It wasn’t always easy to find good eats in Warsaw. The country was under communist rule until 1990 and until then, scarcity and rations were the norm. Today, Warsaw is bursting with excellent cuisine including their must-try pierogi. You’ll find versions of this dough-filled dumpling across the country, but one of the most popular is packed with sweet cottage cheese and potato. There’s also pierogi filled with fruit, meat, sauerkraut, and mushrooms. Head to the nearest milk bar – little restaurants famous for serving cheap, simple dishes – and have your pick of Poland’s pierogi.
Wash down that plate of pierogis with a tall glass of compote, or kompot, if you’re a Pole in the know. All summer long when the fruit trees are yielding sweet, succulent fruit, Polish people are mixing up batches of kompot to serve year-round. Essentially, fresh fruit is stewed in sweetened water, steeped, cooled, and poured over ice. Think fruit punch, minus the artificial color and flavor. This is the real deal, my friend. Drink up!
Warsaw suffered massive destruction during WWII, but much of the city was rebuilt thanks to citizens who volunteered their time and skill to see their city rise from the ashes. One such reconstruction was The Royal Castle in Warsaw sitting in Old Town. Built in the 15th century, it was stripped of its riches and blown up by occupied forces in 1944. It was painstakingly rebuilt and is now part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. Housed within its opulent walls are symbols of Polish statehood and history and works of art by Rembrandt, Gainsborough, van Dyck, Le Brun, and other artistic masters.