by Natalie Anne ❤
Poland was one of those places I never thought I would actually get the opportunity to travel to. My sister, Millie, and I are part Polish, and it has sort of felt like a mystical place that doesn’t exist in our world. After growing up in rural Virginia, Eastern Europe seemed anything but tangible. When imagining Poland, I seemed to always fantasize about medieval pathways and towering Gothic cathedrals. When we magically got the opportunity to venture to Poland, my sister and I found ourselves staying in the historic Jewish quarter of Krakow and we certainly saw our fair share of cathedrals. But what caught us by surprise was just how delicious Polish cuisine is. We expected to experience the pierogis and Kielbasa sausage, but other than that we weren’t too familiar with what exactly classifies Polish food. We blindly found restaurants in every corner of Krakow. And not one of them disappointed us. We have compiled a short list of our favorite restaurants in Krakow to give you just a taste of what culinary delights Krakow has to offer!
After finally getting checked in to our hotel after our 9 hour flight and layover in Belgium, we decided to check out Krakow’s city square and managed to find our perfect first Polish restaurant right in the heart of the city. Even though it was 4 o’clock in the afternoon and we weren’t sure if our meal qualified as a late lunch or early dinner, we eventually settled down with a glass of rosé at Restauracja Szara.
We may have been the only table in the restaurant given our unusual time of arrival, but we thoroughly enjoyed our meal with a bread basket followed by a salad with goat cheese and a perfectly tender chicken dish. This food soothed our empty and queasy souls after a long day of travel.
2. La Campana
Our second recommendation goes to La Campana, a whimsical Italian restaurant tucked on a quiet, picturesque street. We were nestled in a downstairs room wine cellar with brick exposed walls and a soothing ambiance. It was about an hour past noon and we were ready for pasta and red wine. La Campana exceeded our expectations with quite possibly the most delicious Pasta Carbonara we have ever eaten accompanied by an atmosphere that felt like Tuscany.
Right outside our hotel in the Jewish district was a slew of restaurants with patio seating and colored umbrellas, after a long decision process, we finally settled on a restaurant that appeared to offer classic Polish cuisine, pierogis and all. Restauracja AWIW was the perfect location for a relaxed Polish meal. We chose to be seated outside on the street and were given wool blankets to place over our laps after the sun went down. We shared everything we ordered, including pierogis with cheese, potato, and onion as well as a rich bailey’s ice cream sundae and a slice of the house cheesecake all downed with a few glasses of red wine.
After going on an excursion to see Niedzica Castle, our tour bus dropped us off in the center of Krakow exhausted and hungry. Pizza was the move, so we found a nearby Italian restaurant that filled our every need. Paprycyzki Pizzeria won over our hearts and appetites with its laid back atmosphere and tasty food. I ordered a tasty lasagna made with asparagus, ham, and ricotta while Millie ordered a vegetable and cheese pizza that was both easy on the eyes and freshly flavored.
By our last night in Krakow, we wanted a taste of home and found a Tex-Mex inspired restaurant, which offered comforting flavors, but with an added twist of sophisticated Eastern European style. We were seated on their peaceful Spanish-style patio in the back with beautiful mosaic tables and ivy covered walls. It was a warmer day outside so we ordered margaritas and a carafe of refreshing lemon and mint water. We indulged in the chips with salsa and guacamole for our appetizer before diving into a black bean quesadilla and fajitas. Before we could order dessert, it started pouring down rain and we moved inside where we finished our meal with mouth-watering chocolate covered cheesecake lollipops.
If you have a sweet tooth like we do, we suggest a few dessert spots as well.
6. Arlekin Cafe
Arlekin Cafe was a colorful escape from the world with a diverse array of delectable desserts and coffee. Once we saw their specialty ice cream sundaes being brought to a table beside us, we couldn’t resist and ordered a one for ourselves along with a few pieces of cake because it was impossible to pick just one thing.
We always like to try cupcakes everywhere we go for a little pick-me-up if we are in particularly grouchy moods. Luckily, the Cupcake Corner in Krakow gave us the sugar rush we needed to cheer us up. We tried the carrot cake, peanut butter cup, brownie obsession and my favorite, the caramel apple. It’s just a few blocks away from Wawel Castle if you feel the need to treat yo self, and we strongly suggest that you do.
Click the link above for a map of these delicious locations.
If you have any other suggestions of delicious food in Krakow, feel free to comment and share!