With temperatures climbing, and skirts inching upwards, we find the best spots in town for summertime sips.
For the Insider’s top choices for al fresco drinking, look no further than the following seasonal stars…
Pl. Defilad 1
The dehumanizing scale of the Palace of Culture is diluted in warmer weather when Pl. Defilad turns into something of an outdoor party thanks to Bar Studio’s presence – and no worries if it rains, the epic colonnades were built as if to provide shelter from the storm. And with no nearby neighbors to ruin the party, it’s just about one of the only places in Warsaw where noise is never an issue – scream and no-one cares.
ul. Wiśniowa 46
Fixed by some of the biggest names in Polish cocktail culture, the cocktails are a serious biz here and neatly complimented by a beautiful garden set with little lights dangling from the trees. Mokotów doesn’t have the best reputation for nightlife, but in Wieczorny the area has a star of some legend.
Beirut & Kraken
ul. Poznańska 12
With the floor-to-ceiling windows thrown open, there’s an organic connection between the inside and outside of this must-visit duo. The pavement terrace is narrow as hell, but the number of people spilling into the road generates a street party vibe that’s delicious to taste. Visit midnight on Friday and you’ll see what we mean.
Cuda Na Kiju
ul. Nowy Świat 6/12
Warsaw’s first legitimate multi-tap bar fires an engaging choice of craft beers from fifteen taps within a glass prism slotted within the former Communist Party headquarters. Doing roaring trade in the summer, sit out front on deckchairs looking out towards the city’s iconic palm tree or in the back in an echoing, shaded courtyard that accentuates the immense dimensions of this hulking building.
ul. Koszykowa 63
One word: Pimm’s! For the quintessential taste of the British summer then order up at the Central Bar inside, before migrating with the rest to the smart little square outside the main entrance. Few places in Warsaw feel quite so cosmopolitan.
ul. Widok 9 (Puro Hotel)
Perched on the top floor of the design-forward Puro Hotel, Loreta is the cocktail den every city needs: serving inventive (and often ad-libbed) drinks poured using top-flight ingredients, the setting is eclectic and fun and rounded-out by a shaded terrace bristling with plants, candles and beautiful people. Exuding a sense of cool, the skyscrapers feel almost touching distance away.
ul. Rozbrat 44
The contented crowd of rich young things sum up the spirit of Solec with the ace up the sleeve proving to be a sprawling, billiard green lawn. Effecting the feel of a well-to-do garden party at dusk, things rack up a notch the darker it becomes.
ul. Hoża 86
Run by the same people as the brilliant upmarket-dive bar crossover Pacyfik, this new summer project introduces cool food and drink stands to an inner city plot disguised with colored streamers, crates and fairy lights.
ul. Racławicka 99
As the name suggests, this is a restaurant first. But with drinks of this quality don’t think that the bar is second best. The cocktails are exceptional and taste even better when enjoyed outside. It’s not so much a garden that Forty have, but a whole bloody park. But while it’s the size that impresses it’s the quality that makes the impact – so perfect that it registers as unreal, on quieter days, say a weekday afternoon, the silence is broken only by the rustling leaves. Exquisite in its greenery and immaculate on the eye, it’s impossible to believe that all this awaits just minutes from the center.
Rynek Starego Miasto
With the tourists zapped from existence by the coronavirus, the Old Town is back in local hands! Run by the same mob that owns two craft beer bars right up the road, enjoy a range of craft beers while soaking in the atmosphere of a cobbled historic square framed with elegant burgher houses.
ul. Wioślarska 6
Perched on the top floor of a prestigious riverfront development, scientific research has since confirmed that you’re not going to find a higher density of pretty things anywhere in Central Europe. Watching the sunset from the open rooftop terrace is one of the defining snapshots of the summer and the kind of life-affirming moment when everything feels good.
Pl. Europejska 4A
Filled with winding walkways, pinches of greenery and fancy urban furnishings, Pl. Europejski has integrated seamlessly into the fabric of the city – but it would all feel incomplete without the presence of Stixx. With the roof rolled back on the all-weather terrace, and the Spire twinkling above, it’s a venue that feels completely international – a sensation amplified by the slick interior and cosmopolitan crowd.
Pl. Piłsudskiego 3
Norman Foster’s award-winning, donut-shaped Metropolitan Building is the setting for The Alchemist, an after-work fave with a gastro-pub menu and a pour-your-own ‘wall of beer’. Summer is when you find it at its best, even more so if you’ve booked one of the special outdoor alcoves that’s all leafy succulents and wooden decking.
You don’t need us to tell you that everyone heads to the river the second the sun shines. Beginning from a distance as an amorphous din, it’s a noise that thereafter splinters into every possible identifiable direction: Ibiza-style dance tracks compete with buskers banging bongos and the general racket of thousands getting drunk. Yep, thousands. Of your many options, two Insider faves exist: the upmarket Przystań Nowa Fala moored to the river, and Barka Wynurzenie, a craft beer barge specializing in brews from Raduga.
Pl. Trzech Krzyży 16
Founded by the same people behind the ‘ruin bar’ inside the original Hala Koszyki (back when it was a sooty stack of bullet-studded stonework – gosh, remember that!?), Wozownia brings together a good-looking crowd inside a 200-year-old carriage house whose competent cocktails and cheapy Prosecco keep it busy. Accessed through a discreet pink-lit passage, and decked out with crates of herbs and flowering plants, the courtyard feels like a cool, private realm.