There are more cafes in Krakow than you can shake a special-roasted, single-origin Kenyan bean at! Seriously. They are everywhere. In fact, some folk even say that this Polish city gives Barcelona or Vienna a good jostle for the top cafe capital of Europa. We’ll let you decide, with help from our curated and always-updated list of the finest establishments you simply have to visit…
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Cytat Cafè – the cream of cafes in Krakow!
Topping this list of the very best cafes in Krakow is the perennial favourite of Cytat Cafè. It sits in the heart of Kazimierz, close to bustling Plac Nowy and Miodowa Street. There, it’s been gaining a rep for some of the best coffee beans in town. Frequent expansions are testimony to its success, but it’s the taste of the brews that’s been the driving force behind it all. On top of excellent coffee, you can also sample vegan pancakes, muffins and more. Also, watch out for the inspirational quote that comes with every order – it’s like the fortune cookie of cafes in Krakow!
Miodowa 23, +48 889 956 562
Sleek and stylish MAK is an offshoot of the all-new PURO hotel. You’ll find it tucked down a side street on the eastern edge of Kazimierz. Inside are long tables with stoop chairs and plug openings that are a favourite of local students and laptop workers. But there’s also an outdoor area and large lounge with seats that’ll drink you in like a beanbag. The menu is a corker: speciality coffee roasts, creative Krakow-style bagels, and – star of the show – the shakshuka (just maybe the best in the city!).
Przemyska 5, +48 12 889 90 50
Ask any local where the best beans in the city are and it’s likely Wesoła Cafe will have a mention. Situated just south of the UEK campus near Galleria Krakow shopping mall, this one’s within walking distance of the Old Town. However, it’s not a tourist cafe. In fact, you’re most likely to be sipping your espresso in the company of students fresh out of the nearby lecture halls. Expect comfy and cool interiors with neon lights and a vibrant open bar with stools and sofas alike.
Rakowicka 17, +48 513 932 810
Karma has become something of a byword for cracking coffee in Krakow. So much so, in fact, that the independent brewer has now opened another venue in the neighbourhood of Kazimierz (read on for info on the original location near the Old Town). This one’s got a breezy garden between redbrick walls and a lovely little decking area. Oh, and they serve curated selections of wines and craft beers, just in case you wanted something a tad stronger.
Fitagain is a charming and stylish place to settle in for a drink in the middle of the Old Town area. Since opening its doors some years ago on Szczepańska street, it’s become one of the go-to cafes in Krakow for laptop workers and lovers of healthy food. The reason? It’s mix of fast internet, window seats, and range of soups and raw lunches. All in all, it’s a comfy and cosy spot in the main tourist part of town.
Szczepańska 7, +48 12 625 00 96
Sat neatly on the divide between Kazimierz and Podgorze, Mostowa fuses coffee, creativity, local vibes and Polish craft brews into one charming café. The small, monochrome interior of clean white tones and timber tables does well to host the area’s resident mustachioed hipsters. But Mostowa is more than just another Kazimierz boho dive. In addition, there is great cake, fresh juices, and even a lineup of thought-provoking art exhibitions for fun on a weekend evening.
Mostowa 8, +48 730 480 477
Bunkier Cafe is joined at the bohemian hip to the cutting-edge exhibition rooms of its namesake gallery – Bunkier Sztuki. It’s always mentioned on lists of the must-taste coffee shops in Krakow (even the Guardian has given it the nod). The main reason is surely the location: Right on the Planty Park. That makes it a people-watching mecca that’s a doozy both summer and winter. To go with your drink, there’s now also a regularly-changing menu of veggie-friendly mezze, including hummus, fried haloumi, falafel – you name it.
plac Szczepański 3a, +48 12 422 10 52
A chilled-out, living room of a café in the heart of Kazimierz, Cheder is a staple on the cultural line-up of Krakow. It’s known widely for its role in organising many of the city’s Jewish heritage events. So, the coffee is suitably flavoured with a twist of the Middle East, with Israeli and Mediterranean styles of the brew taking centre stage. Aromas of cardamom and ginger abound, twisting in plumes of mist from the spouts of traditional Finjan coffee jugs. Laid-back bookish types especially will love the recline-and-read area.
Józefa 36, +48 515 732 226
A dark and brooding interior of Hemingway and hipster overtones makes Eszeweria a perennial favourite on our selection of the finest coffee shops in Krakow. Intrepid patrons cross the proverbial threshold into this shadowy café of candlelight and boho Victorianism. Within, hidden spaces and shady alcoves give way to cushioned seats and crooked tables. The coffee is – of course – excellent, while the cool and breezy garden adds a whole other dimension during the balmy summer months.
ul Józefa 9, +48 122 920 458
Tactically located on up-and-coming Krupnicza Street, amidst a foray of other hipster coffee houses and veggie eateries, Karma stands out with its sleek design and top-notch brews. A stripped-down, L-shaped interior gives way to a small bar that’s framed with stacks of house-roasted beans from right across the globe. In addition, there’s an overarching commitment to freshness and seasonally-available produce that continues to make this arguably the best for true coffee aficionados.
Krupnicza 12/3, +48 662 387 281
If you’re looking for a place to sink into a retro 70s bell chair and drink simple black coffee next a lava lamp, Spokój is it. It’s hidden through an arched alleyway and up a set of stairs off Bracka street. That helps to keep the crowds thin (at least until the evening on the weekend) and things pretty chill. Prices are reasonable.
Bracka 3, +48 501 652 478
Tak Bylo looks like it closed! Don’t worry, there are loads of other cafes in Krakow to keep you going!
Occupying a great spot on the corner of Szpitalna and Tomasza right in the midst of the Krakow Old Town, Tak Było is a strong contender for Krakow’s finest coffee joint – despite the overarching focus on fresh juices and creative cocktails that is! With everything from frothy cappuccinos to potent espresso pick-me-ups, this cool and collected establishment draws daytime laptop workers and casual newspaper skimmers alike. However, brews aside, the real draws here have to be the stylish and comfy interior, set out over an airy downstairs with floor-to-ceiling windows and a mezzanine floor complete with cushiony poof seats, and the mouth-watering array of cakes; perfect for matching with a coffee.
Massolit Books & Café
Row upon row of crooked bookshelves and dusty stacks of nameless tomes dominate the interior of Massolit Books. On the edge of the Old Town, it’s among the most thought-provoking and intellectual cafes in Krakow. That means it’s known amongst expats as the prime boutique for English-language book shopping. Consequently, it beckons with everything from translated Mickiewicz to Polish for Dummies, along with an array of aromatic coffees and in-house cakes that are to die for!
Felicjanek 4, +48 12 432 41 50
Les Couleurs Cafe/Kolory
Plucked straight from the streets of Paris’ Latin Quarter, Kolory is a Francophone drinking joint in the midst of the Krakow Jewish Quarter. It comes complete with a welcome offering of expertly made lattes, cappuccinos and croissants. What’s more, plumes of cigarette smoke swirl in the designated area out front, signalling this one’s Parisian backbone. Inside, the café spills through into a wide conservatory space, where cushioned seats and a smattering of tables coalesce between graffiti maps of the French capital. Expect to sit in the company of language groups and Couchsurfing get-togethers. Always fun.
Estery 10, +48 12 429 42 70
Another stripped-down, industrial-chic coffee joint courtesy of arguably the hottest street in Krakow when it comes to gastronomy, monochrome Tektura is a mishmash of timber tables and exposed brick. Typically filled with a resident crowd of students and yuppies, folk head here to work and chatter over a mug of top-notch cappuccino. The menu also offers a range of healthy sandwiches and cocktails, along with a whole host of craft brews that are perfect for easing into a Friday night. Our only complaint? It can get pretty hot inside in the summer!
Krupnicza 7, +48 797 827 807