Visiting This New England Destination Will Feel Like You Teleported To Poland

There are a million reasons to fly to Europe and visit Poland. It's historically rich, the food is hearty and absolutely delicious, and a getaway there is typically budget-friendly. But not everyone has a week to take off for a jaunt halfway around the globe, so if you want to feel like you're taking a little Europe vacation right here in the U.S., there's a New England city that celebrates Poland and all of its charm.

New Britain, Connecticut, doesn't only have a European-inspired name, but the entire city has such a large Polish influence that it has been properly deemed "Little Poland." Polish immigrants came here in droves in the 19th century, and by 1930, a particular section of Broad Street came to be known as Little Poland. Today, New Britain has the largest Polish population in the entire state of Connecticut. So, if you don't feel like paying for a flight to Kraków but still want your fix of pierogis and vodka, a visit to New Britain is in order.

Eat your way through Little Poland

Broad Street is where you'll be spending most of your time to best experience Little Poland, and let's face it, there's no quicker way to transport to another destination than through cuisine. Luckily, there's no shortage of great Polish food here.

Head to Polonia Taste, a hole-in-the-wall, no-frills eatery serving authentic Polish dishes. The pierogis, cabbage rolls, and potato pancakes are simply divine. Roly Poly Bakery is another dining destination not to be missed. Order some freshly baked bread and pastries, and if you're more in the mood for something savory, go for their fried kielbasa, sauerkraut soup, and pierogis with fillings like potato, cheeses, and meats. For a unique market experience, Polmart is a fun way to feel like you're grocery shopping in Warsaw or Kraków. This specialty market sells everything, from Polish candies to prepared dishes like hunter stew and Polish casserole.

Attend the annual Little Poland Festival

If you really want to go above and beyond in experiencing the best of Little Poland, head to New Britain's annual Little Poland Festival. The festival's next date is set for June 9, 2024. The Little Poland Festival was founded in 2012, originally drawing 600 people. The festival grew quickly in popularity and now attracts closer to 35,000 visitors. It's a great family-friendly activity and gives visitors the chance to try Polish food, see traditional Polish costumes, and experience Polish culture.

If you can't make your dates work for the Little Poland Festival, New Britain is also home to the Dozynki Festival, also known as the Polish Harvest Festival. Dates of the festival vary, but it usually falls toward the end of August. The festival is a celebration of the harvest and fresh crops of New England and is never short on fun Polish activities. Expect entertainment like traditional folk-dancing performances and singing, goods available for purchase by Polish vendors, and plenty of options for great Polish food.