My name is Izzy and I recently joined the Old East Village BIA as their Communications Assistant. Despite living in London for the past four years for university, I have yet to explore OEV. So far, I have been amazed to discover how unique this corner of the city is. Come with me throughout the summer as I explore places in OEV for the very first time.
It only takes a quick glance at a list of local eats to see that OEV is unique in its diversity of food. This area boasts restaurants and cultural cuisines you won’t find anywhere else in London. I hope to try as many as I can!
Perfect timing: the BIA was planning a cash mob at Unique Food Attitudes (697 Dundas Street). Customers were invited to come in, enjoy a delicious lunch, and walk out with a mystery envelope of Construction Dollars worth $20-$150! It also happened to be the perfect opportunity for me to enjoy my own lunch at Unique Food Attitudes.
Unique Food Attitudes is a Polish restaurant that has called OEV home for over a decade. They were originally a catering company for many years before owner Barbara Czyz opened a beautiful bistro in the heart of Old East Village. Today, the restaurant is one of seven stops on the Only in OEV Dumpling Trail: a curated list that will take you through the neighbourhood to try different cultures’ takes on the dumpling. With delicious fillings wrapped in dough, pierogies put a Polish twist on the dumpling.
Even before I sat down, I knew I had to try the pierogies. Beyond that, I was open to anything and had been assured that there was no way to go wrong at Unique Food Attitudes! After looking at the menu, one of their ‘Polish plates’ seemed fitting, since the restaurant’s claim to fame is being one of the only Polish restaurants in London. Polish poutine—a creative combination of pierogies and goulash sauce—also sounded interesting, but I wanted to start with something traditional.
We placed our orders and enjoyed looking around the restaurant as we waited. The decor was beautiful, especially the eye-catching local artwork hanging on the far wall. A summer storm raged outside, but that only made the restaurant feel even more inviting. Customers braved the rain to come in, drenched but happy to be there.
It was the perfect weather for a home-cooked meal. Soon, our food arrived and we eagerly dug in. My Polish plate included cheddar cheese pierogies and the largest cabbage roll I’d ever seen. Everything was delicious and felt like cozy, comfort food. Barbara’s authentic and amazing recipes have been passed down through her family and come straight from Poland.
As we ate, almost every table filled up with friends and families meeting each other for lunch. Barbara bustled around, chatting with regulars and balancing many plates at once as she brought meals to the tables. So many customers came in that we gave away all of our cash mob envelopes in no time. Plenty of people walked away with full stomachs and pockets of Construction Dollars that afternoon!
I was too full to try any dessert (in fact, I had to take a pierogi or two for the road), but since then I’ve been lucky enough to try a few desserts from Unique Food Attitudes and they live up to their tasty reputation too.
There's lots more for me to try in OEV! Other menu items on the Dumpling Trail include:
What should I try next? Comment below and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @digoevldn to stay up-to-date on future cash mobs, contests, and more!