The Best Local Restaurants In Gdańsk, Poland

Jim Mud

Poland’s historic port and one of its most beautiful cities is filled with centuries-old architecture, culture and art. It is also an excellent dining destination offering traditional, hearty Polish fare and delicacies straight from the sea. We pick the 10 best restaurants to try some local flavor.

1. Restauracja KOS

Restaurant, Polish, European

KOS enjoys a fabulous location in the heart of the city’s Old Town, and uses it well thanks to its large beer garden facing a cobbled pedestrian street, the perfect spot for an afternoon of people-watching. Inside, the décor is light yet chic, intimate yet airy, with shades of beige, blue and white and just the right amount of mismatch going on to render the venue cosy. There is no room for mismatch on the menu, however, which offers a good selection of local ingredients and seasonal produce. Try the Baltic salmon, grilled with a subtle white wine sauce, or the succulent ribs in a dark sauce infused with Żubrówka vodka for something a little stronger.

2. Brovarnia

Restaurant, Bar, Polish, European

Brovarnia in Gdańsk| © Northern Irishman in Poland
© Northern Irishman in Poland

Brovarnia is a restaurant and microbrewery situated at Hotel Gdańsk, and one of the few such institutions in Poland. Their beers range from schwarzbier to lagers and special brews, best accompanied by classics of hearty Polish cuisine such as pork knuckle baked in house beer, or beer goulash with buckwheat and pickled cucumber. The interior is exactly what you would expect from a brewery, with brass tubes zigzagging on the walls, a convivial atmosphere throughout the night and a historic warehouse-style location in a 17th century granary which miraculously escaped destruction during the Second World War.

3. Józef K.

Cafe, Bar, Pub, Restaurant, Contemporary

© Quinn Dombrowski

Józef K. used to be a cult klubokawiarnia (club-café) in nearby Sopot before moving to Gdansk in 2013 and starting its new life as the Old Town’s oasis of cool. From its intimate, vintage interiors to the mismatched cutlery, books scattered around the dining room and idiosyncratic memorabilia from another era, Józef K. knows exactly what ‘effortless chic’ is all about. Don’t expect a vast choice of delicacies on the menu, but the food here is solid and comforting. Try the super-Polish gołąbki, a mix of rice and meat wrapped in cabbage leaves, or meatballs served with potatoes and surówka, Polish for ‘salad’. Wash it all down with a warming shot of Poland’s best and get ready for the music, which usually kicks in at around 9:30pm.

4. Gdański Bowke

Restaurant, Polish, European

Image Courtesy of Gdański Bowke

In old Polish, bowke referred to a port-town thief and drunkard, and it’s after this character from Polish folklore that Gdański Bowke takes its name. The atmosphere of an old port continues to thrive at the restaurant, where dark wooden furniture and modern, exposed brick walls are paired to conjure up a nautical theme straight from the 19th century. As for the food, it’s all about strong Polish flavour with a particular focus on local meats and succulent game, as well as freshly caught, Baltic fish, grilled to perfection.

5. Kubicki

Restaurant, Polish, European

Kubicki is the oldest surviving restaurant in Gdańsk, opened in 1918 by Bronisław Kubicki who made it into one of the most fashionable and popular restaurants of the time. Luckily, much of the interior survived bombings during the Second World War and Kubicki’s interior retains much of its former structure, albeit polished with contemporary elements, such as a huge, blackened fireplace and oversized, plush chairs filling the restaurant’s space. Fresh fish is served by the weight here, but other delicacies include typical Polish soups and mouth-watering meats and tenderloins smothered in rich gravy.

6. Nova Pierogova

Restaurant, Polish, European

Decorated in a suitably nautical style with blues and whites, stripes, Nova Pierogova serves some of the best pierogi in the city in an unspoiled, intimate atmosphere. This delicacy of national cuisine is served in the conventional and innovative variations, ranging from the spicy to the sweet and the savoury: try the apple pie pierogi with cinnamon and apples, or the sea-style ones, filled with salmon, ricotta cheese and spinach. Portions are generous and inexpensive, meaning that you can have a fantastic, filling dinner without stretching your budget.

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