Św. Michał, Lublin

Location: Grodzka 16, 20-112 Lublin, Poland

Venue Type: City Centre Pub / Cosy

EBG Rating:
Quality of Drinks
Value For Money
On one of those cold Polish nights the draw to a warm, dark cosy pub is irresistible. Lublin’s old town provides a pocket-sized but decent array of options, varying from Czech-themed pubs, computer game pubs (a new idea), a Pivnice style cellar brewery, craft ale hideouts and the most pub like of all, Sw. Michal.

Being based on ul. Grodska ensures some steady passing trade, but Sw. Michal makes the slight error of marketing itself as a restaurant, when actually the venue most suits a pub, a meeting place where yes, food is consumed, but the general point should be to dive in from the cold, huddle around the fire and drink.

This will be apparent on your couple of steps up and swing through the door, being greeted by dark wood, portraits lining most available space on the wall, the roaring fire at the side of the room and the pub like bar area at the back. Take a glance up at the ceiling for a fabulous inset design and some vaulted beams.

Despite the efforts at traditionalism, the place has clearly been recently fitted out, and there are some slightly tacky/modern concessions, but if they stick with it, the venue should age well. The dusky ambience inside, as well as the crackling fireplace gives it only one tempo. Slow and comfortable.

Sw. Michal offers a quirky take on pizza using Lublin’s own bread cebularz, which works well as a high-end take on deep pan pizza, and is pretty cheap. There are an array of other options and staff are pleasant and eager to please.

Sw. Michal does a couple of its ‘own’ beers, the best of which is a delicious semi-dark ale, and there are some reasonable other options, most of which are out of the standard Polish beer playbook.

Both food and drink are reasonably priced, both in terms of Poland in general versus the UK, and in comparison to its local competitors.

There are quite a few options to explore in Lublin’s old town and university area, so you may find time to go here only the once, but to me this place could become a classic local haunt if they stripped back some of the townier elements and make a few tweaks. There are some great raw materials here and it’s a very enjoyable place to go for a pub meal and a pint.