The Best of Krakow: Our Favorite Local Spots

There are a lot of local spots in Krakow that we haven’t written about despite the fact we go to them at least once a week. A lot of it has to do with the fact that we are having such a good time with our friends that we forget to even take pictures! And of course some of them we have featured.

If you just want to eat and drink your way through Krakow, with some outdoor activities scattered throughout, and of course some shopping, then this is the only list you need. So without further adieu, we invite you to our list of the best local spots in Krakow!

Gospado Koko

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Our favorite place for pierogi and beer, or really anything Polish, and the best part is its super cheap! If we have friends visiting and can only take them to one place- this is the one!

 

Charlotte..

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Our favorite place to have a great breakfast, pick up a pastry to take to work, or heck even work from!

 

Bunkier Cafe

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One our favorite place for food and beers in the summer, but winter isn’t bad either! It’s located along the Planty, often considered Krakow’s version of Central Park.

 

Mleczarnia..

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The best beer garden in Krakow in summer, but the year-round location is super cozy for winter too! (Photo courtesy of Mleczarnia’s Facebook page)

 

Alchemia

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Some of the best food in Krakow, and the original bar of the Kazimierz neighborhood, Alchemia often holds underground concerts, is always great for cocktails, and quite honestly it’s a great cafe during the day and the breakfast is delicious!

 

Singer…

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The second bar to open in Kazimierz Singer is also great during the day or night, especially in winter when the fireplaces roar. (Photo courtesy of Singer’s Facebook Page).

 

CK Browar…

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An awesome beer hall and brewery that has cheap lunches, traditional Polish dinners, and lots of homemade brews! (Photo courtesy of CK Browar’s Facebook Page).

 

Pijalnia Wodki i Piwa

This is the bar we would take everyone to if they only had one night! It’s different, and to some not appealing, but we love their $1 specialty shots, cheap beer, and truly authentic Polish bar snacks. It is meant to look like communist times, and the bar snacks go with that theme. Know what to expect and you will love it as much as us! Always full of locals and students 24/7. And featured on our Royal Snack Route!

 

Eszewaria…

The best place to try that weird Polish tradition of Hot Beer! And also a great place to sit and drink while watching the hipsters gather.

 

TEA Time…

Short for Traditional English Ales, we love going here for a pint after work, to play some games with friends, or for trivia on Mondays.

 

Hamsa

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Fit for the Jewish district of Kazimierz, this Israeli restaurant serves up amazing international cuisine, our favorite being the mezze platter to share!

 

Gorace Paczki…

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It wouldn’t be a trip to Poland without a mandatory Paczki, or as you may know it a donut, get one here when they’re frying them fresh and it’ll be the best you ever had. Try the Rose Jam if you want the most traditional flavor! Also part of our Royal Snack Route!

 

Grilled Sausages

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The best street food in Krakow is by far these fire-grilled sausages (kielbasa) straight from a communist style van at Hala Targowa. 

 

Food Truck Square….

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Can’t decide what to have for dinner? Head over to Food Truck Square and have endless options! It’s also a really cool place to hang out with friends in summer or winter. And home to one of our favorite pieces of street art “Skwer Judah”.

 

Barka…

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For partying on a boat, there is no better place than Barka, parked along the Vistula River they host awesome under-deck DJ’s, or grab a cocktail and soak up some sun. 

 

Forum Prestanzie…

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If you’re a hipster, this is your place. And it’s one of our favorite places in summer, but we won’t lie to you, we never feel cool enough to be here. (Photo courtesy of Forum’s Facebook Page). 

 

Meat and Go…

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Everyone says to eat Zapiekanka from the Rotunda on Plac Nowy, and if you haven’t yet you should. But, if you have already crossed that off your list, or maybe you want something of a higher quality anyway, check out Meat and Go. Their Porchetta sandwiches are AMAZING, and we grab one to go at least once a week (BBQ is our fave). If you don’t see it in the gazebo look for it close-by as rumor on the street is its moving.

 

Alebriche…

Mexican

 

This is our absolute favorite place for Mexican food in Krakow, and its the only authentic Mexican restaurant in the entire city. The family that runs it is adorable and really nice, and they just opened up a second location, so there’s no reason why you can’t make it! Find it on Karmelicka Street or in Kazimierz on Szeroka Street.

 

Krakus Mound

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There are four mounds in Krakow, but as of now Krakus has our heart. Not so much because of the mound itself, but more for the entire surrounding area. The views are beautiful, and there’s so much space to sit and relax in the grass. Plus it’s walkable from the city center making it our best option.

 

Most people will tell you to go to Florianska, and Grodzka, heck we told you to all year, but these are some other streets of Krakow that we prefer over the most touristic ones…

Kanonicza Street…

You might come here to see the apartments of Pope John Paul II, but we come here for the beauty of the street itself, and our favorite bookstore cafe (see below).

 

Plac Szepanski…

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This Plac is much more intimate than the main square, and its got our favorite cafe, Charlotte.  But it also has a Bania Luka Bar and a beautiful fountain that local kids actually swim in!

 

Plac Nowy…

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The heart of Kazimierz is not just one of our favorite places, but it’s also where we live! It has more than we can even right about here, including several of the bars and restaurants we’ve already listed here. Shop at the market stalls, stand-up and grab a bite to eat from the Gazebo stalls, or go ahead and relax at one of the many surrounding bars and restaurants. There’s a hand-made market on Saturdays and a flea market on Sundays.

 

The Bagry and Zakrzowek

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If the temperature is high- you’re guaranteed to find us at one of these lakes! One is a natural lake, but has been deemed completely safe to swim in and even has lifeguards. The other is a more “at your own risk” spot, but since it is formally a limestone quarry, you are deep in the carved rock, which creates a feeling of being deep in the Mediterranean. It’s hard to describe so just look at our pictures! If it isn’t hot Zakrzowek is still breathtaking to hike about.

Ciuciu

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A family favorite for souvenirs and gifts to take home, this truly handmade candy, which you can watch being made all day long, is really delicious, but also beautiful. Ciuciu is located along the famous Grodzka Street which runs between the Main Squareand Wawel Castle.

Cat Cafe

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We love Krakow, we love cats, and we love cafes, put all three of those together and you’ve got the cozy, cat-fundraising-cafe, Kocia Kawarnia.

 

Kino Pod Baranami…

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Our Polish isn’t great, well Megan’s is, but either way a movie in our native English is always a treat. We love Pod Baranami for their small movie house style, but we love them even more for their prices, location, and English language movies!

 

Shopping on Jozefa Street in Kazimierz…

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You could go to one of Krakow’s many malls, and not be disappointed, but we prefer the local small businesses in our neighborhood. For a never-ending road of local boutiques, design houses, and artist studios, look no further than Ulica Jozefa! If you’ve got the time travel to the surrounding streets throughout Kazimierz to get even more fun shops, like Beera Meiselsa or Bozego Ciala. The street art above was actually painted by the illustrator whose shop is on Jozefa Street.

 

Bona Books and Coffee on Kanonicza Street…

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A quaint little cafe on our favorite Kanonicza Street, this store sells us more than books. We go at least once a month to buy a new notebook or canvas bag. They might be sold-out of our favorite blank notebooks, we bought one for all our friends for Christmas.

 

Galeria Bukowski…

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On Ulica Sienna, just off the main square, you will find the cutest, softest, and most adorable stuffed animals and teddy bears. We buy one every time our friends have a baby, and let’s just say you might find a couple snuggling up in our apartment as well. They’re just too cute!

 

The neighborhoods of Kazimierz and Podgorze

Everyone will tell you to go to the Main Square and surrounding areas, and sure on your first visit you should. I mean it’d be like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower. But if you’ve got more than a couple days in Krakow or are on a return visit, it’s time for you to start exploring Kazimerz and Podgorze! The best bars, best people, and best restaurants fill these neighborhoods to the brim with awesome things to do. And the sites are pretty awesome too, like our favorite church exterior on the main square of Podgorze.

Zakopane and Morskie Oko…

If you follow us on social media, its no secret that we are obsessed with this nearby mountain town and its infamous lake. Any time we have a few days free we head to the mountains to have fun, relax, and/or hike about! The video above shows lake Morskie Oko, but Zakopane is much more than that!

 

And finally a couple of honorable mentions…

Planty Park

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The Planty is a perfect place to take a stroll, or bike ride. And it’s filled with monuments, fountains, and other historical sites, upholding its reputation as Krakow’s Central Park.

 

The Blonia…

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A huge green space that is also great for excercising, has awesome views of the city, and is in between the city’s two soccer stadiums. Plus it’s also next to the best park in Krakow, Park Jordana.

 

The Vistula River

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Another great place for riding bikes, if you’ve got time take the trail all the way to Tyniec Abbey! But also just a great place to sit and relax.

 

As always if you have any of your own suggestions, have questions about anything, or want us to help you plan your itinerary, email us at emilysguidetokrakow@gmail.com

 

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. Kay Bromley says:

    You are such a good guide. One would think you had lived in Poland for a long time……..

    Like

    1. emilybulak says:

      Thank you!

      Like

  2. janetshockley@comcast.net says:

    Just so interesting. You are great. Love A. Janet

    Like

    1. emilybulak says:

      Thank you Aunt Janet 🙂

      Like

  3. Ryan says:

    We really loved several of these places during our stay in Kraków. Especially Alchemia and Kanonicza street.

    Dzienkuje

    Like

    1. emilybulak says:

      So happy to hear that! Thank you!

      Like

  4. Lijuan says:

    What about Czarka or Czajownia? The Best tea stores with an unique atmosphere 🙂

    Like

    1. emilybulak says:

      You’re right! I should add the tea places

      Like

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