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Restaurant Review: The Blue Barbakan, York

Updated: Apr 9

We’re not only interested in pubs at aNYone For A Pint! North Yorkshire has some of the best restaurants that the UK has to offer and York is a great place to start. The city is a foodie’s dream, with cuisines from all over the world being represented. We recently visited The Blue Barbakan for some exceptional Eastern European eating.

The Blue Barbakan, York

The Blue Barbakan, York

What to expect at The Blue Barbakan

Walking into this little restaurant on Fossgate will leave you feeling anything but blue. Wooden tables with pretty, cerulean tablecloths create a homely, traditional atmosphere, whilst the walls, painted in the red and white of the Polish flag and decorated with a myriad of vibrant framed pictures, are fun and modern.

The food, too, adopts this theme – classic Polish cuisine, with contemporary Eastern European and Western influences.

The Blue Barbakan, York

What’s to eat at The Blue Barbakan?

The Blue Barbakan serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast has a combination of English and Polish options, and kids eat free! Lunch offers soups (including the Eastern European classic, borscht), sandwiches and some exceptional Polish specials. Sensational starters, mains and desserts are available on the Dinner menu (including pierogi (Polish dumplings), pancetta-wrapped rabbit leg and bigos (Polish hunter’s stew)), along with daily specials. A full gluten-free menu and a great-value kids’ menu are also available. Menus can be downloaded here.

What’s to drink at The Blue Barbakan?

To make your meal even more authentic, it’s great to see a broad range of Polish drinks on the menu: eight Polish beers, two Polish lagers and a great choice of Polish red, white and orange wines. Included on the spirits list are a number of Polish vodkas and Polish plum brandy, and you can choose from a decent cocktail menu (with a Polish twist, of course!). Alcohol-free options are also available. The drinks menu can be downloaded here.

The Blue Barbakan, York food: bread

What did we have at The Blue Barbakan?

We visited The Blue Barbakan on a Thursday lunchtime and were lucky to get a table at this bustling little spot. To drink, we opted for two excellent Polish beers – Koźlak (a malty ruby beer) and Pszeniczniak (a Hefeweizen-style wheat beer). Complementary bread was served, which was wonderful – perfectly crusty with a soft centre, and liquoricey bursts of flavour from fennel seed surprises!

The Blue Barbakan, York food: pierogi

Next, we had pierogi – traditional Polish pan-fried dumplings with a choice of fillings. We chose beef. They turned out to be beefy bundles of joy. Five parcels of tasty minced beef, wrapped in dough that finds the perfect balance of chewy and crispy, served with crispy bacon, sour cream and house chutney. They were so moreish that we were tempted to order another plateful!

Luckily, though, we left enough room for goląbki – oven baked cabbage leaves stuffed with well-seasoned pork mince and rice, in a homemade tomato sauce (image below). If you think that cabbage and pork mince doesn’t sound exciting, think again! These really were the star of the show – savoury and full of flavour, with a rich tomato sauce that was heavenly when mopped up with the crusty bread.

All that we can say is... “Niesamowity”! (Incredible)!

Where can I find The Blue Barbakan?

The Blue Barbakan is on Fossgate in the centre of York, just on the corner of the bridge over the River Foss. It’s a 3-minute walk from the famous Shambles market, 10 minutes from York Minster and just over 20 minutes from York train station. If you’re driving, Q-Park Shambles is only a 3-minte walk away.

The Blue Barbakan, York food: golabki

What’s on at The Blue Barbakan?

Germans have OktoberFest… The Blue Barbakan has…

PierogiFest!!! That’s right – during October, the pierogi menu expands to offer at least ten different varieties! After our visit, we want to try them all!

Keep an eye on The Blue Barbakan’s Facebook and Instagram pages for other events and offers throughout the year.

The Blue Barbakan, York: Summary

- Authentic Polish food

- Takeaway available (delivery or collection)

- Family-run, independent restaurant

- Great range of Polish beers, wines and spirits

- Close to carpark

- York city centre

- PierogiFest throughout October!

Where can I find out more information, order or make a reservation?

Follow the Blue Barbakan on Facebook and Instagram for the latest opening hours, news and offers. Reservations can be made via their website.

Can't make it into the city? No worries! You can have amazing Polish food delivered to your door via JustEat or Deliveroo!

Have you tried the delicious food at The Blue Barbakan in York? What did you think? Use our contact form below to give us a recommendation for the next restaurant to review on our blog!

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