Note: The prices listed here are from almost a decade ago! so expect about double what you see here- the good news though, is that they’ve also expanded their offerings a lot too!
Pijalnia Wódki i Piwa has locations all over the city, in the Jewish district on the Plac Nowy, on Florianska Street, and on Szewska Street (both close to the Main Market Square). What will probably first catch your eye are the prices, this is some of the cheapest beer and food in Krakow!
The atmosphere is unique for a few reasons. There is a constant mix of locals and tourists here, many tourists just stop by for a round or two before heading out for the night; where as, some Polish people I know, will settle in the for the evening. The other interesting thing is the decor. One might find the decorations to be very cold, but it’s all on purpose, meant to be reminiscent of communism, complete with newspaper clippings papered on the wall from the past, and chains attached to some of the tables, reminding people that bars and restaurants in the past chained everything to the tables and floors to make sure no one walked off with the items, since it was impossible to buy things like forks and spoons from a store. The adverts on the walls are also from communist times. And the whole concept of eating snacks and taking shots, is also nostalgic of the era where it was the law to serve food which each shot.
I suggest anything and everything on the menu, especially if you want to try authentic Polish food and shots! The “Mad Dog” shot is a must-have [wściekły pies is its name on the menu]. This is a shot that we make at parties all the time, and it is pretty unique being made from Polish vodka, raspberry syrup, and tabasco. The Gzik (cottage cheese) plate is delicious, as is the beef tartare, or toast with cheese, salami, and jalapeños. But if you want the true Polish experience just get some chilled vodka and pickled herring!
No matter what you choose, the vodka they serve is Polish, the flavored liquors they use are made in-house, which makes a huge difference when it comes to the taste of the shots, and the lemon vodka [cytronowka] is also homemade so it is GOOD.
There are 8 shots to choose from [more now in 2023], with some special recipes added here and there, (for a fun time out try them all!), and the beer is served from a tap, and is obviously Polish. The food is tasty. And I can tell you from personal experience that if you show up and it’s super crowded, just wait a few minutes and you’ll realize how much people really just come and go from this bar, not usually spending much time.