Breakfast is provided at your accommodation, lunch on the slopes is usually a quick feed, mainly involving chips, so what should I eat at night during my Polish ski holiday? We appreciate most of our guests will want a pizza, pasta, burger, something more western at some point during the week to refuel with at night, which you can easily find. However, here are some of our favourite Polish food recommendations to try in Zakopane.
PIEROGI – (Polish Dumplings). Available almost everywhere in town, these are a Polish favourite. Most menu translations call them “Polish dumplings”, they’re more a pasta/ravioli texture though. They come stuffed with a choice of flavours, most commonly; cheese and potato “Ruskie”, meat (usually pork mince) and cabbage and mushroom (veggie option). Pierogies are nearly always topped with fried onion and bacon so if you’re a veggie you’ll want to ask them not to top yours. You may also see Blueberry and Strawberry Pierogies at some places, not a bad translation, they are often eaten as a sweet meal, the fruit filled ones come served with sweet cheese and sprinkled in sugar. Pierogies are filling, delicious and only cost around £4 a portion. Everyone in Zakopane knows the best pierogies are the homemade ones, find a good Polish restaurant and dig in. The main street in Zakopane, Krupowki, has plenty of Polish restaurants to enjoy Pierogi at.
Pierogi in Javorina Restaurant, Zakopane
PLACEK – (Potato Pancake). This is one for both meat eaters and veggies as they come with a choice of filling. The meat option is a “Hungarian” goulash, a pork goulash with a rich meat sauce and for the veggie option it’s usually a wild mushroom goulash. Placek are served with the pancake folded in half, filling in the middle and a dollop of sour cream on top. Whilst Placek are available in a lot of restaurants, the best Placek you will find are in the traditional Polish restaurants. Our favourite spot in town for eating Placek is Kolibecka restaurant.
OSCYPEK – (Sheep’s Cheese). No, it’s not a donut, it’s not bread and it generally tastes pretty bad cold! You’ll see Oscypek stalls all around Zakopane, at the ski areas, in the streets, at the side of the road and down in the local market. We always get asked what it is as they mould it into various shapes and sizes, which doesn’t look like what it is at first glance. Oscypek is a local speciality cheese made with sheep’s milk, mostly enjoyed hot. It has a squeaky texture, a little like halloumi and comes sliced and grilled with a little cranberry sauce on top. You can eat it cold, but it tastes quite salty and dry. You’ll find it being sold everywhere and you’ll often see our ski instructors standing around eating it at the end of the day!
JABLECZNIK – (Apple Pie). Another Polish favourite, most menus around town generally have some form of apple pie right at the top of their dessert menu. Hot and cold, it’s sold everywhere, but like everything, you need to pick out the best one. Our favourite spot for the best apple pie in Zakopane would have to be Trattoria Adamo (Italian restaurant), 2 good sized slices, 2 scoops of ice cream and squirty cream on top, mmmmmmmmm!
ZUPY – (Soups). Sounds straight forward and it is, Polish restaurants serve delicious soups. The most popular are Zurek, Barszcz and Rosol. One of our favourite days of the year is New Year’s Day when Zurek is served for breakfast in most accommodations. The look on people’s faces is priceless. Zurek is a hearty soup though, a bowl of rye soup filled with sliced sausage, potato and boiled egg, which is why it’s served as a “hangover” soup. Barszcz is a beetroot soup and is usually served with a meat or cabbage croquet. You can get red Barszcz and white Barszcz. Rosol is a simple but tasty chicken broth, you’ll find noodles and a chunk of carrot in your bowl.
These are just a few of our favourites, there are so many choices of where and what to eat in Zakopane. Make sure to ask our staff whilst out skiing for ideas on where to eat, we have plenty of recommendations to share with you. Most importantly, remember, you will need to get up and ski the next day so don’t try everything all in one night!
Oscypek grilling on the market in Zakopane