Toruń is famous for being the home of astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. It’s a city brimming with tourist attractions, as its reputation grows year on year. As Toruń develops into a popular city, many new restaurants have opened and continue to open, displaying both Polish and international flavours to both residents and visitors of this historic UNESCO-listed city.
Manekin is a special place. It is commonly known as the best pancake restaurant chain in Poland. But the story all began here, in Toruń. Manekin is a Naleśnikarnia, which translates as ‘pancake house’. There are now three venues in Toruń, but the most romantic, the most special and the most central is the Naleśnikarnia Manekin Na Rynku (the one in the main square). Inside, feast your eyes on an exquisite menu. You’ll certainly have time to look at the menu and choose what you want as you’ll have to queue outside until a table becomes available – it’s a very busy and popular place. Get ready for the most delicious pancakes in the city, ranging from cheese fillings to strawberry fillings to all kinds of meat or fish options. The place is licensed, so you can wash your delightful pancakes down with a good range of ice cold beers, wine, fruit juices or hot teas. Manekin is so popular that it even features in the local version of the board game Monopoly.
For the finest Polish pierogi (filled dumplings), head to Pierogarnia Stary Toruń. Inside this warm and cosy place, the menu puts its emphasis on these wonderful little Polish treats. On the menu you should first decide if you want boiled pierogi or fried/roasted pierogi. The boiled pierogi is said to be healthier, the fried pierogi is darker in colour and crispier. Once you have decided from those options, then you can choose between meat, fish, vegetables or fruit. The fruit pierogi is the sweet option; the others are all savoury. Drinks-wise, try the local beers on tap, or bottled, particularly Książęce or Tyskie beer. Soft drinks are also available, of course. For those that don’t even like pierogi, the menu caters to many tastes with good salads, soups and Polish mains such as czeburek kresowy (stuffed pies) also very popular.
Czarna Oberża translates as the Black Tavern, and this is a cosy and traditional place in Toruń serving up the best Polish food in a fine setting. This is a great place for family meals, dinners, parties and special events, and it is one of the most well-known and popular restaurants in the city. A special buffet bar means you are never short of food; you can simply help yourself to the huge range of Polish meals all cooked freshly daily by their expert chefs. Recommended dishes include the homemade pierogi, the gołąbki (cabbage rolls) and the kotlet schabowy (pork chop in batter). The venue has free Wi-Fi throughout and a full selection of alcoholic beverages from wine to beers to vodka, which is very popular here during parties. Making a reservation in advance is advised at weekends when the restaurant gets particularly busy.
Stare Metropolis is one of the best Italian restaurants in the city of Toruń. Situated on Podmurna in the heart of the UNESCO-listed Old Town area, this is a treat for those who love great pizza, pasta and wine. The venue has an outdoor seating area as well as the main indoor restaurant. Cosy seats, friendly staff and a happy ambience make this restaurant a very pleasant and relaxing place. The pizza menu has many options for meat eaters, fish lovers and vegetarians, all prepared freshly and cooked in the wood-fired oven. Among the pasta options, try the rigatoni with spinach. There are some delicious fruit smoothies, too – try the beetroot or the kiwi one. The venue also serves alcohol and has free Wi-Fi.
Award-winning Polish chef Magda Gessler has a restaurant in the heart of Toruń’s Old Town square, and this quaint little spot is the perfect venue for those wanting to try authentic Polish cuisine with a modern twist. Known as U Kucharzy (at the cook’s home), it offers elegant seating, an open-plan décor and live piano music, giving this place an atmosphere unique for this famous Old Town. The exquisite menu has some traditional Polish starters such as barszcz (beetroot soup) and rosół (chicken noodle soup). The main dishes, however, mix tradition with Gessler’s very own modern recipes. For something unusual and truly satisfying, try the Gołąbki z gęsiny (cabbage rolls with goose) or the baranina duszona (mutton stew). Overall, this place is all about the experience – wonderful food, a traditional setting and a warm atmosphere.
Jan Olbracht Browar Staromiejski is a brewery bar with super food to accompany some of the best beers in the region. The food menu has some delicious Polish and international treats. Try the tatar wołowy (steak tartare), the pierogi z gęsiną (Polish dumplings with goose) or the pieczona golonka w piwie (pork kunckle with beer). Toruń is a city famous for its gingerbread, and so the Jan Olbracht Browar Staromiejski has a trademark gingerbread beer that is well worth a try to accompany your meal. There is also an ever-changing ‘monthly beer’ on the draught menu. This is the only bar of its kind in Toruń, as all the beer is made on-site. If you want to try all four varieties of the home-brewed beer, ask for a zestaw degustacyjny (tasting set), which has four x 125 ml beers for 14 złotych (US$3.75).
Kuranty is a cosy and sociable dining option, located in Toruń’s Old Town square. The venue is split into three parts – the main upstairs bar and pub, the outdoor beer garden (most popular in the summer) and the downstairs bistro. The food menu varies, with Polish, international and American options all available. You can try tasty Polish pierogi, Belgian waffles or New York-style burgers. The bar is well stocked with beers and wines, and the upstairs bar almost looks like a British or Irish-style pub. To complement this, Irish stout (Guinness) is served. The bar has free Wi-Fi and gets busy at weekends, so book a table in advance.