74 Blackfriars Road, Waterloo, London, SE1 8HA, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7928 1111
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Tue-Sat noon-midnight, Sun-Mon noon-11pm
Door: Open door
Style: Restaurant bar
Recommended for: Cocktails, Food, Spirits
Price guide: Middling
Food: Full menu
Images By: diffordsguide.com
Lying behind Baltic's narrow frontage is a deceptively large long and narrow modern Polish bar and a vast, barn-like restaurant. The dining room is housed in an 18th-century coach builder's workshop with an exposed timber roof and utilitarian plain white walls made less stark by Polish amber and artwork.
Baltic is noted for its extensive list of Polish vodkas, beers and in-house flavoured vodkas which sit in huge glass demijohns behind the bar. The Karmelówka (caramel) and Wisniówka (cherry) are particularly worth a try.
In 2010 cocktail bartender Charles Vexenat was brought in as a consultant to revamp the cocktail list. With him came many contemporary Vexenat concoctions but also a selection of vintage cocktails. Sadly you won't find Charles making the drinks and those we sampled lacked his polish but cocktails here remain above average.
A Polish and Eastern European menu means bar snack heaven and it's surprising that blinis haven't found their way onto more menus. The Slavs even manage to turn beetroot broth into a delicacy, so be sure to try the Ukrainian barszcz.
Baltic draws a friendly crowd of locals and after work drinkers who are joined by travelling foodies in the know.