One of the main reasons why I was so excited about visiting Poland was the food. I love Polish food, and I’m forever searching up and down the foreign food isle in my local supermarket for Polish food. Yum! One thing did worry me though, I’m quite a fussy eater, well not fussy, plain. I’m a plain eater. Despite this, I wasn’t difficult at all to find delicious food, whether from restaurants, cafes or street vendors. Here’s my personal food tour of Krakow.
Like most foods in Poland, Pierogi is tasty, filling and literally cheaper than chips. I read a few travel guides who recommended a few upmarket restaurants, cafes and milk bars, however we ate most of our food a street market located just off the main market square. The stall offered a wide variety of different fillings for the pierogi, and even gave you the option of having them boiled or fried. I’m quite a fussy eater so went for fried ones filled with beef, spinach and cheese and ones with mushrooms. From the market stall, five dumplings cost us 7 zlotys, which equates to about £1.40! If you were on a budget, dumplings could be a great option for a filling lunch or dinner.
With Polish food being heavily pastry-based, when I first saw oscypek being sold in the local market, I assumed it was a pasrty. If you look at it from the outside it looks like a large thick croissant. But hidden inside is something better than buttery pastry sheets. But what could be better than that, I hear you ask. Well cheese of course! And it’s not only just any normal chedder, it’s a smoky cheese made from goat’s milk.
As I said, I am a very plain eater, so obwarzanek’s were by far my favourite. Basically they are twisted or braided bread that is baked into a large ring shape (no it’s not a bagel!). These are traditionally sold from street carts for around 1.5 zloty. Most days I had one or two in my backpack for a snack for when we were on long tours during the day. Essentially being a doughy bread ring, they were very filling and perfect for transporting around all day. I highly recommend these, if I wasn’t in a hotel I would’ve tried to put some fillings in them.
I also have to give a small shout out to the ice cream in Krakow. Although it was a breezy 13 degrees when I visited, I couldn’t help myself getting a cone. There were just so many amazing flavours I couldn’t say no just because it was cold.
Places Worth Visiting
I remember reading somewhere that Krakow has the highest density of restaurants and bars, and it must be true because there are food and drink options every step you take in krakow. One thing’s for sure, you will never go hungry. We were on a budget so targeted a lot of smaller cafes, street vendors and hit up the market for street food almost every night for dinner and snacks. So here are a few places we absolutely loved.
We discovered this restaurant on our first night by accident. It was raining quite heavily, we had just landed and were looking for somewhere we could grab some food before exploring our surroundings. Europjeski is a cafe restaurant situated on Rynek Glowny, in the north west quadrant of the main market square, round about one in from the main road. Please don’t confuse it with the hotel a few yards away! From the outside it looks like it could be a rowdy irish bar, but as you step in you find that it is in fact an upmarket restaurant offering a variety of luxury local cuisine. Like most resturants in the square, Europejeski also offered outdoor heaters and blankets.
As well as the local artisan and street food, Krakow is laden with Italian restaurants and pizzerias. Some restaurants even incorporate a both. We had passed Pronto many times as its situated on the busy street of Grodzka, but always tried to avoid Italian restaurants so we could immerse ourselves in the local cuisine. However, it was our last afternoon in Krakow and we wanted pizza for a late lunch to see us through our flight back home. We sat road-side and ordered a pizza each; although going by the size we could probably have shared. Well worth a visit if you want a taste of Italy in Poland.
German Bier Halle
Having visited Berlin back in June, I was excited to have found a German bier halle that could offer up my favourite bratwurst and currywurst all on the one plate. With complimentary bread, we tucked into our Bavarian sausage platters with a large stein of weissbier. The bar/restaurant is kitted out with the traditional blue and white checkered pattern and houses a number of large TV screens showing the latest European football games. Well worth a visit if you are look for authentic German food in the heart of Krakow.
If you’ve read any Krakow blogs no doubt someone has mentioned Charlotte’s. It is just so damn lovely and beautiful. They offer home-made fresh pastries, cakes, breads, coffees and even French wine. I ordered a fresh lemonade to go with my croissant and churro (although it was lighter and less greasy than a churro). Charlotte’s is a dreamy little coffee house with rustic wooden tables, spirally stairs and uneven surfaces. A food-bloggers dream! Have a look at the images and see for yourself.
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