Over recent years dozens of vegan bistros and restaurants have popped up like mushrooms in Warsaw. In 2017 HappyCow.net included Warsaw in their 10 Top Vegan Cities In The World list, placing the Polish capitol at third place after Berlin and Los Angeles.
Many of these places you can find in one specific neighborhood called Śródmieście Południowe (Southern Downtown), an alternative part of the city`s downtown area where the local life thrives. I even heard lately the district being referred to as „the Vegan District”.
Krowarzywa Vegan Burger
This is probably the most popular vegan bistro in Warsaw. Its name is an interesting play on words. When I hear it in Polish I understand it as “a living cow”, but it`s written differently as a one word as it contains the word “vegetables”. The Krowarzywa serves vegan burgers and they are really delicious. My favorite is called “Cieciorex” which is a burger made of chickpeas. Here you can also find helathy juices and smoothies. Don`t be surprised with a big line of people (Hoża 29/31 Street & Marszałkowska 27/35, Monday – Sunday: 12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, krowarzywa.pl).
The Momencik is a vegan burrito and taco bar. It`s located in a small basement that you can reach walking down a few steps from street level. Inside you will meet a very friendly staff and affordable menu. The Chili Sin Carne and Guacamole burritos are my favorites. You can also have a fresh juice or a cocktail based on plant milk with fruits (Poznańska 16 Street, Monday – Saturday: 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Sundays: 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, facebook.com/momencik).
This place is different then others because it`s located in a squat and has an activist feel to it. It`s open only from Friday to Sunday, everybody is welcome and the staff is very friendly. It`s based in a prewar house with a very complicated ownership status where many residents were forced to move out. The Syrena squat is involved with a local activist movement fighting for tenants rights. On the menu you have only vegan food, portions are big and prices are low. As a matter of fact everything has two different prices. The higher one is the regular price, the lower one is called “the crisis price” and it`s dedicated to people who cannot pay more. Choosing the regular price you support people who live and work here (Wilcza 30 Street, Friday-Sunday: 12:00 pm – 12:00 am, facebook.com/cafekryzys).
To eat a vegan dessert try the Słodki Bez. It`s a confectionary that serves gluten free sweets without any sugar or lactose. The menu changes frequently and it`s not very big but everything is delicious. Depending on the time of the year the owners use seasonal fruits in cakes based on millet groat (Jagielnik), cashew (Nerkownik) or vegan chocolate, cream or gingerbread. Here you can also drink a hot vegan chocolate (Hoża 51 Street, Monday – Sunday, 10:00 am – 7:00 pm, facebook.com/slodkibez).
All places above are located in the same area and reachable on foot. There is one more place I must mention here but you probably need to take a tram to get here. The Vega Bar is the first vegan place in Warsaw I ever visited, about 20 years ago. I guess this is the oldest place on Warsaw`s vegan map and I can assure you many people don`t even know about it. It`s a dinning type of restaurant with delicious Indian food. I always must eat some sabji with kofta. I add to it things like samosa, pakora and one of many great salads. What’s great about this place is that profits are used to support dinners for children from poor families. The Vega Bar also organizes meditation workshops (Al. Jana Pawła II 36c Street, Monday – Sunday 11:00 am – 8:00 pm, vega-warszawa.pl).