PSA: Krakow has some of the best food in the world, and certainly the best food in Poland! I was blown away by the number of multi-Michelin star restaurants, the variety of international cuisines, and even the incredible flavor of regular street food. We spent four days exploring the beautiful old city of Krakow, so we got to sample quite a few restaurants while we were at it. Here’s a quick taste of what Krakow has to offer!
Full disclosure, this is definitely a touristy restaurant, but it was close to our hotel, and they for sure had Polish food, which is what we were looking for. We were weary after a long walk with luggage, delayed train trip, and another long walk, so it fit the bill!
I was looking for Bigos at the time, which is an authentic Polish dish made with sauerkraut and meat. Steve had a potato pancake with mushroom sauce and cabbage. The best part was really the salad I had, though. It was a pear, goat cheese, and walnuts.
Keep eating: The Foods You Must Try in Poland
On our first morning in Krakow, well-rested and ready to attack the day, I set out to find breakfast and get some photos of the Main Square before the crowds came. One thing I learned on this excursion was that most breakfast restaurants don’t open until 9:00 or 10:00… and I was out before 8:00am!
The other thing I learned was that every restaurant on the Main Square has outdoor seating with amazing views of Krakow’s most iconic sites! My husband met me here for breakfast that morning and chose the scrambled eggs with bacon and fresh bread. I picked the Polish breakfast, including scrambled eggs, salad, and Polish sausages.
More here: What to Know Before You Visit Krakow
Chimney Cake Bakery
These are very popular throughout Eastern Europe, but would you believe this is the first time I ever tried one? The first time I visited Poland, Slovakia, and Czech Republic over a decade ago, I didn’t want to spend the money for one! Little did I know what I was missing. This sweet, yeasted bread is wrapped around a wooden mould and baked in a rotisserie-style oven.
My classic chimney cake came coated with a layer of butterscotch inside, and my husband chose the most popular thing on the menu: The Nutella Brownie Dream, complete with ice cream and brownie bites!
Keep reading: What to Know Before You Visit Poland
This is one of the best meals I’ve ever had, anywhere in the world. I had never eaten at a Michelin starred restaurant before, but now I kind of get the hype. It was actual perfection. Everything was well-seasoned, cooked perfectly, and served beautifully. Sara Ges is “Grey Goose” in Polish, so I had the goose pierogi (how could I not?). Steve ordered the duck, and we split side dishes of seasoned potatoes and mushrooms with Parmesan cheese. Typing it out does not do justice to the taste, and neither do the photos!
The real treat of the evening, however, was the Szara Ges dessert. The only description on the menu was “Grey Goose.” The waiter told me, “It’s a big surprise. Or, I can describe it to you.” I told him I LOVE surprises! You can only imagine my delight when this whimsical, whispy, white cloud-like dessert came to the table for Steve and me to share.
It was a goose egg! The egg itself was covered in white chocolate, inside was a vanilla mousse, and inside of that was a “yolk” of mango-lemon curd. It sat on top of a chocolate base, and the whole thing was nestled inside a white cotton candy nest. It was so fun to eat, but also incredibly classy and over-the-top! I highly recommend the grey goose dessert!
We loved this little sidewalk cafe practically across the street from our hotel. It was so tiny, but so cute, and they had such amazing food! Their pastries were massive, but their breakfast fare was also hearty. And the walnut latte was a great way to start the day! Steve’s Polish country breakfast was so huge, and my camembert and prosciutto croissant was smaller hit the spot for me. It’s a great place for breakfast or lunch on the day you plan to visit Wawel Castle, too—it’s just steps away!
Okay, we made an epic fail… We visited the Jewish Quarter on Shabbat! So the sites we were there to see were closed. Luckily, however, several of the restaurants were open. We ate lunch at Ariel, which they told us is the “oldest, most famous restaurant in the Jewish Krakow.” I’m sure it is, and it was also delicious.
Steve got their chicken in a mushroom sauce with special latkes—made into a loaf and sliced instead of the traditional method. I had… You guessed it, pierogis! Mine were stuffed with spinach this time. I just love pierogis!
When we asked the front desk people at our hotel about where to get the best pizza in town (my husband’s personal favorite), the unanimous vote was for Boccanera. It did not disappoint! Steve’s choice was the quattro formaggi with the insalata con arancia. We often split a pizza and a salad when we go to pizza restaurants, and these were two of the best we’ve ever had!
To top it off, we had to try the Boccanera and aranas al cocoa desserts. The Boccanera was an orange-shaped and colored dessert filled with marscapone and a forest fruit center. My aranas al cocco was a grilled wedge of pineapple, topped with coconut ice cream and mint.
More here: Check out my dedicated World Foods Page for more about food from all over the world!
Another day, another breakfast with a view! This is one of the handful of restaurants on the Main Square that was open before 9:00am for breakfast, and we scored a fabulous view of St. Mary’s while we were there. I had maybe the best vanilla latte of my life (how is that possible, right?), and we both had one of the heartiest breakfasts of our trip. Take a look!
Cafe Grodzka 59
Our first few days in Poland were actually pretty chilly, even in early August! Thankfully, by the time we got to Krakow at the end of our trip, temperatures were well into summer levels… And that meant it was time for a cold, sweet treat! We stopped into a little (very tiny!) lody, or ice cream, shop one day, and it was the perfect way to escape the afternoon heat with a cup of fudge ice cream and a delicious pineapple gelato.
Our second experience at a Michelin starred restaurant on this trip is rivaled only by the first. This amazing restaurant is nestled into a little spot off the Main Square, and they have the most beautiful back patio for the ultimate old world feel. They have traditional Polish food, which is just what we wanted for our last night in Krakow.
We started with the veal pierogis (again, how could we not?). Steve got the lamb (cooked to perfection), and I got the most boring thing on the menu, yet somehow it was incredible: Stuffed cabbage. Honestly, it was so flavorful, I can’t even believe it. They came filled with buckwheat and mushrooms. And they were amazing. Steve’s Polish grandmother used to make them, and even he said they never tasted as good as these!
Also there was apple pie for dessert. It was also amazing. And it begged the question, is it “as American as apple pie,” or “as Polish?” Apple pie was on practically every menu in Poland, but none was as beautiful and delicious as this one!
Keep reading: The Top 10 Things to Do in Krakow, Poland
Street Food: Bagel
Polish bagels are a little different from the regular type of bagel you may be used to in the United States. They are larger around, thinner, and more like an oval. There was a bagel vendor with a little blue cart on practically every street corner, in every city we visited in Poland. I picked a poppyseed bagel on our last morning in Krakow.
I know, it seems like all we did in Krakow was eat. That’s almost true, but not quite! This last breakfast was just too pretty not to write about it, as you can see. This little cafe was inside the Old City, but it’s off the beaten path enough that it’s not a “touristy” spot. This was one of the largest meals I had—I couldn’t finish, despite my best efforts!
Don’t forget this! Your Guide to Train Travel in Poland
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