We love Poland and the city of Krakow for a lot of reasons (hello, castles and pretty town squares!) but when it comes to the food, we had a hard time narrowing down the list.
A huge part of traveling is the food. I mean, would Italy be as great if the local cuisine was microwave pizza? A big part of experiencing another culture and another country is by literally tasting what that country and culture has to offer. And in the melting-pot city of Krakow, that means eating at our favorite restaurants.
Pst: Love the idea of visiting Krakow? How about volunteering in Poland for a semester? ILP sends college-aged volunteers abroad to do just that.
Our ILP volunteers love living in the city of Krakow and our ILP Europe volunteers love visiting this city on vacation. The towering cathedrals and castles, the cutie streets and sobering historical tours you can take in this neighborhood make it quite the tourist destination … but it’s also worth visiting when it comes to the restaurants.
While your ILP program fee does include meals (and housing and roundtrip airfare and a few other perks) it’s still fun to eat out every once in a while (or while you're on vacation). Though it was hard to narrow down, there are our favorites:
Good Lood — Ice Cream
It’s not just our volunteers who call this place the "the best ice cream in Krakow”. Even when it’s not hot outside, you’ll want to come here for a sweet treat. Plus, they have new flavors that rotate out daily which means you'll need to visit at least 20 times, right?; Fresh raspberry, salted caramel and banana, roasted almond, honey and sunflower, creamy peanut butter, white chocolate and hazelnut, cashew, strawberry waffle, caramel with pink Himayalan salt, and more are some the tempting flavors at the ice cream place. Unreal.
Address: plac Wolnica 11, 33-332 Kraków, Poland
Hours: 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM (Daily)
Enoteka Pergamin - Fancy Polish
A bit fancier than other options but well worth it, Enoteka Pergamin serves up local Polish food, and some other favorites. The cheese plates come highly recommended, but their pizza is also delicious. Main dishes are around $15 and things like pastas and pizzas are more like $10 but this food is pretty luxurious — might be a good place to celebrate a birthday or another special occasion with prices closer to American prices than other places around Krakow.
Address: Grodzka 39, 31-001 Kraków, Poland
Hours: 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM (Daily)
Wiśnowy Sad - Polish Cafe
One of the best places to get pierogi and complete with friendly staff, this is a slightly more expensive cafe but it is serving some classics like hot cheese pancakes topped with honey and sour cream, along with hearty soups and warm bread. Yum.
Address: Grodzka 33, 31-001 Kraków, Poland
Hours: 12:00 PM to 11:00 PM (Daily)
Alebriche - Mexican
Supposedly the best Mexican food around, the owners of Alebriche are from Mexico and know what dishes you crave after a few months without it. This place has authentic Mexican food, not Tex-Mex. The staff generally speaks good English meaning you can ask them for recommendations.
Address: ul. Karmelicka 56, Krakow 31-128, Poland
Hours: Monday 12:00 PM - 8:00 PM
All other days: 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Pizzatopia - Pizza
Our favorite place to get pizza (plus it’s right next to the Cupcake Corner which is delicious). Between Pizzatopia and the Cupcake Corner, you have a good dinner and dessert option. We’re big fans of the thinner but chewy crust (Italy style) and all the toppings at this pizza place: you can build-your-own or select from a signature pie. Each pizza is around $7 which we also love.
Visit their menu and website here.
Address: Szewska 22, 33-332 Kraków, Poland
Hours: 11:00 AM - 12:00AM daily (open until 1:00 AM on Friday and Saturday)
Restauracja The Piano Rouge - Upscale Western and Polish Food
Another “special occasion” pick, this restaurant has prices similar to what you’d find at a nicer restaurant in America, but the place has a fun atmosphere and has a menu that covers everything from pastas, to goat cheese salads, to Polish classics like dumplings. Oh, and fun desserts like creme brûlée, tiramisu, and cheesecake.
Visit their menu and website here.
Address: Rynek Główny 46, 30-001 Kraków, Poland
Hours: 9:30 AM to 2:00 AM (Daily — Sundays close at 12:00 AM)
Camelot Cafe - Fun Brunch
Near Old Town, this darling little cafe is a cute pick with delicious food. They usually have Frank Sinatra playing which just adds to the entire atmosphere. Order fresh salads, poached eggs, quiches served with fruits, fancy toasts with smoked fish and other brunch foods in the morning and afternoon.
Address: Świętego Tomasza 17, 33-332 Kraków, Poland
Hours: 9:00 AM to 12:00 AM
Pizza Loft - Pizza
Sick of pizza yet? Even though you will love getting your fill of local pierogis, there is something about grabbing your group and heading out for a slice or two of pizza at Pizza Loft. You'll have to pick between the ones on this list and find which one is your favorite, but according to Abbey K., this is the best.
Address: 33-332 23, Stradomska, 33-332 Kraków, Poland
Hours: 1:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Americanos - Pizza
You can peek at their menu below, but you can figure out some classic toppings even if you don’t speak Polish. Get a margarita pizza, vegetarian, salami topped, even Hawaiian, among others. If you want, you can get a huge 65 centimeter (25-inch) pizza if you’d like to split that with your group or are feeling extremely hungry.
Address: Na Ogrody 1, 32-087 Zielonki, Poland
Hours: 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM (Opens at 1:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday)
Street Food We Love
These aren’t really established restaurants, but we still love grabbing these for a quick snack or meal when you’re out and about. There are food trucks that meet in Judah Square (Skwer Judah, ul. Św Wawrzyńca 16) pretty much every day from 12:00 PM to 12:00 AM (or 1:00 AM on Saturdays and 11:00 PM on Sundays), which is a fun place to eat.
Volunteers suggest ordering the crepes and the baked potatoes from these trucks.
You can also find really good pierogi in Old Town, so keep eye out for those when you’re site-seeing around Krakow.
Restaurants From Home
Krakow also has a few chain restaurants you may recognize from home if that’s what you’re in the mood for. Look around for Starbucks, McDonalds, Subway, Burger King and KFC, plus a couple of others.
Hmm, sounds like one too many places to try out in just a short visit. Might as well call this city home for an entire semester so you have time to try them all, and find your own favorites, right? With so much to do in the city of Krakow (our complete guide to Krakow gives you an idea!) you'll be able to stay busy, all semester long.
Get all of your questions about volunteering in Poland answered here: