Bydgoszcz is often described as the Venice of Poland. With its canals, its city islands and some of the finest cafés and bars in western Poland, this charming city is a hit with tourists who make the intrepid journey here. Away from its magical streets, tuck into some great local and international food at these tasty, splendid restaurants.
No. 1 Restaurant & Wine Bar
Restaurant, Polish, European, $$$
Sounding like it personally believes it is the number one restaurant in town, this place certainly does its best to meet this expectation. The food menu is exquisite, and typically Polish, too. Soup-wise, try the rosoł (Polish broth). On the appetiser menu, the tatar (steak tartare) is worth trying. For the main course, you are spoilt for choice with options such as the duck breast with vegetables or the pork ribs with cabbage and potatoes. The venue has Wi-Fi and also caters for weddings. The restaurant is so named because of its street number.
With its location 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, and therefore 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.
There are not many burger joints in Bydgoszcz compared with other Polish cities, so the ever popular Bobby Burger leads the trend. With its range of gourmet burgers, its perfect location in the Old Town square (Stary Rynek) and a cosy venue that also acts as a bar, this is a great place to relax and enjoy the best burgers in the city. On the menu, try the ‘Double Death by Cheese’ or simply the ‘Classic’. Local beers are also served, and the venue often has lunchtime specials.
Bistro Katarynka is arguably the most authentic Polish restaurant in the city. It is located right in the Old Town square. In here, you can taste some of the finest local pierogi (dumplings), śledź (herring) and zupy (soups). These can be washed down with Polish beer, wine or vodka. The venue gets very busy at weekends, so booking in advance is advised. Bistro Katarynka also has a separate coffee shop and apartments where you can sleep.
Also in a central location, just a few streets from the main square, is the traditional Restauracja Sowa. It is one of three venues that the chain owns. They own two in this city and another in nearby Torun. The difference here is that although it is traditional and Polish as a venue, the food is international. You can eat Italian pizza, Mediterranean seafood, a range of pasta dishes and fruity ice creams. The interior is designed to look like a little part of Venice, which fits well with the city’s theme. What’s more is that Restauracja Sowa is located down by the canals.
Manekin is a chain of incredible pancake-based restaurants all over Poland. The company has venues in most major cities, attracting huge queues and full tables, day after day. The Warsaw and Kraków venues get particularly busy, which means long delays. Bydgoszcz’s Manekin is also popular, but at quieter times and during the day, finding a seat is easier here. Once inside, feast your eyes on a fabulous menu boasting the best pancake options in Poland. Pancakes with cheese, potatoes, chocolate, fruit, meat and all kinds of unusual ideas make this one of the most innovative restaurants in the city.
Restauracja i Kawiarnia Weranda is the perfect venue for art lovers and those into dining out in a place of true character. With its Art Deco exterior and interior, this is a flashy restaurant housed inside Bydgoszcz’s Hotel Bohema. The menu includes an eclectic range of delicious food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For example the Żurek (Polish soup made with rye), the corn chicken (with parsley, carrot, broccoli, zucchini) or the glazed Dorsz (cod).