Last year, my aunt and I visited Krakow to do our Christmas shopping. While there, we stayed just off the main market square in a neat little hostel. Every morning we were awoken to the smell of fresh food coming from the market below. It was the perfect place to find homemade, tasty foods and drinks for the family. I bought everything from honey, homemade wine to delicious handmade biscuits. It was perfect. The snowy landscape made the hot foods even better, as it warmed you from the inside out. I enjoyed it so much I'm hoping to go back next year.
The Rynek, Market Square, Old Town
Google map: bit.ly/v0TgXw
Hala Targowa is a bit off the beaten track in Krakow - I found it by getting lost - but is a genuine market for locals, piled up with produce from nearby farms, and also cheap. I bought 1kg of succulent strawberries for 2zl last summer. Wonderful fruit and veg in mouthwatering displays, as well as flowers with cheese, bread and meat to the side. There's also haberdashery, clothes etc. A short walk away is where pigeon and rabbit swapping goes on in another small market at Plac Nowy twice a week: you have to get up early but it's worth it.
Hala Targowa is to the south-east of Wawel Castle on Grzegorzecka street close to the viaduct. Plac Nowy is in the Jewish Kazimierz district.
Google map: bit.ly/glfOSv
A small bookshop and cafe with wonderful coffee, biscuits and cake, a clean loo and friendly staff. You can sit undisturbed and gaze out of the open door or sit outside if fine. Located on a very attractive street close to the main centre.
Ul. Kanonicka, Krakow. Opposite Mary Magdalene Square.
A little restaurant in the heart of Krakow's old Jewish ghetto, this is a slightly bonkers but very endearing place to dine. The menu is simple, with possibly no more than a dozen dishes including starters, mains and desserts. And be advised, if you order a plate of pirogi (the local dumplings) then you get just that. 'Just' that: no salad, sides, or even sauce. Despite this the food is delicious (I can also recommend the duck with cranberry).
The decor is quirky, full of history, and the tables are an eclectic mix of old sewing desks and things which resemble small workbenches.
While my girlfriend and I were there they had a band, doing instrumental classic pop covers as an accordion and electric organ-playing duo. My personal favourite: a brilliantly catchy version of Stevie Wonder's 'Sir Duke'. Genius.
The main square in Krakow's Jewish Quarter, Kazimierz
A relatively new addition to the Krakow Restaurant scene and a delight to find good value delicious food in a pleasant airy dining room with an adjoining characterful bar and garden. Great friendly service.
Kazimerz, just off the main square as you head back to central Krakow underneath the Spartz hotel
Excellent food - a great opportunity to taste traditional, home-made Polish cuisine. Moderately priced, Chlopskie Jadlo is an excellent place for dinner.
Nice description of this and other restaurants in Krakow is here on page 14 www.discoverpl.com/discover_poland_3.pdf
Address: ul. Św. Jana 3 (Old Town)
Restaurant website: www.chlopskiejadlo.pl
Cafe Mlkynek is a gallery, bar and 100% vegetarian cafe nestled in the Kazimierz (Jewish) quarter of Krakow.
Whilst it doesn't have as an extensive menu as some of the other vegetarian places, the food there is superb - totally vegetarian (with some vegan) and really good quality. The onion soup is exceptional!
Unlike the other vegetarian cafes in Krakow the emphasis at Mlkynek is on superb food, good service and relaxing surroundings rather than simply 'healthy' food. This means you can actually get a beer or a bottle of wine with your meal (an essential part of the equation, in my book!).
What is more, like many places in Krakow, the food is unbelievably cheap (though the wine isn't that cheap).
Best beer pub in Krakov - CK Browar (6-7 Ulica Podwale). Best sport bar with good beer and friendly people - Non Iron.(Marka 27). Best cellar bar/restaurant - Piwiica Pod Ztolta Pipa (Florianska 30). We stayed at the excellent Polera Hotel (Szpitalana 30).
All these are in the centre near the main square and everything in walking distance.
A bit shabby on the outside, but go through to the non-smoking restaurant at the back.
Modern, interesting and tasteful decor, the menu not the largest but has a good choice and lovely vegetarian dishes. The best food we have eaten anywhere in the last year, great service and cool music. Excellent wine and all very cheap.
Our meal for two, two courses each, with one large wine and one soft drink came to £24.
ul. Jozefa 14
The Jewish quarter
This restaurant is on the market square, and compared to everywhere else you eat in Krakow, is pretty extortionately priced.
However, this place served the best meal of my life, taking in everything from the food, the service, the ambience, the environment. Everything about it was just 5 star.
They offer a 4 course traditional Polish menu (which ends up being 5 courses with an additional one brought "compliments of the chef") which is just outstanding, from fantastic pierogi to a broth full of flavour and tender beef fillet. Dessert is magnificent and comes with a large glass of cherry vodka to help it down.
Despite this being the most expensive restaurant in Krakow, 5 courses for two plus two bottles of wine and vodka came to £66 in total.
For service better than any michelin starred restaurant in London and quarter of the price, you must come here and experience it. They are so friendly and unpretentious that you could walk in in your jeans and trainers and you wouldn't get a second look from anyone. Definitely worth paying the extra just to experience this place.
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org