Pierogi restaurants in Poland are ubiquitous. However, finding a pierogarnia with such an appetising and varied menu as that at Pierogarnia Mandu in Gdańsk is quite a challenge.
With two locations in Gdańsk – one in the district of Oliwa and the other just a short stroll from Gdańsk Główny train station – this is one dumpling restaurant you must add to your itinerary if you are in Gdańsk for the weekend or longer.
SUMMER CROWDS VERSUS EARLY OCTOBER CALM
My wife and I walked past Pierogarnia Mandu several times in August and, on each occasion, there must have been twenty-five people queuing outside to get a table. Considering that the menu is made fresh to order, I imagine that many of those souls in August must have waited over two hours for their first bite of pierogi. It is possible to make a reservation. However, as Mandu’s website states, it might not always be plain sailing when it comes to making a reservation due to the crowds that flock to the restaurant.
In terms of incurring a hunger-filled wait, my wife and I never had such issues on what was a chilly early October day. There were only two people in front of us, and they were soon shepherded to a table once some other people left. I was pleased to see a nice fellow with a clipboard adding people’s names to a waiting list. Professional and orderly indeed.
Regardless of the weather and which season it is, I believe that Mandu is always packed out between 12 and 3pm. The difference between peak tourist season and a cold February day is rather in the waiting time to get a table.
THE PIEROGARNIA MANDU MENU
The first task my wife and I were faced with when we were seated was to navigate our way through Mandu’s scrumptiously enticing menu.
Mandu covers all the bases. Fillings for traditional cooked pierogi range from hand-minced wild boar meat finished with creamy mushroom sauce to homemade salmon paste with sundried tomatoes and creamy cheese served
with dill sauce.
Got a sweet tooth? No worries. There are chocolate pierogi with oreo served with sweet cream, baked banana and chocolate cream pierogi and pierogi containing blueberries topped with sour cream, to name but a few.
There are also pierogi from different parts of the world and several vegetarian and vegan riendly options. Pierogi with carrots and peanut butter served with fried onion sounds quite delightful. I have got it lined up for a future visit.
BAKED PIEROGI HEAVEN
When my wife and I visited Łódź in early 2019, we both tried baked pierogi for the very first time at a restaurant called Pozytyvka. Wow! I was completely blown away. In my view, eating baked pierogi is a whole other eating experience to eating traditional boiled pierogi. Fried pierogi are good, but do not come close to the baked version either. Therefore, my wife and I had nothing else in mind but to attack the “Dumplings from light yeast dough from oven” section of the menu.
It did not take us long to plump for the following choices:
● With bamboo shoots, mun mushrooms, carrots, cabbage, peppers, onions, leek, pineapple and fried chicken
● Beef prepared with thousand island sauce with cheddar cheese, red onion and pickled cucumber
I am not surprised that the “bamboo shoots” option is the first in the baked pierogi section as people will be drawn to it due to the sheer number of ingredients. I can confirm that the combination of flavours did not leave us disappointed. The beef pierogi were also tasty, but I would go for the chicken ones every time.
Baked pierogi at Mandu come served with one of the following sauces of your choice:
● chilli with basil
● sour cream
● Thousand island
We went for dill and cranberry. Dill goes with just about anything, and we found it complemented the fried chicken pierogi very well indeed.
In case you are wondering whether five baked pierogi will be enough, they will be. Both my wife and I were full after eating four. The kind waitress packed up the two pierogi we did not eat, thus solving our supper conundrum that day.
Despite the crowds, everything appeared to be under control. Most of the members of staff are young females in their twenties. They all appeared to be eager, helpful and well-trained. We had a cracking little waitress who spoke very good English.
Two words – warm and homely.
Pierogarnia Mandu is always full at lunchtime, and they could probably fit another twenty people into the restaurant if they wanted to, but the layout of the tables enables you to sit and have a meal in relative peace without too many other people gawping at you.
LOCATION 1 – CITY CENTRE
Pierogarnia Mandu Gdańsk Głowny
ul. Elżbietańska 4/8
Hours: MONDAY-SUNDAY – 11-22
Tel. for reservations: +48 58 300 00 00
LOCATION 2 – OLIWA
Pierogarnia Mandu Gdańsk Oliwa
ul. Kaprów 19D (entrance from Obrońców Westerplatte Street) 80-316 Gdansk
Hours: MONDAY-SUNDAY – 11-22
Tel. for reservations: +48 58 340 55 44
Finding Poland summary and score:
Homely atmosphere, scrumptious baked pierogi, great service – 10/10