This tour wasn’t just about the food; it was also about the craft beer and the wodka! The history and the culture! Our tour was small and intimate with us and one other lovely couple from California plus our guide Jasmine.
Jasmine is only one year younger than myself yet when you hear her recollections of her childhood growing up in Poznań, you really appreciate how lucky we were growing up in the UK! I studied history throughout college and university, studying Nazi Germany, World War Two, the Cold War, the Iron Curtain, the Berlin Wall and Solidarity. She lived through it. What feels like history to me is a reality to her. It was a really interesting way to spend an evening and I’d thoroughly recommend this tour. My only tip would be to book it for your first or second day. Ours was on the last evening of the trip so we never got a chance to revisit any of the fantastic eateries (except for the donut shop!!) or go to any of Jasmine’s recommendations. beyond food.
First course was two traditional Polish soups at a very local restaurant called Kurna Chata Restauracja Polskie dania Obiady. I would have been quite content with just these beauties. We tried a Polish Zurek, a traditional soup for Easter which is made from fermented sour dough bread or rye bread. It is full of polish sausage and surprisingly, egg. The second soup was a Borscht or Barszcz, a rich soup with beetroot giving the soup its distinctive deep purple colour. This is traditionally served on Christmas Eve we were told, served with sour cream and plenty of bread! I love how most of these traditional soups are served in bread bowls so you can eat the bread as the soup line lowers.
Second course was probably my favourite!! Pudding!!! Slightly weird having a donut just after your starter, especially when you see the size of this thing!!! Cannot believed I ate the whole thing before we got to the third venue!! I went for a rose water jam, which I was worried would be too overpowering but it was delightful! Rob had an advocat donut, filled with a advocat flavoured creme patisserie – not really my cup of tea. You were spoilt for choice as they had chocolate, raspberry jam, apple, snickers or a savoured cream cheese. I of course managed to squeeze in another visit to the shop the following day before we flew home by skipping the hotel breakfast for a donut and one last dwarf hunt!
Third course was due to be at the restaurant Conspiracy but following a table mix up we had our main meal last! So third course was instead at the restaurant Lviv. Time for pierogi! So we had the opportunity to try both Polish and Czech dumplings here. The Polish pierogi ruskie were like little pillows of soft potato and cream cheese, encased in a dough and gently boiled for a few minutes until the pierogi rose to the top. Interestingly their history dates back to Marco Polo who brought the recipe back to Europe from the Far East along the Silk Road and now each area have their own twist on a classic. Pierogi Ruskie are simply served with caramelised onions which were delicious too! The Czech dumplings were small and round with a pork and beer filling – also delicious! Don’t ask me which I preferred as I loved them both!
The restaurant Lviv is named after the former Polish City that became part of the Ukraine Soviet Socialist Republic after World War Two. Under the Potsdam Agreement Wroclaw, at the time known as Breslau, became Polish following the war. As part of this movement of country borders, one day all of its German occupants were moved to Germany and similarly all Polish occupants of Lviv were moved to Wroclaw. Jasmine told us how some residents never unpacked fully so that they were in a permanent state of readiness to move back to their beloved Lviv. They simply occupied the tenement apartments left vacant by their previous German owners.
Fourth course was a chance to sample some local draft beer and eat a local variation of pizza. Now I’m not really a beer drinker, I prefer cider! But when in Wroclaw you have to at least try. The pale ale put before us smelt divine – it had tones of exotic fruits, possibly lycee and guava. Unfortunately the smell did not transfer to the taste and so Rob got two samples! But I’m sure if you like beer it would have been great! By this point on the tour my appetite was rapidly dwindling but I did sample the flatbreads put in front of us with polish sausage, bacon, cheese and a tomato paste – would have made a lovely snack with drinks!
For our final stop we welcomed the walk back to Conspiracy for a break and then we were ready for our main meal!! I was ready for bed and some comfy pants myself!!! But no this beast of a meal turned up with Polish sausage, potato cakes, stew, pickle and bread. I felt so guilty at how little I ate but I tried each element at least! The potato cakes were amazing but more amazing was the setting. Conspiracy is quite a small restaurant but every inch of the wall is filled with historic memories from Communist Poland. From the light fittings, to photographs and letters, it felt very authentic and like a chapter of history had stood still in this one restaurant. Prominently in front of the restaurant was a scene from a comedy where two forks are chained to the table with the diner unable to use them both at the same time.
If you’re spending a few days in Wroclaw, definitely book this tour! You definitely get your moneys worth! We booked it with Delicious Poland, who I believe do food tours in other Polish cities including Krakow and Warsaw (click here to view their tours). Our tour cost us 250 Polish zloty each which is approximately £50 each and worth every penny!