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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » April 30, 2010
On the town
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Al Fresco Dining in Warsaw
April 30, 2010   
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With warmer weather finally here, Marta Szczerba picks out Warsaw’s prime al fresco dining spots

There are few things more agreeable in life than a refreshing lunch eaten under the cloudless sky in the surroundings of lush greenery. Now that the sun is finally peeking through the clouds, we can indulge in the joys of al fresco dining again. Although Warsaw’s offerings still leave a few things to wish for, there are a number of restaurants with gardens that offer a delightful haven from capital’s hustle and bustle.

The biggest and the most historically rich garden belongs to the Endorfina Foksal restaurant, located in the Zamoyski Palace in the center of Warsaw. With more than a hectare of greenery, fountains and a beautiful neo-renaissance building, the restaurant is a splendid location for parties, dinners and banquets. The architecture of the place is imposing and reflects the location’s rich history. The gardens were inspired by London’s Vauxhall Gardens (hence the name).

If you are looking for a less imposing but still impressive venue for a dinner, look no further than the nearby Villa Foksal, located right next to Endorfina. Although the 1,000-square-meter garden is much smaller than its neighbor’s, the glamour surrounding Villa Foksal will make up for that—this grandiose restaurant is a location of choice for officials from the Polish Senate, Raiffeisen Bank and the European Parliament.

Away from the city center, the Italian Rubikon restaurant in Służew has a garden with an elegant wooden patio with picturesque white tables and chairs from which you can gaze at the surrounding trees.

The above restaurants have a distinctively glamorous vibe. For a less formal and more traditional Polish dinner, head down to Biały Domek restaurant, where you can delight in Polish cuisine in the picturesque surroundings of flowers. The garden is small, but it has a pleasant antique décor. You can also visit Tradycja restaurant where a small but cozy garden will await you with paths made from rocky stones and lush greenery on the walls of the fence.

Another less formal offering is Osada Restaurant, which has a larger and distinctively rustic outside area. The bare furniture made from blocks of wood and old carts overflowing with flowers give Osada a relaxed, medieval atmosphere. With a traditionally Polish menu (dominated by potatoes and sausages), the restaurant is particularly attractive to weekend diners thirsting for nature in the middle of the city.

Finally, no garden restaurant review is complete without mentioning the Belvedere restaurant, located in the middle of the Royal Łazienki Park in the New Orangery building. Although, strictly speaking, the restaurant has no outside gardens of its own (though I would be tempted to count Łazienki Park as such), the plethora of flora inside beautifully integrates into the stylish interior designed by Boris Kudlicka, an eminent stage designer at the National Opera House. In the summer, you can admire peacocks strutting on the lawn outside.

Top Garden Restaurants

Endorfina Foksal, 2 Foksal St.
Tradycja, 18a Belwederska St.
Belvedere, 1 Agrykola St.
Villa Foksal, 3 Foksal St.
Biały Domek, 11 Boboli St.
Rubikon, 3/5 Wróbla St.
Osada, 19 Bitwy Warszawskiej 1920 Roku St.
Dom Polski, 11 Francuska St.
New West Side, 17 Usypiskowa St.
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