polish greetings

Something About Polish Cuisine

What kind of meals do Poles eat in Poland?

Poland is an extremely diverse country in terms of cuisine. A mixture of different cultures can be found here. Polish food is hearty and filling – it is rich in meat and vegetables. You can eat delicious, nutritious soups and the dumplings for which Poland is famous. The most popular eating time in Polish cuisine is obiad, ‘lunch’. Simply, it’s dinner at lunch time.

Through the day Polish people eat meals like this:

breakfast / śniadanie {shnya-da-nye}
lunch/dinner / obiad {o-byat}
main course / drugie danie {droo-gye da-nye}
snack / przekąska {pshe-kon-ska}
supper / kolacja {ko-la-tsya}

Phrases useful for ordering in a Polish restaurant

Polish cuisine is all about large and filling lunch portions. For lunch, Poles like to eat large portions, as they eat relatively early in the day and need to have plenty of energy to keep going. Also, when Poles go on trips, the most important meal of the day is lunch.
When we go to a Polish restaurant for lunch or dinner, these phrases are sure to come in very handy:

  • Do you have a table for …? / Czy mają państwo wolny stolik dla …?
  • Could I have the menu, please? / Czy mogę prosić menu?
  • What can you recommend? / Co pan/pani poleca?
  • For me will be… . / Dla mnie będzie…
  • I would like to order … . / Chciałbym/ Chciałabym zamówić … .
  • I can’t eat dairy products. / Nie mogę jeść produktów mlecznych.
  • Do you have any vegetarian dishes? / czy są jakieś dania jarskie?
  • I’m allergic to … . / Mam uczulenie na …
  • That’s all. Thank you. / To wszystko. Dziękuję.
  • How much is a …? / Ile kosztuje to … ?
  • May I have the …? / Czy mogę prosić …?
  • Can I have the bill, please? / Czy mogę prosić rachunek?
  • Keep the change. / Reszta dla pana/pani.

In Poland, in most restaurants and bars you can pay by card. Tipping is not obligatory, so they do not include it in the bill. You can give at your own discretion. Usually Poles give 5-10% of the bill.
In Polish restaurants you can also order take-away. Then we say: Proszę na wynos.
Proszę na miejscu is used to when we want to eat or drink in a restaurant or bar.

Other types of fast food places in Poland

Poles, especially younger ones, like to enjoy the nightlife in cities. This is when they most often visit street food bars, as they cannot afford extravagant restaurants. Cheaper options where you can eat good Polish food are bistro or jadłodajnia, similar to bar mleczny, (eng. cheap, self-service, no alcohol and smoking)

Let’s go discover Polish cuisine

The best-known Polish dishes are bigos (eng. sauerkraut cooked with different kinds of meat), pierogi (eng. ravioli-like dumplings stuffed with a variety of fillings) and barszcz czerwony (eng. red beetroot soup). These Polish dishes are very popular and we can find them in almost every restaurant. Except for bigos, because this is a dish that Poles eat mainly on holidays.

Examples of the most famous dishes of Polish cuisine:

  • eng. herring in oil with onion / śledź w oleju
  • eng. salad made with potato, vegetable and mayonnaise / sałatka jarzynowa
  • sorrel soup / zupa szczawiowa
  • eng. dill cucumber soup / zupa ogórkowa
  • eng. beef rolls stuffed bacon, in sour cream / zrazy zawijane
  • eng. cabbage leaves stuffed with minced beef and rice / gołąbki

Traditional Polish cuisine is not only rich in meat dishes, but also in dishes for vegetarians.

  • eng. dumplings with soft, white cheese and potatoes / pierogi ruskie
  • eng. dumplings with sauerkraut and wild mushrooms / pierogi z kapusta i grzybami
  • eng. pancakes made with grated potatoes, egg and flour / placki ziemniaczane
  • eng. potato dumplings, steamed / pyzy

Obiad is often finished with a dessert of coffee or tea. In Poland, the most popular desserts are Polish apple cake or cheesecake.
During the winter season, we can get the famous Polish tea, herbat(k)a z prądem (eng. electrically charged tea) also called herbat(k)a po góralsku (eng. highlander’s tea). It contains an additional ‘strengthening’ ingredient – alcohol.

What about weekend?

At weekends, Poles often like to visit the city’s bars, where they can meet friends and have fun. In the bars you can meet a lot of young people who are willing to talk and even sometimes learn Polish. Most often they consume alcohol such as beer or alcoholic cocktails. Bars do not always serve cold beer, so if you like your brew chilled, ask for zimne piwo. Polish beer is also popular abroad.

In the article you were able to know a little about Polish cuisine and learn a few expressions in Polish which will help you later, for example in a restaurant. If you would like to learn more about Polish culture and improve your Polish language level, visit the Polka Dot School for online courses. We have a wide range of courses.
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