If you read the three-day itinerary for Poznan that I posted last week, you may have noticed a bit of a theme running through it. Yup, we ate so well in Poznan.
I honestly believe that, over time, travel turns you into a real foodie. You plan every day around where you’d like to stop for coffee, and which restaurants you’d like to dine at.
And whilst my initial experiences of Polish cuisine in Krakow were rather ‘interesting’ (Borscht (beetroot soup) was gorgeous; steamed periogi with sweet cheese, and pickled salads were not), it seems that the culinary standards in Poland have improved significantly since 2009.
Or maybe Poznan’s cuisine has always been great; I just didn’t know it back then.
So for those of you planning a visit to this beautiful, affordable city, here are a few of the cafes and restaurants at which you can sample some of Poznan’s incredible food.
Breakfast, coffee, cake, and lunches
#1 Stragan Kawiarnia, Ratajczaka 31
Just a 5-minute walk from the Old Town Square, Stragan Kawiarnia is primarily just a coffee shop (offering all sorts of weird and wonderful filter coffees you’ve never heard of before; “Chemex” brew anyone?), but they do serve cakes and a small selection of breakfasts as well.
The decor is contemporary and – not surprisingly – coffee-themed, and the atmosphere is lovely and relaxed. It’s the kind of place you could come to get some work done (in fact the lady next to us looked like she was working on a PhD Maths paper!) and you wouldn’t feel time-pressured by the staff.
#2 Ministerstwo Browaru (Minister Cafe), Ratajczaka 34
On the same road as Stragan Kawiarnia, but over the opposite side of Święty Marcin, Ministerstwo Browaru is a cool place to grab a coffee and some breakfast in the morning and a happening hangout, serving a great choice of craft ales, in the evening.
I can’t speak for all the staff there but the guy who greeted us as we entered and subsequently took our orders was possibly the smiliest, chattiest, most energetic Polish gentlemen in the whole of Poznan.
The food here is great too (I had scrambled egg and avocado with fresh bread and a generous helping of rocket) and they also serve all sorts of unusual coffee brews.
#3 Lavenda, Wodna 3
I’m actually gutted we only discovered this cute little cafe on our last day in Poznan, as everything on the menu sounded so tasty! I say “sounded” because I’d only eaten breakfast a couple of hours before arriving here so I just settled for eating with my eyes; Gloria and Kath had cake.
Warm and inviting Lavenda is located on one of the side streets that lead away from the city’s Old Town Square, and is decorated with colourful flowers and fresh herbs.
As well as a wide variety of egg-based breakfasts (including vegetarian Shakshuka and a smoked trout and spinach omelette), porridge and pancakes, they serve a beautiful selection of cakes that look far too pretty to eat, lots of speciality teas and homemade lemonade with mint and raspberries, salads, tabouleh, hummus, homemade ciabattas and pasta dishes. Yup, you’ll be totally spoilt for choice here!
#3 Drukarnia Skład Chleba i Wina, Podgórna 6
Food-wise, I thought I’d save the best until last (the smoked mackerel paté with chives swung it for me!). Drukarnia Skład Chleba i Wina is located inside a spacious contemporary building with high ceilings and minimalist, but tasteful decor, and is spread out over two floors, with a separate room out the back.
It’s a restaurant, bakery, and wine bar all rolled into one, and is open from 7am through to 10pm during the week, and 11am until late at the weekends.
We all ordered our own variations of the Polish version of a Full English (the staff are quite flexible and will allow you to make substitutions or ask for extra eggs/beans/potato cakes in place of meat), which came with a coffee of our choice, all for just 15 zloty (£3.08 / $3.85).
Dinner, tapas, wine, and beer
#1 Na Winklu, Śródka 1
Located over on Ostrów Tumski (Cathedral Island), Na Winklu is a cosy little restaurant that’s well worth making the short (1.5 kilometre) trip from the Old Town to visit. The reason? The best pierogi in Poznan are reportedly served here.
And they were soooo much better than those I tried in Krakow some years ago! We went with a staff recommendation and ordered a selection of the baked versions to share. As two of the three of us are non-meat eaters, we were served fillings of potato and onion, feta and spinach, and my personal favourite – sun dried tomato. All for just 16 zloty (£3.31).
#2 Dark Restaurant, Garbary 48
If you’re after a slightly unusual restaurant experience, Poznan’s Dark Restaurant is the place to come. There is no menu to speak of here (you simply tell your waitress what you don’t eat and don’t want to eat), and you eat your meal in complete darkness, identifying your food by taste, touch, and smell alone.
You can read all about our experiences at Poznan’s Dark Restaurant here, but let’s just say that it was a fun and fascinating way to spend an hour or so, and I’d definitely do it again!
#3 Tapas Bar, Stary Rynek 60
Step inside Poznan’s Tapas Bar and you will be instantly transported to the land of flamenco guitar, grape vines dangling from wooden trellises, stone walls decorated with colourful Andalusian-style ceramic plates, glasses of delicious full-bodied rioja, and some of the best Spanish food I’ve tasted outside of Spain.
#4 Wypas Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurant, Jackowskiego 38
Even if you’re a meat-eater (as Kath is), don’t let this fact discourage you from making the 4-kilometre (two tram rides and a 10-minute walk) journey from Poznan’s Old Town Square. Kath will vouch for the fact that a meal here will be every bit as tasty as that bacon and those sausages you ate for breakfast.
You can choose from Thai, Indonesian, Indian, Belarusian, and Arabic dishes, along with an unusual selection of drinks originating from each of those countries. And they are all every bit as tasty as each other. Make sure you come here hungry though: the portion sizes are huge!
Have you been to any amazing restaurants lately? Where were they? What did you have to eat there?
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