Good times and wild nights – Warsaw’s bar scene has exploded into life!
ul. Hoża 61
Seemingly based upon the kind of Tijuana dive bar you’d have happened upon during the Miami Vice era, Pacyfik is all candy floss pink and shades of teal: a raw-looking den that looks purposefully imperfect. Keeping the hip international crowd on the wrong side of drunk are kick-ass drinks such as their Clamado Michelada or Kimchi Bloody Mary. Don’t think you’re leaving early.
The big Night
Beirut & Kraken
ul. Poznańska 12, beirut.com.pl
Somewhere, amid all the junk relating to the Lebanese conflict (grenades, sandbags, ammo boxes, a rocket…), you’ll find the spirit of Poznańska contained within this long, skinny bar. As fashionable now as it was when it opened, forget not to finish the evening in their connecting venture, the Pirates of the Caribbean-style Kraken Rum Bar. Everybody else does at some stage or other.
ul. Koszykowa 63 (Hala Koszyki)
The natural focal point of Hala Koszyki, this ever-stretching bar gives the vigorous impression of being bang in the middle of somewhere that’s nailed the city’s imagination – certainly, the buzz from the beginning has shown no sign of fading. Bonus points for a rather good Pimm’s. Without fail, it remains Warsaw’s favorite meeting point.
ul. Bagatela 10
H.P. Lovecraft would love it. Decorated with replica skulls (400 reckons the owner!), this place is nothing if not a passionate celebration of the beautiful and bizarre. Burlesque shows are their specialty, but at other times don’t be too shocked to stumble in on meetings with private detectives, seminars with criminal profilers or gigs by bands with names such as Bipolar Order. Crazy, brilliant, etc., and ideal for a date with a difference.
Pl. Mirowski 1
God knows what their secret potion is, but it’s probably something to do with a democratized offer that has something for all: craft beers, hardcore vodkas, decent cocktails and a staff that’s friendly, enthusiastic and always ready with a one-liner. The design is basic (plastic crates, blue lights), but they don’t need anything more to make it feel special.
Koko & Roy
ul. Wilcza 43
Founded by its American owners as a New York-style restobar, the nightlife angle has really taken off come the weekends. Helping all that is a cool and quirky décor (Princess Leah on the wall, Bourdain in the toilet), a maverick playlist, a spontaneous atmosphere and opening times that can become seriously elastic if celebration is in the air – and it most certainly usually is when Friday rolls in. Great cocktails, too.
W Oparach Absurdu
ul. Ząbkowska 6, oparyabsurdu.pl
Somewhere, buried beneath the Persian rugs, dusty velvety drapes and wobbling antiques, you may find a bar. On your way, obstacles in this louche dive may include vodka fueled grans, script-writing beatniks and the trumpet tooting members of a Balkan band. Expect the unexpected.
Przystań Nowa Fala
Bulwar Gen. George’a Smitha Pattona
Playing more than a bit part in the Wisła’s gentrification is Przystań, a sleek moored vessel with ample seating both inside and out. On the first level, order from a bar well-stocked with renegade beers, world wines and funky cocktails, before heading to the open upstairs deck to join a fun, cosmopolitan crowd convening under the stars.
Pl. Europejski 4A, stixx.pl
A slick industrial design and a location in the long shadow of the Warsaw Spire keeps this venue’s huge dimensions occupied with workers fleeing their offices once the clock strikes five. Come summer, when the roof rolls back from the all-weather terrace, there aren’t many better spots in which to enjoy the noble tradition of the after-work pint.
ul. Emilii Plater 25, legendsbar.pl
Run by Graham, an ex-embassy bod and devout Everton fan (well, someone has to be), this Brit pub has become the de facto choice when the football is on. Or the rugby. Or the cricket. Or just about any other sport that expats care to watch. Whether it’s the Champions League or Bristol City on a wet, Tuesday night, there’s just no better space for boozy banter while the match unfolds.
Pl. Konesera 1 (Centrum Praskie Koneser), wuwu.bar
Open round-the-clock, this 24-hour bar is the place in which to enjoy a comprehensive choice of vodka inside a chic, dimly-lit environment that resounds to the singalong hits of communist Poland. Under illuminated tubes of light, find an upmarket, sharply turned-out crowd enjoying a place that elevates the all night concept by an extra level or two.