Vegetarian Food in Poland: 5 Things You Should Eat

When it comes to European cuisine, Poland is likely not the first country that comes to mind for vegetarian food enthusiasts. However, this Eastern European gem offers a surprising array of delectable vegetarian dishes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

From traditional Polish classics with a vegetarian twist to contemporary plant-based creations, Poland has something to offer for every vegetarian traveler. Join us on a culinary journey as we explore the flavors of vegetarian food in Poland.

1. Pierogi – A Vegetarian Delight

pierogi, polish food, vegetarian food in poland

Pierogi, Poland’s beloved dumplings, are a staple in the country’s cuisine. While traditional pierogi are typically filled with meat or cheese, you’ll find an increasing number of vegetarian options available. From mushroom and sauerkraut to spinach and cheese, these pockets of dough can be prepared with a variety of vegetarian fillings.

Don’t forget to top them with a dollop of sour cream and caramelized onions for an authentic Polish experience. Skip sour cream and opt for fillings such as lentils, spinach, mushrooms and sourkraut for a vegan-friendly option!

2. Bigos – A Hearty Cabbage Stew

bigos, vegetarian food in poland, hunters stew

Bigos, often referred to as “hunter’s stew,” is a hearty dish deeply rooted in Polish tradition. Traditionally, it contains an assortment of meats, but vegetarian versions are becoming more popular.

Vegetarian bigos usually features cabbage, sauerkraut, mushrooms, and a variety of vegetables and spices. This flavorful stew is perfect for cold winter days, providing a comforting and satisfying meal that will warm your soul.

3. Zapiekanka – Polish Street Food

zapiekanka, polish street food, warsaw food

Zapiekanka, a popular Polish street food, is essentially an open-faced sandwich on a baguette. While the classic version includes ham and cheese, vegetarian alternatives are widely available.

Head to a street market or food stall and indulge in a delicious zapiekanka loaded with mushrooms, cheese, onions, and a variety of mouthwatering toppings. Be sure to top it off with plenty of ketchup! It’s a quick and budget-friendly option that offers a burst of flavors.

4. Placki Ziemniaczane – Potato Pancakes

Placki Ziemniaczane, or potato pancakes, are a beloved Polish dish that can be easily adapted to suit vegetarians. These crispy delights are made from grated potatoes, eggs, and flour, then shallow-fried until golden brown.

Serve them with sour cream or mushroom sauce for a delightful combination of flavors. Placki can be enjoyed as a side dish or a main course. They truly are a must-try when exploring vegetarian options in Poland.

5. Soups – Soup Enthusiasts Rejoice

A traditional Polish meal wouldn’t be complete without a soup, and the vast majority of them are vegetarian friendly. Checking whether the recipe features meat stock is always a good idea.

Among the most popular ones you’ll find tomato soup (pomidorowa – often served with rice or noodles), mushroom soup (pieczarkowa), beet soup (barszcz czerwony), rye soup (żurek), and sauerkraut soup (kwaśnica).

You will typically encounter soup served as a first course before the entree. That said, you can easily make a whole meal out of it. They are very hearty and often served with a basket of delicious crusty Polish sourdough bread on the side.

Pro tip: order a soup inside of an entire sourdough loaf for a uniquely Polish experience!

zurek, polish soups, vegetarian polish food

Vegetarian Food in Poland

Poland’s major cities, including Warsaw, Krakow, and Gdansk, boast a growing number of vegetarian and vegan restaurants. So much so that Warsaw made it to Europe’s top 3 most vegan friendly cities a while back! (Alongside such vegan friendly destinations as Berlin and London).

Today an array of forward thinking vegan and vegetarian Polish chefs cater to diverse dietary preferences. They truly offer innovative plant-based creations. From vegan burgers and sushi to gourmet salads and hearty soups, these restaurants showcase the diversity of vegetarian cuisine. Indulge in a flavorful meal and experience the evolving food culture in Poland.

You might also like: 8 ESSENTIAL VEGETARIAN EATS IN ZAKOPANE, POLAND . GO WHERE THE LOCALS EAT: TONY AZIZ ON BUILDING TOLERANCE THROUGH FOOD TRAVEL

While Poland is not renowned as a vegetarian destination, visitors are surprised by its rich and diverse vegetarian food scene. From traditional dishes with vegetarian twists to contemporary plant-based options, there is something for everyone. Polish cuisine celebrates the flavors of fresh produce, herbs, and spices, offering a delightful journey for vegetarian food enthusiasts.

So, if you’re planning a trip to Poland, don’t hesitate to explore the vegetarian delights that await you in this beautiful country! Let us know what was your favorite vegetarian food in Poland! Leave a comment below or tag @eightyflavors on social media!