Bania Luka Krakow. A true Cracovian legend, this small bar on Plac Szczepanski on the west side of the Old Town has been a staple in the diet of Polish party-going locals and hedonistic tourist visitors since time immemorial.
Serving beer virtually 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the staff here are endearingly grumpy and typically Polish in their stoicism and straight-faced pouring (don’t expect a smile!). While the food isn’t great, it is undeniably cheap, and the menu covers most of the traditional Polish bases. In the summer, Bania has a great outdoor area that looks over Krakow’s historical theatre square and throbs with a vibe unlike any other joint in town.
The drink in of Bania Luka Krakow
A proud pioneer on the 4/8 forefront of Krakow (bars that sell drinks for a standard rate of 4 PLN and plates of food at 8), Bania Luka has risen and risen to become arguably the city’s most famous budget joint. Today, the drinks menu has swelled somewhat, meaning there are a whole host of tipples that may push the price tag up a tad (spanking new Guinness Extra Cold tap I’m looking at you!), while the mainstays still sit at an extremely affordable low. Small beers still flow for 4 PLN a piece, as do the shots (doused out in all-new 50ml cups no less) – from clear Zubrowka vodka to regional cherry vodkas and – even – tequila!
The food in Bania Luka Krakow
Firmly the province of the late-night come early-hours post-party eaters, Bania offers up a menu of simple, carb-heavy Polish treats like pierogi dumplings and spinach-stuffed pancakes. Again, the name of the game here is really budget, which means plates go for just 8 PLN a pop. Remember to hang around the bar after ordering – many a meal has been lost to Bania’s late-night fray.
The interior of Bania Luka Krakow
Bania Luka Krakow is simple and dressed-down: a veneer which seems to suit its hedonistic edge to the T. Inside, a collection of high tables and stools in dark wood abut a large, rectangular bar area, which in turn gives way to a tight-knit mixture of smaller tables at the back. But despite all the interior seating, would-be patrons should think twice about being able to settle down in a jiffy at this one: Bania is typically packed to bursting every night of the year (except on Mondays. Mondays can be okay!).