The title is a bit of  a’clickbait’. Just a little bit. Meaning it’s not going to be a proffesional ranking of top cocktail bars in Warsaw. It will be a totally subjective ranking written by someone who doesn’t really know much about the matter. So why write about it at all? Well, on our Instagram we frequently get messages from tourists, asking about nightlife in Warsaw. Where to go dancing, what’s the newest, trendy bar, where’s the cheapest beer and where are the best drinks. Well, it’s a shame to admit, but I don’t really know. I have a few of my favourite spots and I keep coming back there. Plus, I don’t really leave my home that often. After all isn’t the point of redoing your entire flat to stay in it? No? Ok then, looks like I’m going out on the town.

My plan is to research different types of places that fall under the category of ‘nightlife’, starting with somethinng I know the least about, just to keep myself entertained. So we begin our ‘nightlife adventures’ with cocktail bars. Why not go all out? Why not spend all the money I own at the very beginning of the research? 😉 I gathered a team of ‘judges’ to check out the cocktail bars with me and we set some rules as well. Here they are:

  • Main members of the jury remain the same and must visit all of the cocktail bars, so that we can give a fair score. We also stick to the same alcohol, if possible: Balmas (gin), Maria (whisky), Aga (gin). Additional ‘judges’ did accompany us on the first night: Lama (virgin cocktails), Pinks (whatever, as long as there’s alcohol in it), Doris (bourbon).
  • We visit maximum of three cocktail bars a night. We drink just one cocktail at each of them. After that our vision and sense of taste might be a bit cloudy.
  • If it’s possible we try to order cocktails that are typical for a certian bar, not well-known classics.
  • Our ranking is all about the subjective feelings. We take into consideration categories such as atmosphere of the place, the aesthetics, the taste (whether we liked the drink) and the options on the menu (whether we were satisfied with the choice we were given). We also take a closer look at the staff, whether they were nice and helpful for laymen such as ourselves. Plus we quickly noticed that at the majority of cocktail bars you get tap water with your drinks and we liked that a lot, since it helped us stay sober a bit longer, so we added that as a criterion as well.
  • The final score is depicted in🍸. Maximum score is 5 🍸.



We’re starting off with a place that I wanted to check out for a long time, but there was always something else to do. Weles is hidden in a ‘nook’, in between the buildings at Nowogrodzka street. I used to go there when there was another bar in this place called Ćma Barowa, and Discreet before that. Weles is definitely nothing like it’s predecessors. The first thing you notice after you enter is… the darkness. The entire venue is dark and mysterious. When you enter the toilet, when it’s even darker, you start to wonder ‘is it still the ambiance or am I blind already?’. The next thing you notice, after you get used to the darkness, is a massive crystal chandelier. Wow! It definitely makes for an amazing atmosphere. When planning a visit to Weles be sure to book a table in advance. We didn’t. I thought there wouldn’t be crowds in a break between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. i was wrong. Very wrong. Somehow we managed to squize ourselves at a tiny table to which we were escorted by a particularly polite waiter. At first the politeness seemed ‘stiff’ and ‘unnatural’ to us, but we quickly got used to it and decided it’s nice. It’s such a break from a usual ‘bar culture’, usually bartenders and staff treat everyone as if they new them. Turns out that visiting a fancier place from time to time is a real social experiment.The waiter kept coming back, offering us advice and refilling our glasses with tap water.


We take a look at a cocktail menu full of Slavic deities and zodiacs. The menu changes seasonally, which is always something I appreciate. The newest card was introduced on December 8, therefore it isn’t available online yet, and of course I do not remember the names of most cocktails, so sorry for the lack of details.  I ordered an orange nectar that included gin… and egg whites. I do not remember any more components, but I must have liked them if I picked this one. Besides, I enjoyed the cocktail very much and it was my favourite for a long time, but [spoiler alert] was defeated by the tomato gin I had at another cocktail bar. Aga also went for gin. She chose a drink called Golden Rain. It wasnot something remarkably memorable, but tons of glitter floated inside it, so that’s always good. That’s all I can say. We all agreed that the best cocktail out of every one we ordered was was the one chosen by Pinks. Which really surprised us as it’s key component was a medicine – Amol. We thought it would have a very herbal taste and aroma, but it was balanced and interesting at the same time. What we also liked was that the cocktails are served in various glasses. Maria got her bourbon with spices in a mug that brought to mind the rum tea that you would drink in the mountains, while Matylda got her pineapple alcohol-free drink in a glass that looked like something you’d get next to the pool on All Inclusive holiday. Generally, cocktails served in Weles are interesting, well thought out and consist of many ingredients. Often mixed in a way that would not even occur to us, and yet they all tasted great and we will definitely be coming back for more.


Pros: The mysterious, retro atmosphere, aesthetics (the ceilling!), attention to details (glass), tap water, great staff

Cons: None

Price: Around 30 złoty (approximately 7 euro) which turned out to be a norm in all of the places.

Score: 🍸🍸🍸🍸🍸




This one was chosen by Maria because… she leaves 10 meters away from it. She wanted to go there for a long time, but she was always afraid she wouldn’t fit in. It’s more of a partying place than a classy ‘sit down and be quite’ kind of place, even though there’s no dance floor. It’s just a difference in the attitude. At night, in front of Charlie’s, you can stumble across a big group of young people from the upper class. Including really drunk, really loud girls in really high heels and really mini skirts. Not that we have anything against mini skirts. We’re just don’t belong, so we had to gather up the courage to visit Charlie cocktail bar. And we did wear dresses to feel less out of place. Only we forget to warn our friend who decided to join us that it’s not our usual kind of evening. She lives in a house in the middle of the forest so she arrived wearing trekking shoes. Appropriate for the forest, not really appropriate for the fancy cocktail bar. She later told us that she has never seen the staff of any bar or restaurant so confused before. Charlie is hidden in a backyard of one of the tenement houses on Mokotowska street. At first we thought that it’s one of those speakesy bars where you have to announce yourself beforehand. But it turns out it’s not that secret. The entrance to the bar is clearly marked. You enter the apartment building, walk up the stairs and  on the first floor you find yourself in a bar. We were surprised by how big of a space it is. We even managed to get lost on the way to the toilet. 



As far as the cocktails go I was not that impressed. Aga and I tried all of their gin-based signature cocktails: the refreshing one with cucumber, the intense one with Aperol and the sweet and sour one with cranberry. I definitely liked the first one, called Marie, best, but it was a bit bland after a few sips. The one with Aperol was too intense for me and I wouldn’t not be able to drink the whole thing. Even though I do like Aperol and drink it from time to time. Maybe combined with gin it’s just too much for me. I was not a fan of the cranberry version either. It just tasted like cranberry juice. tere was no real depth. Maria did not find anything interesting in the signature cocktails category so she decided to go with her favourite classic – whisky sour. She enjoyed it very much. So much so, that she did not stop at just one. Or two. So it’s highly possible that they’re just better with classics than with original inventions. Or maybe their spin on gin just didn’t fit out taste. But we did enjoy the atmosphere, the waiter was really nice and they played good music so I think we’ll be coming back there sooner or later.

Pros: Cool interior, tap water, nice staff, really good classics

Cons: Signature cocktails were not as good as the classics, possibility of stumbling across a rather loud and drunk group of rich kids

Price: Signature cocktails cost 32 złoty (approximately 7,5 euro).

Score: 🍸🍸🍸🍸



Coctail Bar Max

Time for a popular chain of cocktail bars. There’s a few of them scattered across different polish cities. I admit that my lat visit was quite some time ago, but this is one of those places where every one of us come back from time to time. Mainly because drinking is easy, quick and effective here. They do not skimp the alcohol here, so drinks are really strong. Personally, I’ve never managed to drink more than two. And if I did, I do not remember. You do not believe? Visualize a Long Island, which is transparent, because after pouring the alcohol, coke did not fit inside. Besides, none of my friends, asked for photos from Coctail Bar Max, had a photo that would not be blurry. So that’s a spot you visit when you want to party hard. I happened to come here for a few different birthday parties and as far as I remember they were epic. There was even a mega watermelon drink. Plus the prices are not too high so you can succesfully get yourself drunk.



For me, this place is associated primarily with cocktails richly decorated with exotic fruits that resemble fruit salad more than a drink. But the choice here is basically endless. Bartenders are creative and often come up with ingredient combinations that I would have never thought of myslef. Of course, it all depends on who works the bar. It seems that the bar on Krucza street has become somewhat less popular since the new one opened on Nowy Świat (I have never been there). However, there are evenings when people are spilling out onto the street, and there is no chance for a table without a reservation.


Pros: Prices, some bartenders are really creative and can make you a drink you’ve never heard about before

Cons: It can get very crowded, it’s more about getting drunk than tasting, no tap water

Price: Depends on what you choose. There’s no coctail menu. I vaguely remember that the fruity cocktails were around 25 złoty when I was last there.

Score: 🍸🍸🍸



Grizzly Gin Bar

And now we’re moving on to the first one of the places we visited by accident. After leaving Weles we decided to keep exploring the city. Our plan was to check out Charlie that day but it was closed. Then we went to Zamieszanie but it was full to the brim. Finally we ended up on Poznańska street. I’ve been to Grizzly Gin Bar before, but I vaguely remember drinking beer so it doesn’t count. In social media Grizzly is described as cocktail bar, but personally I wouldn’t put it into the same category as Weles, Charlie or Cosmo. I’d just call it a bar, due to it’s relaxed atmosphere. There’re no waiters either, we order our drinks at a bar. So it’s more our ‘everyday style’. They organise some pub events and activities as well.  For example this sunday you can go there to participate in a pub quiz in english. Saying all that, I do not mean that they’re not proffesional coctail makers. They even participate in World Class Coctail Festival, so they must know what they’re doing.



Their signature drink at Grizzly is Gin & Tonic, my favourite drink. They served it in many different versions with different ingredients. We were recommended one with hibiscus by the bartender. A competition is a competition however, so this time I had to go for something else, something that I wouldn’t get at any other bar. I chose a cocktail called Yosemite and it was definitely my style. It’s fresh and citrusy with a hint of cucumber. It must be amazing on a hot summer day. Aga and Pinks went for Grizzly Star, a variation of Pornstar Martini but gin-based. Maria was faithful to bourbon and ordered Maker’s Lemonade. We were all happy with our choices and I would come back for all of the cocktails we tried. Even the one with bourbon, and that’s saying something since I hate this ‘earthy’ type of alcohol. Grizzly Gin Bar is a cool place for an evenning out with friends and we’ll be definitely be coming back.


Pros: Relaxed atmosphere (we felt right at home), cool bartenders, really tasty cocktails

Cons: It’s not a ‘fancy cocktail bar’, the atmosphere is not as special and it can create an impression that the place is less ‘proffesional’

Price: G&T is 25 złoty, signature coctails cost between 25 and 35 złoty.

Score: 🍸🍸🍸



8 Dzień Tygodnia

Another place we visited by accident is 8 Dzień Tygodnia, located across the street from Grizzly Gin Bar. Most of my comments about Grizzly apply here as well.  I would call 8 Dzień Tygodnia a regular bar and not a cocktail bar as well. There is beer, there is a relaxed atmosphere (although we did get tap water, so that’s good). Of course, that’s a subjective category based only on comparison, and not a strict definition with exact guidelines. Unlike Grizzly Gin Bar, you will not find cocktails menu here. You have to tell the bartender your preferences and then you will get a surprise drink served tto your table. At least in our case it looked like that.


We asked for a non-sweet gin cocktail, two non-sweet gins but we specified we wanted some grapefruit in it, one non-sweet bourbon and one bourbon, which was supposed to be sour, but it did not happen. This is the only place where Maria went back to the bartender and asked for some changes in her drink. She needed something sour because the cocktail in the original version was ‘undrinkable’ in her opinion. Honestly, none of us was particularly delighted with our drinks. Pink grapefruit-based concoctions were definitely the best, but they were not something worth coming back for. I guess that’s a place where I’d rather get a beer in the future.


Pros: Relaxed atmosphere (we felt right at home), water, prices

Cons: It’s not a ‘fancy cocktail bar’, the atmosphere is not special, we liked the drinks the least out of all visited places

Price: It was the cheapset place we visited. My cocktail was 22 złoty.

Score: 🍸🍸



Cosmo Bar

We finish off with our personal favourite, Cosmo Bar located in the intimidating Cosmopolitan building on Twarda Street. This building  surprised me once again. I am always “afraid” to come here, because I do not fit in with the company, but every time I do come here I find something worth recommending to you guys. It was the case with the Wojciech Fangor painting exhibition, as well as with Odette tea room, and now with Cosmo. When entering, I was wondering if the place was open at all, even though I booked a table in advance. This is because the whole interior is hidden behind heavy, dark curtains. Because of this you suddenly get teleported from a cold glass building to a cozy, warm and dark elegant cocktail bar. A nice lady welcomes us. She takes our coats. The place has a great atmosphere. There’s good, quiet music, the bar is filled to the brim, and the bartenders are preparing drinks, even though the bar is still empty, except from us. We did come a moment after opening, however.



So, what made Cosmo Bar win in our little competition? The cocktails of course! The menu is short and it changes seasonally, but we didn’t have any problems choosing drinks. We all found something we liked. It’s important to mention the ‘minimal waste’ philosophy of this place. You won’t find any citrus fruit in here, they use local ingredients and care about sustainability. I did take a look at the menu beforehand (it’s available on their Facebook page) so I knew exactly what I wanted to try – tomato gin with lime cordial. I decided that tomato gin would have to be either terrible or amazing, but it would definitely leave an impression. Fortuanetelly it was the latter. I really enjoyed the cocktail I got. It might have been the best one I’ve ever had. I did really like the one at Weles as well, but here it was an added value of simplicity. Only two ingredients and an effect comparable to complex concoction created with tons of different things. Aga and Maria were delighted with their drinks as well. Aga chose gin with quince, which was technically unavailable, but the bartenders managed to make it anyway, and in no time at all. Maria took just one sip of her sweet and sour coctail with pear, peat and whisky before asking when we’ll be coming back to Cosmo. Well, I guess sooner rather than later, since all our friends keep asking if they can join as next time. A nice little touch was a ginger shot we received as an extra at the end of our visit. I can’t recommend this place enough.


Pros: Atmosphere, aesthetics (the green wall behind the bar is everything), attention to details, tap water, great staff, peanuts, music, minimum waste philosophy

Cons: None

Price: Around 30 złoty (I paid 27 złoty for my cocktail) which turned out to be a norm in all of the places.

Score: 🍸🍸🍸🍸🍸