Warsaw Night Market (Nocny Market) is the holy grail for the foodie dead-hard Instagramer. The Warsaw Night Market is a short term pop-up style outdoor (though slightly covered) food market for the summer time. We call it the holy grail for foodies because you can find almost everything from caramelized insects to New York Pastrami sandwiches, all bunched together in a tight package.
Important: The Warsaw Night Market is only open on the weekends and starts from 21st April and will close for the season until next year late September. Friday and Saturday: 5 pm – 1am and Sunday: 4 pm – 11pm
How to get to the Warsaw Night Market
We usually use the Palace of Culture and Science as a reference point:
From the Palace of Culture and Science it is 2.2km which is an easy walk if you want to take in your surroundings, but it is also just a few stops of the tram.
From the center you can take almost any tram that goes away from the Palace:
You will then need to leave at Zawiszy 06 and from here it is only a short walk. Here is an official map from the Warsaw Night Market organisers:
Click to enlarge
Warsaw Night Market
We took the tram as we knew the night market was near the Warsaw Railway Museum (Towarowa 3, 00-811, Warszawa) and as we got off the tram it was easy to guess which direction the Warsaw Night Market was because of the groups of people walking in the same direction. We followed the crowd to what seemed like the route to some abandoned buildings. We couldn’t see the market yet, but it was has hard to guess what to expect just by this first impression.
We continued to follow the crowds and we could begin to see some neon lights popping out of some overhanging trees. Before we reached the location we spotted some really cool graffiti that took a few snaps of to add to our Warsaw Street Art Map.
Click to enlarge
It was only once we had past the graffiti did we see the opening and begin to see what to expect. There was a map on the side of the wall explaining the layout, where you can find the toilet…oh and also where you can find the tattoo shop if you forgot to get one before coming.
Right away you can feel the atmosphere, it feels electric. There are a mix of smells from Italian pizza to the bubble waffles being served near the entrance. There was some light techno/house music with no lyrics being played over a suitable sound system to create a party vibe without taking away the ability to have a conversation.
We first did a whole circuit around the Warsaw Night Market to scope out the cool dishes and see what was on offer. One thing that got our attention was the BBQ baby squids, not something you see on sale in Warsaw that often.
Seeing all these cool dishes got us in the mood to try something different that the standard Polish diet of pirogi and pickles, so we started with something light: Red Thai curry with chicken
The presentation was not much to write about. It was served in a paper bowl and a plastic spoon, but this is was to expect from this pop-up style food venues. The overall flavor of the dish was great, it had a delicate coconut background complement by Thai spices. The chicken was pretty disappointing, two or three small strips of defrosted chicken. The dish was reasonably at 12zł but we wouldn’t recommend rushing out to buy it unless you have a super craving for coconut. On the subject of coconuts, what goes better with the Thai theme that a drinkable coconut!
We found stand that served coconuts that they crack open in front of you so that you can drink it with a straw. They were pretty expensive at 17zł each but you only live once so we thought it would be a perfect match to our last Thai dish:
It was really cool to watch this small lady smack the cr*p out of this poor defenseless coconut. The end result was great, served with a plastic straw we could begin to enjoy the wonders of mother nature. It wasn’t the freshest coconut in the world, however I have not seen many coconut trees in Poland. After serving us the nice lady told us once we have drank the inside to bring it back and she will crack it open so we can eat the inside. If we thought she was rough with it when we first came we were in for a surprise when she started smashing it with a rock, I must admit I jumped! It was then served with two plastic spoons:
It was pretty much impossible to dig at with the plastic spoons, so we took a small pocket knife to the inside and it was great! At first I thought 17zł for only one drink was a lot, but considering you get a free snack with it then it is not that bad.
I’d personally had enough of these girly soups and coconuts. I was on the hunt for meat and hopefully lots of it! We spot in the crowd a Pastrami stall from Pastrami Deli and this is something I’ve always wanted to try but never had the opportunity. It does not seem that popular in Europe compared to America where it was made famous. For those that have not heard of Pastrami before:
Pastrami is a meat product usually made from beef, and sometimes from pork, mutton or turkey. The raw meat is brined, partially dried, seasoned with herbs and spices, then smoked and steamed.
There were five different options available, but the one with the cheese seemed the most popular (and we’ll explain why soon). The Pastrami sandwich we decided on was toasted bread, Remoulade sauce (a french mayonnaise-based with a sort of pickle/curry flavor), Sauerkraut (finely cut cabbage that has been fermented) was added, the Pastrami meat is sliced up and gently placed on top and finally top with cheese and this is were it got interesting.
We shocked to see a gas blow touch brought out to melt the cheese. It was a good marketing idea from their side because it caught our attention and a big crowd too. From ordering to serving we waited about six minutes which is slightly longer than most places that have the food almost ready, but it was nice to see the cutting of the meat and the fire show in front of you as a seal of freshness.
The sandwich was sliced in half and presented on a paper plate. On first bite the flavor and herbs of the meat were present, it had a sort of thick bacon texture to it. The sauce perfectly complemented the meat and the softness of the meat and crunchiness of the toast bread was paired perfectly.
This sandwich was the most expensive thing we bought at 29zł (almost seven euros), but there was a most expensive version with double meat at 55zł. Was it worth the price? It was an experience that I am glad I had, but I won’t be rushing out to buy more. If you have not yet tried it then give it a try and let us know if the comment section what you think about it.
We then took a break from all the food and sat down to enjoy the vibes and atmosphere of the Warsaw Night Market with a cocktail. There were many bars available but we wanted to keep with the topical theme so we went with some havana club mojitos.
After our short cocktail pit stop we were back on the hunt for something new. At Warsaw Local we enjoy all different types of food, but we also like to support our vegan and vegetarian readers. We were looking for something that was vegan friendly and we came across this really cool vegan hot dog stand. It caught our attention because of the really nice girl dancing and smiling away to all the passersby’s.
There was a menu written in Polish, but as they only served four styles of hot dogs they had pre-made ‘show dogs’ at the front of the stall so you could see how they looked and you could just point at the one that looks best to you:
In the order from left to right:
Classic: Ketchup/remulada/crispy onion
Tokyo: Oyster mushroom in teryiaki sauce/miso mayo/sesame furikake
New York: Crispy onion caramelized in wine/sauerkraut/mustard
Grecja: Tofu feta cheese/tzatziki/olives
We went with the New York:
Packed with flavor this hot dog was a delight to eat. The bun was slightly warm, the vegan sausage had a good solid flavor and wasn’t just there to be a tasteless extra. There was a lot of veggies, a little too much that caused a few drops on the floor when we got near the end so we careful if you’re wearing white pants or a white shirt.
All good things must come to an end, but we had to fit one last item in before we left the Warsaw Night Market. We were too full for a big pizza or burger and my guest hates fish so oysters were off the menu. It was cool watching the chef work with the oysters as again this is something that is not that common in Warsaw as we are over 300km away from the nearest beach.
We really wanted to save some space for dessert however we became more full from all the goodies available than expected. We wanted to add one last dish to list and we found a cool food stall that sold Chinese dumplings cooked on steam. There were two options either vegetables only or with pork. We went with the dumplings that had pork inside. The dumplings are pricing as single units but you must order a minimum of three. We placed our orde, paid our 15zł and were told it would take about four minutes.
The three dumplings were served on a paper plate with a soy dipping sauce. They were a lot bigger than expected. About half the size of a smart phone.
The dough was soft and airy. The pork and vegetable was paired with some spices to add flavor and they were really enjoyable. The dipping sauce is a must as it adds to the quite thick dough and takes the dish to a new level.
Warsaw Night Market is dog friendly
At Warsaw Local we are big dog lovers and we love to support venues or locations that are dog friendly. This is an open air event so dogs are welcomed, however with so much food around we’d highly discourage the idea of letting your dog run around without a lead.
We really hope you enjoyed joining us all this tour of the Warsaw Night Market. Don’t forget it is only open on the weekends and in the summer period. If you have any tricks or tips you want to share to help others make the most of their time at the Warsaw Night Market then make sure you leave it in the comment section.