The Big Buzz
If ever a street was dying to be pedestrianized then it’s definitely Poznańska. In summer, find an international crowd of partying professionals spilling out of bars like Beirut and Kraken to give the area a real street party vibe. The recent addition of VHS, an 80s-themed cocktail bar, has served to only up the ante.
Craft Beer Crawl
Regarded as the undisputed heart of Warsaw’s craft beer scene, Nowogrodzka street features a trio of legends: industrial-looking Drugie Dno, followed by Jabeerwocky and Kufle I Kapsle. In these, explore the remarkable world of Polski craft alongside a crowd that feels diverse in gender, age and nationality. And round the corner, don’t forget the brand new Hopito.
Bibenda (Nowogrodzka 10) have nailed it when it comes to finding the balance between food and drink. Feeling shaded and a little chipped, the inner courtyard seems to define Warsaw’s urban cool, a feeling that’s matched equally at Wozownia (Nowy Świat 1). For a pre-party drink, the latter is a bit of a beauty with its neons, plants and plentiful Prosecco.
Dark & Divey
Long and narrow, dark and murky, Świetlica (Marszałkowska 17) is as raw as they come: basically, it’s everything you demand from the last bar of the night – a place where you can slide into the gloomy shadows and watch the world spin around.
Mix & Mingle
So small is the Moroccan-themed whisky bar that is Aura (Hoża 27) that conversation with strangers is inevitable, but the same applies to the much larger Foton (Wilcza 9A) not far away. Composed of raw materials, steel frames and tumbling plants, it’s a late night winner where the boozy ambiance guarantees meeting total strangers.
Hala Koszyki (Koszykowa 63) transformed the way Warsaw socializes, and this former market hall has lost none of its spirit. Not many places feel as international, and five years after opening it remains one of Warsaw’s top check-ins. Drinks-wise, there’s something for everyone, but the Pimm’s is our recommendation.
Old Time Legend
Celebrating their 25th anniversary next weekend, not many can beat the longevity of Gorączka Złota (Wilcza 29). Oblivious to wider trends, there’s nothing faddish about dark and pokey GZ, and it’s this feeling of neighborly normality that its ardent band of regulars hold dear. But beyond that, this bar is simply the place for an exceptional pint.
Hidden deep inside a courtyard building few even know about, plush-looking Back Room (Koszykowa 49A) is masterful when it comes to cocktails. Immaculate, imaginative and mixed with practiced expertise, they reflect the upmarket ambiance to a tee.
Where To Watch The Euro Final
For Brit expats (and about 28 nationalities beyond) Legends (E. Plater 25) has been the no-brainer. Run by Graham, an ex-embassy bod and devout Everton fan, Warsaw’s favorite football pub is the final word in expat banter – expect it packed on Sunday. C’mon Ingerlund!!
… And Where Not
“Are you showing football,” we enquired of Cuda Na Kiju (Nowy Świat 6/12). “Never,” came the answer. Instead, turn up to drink craft beer in a vast, echoing courtyard or directly outside on one of the ZILLIONS of deckchairs they’ve planted outside. With the palm tree in front, this is Warsaw’s favorite summer terrace!
Ale Wino (Mokotowska 48) is nothing if not a beautiful inner-city refuge. Complete with wooden decking, and a slanting sail blocking out the sun’s full power, it’s a place in which to dwell over exquisite food and some brilliant wine.
At Pardon To Tu (Armii Ludowej 14) there’s much to love: the commitment to leftfield sounds, the flexi hours, an interesting beer choice and a sprawling terrace for warmer nights. Mostly though, you love it for its air of friendly, unforced cool.
A riot of drunkenness and fun, weekends at Plan B (Wyzwolenia 18) pass by in a raucous blur. It’s a fave of the kind of off-duty DJs that read Vice magazine, and this den of debauchery is at its best when the party hits the colonnades that curl outside.
If you’re hungover, then there’s a good chance that came from Pacyfyk (Hoża 61), a super cool bar with interiors inspired by the Miami Vice era: lots of candy floss pink and shades of teal. But help is at hand – rock by for their exotic versions of the Bloody Mary. Three sips and you’re Superman!