Making your holiday in Poland complete: ice cream

If there's one word every traveler in Poland should know, I'd say it's LODY (pronounced as /loh-dee/). After all, how can one survive a holiday without knowing where to look for ice cream? I must admit I really have a soft spot for ice cream - and since June has come and I'm already in my summer mood, I can't get it off my mind. So the topic for today's blog post couldn't be more obvious: lody!

A bit of ice cream history in Poland

Of course, ice cream is known world-wide and it is not a Polish invention. But it's a very popular kind of dessert and nowadays it comes in so many flavors and forms, it's hard to decide what to choose.

Ice cream has become common and popular in Poland in the interwar period, when it began to be sold on the streets of Warsaw, Cracow, Poznań and Lviv (that's right, Lviv used to be a Polish city). In the 1930's first mass produced pre-packaged ice cream was sold: Pingwin.

In the times of the People's Republic of Poland, three kinds of ice cream were popular: Bambino, Calypso and soft serve. Fun fact: even though the automatic ice cream maker was invented in the USA, soft serve is known in Poland as Italian ice cream (lody włoskie).

Nowadays, ice cream is really popular and you can easily recognize the best places that serve ice cream by the queues. If you're looking for Polish ice cream brands, go for Grycan or Koral. They're available in ice cream shops, as well as prepackaged in grocery stores.

Craft ice cream and natural ice cream

But if you want something really special, instead of having mass produced ice cream, look for signs that say lody rzemieślnicze (craft ice cream) or lody naturalne (natural ice cream). Craft ice cream is either made where it is server or it comes from a small local manufacture. It is often made from local products, like locally grown strawberries or milk from a local creamery. Natural ice cream is made from natural, high-quality products, with no artificial additives.

Where to have ice cream in Poland

All right, time for some ice cream recommendations. That's a tough one, after all there are soooo many fantastic places! I could write an entire book with places I recommend. But I'll limit my list to just a few places, and I'd be delighted if you experimented with different places on your own too and shared your own recommendations under my Facebook post.

  • Sosenka (Warsaw, ul. Saska 105) - Visiting the Saska Kępa district can be a culinary adventure on its own, but don't miss the ice cream that has been served here for over 25 years.
  • Jednorożec (Warsaw, ul. Narbutta 38) - They make the ice cream there, you can even observe the process.
  • Lody na Starowiślnej (Cracow, ul. Starowiślna 83) - Traditional ice cream, the taste of which you'll never forget.
  • Miś (Gdańsk, ul. Podwale Staromiejskie 62/68) - It is a small family business established in 1962. They serve natural ice cream with no artificial additives.
  • Roma (Wrocław, ul. Rydygiera 5) - They have been serving delicious ice cream since 1946.
  • Kolorowa (Poznań, ul. 27 grudnia 21) - Lavish portions, simple recipes and a wide variety of flavors that change every day.

Needless to say, in order to have ice cream in Poland, you need to go to Poland first. If you haven't booked a tour yet, we're here to help! We still have available places for the summer season 2022.

Polish ice cream vocabulary

Last but not least, I wouldn't be me if I didn't stop by the linguistic aspect of ice cream. First of all, the Polish word lody is actually plural. We say 1 lód - 2 lody. Other useful ice cream-related words include:

  • wafelek - ice cream cone
  • 1 kulka, 2 kulki - 1 scoop, 2 scoops
  • lody na patyku - ice cream on a stick

(P.S. If you share my passion for languages, you can learn more Polish here).

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