St. Dominic’s Fair in Gdansk: regional food and handicraft
St. Dominic’s Fair is a celebration with 759 years of tradition that each year attracts to Gdańsk almost 6 million visitors. For twenty-three days the city is a melting pot full of concerts and cultural events. The heart of the Fair, however, beats on each and every one of the thousands of stalls full of antiques, crafted goods and excellent food.
To fully enjoy the Fair, you should spend an entire day to explore it. Stalls are spaced in a vast area that needs to be covered on foot. While you’re at it, you’ll be able to see Gdańsk at its finest. Along the way, there are numerous historic buildings with elaborate architectural embellishments, monuments, and romantic streets.
Slice of bread with lard and “bigos” on the St. Dominic’s Fair in Gdansk
This year, the St. Dominic’s Fair in Gdansk will feature 6 culinary stations offering food from around the world. The catering stalls will offer, among others, pulled beef and pork, savoury croissants, Spanish tapas, Chinese dumplings, currywurst sausages, Alsatian flammekeuche, as well as burgers. Polish cusine will also be showcased, in its most rustic form: a slice of bread with lard and pickled cucumber, shashliks, and traditional bigos with potatoes. Those craving Polish highland flavours will find the traditional Polish smoked cheese, oscypek, on almost every corner of the Fair, served cold and hot with crannberry. And freshly made lemonade or a glass of local cider will be the best refreshment.
If you have a sweet tooth, there will be macaroons, natural ice-cream, fluffy waffles, chocolate-dipped fruit, and Hungarian colacs, among others. And if street food is not your story, you can check out the wide range of stalls at the new quay of the Granary Island (Wyspa Spichrzów). There, you will find “Słony Spichlerz” (Salty Granary), and elegant food hall overlooking Motława river, that offers varied cuisine, sweet and savoury. Vegan palates will also be satisfied.
Leather crafts, amber and Gdańsk thalers
Diversity is the best word for assortment that can be found at the Fair. Starting with leather goods: bags, slippers, shoes or sachets, through wooden rolling pins, sculptures of angels, to porcelain with Kashubian ornaments. Everyone will find what they’re looking for. Stalls are full of amber jewelery, which is a symbol of Gdansk, and our attention was drawn by wicker baskets woven on the spot and bracelets, combined with the chosen star sign, made by Gdańsk-based company, “W Hand Works” ( Grobla III street). On the same street you will find beautiful and colorful handbags from the local brand “Mana Mana”. Continuing down the street, it’s hard to pass the 3D Sea Maps and Mandalas, hand-crafted by artists from Avocado Creative Workshop (Avocado Pracownia Twórcza). If you’re looking for adorable children’s clothes, you should definitely stop by Stągiewna street. There, you will find everything from tiny coveralls to blouses with rabbit ears from the Gdynia-based “Uszyte” brand. On the other hand, stall of of the Mint of Gdańsk ( Straganiarska 12 street) you can purchase coins and commemorative Gdańsk thalers.
Antiques, vinyl records and huge sculptures
St. Dominic’s Fair has for years had a special section where sellers present antiques and old trinkets. At Długie Ogrody street, you will find stalls with virtually everything. Just looking at all the items makes you happy. The thing that attracts the most attention is natural-sized sculptures of animals and mythical figures, as well as wooden pendulum clocks. It’s also a real candy store for music connoisseurs, with hundreds of vinyl records. If you’re style-conscious you’ll be more than happy to explore dozens of coffee tables, chairs, and chests of drawers that look like taken straight from the Palace of Versailles.