Polish national cuisine in Krakow: what and where to try
Polish cuisine in Krakow

Polish national cuisine in Krakow: what and where to try

The national cuisine of Poland is famous for its hearty and delicious dishes, the basis of which is simple — meat, milk, cabbage, potatoes, sausages. Each region of the country has its own special gastronomic preferences, and to fully experience the life of the city, I will tell you what and where to try in Krakow.

The Polish zloty (1 PLN) is approximately 0.24 €.

Where to try Polish cuisine in Krakow

Street food

Obwarzanek (Obwarzanek krakowski)

It is a two-piece loaf of dough boiled in salted water and then baked, similar to a bagel or bagel. There are three types: sprinkled with poppy seeds, salt, or sesame seeds.

Obwazhanek is a culinary symbol of the city, prepared strictly according to a patented recipe. Blue trays with the typical Krakow treat are found at every turn in places with a high concentration of tourists. The locals enjoy these simple pastries as much as the tourists do.

Price: 1,80—2 PLN (~0,5 €).
Obvazhanek with salt
Obvazhanek with salt
A tray with traditional Krakow bagels
A tray with traditional Krakow bagels

Zapiekanka.

Residents and tourists call the casserole the queen of Polish fast food: it is a huge baguette baked with all kinds of fillings (mushrooms, sausages, meat, spinach, cheese) and generously poured with two kinds of sauce on top. The history of the casserole is banal — in socialist Poland of the 70s people lived poorly, so they invented an appetizer of bread, mushrooms and cheese, which later transformed into a hearty street food. The baguette is often taken for two, or you can just buy half a portion.

Where to try: Zapiekanki u Endziora, Krakowskie Zapiekanki «Lajkonik» on Plac Nowy (market in Kazimierz).

Price: 7 — 15 PLN per baguette
Casseroles with ham, chicken and pickles
Casseroles with ham, chicken and pickles
"Lajkonik" in Kazimierz.
«Lajkonik» in Kazimierz.

Sausages (Kiełbaski)

It’s simple and delicious — the famous Polish sausages served with a slice of bread, mustard or ketchup. Often there are two sausages in a portion at once. In summer, they are not often seen on the streets of the city, but in winter they are the main culinary attribute of the city fairs. Residents of the city unanimously recommend tasting sausages from the blue van under Hala Targowa — Kielbaski Pod Hala Targowa.

Opening hours: from 20:00 to 03:00, Sunday is a day off.

Grilled sausages
Grilled sausages

Oscypek (Oscypek)

It is a salty cheese made from sheep’s milk and smoked on the grill. They are served with cranberry jam. Like sausages, oscypki are hard to find in Krakow in summer. The smell of smoked cheese fills the streets only after the Christmas fairs open. You can try oscypek in the off-season in the spa town of Zakopane near the Tatra Mountains.

Price: 1.50 PLN per serving.
Osszupek with cranberry jam.
Osszupek with cranberry jam.

Trdlo, or trdelnik.

A sweet pastry tube made of dough with chocolate cream, nuts, cream or ice cream is known as a traditional pastry in a number of European countries — Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria. There are also fans of trdl in Poland; trdelniki bakeries are equally popular with locals and tourists.

Where: Chimney Cake Bakery

Price: 8 — 16 PLN
Trdelnik with chocolate cream and coconut shavings
Trdelnik with chocolate cream and coconut shavings
Chimney Cake Bakery
Chimney Cake Bakery
Chimney Cake Bakery is inside
Chimney Cake Bakery is inside

What to try in the establishments

Krakow’s cuisine is not unlike the traditional Polish cuisine found throughout the country. I will tell you about the main Polish dishes that can be found in restaurants and cafes in Krakow.

Żurek (Żurek) is a traditional Polish thick soup made with rye flour sourdough. The essential ingredients of Żurek are sausages of various kinds and boiled eggs. Sometimes served in bread.

Jurek
Jurek

Chłodnik is a cold soup based on kefir, beets and fresh vegetables.

Zupa pomidorowa is a soup with tomatoes in their own juice, with rice or pasta added. It is the second most popular soup in Poland after zurek.

Tomidorova
Tomidorova

Bigos is a cabbage stew with meat and sausages, one of the most popular and famous hot dishes in Poland. Bigos is often served in bread and has as much smoked meat as the cabbage itself.

Bigos
Bigos

Pierogi are nothing but our dumplings, which Poles serve boiled or fried. There are many variants for fillings — salted perogi with potatoes, cabbage, meat, spinach, and sweet ones with strawberries, raspberries, and cherries.

If you come across the menu item «pierogi ruskie», be prepared to try dumplings with potatoes and cottage cheese. Why the Poles gave this filling a Russian origin remains a mystery.

Perogies with onion roast
Perogies with onion roast

Pork chop (Kotlet schabowy) — similar to Wiener schnitzel, traditionally served with boiled potatoes and three types of vegetable salads, a popular item on the menu of many cafes.

Pork chop with potatoes and salads
Pork chop with potatoes and salads

National cuisine in Krakow

Milkbar Tomasza

Milk bars are a format of Polish catering establishments, which is similar to domestic canteens. The price tag in milk bars is much cheaper than in regular cafes and restaurants, and the menu consists of home-cooked and national dishes. Milkbar Tomasza is located in the historical center, but a little away from the main tourist flow, so you can often find a free place in the bar. The portions are large and the prices are affordable.

Opening hours: from 09:00 to 20:00, Monday — day off.

Milkbar Tomasza
Milkbar Tomasza
Milkbar Tomasza is inside
Milkbar Tomasza is inside

Smakołyki

The café is located near the Jagiellonian University of Krakow, so local students are the main part of visitors at any time of the year. A vegetarian menu is organically integrated into the dishes of traditional Polish cuisine.

Opening hours: from 09:00 to 22:00

Bar Mleczny «Pod Temidą»

Another milk bar in the center of Krakow. Everything is the same — big portions, delicious food and low prices.

Opening hours: 09:00 to 20:00.

Milk bar
Milk bar

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