Gdansk is a foodie heaven and it’s actually quite reasonably priced too. You must totally try Pierogi (Polish dumplings – above) and Zurek (Polish Soup). Eating out is one of the best things to do in Gdansk. You can get a cheap lunch of take out Pierogi for £5 or less and a decent sit down meal for around £20. Here are my favourite Gdansk restaurants…
My top Gdansk Restaurants
KOS has a fabulous location in the heart of the city’s Old Town, and it uses it well due to its large beer garden facing a paved pedestrian street, the ideal spot for an afternoon of people-watching. In the restaurant, the décor is light yet chic, warm yet airy, with shades of blue, beige and white and just the perfect amount of mismatch going on to class the venue as cosy.
There isn’t any room for mismatch on the menu however, which provides a good selection of seasonal produce and local ingredients. Try the lovely Baltic salmon, grilled with a slight white wine sauce, or the juicy ribs in a dark sauce instilled with Żubrówka vodka for something a bit stronger. There’s even a playroom where the kids can rampage while parents monitor them upstairs via CCTV. It’s one of my favourite Gdansk restaurants.
Brovarnia is a microbrewery and restaurant located at Hotel Gdańsk, and one of the few institutions in Poland. Their beers range from schwarzbier and special brews to lagers, best accompanied by classics of sincere Polish cuisine such as beer goulash with buckwheat and pickled cucumber or pork knuckle baked in house beer.
The interior is just what you’d expect from a brewery, with brass tubes criss-crossing on the walls, a pleasant atmosphere throughout the night and a remarkable warehouse-style location in a 17th century granary which astoundingly escaped destruction during the Second World War.
Józef K. used to be a cult club-café (klubokawiarnia) in nearby Sopot before moving to Gdansk in 2013 and starting a new life as the Old Town’s sanctuary of cool. From its warm, vintage interiors to its mismatched cutlery, books spread around the dining room and eccentric memorabilia from another era, this place knows exactly what effortless style is about. Don’t expect a large choice of delicacies on the menu, though the food here is solid and comforting. Try the super-Polish gołąbki, a mix of rice and meat wrapped in cabbage leaves, or meatballs served with potatoes and surówka, Polish for ‘salad’. Wash it all down with a warming shot of Poland’s best and get ready for the music, which usually kicks in at around 9:30pm.
Fresh ingredients, seasonal recipes and local produce form the spine of Metamorfoza, a high-class establishment which prides itself on its pledge to making the top of the region’s ethical and natural cooking; they also have their own farm. Metamorfoza’s culinary offer has a tasting menu, with smaller portions of a few of the house specialties such as pigeon with pear and celery or beef tartare, as well as a delectable garden menu consisting of cold meats and vegetables. Servings are offered with an eye for subtle decoration, and the interior of the venue exudes a similar kind of simplicity and comfy, plush chairs.
One of the oldest and most iconic restaurants in the city, Pod Łososiem (translated loosely as The Salmon) has a long history of heritage. The 16th century building it stands in used to house the distillery of Goldwasser, which is vodka infused with pieces of 22-carat gold which was once famous across Europe’s courts. Today, the restaurant still has the priceless Goldwasser and stays loyal to its royal heritage with comfortable period furniture, paintings and tall candles, as well as a cool menu of royal delicacies. The boar tenderloin with mushrooms and cabbage, or doe in a sauce of grilled vegetables and gingerbread, are recommended.
In old Polish, bowke originally meant a port-town drunkard and thief, and it’s after this personality from Polish folklore which Gdański Bowke gets its name. The atmosphere of an old port continues to flourish at the restaurant, where dark wooden furniture and modern, bare brick walls are paired to mesmerize a nautical theme straight from the 19th century. As for the food, it’s all about strong Polish flavour with a particular focus on local meats and succulent game, as well as freshly caught, Baltic fish, grilled to perfection.
Kubicki is the oldest restaurant in Gdańsk, opened originally in 1918 by Bronisław Kubicki who turned it into one of the most fashionable and well-known restaurants of the time. Luckily, a lot of the interior survived bombings through the Second World War and Kubicki’s interior keeps much of its former structure, although it’s polished with contemporary elements, such as a large, blackened fireplace and plush chairs filling the restaurant’s space. Fresh fish is offered by the weight here, but there are other delicacies such as typical Polish soups and mouth-watering tenderloins and meats smothered in rich gravy.
Adorned in a suitably nautical style with whites and blues, stripes, Nova Pierogova offers some of the best pierogi in the city in an intimate, unspoiled atmosphere. This delicacy of national cuisine is provided in the innovative and conventional variations, ranging from the sweet to the spicy and the savoury: try the apple pie pierogi with apples and cinnamon, or the sea-style ones, filled with ricotta cheese, salmon and spinach. Portions are inexpensive and generous, meaning that you can have a filling dinner without stretching your budget. This is one of my favourite Gdansk restaurants for Pierogi.
Take your taste buds back to Poland’s long-lost east and beyond at this lovely two-level, 19th-century period restaurant with the atmosphere of an Imperial-era Chekhovian parlour. Begin with the Ukrainian borscht, then order a main of the Lviv trout and end with Polish cheesecake while drinking homemade kvas (slightly fermented water and bread). There’s even bison goulash for the people who dare to ask.
The speciality here is the Kashubian regional cooking from the north west of Poland, and dishes like stuffed cabbage rolls, potato pancakes, fish soup and fried herring are as close to home cooking as you’ll find in a restaurant. The interior is done up like a traditional farm cottage with the beams exposed with dark-green walls making for a nice, cosy atmosphere.
With a red-brick corner facing the Fish Market (Targ Rybny) across the river, the cooks immerse in fusion cuisine to marvellous effect, effectively mixing traditional with the exotic. If you came here to gorge on braised ale and flesh, then these fastidious creations will disappoint with their delicacy, obsessive focus on taste and attention to detail.
If you enjoyed this blog on Gdansk restaurants you should also check out my article on Gdansk Museums.