Carnaval in Poland (the time just before Lent) is filled with many strange traditions. We already showed you Paczki Day, but now, as Lent approaches, it’s time for herring. Herring Night, or Śledzik in Polish, is the last day before Lent begins and Poles fast for 40 days from indulgent things such as alcohol, sweets, or savory food. The very last day of Carnaval, this night is filled with lots of herring and a ton of vodka. The traditional pickled herring served on herring night might sound weird, but it’s actually quite delicious and something you should definitely check out! Traditionally, you should chase your shot of vodka with a slice of herring!
There are many bars around town that serve pickled herring year-round as a traditional accompaniment to vodka, and we suggest these as the best spots to go celebrate Sledzik (Herring Night)!
Ambasada Sledzia (Herring Embassy): Said to be the original Polish bar snacks and shots spot this is our top pick for celebrating the holiday. With 2 locations around Krakow.
Pijalnia Wodki i Piwa: As one of the most famous shots and snacks bars Pijalnia Wodki serves up 8zl herring and 4zl Zubrowka vodka in a communist-style atmosphere on Plac Nowy, Szewska Street, and Swietego Jana.
Bania Luka: With locations around town, including Plac Szepanski and Plac Nowy, this cozy spot will do the trick, serving 8zl plates of herring, and 4zl shots of vodka!
Zakaski i Wodka: A copy-cat spot, but still worth a visit. Zakaski i Wodka has some of the best bigos we’ve ever had, so we can only hope for the same when it comes to their herring. Enjoy Zytnia vodka here on Plac Nowy!
(via Emily’s Guide to Krakow)