Put simply, pierogi is a huge part of Polish culture. These tasty little dumplings have been embedded in the country’s cuisine habits for centuries. These days, tourists are spoilt for choice for places to try pierogi and there are endless types of pierogi to sample in Poland. This list provides some great places to get started – the best spots in Poland to devour this delicious dish.
In the heart of the city centre of Gdańsk sits the popular Pierogarnia u Dzika. It is situated on the famous Ulica Piwna (Beer Street) and offers two rooms of indoor seating and balcony views over the thriving avenue. Pierogarnia u Dzika has a truly exquisite menu, which includes one of the largest ranges of pierogi in Poland – there are over 30 varieties. Be prepared to take your time to choose the pierogi you want. You might like to try the local pierogi Kaszubskie (which contains goose and represents the local Kashubian region), or the immensely delicious pierogi Mysliwskie (filled with game meat). For those with a sweet tooth, prepare to be thrilled by the zesty pierogi fantazyjne (stuffed with cottage cheese, cinnamon, raisins and peach). Quite simply, this is a place for pierogi lovers.
The ‘Red Pig/Hog’ is a quirky PRL-themed pub and restaurant. PRL stands for the Polska Rzeczpospolita Ludowa, which is what the country was called during Communist times. The menu offers two options – the cheaper one is ‘for the proletariat’ and the dearer option ‘for dignataries and the bourgeoisie’. This is a very famous bar and restaurant, which has been visited by countless celebrities down the years, many of whom have their photos on the walls. The interior is red with lots of memories of a bygone era and the pierogi range includes the famous pierogi Ruskie, pierogi with spinach, feta cheese and garlic and pierogi with meat. The beer garden out the front permits smoking and has a vintage Polish car from the 1980s, a Black Volga, notorious for being the car associated with the KGB and abductions during communism.
Located on the cool island area where the old mill once was, Pierogarnia Stary Młyn is an ideal spot to try some of Poland’s trademark pierogi (dumplings). The restaurant is a Pierogarnia, which means it specialises in pierogi. With such a variety, it’s hard to choose, so perhaps trying a mix of each of the three categories – meat pierogi, vegetarian pierogi and sweet pierogi – is a good idea. There are also two different ways to get the pierogi cooked – boiled or fried. Desserts, hot drinks, alcohol and soft drinks are also served.
Also located in the seaside city of Gdańsk is this charming little restaurant. Dating back to 1918, surviving World War II, the communist regime and the aftermath of Solidarność, Restauracja Kubicki is also the oldest surviving restaurant in Gdańsk. This place is ideal for a romantic date for two or for a business lunch. It can get very busy though, so booking ahead is recommended. Try the local Gdańsk style pierogi or one of the soups, which contains mini pierogi hidden inside. The bar has an outer section which provides superb views over Gdańsk harbour.
Famous Polish chef Magda Gessler has a chain of well respected restaurants all over the country, known as Polka. The food is quintessentially Polish and the venues clone each other and continue to be a perfect way to sample the best of Poland’s gastronomic delights. However, the Polka venues in Warsaw, Kraków and Gdańsk are often packed, so take a venue to the less touristic Łódź. Yes, it still gets busy but you will be in amongst a more Polish local crowd enjoying their own food in one of the more charming cities in the Polish Republic. On the pierogi menu, try the pierogi z kapustą i grzybami (with cabbage and mushrooms), or once again the traditional pierogi ruskie.
Another superb Warsaw venue with a historic feel about it is the Bar Mleczny Prasowy, which dates back to 1954. It’s located on the main Marszałkowska Street in a grey building and serves up a delightful range of pierogi in a very typical ‘Milk Bar’ atmosphere. Inside is a bigger interior than most Milk Bars as Bar Mleczny Prasowy needs to satisfy the hordes of customers on weekdays, particularly during the 12-2pm peak times. Enjoy one of the cheapest places in central Warsaw to eat, with pierogi from 6 złotych, soup from 3 złotych and kompot for 2 złotych.
Piwnica Świdnicka is situated next to the Town Hall on Wrocław’s market square and has been cited in some documents as the oldest restaurant in Europe! The restaurant is decorated with unique tapestries, candles and paintings. The menu offers some of Poland’s most renowned dishes, with some superb varieties of pierogi plus their own specials such as herring in apple and onion sauce, and smoked ewe’s milk cheese made in the Tatra Mountains.
Located in the beautiful old town square of Nowy Sącz, this is a gem of a restaurant to try pierogi, while also visiting a town which is less touristic than most. Nowy Sącz houses just 84,000 people and sits close to the Slovakia border. The pierogi menu in Ratuszowa Dow Pierogów is huge, as is the soup menu! There are over 20 types of pierogi with some very special kinds including the local Pierogi Sądeckie z kiełbasą, which has fresh sausage inside it and the Pierogi uzbeckie z baraniną, which is an Uzbekistan themed pierogi made with mutton. Whatever your taste buds, there will something for you. Wash it down with some great local beer and traditional Polish vodka.