10 of the Best Polish Foods

Polish Food

Polish Food

Mark’s Note: There’s no better place to get expert food advice and tips than from a local of that country. Agness, a Polish traveler and blogger, shares with us some of her favorite things to eat when she’s at home. So when you’re in Poland, don’t miss her expert food advice!

About Polish FoodPhoto-1

Traditional Polish cuisine is a real calories bomb, but once you try it, you will not be able to resist the temptation.

It is rich in various kinds of meat (pork, chicken, beef) and famous for its excellent bread and delicious sausages (better than German!).

The basic ingredients used in Polish foods are beetroot, sauerkraut, cucumbers (pickles and gherkins), mushrooms, sausages, kohlrabi, sour cream and different herbs and species (marjoram, dill, caraway, parsley and pepper).

A Polish menu is constantly enriched with new flavours, sometimes even exotic.

Here are my top 10 best Polish foods made according to traditional recipes:

Pierogi (Polish dumplings)

Pierogi (Polish dumplings)

1. Pierogi (Polish dumplings)

Dumplings are made of thinly rolled-out dough filled with a variety of fillings. The most popular fillings are meat, sauerkraut and mushrooms, seasonal fruit (blueberries, strawberries and cherries), buckwheat, sweet cottage cheese or boiled potatoes with fried onions (called Russian dumplings). Pierogi is a Polish food that’s always served for Christmas.

Homemade Rosół with vegetable and grilled onion

Homemade Rosół with vegetable and grilled onion

2. Rosół (broth/ chicken soup)

Rosół is the most common soup served in Poland. It tastes best after Sunday’s church on cold days. It is very easy and quick to prepare, commonly served with homemade noodles. The ingredients needed for the soup are water, any piece of chicken, onion, small leek, onion, green celery, parsley, cabbage, salt and pepper.

Polish food

A bowl of Gołąbki topped with homemade tomato sauce

3. Gołąbki (cabbage roll)

Gołąbki is a typical traditional Polish food made of minced pork with some rice, onion, mushrooms, wrapped in white cabbage leaves. There are also other variations of fillings such as poultry, mutton or without meat. Before serving cabbage are simmered / fried in fat.

Polish Food

Polskie naleśniki (Polish pancakes) Polish Food

4. Polskie naleśniki (Polish pancakes)

Polish pancakes are very thin and they are served either with cheese, quark previously mixed with sugar, jam, fruits and powdered sugar or with meat and vegetables- all equally tasty.

Łazanki z kapustą i grzybami

Łazanki z kapustą i grzybami

5. Łazanki z kapustą i grzybami

It is a very simple dish consisting cabbage, pork meat, homemade pasta noodles and vegetables (chopped onions and sliced carrot). It is delicious and easy to make.

Śledź w oleju z cebulą (herring in oil with onion)

Śledź w oleju z cebulą (herring in oil with onion)

6.  Śledź w oleju z cebulą (herring in oil with onion)

Herring is a fish you can prepare in various ways. However in Poland, there are two traditional ways of serving the herring, either with sour cream and pickled onions or with oil and garlic.

7. Bigos (Hunter’s stew)

It is a very traditional Polish dish and its basic ingredients are shreds sauerkraut, fresh cabbage (sometimes used only sauerkraut), various types of meat and sausages, dried mushrooms, prunes, onions and spices.

Kotlet schabowy with potatoes and cabbage salad

Kotlet schabowy with potatoes and cabbage salad

8. Kotlet schabowy (breaded pork cutlet)

Kotlet schabowy is one of the most delicious and the oldest Polish foods. The pork breaded cutlet coated with breadcrumbs (served with bones or without) can be perfectly served with buttered potatoes and cabbage salad. If you don’t like pork meat, try to eat chicken cutlet made the same way as the pork one.

9. Gulasz (Goulash)

This dish is originally from Hungary, but the Polish recipe has been slightly changed. It is a stew of meat served with potatoes and vegetables, seasoned with friend onion and peppers.

Traditional Polish croissant cookies with a strawberry jam filling

Traditional Polish croissant cookies with a strawberry jam filling

10. Dessert – Polish croissant cookies

If you feel like having something sweet for your snack time, you can try traditional Polish croissant cookies. They are filled with jam and made of puff pastry or yeast.

Have you ever tried Polish food? If so, what was your favourite? Share your food experience with me!

About the AuthorAgnes-Bio-Photo

Agness is a Polish vagabond who, after graduation, left her comfort zone and set off for a journey of her lifetime to China in 2011.

She has been constantly travelling the world since then (slowly, but surely as she says), living like a local for less than $25 a day, and blogging her experiences on eTramping.com.

She is passionate about photography and adventure blogging and shares her life enthusiasm and travel experience with everyone around. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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  1. says

    I am in Belgium now enjoying some waffles, but I can’t wait to get back to Poland for Christmas and have some traditional Christmas dishes which are slightly different than these I described in the guest post ;-).

  2. Kasia says

    I love em all so much! My favorite has to be bigos though, the leftovers get better and better over time! Sadly, I’m not much of a cook, but luckily I can order these dishes at http://www.polana.com =)

  3. zen says

    Interesting read, but unfortunately not precise enough to be accepted by any polish cuisine lover.
    Beetroot, although very interesting and having it’s place in polish cuisine is definately not a BASIC ingredient. The same applies even more to kohlrabi. I love kohlrabi myself, but it’s very rare to us it in the kitchen, with some regional exceptions.
    Basic broth or rosół recipe does not contain cabbage and definately needs celery root and carrots. Green celery is only used seasonally, ans it is not available after autumn. And we eat rosół all year long.And remember – it’s not quick, vegetables need a looooong time to give good taste. If you need it quick, you add some chemicals, and unfortunately this is what most people does.
    It’s worth mentioning that traditional bigos needs dried fruits, usually plums and red wine. Red wine is a must!
    Kotlet schabowy is in polish kitchen only for 150 years. Bigos for instance is some 600 older.
    Anyway, although polish cuisine is very much meat oriented, and I’m vegetarian, I love to play with it and make some vege variants of traditional dishes.

  4. Pietrinho says

    From an international prospective Polish food is horrible, but yes you have few dishes that are actually super tasty.
    This list you have up there though, please!
    I just ask you to be realistic!
    Chicken soup? You really want to list it in the list of your best dishes? Really?
    And then Polish nalesniki?
    And bigos it’s one of the worst dishes ever invented.
    Especially about bigos I keep having this argument with Poles: the fact that this is a dish that reminds you of your childhood and you are used to it, that does not mean that is tasty. In Brazil people do something disgusting called mexidao which means mixing all food you have left when you come back home after school. They know it’s horrible but they all love it because it’s part of their culture. But they don’t go on bragging about how delicious mexidao is. Why you keep doing it about Bigos?
    Just be realist and acknowledge that Polish food is very plain flavour-wise and you concentrate on the other beautiful things about your country which has so much to offer?

    • Chris says

      Polish food is super tasty! And bigos not only taste delicious but make the whole house smell like Polish paradise.
      Potato pancakes nice and hot with salt are so Polish and so good!!!
      Why not chicken soup?? Polish soups put every other country to shame, in flavor. Mmmmm mushroom soup. Ahhh… so tasty!
      And how rude to post such bad words about about such beautiful country with the most lovely women in the world! Shame on you!
      Long live the Poles. XOX

  5. kokroucz says

    Gołąbki means literally “pigeons”, and they are delicious! I want to highly recommend gołąbki, łazanki i pierogi(“pierogi ruskie”!-they’re best). These dishes are unique and tastes almost unearthly.

    I am disappointed that you chose pancakes and herring, you should choose Chłopski garnek(Peasant’s pot) and Żurek(ʒʊrək) instead. Żurek is unique in world’s cuisine, there’s nothing even similar to żurek, it’s made on broth, generally with sausage boiled eggs, but we also add cold cuts, potatoes, bread, greaves and sour cream.
    Besides herrings in oil are eaten when we drink vodka, no one eats herrings in oil just for eating itself, for Poles it’s not a dish, we prefer to think of it as a vodka’s taste killer.

  6. says

    So I’m also Polish, but my English boyfriend loves kaszanka. Pretty sure he is/will be soon posting a comment here about kaszanka anytime soon, I just shared this on FB with him :) Personally, maslanka is my favourite polish food :)

  7. says

    No WTF ??? I cant believe that Kaszanka is NOT No 1???

    The simplest most delightful polish black pudding made with barley,
    Found everywhere in Poland –

    MY PERSONAL FAVOURITE @Swietokrzyska #Warsaw.
    A friendly warm older couple cooking chickens, Roast Hams & Huge Kaszanka (5zl in May2014) on the grill and ready to eat by hand, (just round the corner from mcdonalds) – I hope this will give them the extra trade, and that this story will be told to them.,

    and at a good butchers in Armley, Leeds, UK

    P.S: I’m English, Im not a spammer, and I love Kaszanka ! @GediCreativeMinds

  8. Maciek says

    @croissant cookies
    Im a Polish guy and sorry but croissant cookies are French not Polish food. The rest is 100% true

    Maciek 😉

  9. Phil Mobsby says

    My Polish father in law (unfortunately no longer with us) showed me how to cook bigos. It is one of my most favourite foods ever.

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