One of my favourite things about travelling is trying new food and eating at different restaurants. After two years of being a vegetarian, I used to worry about whether or not I would be able to find somewhere to eat. I’ve generally found that there is almost always at least one vegetarian option on the menu (apart from at a little roadside restaurant we ate at in Ayutthaya, Thailand) and if there isn’t, the chefs are normally happy to create a dish without any meat in it for you.
However I’ve recently began to cut eggs and dairy from my diet (for reasons I’m not going to go into now – I’ll save that for another post) and, since doing so, I’ve become a little worried that I’ll struggle to find vegan food on my travels. But in Warsaw, I was surprised to find that I couldn’t have been more wrong!
Warsaw has a rich culinary scene and there are so many up-and-coming vegetarian and vegan restaurants – many of them are popular even with meat-eaters because the food is just SO good. And because it’s mostly simple dishes, it’s often very affordable (particularly with the favourable exchange rate from the pound to the złoty). Most places provide English menus as well as Polish ones; if not, staff are always happy to help.
I love eating at specifically vegan restaurants because I can be 100% confident that there will not be any hidden animal products or bi-products in my food, as many places across the world don’t declare ingredients like ghee, gelatine, or even fish(!!) in things like sauces etc. I recently read a blog post where a traveller described that while travelling, she ordered a vegetarian pumpkin soup, but when it arrived it contained “bonus” pancetta! Many people have different reasons for choosing to eat or not to eat meat, but I find it a lot easier to go to specifically vegan or vegetarian restaurants to avoid any confusion.
Address: Poznańska 16, Warsaw | Cost: $ | Open Mon-Sat 12pm-9pm, Sun 12pm-8pm
This small Mexican restaurant is as authentic as it gets. Hidden in a basement along Poznanska Street, you’ll be greeted by friendly staff, funky stools and the [drawing] smell of delicious Mexican food. They specialise in burritos, tacos and toscadas – and if you don’t know what a toscada is, ask! (Neither did I – oops!)
To start, we shared the nachos, which were really filling and you could have by yourself as a main course. I then had two tacos for my main course, and James chose the California burrito (with rice, black beans, and veggies) in a spinach wrap. Not too spicy that you can’t taste the flavours, but still with a good kick. You’re also provided with additional sauces if you’d like to make it slightly spicier! We each had a mango juice to drink. This place is great for lunch.
Address: Poznańska 11, | Cost: $$ | Open Mon-Thurs 11:30am-00:30am, Fri 11:30am-2am, Sat 10am-2am, Sun 10am-11pm | Website: http://restauracjatelaviv.pl/en/
If you’re looking for somewhere a little swanky but won’t break the bank, Tel Aviv has got you covered. This place is HUGELY popular with locals and tourists, but luckily it’s open till late. We booked in advance online, but you can walk in and find a seat too.
Offering Israeli Street Food as well as a Vegan Fine Dining Menu, you’ll be spoilt for choice. To start, we shared the Abu Gosh mezze with hummus, vegan brie cheese (delicious!), olives and roasted veggies. It was a tough choice between this dish or the hummus platter, but you get two types of hummus with the mezze. To drink, we ordered a cocktail each: the beetroot one for me and the absinthe for James. They also serve a large selection of wine.
For our main courses, I chose the Sabich Set. It was two pita breads with scrambled tofu, aubergine and kale pesto, with a side of roasted veggies, a raita salad and the most incredible mango dipping sauce. James chose the Buddha Burger Set – a beetroot burger with the same sides as my dish, but with vegan mayo instead of the mango dip. Again, they were both incredible – so tasty that it actually made me question whether it was all actually vegan (of course it is though!) Being a little full from the starter, I could only manage one of my pitas but the waiter kindly wrapped it up in tinfoil for me to take it home, so I had it for lunch the next day!
Address: Poznańska 7, Warsaw | Cost: $ | Open midday until 10pm daily
This one does what it says on the tin – with a menu of 26 different varieties of vegan pizza, you may struggle to decide on one! I always imagined vegan pizzas would be tomato bases with some veggies on top, without the cheese. Yummy but a little boring. But, Vegan Pizza do their own home-made vegan cheese – and it’s delicious! They also do vegan versions of meats like salami and pepperoni. There are only a few tables; luckily we were able to eat at the restaurant, but they also do takeaway options and sell pizza by the slice.
Cost: $ | Opening times vary depending on location | Various addresses around the city, see their website here.
We went to one of the four Mango restaurants located around the city on our first evening in Warsaw – and it set the tone for the food we were going to eat for the rest of our trip! They specialise in pita breads with various fillings such as falafel, tofu and vegetables, Here, I had a delicious falafel wrap, while James chose the massaman curry. Both were really tasty!
Address: Hoża 29/31 & Marszałkowska 27/35 | Cost: $ | Website: http://krowarzywa.pl/en/
There are two branches of the Krowarzywa restaurant in Warsaw; we went to the one on Hoza Street. The restaurant is a minimalistic, open-plan place where you can dine in or takeaway and it’s hugely popular. You can build your own burger: choose your bread, fillings and sauces. I recommend the sweet potato fries with coleslaw (which is so yummy) as a side but be warned that the burgers are very filling! I chose the Cieciorex with vegan cheese – it’s a chickpea, parsley, pepper and herb patty with lettuce, fresh spinach, sweet peppers, onions and gherkins. James had the Warzywex – smoked marinated tofu. I think this may have been the best burger I’ve ever eaten… and I’ve had a lot of burgers. The restaurants also serve smoothies and homemade lemonade.
Be sure to have a read of my guide to what to do in Warsaw to inspire you for your trip! I use booking.com and hotelscombined.com to find accommodation. We stayed at an apartment in Wola for 3 nights in Warsaw. I also love using AirBnB! Oh, and don’t forget your travel insurance!
Thanks for reading and happy travels,
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