We revealed the results of our food awards yesterday, so today, it’s the turn of nightlife! And what a glorious year it’s been, with the winners amply demonstrating the diversity to be found in the Polish capital. Without further ado, the winners are thus – and keep your eyes peeled over the next few days as we reveal our… Best of the Rest!
While you wouldn’t call Secado a cocktail bar in the organic sense of the word, there’s something here that’s got people buzzing. Most part restaurant, bit part bar, there’s a flexibility here that has turned it into one of those places where people meet, eat, and generally hang out – and not always in that order. And as for the drinks, they’re really quite special. Short enough not to bewilder people, but long enough to maintain interest, the cocktail menu strikes a perfect balance between classics and house specials, and while you might think of Secado something as wildcard triumph, we’ve seen enough here to convince us they’ve got a big future ahead.
Best Late Night
Sztuki & Sztuczki
Visit one night and you’ll find a studious audience hushed and focused on some art house film. On another, discover a high energy crowd heavily engaged in DJ worship. The entertainment program here is varied and diverse, but through that one thing is clear: S&S has been a huge success. The design is strangely beguiling, while the drinks are capable and noteworthy. It’s a place where individuality thrives. The music is integral to attracting such people, and as such find a schedule that encompasses everything from jazz tributes to improv nights and hilarious swing meets.
Best Wine Bar
Bristol Wine Bar
Effortlessly evoking a real sense of history, the design is a triumph with lots of polished brass and nickel, rich wood finishes and marble floors. You feel like you’ve stepped into a film. But talking points aren’t limited to the interiors alone. The wine selection was personally overseen by Robert Mielżyński, possibly the most esteemed wine importer in the country. And the choice is prodigious. Offering a complete cruise through the wines of the Old Continent and the New World, the collection is precisely presented from behind glass cases that line the walls. With the lights dimmed right down for evening, nowhere in town feels so special and distinguished. For date night, it’s a must.
Best Beer Bar
Kufle i Kapsle
Picking a winner from Warsaw’s clutch of craft beer bars has been a tough ask, but Kufle i Kapsle just do enough to scrape through in first. True, they’re not free from weakness: despair at the queue jumpers, curse the line for the toilet, and puzzle over why they keep their wonderful bottled beers positioned out of view. But for all this, there’s a warmth to Kufle. Looking a little rugged, it’s a place of thick pungent smells and lively background buzz. And the beer, my God the beer. The bottled selection (please, someone give the display more prominence) is unrivalled locally in scope and variety. Yet the real praise is reserved for the taps: the choice is dynamic, diverse and at times experimental. In short, it’s sublime.
(All photos from Facebook)