Top 7 traditional Polish dishes in Torun

February 6, 2019

by Valentina Semeghini

Three years ago, exactly in these last days of January, I went for the first time to Poland to take part in o a volunteering project in the region of Kujawsko-Pomorskie. It was the best experience in life and up to now, I’ve been five times to Toruń, one of the main cities in the region, where I know many families and people who make me always rediscover this wonderful medieval city.

As I am passionate about polish culinary tradition, I couldn’t help writing my first contribution about food. So, I invite you to discover some of my favourite Polish dishes and the best places to eat them in Toruń…

Enjoy the reading!

1. Pierogi…let’s stick to tradition

vegetarian: YES       vegan: YES

This is probably the first thing you have to eat in Poland: delicious filled dumplings, that you can eat boiled or fried, savery or sweet.

Starting with savery ones, you will always have a great choice. Personally, I love the so-called “Ruskie Pierogi“, filled with mashed potatoes, cheese and onions; the second prize goes to mushroom, sauerkraut and bacon ones, and lastly cheese & spinach. My preferred topping is fried onion, but you may try melted butter.

I personally don’t like the mix of sweet and savery, but many people take some pierogi with chocolate or jam as filling and white sour cream as a topping. I tried them, it’s quite weird but it really depends on you!

Where to eat them? My favourite place is Pierogarnia Stary Toruń, located in Most Pauliński 2/10, 87-100, opened from Monday to Sunday…from 11.03 till 22.56!

2. Nalesniki…the Polish way for pancakes

vegetarian: YES       vegan: YES

These flat pancakes always remind me somehow French crêpes and galettes. They are perfect when you are really hungry: you can a savery and a sweet one and your stomach will be really glad. You have a great choice: you can wat it with cheese, meat, fish, vegetables in many different combinations; as a dessert, the classic Nutella and whipped cream one, or you can choose caramel, chocolate, fruit, jam and so on.

For me, the best place to eat them is Rynek Staromiejski, opened from Sunday to Thursday from 10.00 to 22.00 and on Friday and Saturday from 10.00 to 23.00.

 

3.  Gołąbki…delicate, healthy and tasty

Vegetarian: not in this restaurant      Vegan: not in this restaurant

Literally, it means “pigeons”, because of the shape of cabbage leaves, wrapped around a filling usually made of pork or beef meat, rice and cabbage. They are often served with a light tomato sauce.

That’s absolutely my favourite dish, and my Polish friends are aware of that too. So, every time I go to Poland, they prepare big pans of delicious gołąbki. On those days I am really happy (and my stomach too).

I always ate homemade ones, my all the people I know in Toruń recommended me the restaurant Sielanka, located at Ligi Polskiej 12a – 12b. It is opened from Monday to Saturday from 10.00 to 19.00 and on Sunday from 10.00 to 15.00.

4. Kluski śląskie…Polish gnocchi!

vegetarian: YES      vegan: YES

Mashed potatoes, flour and salt are the ingredients of these dumplings, originally made in the region of Upper Silesia.

They are round and flat and usually served with delicious meat, mushroom sauce or beetroot salad. They really remind me of the Italian gnocchi my mother used to make when I was a child…but they are not served with Bolognese sauce!

I recommend you to eat them at Piąta Klepka, a really simple but truly Polish restaurant. it is located at Podmurna 34. It’s opened from Monday to Saturday from 12.00 to 19.00 and on Sunday from 12.00 to 17.00.

5. Zurek and Barszcz czerwony…complete meals in a soup!

vegetarian: YES      vegan: NO

 

 

In Poland, I realized that I love soups, in particular, the two you can see in the pictures, that have in common the use of sour cream.

Żurek is typical for Slavic cultures. Polish one contains rye, kiełbasa (a typical sausage) and  sometimes a hard-boiled egg and some noodles or potatoes. Many Polish restaurants serve it in a crusty bread bowl,  that you are also expected to eat.

Barszcz czerwony is a red beetroot soup that usually contains some small mushroom pierogi. I was sceptical when people made me eat it, but it’s actually really tasty!

So, where to find them? Almost in every restaurant. I had really good ones at Karczma Spichrz, located at Mostowa 1. It’s opened from Monday to Saturday from 12.00 to 23.00 and on Sunday from 12.00 to 22.00.

However, in the places I mentioned above you can also find them as starters. In this case, they are served in their “lighter” versions, that avoid big bread bowls or pierogi inside the soup itself.

6. Ciasto z galaretką…how to reinterpret cheesecake

vegetarian: YES    vegan: NO

Polish people love cheesecake (sernik in Polish), baked or not, creamy or crumbly.

My favourite one is a three-layer sernik made with a basis of sponge cake, cream cheese, and colourful jelly, that often contains cherries, strawberries, pears and other fruits. It’s a great idea for your tea-break in the afternoon.

I recommend you to go to Central Coffee Perk to rest a little bit with a cappuccino and a sernik…You will find it at ul. Strumykowa 2, from Monday to Wednesday from 10.00 to 20.00 and from Thursday to Saturday from 10.00 to 22.00.

7. Pierniki…you’re in the right place!

vegetarian: YES        vegan: YES

When you go to Torun, you have to try the famous gingerbread, that was originally created in this city. It’s perfect as a quick dessert or as a small titbit for a tea break in the afternoon. Simple, not too heavy and usually colourful, that’s always a good choice. You can also find it covered in black or white chocolate topping, with jam, coffee, or chocolate fillings.

You can basically buy them everywhere: in restaurants, in cafes, bakeries and stores. Don’t hesitate to try them! I personally suggest to explore supermarkets, that always offer a huge variety. I always buy them in the chain Biedronka and take them home as souvenirs.

Quick suggestion: in Torun, there are two Pierniki Museums, where you can produce your own gingerbread and look at artisans decorating them!

 

Thank you for reading the suggestions of a travelling potato. Let me know if you try these dishes and what you think about them!

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