Polish Food… This is the thing I miss the most when living in Brussels. What I love about it? Its simplicity and the fact that it’s really local and fresh. I feel like most of the Polish restaurants don’t really know what frozen and industrialized food is. Everything is fresh and sooo tasty.
Polish food is often called “kitchen of the poor”. When in winter the thermometer was pointing -30 degrees, we had to eat a lot of food in order to keep warm! So what’s Polish food about? For me, a lot of fresh meat bought at the local butchery (no industrialized meat), a lot of potatoes or other wheat based pasta, pickles (cabbage, carrots) and a lot of soups! I really like soups because Polish people don’t use cubes of broth, they cook the broth themselves. This is why this food is so delicious.
Tell me if I’m wrong but I feel like it’s easy to find good local food in Poland. In this article, I will propose three kinds of places where you can be sure to find good food. Why three? Because I want to share with you three different food budgets.
Milk bars and canteens
Lately, milk bars and canteens became very trendy in a lot of Polish cities. I guess it’s because of their traditional aspect. They actually always existed. What do I love about canteens? The fact that I eat fresh food prepared by locals Babcias (grandmas haha) for almost nothing!
My mother took me to this new canteen called “U Chłopaków” in the city center of Warsaw and we ate for 3,5 euros per person! It was absolutely delicious. We went there the day after my arrival and I was missing my home country food so much. This reminded me of the food my grandma was cooking for me and I was really happy about that.
As an appetizer, I opted for a homemade “Rosół” (traditional soup with chicken broth) and then, I ordered some Polish schnitzel with pickled cabbage.
I feel like if you visit any city in Poland and you want to try the local food for a small price, you must try a canteen or a milk bar. It may look simple but everything will be very tasty and fresh!
I want to see your face when you look at the picture above. You probably wonder “What the hell is that?”, “doesn’t look tasty”. I have that friend that always makes fun of pierogis. She says we eat pasta with potatoes. And this is kinda true!
You can compare pierogis with Italian ravioli even though I think they just look alike. The pierogi’s dough is thicker and they are stuffed with meat or a mix of potatoes, cottage cheese, and onions (these are the most eaten ones). We eat them with bacon and sour cream. Pierogis are also sometimes served in a sweet version with fruits inside.
When in Poland, I eat a looooot of pierogis. My mom buys them in a small shop. But when I’m in the city, I always go to “Zapiecek”. It is a restaurant chain that exists all over Poland and I really like the pierogis they serve. Some of my Polish friends may think that it’s a touristic place. Well, it’s true because a lot of tourists eat there but they serve really delicious homemade food.
High rated restaurants
Once you’ve tasted the real polish food in a small restaurant and you feel a little bit more curious, I recommend trying a higher rated restaurant. Those ones serve revisited local food. The prices are of course more expensive but I think it’s really worth the try.
One of my favorite cooks is Mateusz Gessler. He is half Polish and half French and he owns a few restaurants in Warsaw. He wants to prove that Polish food is delicious so he cooks traditional meals but he always adds something or the revisits them. I recommend trying “Cma”, “Warszawa Wschodnia” or “U Kucharzy”