Vegan or vegetarian? No problem! There are plenty of options for people with these sorts of dietary restrictions in Krakow. We’re sure you’ve heard that Poland has a very meat-heavy cuisine, which may be true, but there are also so many choices for people that aren’t fond of meat.
Vegetarians may find it way easier than vegans to find options as many meatless dishes are comprised of some other dairy or eggs.
Traditional Polish food that is usually vegetarian:
Mushroom Soup (ask if it is made with meat broth)
Zapiekanki (get the plain or mushroom version)
Pierogi Ruskie or Mushroom and Cabbage Pierogi (make sure they are not served with lard or bacon fat)
Barszcz (ask if it is made with meat broth)
For vegans, your options for traditional Polish food are obwarzanki. They are sold on almost every street corner and they are great as a morning snack. Just make sure to get the poppyseed or salt ones, as some have cheese. It is possible that mushroom and cabbage pierogi may be made without egg in the dough, but that will most likely require some knowledge of Polish so you can confirm the ingredients. Your best option will be to go to a store and pick up some staples. The store-bought instant barszcz is definitely vegan and so are some brands of piernik. So if you want to try some traditional Polish food, it might be easier to go somewhere where you can easily read the ingredients.
Some words to look out for when looking at a menu or ingredients list:
mięso/mięsem – meat
ser/serem – cheese
mleko/mlekiem – milk
masło/masłem – butter
jajka/jajkami – eggs
boczek – bacon
żelatyna – gelatin
Some helpful phrases if you are at a restaurant or food stand:
Proszę…bez mleka/sera/mięsa/masła – Can I have…without milk/cheese/meat/butter
Czy to ma…? – Does this have
Czy to wegetariańska? – Is this vegetarian?
Czy to wegańskie? – Is this vegan?
Our favorite vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Krakow are:
Serves mostly burgers. Also, sides, smoothies, and desserts. They are a small cafe-type restaurant in Kazimierz, right on Plac Wolnica. Their prices are reasonable and they are great for lunch or dinner.
Check their website (in Polish, but easy to navigate) for a menu and weekly specials:
Plac Wolnica 12, Krakow
Glonojad (vegetarian, but almost anything can me made vegan)
Serves everything from tacos, to pierogi, to indian food. They’ve got a great selection and their menu changes a lot so there’s always something new to try. They are even cheaper than Novakrova and have a great selection of smoothies, desserts, and sides as well. They are less than a block from the Barbican. Try to hit before or after lunch hours as it tends to get very busy and seating is limited.
Check our their Facebook page (Polish and English) for more info.
Plac Matejki 2 Kraków
Hamsa (vegan and vegetarian-friendly)
Serves Israeli food. There are tons of options from hummus, to veggie burgers, to falafel. All menu items are labelled as vegetarian, vegan, or otherwise. Also in Kazimierz; a great place to sit and chat or cool off after a long day of touring the Jewish Quarter.
Here’s their website in English where you can also find a menu:
Szeroka Street 2 / Miodowa Street 41 Kraków
And don’t forget to check out HappyCow.net for more restaurants, cafes, and shops that are vegan and vegetarian-friendly!
Don’t forget if you have any questions, comments, or want us to make you a custom-made list or itinerary, you can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org