Monday, 12 December 2011

Alternative places to eat in Wrocław

The main websites that write about Wrocław don't tend to write about the places I go to, so to make up for that here's a quick review of some good places in Wrocław where you can get a bite to eat, or get some beverages down your necks.

 Złe mięso

The interesting thing with Wrocław is that there is, in fact, a choice facing the person who wishes to avoid the samey places full of tourists and students.

Let's start with vegetarian food.  The best place for vegetarian and vegan food in my opinion is Bar Vega on the Rynek.  Like I've said many times about Polish food, there is a big selection of some decent grub made from vegetables that are very tasty.  They also do a load of Polish foods.  Of course, I've written before about how good food in Poland can be in Bar Mleczny, but there one can be certain that someone won't speak a bit of dead flesh onto your pierogi.  Unlike the other places, it has a basic look.  One goes there for good grub, not for identifying with something.  It's also fairly cheap.
They also do excellent drinks

In fact  it is doubtful if Bar Vega could be classed as alternative.  It veers quite close to mainstream.  That it is vegetarian/vegan though brings out the tag.  Same with Greenway, where one can get some very decent grub, also within the city centre.

Zle mięso ("bad meat") is a new place.  Unlike with the restrained tastes of Bar Vega, being in Złe mięso is an experience for more than the mouth.  It looks good, with cool modern art (see photo above).  To tell the truth, I walked in there the other day having been told that the food isn't very good and is expensive (EDIT: in fact this view has been repeated in two online reviews about the place), and that they play techno.  In fact I walked in to hear Public Enemy, which I took to be a good sign.  While in Bar Vega you'll find that a cross section of people go there, in Złe mięso you'll find younger people, a people more into tattoos and piercings.  I'm all for that, myself.  It's in places like Złe mięso where the (made for business) slogan of "Wrocław: The meeting place" can be more actualised.  Additionally, they only sell good beer (no Tyskie shite there).  The food?  Well I've heard of mixed experiences.  I had vege burger and chips and liked it (though the bread was McDonald's style, i.e. not too good, which is strange in a country like Poland with excellent bread).  They do fast food as well as "more exotic" food like falafel and spagetti.

I didn't like the toilets, however.  They only had one set and that means that women can see men at the urinals.  Złe mięso is close to the Rynek more or less across the road from BWA.  One thing I liked about the place was that it's spacious so one can take prams and pushchairs in, and when I was there there were children and a dog.

The other main place for decent grub is Nalanda.  It's a bit outside of the city centre on Plac Kościuzki (by Renoma).  There one can get more traditionally Polish food like pierogi and also my favourite soft drink: kwas chlebowy.  They also sell books, largely about art, esoteric stuff, books for children and books about food, among others.  

The mood there is different the other alternative places in that those who go there tend to be older, by which I mean over 30 and beyond 40.  That gives it a calmer atmosphere (the music which tends to be played there tends to be meditative).  They occasionally have events like concerts and readings.

For drinks and snacks one has a choice between Falanster and Kalaczakra.

Falanster looks more modern and the people who go there tend to be older and more part of the so-called "new left", i.e. young politically active people, who may also be artists.  I won't lie, Falanster is my favourite place in Wrocław.  They've got a ton of good books (including in English).  I feel more intelligent for being there.  For food they do cakes and muffins, as well as a few nice sarnies.  They also have some decent soft drinks (such as fruit cocktails) and they only sell good beer.

They have a load of interesting events, such as concerts, talks about politics, activism, history, gender issues and other stuff like monthly organic food fairs and actions for Amnesty International).  They also have an art gallery in the back.  Not only that, but they have a good selection of fair trade stuff, such as coffee, tea, chocolate, curry pastes and chillies.*  They never play shite music.  Being on św. Antoniego it's slightly outside of the city centre (a five minute walk away from Plac Solny), but well worth trying out.  Indeed, my offer still stands.

Kalaczakra is also for young people, except that you are more likely to get students there (Falanster tends to have those who have finished their studies and have started to work), and I believe that there are many more girls there than lads.  Similar to but more so than Nalada, it's got more of a new age feel to it.

Apart from the usual hot drinks one (including ginger in hot water with lemon and honey) can also buy alcohol (however, one has to leave Kalaczakra and go into the neighbouring place to buy alcohol, where one can smoke, i.e. one comes back smelling like shite).  They also do sarnies and cakes.  The music they play is mixed, sometimes cool and nice, sometimes chart music.

So, Wrocław does have an alternative scene, one with enough variation within it to appeal to different people.

Perhaps you know of other places, or wish to disagree with my points above.  Feel free to add a comment below.  Otherwise, feel free to "like" or "share" this article for any friends who may be interested.

* As well as Falanster, Sklep Jarmarki Świata sell Fair Trade goods.  This site has a big selection of the stuff (foods, clothes, gifts) you can order.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting places :)
    Greetings from Cracow