When those endless plates of Polish dumplings and sour Slavic soups get just a little too much, there’s a whole stack of Indian restaurants in Krakow that can come to the rescue. They’ll let you swap the potatoes and carbs of Central Europe for a tongue-sizzling sampling of the east. They tout spice-packed curries and pakoras and you-name-its, and can be found in some seriously stunning corners of the city. What’s more, there are oodles to pick from – Indian food in Krakow was once a rarity, but there are now places to delve into the taste bud-tingling cuisine of Rajasthan and Kerala all over town, whether you’re based in boho Kazimierz or the UNESCO-tagged Market Square. Let’s take a look at some of the very best…
A hot (sometimes literally with the penchant for capsicum here) tip from the locals of the Stary Podgorze neighborhood on Krakow’s south side, Zayka is run by two tech-mad expats who champion the traditional biryani cooking method and other authentic culinary techniques from the sub-continent. That comes through on the menu, which ranges from mutton stews topped with poppy seeds and cashew pastes to fenugreek-infused sauces packed with chicken or paneer cottage cheese. The setting is in a multi-roomed basement close to the Vistula River. No booze is sold, but there’s a darn tasty medley of lassis and jeera sodas to accompany your meal.
Bolesława Limanowskiego 46, Kraków, +48 12 350 66 54
Taste of India
Duck into Taste of India from the busy dual carriageway of Dietla Street and you’ll be greeted with walls that are strewn with floor-to-ceiling shots of the Taj Mahal, along with a series of tables where candles flicker under steaming metal pots of vindaloo and masala. In many ways, Taste of India is a mirror of the classic Anglo-Indian sit-in eatery, with a menu that’s got all the classics: chicken tikka, soupy dals, and excellent nan breads. Since opening its doors a couple of years ago, Taste has been whispered by many to be the very best Indian restaurant in Krakow – mainly on account of their willingness to pour on the chili if you ask for it!
Dietla 46, Kraków, +48 12 422 18 12
Perhaps more than anything, India Masala deserves a mention because of its prime location. We simply love sitting here on a balmy summer’s evening and watching folk walk by on Maly Rynek. The outdoor tables are excellent, and even have a view over the iconic St Mary’s Basilica on the nearby Market Square. That’s not to knock the food though. Not a chance. The dishes here are a hit of cumin, ginger, fenugreek, and capsicum that follows the hearty curry house model. That means big portions and classic names on the menu, from tandoor tikka masala to spinach-filled palak to butter chicken and more. And if you’re not into eating? Perhaps just settle with a beer and the view…
Mały Rynek 2, Kraków, +48 12 421 47 56
Curry Up! (one of the best-loved grab-and-go Indian restaurants in Krakow)
Let’s get one thing straight – quick, on-the-go curries simply do not get any better in Poland than this staple of Kazimierz. It’s up there with the best Indian restaurants in Krakow and it’s only a casual takeaway drop-in. The menu is simple and short, with just a few hand-cooked curries – think chickpea stews, dals, butter chicken, and onion bhajis. The chef is a local Pole but is mad for the flavors of the Far East. There are great veggie options and even mango lassis on offer, along with condiments like fresh coriander and mango chutney to top the whole lot off. We recommend grabbing your bite and heading opposite to devour it on the cobbled square.
Krakowska 29, Kraków, +48 730 775 073
If you’re after a cutting-edge but casual place to eat an Indian-inspired lunch in Krakow, Bhajan Café is probably spot on. It sits neatly between the Wawel Castle and the Kazimierz district (prime sightseeing territory) and has a cosy interior that’s all breezy seating areas with potted plants and boho wall art. The menu is vegan and vegetarian, inspired by the cooking heritage of the Indian Ayurveda. The result is a mix of paneer curries (from spicy madras to soft and yoghurt-filled shahi), pakoras, chana dals and gobis. Oh, and for dessert? Homemade cakes and sweets run amok in this establishment, so be sure to leave enough room!
Stradomska 17, Kraków, +48 795 895 895
This is just a taster of the great range of Indian restaurants in Krakow that are cooking great Indian food in Krakow. If you’d like to add any, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below!