“It’s a vegan heaven on Earth!” – I hear every time I welcome friends to the capital city of Lower Silesia. How not to get lost in a maze of green restaurants, bakeries, and street food spots, you ask? With this question in mind, I have selected gems with top-quality atmosphere and spotless ethics. I am certain that even omnivores will love our green recommendations!
A few years ago, when Wilk Syty was only beginning as two separate locations – Food Fight and Sugar Shop – its founders set themselves a goal of showing the world that Polish cuisine lent itself perfectly to vegan experiments. Now it looks like it’s not only about Polish cuisine, but I guess this shouldn’t be the reason to worry. The menu does prioritize vegan takes on traditional Polish dishes, but it also features a variety of experiments with recipes and products from all over the world. As you read this, for example, the menu offers prażuchy (translator’s note: dumplings made from whipped potatoes mixed with flour) with breaded oyster mushrooms, served with tofu and cabbage fried in truffle sauce, or noodle curry in coconut milk broth with marinated tofu, cabbage, peanuts and coriander. Meals of the day change daily, and it is definitely worth keeping in mind Wilk’s origins and the era of Sugar Shop because the sweet continues to be as important as the savory. Summing up, feel invited to enjoy a perfectly balanced mixture of the classic and the modern.
With its roots in Poznań, Falla is one of the youngest vegetarian spots in Wrocław. Its atmosphere corresponds perfectly to the climate of a large city, with industrial interior warmed up with the abundance of plants and mouth-watering jars filled with pickles. The menu is rich in flavors from the Middle East with occasional Asian, Mexican, and even American touches. What all the dishes have in common, however, is their reliance on the power of color. Simple dishes such as wraps, shakshouka, or hummus beguile with lavish colorfulness, but it’s Fatima’s Hand that wins the first prize – a plate brimming with portions of all the delicacies Falla has to offer – falafels, five types of hummus, pickles, fresh and baked veggies, sauces, and warm pita bread. Share it with friends over a drink – beer, cider, wine, or cocktail.
When Tajfun opened its doors, all the vegans in Wrocław exhaled with relief because the owners of the newly-opened place had run an already closed, but once legendary, plant-based spot – Baszta. Having nestled close to the river, Tajfun offers some classics known from Baszta – colorful Pad Thai(s) and exquisite desserts – as well as a wide range of dishes that change on a daily basis. Weekly schedules include curry days (with masala made on site), bao buns dancing in aromatic cooking fumes, and ramen with homemade noodles. The greatest strength of Tajfun, however, is its lively team of spontaneous individuals who work together to create ingenious blends of Asian and Polish flavors (ramen based on a beetroot leaven, can you imagine?), including a variety of leaven, pickles, or kombucha.
A place where the idea of healthy living comes first. Accordingly, delicious vegan meals are prepared from early in the morning, filled with exclusively natural ingredients: super foods, good fats, and white sugar alternatives. Enjoy comfort food breakfasts – carrot waffles or porridge prepared in keeping with the five elements kitchen. Lunch – soup and the main course – changes daily from Monday to Friday. Every day in the afternoon, all vegans of Wrocław gather to enjoy gargantuan buckwheat pancakes stuffed with various blends of fruit and vegetables – some raw, some grilled, some pickled, marinated, or turned into sauce. Also, at Bez Lukru you simply do not say no to dessert. This vegan bakery serves incredible tarts, power balls, and cakes prepared according the principles of raw food. Have yourself a shot of good energy with a piece of cake and cup of 5 elements coffee or golden milk.
Speaking of vegan food in Wrocław, it is impossible not to mention Vega – the oldest vegetarian restaurant in Poland – open since 1987. Currently 100% vegan, the restaurant opened in the era of proliferating anarchy and thus served as a place where one could voice their views by means of unorthodox food choices. Vega stood the test of time and underwent a thorough renovation a few years back. Now, it offers two separate spaces, each with a different atmosphere and menu. On the ground floor, you can eat “typically” Polish meals chosen from a range of soups, dumplings, chops, salads, and cakes. The interior on the ground floor has a more retro vibe compared to the industrial climate found on the first floor – with mural-covered walls, metal details, and a general feeling of more light and space. The menu on the first floor is an overview of the world’s tastes made specifically for those of you who fight for food equality in restaurants and want to be free to choose between pizza, spaghetti, burger, tortilla, quesadilla, or pierogi.
Green Bus is an example of how a dream of joining one’s passion for plant-based cuisine with work can come true. It’s been a while since the Green Bus team moved out from food truck and recently they have switched their location to an even spacious one in the vicinity of the river. Street food lovers are likely to immediately fall in love with the menu that offers Italian, American, and Middle-Eastern flavors. Enjoy a vegan dough pizza with one of the eighteen topping sets that include vegan or vegetarian cheese or relatively rare plant-based hams, sausages, tempeh or seitan. And if you are #teamburger, do come in! Green Bus burgers are protein-filled blends with a balanced selection of vegetables and sauces in leavened rye rolls. Also, if for any reason you find yourself feeling nostalgic for kebab, Green Bus has a solution.
This tiny and cozy spot nestled in a climatic part of the city has been all about hummus since it opened a few years ago. Each plate with this creamy blend of chickpeas, tahini, and spices comes with a selection of seasonal vegetables, fruit and spices brought from around the world. And even though W kontakcie has never aspired to be 100% vegan – using dairy and eggs from trusted local producers on a daily basis – their respect for vegetables and ability to evoke the richness of taste, color, and structure of each ingredient command respect. Read more about this place in our piece on Wrocław’s must eats.
If you’re looking for fast street food options in Wrocław, go to Krowarzywa – a joint that specializes in burgers and wraps with millet groats, grilled vegetables, and vegan pastrami; you can also have a hot dog, available in two options. But if you are a fan of street food from Bombay or Jerusalem, go to Najadacze and try their samosas, curry, dosas, or sets of falafels, hummus, and pickles. It’s also good to know that The Root, located a walking distance from PURO, serves wraps and sushi. All these spots are quite compact, which is why they are perfect for a fast visit or take-aways. Last but not least, Wrocław has a few plant-based spots of the Polish Milk Bar type, so if you are into the retro aesthetic check out Warzywniak (pl. Grunwaldzki 18-20) or Wegetariański Bar Mleczny (pl. Teatralny 1). Go veg!
Text: Agnieszka Szydziak
Photos: courtesy of the restaurants, head photo: Falla