Beer in Krakow: Craft, Local, National… the best Places to drink them all

A recent email asked us about local breweries, places to drink craft beers, and vodka distilleries. While there are no vodka distilleries in the city of Krakow, if you are traveling through the whole country of Poland, there are plenty you can stop at.  We highly recommend a visit to the area of Zubrowka’s Distillery. This is the famous Polish vodka that has a single blade of Bison grass in each bottle. You can explore the Bison exhibit in town, hike through the protected national forest, Białowieża Forest, and even take a tour at the Polmos facility that makes the famed Zubrowka. This isn’t a convenient or easy trip from Krakow at 7 hours travel time; but if you are headed north anyway it could be something that you find a good addition to your travels. Really it’s a trip within itself. You of course could also look into touring Chopin or Belvedere’s distilleries, as they are both produced in Poland as well.

Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about beer!


Poland is just as good at making beer as it is at making vodka. From sipping on the big favorites, Tyskie, Zywiec, Warka, Perla, Lech, and Okocim to sitting in a small pub and sipping on a locally made craft brew, there are plenty of options in Krakow. So I will break this post into 3 sections: Craft and Local beers in Krakow; The best beer gardens in town; and Cool or Cozy spots to grab a big-name Polish beer.

Best Places for Craft and Local Beer in Krakow

The great thing about Krakow’s beer scene is that there are really really small breweries and also big ones. So you can really choose what you’re into, or get a taste of both styles. So let’s start with the small little guys:

In Kazimierz

**Wezze Krafta (ul. Dajwor 16): (this is my current pick for the best place to go for craft beer)**

There are two main places tourists go in Kazimierz- Szeroka Street and Plac Nowy, but wander off from those just a bit and you’ll find many hidden gems. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think Plac Nowy is the perfect place for locals and tourists to combine… but if you’re looking for craft beer- head a few minutes away to Wezze Krafta, and you’ll find everything you’re looking for.

Why did I mark this as the best place to go? They have pizza! And it’s actually good. One thing you’ll quickly notice about bars in Poland, and Europe in general, is that sometimes when there are beers, there lacks food! And when you’re drinking craft beers- sometimes you need some food to balance out the high alcohol percentages…. so it’s great that there’s fresh pizza here. The offerings are good, with many vegetarian or meat pizzas to choose from, and it seems to be a brick-fired pizza- so not too heavy either.

But another reason that I like this place so much, is that they offer each beer they serve on draft (and the majority of their beers are on taps not in bottles) in three different sizes. So you can try a little bit of a lot of different types of beers. It’s almost like you can build your own beer flight.

The place is best enjoyed when the weather is nice and you can sit in the vast courtyard– but the inside isn’t bad either.

Bonus: the location is right next to the Galicia Museum so you can visit the museum and then follow it with some beers and pizza. The museum describes itself as, “no other Jewish museum in Central/Eastern Europe of a comparable size that is as innovative as the Galicia Jewish Museum in terms of its positioning vis-à-vis exhibiting Jewish culture, the Holocaust, and present-day Jewish life all under one roof. This learning experience can be built not only by way of a passive visit to the Museum’s exhibitions, but also through active participation in a wide range of cultural, artistic, and educational programmes.”

T.E.A. Time (Ul. Jozefa Dietla 1):

Most importantly the beer served here is made in the basement, so it falls into the category of both brewery and pub (joining C.K. Browar)

T.E.A. Time is pretty cozy with a good atmosphere– and currently (July 2023) they even do a quiz night in English on Mondays.

They brew traditional English ales here in Poland, and have a large offering of all different types of beer, mostly on draft. Since this is an English pub in many ways, it attracts a large ex-pat community as well.  Even with its 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 that can be fun- I’ve had a heated game of trivial pursuit there before…

This place is close to the main parts of Kazimierz, but tucked a bit away, making it go unnoticed to many tourists.

Strefa Piwa (ul. Jozefa 6):

This is a pretty cool place, small and all about beer… It’s on Jozefa street so it’s a little bit off (3 mins away from Plac Nowy) from where most tourists go which makes it perfect. While they do not brew any of the beers themselves, they are knowledgeable about the beers they are serving and should have local snacks that pair nicely with the beers they serve. There website says the following about them:

Strefa Piwa Pub is a place where, after crossing the threshold, you will move into an unusual, surprising world of beer full of various flavors, smells and colors! Among eighteen draft beers and hundreds of bottled beers, everyone will find something for themselves.

We specialize in beers from small craft breweries in Poland and the Czech Republic. We supplement our offer with beers from the best breweries around the world. Highly qualified staff will be happy to help those undecided in the choice.

Complementing great beers and a unique atmosphere, you will taste typical beer snacks from our southern neighbors. Hermelin, Utopenec or Niva will perfectly match the style of beer you choose.

Stara Zajezdnia (ul. Sw. Wawrzyńca 12)

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 1.22.44 AM

This place is HUGE. And they brew their beer on site. It used to be a tram station/depot, but now is used for both private events and regular gatherings. On a Saturday night, despite it’s size, you may want to make reservations. It surprisingly fills up, and is a known place to throw your birthday, name day, or bachelor party. Great beer and good food, you can’t really go wrong. Plus it’s a pretty incredible space to be in, but definitely not cozy in any way. They also have a smaller restaurant now, and an outdoor courtyard which is great in summer. Be aware- sometimes the huge hall, pictured above, is rented out entirely for weddings or events, but the outer courtyard is always open to the public. And about the beer- they is what they say about themselves, “Beer in Stara Zajezdnia Kraków by DeSilva is brewed on the basis of old, proven recipes dating back to the beginnings of the production of bottom-fermented beer in Pilzno. Production is carried out manually under the supervision of the Chief Brewer – Mirosław Robak. The entire production process is slow and natural in order to obtain the maximum of vitamins, mineral salts, trace elements and, above all, sugar from the whole malt. After adding selected yeast cultures to the brew and slow fermentation, the beer matures for a long time and calmly clarifies. Stara Zajezdnia Kraków by DeSilva beer is always unpasteurized and unfiltered. Our beer was awarded twice at the Polish Brewery Congress, respectively: a bronze medal in 2017 in the category of light beers (Lager) and a gold medal in 2019 in the category of flavored beers (Pszeniczne Gruszkowe).”

In the Old Town/Main Square Area

Multi Qulti (ul. Szewska 21):

This bar is somewhere that is often suggested as a place to meet up with friends. And considering its location in the Old Town- that’s a great sign because it means that despite its touristy location- it’s actually a locals favorite. People come here to work, people come here to drink, people come here to party. It’s a well lit, contemporary spot, that is brighter than many of the other pubs. With lots of different beers on tap, it’s easy to find something you’ll like to drink. They also have food- which is a huge plus in our opinion. 

Check what they have on draft here.

Viva la Pinta (Florianska 13):

Viva is located off of one of the most touristy streets in Krakow (again there’s a McDonald’s) so it’s convenient if you’re staying close by, or in the neighborhood and need a break from site-seeing. They open up the side of their spot in the summer for a nice open-air beer garden. Even with its proximity to the major tourist sites, it is a perfectly tucked away space for people in the know. Their craft beer selection is extensive, and as we always say, the fact they have food too is a great bonus!

House of Beer (ul. Sw. Tomasza 35):

House of Beer (as well as Multi Quilti above) can best be described as the closest to the tourist areas, their beers are good and local, but the crowd will be mostly other internationals. 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), keep that in mind, and check the atmosphere out before heading in.  House of Beer has beers from Poland but also features beers from Belgian, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Ukraine, Germany and more… It appears much fancier than the other pubs listed here, with a lot of dark oak furniture and custom built shelves to neatly hold all the beers they have on offer- but go past the entrance and it gets a bit more casual. There is also a downstairs basement– a quintessential experience when in Krakow. If you don’t drink in a damp basement at least once when you come to Krakow- did you even visit?

C.K. Browar (ul. Podwale 6-7 on corner go underground): 

They brew their own unfiltered and unpasteurized beer on the premise, 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 and food is more elaborate than others place recommended.. 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 with your beer.  When you walk into the beer hall you will have three options. You can dine in the fine-dining beer hall area; you can grab a table in the pub side with all the high top tables; or you can go even further down into the basement where there is a nightclub.

C.K. Browar is known for selling flights of beer, pints of beers, but also huge 5 liter tubes of beer too! Some of the beers I like that they brew there are both the honey and the ginger beers. The smell is a little strange at first, but you get used to it, you are in an actual brewery after all, so being able to smell the beer brewing is part of the experience. The 5-liter tubes are what make C.K. Browar one of the best places if you’re a large group. 

Technically they are the oldest brewery here in Krakow– but don’t expect a thousand year history like some of the monks still brewing beer in Prague! They’ve only been open at C.K. Browar since 1996.


Best Places to Drink Beer Outside and Krakow’s Best Beer Gardens

Forum Przestrzenie (ul. Marii Konopnickiej 28)


This placed could be renamed Hipster Haven. Whether you’re with them or against them, this open space was once a soviet-era hotel, so the history behind it is thick. Now you can find people all day and all night lounging about drinking beer. With views of the Wisla River, this trendy spot is filled with things to amuse you. So grab a beach chair or table, and make this space into whatever you want. A make-shift office, a party spot on Saturdays, or a place to grab lunch with a beer. They also have special events and pretty nice views of the old town. Next door is now Hala Forum as well. And their space outside looks just like an extension of Forum Pr. itself- so you don’t really know where one ends and the other begins– but be sure to go inside and check out both spaces if you are planning to eat.. in the back of Hala Forum are food truck spaces, so there are many options. 

Mleczarnia (Beera Meiselsa 20)


Often called Krakow’s best beer garden, Mleczarnia is first and foremost a year-round cozy cafe just off of Plac Nowy. Similar in many ways to both Alchemia and Singer. But in the warmer months, you can head across the street from the cafe to the outdoor beer garden. Order from the counter, they even serve wine, and grab a cute little table, with candles for nighttime, and shade from the sun during the day.

Eszewaria (Jozefa 9)

I’m listing this bar twice. Once here as a beer garden, and once again later as one of the most coziest spots in the city. It’s only a beer garden in the summer- and you’d have no idea it exists if you were just walking by, as it’s hidden out back, but just enter the darkly lit cafe, and after you’ve ordered a beer from the counter, go through the back door and you’ll be in a beautiful beer garden.

Zielone Tarasy (aleja Juliusza Słowackiego 64)


There’s only a couple of rooftop spots in the city; most of which are in the large name hotels. But this one is a nice little cafe outside the city center with some pretty cool views. I wouldn’t say it’s worth the trouble if you only have a couple of days in town, but if you’re in Krakow for a while and want to keep exploring, this is a nice place to stop by. Only here for a short-time and really want a rooftop bar? Just go to Rubenstein’s Rooftop in Kazimierz. 

Cool and Cozy Places to Grab a Drink

So obviously all of the beer gardens we have listed are great when it’s nice and warm outside, but what about on those cold winter nights? And what about some places that may not have a huge selection of craft beer, but still have a really cool atmosphere? Here’s a few of our favorite spots to grab a drink that didn’t fit squarely into the other categories.

Eszewaria (Jozefa 9)

The best place in town in my opinion for drinking hot beer. This is the embodiment of a Kazimierz style bar. Old, antique, vintage, and smoky. Cuddle up on a cold night or chill out during the day. Either way we love the way the hot beer here has a nice sugary foam on top. Oh you’ve never had hot beer? Get some now! It’s yummy and delicious and sweet.

Alchemia (Estery 5)


Alchemia has everything that a person could want. A great atmosphere, stellar reputation, amazing food, and some pretty awesome shows in the basement too. If we only had a day in Krakow this would always be in the list. A cafe by day, a hot dinner spot by evening, and a club by night, this is a very versatile place.

Singer (Estery 20)

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 1.55.52 AM.png

Named after the famed sewing machine, every table in this place is an antique version of the machine. Just like Alchemia, Singer is a quiet little cafe during the day, but by night it gets much more rowdy. In fact, if you stay late enough into the night we hear people start dancing on top of the tables!

A Couple of other Random Places we love to party at…

Papito’s (ul. Jagiellońska 10)

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 2.04.45 AM

Why do we love Papito’s? Sliders. Sliders. Sliders. There came a time where we were here every Saturday night drinking and partying and stuffing our little faces with tiny burgers. This place has a Latin vibe (obviously) a huge dance club area, but also a quiet little bar and restaurant as well. [this menu is OLDDD so the prices now are much different].

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 2.05.11 AM

Cheapest Beers in Krakow…

Bania Luka (Multiple Locations)

Bania Luka II.JPG

You can read our full write-up on Bania Luka here. Cheap, good, and fun. This is an excellent pre-game spot, a short stop along your day, or if you’ve got a lot of people and don’t want to spend a lot of money, stop on in to Bania!

Pijalnia Wodki i Piwa (Multiple Locations)

Pijalnia II.JPG

Again, for our full write-up on what I would considered our absolute favorite place to go all the time any time, go here. I mean we just absolutely love this place. The theme is cool, the people that work here are cool. The shots are awesome, the food is really good for the price and as a compliment to shots of vodka. I don’t know why, but we have just always had a lot of fun here. If we have a party to go to, we always stop by a Pijalnia Wodki to have a beer and a shot before-hand.

As always, if you have any questions or want to speak to me directly, just drop me a message at and if you use this list and have something to add, please comment below!

Bunkier Cafe (pl. Szczepański 3a)Unfortunately Bunkier Cafe has closed, and we don’t know if they will reopen again or not. 

Bunkier I.JPG

There’s two things this place has going for it. In the warmer months, you can sit outside along The Planty surrounded by greenery, bikers, and fresh air, but you can also drink Tyskie’s Tank Beer here. If you want to know more about this spot, see our pictures, and learn about the tank beer they serve, just visit our full-article here.

Bunkier II.JPG

Ursa Major (Plac Wolnica 10) actual bar does not exist anymore, but the brewery still does- however, it’s 3.5 hours outside of Krakow, so probably won’t be something you’ll want to add to your list. But keep the brand in mind, as Ursa Major is doing some great work, and you may want to try their beers at one of the craft beer places you visit while on your stay in Krakow. 

ursa maior.png

For whatever reason I have always liked this place. I like their logo, I like the little store they have inside the pub with really cool things to take home with you, and while they don’t make the beer here in what is considered their Concept Store, they do make their own beer over in Uherce Mineralne a few hours outside the city. And the head brewer is a woman, Agnieszka Lopata, with many awards and accolades; as well as a list of published books, she truly represents the logo of Ursa Major, a female bear, a protector.  Company logistics aside, this little pub has handmade chairs and tables, and a real artistic feel. The brewery itself promotes local artists both in Krakow and where they brew there beer. The beer is good, and the atmosphere is truly unique.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Janet Shockley says:

    I am not a drinker but your writings are so much fun to read and see. Hope to see you soon sometime. Love A. Janet

  2. Michael says:

    Because you mentioned pubs, you may like… a party with polish vodka tasting 😀 I know that those kind of events are organised by seekrakow – during the party you can learn a lot of interesting facts connected to alcohol 🙂

  3. Natasha says:

    Nice blog 🙂 very helpful 🙂 greetings from Ukraine

  4. Thomas says:

    Very helpful guide – Polish vodka is the best !
    Greetings from England

Leave a Reply