Is there such a thing as vegetarian food in Poland? *

Posted on


Is there such a thing as vegetarian food in Poland strawberry soup

I’ve never visited before, but one day I’d love to find a cheap holiday to Poland and explore the cities such as Warsaw and Krakow.  The architecture looks beautiful; I’d even go as far as saying it’s quite pretty.  If you love castles, Poland has over 100 ready for you to explore.  Away from the popular cities the scenery doesn’t look like it will disappoint with its incredible mountains, lakes and wooden lodges scattered about.    It’s renowned for its super cheap prices and it’s not that far away at all, only two and a half hours by plane and there are always incredible cheap deals online.

The only trouble I find I have when I do travel to Europe is whether restaurants are vegetarian friendly.  Being vegetarian in Europe can sometimes make me feel a bit like an alien.  Many people seem to have no concept of the idea at all.  Someone once replied ‘oh yes, I’m vegetarian too, I eat vegetables’.  Turned out they actually ate meat with those vegetables!  One time, in Florence, I was served a plate of sliced plain aubergine. Apparently that’s all they could muster up for an awkward veggie like me.

Is vegetarianism a thing in Poland?

Inspired by this guide to Poland’s regional food I decided to scour the web to see what Poland’s take on vegetarianism is.    As I thought, it’s pretty non-existent.  Though according to Wikipedia, 3.2% of Polish people are vegetarian.  How accurate this data is or how they find out, I don’t know.  I have no idea how anyone official would know I’m a vegetarian as I’m sure it’s not a question on a census?  In the same article it says 2-12% of the UK are vegetarian – quite a large range really.  But if the lower 2% were true then Poland could have more vegetarians than us, yet I have struggled to find much about the very subject of vegetarianism being much of a trend in Poland at all.  Most articles seem to be about the struggle of vegetarians when eating in Poland, but surely there are plenty of side dishes that don’t contain meat?

As the infographic below shows there are lots of meat themed dishes, as I expected, but there is also a surprising amount of food that seems totally fine for us veggies.  The strangest of these being a strawberry soup (Zupa Truskawkowa); totally bizarre, right?  I do love a strawberry smoothie though and I like sour cream so perhaps it’s not too strange?  I’ve seen images of it served with pasta online though which is a little too strange for me! 

I don’t eat sugary foods, but if I did I’d give the Polish ‘tree cake’ (Sekacz) a whirl!  Doesn’t it look fabulous!  I’ve never seen anything like it.  What a great centrepiece for a get together.  I was almost drooling over the description of their ‘zupa cebulowa’ which I think is their version of French onion soup or quite similar?  I’ve never actually tried French onion soup, believe it or not, so tell me if I’m wrong!  This Polish version has fried onions, noodles and lots of delicious gooey egg yolk (I think the egg yolk is what’s selling it to me, yum!).

Have you been to Poland?  Is there much choice there for vegetarians?


Add a comment:

Leave a comment:


  1. Lisa

    I think that being a vegetarian in Poland is actually getting much easier nowadays. Many vegetarian and vegan places are opening, and they are really popular. And I am really pleasantly surprised to observe how many non-vegetarian places are adjusting and they do offer at least some meatless alternatives in their menu. I am glad that one of my favorite spots in Warsaw - Bubbles Bar is such a place. They have very diverse menu, so everybody will find something for themselves. Their vegetarian tomato tartar is excellent. It is a perfect place to spend time with friends, especially when it is a group with different culinary preferences :)

    Posted on

  2. Alex

    In Poland there are actually quite a few traditional dishes that are vegetarian. And also more and more Polish people become vegetarians. But sometimes it may be a little bit difficult not to eat meat, especially while eating out. I love going to restaurants with my friends, but I am the only vegetarian in the group and it is sometimes difficult to find a place that will be approved by everybody. Last time I have visited my friends in Warsaw they took me to a great place called the Akademia Restaurant. Even though it is not a vegetarian restaurant, they do prepare meatless dishes on request. Everything was incredibly delicious and we left delighted:)

    Posted on

  3. Jayne Sullivan

    I have travelled a lot in Eastern Europe over the years. It was so hard being a vegetarian there. Once in a hotel restaurant in Prague the staff were offended that I did not want to eat what they had to offer !

    Posted on

  4. Victoria Blanshard

    Great tips, I don't eat pork and its amazing how many "vegetarian" options abroad have pieces of bacon floating around - eeek!

    Posted on

  5. I feel your struggle. I'm vegan and one of my biggest concerns is how will I eat whenever I travel outside of the state's. My parents are from poland and my mom has been visiting at least once or twice a year for the past 5 years or so. She is mostly vegan. She usually goes away for some health and nutrition spa that focuses on a plant based diet. She has said that in the big cities poland has become more culturally diverse. More restaurants so more options for everyone. So even if you can't find vegetarian friendly polish restaurants I'm sure you can still find others. I do have a book titled "to feed the soul" by Jola sloma and mirek trymbylak. It's a vegetarian/vegan cookbook and they are from poland. Maybe they have a site with some insight on being vegetarian in poland ***VICTORIA*** Thank you so much for your comment. It's amazing how unaccepting people can be, even here in the UK, when I say I'm vegetarian. It's like I'm speaking a foreign language & they can't possibly understand how I don't eat meat all day long :P

    Posted on

Add a comment