On a weekday at lunchtime at Pod Barbakanem, turnover is high, and the milk bars' contentious politics go largely unnoticed. Its menu is still brimming with Polish favorites: clear lima bean borscht has a vinegar bite, while the Ukrainian variety is bulked up with meat, and fuchsia chłodnik soup, also beet-based, is thickened with yogurt. Pierogi, straight out the boiling pot, are garnished with lard renderings that crackle and melt in the mouth like pop rocks. In the way of Polish staples, there’s little left to be desired. And whether you’re a native, an exchange student, or an American tourist, it’s a slice of local life that just about anyone can take part in. "Many other social activities are more exclusive to different groups [or] interests or tastes,” said Michał Kielan, an artist in Wrocław. “This is one of the most inclusive places you can imagine. Because everybody has to eat."