From cosy joints hidden between the swaying pine trees of Planty Park to pumpkin-mad resto bars pouring out onto charming summer gardens, we range from the Old Town to the bohemian streets of Kazimierz to award what we consider to have been the best cafes in Krakow from 2015.
Sat neatly on the divide between Kazimierz and Podgorze, Mostowa fuses coffee, creativity, local vibes and Polish craft brews into one charming café experience. The small, monochrome interior of clean white tones and timber tables does well to host the area’s resident moustachioed hipsters. But Mostowa is more than just another Kazimierz boho dive: there’s great cake too, fresh juices aplenty and thought-provoking exhibitions pepper the calendar to boot.
Mostowa 8, +48 730 480 477
Joined at the bohemian hip to the cutting-edge exhibition rooms of its namesake gallery – Bunkier Sztuki – our top pick coffee shop in Krakow for 2015 comes in the form of this half al fresco drinkery on the edge of the Planty Park. Delineated by a transparent plastic covering that sets its quirky terrace of worn wooden tables, mismatched chairs and exposed concrete apart from the continuous flow of dog-walking locals and map-touting tourists outside, this artsy joint boasts some seriously fine people-watching opportunities besides its aromatic brews – all cooked up in the spirit of the Viennese coffee aficionados who first consecrated the drink in Europe. And to match a fine fix of caffeine, there’s now also a regularly-changing menu of veggie-friendly mezze: hummus; fried haloumi; falafel et al.
plac Szczepański 3a, +48 12 422 10 52
A chilled-out, living room of a café in the heart of Kazimierz, Cheder is a staple on the cultural line-up of Krakow, known widely for its role in organising many of the city’s Jewish heritage events. The coffee here is suitably interesting and flavoured with a twist of the Middle East too, with Israeli and Mediterranean styles of the classic brew taking centre stage. Aromas of cardamom and ginger abound, twisting in plumes of mist from the spouts of traditional Finjan coffee jugs, while laid-back bookish types dominate the tables and floor cushions, invariably lost in some tome or other.
Józefa 36, +48 515 732 226
A dark and brooding interior of Hemingway and hipster overtones makes Eszeweria a perennial favourite on our selection of the finest coffee shops in Krakow. Intrepid patrons cross the proverbial threshold into this shadowy café of candlelight and boho Victorianism, where hidden spaces and shady alcoves give way to cushiony seats and crooked tables ad infinitum. Swinging Davey lamps frame the bar and lopsided, exposed-brick walls divide the various interiors, making for one thought-provoking and memorable drinking space to say the least. The coffee is – of course – excellent, while the cool and breezy garden adds a whole other dimension during the hot summer months.
ul Józefa 9, +48 122 920 458
Tactically located on up-and-coming Krupnicza Street, amidst a foray of other hipster coffee houses and veggie eateries, Karma stands out with its sleek design and top-notch brews. A stripped-down, L-shaped interior gives way to a small bar that’s framed with stacks of house-roasted coffee beans from right across the globe, while an overarching commitment to freshness and seasonally-available produce means patrons can rest assured they are getting some of the finest coffee in Krakow for sure!
Krupnicza 12/3, +48 662 387 281
The slightly more hidden brother of already-well-hidden Spokoj trumps its counterpart café onto this list with an offering that’s altogether more unique. Yes, swish flower-power Spokoj has the crowds and bags of character, but Cisza boasts an attractive simplicity that makes it a truly top-notch spot to settle in for a coffee in Krakow. The big mugs of bubbling white brews are a bargain at 8-10 PLN, while the surrounding melange of slow-mo lava lamps and summer-of-love paraphernalia rarely fails to entertain. What’s more, the seating is uber-comfy, with more sofas, corner seats and scuffed cushions than you can shake a Hendrix vinyl at!
Bracka 3, +48 501 652 478
Occupying a great spot on the corner of Szpitalna and Tomasza right in the midst of the Krakow Old Town, Tak Było is a strong contender for Krakow’s finest coffee joint – despite the overarching focus on fresh juices and creative cocktails that is! With everything from frothy cappuccinos to potent espresso pick-me-ups, this cool and collected establishment draws daytime laptop workers and casual newspaper skimmers alike. However, brews aside, the real draws here have to be the stylish and comfy interior, set out over an airy downstairs with floor-to-ceiling windows and a mezzanine floor complete with cushiony poof seats, and the mouth-watering array of cakes; perfect for matching with a coffee.
Massolit Books & Café
Row upon row of crooked bookshelves and dusty stacks of nameless tomes dominate the interior of Massolit Books & Café on the edge of the Krakow Old Town, imbuing it with a truly authentic, intellectual and thought-provoking edge that’s lost on many of the city’s other more run-of-the-mill coffee joints. Known amongst expats as the prime boutique for English language book shopping, this one beckons with everything from translated Mickiewicz to Polish for Dummies, along with an array of aromatic coffees and in-house cakes that are to die for!
Felicjanek 4, +48 12 432 41 50
Plucked straight from the streets of Paris’ Latin Quarter, Kolory is a Francophone drinking joint in the midst of the Krakow Jewish Quarter, complete with a welcome offering of expertly made lattes, cappuccinos and croissants. Plumes of cigarette smoke swirl in the designated area out front, signalling this one’s Parisian backbone, while the café spills out into a wide conservatory space in the back, where cushioned seats and a smattering of tables coalesce between graffiti maps of the French capital and scrawled mantras written in the mother tongue. Expect to sit in the company of language groups and Couchsurfing get-togethers!
Estery 10, +48 12 429 42 70
Another stripped-down, industrial-chic coffee joint courtesy of arguably the hottest street in Krakow from all of 2015 (Krupnicza), monochrome Tektura is a mishmash of timber tables and exposed brick, chalkboards and stainless steel lights. Typically filled with a resident crowd of students and yuppies, folk head here to work and chatter over a mug of top-notch cappuccino. The menu also offers a range of healthy sandwiches and cocktails, along with a whole host of craft brews that are perfect for easing into a Friday night.
Krupnicza 7, +48 797 827 807