Best of Warsaw 2020: Special Awards
Dinner for two
ul. Mokotowska 48
You could eat in Ale Wino a hundred times – and we know some people that have – and still never be bored. That alone says much for the consistency and creativity of a kitchen that has come to be admired as the source of some of the best cooking in the city. Regularly adjusted to utilize the best items the season has to offer, chef Sebastian Wełpa’s menu is a triumph of expertly balanced tastes. Rounding out the experience is an intimate, labyrinthine design that’s ideal for when it’s cold and grim, and a shaded courtyard terrace that’s perfect for when it’s not.
Dinner for one
ul. Nowogrodzka 10
Preserving the prewar heritage of the building, the warm, busy interiors of Bibenda feel ripe for a pint: and yes, thanks to a rotating roster of craft beers, a good pint is what you can expect. Catching the ambience perfectly, the menu is an interesting work that specializes in spotting unlikely combinations that actually work: for instance, ‘cilantro funky pork sausages’ with pickled carrots, brussels sprouts and fried peanuts. Even better, the curvy bar is perfect for loners with dinner for one in mind!
Dinner for twenty-two
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 9 (Hotel Warszawa)
Humongous in size, the vast spaces and lack of natural light never feel an issue. Loaded with slick finishes and polished raw materials, find this subterranean venue unraveling amid the giant original foundations that support this pre-war skyscraper. Divided into ‘snacks’, ‘plates’, ‘sides’ and ‘desserts’, big shouts go to a golden schnitzel the size of a tricycle wheel as well as the spicy pork dumplings served in a vibrant essence of paprika. It’s exceptional.
Pl. Bankowy 1
This leviathan restaurant unravels in a maze of wrought iron and monochrome tiles – beautiful to look at (it was created by Oscar-winning set designer Allan Starski), it’s caused a stir for more than just this alone. Where once the menu looked like it was devised by throwing darts at a cookbook, the focus has now been narrowed. While some of the dishes are strictly middling, the filet mignon (zł. 69) is one of the best meat deals in town in terms of quality / price / consistency. And when it comes to kids, their dedicated play area and ball pit is something else.
ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 13 (Raffles Europejski Warsaw)
Roughly ranked round about No. 87 in the series of questions that the Insider team hears each and every day, “where can I have breakfast” is one of those age old queries often thrown down as a challenge. And by God, the Europejski every time! The rarefied atmosphere of this Raffles branded hotel is enough for most people, but for others it’s about the best eggs benedict in the city, the buffet station groaning with cured farmhouse meats and artisan cereals and, most of all, their English-style breakfast: it’s a joy of fried proteins of the highest quality!
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