Polish cuisine

Don’t leave Bielsko-Biała without trying Polish cuisine. Surprisingly diverse, although largely based on meat, Polish dishes should make your holiday experience more memorable. There is far more to it than the iconic Polish staples such as pierogi or kielbasa.

Dining in Poland can be interesting thanks to the influences of various cuisines namely other Slavic countries, German, Hungarian, as well as Jewish and French. Italian tastes are also widely present, especially in the recent years.



Żurek – traditional soup made from fermented rye, served with boiled egg and sausages

Barszcz czerwony – beetroot soup, borsch, served with ‘uszka’ (tiny dumplings with mushrooms)

Kapuśniak – sauerkraut soup

Zupa ogórkowa – sour cucumber soup

Zupa pomidorowa – tomato soup often served with rice or noodles

Zupa koperkowa – dill soup

Zupa grzybowa – mushroom soup with cream

Rosół – chicken soup usually served with noodles

Grochówka – thick pea soup

Krupnik – barley soup with potatoes and chopped sausages

Chłodnik – cold yoghurt based soup with vegetables, usually beetroot, cucumber and dill, served only in summer

Cold and hot starters

Śledzie – herring usually served in oil or sour cream

Oscypek – traditional sheep cheese usually offered with cranberry jelly or bacon

Smalec – fried lard with onion and bacon, served with bread and pickled cucumbers

Boczek ze śliwką – prunes wrapped with bacon

Tatar – raw minced beef with raw yok, onion and herbs

Kiełbasa – Polish sausage usually made of pork, comes in different shapes and variations, fresh, smoked, boiled or grilled

Main course

Golonko – pork knuckle cooked in beer or broth served with horseradish sauce

Karkówka – tenderloin fried or roasted

Kotlet schabowy – pork cutlet fried in coated bread crumbs

Kotlet mielony – minced meat patty

Żeberka w miodzie – spare ribs in honey

Polędwiczki wołowe – veef sirloin

Rolada wołowa/zrazy wołowe – beef rolled and stuffed with e.g. bacon, carrot, pickled cucumber and onions

Kiełbasa – Polish sausage – endless types and varieties, served cooked, grilled or smoked with mustard, dill pickle and bread

Kurczak de volaille – chicken breast stuffed with mushrooms and cheese

Baranina – roasted lamb meat

Kurczak z rożna – spit-roasted chicken

Pstrąg – trout fried or roasted

Sandacz – pike perch fried or roasted

Dorsz – cod fillet fried or roasted

Karp – carp, always served during Christmas

Dziczyzna – wild-game

Gołąbki – cabbage leaves stuffed with rice and minced meat, served with tomato souse

Pulpety/Klopsiki – meatballs usually served in tomato sauce

Królik – rabbit often eaten with beet roots

Kaczka – duck, usually served with baked apples or cranberry sauce

One-pot dishes

Bigos – one of the most popular dishes in Polish houses, sauerkraut cooked with pieces of meat, sausages, mushrooms and tomato paste

Flaki – beef tripe stew

Gulasz – stew of meat and vegetables, often eaten with buckwheat

Kaszanka – black sausage, buckwheat mixed with pork blood

Wątróbka – liver, usually prepared with onions

Fasolka po bretońsku – bean stew with pieces of sausages

Pierogi – dumplings, stuffed with meat or sauerkraut, mushrooms, potato, cottage cheese, fruits (blueberries, strawberries) – topped with fried onion or bacon or with sour cream with sugar.

Vegetarian dishes

Pierogi – stuffed dumplings, *except for pierogi z mięsem (pierogi with meat)

Placki ziemniaczane – potato pancakes

Kluski na parze – steamed dumplings usually served with fruits

Nalesniki – pancakes often served with cotton cheese, fruits, or spinach

Oscypek – smoked cheese made of salted sheep milk

Surówki – mix of raw salads

Chłodnik – cold yoghurt based soup with vegetables, usually beetroot, cucumber and dill, served only in summer

Side dishes

Chleb and bułka – Polish bread and bread roll

Frytki – French fries, chips

Kluski śląskie – Silesian dumplings made from boiled potatoes and flour

Kasza gryczana – buckwheat groats

Kapusta zasmażana – pan fried sauerkraut

Buraczki – beetroots salad

Ziemniaki gotowane – boiled potatoes sparkled with dill or chive

Salatka jarzynowa –  very popular in Polish houses, less in restaurants, this salad is similar to Russian salad

Buraczki – grated cooked beet root with touch of vinegar

Mizeria – cucumbers in sour cream with dill

Surówka/sałatka – shredded cabbage, or carrots, or tomatoes with onions, or souerkraut


Makowiec – poppy seeds cake

Sernik – cheesecake – many variations

Szarlotka/jablecznik – apple pie often served hot with whipped cream and vanilla ice-cream

Pączek – doughnuts with different fillings, most popular rose-water jam

Knedle – potato dumplings stuffed with fruit, most commonly with plums and blueberries

Pierniki – soft gingerbreads

Krówki – milk fudge

Ptasie mleczko- soft meringue covered with chocolate

Kisiel – jelly-like sweet fruit pudding

Budyń – pudding


Piwo – beer, it’s now the most popular alcoholic drink in Poland. Big brands include: Żywiec, Tyskie, Okocim, Lech, Warka, Tatra. However, there are plenty of craft beers from microbreweries from across the country.

Piwo z sokiem – beer with fruit syrup, unusually way of drinking beer, popular mainly amongst women.

Grzaniec – mulled wine or beer with cloves, cinnamon and honey.

Wódka – Vodka, a signature alcohol from Poland, some sources suggest that this alcohol was produced in the country already in the 13th century. Vodka in Polish mean ‘small water’. Usually, made from grains and potatoes. Vodka made in Bielsko-Biała: Żytnia Extra (pure or flavored) and Nisskosher Vodka.

Wino – wine is gaining popularity, but it’s still far behind other alcoholic drinks. Polish people prefer semi-sweet or semi-dry wines. There are still many restaurants were you won’t find any wine on the menu. Polish wines are often made of Polish fruits like plums, cherries, apples etc.

Miód pitny – mead is one of the oldest drinks, it’s a smooth and sweet.

Herbata – tea, a very popular beverage, usually drunk with a slice of lemon or honey.

Kawa – coffee, often served with milk and sugar.

Mleko and kefir/kwaśne mleko – milk and fermented milk drink.