by Eleanor Quarles
If you’ve never been to Eva’s European Sweets, you’re missing out. The name evokes visions of a cute little bakery, but this restaurant, bar, and bakery is so much more. At Eva’s, you’ll find the best authentic Polish food in Syracuse – hands down.
First, the food: prepare for some of the best pierogies around. This classic dish is savory, rich, and perfectly filling. We ordered the potato, cheese, and bacon variety – featured on the specials menu at the time. They were the best pierogi I’ve ever had, and that’s coming from someone with Polish family.
The placki (potato pancakes) and kielbasa are also definitely worth a try. The kielbasa was delicious and perfectly cooked; worlds better than your traditional grocery store sausage. The placki comes in three varieties: ziemniaczane, with just sour cream or applesauce, kapuśniaczki, with sauerkraut and bacon, and Hungarian style. Eva’s placki Hungarian style, with spicy meat sauce, was actually featured on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives back in 2013. We opted for the placki ziemniaczane with sour cream (sorry, Guy Fieri), which was simple but flavorful. It tasted very similar to a latke, perfectly crisp and buttery, and great with the sour cream to cut through the oil in the dish.
If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, look no further than their dessert case. Pick a piece of whatever elaborate cake or pastry catches your eye and take a slice home for later. Off the menu, the naleśniki is amazing. These Polish crêpes are filled with farmer’s cheese, drizzled with chocolate, powdered sugar, and cinnamon, and accompanied by strawberries cut into the shape of roses. The cheese inside is reminiscent of ricotta, and gives the dessert a little kick of savory flavor. If crêpes aren’t your thing, they also offer the same cheesy dessert in pierogi form, along with blueberry pierogies.
And you can’t forget about the bar. Eva’s has a full bar with a variety of fun cocktails on the drink menu. We got a refreshing Polish mule, which is basically just a regular Moscow mule but made with Polish rye vodka. If you’re feeling adventurous, they also serve a large selection of Polish vodkas and beers.
The environment in the restaurant is cozy and inviting, and in warm months, diners can eat out back in the fairy-light ringed garden. Eva’s serves high quality Eastern European food at a good price. You’d be hard pressed to find better Polish cuisine in the area. It’s one of our favorite – and most underrated – dinner spots in Syracuse.