Are you thinking about visiting Warsaw for the first time and you have got no clue what to expect or where to go? During the 4 months that I lived there, I collected a lot of spots that I absolutely loved & will be sharing with you below!
Pierogi at Zapiecek (= Polish dumplings)
When you visit Warsaw, you simply have to try the local dish called Pierogi. Immerse yourself fully into the Polish cuisine and try this delicious dish that comes in a lot of varieties.
You can try the Polish dumplings in a typical Milkbar. This is in essence a cafeteria that sells traditional dairy-based Polish dishes at a very low price. They first appeared in the early years after the war, mostly to feed the large population and the workers. This concept was developed by the Communist Party. If you want to experience a small part of the Polish history, I would recommend to have some Pierogi at a milkbar (you can find them spread all over town).
My personal favourite place to have these delicious dumplings, is the chain called Zapiecek. There are several of them in Warsaw and I love the authentic Polish atmosphere that they create inside. The waiters are dressed traditionally and you feel like you stepped into ancient Polish times. The price is a bit higher than what you would pay in a milkbar, but still for our standards it remains quite cheap and worth every zloty. My personal favourite is the pierogi with spinach & some sort of cheese sauce, but they have a very extended menu and Pierogi prepared in all possible ways. Go try this local dish, you will not be sorry.
Mexican food & cocktails at Frida
When you feel like having Mexican food in a real traditional setting, go to restauracja Frida on Nowy Swiat (one of the shopping streets). This is such a vibrant and unique place: the restaurant is fully inspired by Frida Kahlo and the Mexican way of life. All of the accessories inside are originally Mexican. If you are lucky, live musicians will colour your night at Frida even brighter. Enjoy a great cocktail with some appetizers or nachos, order a delicious typically Mexican dish & top off the evening with a sweet dessert. They serve vegan & vegetarian options as well.
Pancakes at Manekin
If you occasionally read my blog, you probably are starting to take note of the fact that I love me some pancakes for breakfast or brunch. Not fully aware of the why part but pancakes, and preferably a delicious looking stack of them, just gets me all excited. Manekin is one of my favourite spots I discovered in Warsaw. This place was located close to where I lived so anytime anyone would come over to visit, I would take them out for some Manekin pancakes. They actually serve anything here: from breakfast, to hot dishes & desserts. But what lured me in here time & time again were the pancakes of course. They have all the different types you can imagine: salty or sweet, with pesto & mozzarella, or rather Nutella, melted snickers & whipped cream, the list is endless & you should really just see for yourself!
A Stack of pancakes at Mr. Pancake
Thought we were past the pancakes? Guess again! Unfortunately I only discovered Mr. Pancake at the very end of my Erasmus stay but nonetheless I tried to make up for lost time :). As the title already indicated, Mr. Pancake will serve you a crazy stack of pancakes (I dare you to finish it all) & next to looking overwhelmingly delicious, it tastes just as good (imagine if not, could be quite the let down). The possibilities and toppings are quite limitless, have a look at their IG page to get you started! This is a small place but when the weather is good, you can also sit outside. Just like Manekin they offer you the choice between salty or sweet pancakes & they also have smoothies, milkshakes and so on!
Breakfast at Kawiarnia Kafka
A cozy spot to enjoy breakfast: they have a lot of room to sit, it is very bright thanks to the windows all around & when it’s sunny you can enjoy your food on the field of grass next to Kawiarnia Kafka. So when the sun is out, get yourself a nice drink & soak up those rays of sunshine comfortably outside. Inside they have a wall covered with books which gives a snug vibe to the place. They not only serve breakfast but also salads, hot dishes, etc.
Breakfast or drinks at Charlotte
Looking for a Parisian vibe in Warsaw? Then Charlotte is your go-to spot. Charlotte is located at Plac Zbawiciela, this is one of the nicest squares in town with a lot of hotspots for lunch or drinks located right around it. There used to be a rainbow in the middle of the square, but unfortunately they took it down. I love Charlotte because of the location, the great food & the atmosphere. It is a spot where the hip crowd of Warsaw seems to gather and it is the perfect place for some people watching. They serve great breakfast, but also lunch, drinks, anything. Have some time to spare? Spend a sunny afternoon here!
Cocktails with a view at Marriott
The Marriott is one of the bigger buildings in the center of Warsaw so you can’t miss. Just enter the lobby, take the elevator to the Panorama Sky Bar & take in the view. They serve really nice cocktails & I always love a good view in the background so if this is your thing too, do not hesitate. Happy hour is – if I am not mistaken – between 6 & 7 pm, this is when you can enjoy the tasty cocktails at only half the price!
My personal favourite cocktail to have in Warsaw is the Szarlotka. It is a mix of apple juice with vodka & cinnamon, if you are into these flavours I would really recommend to try it. Mostly you cannot find it on the menu but they will serve it to you if you ask for it!
Vodka shots at Pawilony
Another typical thing to do in Warsaw is to have a shot of vodka. Find a 4 zloty bar – as they call them – and try a couple of different flavours. Everything costs, quite literally, 4 zloty or 1 euro so you can’t go wrong (or can you? 🙂 ). You can find these bars on Nowy Swiat – the beautiful shopping street. Find a small passage somewhere in between the various shops and you will enter a place with a lot of these bars. This place is called Pawilony and is perfect if you want to discover the nightlife in Warsaw or just have a cheap drink. My favourite vodka shot is the one with lemon called cytrynówka: sour & strong at the same time 🙂
There are many more great restaurants & bars to discover in Warsaw. Do you have a great spot to add to this list? Please tell me!
Looking for a great hostel to stay at? Read all about the Oki Doki hostel here.