Kraków, Poland (and a lot of Pierogi!)

We recently visited Kraków for the first time and absolutely loved it. As some of you may know I actually have Polish roots (one of my Grandads was Polish, from a little town called Turek), so when I was younger I visited Poland many times always to see family but never any well-known tourist places. I would love to see more of Poland, it always feels like a second home to me and brings back lovely memories from when we did go spend time with family.

Here’s a few places worth a visiting for food in Kraków.

During our few days in Poland I wanted to make sure that we ate as much traditional Polish cuisine as possible (as well as drink a lot of Polish beers, and some vodkas of course), however on our first evening we found ourselves in a Traditional Georgian restaurant just off the Old Town Main Square (Stare Miasto); Kuchnia Gruzińska. Although busy, the friendly and very welcoming staff here made sure that we got a table and explained some of the menu to us.

I opted for the Pierogi Chinkali (Khinkali Dumplings) which are a Traditional Georgian dumpling, twisted knobs of dough stuffed with meats and spices (I went with lamb and spices). The waitress explained to me that traditionally you are meant to pick the dumplings up by the thick “stem”, bite into them and drink the soup/juices, before eating the rest but leaving the thick stem which is just very thick dough (and probably not fully cooked). Later my friend from work told me that traditionally people would put vinegar similar to Balsamic inside and some sour cream before drinking the juices from the dumplings. This was a dining experience totally different to what I had tried before, it felt a little strange at first but the dumplings and their fillings were so tasty!

Ben chose the Chicken Shwarma with cheese, fries, salad and a chilli sauce. This may not have been traditional Polish food but it was damn fine comfort food!! The chicken topped with melted cheese was absolutely mouthwatering and the chilli sauce was really spicy, just how we like it. A great late night meal to soak up the beer to come. This restaurant is worth a try if you’re an adventurous foodie, and it wasn’t badly priced either at about £21 for 2 main courses and 2 large beers.

The next day we wandered around the Jewish Quarter and came across a small outdoor Food Market “Judah. It was only just gone midday so was a little quiet but there are some fabulous looking stalls serving different cuisines such as; Pierogi (of course), Burgers, Chimney Cakes, Belgian Fries, Jacket Potatoes, Hot Dogs, and traditional Sandwiches, which is what I went for. My fillings of choice were pulled-pork, bacon, pickles and horseradish. I am glad I was hungry!! The sandwich was massive, so much meat, and the horseradish blew my socks off, it even scared the pigeons away haha! A must-visit area if you’re in Kraków.

If you’re looking for a restaurant serving traditional Polish cuisine in large portions, at very reasonable prices, then we highly recommend Czerwone Korale based not far off the Old Town Main Square again, just down the road from the popular “Bull Pub”. We actually ate here twice the food was that good.  

With it’s tall windows, timber beam ceilings and subtly folk inspired decor, this is a very cosy and inviting place to enjoy dinner. The restaurant serves all the Polish standards, with some creative fusions and everything is very well presented. The quality of food here was a real pleasant surprise. For a meal between 2 people here you’re probably looking at a cost of just £25 (one course and drink each icluding tip) to £45 (two courses including steaks and drinks each). Here’s what we enjoyed here;

  • Beetroot Soup with boiled potatoes, white beans, egg and dill – I really wanted to try a traditional Polish soup and this reminded me of the soups my Auntie used to make when I visited her. Full of flavour and all the ingredients I like!
  • Bigos served in a “bread bowl” stew with meat, mushrooms and dried plums – this is a very warming, rustic meal which we both really enjoyed. The stew was thick and not too wet so you can easily break off some of the chunky bread to eat with the meat as you go.
  • Pierogi both the ones stuffed with meat and the ones stuffed with potatoes, onions and cheese and both dishes came with fried onions on top – such a moreish, traditional course. Actually dumplings weren’t even something I had eaten when younger, but something Poland is well-known for and I have to admit I am a big fan! A really simple food but so tasty and very filling.
  • Beef Steak with garlic butter served with fries and salad. We actually came back a second night especially for these steaks as we saw a couple eating them the night before and they looked amazing. And they were. Thick cuts of beef fillet, cooked perfectly at medium rare. So juicy, and paired perfectly with the garlic butter.
  • “Szarlotka Podawana” Hot Apple Pie with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce, oh and it came with pieces of meringue, squirty cream and jam too. Very different to a British Apple Pie in that it was more of a cake texture topped with an apple mixture that we would usually encase in pastry. A large dessert but one I demolished as it was very good.

Something you can’t avoid when walking around Kraków is the many bakeries dotted around the city, and these amazing looking Polish donuts “Pączki”. These donuts are flattened balls of dough, deep fried and often filled with something sweet and covered with powdered sugar and icing. I went for one filled with hazelnut chocolate and topped with chocolate icing, of course. I could eat these every day. A perfect snack for walking around the Old Square with.

Other things worth mentioning; try to discover as many of the backstreets heading away from the Main Square as you can, as you will find drinks and food are a whole lot cheaper just around the corner from the ones situated right in the square. We found some great bars such as Free Pub, Tram Bar, Dobry Kumpel Pub and many more. We also visited what we believe is a bit of a chain in Poland and has the vibe of an old diner about it, Pijalnia Wódki i Piwa – choose from an array of various deluxe shot “cocktails”, and enjoy some very traditional snacks whilst sipping some beers here such as Herrings, Toasties (we had the smoked cheese, sausage and pickled cucumber and it was lovely – see below), Beef Tartare etc.

Well, I hope that my blog has given you some inspiration either to give Kraków some thought if you’re wondering where to travel next, or if it is already on your list, please visit some of these amazing restaurants and bars that we enjoyed.

Please check out my other reviews, and my recipes too! If you have any restaurant/pub/café suggestions for me to try, please leave a comment below. If you are a restaurant/food vendor and would like to collaborate with me in any way, please just email me at!

Happy munching!


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