Warsaw’s Milk Bars have been an integral part of Polish cuisine for decades. These cafeteria style establishments were first opened during the Communist era, in a time of massive food shortage, to help feed the masses. Nowadays the milk bars still offer much of the same dishes as all those years ago – simple and authentic Polish foods such as soups and stews or pierogi, the popular Polish dumplings.
Visiting milk bars in Warsaw
These cultural institutions are very much alive today. The most popular milk bars in Warsaw include Bar Prasowy (Marszalkowska 10) and Bar Bambino (Krucza 21). The latter is perhaps the most modern and most centrally located of the milk bars, but also the most expensive. Still, you can expect to get a delicious meal for only a fraction of what it would cost in any normal restaurant.
A Quick Lesson in Polish
You need to be able to mutter at least a few words of Polish to be able to order some food at a milk bar, but with the menu usually on the wall behind the counter, you could also just point to what you want if saying something like barszsz z uszkami or pierogi ruskie ze slonina seems too difficult.
Pączki – Legendary Polish Pastries
After you’ve tried the tasty treats of milk bars, it’s time for dessert.
Poland is a promised land for any fan of pastries. The city’s numerous bakeries all have displays filled with delicious babkas and napoleonkas, but my personal favorites are pączki, delicious donuts filled with a rose flavored jam. Make sure you also try szarlotka, a delicious apple crumble pie!