So, you’re on the hunt for the best vodka bars Krakow can muster, eh? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve whittled the array of places that serve Poland’s national tipple to unsuspecting travelers down to just five options. There’s one clear leader that’s considered a bit of the king of vodka bars not just in Krakow but in the whole of south Poland. Beyond that, we’d really recommend heading down to the district of Kazimierz, which is where you get the bulk of the better vodka holes.
This is just one part of our ultimate list of Krakow bars
There’s simply no doubt about it: Wodka Bar is the single standout among all the vodka bars Krakow has to offer. A bijou little bolt hole of an establishment, it’s cut its teeth by serving multiple iterations of the national tipple and pretty much only that. Yes, there are beers on tap, but who comes to a bar that’s literally called VODKA to get a pint, eh? The variations are formidable. The local cherry vodka flows, but so do vodkas flavored with fig and elderberry, peach and hazelnut (a personal poison). Bar staff all know their stuff inside and out. The setting is pretty darn fantastic – think a mezzanine were you’ll be wedged cheek and jowl by other drinkers and small outdoor space where you can glug voddie in the cold during the midwinter snows.
Wiśnioffka is a new arrival to the buzzy district of Kazimierz south of the Old Town. It specializes in one thing and one thing only: Cherry vodka, known locally as wisniowka (see where the name comes from?). Truth be told the stuff that’s served here is more of a cherry wine, but you’ll be glad of that because it comes in 250ml carafes. It’s sweet and fruity but has a distinct full-body character to it. Certainly worth a go. Wiśnioffka has some lovely interiors that channel a touch of boho Kazi. We’re just not sure about the chained up tables. One wrong movement on those and your cherry vodka is going bye bye.
Literally two steps down the road from Wiśnioffka, Klub Wódki is a good option to add to the vodka-fueled drinking map in Kazimierz district. Walk in and you’ll be greeted by a UFO-like bar space that floats in strange hues of agate green in the middle of the bar. Up above, the various vodkas line up like a phalanx. There’s cherry, nut, quince, apple – a whole host. We like that this one also doubles as a normal cocktail bar and pub, so it’s good for mixed groups consisting of those who are voddie aficionados and those who are not.
This postbox-wide bar on Bozego Ciala (one of the main streets in Kazimierz) isn’t on Google Maps and really doesn’t want to be found. It’s usually bursting (literally) with locals who go for their end-of-week (or start-of-week) sessions, so you’re lucky if you get some space. If you do then brill, it’s a fun and hectic establishment with no room to swing any proverbial cat whatsoever. There’s loads of vodka on offer, straight, icy, chilled, and flavored. Later, you can move onto the palinka too if you really want to tempt the hangover gods.
Hit this one for those late-night vodkas. Staying open well past midnight until the first rays of the sun begin to peak over the palaces of Plac Szepanski where it makes its home, BaniaLuka is now the stuff of legends on the Krakow nightlife scene. Okay, so it’s not for those refined journeys into the history and heritage of Polish vodka. Leave that for the official vodka tour and come here to drink the local stuff as the locals do (at least some of them) – AKA in excess and in the company of other shot slammers. Once upon a time it was $1 a shot here. It’s a touch more now but still uber-cheap.