From the outside, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Oberża Pod Czerwonym Wieprzem (“The Inn Under the Red Hog”) is an ordinary Warsaw grill serving up a few standard pork-related dishes to the public. After all, the name and the rather large depiction of a pig on the outside of the restaurant would have the unenlightened tourist believe this
But this is a place steeped in legend—communist legend, to be exact. Step through the doors, and you’ll be greeted by the peculiar sight of the world’s most infamous dictators staring down from portraits hung along the walls. The tables will likely be crowded with Warsaw locals and lovers of Soviet nostalgia alike, looking for a taste of the bygone days of socialism.
The Red Hog is dedicated to communist-era food, and the myths and legends that the restaurant embellishes—nobody is quite certain how much truth is in its origin story—have only served to enhance its reputation and draw in those hungry customers in need of a communist-themed dinner.
The story goes that the Red Hog was the tavern where Poland’s first communists met to discuss revolution. The name “Red Hog” is a throwback to the apparently pork-loving reds who ate and drank at the pub. Legend even has it that a certain Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, a man known to the world as Lenin, frequented the Red Hog sometime in the 1900s.
The likes of Fidel Castro and Nikita Khrushchev will look down upon you as you decide whether to dine like a dictator and order “Wild Boar a la Tito” (a nod to Josip Broz Tito) or, to keep things slightly more humble, with a simple portion of the Proletariat’s Cutlet.
If you’re in a more capitalist mood though, then you can always try “President Jimmy Carter’s Burger,” styled after a burger that was supposedly served to Carter on a visit to Warsaw in 1977. The no-nonsense “Capitalist Norwegian Salmon” is the choice for fish lovers, while if you’re here for a Red Hog classic, then you can’t go wrong with a nibble on the “First Secretary’s Pork Loins.”