Zapiecek Restaurant @ Warsaw Old Town: Best Polish Dumplings in Town
At 11 am outside Zapiecek Restaurant Świętojańska 13 in Warsaw Old Town, an elderly was giving out pamphlets. The usual marketing strategy to entice customers into the shop and also passed me one too. I was quickly drawn on the Polish dishes images in the advertisement. Subsequently, I took a look at the menu on the entrance of Zapiecek Restaurant, but none of the Polish food was familiar to me. Therefore, adventurous eating was what I sought at that moment. Hence, an indication of a restaurant serving authentic Polish cuisine. I was also feeling famished after a few hours of walking and sightseeing at Warsaw Old Town.
Regardless of the truth, I went inside immediately. I was somewhat surprised to find that the small restaurant was almost full-house shortly after its opening within minutes. Consequently, I stepped out again, wanting to give it a miss as I did not want to wait too long to be served. In the meanwhile outside Zapiecek Restaurant, I saw more people entering inside. My gut feeling told me that this must be a remarkable restaurant to try out Polish food. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be a continuous flow of people going into the restaurant in such a short time, which was a rare sight.
Immediately, my quick instinct directed me back to Zapiecek restaurant once again. I found myself a small table to squeeze my body in and also placed my small luggage on the floor in an awkward position. There were approximately 16 people, and all were reading the food menu concurrently. Shortly, one pretty, cheerful waitress wearing a cute traditional Polish costume came and handed me a Zapiecek menu with English translation.
I took a long time to read the fascinating menu but yet had to decide quickly what Polish food to have for my lunch in Zapiecek. All the Polish dishes looked so tempting! I wanted to try as many of them as my stomach could take as Polish food was not so expensive in my opinion.
Polish Pierogi (also known as ‘Dumpings’) was eventually my top choice as they almost had a full page of menu dedicated to 50 types of Pierogi with different filling inside. More than half was boiled dumplings, and the rest was pan-fried. I am not a fan of pan-fried food, so my choice was obvious. As the options of boiled Perogies were overwhelming, thus it was not easy to decide on the filling without the recommendation of the waitress.
Generally, Zapiecek Restaurant offered the customers three choices to order the Polish Pierogi:
Of course, individual Pierogi of your choice would cost higher than a plate served with the same stuffing. Since I was a tourist, I did not mind to pay a higher cost for trying out different types of Polish Pierogi. Moreover, they cost only an average of €0.50 – €0.60/pc, which I felt was dirt cheap for European food. On the other hand, the Polish Pierogi filling was practically anything that one could think of from meat, vegetables, cheese to fruits! Even if you are a vegetarian, you can find something green or fruity to suit your preference!
My favourite Pierogi and the most delicious of all is Dumplings with Salmon and Camembert Cheese. If you wanted a plate with the same kind of filling, and you also love to eat salmon and cheese as much as I do, I would definitely recommend these juicy dumplings to you. Thinking of it makes my mouth salivate as I wanted so much to try these yummy Polish Perogies at Zapiecek Warsaw again.
I also had a bowl of salad to go with my plate of Perogies. The waitress recommended the salad on the menu – Fresh Vegetables (Lettuce, Peppers, Cherry Tomatoes, Carrot, Corn). However, I felt that the salad was rather ordinary and not as delectable in comparison to the toothsome pierogies.
After finishing the pierogi and the salad, I still had space in my stomach and wanted to try more Polish food which was not too heavy. I asked for soup recommendation afterwards. The waitress asked me to order the traditional Polish Sour Rye Soup with forest mushrooms. She also didn’t think I could finish the grilled white sausage, egg, chives and bread which came as a set to the main course. So, I heeded her advice. The soup was sour but to the taste buds’ acceptable level. Nevertheless, I was delighted to have tried one authentic Polish soup.
The bill came as PLN 45.54 (€10.60 | US$11.90), but I did not have enough zloty with me. I was on a few hours transit to Poland and had only exchanged a small amount of zloty at Airport Kantor Exchange for buying return tickets to take a bus from Warsaw Airport to Old Town. I asked to separate the bill so I could pay with my remaining zloty (PLN 25) and proposed to pay the balance with my credit card. The waitress remarked that it was not possible to split it. In the end, I settled the full amount with my credit card.
What was impressive about the service of Zapiecek Restaurant was the speed of the food served to all customers at nearly the same time 10 minutes later despite all of us arriving simultaneously. When asked for a recommendation, the waitresses were always ready to shoot a few of their best Polish dishes and always put on a smile despite being busy in the crowded ambience. The restaurant was already full-house after 20 minutes, but the stream of customers came in continuously to ask about seat availability. At that moment, I considered myself lucky to dine in one of the best Polish restaurants in Warsaw after reading many raving positive reviews from the customers.
I would not hesitate to recommend you to try out Zapiecek Restaurant. Although it has several branches in Warsaw, they are always full-house as well. It is also not difficult to find traditional Polish restaurants in Warsaw. Everywhere you go, you will see the word “Pierogi” outside many restaurants that also indicate how prevalent this Polish cuisine is. Here are more restaurants in Warsaw to try out Pierogi or other Polish dishes, so you know the right places to eat in Warsaw. They are just the tip of the iceberg. There are much more Polish restaurants in Warsaw that do not have the proper category on Google Maps.
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