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Varsovians: Michał Sobieszuk

A founder of Eat Polska website, which tells about Poland through cuisine. Moreover, he offers culinary trips for foreigners: Food Tour, Beer Tour, and Vodka Tour.

Where do you take tourists?
– To a few places so that we could tell how culinary tastes of the Polish have been altering and to show a full section of the gastronomical scene – from the most progressive places offering modern Polish cuisine, to traditional restaurants where one can eat bread with lard and pickled cucumber or taste borsch. Such as Kamanda Lwowska in Foksal Street – to my mind the best restaurant in the centre. Mostly, tourists choose this borsch and sausage. But we try hard not to show only one dimensional Poland as the land of pierogi.

How to do it? How to show traditional Polish cuisine and avoid kitsch?       
– Today it’s pretty simple. There is a new generation of chefs who refer to tradition but they play with it. And this is very exciting.

And which attraction does the Vodka Tour offer?
– I see you’re smiling. In Poland vodka is something you drink to get drunk. Our trips are not about getting wasted. We would like to show the presence of vodka in Poland and the great variety of its tastes. We go to shot bars with appetizers, where you can eat herring with onion, pork jelly, bigos, botfly.

There is a boom for this kind of places. But their quality is questionable. Which do you recommend?
– Afera na Szpitalnej where the owner’s mother cooks and you can experience there some home-made tastes. 

In Praga we will soon have the Museum of Polish Vodka. Unquestionably, it will be the most frequently visited museum in Warsaw. Will you take your guests for a tour in Praga?
– There are many places worth visiting here, but we don’t do it yet. Mainly because of logistics. In the centre at the same time, we can show them much more. I have been living in Praga for years so I’m a local patriot and I support such places like Bistro Z in Ząbkowska Street or Pyzy Flaki Gorące in Brzeska. 

What do they say after your trips?
– Firstly, that it’s cheap in Poland. I remember how two years ago I was traveling in the Baltic States and I had a problem with finding a fine restaurant with prices around €20 for a meal. Meanwhile, in Warsaw €20 is really something. Our guests also noticed diversity and that we don’t copy ideas directly from other countries. We prefer to offer modern versions of the local cuisine. 

Photo: Aga Bilska

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