Visiting Wroclaw for a day or two? Join us to enjoy the highest levels of taste and satisfaction. From breakfast to a night drink -- let us take you on a walk through culinary gems of Wroclaw that have been popping up like mushrooms! This fascinating tour will be guided by Agnieszka Szydziak*, promoter of local food culture, journalist, and food news know-it-all.
We’re slowly setting out at Włodkowica. Let’s pause for a while in the PURO Hotel lobby with a cup of black coffee and enjoy the harmonious view of the garden with a moat. Stabilize and take control your breath to prepare for the faster beating of the heart that is soon to come.
For breakfast - w kontakcie
ul. Benedykta Polaka 12/1b
Start your day with pastoral food in a truly pastoral setting! The second you step inside, let red-brick walls, natural wooden furniture and sense-provoking smells of coffee, baked vegetables, and sweet oatmeal put you in a good mood. When it comes to flavors, these turn out to be no less pastoral, with hummus being the best I’ve ever had a chance to try -- right next to the one served in Krakow-based Hummus Amamamusi. Its fabulously smooth, delicate, and airy consistency is the definition of the perfect hummus. The place is known all over the city precisely for this chickpea-sesame blend served with a variety of seasonally changing extras: vegetables, fruit, and whatever comes to Tamara the owner’s mind. This winter, she is offering us a fusion of hummus with… Polish bigos (known as hunter’s stew) and mung beans or a composition made of grilled cauliflower, vegan cheese sauce and teriyaki sunflower seeds. Putting hummus aside, the place offers locally produced cheese, eggs and vegetable pastas -- the last one known for their ambrosial tastes despite the seemingly ordinary ingredients (such as beetroots, parsley, peanut butter, dates, corn, miso, coconut milk, and garlic). Perhaps similar magical tricks are used to prepare lemonades and infusions that are not just additions to meals but embodiments of a true taste extracted from local fruit and world’s best spices. Let the place warm you up in the morning with a cup of gold milk and sweeten your life in the afternoon with a pudding, hot chocolate, or a piece of cake.
For lunch - Sushi Corner
ul. Pawła Włodkowica 12a
Sharing the street with PURO Hotel is a tiny Japanese restaurant specializing in sushi. You can get lunch here from noon to 4 p.m. on a daily basis and choose from classic lunch sets -- with grilled ingredients and raw fish -- and vegetarian options. You can also try Chirashi Don, i.e. pieces of raw tuna, ebi, and salmon with extras served on seasoned rice. Bento lunch set changes weekly, usually comprising a sushi roll, pasta/rice with a piece of meat, fish, or seafood, and a salad. Green tea or a carafe of water is included in the price of each set, but you have to pay extra if you want your set with one of three soups: miso, Tom Kha, or Tom Yum. Fresh (sushi masters here are crazy when it comes to quality ingredients), balanced portions are also a feast for the eye. If you miss lunch time, don’t worry. From 4 p.m. onwards you can order something from a menu with a wide selection of original and classic sushi sets, with occasional special appearances of dishes such as ramen or yakitori. The place also boasts a selection of top-quality sake. Last but not least, you should know that Sushi Corner is a sister of Nabe -- a place famous for its omakase feasts. Omakase, a Japanese phrase for “I’ll leave it up to you,” describes a way of feasting in Japan when you let the sushi master decides what you’re going to eat. In front of your eyes, the chef chooses ingredients and prepares the most innovative and delicious options specifically for you.
For dessert - GIGI Cafe
Working with flour, sougar, and butter is what GIGI does best. Add to it some seasonal fruit from local food growers, eggs from happy hens, and hazelnuts, flour, and mascarpone from Italy and you will enter a sweet paradise! Choose a table and make yourself at home; have a cup of coffee and revel in watching the production process of all the delicious stuff on offer. Dough cake comes first, literally, for it is both a flagship product of the cafe and a bake rooted in local tradition. A well-grown dough is light and smells of butter and yeast; brown and shiny on the outside -- sprinkled with crunchy crust -- it hides seasonal fruit or vanilla filling inside. If you don’t want to leave the place feeling like you’ve committed a sin, you should definitely try a sweet bun -- especially the one with blueberries, for they don’t last long! Take our word for this and have a few of them to go. If it happens that, when you finally reach the place, no buns are left, give cakes a try -- we recommend tartlets with orange confiture, Belgian chocolate and nuts from Piedmont. To satisfy your senses and sensors to the fullest, we encourage you to at least take a look in the direction of enormous meringues. Served in equally enormous portions, they are crispy and smooth at once, layered with an abundance of silky cream and fresh fruit. Since GIGI loves tradition, you should consider choosing their cakes, cheesecakes, and makowiec (known as the poppy seed roll) on Fat Thursday, Christmas, Easter and other special occasions. Even though it takes a looonger walk to get here from PURO, we’re more than certain you won’t regret it. For those of you who, despite our best efforts, remain unconvinced, we have a piece of insider news -- the second location of the cafe is opening soon in the heart of Wroclaw.
For dinner - jadka
ul. Rzeźnicza 24-25
If you love fine dining, you must visit Justyna Słupska Kartaczowska and her restaurant -- jadka -- that ideally embodies the essence of what’s both Polish and quintessentially local. Discovering the meanders of regional culinary history, the chef extracts national treasures with a view to giving them a new life. Thanks to her, the finest local eel, caviar and smoked carp from a 19th-century pond acquire contemporary tastes, partaking in the creation of a new chapter in the history of Polish products and recipes. To achieve her aim, Słupska Kartaczowska has been drawing on the legacy of traditional French cooking techniques that require a lot of time and precision. All the hard work pays off, however, for the final product turns into the symphony of flavors. A minimalistic take on ingredients -- 4-5 products per one dish -- won’t rid us of the satisfaction and pleasure that come with a culinary experience. When you’re in jadka, order a testing menu (5-7 dishes) if you don’t want to be forced to choose between dumplings stuffed with pheasant meat, porcini mushrooms, and smoked lard; white wild game sausage with beans and sour rye soup sauce; rabbit with tarragon, rainbow carrots and groats; and sole with wild garlic and saffron puree. Equally diverse dessert menu offers red cabbage cream with hibiscus and raisins or sunflower cake with pumpkin and sea buckthorn. If you can, ask the staff to provide you with a selection of alcohol that compliments the flavors of food -- wines from the old world and Central Europe, local beers, and liquors. The kaleidoscope of tastes will be enriched thanks to the magical atmosphere of the location -- a Prussian tenement house in an almost unchanged state.
For the evening - Browar Stu Mostów
Jana Długosza 2
Browar Stu Mostów (Polish for One Hundred Bridges Brewery) is one of the first craft breweries to be opened in Wroclaw when the beer revolution took its hold in Poland. However, the creation of this particular brewery is not accidental -- the owners worked scrupulously to integrate the project with the historical identity of the city on the Oder River. In Wroclaw, the tradition of brewing beer goes back to the Middle Ages and, as you can see, hasn’t lost popularity ever since. At Browar Stu Mostów, you can watch the brewing process and the work of qualified brewers from a mezzanine where the small pub is located. Aside from beer brewed right on site, the place offers delicious food. The concept of an original and a bit out-of-your-mind cuisine that perfectly complements the flavor of beer has been created by Michał Czekajło -- one of the most charismatic local chefs. His culinary concept focuses on appetizers, main dishes, and desserts; the menu favors meat in various forms served with intense, long-cooked sauces and a variety of dumplings. Less obvious twists sound particularly interesting, e.g. goose breast with chestnut dumplings with sea buckthorn sauce or bread dumplings with mustard sauce and dried sauerkraut. All ingredients, unprocessed, come from regional producers and are always respectfully used to the last crumb and the last drop. That’s why a lot of what’s left out in the brewing process is later reused in the kitchen to make a pretzel with malt, cheese sauce, and onion confiture. You should definitely give desserts a try even if you’re not fans of sweets because some of the options are truly surprising. For example, a rye French toast with bread ice cream with beer and yeast flake sauce will change the way you look at desserts. The menu is further enriched with bread and extras produced next door -- in Concept Stu Mostów. A hint: you may treat them as perfect edible souvenirs from Wroclaw!
*Agnieszka Szydziak - gourmet with a responsible palate, promoter of Wroclaw’s food culture, editor-in-chief at Have a Bite, food marketing specialist
photos - courtesy of restaurants' owners