Both vegan and vegetarian eating have been noticeably on the rise in Wrocław over the past few years. The days when the Rynek based Vega was the only place to go are well and truly gone; now there are a handful of venues offering creative, colourful vegan and vegetarian dishes. Machina Organika, an arty, vegan themed restaurant and bar near the Rynek tram stops, is arguably the first place in Wrocław to really shout out its vegan potentials.
Machina Organika labels itself on its Facebook page as a "vegetarian and vegan" restaurant, although it does focus significantly more on the latter form of cuisine. This is clear when you ask for a latte, which is done with soya milk. That might not be to everyone's liking of course, but hey you can get a normal latte anywhere, can't you?
Inside the decor is inventive, alternative and cool – you'll find all sorts of obscure and intriguing artwork on the walls, while upstairs the tables are hugged by lightweight curtains resembling mosquito nets. It's all a little different, yet bright, open and friendly.
Unlike some vegetarian venues in the city, Machina Organika have a license for alcohol. This allows you to choose from a decent list of bottled beers and wines, all from ethical producers. So if you're not into veganism as much as your best mate or partner, at least you can ease through the evening with a glass or two.
Like so many newly opened cafes and restaurants, Machina Organika are ditching bland, boring laminated menus for a smaller list of freshly made dishes chalked on the blackboard. Every day you'll find a new meal on offer, meaning you'll never get bored even if you become a regular visitor. Prices range from about 7-25zl depending on whether you are grabbing a soup, sandwich or a main meal.
On our visit we went for a vegan curry with oatmeal and salad. A Birmingham balti this certainly was not; however the dish was flavoursome enough, wonderfully presented and professionally cooked. Spice lovers would have found the curry a bit bland, but where it lacked in punch it made up for in the fresh taste of all the produce on the plate. Some restaurants can cook their vegetables to death – this was evidently not the case here.
The salad with triangular ryvita style crackerbreads was equally pretty, but arguably more style than substance. The challenge of producing a hunger satisfying vegan salad is clearly a tall order, and for those of us of carnivorous nature, the salad may have felt a little lightweight. That said, yet again, the produce was fantastic and everything was nicely put together – it was as good as any vegan salad can be.
Machina Organika are clearly doing there upmost to cater for alternative diets and come up with tasty, inventive vegan dishes that everyone can enjoy. The staff a are friendly and speak English, so if you're not sure about the menu, its also easy to ask.
Independently run and managed, Machina Organika is a decent spot to just chill out and have a beer. The basement (photographed below) is as pretty as anywhere we've seen in Wrocław, and is clearly a cool place to enjoy a few drinks.
In Machina Organika, Wrocław has another alternative, foreigner friendly venue in which to hang out. Curious? Why not pay a visit and judge for yourself?
Machina Organika, ul. Ruska 19
Tel: 733 537 210, machinaorganika.pl