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Eating out in Poland


Janusz  
14 Jan 2006 /  #1
People in Poland did not eat out much outside of the home prior to the collapse of the Berlin wall. Though small businesses such as restaurants were allowed under the socialist system, they did not prove popular because the average person did not have the extra money to spend outside of the grocery store. One kind of restaurant that was popular was the milk bar. Milk bars were a form of state-sponsored soup kitchen. Its menu was based on traditional Polish foods though not many meat products were served. The name milk bar comes from the fact that the majority of the meals served were milk-based. It was therefore a viable option, as it was affordable. There were times however when the milk bars became the only source of many food products, due to production shortages which left grocery store shelves virtually empty. Rather than buying these products, which included basic staples such as milk and eggs, on the black market for an exorbitant amount of money, one could buy a prepared meal for a low price at the milk bar. Milk bars still exist in Poland, though only a fraction of them are still open. The remaining milk bars are privately owned, but most of the basic foodstuffs, such as cooking oil and vegetables, are still subsidized by the state.

After 1991, when the new democratic government took power, a number of foreign restaurant chains established themselves in Poland. The leaders in this are McDonald's and Pizza Hut, but there are many others. Although young people frequent these restaurants, the older, more traditional people visit them less often. Among young people only those who are wealthier than the average frequent restaurants. For many families, the prices are also regarded as steep. Generally, children are the most frequent customers, as going to a fast food restaurant is seen as a treat. More popular with older people are the traditional Polish restaurants which serve polish and French cuisine, but this is usually done only on special occasions, such as weddings. Many people still prefer to celebrate even these special occasions at home. Poles are still very traditional in their dining habits, and 65% of the population customarily eats at home.

Although restaurants are not very popular with the locals, Poland does have a large selection of restaurants which serve mostly tourists, especially in the larger cities. Warsaw is one of the best places to eat in central Europe. Alongside a good selection of restaurants specializing in traditional Polish cuisine, there's a welcome trend towards culinary variety. Modern European and Mediterranean-influenced dishes have made their way onto most restaurant menus, and ethnic establishments offering anything from Jewish to Japanese cuisine are well established. Poland has a significant Vietnamese population numbering over fifty thousand people. This has lead to the creation of many Vietnamese restaurants. There are also a number of Polish fast food undertakings, Mr. Hamburger being probably the largest, with 18 restaurants in southern Poland. Another chain, Tivoli, has five restaurants in Poznan, while Subway, Polskie Jadlo, Oscar, A Petit and Non Stop are also doing well.

Another form of gastronomy that has taken off in Poland is the delivery of pizza. There was no such service in the socialist era, and the niche was filled by the Spanish-owned chain called Telepizza. Telepizza was a pioneer in the food-delivery business in Europe, and in 1992 they opened their first restaurant in Poland, in Warsaw. There are currently 94 locations in Poland, and a whole industry of food delivery has been created. One can now order almost any kind of food over the phone including Chinese and Vietnamese food.

Janusz
Rafik  
18 Jan 2006 /  #2
I think it's not a good idea that Polish people try to monkey the West - as far as food is concerned. Poles have their own great cuisine and should cultivate it. I think foreigners who visit Poland would appreciate Polish dishes more than a pizza or Subway 'cause they have it all every day at home...
Pole  
18 Jan 2006 /  #3
I agree with Rafik -- whenever I'm in Poland on vacations, I avoid all kind of "foreign" restaurants. Polskie Jadlo is good (but you need to like a lot of meat). I personally prefer smaller restaurants where they server traditional Polish food. But whatever you eat, it STILL tastes better than in the US (even hamburgers are more yummy :).
Marzena 2 | 122  
19 Jan 2006 /  #4
Yeah, it's hard to judge. They might have to start some American type of restaurants to have more business in Poland (Polish people might love it) but also some tourists might not like our food, so it's good that they have an option to eat something they like (and not leave the country hungry :) ). On top of it, like Pole said, even regular hamburgers are so much better when 'made in Poland' :).

But our own traditional cuisine should also have a big special place in the Polish 'food world', it is not only very delicious, but definitely interesting for foreigners and Polish people should be proud of it!
Guest  
19 Jan 2006 /  #5
Yep, Polish people like being americanized (not only Polish though). Whenever I go to a foreign country it is a must that I eat the national food as it allows me "taste" and understand the country even more. Being in Poland and going to McDonalds? No, thanks! I'd rather milk a Polish cow and steal some eggs from a farm to make a Polish breakfast :).
howard  
19 Jan 2006 /  #6
I have to agree! I travel alot, especially in the US. I only go to those fast food places when the is no time to eat. I do not like them here, and especially dislike the idea of eating at them overseas. Although, you just have to try it to see the difference. I am a firm beliver that when you travel you should immerse yourself with as much local culture and flavor as possible. When I went to Poland I absolultey loved the cuisine! DO NOT CHANGE! Through my travels of Germany, Italy and Portugal, I have learned of many flavors. None of which can be duplicated in the US. Our products are not as natural as they are in Europe. Polish cuisine has got a history and a personality all to its own and should remain that way.
Point  
19 Jan 2006 /  #7
Tell me about it... When i was in New Zealand I had at least 4-5 apples A DAY -- so delicious, they tasted like nectar. In the US I eat maybe a few apples a MONTH; they are tasteless here just like a cartoon!
Guest  
3 Mar 2006 /  #8
>Point

So I U 've been in Poland U realy missed something. Poland is biggest apples axporter in the world.
Guest  
11 Apr 2006 /  #9
I like Polish food.. :)
Guest  
30 May 2006 /  #10
Polish food is awesome!!!! I recommend eating at someones house. I have eaten out in Poland and wasn't too impressed. There are a lot of Sioux restaurants and places to get kabob's...they are very popular there.
luke  
30 May 2006 /  #11
Yeah, it's terrifying... Soon there will be more kebab places in Poland than in Germany :) And I thought it's impossible...
Guest  
30 May 2006 /  #12
Ha Ha In Poznan I saw one on almost every block in the city. Either Sioux or Sphinx. They are good after a late night of drinking though...and they're huge.
AngelF  
2 Apr 2007 /  #13
Some Polish food is ok but too many bad experiences with thieves. Got robbed 4 times. IAlso many unfriendly people and this is not what i heard about Polish people before i came here.
sapphire 22 | 1,241  
2 Apr 2007 /  #14
Id just like to say thanks to the original poster for this thread.. i found it very interesting. I was shocked when my partner told me he always ate at home, both in Poland and since living here in the UK had never been to a restaurant. Gradually I began to understand that its not even about having the money to do it, its more about the culture that you were brought up in.. I have now introduced him to the idea of going out for dinner though and he has embraced it.
daffy 23 | 1,508  
2 Apr 2007 /  #15
i must be perverted ....i read the title of this thread wrong first time.... :)

i t hough, yes, i love to eat out! Id love to eat out more often!

you can never eat out often enough :)

LOL

Id just like to say thanks to the original poster for this thread.. i found it very interesting. I was shocked when my partner told me he always ate at home, both in Poland and since living here in the UK had never been to a restaurant. Gradually I began to understand that its not even about having the money to do it, its more about the culture that you were brought up in.. I have now introduced him to the idea of going out for dinner though and he has embraced it.

its nice to eat out once a week/fortnight. i like mexican, there is a fantastic place 'cafe mexicana' here in cork that is out of this world!!! i was in tears from the starters it was THAT hot!!
sapphire 22 | 1,241  
2 Apr 2007 /  #16
Dirty Daffy :) I agree, though Im all for guys who like to eat out.
witek 1 | 587  
2 Apr 2007 /  #17
Kebab and zapiekanki :)
FISZ 24 | 2,116  
2 Apr 2007 /  #18
I love eating out :) It's a great way to treat your tastebuds and can be quite pleasurable I might add.
I don't always eat out because I also enjoy cooking. It can get pretty sloppy in the kitchen when I cook though :)
Peter 3 | 247  
2 Apr 2007 /  #19
When I'm in Poland there is always a lot of home cooked food but I also like to eat out, if for no other reason than the variety of choices. Of course that includes the traditional Polish restaurants.
gosh  
22 Apr 2007 /  #20
This is retarted
ukinpoland 5 | 338  
22 Apr 2007 /  #21
Yes and why do you think that is Explaing your feelings . We are here to help
daffy 23 | 1,508  
22 Apr 2007 /  #22
We are here to help

yup, here to help gosh. (modding later as its not really helping topic is it :))
white_eagle - | 2  
5 Dec 2007 /  #23
gosh
maybe you should try good polish food and then you would know why we talk about it so much
cara  
2 Feb 2008 /  #24
it sounds intressing from cara
Kowalski 7 | 621  
2 Feb 2008 /  #25
Fast food is treated indeed by many Poles as a treat for their children. The idea of selling/giving toys there wasn't a polish one - I assume.

We definitely have here a luck of knowledge about junk food. On different scale polish junk food is often better tasting then one served in USA - exception here being Burger King burgers.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
2 Feb 2008 /  #26
Americans will, virtually without fail, contest that. I can't judge as I've never been to the States but the tortillas and burritos here are really good. Americans love their Taco Bell and Mexican joints in general. The only criticism, if u could call it that, would be that Polish food outlets throw too much cabbage into burgers and generally everything. I like it but it's OTT/overkill. Overall, I've gotta say that eating out in Poland is a pleasant experience.
PieknaTancerk 3 | 67  
2 Feb 2008 /  #27
So what is good food in Poland. Anyone got some good recipes they could send me. I don't eat red meat
wightlion 1 | 17  
5 Feb 2008 /  #29
Well Ive just come back from a 4 day trip and eat nothing but Polish food

Wild boar,. creamed mushrooms, golonka, pierogi,... not all at the same time of course

but after the sunday roast sized golonka I needed to sit down for a week lol well no thats a lie really,.. i needed to wash it down with a few Goldwasser`s and then sit down

happy days
Wyspianska  
5 Feb 2008 /  #30
but after the sunday roast sized golonka I needed to sit down for a week lol well no thats a lie really,..

eat less. just my advice for future : )

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