Hala Koszyki: Where Culture and Gastronomy Meet

04 Jun 2024
You may have ventured past Hala Koszyki, seen the towering glass windows and stone facade, and wondered what’s inside. 
What you may not have realized is that, unlike other gastro-halls around Poland, which put most of the focus on food and drinks, Hala Koszyki is also a verifiable cultural Eden in the center of the city. 

Over the years since it was redeveloped in 2016, the center has offered visitors not only food, drinks and shopping, but a full, creative experience—altogether the space is so impressive that it earned the coveted Superbrands title in 2023 (more on that later). Here you can drink in the modern-industrial architecture all around you as you enjoy cocktails, try bites from around the world, see opera performances, take in live art installations and more. If there is any place that actively promotes culture from the inside out, Hala Koszyki is it.

How Hala Koszyki Came to Be 

Before we dive into all they have to offer in the way of arts, culture, food, drink, and shopping let’s take a look at the history of this stunning spot, which is currently owned by Globalworth.
Hala Koszyki was built more than 100 years ago on Koszykowa Street in Warsaw—on the site of what was then the Koszyki manor—and was designed as a market in the Art Nouveau style.  The ‘new’ Hala Koszyki opened in 2016 after a giant 5-year restoration and revitalization project helmed by Griffin Real Estate and designed by JEMS Architects. Their mutual love of the original market hall is apparent in every last detail, right down to the cleaning and the reusing of original individual bricks, restoring original lattice metalwork and sculptural details relating to products on sale in the original market by sculptor Józef Zygmunt Ott.

Thanks to many of the modern design tweaks and incredible aesthetic details like the expertly curated background music, walking through the halls, perusing the stalls and climbing the catwalks of Hala Koszyki is a wholly unique experience. The designers and investors were certainly inspired by the mission and functionality of the original Hala – a community marketplace where locals could do their daily or weekly shopping and commune over some good food—but they’ve added a breathtaking atmosphere and exquisite events. Here, you can eat at more than a dozen restaurants and bars or buy groceries to take home. The complex includes 16,000 sqm of office space and 6,500 sqm of retail space.
It's rare to find a food hall with meals and drinks like this!

A Cultural Capital

Hala Koszyki has become a staple in Warsaw and, rather unsurprisingly, proved amazingly popular amongst the young and hip, who flock here in droves every day (almost 3 million people visit every year!). This is largely due to its cultural offerings that are so frequently found on the center’s mezzanine. 

In January, for instance, the fashion duo Bikowski/Prochacki chose Hala Koszyki to show off their first haute couture collection: Initium. Audiences came to take in the rare event of a live creation of an abstract painting on satin, which served as inspiration for a fashion collection, also created in front of an audience. The public got a full insight into the artistic process behind fashion – from start to finish. 

In October last year, visitors were treated to another impressive art display with the introduction of “Painted Peasants” which saw 24 oil paintings from the internationally recognized Polish film, “Peasants” (or “Chłopi”) brought to Hala Koszyki. This was a clear choice for an exhibition, said Marketing Manager Piotr Krowicki at the time, adding, “Thanks to the unique architecture of Koszyki, the building allows you to move art beyond the traditional gallery.”

Of course, as we mentioned above, these cultural offerings, along with the beauty of the space, as well as the food and drink options, won Hala Koszyki the Superbrands 2023 title, which is bestowed on Polish brands by a vote from consumers. Essentially, in 2023, consumers collectively agreed that Hala K. had the consumer trust and the level of quality that set them apart. 
“It is a great distinction that in the eyes of customers, Koszyki is perceived as a place that provides them with unique culinary and artistic experiences.” Anna Merta, a retail asset manager with Globalworth, the real estate company behind Hala Koszyki said at the time. 

But what about food and drink options? Well, Hala K. also has those in droves…

Eat or Drink… Why Not Both?

One of the only ‘challenges’ Hala Koszyki poses to visitors is where and what to eat (though is that really a problem?). Any time of the day or night you enter the building your taste buds are immediately assaulted by smells and flooded with flavors wafting from many of the gastronomic outposts in the main hall. The creme de la creme of the last decade of Warsaw’s gastronomic trends are all on offer including hummus, sushi, burgers, curry (Indian and Thai), seafood, grilled meats and artisanal sandwiches galore (check their website for a full list). Top class little independent bistros sit next to some of Warsaw’s biggest chain restaurants. 
Cheers to shopping and eating your heart out!

But what about that bar… This is without a doubt one of the biggest attractions of Hala Koszyki and immediately gives the hall the laid-back ambiance of an after-hours lounge. In fact, thanks to the bar, all of the food vendors also offer their own alcohol and many of them offer different craft beers on tap and in bottles, artisanal ciders, wines, original cocktails plus a bevy of alternative non-alco beverages from mango lassis to John Lemmons and everywhere in between. This is all well and good but it also means that once you finally find your food of choice, you’ll have to do a second round to find the perfect beverage to wash it down with!

A Plethora of Options

Food, beverages and cultural capital aside, there is also a “market” here! The name itself, ‘Koszyki’, is actually a play on words as koszyki means baskets (think shopping baskets – even though that’s not where the name comes from). So what can you actually put in your basket? If you enter the market through the left wing you’ll undoubtedly run smack into the meat stall ie Crazy Butcher. They offer cuts of meat that you can normally only find in the finest restaurants in the city. You’ll also find Smak Natury which is a deluxe health food emporium. Elsewhere on the ground floor you’ll find a tea shop, a kitchen shop, a Mediterranean deli, jewelry, flowers and more. This is a place not only to spend an afternoon, but a whole day! Work in a coworking space, grab some lunch at the food hall, grab an after-work drink with friends and make sure to get in some shopping before you head home – it’s all here! 
There are quick bites, too! 

That last statement embodies what Hala Koszyki is all about. Other venues will offer food and drink, but no arts and cultural events. Others still will offer places to shop but not much else. Not Hala Koszyki. Here, you can enter in the morning, and thanks to the events, the drinks, the food, the shopping, not leave until the evening. And the next morning, you can start all over again. It is truly the place to be in Warsaw. 


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