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Food central is definitely around the Old Town Square. Away from Old Town, Zagroda Bamberska (Koscielna 43; tel. 61/843-41-14) offers regional cuisine and is worthy of attention. If you want to try Poznan's version of dans le noir (eating in the dark), make a reservation at the Dark Restaurant (Garbary 48; tel. 61/852-91-70; www.darkrestaurant.pl).

Potato Heads! -- Folks here are more potato-obsessed than the rest of the country. Pyry means potatoes in Poznan's dialect. It is also an affectionate nickname for the locals.

No Bloody Way -- Don't miss the opportunity to try czernina, a soup made from duck's blood and bits of offal. Once upon a time (when kings ruled the land), if the parents in aristocratic households were to reject the proposal for their daughter's hand in marriage, they would dole out czernina to the unsuccessful suitor before sending him on his way. Such a scene was enacted in the epic poem "Pan Tadeusz" written by Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz. Apparently, saying no with czernina is still practiced in the countryside. The best place for czernina (and roast duck) -- without having to propose to someone -- is at Hacjenda (Morasko 38; tel. 61/812-52-78; www.hacjenda.poznan.pl), located in the northern suburbs of Poznan. Reservations recommended on weekends.

Cafes

Zydowska Street in the Old Town is the cafe mile. In good weather, the loveliest cloistered garden to escape to is Cocorico Café (Swietosawska 9; tel. 61/852-95-29). Sweets lovers vouch for the classic apple pies, cheesecakes, and cherry tarts. In winter, the indoor pub-like space can get smoky. Next door is Weranda Caffe (Swietosawska 10; tel. 61/853-25-87; www.zielonaweranda.pl). It also has a lovely patio out back. The delicious walnut meringue with a creamy mascarpone filling could feed two. The wait staff is young and sometimes inattentive and petulant. The sister outlet is Zielona Weranda (Paderewskiego 7; tel. 61/851-32-90).

Saintly Buns -- Rogale Swieto Marcinskie is a croissant-shaped sweet bread with a poppy-seed and dried-fruit filling and a nut-encrusted glazed exterior. Having qualified for the EU's Protected Designation of Origin label, the sweet bread is in the rarefied company of items made only in a particular geographic region, such as Parma ham and champagne. The buns are for sale all year, but the most festive time to eat them is on Saint Martin's Day (Nov 11), when residents reportedly wolf down 300 tons' worth. Find them in the Old Town at Cukiernia Gruszecki (Stary Rynek 50; tel. 61/826-81-07) or in an alleyway off Sw Marcin at the no-frills "since 1958" Pracownia Cukiernia Sodki Kacik  (Sw Marcin 26; tel. 61/852-06-34).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.