Speaking frankly, this is just about the last location we’d imagine working – but what do we know? Amassing over 3,000 fans since opening (well over average by Warsaw restaurant standards), Źródło have acquired a devoted following despite unfavorable GPS coordinates that see it housed on the ground floor of a commie block bound by tramlines. But as inauspicious as the surroundings are, it’s by no means distant. Find it within eyeshot of the onion domes of Praga’s Russian church and just steps away from Park Praski’s eastern entrance.
The place looks great – hip but in tune with its retro address. Hardwood floors, exposed pipes and a flurry of plants equip an open area decorated with blasts of contemporary art, recycled furnishings, and other Boho bits and bobs – an old street sign rescued from Targowa, extravagant light installations designed by Justyna Oboladze, spherical mirrors and wobbly hat stands. It’s casual, quirky and full of personality. Being here is a buzz. Walking in, the welcome is immediate and sincere, and the good vibes of the staff carry through to the patrons.
The menu is modest – just ten items on our visit – but is conducive to ordering lots of bits and pieces to share among your table. In our instance, that meant a thick slab of herring served on brioche with a smoked plum jam; a fabulous array of homemade bread; and a memorable lentil and sweet potato pate. Made with what clearly borders obsessive love, it is food to light the soul.
But more than just celebrating the power of local produce (which restaurant doesn’t nowadays?), there’s a refinement at play that speaks of a kitchen team that aims for the exquisite. In this regard, the highlight is a tie between the pierogi with rich mushroom stock and smoked cottage cheese and the kopytka (potato dumpling) with sage and bryndza cheese. Served in a slick of pumpkin sauce, it is food that’s balanced and nuanced but also big in taste.
The whole Made In Poland schtick is pushed home by a drinks list that features a good selection of craft beers, ciders produced by the acclaimed Ignaców and no shortage of trending bio wines. Drinking is as much part of the Źródło experience as anything else, and as such punters who wish to do only that are welcome to do so.
With most menu items hovering in the low-to-mid 30s, the prices make a mockery of the standard. It’s outstanding value, even if Źródło balance that out with steeper drinks prices (beers, for example, begin at 14 and rise to an eyewatering 38). Regardless, this place is an exciting representation of Poland, a passion project whose attention to detail feels second to none.
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