Polish Eats: What to Eat and Where to Get It

In my previous post, I went over all the things to do and where to stay in Poland. And now, I’m going to talk about one of my favorite parts of traveling…THE FOOD.

I was fairly well-versed in Polish food before traveling to Poland because my grandmother would make it at special occasions and holidays, so I was really excited to try all of that food, plus some other classic polish foods that I researched before going. I was really happy because the food lived up to all my expectations!

Main Dishes

Pierogi: If you don’t know what a pierogi is…maybe you shouldn’t be traveling to Poland. (Joking.) It’s a potato and cheese, cabbage, and/or meat filled dumpling topped with butter, sour cream, bacon or fried onions! They can also be filled with a fruit like blueberries or strawberries for dessert. You can get these at literally 90% of the restaurants in Poland.

  • Get pierogi in Zakopane at: “Restauracja Rusałka”
    Ok, so I’m not sure if this is the actual name of the place, but it is attached to the linked guesthouse/hotel. Outside of a Michelin Restaurant we ate at, I think this was the best food I had in Poland. The restaurant is kind of a hole in the wall place, but we got meat pierogi, potato and cheese pierogi, and a fried chicken breast plate. They all came with boiled potatoes (which were somehow just AMAZING) and a side cabbage salad (also AMAZING). This is maybe a 10 minute walk from our Zakopane hotel Villa Belweder and it closes fairly early – I think around 7pm. So stay out of the main city, have an early dinner, and hit up the hotel spa for the evening.

zakopane food

  • Get them (and a beer) in Przemyśl at: Piwiarnia Warka
    Since not many folks in Przemyśl speak English, we somehow managed to communicate our order to them. It was a bit confusing because it wasn’t clear if you order food at the table or inside and we were all getting a little hangry. I also accidentally ordered 0% alcohol beer here, so be aware that is a thing. Surprisingly not that bad. (You order everything at the bar inside btw.)

warka beer

Bigos: Bigos is a hunter’s stew that mostly consists of shredded cabbage and kielbasa and thick bacon-like cuts of meat. It’s served with a brown rye type bread. If you don’t like cabbage, you will not like this.

  • Get bigos & pierogi in Warsaw at: Gościniec Polskie Pierogi
    You can get like 20 different kinds of pierogi here. I tried bigos here and blueberry pierogi with sour cream and they were both great.

Galumpki/Gołąbki: I think the former is the Americanized spelling. It’s basically meat and rice wrapped in cabbage leaves and topped with a tomato sauce. 10/10 would recommend.

Kopytka: Basically a potato dumpling, but different than a pierogi – kind of more like a gnocchi. I wasn’t to jazzed about these. Even soaked in butter they didn’t have much flavor.

  • Get galumpki and kopytka at: Kuchina n Doroty
    Great restaurant for traditional Polish food

Fried Potato Pancakes and Goulash: Goulash sounds scary, but it’s just a meat stew. These usually come together and they’re so, so good.

  • Get it in Krakow at: Kuchina n Doroty
  • Get it in Zakpane (along with other regional foods and a beer flight) at: Ciupaga 

Borscht: Borscht is a beet based soup. Not going to lie, I had never tried borscht before Poland and I’m not a huge fan of beats. However, borscht was delicious!

Traditional Polish Roast Duck with Apples or Kaczka Pieczona z Jabłkami

  • Get borscht and duck in Krakow at: Restauracja Sasiedzi
    We randomly came across this Michelin Star Restaurant and decided to stop because none of us had ever been to a Michelin Star Restaurant before and it was SUPER cheap. It might have been one of the greatest meals I’ve ever eaten.

Kielbasa: Polish pride and joy. One of the most delicious sausages you will ever eat. Also a popular street food – get it on a roll with onions.

Street Foods

Zapiekanka: This is essentially a French bread pizza with fun toppings. Corn, cucumber, ham, and mushrooms seemed to be the “traditional”, but in Krakow you can get it with a thousand different combinations. My favorite part is that it’s topped with ketchup. YES KETCHUP. AND IT’S AMAZING. Apparently putting ketchup on pizza is popular because we went to a pizza restaurant in Przemyśl and everyone was putting ketchup on their pizza. So as a ketchup lover, I happily lathered up my pizza in ketchup. It was a little different than American ketchup – a bit sweeter, so I feel like it went a little better with pizza than the ketchup I’m used to here in the US.

  • Get it in Krakow at: Mrs & Mr Zapiekanka
    They have like 30 different variations of zapiekanka and it’s amazing.


  • Get it in Przemyśl at: Mega Zapiekanka Stand
    A tiny little stand toward the beginning of the main street area. Traditionally  zapiekanka have mushrooms on them, but I hate mushrooms. You can order about 4-5 different kinds of zapiekanka here, luckily including ones without mushrooms.


Obwarzarnek: This is like if a bagel and a pretzel had a baby. Served topped with poppy seed, sesame seed, or salt. They have these in carts all over Krakow’s Main Market Square.


Obwarzarnek in Krakow’s Old Market Square. There are many small carts selling these!

Oscypek: Smoked sheep’s cheese. They usually serve this with cranberry jam from a small kiosk or cart. I saw this in Warsaw and then again in Zakopane where it’s literally everywhere. Very delicious.


Baked Goods

Pączki: Poland’s national donut! Essentially a jelly donut, but more delicious


Babka: The babka I grew up eating has a sweet, light, almost citrus flavor and has more of a bread consistency. There’s also another kind of babka that can be made with chocolate and has a heavier consistency. We were able to find both.

Makowiev (Poppy seed roll)


The taller one is a babka and the flatter one is the poppy seed roll.

Sernik: Polish cheesecake

  • Get it in Zakopane (with a beer) at: Roma
    Roma a small place at the foothills of hiking to waterfalls. There’s outdoor seating and we enjoyed a sernik and beer after our hike.

sernik and beer

Chrusciki: This was the only thing on my list to eat that we didn’t find. These are kind of like very thin crunchy dough sticks and are popular for special occasions because they’re hard to make. Almost like the outside of a cannoli.

Non-Polish Foods to Eat in Poland


  • Get it (with a Bloody Mary) in Przemyśl at: Mamma Mia Pizza
    Let me tell you, this was one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had. Maybe it was because it went so well with the ketchup Polish people put in pizza, but damn it was delicious. Also had my first taste of Polish vodka in a Bloody Mary.


  • Get them in Przemyśl at: Kebab Reina
    As in a lot of Europe, kebab places are really popular in Poland. We went to this one twice and it was delicious. Get the wrap.


  • Get them in Krakow at: Beef Burger Bar or Well Done 
    Well Done is an American restaurant that has everything from burgers to fajitas to ribs to pancakes.


I love getting random snacks in foreign places, so don’t forget to grab fun snacks on your road trips or just while you’re walking around.

“Pulled Pork” AKA BBQ Sweet Potato Sammies with All of the Slaws!

This sandwich, as the post title states, is a vegetarian take on pulled pork.  Personally, I find it just as delicious and it’s super easy to make.  It makes a great lunch because you can simply make it the night before and you’ll have plenty to bring for a few days of lunches.  Plus, it’s great because it goes great with a variety of different slaws, which I’ll include below too.

BBQ Sweet Potato Sammies

2 large sweet potatoes
BBQ sauce of your choosing (4-5 tbsp is good – feel free to add more/less. I like more.)
Olive Oil cooking spray
Buns (for sandwich)
Some kind of slaw (directions below)


  1. Wash and skin sweet potatoes.  I usually just like to cut off the top/bottom of the potatoes and remove any weird spots from the skin.
  2. Shred potatoes.  You can either use a cheese grater for this, or you can use a spiralizer machine.  The spiralizer machine will cut your potatoes into curls, but I usually just take the curls and chop them up a little.  This is the easiest way, but the cheese grater method makes it a little more like a pulled pork texture.  I’d say if you’re making this for a party, use the cheese grater.  If you’re making it for yourself, use the spiralizer.


  3. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray.  Once it’s heated up, cook your potatoes for 10 minutes.  Stirring semi-constantly.
  4. After the 10 minutes, add your BBQ sauce and cook while stirring for another  5 minutes.
  5. You’re done!  Time to make the slaw.

For the slaw, I’m not the biggest fan of regular coleslaw (too much mayo), but I’m sure this will taste just fine with that.  I prefer vinegar based slaws, so here are a few I’ve made and I think taste really great with the BBQ sweet potatoes.

Clean Eating Mango Slaw

This slaw adds a nice sweet and salty flavor to your sammy.  I found this recipe on iFoodReal.

1 lb white cabbage, shredded (thinly sliced is fine too)
1 large mango, diced
3 tbsp cilantro
1 tbsp white vinegar (or 2 if you’re like me and love vinegar)
1/2 tsp salt

Directions:  Combine all ingredients and toss in a large bowl!

Red Cabbage Slaw

This is a nice crunchy and colorful slaw to add to your BBQ sweet potatoes.  I found this recipe on Real Housemoms.

1/2 red cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 medium carrots, shredded
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Directions: Toss ingredients together in a bowl and let sit for at least one hour.

Ginger Lime Asian Slaw

This slaw adds a nice sweet, but tangy flavor.  It’s a bit more involved than the first two, but it’s worth it.  I found this recipe on Real Food Real Deals.


8 cups Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
3 carrots, grated
1 apple, grated
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced onion
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp rice vinegar


    1. Combine cabbage, carrots, apple, salt, and lime juice into a large bowl.
    2. In a medium skillet, cook the onion, in 1 tbsp olive oil for about 5 minutes.  Add ginger and cook for another 30 seconds.
    3. In a bowl, mix together remaining tbsp of olive oil, honey, and rice vinegar.  Add the veggies from the pan.
    4. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and mix.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Spaghetti Squash Italian Casserole

This is the recipe that transformed my boyfriend and I into spaghetti squash fanatics (or “sketti squash” as we affectionately refer to it as now).  I knew of spaghetti squash because a friend of mine raved about it in college, but I don’t think I ever tasted it.  We try to eat really healthy, and my boyfriend came across this recipe earlier in the year.  It’s still our favorite spaghetti squash recipe, and the best parts about it are that it’s super easy to make, very healthy, and heats up very well (helloooo leftovers)!  Thanks to (Healthy) Vittles and Bits for the original recipe (I have modified it slightly to reflect how I make it)!



1 lb ground turkey
3 pressed garlic cloves
2 cups tomato sauce
1 tsp dried oregano/parsley mix (3/4 oregano, 1/4 parsley)
3/4 (6oz) bag of shredded, reduced fat mozzarella cheese
1 large spaghetti squash
1/2 cup Feta cheese


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Place each half face down on a large microwaveable plate and microwave for 10 minutes on high.
3.  While the squash is cooking in the microwave, brown the ground turkey over medium heat. Add in the garlic, tomato sauce, oregano/parsley mix seasoning.  Mix together.  Stir in 1/2 of shredded mozzarella.
4. When the squash is finished cooking, let cool for a few minutes.  Then scrape out the insides of the squash halves using a fork into a 9×13 pan (if it is not a non-stick pan, spray with some olive oil cooking spray).  The spaghetti squash should be the first layer on the bottom of the pan.
5. Spoon the ground turkey mixture on top of the spaghetti squash.
6. Sprinkle the feta cheese and the rest of the mozzarella cheese on top and bake uncovered for about 20-25 minutes.
7.  After 20-25 minutes, broil for 3-5 minutes (500 degrees) until the cheese is nice and browned on top.
8. Serve!

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