When we saw that our friends in Barcelona were hunting for Europe’s best gin and tonic, we knew we had to get in on the action. This being Warsaw, we weren’t going to mess around with fancy drinks. Here, it’s all about the real deal – vodka.
Above all, there’s one pro tip you need to remember: Always trust your bartender. Served ice cold, all Polish vodkas are smooth (and strong). So, whatever is set in front of you, drink up.
First stop of the night is SEN PSZCZOŁY (ul. Inzynierska, 3). You’ll know it when you see it: It looks like a cross between an old factory and the palace of Versailles and has a killer 90s vibe. For drinks, try the Zubrowka (it’s vodka made with bison grass). With a nutty, cinnamon taste, it’s great mixed with apple juice. Trust us, it’s nothing like a grade-school snack. And if you’ve saved this bar for last, not to worry. Find one of the comfy chairs and relive the night’s adventures with your teammates – but beware of flying bicycles overhead.
Next stop is Plac Zabaw (Myśliwiecka, 9), an open-space bar in the park. It’s only open through early fall, so time (and thirst) is of the essence. After sipping on a simple mix of ice-cold vodka and cranberry juice, you’ll be thanking us.
If you’re still standing, head over to Przekąski zakąski (ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście, 13). Don’t be fooled by its classy appearance. The guys with the bow ties know how to serve vodka. This place is always crowded (even at 05:00) and always welcoming. You’ll need to fuel up after a night on Warsaw’s vodka trail, so have a look at the menu and work up the courage to order the pig trotters (you’ll be glad you did).
And that, friends, is how you see Warsaw—and put on a liquid parka in preparation for winter.
Photos courtesy of Eugenijus Barzdžius.