In a city packed to the brim with hidden eateries, food trucks, pop-up kitchens and traditional restaurants, it’s hardly a surprise that locals and travellers are spoiled for choice when it comes to eating lunch in Krakow. Delve into our selection of the finest places to chow down at midday. It comes complete with Polish pierogi, Middle Eastern mezze, and plenty of Slavic beers. What’s more, there are options in Old Town, Kazimierz, and even south of the river. Let’s get started…
Off-the-beaten-track and all the better for it, this tight-knit little hole-in-the-wall on Kazimierz’s Augustianska can often be found buzzing with the chatter of locals. What’s more, its ALWAYS scented with the twisting aromas of dry-roasted cumin and chilli.
The dish of choice – just as the name of the joint would suggest – is hummus. That classic chickpea paste comes in all shapes and sizes here. It’s served alongside a generous helping of raw vegetables, pita breads and homemade loaves for dipping. There are also in-house organic wines to sample and one impossibly adorable resident dog for company.
Augustiańska 3, +48 533 306 288
Set between the bustling beer bars and interesting hipster spots of Kazimierz district, this unforgettable and highly-recommended joint is a veritable must for anyone’s lunch outing in Krakow.
Famed primarily for its off-beat gig calendar and resident crowd of Czech beer-sipping locals, Alchemia only branched out into food as a side show. That said, the menu offers spicy platters of haloumi and hummus. In addition, there are English-style fish and chips, not to mention the occasional pad Thai. Moreover, that outdoor seating on Plac Nowy is the proverbial cherry on top come summer!
Estery 5, +48 12 421 22 00
Pumpkins ain’t just for Halloween! No sir, a medley of pumpkin-themed dishes plumps up the menu at this stylish joint. Interiors of exposed-brick walls and washed-out timber beckon you within on Krupnicza Street. That all leads to a menu of interesting sandwiches packed with grilled veg and cheese, salads and pastas both vegetarian-friendly and doused in marinated chicken.
To drink, there are also home-made lemonades and interesting mocktails. They are certainly best sipped outside in the al fresco garden. It’s surely one of the best places to eat outdoors in the whole city!
Krupnicza 20, +48 12 430 08 38
Chimera Salad Bar
Beneath a canopy of greenery in the midst of the Krakow Old Town, this popular little spot serves up its trademark salad buffet with gusto. Portions are big, the options are endless and the cooking is second-to-none. That makes for a fine lunch option that caters to both through-and-through veggies, healthy eaters, and carnivores alike. There’s also a selection of homemade juices to accompany, along with beers and desserts of the craft and creative varieties.
św. Anny 3, +48 12 292 12 12
Jadlodajnia U Stasi
For those in search of a serving of classic Polish pierogi, U Pani Stasi is arguably the finest option on Krakow’s long list of so-called pierogarnia. It’s an age-old joint that still packs a communist punch. The interiors shock those who stroll in from Mikołajska Street with stripped-down utilitarianism and traces of the 80s (think plastic chairs and tables like you used to have in school).
However, there’s another piece de resistance. U Stasi boasts some of the most celebrated dumplings in all of Krakow – nay, Poland. Expect everything from the ubiquitous ruski (packed with potato and cream cheese) to meat-filled options, and remember once they are gone, they’re gone!
Mikołajska 16, +48 12 421 50 84
A slightly puffed up version of the traditional Polish milk bar, this casual little eatery on the edges of Tomasza Street cooks up a smorgasbord of national favourites. Pierogi predictably reigns supreme. However, there’s also a dash of more creative additions – think veggie chilli and tortilla wraps. Backing that up is hipster décor with communal eating tables.
A longtime staple of the Krakow lunch and dinner scene, Pod Wawelem sits in an unbeatable spot in the shadow of the Wawel Castle. Inside, long, Bavarian-esque tables are manned by crowds of lively locals right throughout the year. The kitchen churns out sprawling platters of meat kebabs and grilled dishes. In addition, the whole lot is accompanied by huge litre beers. In the summer, try to settle here early to grab one of the outdoor pub tables in the Planty Park, enjoying fine views of the swaying sycamores and cyclists that abound.
św. Gertrudy 26-29, +48 12 421 23 36
Hamsa Hummus & Happiness
A laid-back, low-key lunchtime spot that comes complete with beanbags and timber-crate seating in its outdoor area, Hamsa Hummus and Happiness is arguably Krakow’s premier Middle Eastern food spot.
Patrons choose from a menu of mezze treats. There’s the deep-fried jibneh cheese balls (which come highly-recommended). You’ve got that ubiquitous falafel. You’ll munch on smoky baba ghanoush. Every meal is made to accompany the in-house hummus (also fantastic) and served with traditional flat breads that seem plucked straight from the earthy kitchens of the Levant. Put simply: this Krakow lunch spot is not to be missed!
Szeroka 2, +48 515 150 145
Far away from the touristic hustle and bustle of Krakow’s Old Town heart, BAL makes its home in the post-industrial quarter of Zabłocie. True to its neighbours on the Podgorze side of the river, the stripped-down joint is chic to the hilt. It sports white tables and swinging light bulbs. There are stainless steel shades. You’ll also find thought-provoking art scrawled on the walls.
Food wise, expect a medley of fresh and healthy bagels, home-baked croissants, oodles of salads and soughdough bread sandwiches. Moreover, the dog-friendly policy means the company ain’t always on two legs. Find those guys enjoying the outdoor courtyard seating with a bone in tow. Woof!
Ślusarska 9, +48 734 411 733
Bringing a little cosmopolitan dash to this list of the finest places to lunch in Krakow, Youmiko Sushi and its medley of hosomaki, nigri and gunkan (yea, us neither!) is now being touted as the city’s top Japanese stop-off. The blackboard menu of rice-packed rolls changes daily, meaning all the vegan and veggie options here stay fresh and creative. On the side, there’s a range of Oriental teas to get through. What’s more, the location in the heart of Kazimierz makes Youmiko a fine place to chow down while touring the historic wealth of the Jewish Quarter.
Józefa 2, +48 666 471 176
Do you have any more suggestions for places to eat in Krakow? We’d love to hear them in the comments…