18 Best Restaurants in Krakow, Poland

Bottiglieria 1881

$$$ | Kazimierz Fodor's choice
This small place is something else: an elegant wine cellar, rediscovered and resurrected after have been buried some hundred years, deep in the old Kazimierz quarter. The small, high-quality menu is constructed primarily to accompany wine, and yet it is a serious affair: although the menu is small, the quality is high. Wines are taken seriously here, and the sommelier has a particular affinity for wines from northern Italy, particularly the Piedmont and Veneto regions. You can have a full gourmet meal or a selection of delicious wine snacks. The owners and staff are passionate and knowledgeable about their list and are happy to share wine stories, if you're in the mood to listen. Take a peek into the vault—the heart of the place. Reservations are essential, and this is definitely not a place for kids.

Copernicus

$$$$ | Stare Miasto Fodor's choice

This top-class restaurant in one of the city's top hotels is on one of Kraków's loveliest corners, at the foot of Wawel Hill. The imaginative menu is made up of classic Polish dishes—albeit the dishes you might find on the table of a typically aristocratic table—enriched with a cosmopolitan twist. The menu changes according to seasons or Chef Marcin Filipkiewicz's creativity—at one point it featured, for instance, foie gras roasted with apples and a touch of mead and quail with spinach accompanied by potato blini. You can also get special tasting menus of five to twelve courses. In summer you can dine on the rooftop terrace, with some of the best views in the city.

Petite France

$ | Stare Miasto Fodor's choice
This lovely French bistro, with its friendly staff and a happy chef who often dances in the kitchen, stays open from morning until night. You can pop in practically any time for a croque monsieur or a more substantial dish from their not-so-small and very scrumptious menu, which manages to be both simple and sophisticated at the same time. If you're feeling adventurous, you can try cuisses de grenouilles (frog legs with parsley) or escargot. The selection of cheeses and other delicacies is excellent, all imported from France. The locals sometimes pop in to buy some cheese and baguette to take home and be on their way, but the space is so inviting that they may stay for a cup of coffee. The huge window offers a perfect vantage point for observing life passing through Szpitalna Street, and the lovely brick vault above is conducive to dreaming.

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Aqua e Vino

$$ | Stare Miasto

Venetian owners Roberto and Francesco believe in a hands-on approach to running their restaurant, so they're nearly always present: taking orders, chatting with customers, and checking to make sure that everything is okay. In fact, the homemade pastas, tiramisu, and sgroppino cocktails (made with Prosecco and lemon sorbet) are more than okay—they are excellent. The Italian community in Kraków call this place their second home.

Cechowa

$ | Stare Miasto
To some extent, visiting Cechowa resembles time travel. The decor, the menu, the hairdos of the staff (as well as the staff themselves) have not changed in decades. This is the place to sample traditional dishes such as raw beef tartare (always fresh), bigos (sour cabbage and meat stew, a traditional hunter's dish), or a meat roulade wrapped around pickled cucumbers and served with buckwheat and gravy. It's all honest, no-nonsense, traditional Polish food. Furthermore, Cechowa will not bankrupt your budget since prices remain very reasonable.

Chimera Salad Bar

$ | Stare Miasto

Be prepared for some difficult choices at Kraków's most popular salad bar: the selection of nourishing salads and other savory staples is almost overwhelming. In winter, you can pick baked potatoes (free of charge) from an open fireplace in the cozy downstairs cellar. In summer, garden seating opens in the shaded inner courtyard.

Chłopskie Jadło

$$ | Stare Miasto

This restaurant's name means "Peasant Kitchen," but this is the most entertaining interpretation of that theme imaginable. All meals come with complimentary bread and lard, and the menu is an artery-clogging cross section of traditional Polish peasant cuisine. For a starter try the żurek (stone soup) made from soured barley; then indulge in the very traditional main course of cabbage rolls stuffed with sauerkraut and grits in a mushroom sauce. To tell the truth, this is simple, unsophisticated food; and yet it has remained unceasingly popular for more than two decades.

Farina

$$$ | Stare Miasto

True to its logo (a sack of flour and a fish), this restaurant offers consistently good fish, seafood, and homemade pasta. In addition to Mediterranean fare, there is also a selection of typically Polish dishes. A special selection of seafood is offered Thursday through Sunday. Whatever you order, first you will get Farina's trademark appetizer of an excellent truffle-and-mushroom pâté to spread on scrumptious little rolls. There's a good selection of wines, including a great dry Prosecco that would stand up to any champagne.

Fitagain Cafe

$ | Stare Miasto
This health-conscious cafeteria a few steps from the Rynek is a great choice for breakfast, but it continues to serve fresh and tasty bites late into the evening. Daily lunch specials come in both vegetarian and nonvegetarian versions. You can also order smoothies, fresh fruit juices, organic snacks, and cakes, plus excellent specialty coffee all day. The latter is a locally roasted brand with great quality, and portion sizes are large. Never too much of a good thing!

Marchewka z groszkiem

$ | Kazimierz
It may be difficult to find a better dining deal in Kazimierz—or, indeed, in the whole of Kraków. Carrot with Peas focuses on simple dishes, many of the milk bar variety, meaning fresh and inexpensive food such as pancakes, potato cakes, and soups. The atmosphere, though, is not that of a milk bar, but a grandmother's dining room with wooden tables and chairs. Homey and cozy, it's very busy most of the time.

Nolio

$ | Kazimierz
Here's the one and only place in Kraków serving authentic Neapolitan pizza (made with AVPN certificate no. 584) in different variations, plus excellent desserts. The modern interior is sophisticated but still cozy, and service is prompt, polite, and friendly, and there's a nice courtyard for outdoor dining in the summer. It's so little and so much at the same time. Hint: check out the black and white ermines, part of an art installation playfully based on Leonardo da Vinci's "Lady with an Ermine." Although Nolio isn't small, reservations are essential, and in a short time this place has become one of Kraków's favorites.
Krakowska 27, Kraków, 31-062, Poland
12-346–24–49
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. No lunch Tues.–Fri.

Paese

$$ | Stare Miasto

The only Corsican restaurant in Poland—and one of the first memorable restaurants of the post-communist era—Paese was an immediate success, and it remains so two decades later. The restaurant consists of a series of pleasant, simple, tavernlike rooms. The menu is extensive enough that you're bound to find something appetizing—perhaps Calvi tenderloin, served in blue-cheese sauce and best accompanied by dumplings. Should you decide to sample the excellent tarte tatin, order it at the beginning of your meal, as it is always freshly prepared from scratch. Despite their essential constancy, both the interior and the menu get subtle face-lifts every now and again.

ul. Poselska 24, Kraków, 31-002, Poland
012-421–62–73
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted, Reservations essential

Pod Aniołami

$$ | Stare Miasto

Legend has it that this downstairs cellar was once an alchemist's lab. These days, Under the Angels is one of the more tastefully furnished restaurants in Kraków, with excellent interpretations of Polish cuisine. Try smoked sheep's-milk cheese warmed under the grill, then one of the delectable preparations of pork loin. You will also find well done simple dishes such as traditional Polish soups and the ubiquitous pierogi.

ul. Grodzka 35, Kraków, 31-001, Poland
012-421–39–99
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted, Reservations essential

Pod Różą

$$$ | Stare Miasto

Built in the converted courtyard of a tenement house, Under the Rose is airy, spacious, elegant, and contained under a glass roof. A seasonally changing, contemporary menu is matched by impeccable service; there is nightly live piano music. Pheasant with foie gras in a French pastry crust is just one of many mouthwatering options. The chefs make their own pastas, ice cream, and bread. Adjoining sister restaurant Amarone serves slightly cheaper, but no less delicious, mostly Mediterranean cuisine, and it offers great price deals at lunchtime.

Studio Twój Kucharz

$$
Off the beaten path, in an unlikely, postindustrial area of Podgórze called Zabłocie, this little restaurant is worth the trip on its own. Even better, you can combine it with a visit to the Oskar Schindler Enamel Factory and Museum of Contemporary Art, both of which are nearby. The concept is perfect: an open kitchen, a team of enthusiastic and talented chefs, and a small menu that changes with the seasons. For the most part ingredients are fresh, organic, and usually local, but sometimes exotic. Influences can be seen far and wide: Polish, European, Asian, and the chefs experiment with flavors, textures, and forms. The atmosphere may be hip and casual, but don't be fooled: this is a serious restaurant. It is also reasonably priced, especially for lunch. The staff are happy to suggest wine pairings by the glass, a nice touch. Do call for reservations; the restaurant is popular and is also sometimes be closed for workshops or events.

Wierzynek

$$$$ | Stare Miasto

Dating to 1364, this was the only upscale restaurant in Kraków during the gray days of socialism and remains one of the city's best-known upscale dining spots, a place where customers (and their dollars) are once again kings. Though still popular, the present state of the food and service makes us cautious. Traditional offerings on the menu include trout with almonds, roast duck with apples, and saddle of deer in juniper sauce. Dining rooms on upper floors are stylishly furnished and decorated with historical paintings, armor, and clocks. The new addition of a grill garden is rather tacky.

Zakładka Bistro

$$
What luck that award-winning chef Rafał Targosz, who has worked in top restaurants, has decided to open his own bistro in Kraków! The small but wide-ranging menu draws from both Polish and French culinary traditions and changes seasonally, but pay particular attention to the dishes of the day written out on a blackboard. The chef seems to do an equally good job with meat and fish, and both the soups and desserts are well worth your consideration. Zakładka takes reservations—which are strongly recommended. It's located just across the Vistula from Kazimierz, at the end of the footbridge.

Zazie Bistro

$$ | Kazimierz
Zazie has what all restaurants should have: a simple committment to serve consistently good meals. Its constancy has been rewarded by a steady stream of customers, most of them locals. Yes, you should definitely book in advance! Some return to this French bistro specifically for the mussels served with homemade, Belgian-style fries. Others choose meat and seafood dishes—mostly French classics but some with a creative twist. There is also a selection of simple lunchtime snacks such as quiches and salads to supplement the midday set menus. Homemade lemonade and great desserts round out the offerings.