You’d be forgiven for walking past it, dismissing it as just another lunchtime office coffee house. That’s because its modest modern façade doesn’t call out to passers-by like the character-laden cellar bars of central-Wroclaw.
Rather, Zenka attracts the kind of guest who already knows where to find it. For many, it’s a regular part of their routine. A favorite of locals, it makes for an ideal place to unwind - and in case of a rainy day - to completely indulge.
The inventive menu has caught the eye of many a foodie as it has featured international brunch sensations like bacon, pancakes, and savory pumpkin pasta in the recent past. Each prepared to picture-perfect proportions.
The pancakes, stacked one on top of another, were incredibly fluffy and looked like something more out of a magazine than real life. Each layer featured crave-worthy crispy bacon. Doused in liberal amounts of maple syrup, they also featured clever pairings like slightly caramelized banana wedges - which rounded out the flavors.
But Zenka's not a breakfast place per se. Instead, it has been designed with leisurely afternoons and relaxed evenings in mind. The seating boasts comfortable cushions and pillows amid an eclectic albeit somewhat Swedish-style decor.
Surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass windows, the sunlight pours in midday, adding to the ambiance. With books strewn about, and ample potted plants, there’s an obvious serenity to it all. As such, it doesn’t take long until you’re nose deep in modern literature – drink in hand and fork within reach.
But sometimes, you can get away with the simpler foods that are bound to hit the spot. That is to say, Zenka is pursuing the wonderful versatility of pastrami - no cutlery required.
Now, fresh deli-sandwiches, pastas, and specialty constructed salads featuring the cured meat are being artfully reinterpreted, distancing themselves from their delicatessen-based-origins of yesteryear.
Come fall and winter; passing the hours of the day becomes Childs play here. Armed with a crisp baguette and pastrami filled sandwich, it is surprisingly light on the palette and stomach. Quality ingredients are telling after all.
And if you just want a warm bevy and a good book - Zenka is known for its fresh-to-order fruit teas. They offer both a classic flu-fighting option of Lemon and Ginger, as well as a distinctly Polish concoction: a raspberry infusion for savvy imbibers if you will. For more daring teetotlers, there’s the Sea-Bream filled beverage of choice; a curious medley of mint and little yellow seeds. The latter of which floats on top creating a sweet sensation while you sip. Bite into one of them however, and you will receive a lovely tangy twist, complementing the darts of sunshine you can see between the clouds outside.
Though the afternoons are well enjoyed slowly with the warmth of one of these tempting teas, don’t mistake Zenka Cafe for a quiet tea-riddled sanctuary. This is a an afternoon-and-early-evening hotspot first and foremost. Between the hours of 11:00 AM and 1:30 PM it’s nothing short of hopping (though appealing in its own right). But, it does possess an undeniable sense of calm once 2 o’clock hits, making it the complete choice for a late brekkie or reading session. And, should it be an early dinner or savory meal that you’re after with friends, Zenka has a couple must-try diner-classics waiting for you.
Brunch is served pretty much all day. The homemade pastrami sandwich will satiate even the most scrutinizing diners, and though small by North American standards, it packs a punch. If you still have room, try one of the scrumptious seasonal pasta dishes as well or split it with your fellow foodie.
Before you leave, take a look at the frizzante and incrusts. With all the talk of pasta and pastrami sandwiches, it may be hard to imagine that you’ have room for anything else. Until you see what’s on offer that is. The fizzy is flowing from the taps, which should give you a good idea as to the demand. You might want a swig of the golden stuff to prep you for the windy walk ahead. While you’re at it, a slice to-go for mom back at home would be a nice added gesture, though you may not be able to hold yourself back from devouring it yourself.
Simply put, they look simply too good to pass up and they’re baked in-house by the chef; a mother herself – so you know it’s made with love.
Travlr Blog gives Zenka the official nod of approval as our team licks their lips in anticipation of the next diner-classic to come out of this Wroclaw haunt. Want to know more about our experience? Check out the gallery below and let us know about your coffee house favorites in the comments below.