Given all the hype about the opening of the Silk Club & Restaurant last week, it seemed only right that we pop in to see what the fuss was all about. On the walk from the Rynek to this splashy and ostentatious sounding venue however, we didn't even get as far as Rzeźnicza street. Pod Latarniami, a new 'British' looking pub on ul.Ruska, sucked us in – and we never looked back.
Unlike other major Polish cities, Wrocław has is still yet without a genuine Irish, Scottish or English pub. The tragically bad John Bull and the Highlander are long gone, while the soulless Guinness and Haggis pubs are both still acting as imposters.
So if you like the large space, dark wooden furniture, chatty atmosphere, bar meals and wide drinks selection that goes with these type of pubs, where can you go? The best answer appears to be the newly opened Pod Latarniami, a venue which proudly describes itself as a Polish bar and grill.
This new pub delivers no nonsense Polish food and drink inside its rather pleasant looking interior, which somewhat resembles the bars you'd find on high streets across the nations of the British isles. The bar is long and wide, with several different Polish beers on tap and countless more in bottles proudly stacked on the shelf behind.
Following current trends in the Polish beer market, Pod Latarniami have also ditched tepid commercial Polish lagers such as Tyskie, Lech and Zywiec in favour of microbrews and craft beers from Raciborskie, Lwówek and Pinta.
All sounds good then, and it get bets even better when you look at the prices. A large Raciborskie lager set us back a mere 6zl, while bistro style snacks such as Kaszanka (pictured) can be ordered for as little as 7zl. Admittedly, that's pretty good going for a trendy looking bar so close to the market square. Both the beer and food easily eclipsed what most bistros offer at similar prices, while the various salads and classic Polish main meals are all competitively priced too.
Given the low prices, it was no surprise the place was packed on its opening Saturday night. The large crowd fostered plenty of banter, evoking memories of the old Wetherspoons pubs with no LCD screens or pop music to blight the atmosphere. The lack of any music is a rarity in Polish pubs these days, and Pod Latarniami will become a welcome haunt for those who hate having to shout over large sound systems.
As far as the service goes, the bar staff were swift and efficient on our visit, but appeared to be lacking in the kind of enthusiasm you'd find in smaller multi-tap pubs such as Kontynuacja and Zakład Usług Piwnych.
On the face of it though, we have to say Pod Latarniami look to be onto a winner. Its combination of a foreign interior complimented by an evidently Polish food and drinks menu certainly struck a chord with us, and we weren't the only ones. Provided they don't jack up the prices or run into problems with bad service, Pod Latarniami could quickly become one of Wroclaw's most coveted pubs.
This addition to the craft beer scene is also likely to further hurt the profits of the rather stale Spiż and Bierhalle brewpubs, who must be praying for more ill-informed tourists to help line their pockets next year.
Pod latarniami, Ul Ruska
Tel: 713440324, Facebook Page