One of the most picturesque cities in Poland, the buzzing, bustling Wrocław offers so much more than its fairytale facade. Beneath all that, lies a turbulent history that’s still present along almost every medieval bridge you walk across and on each pre-war building you encounter. In addition to the city’s vibrant cultural life, there is a tasty and divine array of fine dining to be enjoyed here, from traditional Polish haunts to good breakfast or brunch spots to sophisticated world class establishments. Here are ten of the best local restaurants in Wrocław.
Always busy, always full of life, Pod Papugami has developed a reputation with locals and visitors for its creative food and vibrant atmosphere. Located on the Market Square in the heart of Wrocław, it can be on the pricey side. It is decorated in the style of classic Hollywood and serves up plenty of its own stars on the menu. Using fresh, regional and seasonal ingredients, Head Chef Mariola Monczak cooks up a delicious variety of French and Mediterranean-inspired dishes including roasted wild boar, grilled salmon, duck breast, pasta, salads and even tapas. There is often live music, particularly blues and jazz, to enjoy, which has granted Pod Papugami somewhat of a cult status in Wrocław. They also do all sorts of great cocktails if you want to swing by for a drink or two.
Also located on the Market Square, Cesarsko-Królewska is an interesting mixture of sleek modern outfitting and tradition, housed in a vast vaulted stone structure. The food is that of Eastern European cuisine, with lots of rich smoked meats, dumplings and warming broths, many dishes of which come from the surrounding region. There are plenty of fish and salad options if you are after something lighter. Choose from three sumptuously decorated rooms in which to eat – named after the cities of Budapest, Prague and Vienna, all of which offer sophisticated surroundings and service to match. In the summer, there is also a garden where dining al fresco reigns supreme.
Bar Mlecznys (Milk Bars) are a Polish institution and subsidised by the government. In every town or city in Poland, these are the places to really find the best local food. Well I guess the secret is out now, thanks to the well run Bar Mleczny Mewa. Located in the heart of Wrocław, this restaurant is the best place for delicious Polish dishes during the day time hours. As it’s a “Milk Bar” it won’t be open after 6pm or on a Sunday, but when you can get good soup for 4 złotych and pierogi for 7 złotych, it’s hard to complain.
La Maddalena is located slightly apart from the ever-touristy Main Square in the old Jewish Quarter. It is still, however, within easy walking distance of the center, next to the White Stork Synagogue and the Mleczarnia Beer Garden. La Maddalena serves upmarket Mediterranean cuisine, specifically originating from Sardinia and Corsica. Food is healthy, fresh and organic. The aesthetically pleasing presentation also makes this restaurant a definite winner amongst Instagrammers. Some favorites from the menu include halloumi cheese with fresh figs or grilled octopus with fried sweet potatoes to start, as well as the succulent fillet steak, seafood linguine or tiger prawns. Fun fact: the bar recently hosted James Bond Actor Pierce Brosnan.
Przystań has an enviable location on the Odra River with outdoor seating on decking over the water. Find it within walking distance of the Market Square and two historic bridges for an experience of modern dining and decor in ancient surroundings. One of its major draws is an incredible view over the river to Wrocław University on the opposite bank. Both casual and elegant at the same time, with a subtle nautical theme, Przystań serves sophisticated Mediterranean-style cuisine including pasta, salads, risottos, grilled meat and seafood. A fantastic selection of cocktails also makes this a perfect spot to enjoy an evening drink or two while gazing out over the river. In the same building, visitors can also find the Restaurant Marina, which shares Przystań’s sophisticated menu and atmosphere.
Popular local restaurants don’t have to be Polish. An unashamedly Parisian-style bistro, Le Bistrot Parisien has been a highly popular local choice with Wrocław’s diners for a long while, emulating a restaurant straight from Paris. The bistro has an easy-going atmosphere, with walls lined with period photography of French newspaper clippings, and is a great casual spot to enjoy French food. Le Bistrot Parisien is a definite winner for those in search of effortless style, elegance and unpretentious but expertly cooked meals. Excellent French dishes include steak, snails, beef tartare, mussels, frogs’ legs and frites, as well as a predictably fantastic selection of wines.
Another favourite local haunt, Sukiennice 7 can be found in a prime central location on the Market Square. Furnished with gorgeous old wood panelling and beams, this is another cosy spot in which to enjoy both Polish and foreign-influenced dishes. The medieval decor makes for a great atmosphere, harking back to the native traditions of Lower Silesia. You will find a range of European dishes on the well designed menu, including Tatar, snails, soups and tasty fish dishes. The venue serves a range of good beers and imported wines to accompany your main meal.
Pod Fredrą is somewhere you need to visit if you want to indulge in some serious Polish feasting. Located just next to the town hall on the historic Town Square, its traditional rustic interior testifies to the venue’s maxim, ‘taste of tradition in the heart of Wrocław.’ There is an immense menu featuring Polish favorites, including smoked sausage, smoked ribs, roast duck, herring, fried potatoes with cheese, pancakes and dumplings in creamy sauces. There are also salads for those in search of something lighter. Classic Polish recipes, local ingredients, along with an on-site smokehouse put Pod Fredrą high on the list of choices for authenticity. For a hearty lunch try the zurek soup which is served in bread.
Stunning Gothic vaults in some of Wrocław’s medieval cellars in the heart of the old city make Jadka a delightfully atmospheric choice. The venue offers a variety of both modern European and traditional Polish dishes with Lithuanian influence, cooked with distinct class and verve. Starched linen tablecloths, professional service, quality china and silver cutlery bestow on Jadka an elegance and grace that combats the potential oppressiveness of its subterranean decor. In fact, for a vaulted cellar it is a surprisingly spacious and well-lit. There are some fascinating liqueurs on offer here, as well as an impressive collection of vodkas for the more adventurous travelers. Advance booking is recommended for this fine-dining experience.
Bistro, Restaurant, Polish, Wine, Beer, Fast Food$$$
Another Bar Mleczny (Milk Bar), Bar Wiking is another cheap and popular local option in Wrocław. Expect excellent Polish delicacies such as Pierogi Ruskie, Nalesniki and Zupa all served with some great Kompot (juice) for very cheap prices. The location is a bit further away from the Old Town, but it makes a good stop over for lunch if you are coming or going from the train station to the Old Town.