Forming an inverted L-shape, the area around Nowolipki and Jana Pawła has become something of a mecca of authentic street food tastes…
Jana Pawła 41A
This lively little joint gives Japanese food a new spin with its presentation of on-the-run fried foods served in various combinations. Topped with swirls and slashes of mayo and ‘secret spicy sauce’, the JFC (Japanese Fried Chicken) is a particular best-seller and addictively more-ish. On the beverage front, plunge into the unknown by ordering a fruit-flavored soju. For many, this place is Jana Pawła’s biggest star.
Jana Pawła 41A
It was last month’s visit to Delhi 6 that kick-started the idea behind this feature, which should hint at how much we liked it. Tight, narrow and sparingly decorated with pictures of urban Indian life, the non-standard menu includes curry rolls wrapped in delicious parathas, crispy fried puffs and delicious tawas. Easily our favorite budget-end discovery of 2022, the atmosphere is enhanced by the Bollywood beats and high headcount of Indian food couriers – but they’re not here to collect food for delivery, they’re here on their breaktime to eat it themselves. If that doesn’t reveal the kind of place this is, then nothing will.
You could argue that it was Kura that first started to revolutionize the area when they first opened a few years back. Serving posh American friend chicken along with double-fried Belgian-style chips, we’ve also got to give a nod to their crispy jalapeno poppers and exhaustive range of homemade sauces – the spicy ones are of particular note, and these include the delightfully tangy Challenger No. 3 and the tart and sharp The Bomb. It says much that Kura have become the Insider’s favorite hangover solution: this is post-party soakage the way it’s meant to be!
Jana Pawła II 46/48
For many, Sapko is Jana Pawła’s defining bite. Around for years (we remember it back when it was a shack standing on the other side of the road!), this local institution comes with a reassuringly seedy air positioned as it is next to the area’s few surviving sex shops. Attracting a high head count of Middle Eastern punters gesticulating over glass cups of tea, its super late hours make it one of Warsaw’s favorite ports of call once the clubs begin to close. Touting a basic, wipe-clean interior, the kebabs are among the better in the city though the smart choice is the Iskender lathered in piping hot tomato sauce.
Jana Pawła 45A
Lit by a green neon cactus in the window, Taco Loco looks cheap and cheerful so the big surprise here is that out-punches many of Warsaw’s more high income Mexican venues. The chili-jalapeno poppers have that crispy, gooey bite, and there’s little faulting the tacos and burritos. Even their range of salsas go beyond the call of duty – for something that sends a brief electric current down your spine, order the Carolina RIP to go with your handheld pieces of Mexican goodness.
Vegan Ramen Shop
Al. Jana Pawła 52
The rather simplistic name hides what has come to be known as one of the city’s favorite vegan haunts. Though found with outposts elsewhere (i.e., the original in Saska Kępa and also Mokotów), it’s the Jana Pawła branch that gets the most custom – queues often snake onto the street. Sparingly adorned with a Street Fighter arcade machine, a pink surfboard and some token Japanese trimmings, the lo-budget austerity is offset by the cool crowd, LOUD sounds and huge, full-fisted flavors. The ram’n’cheese with marinated jalapeno is great for those who like something a little maverick, though there’s also a good range of milder choices.
Definitely a little more upmarket than the others on our list, Vegan Sushi serve surprisingly complex sushi arrangements inside an interior scuffed concrete walls, flashes of neon, hip trails of greenery and dangling lights that look like Japanese baskets. In a sector dominated by stalwarts such as Youmiko and Edamame, the vegan sushi here is every bit as good as that found in the aforementioned legends. Featuring fresh, inventive tastes, it’s already a well-loved addition to the area.
Yatta Ramen BBQ
Filled with cartoon-like illustrative art and generous slashes of neon, Yatta are the latest Japanese venture to try their hand in this area. Highly competent in their execution, the busy, youthful vibe reflects the mood, philosophy and quality of the food. Heaped with pickles, spring onions and squirts of chili mayo the Soboro fries are essential. Given their name, the ramen is of course the main reason to visit, but do also scope out their ribs and chicken skewers. There’s something good happening here, and it’s not just the people of Muranów that know it!