Specjały Regionalne | A Traditional Polish Kitchen

08 Apr 2024
Spring has officially come to Warsaw, bringing with it budding trees, outdoor dining, sunlight, and warm city walks.
But there’s another thing that spring brings: new, fresh local ingredients.
And few people know that better than the owner and managers of Specjały Regionalne, one of the best locations for authentic Polish food in the capital city.
The restaurant, which has been at Nowy Świat for 15 years, is run by Arkadiusz Szymczak, who makes sure to specialize in locally sourced ingredients. His kabanosy is made with goose meat, his handmade pierogi with wild mushrooms, his cheese sourced from organic farms and local suppliers around the country.

In short, it's the real deal. There are many reasons to visit the delightful restaurant this season, but among them is the chance to try – and learn about – authentic, traditional Polish food.

So where do you start? We have the go-to guide on what to try when you get there.

Start with Delectable, Authentic, Polish Cheese

One of the biggest reasons to visit Specjały Regionalne this season is for their cheese offerings. In fact, spring is known as “cheese season” at the restaurant because it’s associated with the start of animals grazing in lush country meadows around Poland again, following six months of autumn and winter.  
In a nutshell, that means that starting in May, Specjały Regionalne’s stores and restaurants will begin offering several famous Polish cheeses, starting with Oscypek from Podhale, which lies in the Tatra Mountains in southern Poland. This sheep’s cheese is smoky and salty and made by shepherds in the mountains, meaning it’s a must-try for anyone looking for an authentic Polish dining experience.

Another must-try that will be offered in May is Bundz, a sheep milk cheese also from the mountain region of Poland. Though the beginning of the cheese-making process for Bundz is similar to that of Oscypek, the end result is very different. Whereas the former is smoky and salty, Bundz tastes mild and fresh, almost like cottage cheese.
Finally, the third of the popular Polish-cheese trifecta is Redykołka, which is also produced in the Podhale region. Affectionally known as the “younger sister” of Oscypek, it has a similar slightly salty, smoky and spicy taste, with an elastic inside.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Specjały Regionalne if they stopped there. This restaurant also offers Koryciński cheese, which has roots in Switzerland – in short, Swiss mercenaries fighting in Polish troops in the 17th century taught the locals this specific method of cheese-making. The hard cheese is both rich and buttery with a slight tang to it. Truly a must-try for visitors, especially since it was added to the list of “Traditional Food Products” by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2005!
When you’re visiting Specjały Regionalne for your cheese-ventures, be sure to try even more than just the classics. There’s Greater Poland fried cheese, goat cheeses from organic farms in Warmia and Mazury, and cottage cheese from organic farms in the Tuchola Forest.

A Variety of Traditional Polish Cuisine

Putting aside cheese for a moment (though we know that’s hard to do!) there are other delicious reasons to stop by Specjały Regionalne this season. Namely, you can get some of the most authentic Polish food in the entire city – something that the owner and manager say harkens back to the cooking their mothers and grandmothers have been doing for centuries.  
For starters, you can’t go wrong with beef tartare, a traditional Polish dish with beef tenderloin, a gooey egg yolk, bread and pickled vegetables. Or try herring in linseed oil with onion and boiled potatoes. Traditionally eaten at Christmastime, herring is beloved by Poles year-round and it’s a must when trying authentic Polish food.
Moving on to soups, there are several that Poles consider staples (and eat year-round, even in the hot months!) One of these is Żurek, a white, sour soup with a boiled egg and white sausage, which is often served in a bread bowl. Though it’s traditionally eaten at Easter, this soup can also be enjoyed year-round. This is a good one to try for newbies to Polish cuisine, because you get a great idea of the importance of sour and fermented flavors in Polish food.  
For the main dish, there are so many good options to choose from, but we recommend Specjały Regionalne’s selection of three traditional grilled sausages (at least for your first trip). Kiełbasa is, of course, wildly popular in Poland and commonly enjoyed seared on a stove—or over a campfire during warmer months—but there are a variety of types. Some are spicier, others smokier. Some use pork or beef, others use turkey or lamb. Basically, it’s not a try-one-you’ve-tried-them-all situation.
That’s why the three-sausage idea at Specjały Regionalne is so popular – it gives anyone eager to try Polish cuisine a chance to get a better idea (and taste) of some of the country’s most popular varieties of sausage!
Finally, when it comes to food, you would be making a mistake if you don’t try one of the restaurant’s pierogi types (or a mix, if you can’t choose!). The pierogi here are made by hand and the fillings, which include duck, spinach, wild mushrooms and potatoes, all come from farms around Poland.

More than dine-in

One of the best things about Specjały Regionalne is that the beloved restaurant on Nowy Świat 44 is not the only one! In fact, after 15 years of operation, Arkadiusz has opened multiple stores and restaurants selling fresh, regional Polish products available for both dine-in and to-go all over the city. If you can’t stop by for a full meal, at least you can grab some mouthwatering kiełbasa, fresh and tasty pierogi, authentic cheese and much more at one of the many shops:
Gagarina 4 (Mokotów), ​ul. Dąbrowskiego 3 (Mokotów), ul. Płochocińska 195 (Białołęka),  a deli and shop at ul. Felińskiego 52 (Żoliborz). Shops at Potocka 2A, ul.Zawiszy 16 and ul. Jagiellońska 56



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