capital’s relationship with animals, the Museum of Warsaw’s latest temporary exhibition proves a thundering hit…


Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021

Museum of Warsaw Rynek Starego Miasto 28-42, muzeumwarszawy.pl Dates: ongoing till October 3rd Admission: zł. 12 / 7


ven for an institution in the habit of presenting memorable temporary exhibitions, there is a sense that the Museum of Warsaw have excelled themselves with their latest effort. Titled ‘Animals in Warsaw’, the exhibition explores the capital’s relationship with other species, and leaves few stones unturned in the process. “The history of Warsaw is not only a history of its people,” announces the official blurb, before defining its goal as nothing less than a full introspective of the impact animals have had on the city, as well as their changing status over the centuries. To do so, different rooms have been assigned various themes that cover such topics as animals as ‘companions’, ‘neighbors’, ‘commodities’ and as part of the ‘workforce’. Though multimedia is occasionally employed, on the whole the exhibition is kept refreshingly free from technological trappings to instead remain exhibit focused. This includes the expected displays of antlers and bones recovered through the years, but is supplemented also by posters, paintings, photos and lithographs that impart an extraordinary insight into the past. For instance, we learn about the ‘hunting parks’ that were once prevalent in the Kingdom of Poland: enclosed by ditches and trees, in these suburban parks monarchs and nobility would keep boar, bears, aurochs and elk, often to replicate

the Garden of Eden and to act as a reminder of their dominance over the natural world. On a practical level, these also served as “living pantries” for the rich and powerful. Continuing, the educational oddities continue to mount: did you know, for example, that there was once a monkey theater that existed in the 1830s? Or, that prior to the creation of the zoo in 1928, animals were kept in ‘menageries’ such as the bears of Bagatela street? Moving on, past vintage circus posters, antique price lists for taxidermists (your own wolf stuffed for zł. 130!), and videos

pre-war actor Eugeniusz Bodo, this gentle-hearted Great Dane would travel by automobile to the trendiest restaurants in town, and was once even ‘interviewed’ by Kino magazine. Into the present, neither is the story of Lily the Pig overlooked. Rescued from a factory farm in 2014, the pig settled alongside its new owners, the Płoński family, inside an Ursynów apartment block before moving with her custodians to a larger premises in Pyry where she now serves as the public face of a vegan nursery school titled Friends of the Pig. Lovingly put together, and

It’s an exhibition that weaves dozens of compelling stories into one coherent narrative.. of Soviet donated camels being led through the street enroute to the zoo, we reach perhaps the finest sections of them all: those dedicated to animals as ‘collaborators’ and ‘companions’. In the former, the story of Gruba Kasia’s mussels is regaled in detail (i.e. the eight mollusks ‘employed’ to check the purity of Warsaw’s tap water), whilst in the latter, we find out about some of the city’s best-loved pets: e.g. Sambo. Owned by

accompanied by a detailed guidebook available at the counter (zł. 15), it’s an exhibition that weaves dozens of compelling stories into one coherent narrative so as to feel fun, fresh and entirely unique. “Our aim is to speak out in defense of urban nature and change the way people think about animals as inhabitants of Warsaw,” say the museum, and on this evidence, you’d say that they’ve succeeded.



Xawery Dunikowski, Man in the Cosmos (Man in the Space) c. 1958 oil on canvas The Xawery Dunikowski Museum of Sculpture, division of the National Museum in Warsaw


With many revealed for the first time ever, the paintings of Xawery Dunikowski are set to enthrall Warsaw this summer…


hilst the sculptural output of Xawery Dunikowski is widely known, there are few that know that the artist was also an accomplished painter. This area of ​​the artist’s oeuvre will be presented at an exhibition titled “Xawery Dunikowski. Painting” to be presented at the Xawery Dunikowski Sculp-


Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021

ture Museum in Królikarnia, a branch of the National Museum in Warsaw. Running from June 11th to November 14th, it will be complemented by a selection of sketches and drawings as well as a multimedia display featuring archival images and props from the artist’s studio. For Dunikowski, painting was an important part of his artistic activity and his versatility reveals much about his talents. Using his paintings to express personal feelings or experiences that, for various reasons, the artist was unable to translate into sculpture, these works became a conduit via which he was able to show love and affection for those close to him – including his daughter. Unique also in its timelessness, the exhibition shows just how many of Dunikowski’s themes remain relevant today – these including his criticisms of conflict as well as his environmentally aware message. Moreover, the questions he raises about the meaning of life and other such weighty topics seem as tuned to the pandemic age as they were to his lifetime. In all, the exhibition will present over 50 paintings and 45 sketches with some objects making their public debut. Others, will be viewed for the first time in decades.

Xawery Dunikowski Sculpture Museum in Królikarnia Puławska 113A, krolikarnia.mnw. art.pl

Czersk Castle



Michał Pakulniewicz is an analyst/researcher by profession, but a tour guide at heart. A fan of Warsaw’s interwar modernist architecture, and proud of the city’s World War II history, he enjoys long walks across the city in search of its glories and novelties. An ardent cyclist, join him to get the best out of Warsaw (and beyond!)..




Next in our cycling series, follow Michal Pakulniewicz on his way to explore Czersk – the ancient home of the Mazovian dukes.

Getting There

> Head south along Przyczółkowa to Konstancin-Jeziorna. There you can treat yourself to a visit to the local health resort park (Park Zdrojowy) with its salt graduation tower. > From Konstancin-Jeziorna follow Road 734 south all the way to Góra Kalwaria. > Alternatively, if you prefer a more rural trip, turn left at ul. Literatów in Konstancin-Jeziorna to Obory, before passing Cieciszew, Dębówka then towards Podłęcze and Wólka Dworska to ride alongside the river to Góra Kalwaria. >For those coming from the right bank of the Wisła you can also take an alternate route to Wilanów by heading south alongside Road 801. Turn right to reach the ferry that’ll take you to Gassy and from there you can continue on to Góra Kalwaria. > In itself, Góra Kalwaria is well worth a stop, especially for its historical centre. Next to the City Hall (Ratusz) you’ll find baroque churches and old synagogue buildings that do a grand job of reflecting the town’s multicultural past. > From Góra Kalwaria it’s just a few kilometers to the Czersk.


Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021


Use Wilanów as your starting base, and in particular, the intersection at Al. Wilanowska and Przyczółkowa; here, numerous bike trails meet to take you on a pretty straightforward route to Czersk:

Final Destination: Czersk

It’s hard to believe that this village of just over 500 people is one of the oldest settlements in Mazovia. Located on the ancient trade route from southern Poland to the Baltic Sea, for almost two hundred years it was the capital of the independent Duchy of Czersk. The castle of the Mazovian Dukes is a witness to these noble days, but whilst what we see today is a gothic construction, the earliest fortifications on the hill date back to the 11th century. It was around that time that Czersk castle reportedly served as home to its most famous resident – the would-be king of England, Earl Magnus. As unlikely as it sounds, a valid case has been made for this: a chronicler of the earliest times in Polish history mentions a royal named Magnus arriving in Wrocław in the1070s from a faraway land that had recently been conquered. Furthermore, it was in the Middle Ages that an unexpected symbol was added to the Duchy of Mazovia's coat-of-arms. It was a wyverne – a two-legged dragon prevalent in the Anglo Saxon world and often seen displayed on the banners of King Arthur or on the crest of Wessex (the Earl of which was King Harold). Whatever the case, the addition of this dragon was certainly peculiar given that it was a distinctly Anglo Saxon symbol hardly associated with the provincial dukes of the then fragmented Kingdom of Poland. The mysteries do not end there, and excavations on the castle hill conducted in the 1960s revealed the grave of a nobleman buried in accordance with Scandinavian tradition – so who knows, perhaps the popular Vikings series will

one day take its viewers all the way to Czersk? Onto the castle itself, and its current Gothic form is a result of construction carried out in the early 1400s. Ironically, the Duke who expanded the castle also contributed to its loss of status as it was him that chose to shift the Mazovian capital to Warsaw. Today, what remains of the castle comprise the walls, three towers, the foundations of the ducal residence and the remnants of the Romanesque church of St. Peter. The foundations of that church can be seen on the courtyard to the left of the main entrance (best seen from the castle wall).'s The rectangular gate tower as well as one of the round towers can also be accessed, and these offer a splendid view of the whole castle, the surrounding fields and orchards and (in the case of the gate tower) the Vistula River valley. In the gate tower there are exhibitions of furniture and accessories from the earlier epochs, but don’t expect any lavish chambers with gold ornaments and chandeliers: the dukes preferred a far more austere life. Unlike the walls and the towers, the brick bridge doesn’t date back to the Middle Ages but is rather an 18th century construction. After Mazovia was incorporated into the Kingdom of Poland in 1526 the castle became the property of the Polish kings. Queen Bona Sforza, the Italian wife of King Zygmunt I Stary (Sigismund I the Old), used it as her residence, though later the castle was badly damaged during the Swedish Deluge of the middle 1650s and never really recovered – attempts to rebuild it in the 1800s were cut short by the Partitions of Poland.


•The castle was once the capital of the Duchy of Czersk and was only second to Płock in the whole Mazovia. Only in the 1400s did the Dukes move their seat to Warsaw. •The Vistula River flowed right next to the castle hill as late as the 1500s. The shifting of the river bed was one of the reasons for the castle’s decline. •There is an allegedly a strong connection between Czersk and England. Reportedly, Earl Magnus, the son of the last Anglo-Saxon king of England (Harold), after the Norman conquest found refuge in Czersk arriving from Denmark when his family escaped.





As life blooms anew, accessorize your wardrobe at Designer Outlet Warszawa for those lively days and nights spent along the riverfront this summer…

A Piaseczno | Puławska 42E designeroutletwarszawa.pl


Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021

fter the isolation of the pale winter months, this summer promises to be a party to remember – and as we accustom ourselves to the forgotten concept of socially connecting, it’s to the city’s terraces, gardens and riverbank we’ll head. But climbing out of hibernation to drink bubbles is the easy part! Harder, is finding the right look that screams summer – at Designer Outlet Warsaw, that becomes easy with our catch all fashion solutions that capture the essence of the times.


Now is the hour for bubblegum colors and refreshing pastel shades – calm and comforting, they’re colors that make you dream.


Colorful, outsized jewels, chain necklaces or classic diamonds? You’ll be wanting to portray yourself as either fun or sophisticated. Or maybe a bit of both?


For all the chat about monochrome this season, remember that an exuberant splash of color can never go wrong when the temperatures climb…


Thinking sparkly? Do it! Or maybe something more classic and timeless? For the right selfie you’ll need the right sunglasses – fact!

SHOP THE LOOK Clockwise from top left: heels from Ryłko (pink: zł. 299.99 reduced to zł. 159.99 /

blue: zł. 279.99 reduced to zł. 189.99); Chloe sunglasses/ Outly (zł. 1,081 reduced to zł. 649), Swarovski ring (zł. 649 reduced to zł. 194); Hogl shoes (zł. 599 reduced to zł. 399), Furla scarf (zł. 295 reduced to zł. 147); Max Mara jacket /Made in M (zł. 1,449 reduced to zł. 1,019), Tous ring (zł. 1,179 reduced to zł. 707), Bluemarine sunglasses/ Outly (zł. 765 reduced to zł. 459), Swarovski necklace (zł. 1,690 reduced to zł. 1,183).




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

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



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


Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021

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

Piękna 28/34, mzprl.pl


Reprised as a maze-like treasure filled trove glimmering with

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



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

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


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

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


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

Anielewicza 6, polin.pl


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

79, 1944.pl




Marie SkłodowskaCurie Museum

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

1, ethnomuseum.pl

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



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


This museum commemorates the murder of 21,000 Polish officers by the Soviets in the spring of 1940. Beyond its quite staggering architectural merit, the museum has done a stunning job of collecting and presenting artifacts relating to the slaughter. ul. Jeziorańskiego 4,


Copernicus Science Centre


Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021


Reopened after a significant re-haul, this museum celebrates the ground-

breaking scientist that discovered polonium. The Curie-osities include lab equipment, her trademark black dress and even her nail file. ul. Freta

16, en.muzeum-msc.pl


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



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


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


What was once a Tsarist prison assumed a doubly sinister function under the Nazis. Some 100,000 Polish political prisoners were held here, 37,000 of which were executed on-site. Split in two sections, cells are found on one side, while on the

other the full story of the invasion and occupation. ul. Dzielna 24/26


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


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


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


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



Head to the Invisible Exhibition to learn first-hand the challenges faced by the blind. This includes everything from crossing the road to ordering a drink in a bar. Al. Jerozolimskie 123A

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

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


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


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




learning preschools AMERICAN SCHOOL OF WARSAW

warsaw montessori family

Warsaw Montessori Schools

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

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

Casa dei Bambini Badowska 19 Szkolna 16, Hornówek



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

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 64

Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021

reklama montessori 1/3_46x206.indd 1

The British School Warsaw provides EYFS classes from nursery to Year 1 (6 years old). Children develop quickly and their Early Years practitioners aim to do all they can to help your child have the best possible start in life and become a

18.12.2018 12:32

lifelong learner. ul. Dąbrowskiego

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


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

tel. 697 979 100, canadian-school.pl


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

INTERNATIONAL TRILINGUAL SCHOOL OF WARSAW Established in 1994, the Trilingual School of Warsaw offers nursery,

primary and pre-school education with a French and international curriculum for children aged from one to twelve. The fill-immersion trilingual setting allows for the choice between English, Polish, Spanish / Chinese, or English, Polish, French. Teachers are highly qualified native speakers from the US, France, Spain and China. ul. Nobla 16, tel. 501 036 637, ul. Karowa 14/16, tel. 503 072 119, ul. Królowej Aldony 23/25, tel. 533 321 084, 3languages.pl/ saint-exupery.pl


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

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

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


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

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



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


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 Akademeia High School is an

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



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

All programs are conducted in English, with integrated EAL support for non-native speakers. Contact:

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


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


Premium international school

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Belwederska 6a, Warsaw


Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021

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

INTERNATIONAL TRILINGUAL SCHOOL OF WARSAW Established in 1994, the Trilingual School of Warsaw offers nursery,

primary and pre-school education with a French and international curriculum for children aged from one to twelve. The fill-immersion trilingual setting allows for the choice between English, Polish, Spanish / Chinese, or English, Polish, French. Teachers are highly qualified native speakers from the US, France, Spain and China. ul. Nobla 16, tel.

501 036 637, ul. Karowa 14/16, tel. 503 072 119, ul. Królowej Aldony 23/25, tel. 533 321 084, 3languages. pl/saint-exupery.pl


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

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



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


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

Szwoleżerów 4 (grades 0-4), tel. 608 488 420, wmf.edu.pl


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


Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021


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.

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


787 095 835, wmf.edu.pl

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





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


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

Narbutta 83 (entry from ul. Łowicka)


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

18A, mandel-store.com


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

Healthy Planet – Healthy Me

July 5th - August 20th Summer club for children (age 1-9) Płyćwiańska 14A (Mokotów); and Syta 78 street (Wilanów)

The English Playhouse is an English-speaking preschool which follows the English curriculum and is an officially registered preschool with Polish authorities. We accept children from the age of 1 who can then continue their education at our primary school called The English Primary. The English Playhouse offers Summer Club to children from all over Warsaw in their green locations in Wilanów and Mokotów. This year the theme of the Summer Club is HEALTHY PLANET! HEALTHY ME! The Club is dedicated to children from 1 to 9 years old and is aimed to balance the body and mind after the

difficult time of restrictions the children faced during this pandemic year. Children’s Summer Club activities will involve numerous ‘eco adventures’ like planting mini gardens, exploring the kingdom of honey bees, visiting the rainforest, designing junk costumes and presenting them on the catwalk, learning about water supplies and endangered ocean life. Our young campers will also learn to take care of their bodies and minds and how to connect empathically with self and others to have more satisfying relationships (Nonviolent Communication – NVC) as well as mindfulness and yoga.

Apply on www.theenglishplayhouse.com

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 | JUNE 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




Socks from Skarpetoholik (skarpetoholik.pl)



or years now, the rainbow has firmly been associated with controversy in Poland, a fact largely stemming from the creation of a rainbow installation on Pl. Zbawiciela in 2012. Composed of 22,300 artificial flowers, and topping out at a maximum height of nine meters, Julita Wójcik’s work proved an immediate source of conflict. Outraged by its positioning outside a church, not to mention its LGBT connotations (which, incidentally, were always denied by the artist), politician Stanisław Pięta called the rainbow “a provocation” and “a disgusting gesture”. Priest Tadeusz Rydzyk went a step further, describing it to be a “symbol of deviancy”. Ludicrously, the rainbow found itself up against more than just rhetoric. Seven times it was set on fire, most notoriously by rampaging nationalists during the 2013 Independence Day riots. Finally dismantled in 2015, the rainbow has since become a favorite motif among those wishing to express ideals of tolerance. Perceived in some quarters as an outspoken fashion statement, for others it’s simply a quirky way to inject color to their wardrobe. Either way, you won’t be alone in sporting a rainbow this summer…


Warsaw Insider | JUNE 2021

Dress from Risk Made In Warsaw (riskmadeinwarsaw.com)

Bag from Flying Tiger (pl.flyingtiger.com)

T-shirt from Chrum (chrum.com)


The annual Pride parade may have been canceled, but don’t let that stop you from filling your month with color…

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Warsaw Insider June 2021 #298  

Warsaw Insider June 2021 #298  

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