Hello and welcome to our collection of recommendations that we have made for our readers that have reached out and asked for help. We frequently get asked questions about specific situations, especially things that we plan to cover on the blog, but just haven’t gotten to yet. Below you will find the question or situation that occurred and our response because it may help you too!
We recently received a Facebook message, where a reader was worried about where to take her family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Krakow for meals. Her hotel had told her that nowhere would be open! But this just isn’t true. So we made several phone calls, stopped into a few places and came up with this list of possibilities. Full text below or download the pdf.
Restaurants in Krakow open for Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day
Cafe Oranzeria (Open Christmas Eve) 90zl/person: Plac Juliusza Kossaka 1 Menu Here
Starka Restauracja (open Christmas Eve) 90-115zl/person: Ul. Józefa 14 Menu Here
Jeff’s American Restaurant (open Christmas Eve til 3pm): Podgórska 34 Galeria Kazimeirz) Holiday Menu Here
Pod Wawelem (open Christmas Eve 12-4pm) Ul. Sw. Gertrudy 26-29 Special Menu Here
Wierzynek (open both Christmas Eve (1pm-6pm latest reservation is at 3pm) and Christmas Day (normal hours 1pm-last guest, usually 11pm): Rynek Glowny (Main Square) 16 Website Here
This is where Emily is taking her family on Christmas Night, there will be special menus but they are not prepared yet. If you call the restaurant and ask for Paulina or email them through their website they will get back to your promptly and explain the menus and reservations available.
Pod Baranem (open Christmas Eve 12-4pm): ul. Gertrudy 21 Website Here
Emily teaches English to a wonderful Polish family that lived in USA for 30 years, and this is their all-time favorite restaurant in Krakow, the decor is nothing special but they love it there!
Charlotte (Open Christmas Eve 9am-5pm): Plac Szczepanski 2 Website Here
We cover them on our blog here and it is our absolute favorite place for breakfast! But their lunch is also really good. And an early dinner could definitely be an option as well. It’s a french bistro and they prepare all their own bread, pastries, etc…..
Alchemia and Alchemia Od Kuchni (Open Christmas Eve 9am-5pm and Christmas Day (Noon-til late): Estery 5 (on Plac Nowy in Kazimierz) Website is here but we also covered them on the blog here they will have their normal menu.
This is technically two establishments, but the same menu, located right next to each other. The Od Kuchni version is new and is meant only for dining, very modern, clean space- the original Alchemia which we prefer is old, dusty, candle-lit, and filled with antique furniture and smoke/fireplaces (maybe not a good fit for your guests). The food is great, even breakfast! And the original Alchemia is what brought life back to the Jewish District in Krakow, so it is a tried and true favorite of locals and tourists alike.
Again more of a cafe than a formal place to have a holiday meal, but would definitely recommend for lunch one of the days, or breakfast.
From what is listed right now, there is only one EatAway option available for the 24/25th but you can always check back to see if a chef will be adding one soon. EatAway is a new start-up that allows people to serve meals from their home, and guests to book meals at someone’s home! Sort of like Airbnb but for restaurants…. Here is the listing of meals: http://www.eataway.com/meals/?q=krakow&lat=&lng=&place_id=
A couple recently wrote to us in search of some suggestions for their honeymoon in Krakow, they are young, like local craft beers, and food! So this was our response- some cozy places to grab a drink, and some fancier options for a special night out. Plus fun places to hang and some awesome choices for food. Read the full text below or download the pdf.
Hi! So we’ve put together this list of recommendations, some of which you will see on our blog and some of which we haven’t written about yet. So of course explore the blog as well because there is even more there. If you follow any of our suggestions, we would love to hear your feedback for how you felt about them. In exchange for this itinerary/list we just ask that if it actually helps you in some way that you recommend our blog to people you may run into in Krakow or friends/family who may be coming here. And if you are active on any social media please follow our accounts where you are active. This link will take you to all of them….
Jason’s Honeymoon Itinerary:
So I will preface this list with some personal opinions of ours. Obviously the Main Square and surrounding areas are gorgeous, but a lot of the bars/restaurants are extremely touristy, so the best place to be in our opinion is Kazimierz the Jewish District. It’s not quite as elegant in looks, but it is where actual locals mix with visitors (Emily lives here), and is the best place for nights out. That being said we will give you lots of options for places all over town to go that are a good mix of tourists and locals. Because there are still places in the tourist town that are fun to visit!
Best Places for Craft/Local Beer
T.E.A. Time (Ul. Jozefa Dietla 1): https://www.facebook.com/teatimebrewery/
This is my (Emily’s) current favorite bar. It is pretty cozy and has a good atmosphere. They brew traditional English ales here in Poland, and have a large offering of all different types of beer, mostly on draft. Because of the location- for local beer, it’s really quite cheap. Their food options are slim and actually come from another British restaurant- but snacks are available of course. They also have a selection of board games there too that can be fun- I had a heated game of trivial pursuit last week… On Monday’s they do trivia you can look on their website for more info on that. Either way this place is close to where you’ll be for everything but rather unnoticed by tourists because it’s not surrounded by other bars and restaurants.
Strefa Piwa (ul. Jozefa 6): https://www.facebook.com/StrefaPiwaPub/?fref=ts
This is a pretty cool place, small and all about beer… It’s on Jozefa street so it’s a little bit off from where most tourists go which makes it perfect, but its’ not the first place I would recommend.
In the Old Town/Main Square Area
C.K. Browar (ul. Podwale 6-7 on corner go undergrnd): www.ckbrowar.krakow.pl/index_en.html
They brew their own unfiltered and unpasteurized beer, the only place in this region that does that. The beer is good, the beer hall is huge and really cool looking, and the meat is awesome! So out of all the places you could go for craft/local beer- this is the best if you also want some good Polish food.
Viva la Pinta (Florianska 13): https://www.facebook.com/Viva-la-PINTA-726934180701031/
Multi Qulti (ul. Szewska 21): http://multi-qlti-tap-bar.ontap.pl/
House of Beer (ul. Sw. Tomasza 35): http://www.houseofbeerkrakow.com/
For all three of the above listed I can describe them as the closest to the tourist areas, their beers are good and local, but the crowd will be mostly other internationals not actual Polish people. They’re still good, but the prices are higher because of their close proximity to the Main Square, and because Florianska, Grodzka, and Szewska streets are the most touristy (ie. you will find McDonalds here). So keep that in mind, and check the atmosphere out before heading in.
The Christmas Market
View our video of the market so you can take a closer look at it, and accompanying article about the things you should eat/drink/buy there. But bottom line, the Christmas market is magical, and there is lots of meat being grilled (prices are by weight so keep that in mind) that is delicious, and huge barrell stalls selling hot wines and beers etc… Plus shopping and concerts and lots of other food. I really think you could spend an entire evening just strolling about the market.
A Fancy Night Out
Since you said this is your honeymoon, we wanted to put a little list together of some of the more elegant restaurants. For fine-dining they are still very affordable due to the weakness of Polish currency.
Wierzynek (Main Square 26 Rynek Głowny 26): http://en.wierzynek.pl/
Emily will be taking her family here for Christmas, it’s the oldest restaurant in Krakow and once upon a time was the best. The quality is questionable these days in comparison to the golden years Wierzynek once had- but either way the atmosphere is incredible and you can feel like you are dining at the same table a king did. The interiors are beautiful, and the attached chocolate shop has amazing creations.
Pod Baranem (ul. sw. Gertrudy 21): http://podbaranem.com/en/restaurant.php
Neither one of us have ever been here (Emily will take her family just before Christmas probably) however, a family friend has recommended this restaurant time and time again. The interior isn’t anything special, but according to them the food is their favorite in Krakow. The couple recommending it are from Krakow, but lived in the US for 20 years, and have just moved back recently. Anyway, we definitely trust any recommendation of theirs and so will give it to you as well….
Jama Michalik (ul. Florianska 45) http://jamamichalika.pl/
This is a funky little place with good food. If you are into history or literature or the arts this is where the Young Poland Art Nouvea movement started and the Green Baloon Caberet Troupe (more on that here: http://www.inyourpocket.com/krakow/Mloda-Polska_71380f) Anyway, it can be seen as very touristy, hosting folk dances and a surly waitstaff (again its on Florianska Street so that is sort of the expectation). So we recommend it because of its part in Polish history but take it with a grain of salt. At the end of the day though the food is good, the prices are reasonable, and the atmosphere is interesting.
Polish Shots and Snack Bars
There are going to be bars all over town that promote 4zl drinks and 8zl food. They are all modeled after the bars from communist times and provide a unique- but extremely Polish atmosphere for a night out. There is nothing cozy about these places, and they are often loud, and filled with drunken locals, tourists, bums, students etc… but it’s our favorite place to take people. Although there are many, and Bania Luka is a great one, I recommend over all other Pijalnia Wodki i Piwa. They have a list of specialty shots all made from homemade infusions and Polish vodka (but costing less than $1usd) that are great. It is mandatory that you get a Mad Dog shot from there, even if it’s just on your way somewhere else. Because it is truly Polish. We make them at home during parties all the time. And I also suggest trying some of their Polish bar snacks… These are truly what Polish people used to eat while they were drinking during communism. It is very authentic. My favorite is the beef tartar, but pretty much everything is good. Its simple and interesting, and perfect for accompanying your vodka. Plus it’s always fun to see if you can try everyone of their shots before you leave the city! More on this here: https://emilysguidetokrakow.com/2015/06/15/shots-and-food-and-beer-pijalnia-wodki-i-piwa/
Cozy Nights in Kazimierz
Alot of the bars in Kazimierz sort of follow the same pattern. Its an old space, filled with mix-matched antique furniture, and candle-lit tables and fireplaces. A downside is that the spaces can get a little smoky sometimes, so if you don’t smoke cigarettes make sure you don’t sit in the smoking room. Out of the four I will list below Alchemia is the most well know, followed by Singer, so usually the most crowded and touristy, but still cozy. 20 years ago the Jewish District was very dangerous, and there was nothing worth seeing here. Then Alchemia and Singer opened and brought life into the district. Since they were the originals they are of course the most popular. Mleczarnia and Eseweria are both great choices as well. So just keep the four in mind as sort of interchangeable. I will say this though, if you want dinner with your drinks go to Alchemia. Their food is awesome. Where as the others are more bars without any food. Also I highly suggest trying Hot Beer, and I think it is best from Eseweria so keep that in mind….
Eszeweria (ul. Jozefa 9): https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eszeweria/140631805995292
Best for hot beer! Or just a cozy place for drinks, or coffee.
Alchemia (ul. Estery 5 corner of Plac Nowy): http://en.alchemia.com.pl/
best place if you want dinner with your drinks, also the original bar of this style- beer is ordinary so I usually suggest wine here, unless you haven’t had the normal Polish beer yet and then you can try it.
Singer (ul. Estery 20): https://www.facebook.com/Singer-270192511788/
All the tables here are old Singer sewing tables, the fireplace is beautiful and the interior is extremely comfortable. Go here for beer, wine, coffee, anything like that.
Mleczarnia (ul. Beera Meiselsa) https://www.facebook.com/mleczarnia.krakow/
Similar to the rest, what sets it apart is the beautiful beer garden they have in the summer but this time of year it is pretty much the same as the others… If you walk across the street to where the beer garden usually is you can see a fairly recognizable scene from Schindler’s List
Royal Snack Route/Must Eat Foods
I am working on some articles right now for my family for when they come for Christmas that will be a little snack-crawl you can follow through the old town tasting lots of traditional Polish snacks. And a list of must-eat Polish foods… if I get it done in time for your visit I will send it your way as well.