10 Best Bars in Warsaw To Hang Out With Your Friends

Benjamin Franklin once said that beer was the proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. On a more pragmatic note, he also pointed out that unlike wine and beer, water contains bacteria. Taking into consideration words of a wise man we decided to suggest 10 best drinking dens for you to visit in Warsaw. Make no mistake: the places we have selected are of subjective choice, some of them have been here for ages, but some have graced us with their presence only for a while. And since winter seems to be finally looming on the horizon and surely you’d like to avoid catching bacteria, take a look at some of Warsaw’s best bars.

 

01. Kraken Rum Bar

kraken_1080x500_web

photo: Anna Siarkiewicz / Eat Warsaw

Situated on one of the trendiest bar streets in Warsaw and fully packed every night, the place screams great hangout. Kraken is home to many visitors – those who meet up with their friends on a weekly basis, as well as to those who happen to be in the capital on holiday. Multicultural, vibrant and crazy on Thursday nights. Cosy and drowsy on Sunday afternoons it changes eagerly like a chameleon. The only things that don’t change are tasteful decor (shabby chic meets city like tavern), good service (quick-witted waiters), interesting food offer (including spicy octopus, fish soup, fried herring and fish curry) and invariably surprising music in the background. If you happen to visit Kraken on one of its more lively nights, make sure you don’t mind mingling with strangers and drinking your beverage leaning against the bar counters or huge piano placed in the middle of main room. Great spot for meeting people.

Kraken Rum Bar, Poznańska 12

 

02. Plac Zbawiciela (Saviour Square)

photo: Éole Wind, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

photo: Éole Wind, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

It’s one of the most iconic places in Warsaw. Only few months ago it still hosted a huge art installation in shape of a rainbow. Today the rainbow is gone, but all the trendy bars are here to stay. They coexist happily with each other and with a dazzling Church of the Holiest Saviour which stands at the square’s southern side. We recommend four most prominent bars in the area: Plan B, Karma, Charlotte and Tapage. All of them different but in big proximity promise excellent culinary and social experience. Plan B being the most alternative of all places won’t impress neither with its decor nor culinary offer, but it has this indescribable je ne sais quoi which attracts so many visitors and is a peaceful retreat to all celebrities seeking a quiet drinking hideout. Charlotte evokes French style bistros, Tapage with its young chef Piotr Ceranowicz offers great lunch menus (try duck sandwich!) and Karma wins the competition for the most comfortable sofas as well as good wine and healthy snacks.

Plan B, aleja Wyzwolenia 18

Charlotte, aleja Wyzwolenia 18

Karma, Mokotowska 17

Tapage, Plac Zbawiciela 5

 

03. Polonez

photo: Anna Siarkiewicz / Eat Warsaw

photo: Anna Siarkiewicz / Eat Warsaw

Polonez is the place to be for those who would like to immerse in Polish culture. The name and the food refer to our traditions, yet the owners confirm that the place projects two paradoxically opposite Polish longings: nostalgia for Polish People’s Republic times and Western Europe. Communist-like decor doesn’t exploit easy ideas – there are no red walls nor propaganda posters. Just humble chairs, coffee tables and fern pots on the walls. Polonez is one of the few places that offers Polish wines – Poland doesn’t boast its viticulture, but there are about dozen vineyards which manage to produce great white wine. They can get a bit pricey but they’re defo worth a try! Hungry visitors can indulge in famous pierogi taking more modern approach (e.g. Skilandis sausage with beans, pepper and blue cheese) and home-like soups. Other than that, the bar serves sunchoke spread, roasted Koryciński cheese with rowan, goose lard and locally made bread. Not to mention fancy drinks, such as kvass or elder juice.

Polonez, Poznańska 24

 

04. PiwPaw

photo: Anna Siarkiewicz / Eat Warsaw

photo: Anna Siarkiewicz / Eat Warsaw

Piw Paw is the place for beer lovers. With its 91 taps and many unique bottled beers and craft beers (which you can buy and take home) it offers great range of hop product and it is the biggest multi tap bar in Poland. It boasts two different establishments, both located in the center; Foksal street and Żurawia street. It also serves pizza. And yes, you guessed it! Pizza dough contains hop! As we all know beer makes the conversation easier. Even Jack Nicolson proclaimed beer ‘the best damn drink in the world’. Thus, if you and your friends are into tasting, that’s the spot for you. Bear in mind that the branch located on Foksal is much bigger and provides a broader range of beer, food and space. It’s also called more affectionately, i.e. Beer Heaven.

PiwPaw, Żurawia 32/34

PiwPaw, Foksal 16

 

05. Pawilony

photo: Eat Warsaw

photo: Eat Warsaw

Pawilony is a bar conglomerate which consists of many tiny, not so elegant establishments hidden in one of the backstreets of Nowy Świat. It used to be home to craftsmen, but these days are gone. The neighborhood went through a revitalization which gave it a new lease of life. Although the spot is pretty central and touristy, the prices are surprisingly welcoming, even to students (you’ll bump into many of them there). Every single Pawilony bar differs in decor and style, but the drinking offer remains similar. You can easily spend the whole night going from one bar to the other and never get bored. There are bars that allow smoking shisha. There are a few spots to eat – an acclaimed Vietnamese bar and Belgian fries stand. Note for street art lovers: next to Pawilony you’ll find a delightful wild bears mural made by a Belgian artist ROA. The mural conveys well the character of Pawilony – being wild, simple, and yet absorbing.

Pawilony, Nowy Świat 22/28

 

06. Sen Pszczoły

 

Sen Pszczoły is a rock’n roll spot situated in a rock’n roll district called Praga. In order to get to this infamous bar/club (hosting lots of wild parties, alternative festivals and concerts) you need to cross Vistula river and get to the eastern side of the city, referred to by some as Warsaw’s Brooklyn. It’s definitely worth the trip because the spot is far less touristy. Chance to get some real life experience and meet more locals! The club’s décor evokes Salvador Dali paintings and postindustrial art centers. The main room is furnished with dozens of bunk beds, supposedly to make you feel more at ease. The building itself used to be a turnery workshop and its inside is all about loft style. If you happen to go to the toilet, you’ll have to get there through an old lift’s door.

Sen Pszczoły, Grochowska 301/305

 

07. Bar Studio

photo: Anna Siarkiewicz / Eat Warsaw

photo: Anna Siarkiewicz / Eat Warsaw

Who wouldn’t care for a drink in the Palace of Culture and Science? After all, it’s still the tallest building in Poland. The most iconic and yet controversial building in the city. Bar Studio invites you to enjoy some time on the premises of a communist building established by the Soviet Union. It’s a great place to hang out not just because of the Palace of Culture, though. The spot has some unusual Polish beverages on offer, such as herbs infused waters (served hot!). Among many you’ll find marigold, lavender, birch bark, sage or sea-buckthorn infused waters. Bar studio also offers some typical Polish vodkas. All-time hit Pigwówka (quince infused vodka) or Chopin Rye vodka. The bar is famous for their breakfast buffets and fresh fruit cocktails.

Bar Studio, Plac Defilad 1

 

08. W oparach absurdu

 

Another establishment worth a trip to the other side of Vistula river. Thanks to M2 line it’s easily accessible. Once you get there, you’ll appreciate the experience of walking a cobbled street  Ząbkowska leading you to a very cosy bar. The vintage décor is to die for. There is nothing to compare it to. Walls adorned by Hail Mary paintings, floors covered with orient carpets and cute bar counter crammed with little mugs, bottles and candles. They have some regional beers from small breweries on offer, as well as pierogi and a few typical Polish drinking snacks. Some of them include beef tartare, pork lard spread with fresh bread, pork jelly or herring with chopped onion.

W Oparach Absurdu, Ząbkowska 6

 

09. Cuda na kiju

 

The multi tap bar is located in the former seat of the communist party. The inhabitants of Warsaw used to call it ‘the White House’ due to facade’s color and its end use. Cuda na Kiju boasts huge floor-to-ceiling windows which allow its customers to gaze at Charles de Gaulle roundabout (famously embellished by an artificial palm tree). Another lofty and industrial pub. Cuda na Kiju is known for its pizza and beer. Short menu accompanied by frequently changing beer taps (check out their Facebook page). It’s usually pretty packed, but then again, it gives you a great opportunity to meet new people and hang out at the bar counter. Every Monday there’s a common knowledge quiz!

Cuda na Kiju, Nowy Świat 6/12

 

10. Miłość Kredytowa

 

The idea of love seems to stand behind anything this bar has to offer. Even a small garden on a rooftop which provides fresh vegetables subsequently included in the menu. Frequent coffee price reductions (for a day, for a certain type) go together with a balanced menu powered by Jakub Kaftański. And let’s not forget about the décor! It’s very spacious, very western and modern. Almost intimidating. There’s plenty of greenery, so even a quick stop for a coffee feels like a breath of fresh air. Miłość opens early in the morning, as the place serves breakfasts, lunches and at night often turns into a club. Since their food offer differs, we’d much rather recommend the bar for a drink or two, than a lavish dinner.

Miłość, Kredytowa 9

 

Text: Anna Siarkiewicz
We’re Eat Polska. We run culinary tours about food and vodka in Warsaw and Krakow. We’re also passionate foodies and city explorers, and this blog is where we share our hints with you.