Posted on by

A Foodie's Guide to Eating in Poland | Traditional Polish Cuisine | What to Eat in Poland | Where to Eat in Poland | Traditional Polish Meal | Top Places to Eat in Poland | Best Meals in Poland | Poland Food Guide | Street Food in Poland | #Pierogi #Poland #PolishFood #PolishCuisine #Foodie - California Globetrotter

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I might make a little extra spending money, at no extra cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own and these products/services have been found useful during our travels and come highly recommended to you from yours truly!

Prior to visiting Poland, I found myself looking on Pinterest for typical traditional Polish foods. I rarely go looking for foodie posts about a destination as my best way of finding the most traditional food is to always ask for a recommendation, or usually looking for the special of the day as its usually the best. Yet, here I was salivating over my keyboard by the delicious posts I was looking at. I was hungry for Polish foods weeks before visiting, so by the time I arrived, I knew exactly what it was I wanted to try! So, now I’ll share with you what to eat in Poland and have you salivating all over YOUR keyboard!

Hungry Yet? PIN IT FOR LATER!!

How to AVOID Looking Like a Tourist in Europe

Pierogi, Perogi, Perogi

First and foremost, let’s begin with one of the most traditional, most popular meal in Poland and the most delicious meal I’ve ever had in my life. You simply CAN NOT, I repeat, CAN NOT leave Poland without trying as many variations as possible! 

Pierogi are ravioli-style filled dumplings either with cream cheese, ground meat, potato and fruits. Typically they are served with friend onion, butter or bacon bits drizzled on top with a side of sauerkraut. They come moist or even fried. You can typically find these at any traditional Polish restaurant.

Dessert Pierogi can be stuffed with quark (a type of cream cheese) fresh fruit filling, such as cheery, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry or plum.

For dinner, my friend M took us to Pierogarnia Mandu which is the best place for Pieorgi in Gdańsk and trust me, it’s worth the wait! There are two locations in Gdańsk! Here, you can even try fried Pierogi called Mazurskie or you can try any of the other variations like the Russian style dumplings, Pielmieni.

Address: 

  • ul. Kaprów 19D (entrace from Obrońców Westerplatte Street) 80-316 Gdańsk
  • ul. Elżbietańska 4/8 80-894 Gdańsk

We popped into one of the top cafes in Sopot, a chocolate cafe Pijalnie Czekolady Wedel, to hide from the flash of rain only to discover that it’s also a chain which can be found in every major city center in Poland.

We each ordered something different from chocolate pierogies with strawberries and a caramel drizzle, to a raspberry chocolate cake combined with a Rose Flavored Hot Chocolate. And you can bet your patotootie when we got to Wroclaw, we went again! 

Bigos

Often translated as “Hunters’ Stew”, this delicious bowl consists of cabbage and sauerkraut, onions and spices mixed with slices of Polish kielbasa sausages. It is one of the most traditional Polish meals typically served with slices of bread to better soak up every drop! And believe me, I did! Other variations of the dish include chicken, pork, beef or game. This was possibly my second favorite meal while in Poland!

This meal is also quite traditionally found in Belarus, Lithuania and Ukraine. This was the perfect meal in the evening after a hard days sightseeing! One of the top restaurants in Wroclaw is the City Hall Restaurant, Piwnica Świdnicka, which is the oldest restaurant in Europe with equally charming Medieval decor! The beer hall restaurant is named after the brewer which once sold their beer here. Today, you can find traditional Polish cuisine!

Another similar version came in a bread bowl which made it extra delicious!

Barszcz

This deep red beetroot soup, also called Borscht, is flavored with lemon and garlic and is often served with beans or potatoes. While eating at the Wroclaw Town Hall, my husband enjoyed this very much with a side of bread!

Typically the soup is made made by combining meat with sautéed vegetables, beetroots and include cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes and tomatoes. There are different variations of the soup and it can come either hot or sold, with meat, fish or vegetarian. It can also be a hearty meal or a clear broth.

Golonka

Brought to Poland by German citizens who lived in what is now called Poland, Golonka is simply a roasted pork knuckle but is considered to be one of the best meals to eat in Poland. The ham hock is the end of the pig’s leg, just above the ankle and below the meaty ham portion and is also quite popular here in Bavaria as well. Traditionally it is served with a side of potatoes or sauerkraut. In Poland, it is served with a small dish of mustard seeds and horseradish. 

I had never had one before in Germany and so I wanted to try it since it was on the menu, however, this particular one was quite fatty but I have since tried another one and it was much crispier. 

Related: The ULTIMATE Guide to Eating in Germany

Pierś z kaczki 

Another typical Polish dish is a roasted duck which was served with a side of white asparagus and a creamy sauce. Roasted duck is also a popular meal here in Bavaria which normally comes with a side of rotkraut (red cabbage) and some potato dumplings. 

Żurek

This scrumptious sour rye soup with pork sausage was definitely a favorite of mine. It’s a soup made from sour rye flour which normally comes served with pork sausages or pieces of smoke sausage, bacon or ham. Occasionally, you may find a boiled egg in it as well. The wheat flour version of this soup would be the Barszsz above. This is a very authentic Polish meal which can be found throughout Poland and Belarus and is sometimes served in an edible bread bowl or with boiled potatoes.

Starters

(Left to right) The next three I was brave enough to try it when visiting my friend in Gdańsk took us to a ‘Zakąski Przekąski’ (literally ‘Appetizers & Snacks’ bar) which is open 24/7 which was decorated in Communist nostalgia.  The trendy new bars have been dubbed “Polish Tapas” offering cheap, local appetizers which are usually served cold with a vodka drinks and is one of the best things to do in Poland for a night out on the town which are pretty much considered a Polish snack. The menu is more like answers to a game show with ‘Foods that follow Vodka’. Many such bars existed prior to WWII and are bringing back simple traditional Polish meals that was lost under the Communist regime as there were often rationing. Not pictured are the 3-4 shots I was given and the fear I had that I would get totally trashed next to my Polish friends.

Herring (Śledź) is a very popular appetizer in Poland which comes pickled, in oil, with onions or even sour cream. There are hundreds of different ways Poles eat their Herring including even frying it up. 

Tarar (Tatar Wołowy) translates to steak tartare which is always made of beef of the best quality, for example sirloin or tenderloin. It is ground until it is very fine and comes served raw with an egg yolk, sour cucumbers, onions, a little oil, salt and pepper. It was the popular thing served at parties in the 70s and 80s, especially in Germany. With the opening of these shots and starter bars popping up all over Poland, tartare is making a comeback!
 
Pork in Jelly (Zimne Nóżki) has been an integral part of Polish cuisine possibly as far back as 1518. Different parts of the pig, as well as other cold cuts are used, often decorated with cooked vegetables like green peas which needs to be prepped and left to sit over a slow fire for at least 5 hours, which then created a time of glue that
curdles the liquid into a jelly form. Of the three appetizers, I like this one the most. 
 
Address: Pijalnia Wódki i Piwa – Długi Targ 35/38/B/C (entrance from ul. Kuśnierska), Gdańsk

Gołąbki

Other traditional Polish foods include Gołąbki, also nicknamed “little pigeons” is simply Stuffed Cabbage which is a popular dish throughout Europe, predominately in Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Romania and even into Germany with variations changing by location, if only slightly. Typically, the cabbage is stuffed with minced beef or pork, chopped onions and bread crumbs or rice then popped in the oven and served with a side of either polenta, potatoes or puree. 

Ice Cream

Polish love Love LOVE their ice cream! I don’t think I’ve ever seen sooooo many ice cream shops and soooo many people with their tongues out licking an ice cream! I almost felt like we were doing something wrong by NOT have one in our hand every 5 minutes! 

St. Martin’s Croissant

It is absolutely 100% ESSENTIAL to find, buy & devour possibly not one but two of Poznań‘s famous croissant, St. Martin’s Croissant. Traditionally, it is eaten on November 11th – St. Martin’s Day, but it can be found year round. It’s so special it can ONLY be made in Poznań. Unlike normal croissants, these are jam packed with almond paste, nuts and poppy seeds and come in a unique shape. Just off the corner of the Old Market Square, near the Fountain of Neptune on Paderewskiego Street, you’ll find a small  one woman bakery shop selling fresh croissants and other sweet treats. If you have more time, consider taking a cooking class to learn to make these special croissants at Rogale

Donuts

Other must-try Polish food includes devouring Donuts (Pączki) which are incredibly popular in Poland as Poles are a very religious people who follow the rule that they can consume as may donuts as they want on Fat Tuesday. Drawing commie-style lines, Stara Pączkarnia (Old Pączki Shop) in Wroclaw isn’t actually that old as it only dates back to 1989, which is the oldest any private company can be in Poland. Walk down Świdnicka and you’ll immediately come to a ridiculously long line. Not knowing what it was, I walked up to the window and took a peak and to my eyes I saw a delicious display of a variety of non-orthodox stuff jelly donuts. From Rose to Plum and papaya to chocolate, I knew I’d be getting in line for some of the best street food in Wroclaw! My inner fattie was sad I was only allowed to buy one!

There are three shops in Wroclaw, so go find them all. After all, they’ll never know you already visited the others! 😉 

Address:

  • Kuźnicza 29A
  • Świdnicka 24
  • Ruska 60

Browar Złoty Pies (Golden Dog Brewery)

Just at the corner of the main square in Wroclaw, you’ll find Złoty Pies – one of the best bars in Wroclaw. This brewery has some of the most interesting twists on beer and cocktails I’ve ever seen. As a live brewery, all stages of the beer making process happen right before your eyes. Złoty Pies offers five types of craft beer – lager, IPA, wheat, amber, and porter which are parred with any of their modern Polish dishes which change with the seasons. While there, we enjoyed a sample platter of beers however I particularly enjoyed the Golden Weizen which was infused with grapefruit.

Address:  ul. Wita Stwosza 1-2 , Old Town

Książęce Beer

Is a popular Polish beer I saw throughout many restaurants, however one in particular tickled my fancy so many I lost count of how many I thoroughly enjoyed! Książęce‘s Ciemne Lagodne is a dark mild beer and is similar to Schwarzbier in northern Germany. It has a delicious infusion of barley malt, delicate flavors of honey and sponge cake with aftertastes of caramel, chocolate and roasted coffee. 

Weranda

If you’re looking for the best cafes in Poznań, look no further than this glorious cafe called Weranda, which is actually a chain. What I really loved about this cafe was that the interior decor was incredibly vibrant and unique, making for a picturesque environment while sipping on my Rose iced latte! Yes, I’m still obsessed with anything rose flavored. To be honest, I really wanted the very American style pancakes with bacon and maple syrup, but that’s only available for breakfast! 

Address:  Świętosławska 10, 61-870 Poznań, Poland

 

I hope I’ve left you hungry and salivating all over your keyboard now and have inspired you to travel to Poland, if only for the food! I mean, let’s me honest, it’s half the reason we travel, right??! These were definitely only a portion of the hundreds of Polish foods you NEED to try and only a dip in the bucket! As I continue to visit Poland, I will add to this list of best Polish foods to try!

If you’re interested in visiting Europe and are looking for more information, I highly recommend using the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Europe! Without these guides, I would be lost! This is my travel Bible as well as some of my favorite cook books and the Ultimate Foodie Book!!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I might make a little extra spending money, at no extra cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own and these products/services have been found useful during our travels and come highly recommended to you from yours truly!

Other Poland Travel Guides:

Pretty Poznan

The Beguiling Charm of Gdańsk 

Where to Find Gdansk Street Art

Experience the Charm of Wroclaw: What to See, Do & Eat

The Dwarfs of Wroclaw: How Many Can You Find?

Hungry Yet? PIN IT FOR LATER!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

*

Replies to A Foodie’s Guide to Eating in Poland 

  1. Wow you covered pretty much everything a first-timer would like to know about Polish cuisine! Great job 🙂 Looks like you managed to try pretty much all yummy stuff 😀 Książęce ciemne lagodne is my favorite beer, I am glad you mentioned it in this post! The only food I don’t like from your list is the bigos – but I’ve heard it really depends on how it’s prepared. I tried it a couple of times but never liked it.

  2. Love your post, I never realised that Icecream was such a huge thing in Poland, Another reason to visit because you are right Food is one of the most important things when visiting new places. Well, it is for me anyway I love trying all the new cuisine.

  3. The food in Poland is so, so good! It is incredible! I found the food simple but full of flavor. We did visited a place with a more modern take on the classics and it was delicious too. We only had 4 days in Poland. Therefore, we had limitations on what we tried. I really want to go back because the country is greatly underrated. Chocolate pierogis? I have to try those!

  4. Boy oh boy, I am so glad I just had lunch! These foods are simply amazing, the perogies are definitely something I would devour and the stews, the ice cream, yum scrum! I’m unsure if it’s true, but a Polish friend of mine told me there is a national doughnut day which would tie in with their love for doughnuts! Delicious post, pinned to my foodie board #feetdotravel

  5. As I love ravioli I’d go for the Pierogi. The mix of cream cheese, meat, potato and fruits sounds very tasty followed with onions butter and bacon BUT no sauerkraut for me, ha-ha! I know it’s very healthy but I just can’t stand it 😉

  6. Wow…what a great guide. I am hungry now. The only thing I knew here was Pierogi of course. Who knew they come in chocolate? Even though I can’t pronounce most of these names…they look delicious. I’m such a fan of pastries and it looks like Poland doesn’t disappoint.

  7. This is my kind of article. You had me salivating over my keyboard the same way you were! I love Polish food but have never eaten it in Poland. I am certainly taking this list with me and trying every dish! 🙂

  8. I absolutely love Poland! After volunterring for a week near Wroclaw last year I fell in love with lots of the food. Especially perogi and Borscht!

    Polish food can be a little scary for a first timer who isn’t used to Eastern European food. This is a fantastic introduction! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Polish food is a lot like Estonian and I absolutely loved it when in Warsaw! We actually did a food tour and got to taste many of the things you have listed here. Borscht and pirogi are popular in Estonia too, but Zapiekanka was my favourite find from Poland! All this food talk is making me hungry lol!

  10. You don’t know how happy this post made me. I am also head over heels for any rose flavored foods and desserts. I would try literally everything you mentioned, but the stand-outs to me were the rye soup and rose hot chocolate. I am actually going to whip out my hot chocolate tonight and try adding a little rose water and see if I can make it good. Amazing foodie post 🙂

  11. Poland is a perfect destination for foodies, and as I usually travel to Warsaw I can tell that Polish capital is amazing place to explore is it comes to the culinary side. There are tens of fantastic restaurants and bars with delicious food. My personal favorite place, that never disappoints is a bar in downtown called Bubbles. They serve both amazing drinks and really delicious food. Every single thing I have tried there was so delicious!

  12. Poland is a real heaven for every foodie, their food is incredible! I love visiting Poland, I always end up full of dumplings and donuts 🙂 I love eating, that is why during my trip I always try to discover some new culinary spots. In Warsaw my top one is a Polis restaurant called Akademia – they have really delicious dishes, mostly Polish, and they cook with a nice, innovative way. Their dumpling are out of this world! And they have some really nice wine. It’s probably my favorite restaurant in the entire Warsaw 🙂

  13. I have to admit I’ve never heard of most of those dishes but they all look & sound so yummy!!! Might have to visit Poland soon to try them all 😀 #CityTripping

  14. Mmm this is making me hungry! Polish food always seems designed for long frosty afternoons although I would eat pierogi any time any where. Yum! Never quite so convinced by borscht. But lots of new ones I want to try on my next Polish city break. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

Feedspot Expat BloggerBest Germany Expat Blog 300 Top 50 Expat Blogs German-Speaking Countries 2017 Lonely Planet Pathfinders badge image

Follow me on:

Or sign up to my newsletter

%d bloggers like this: