In a city packed to the brim with hidden eateries, food trucks, pop-up kitchens and traditional restaurants, it’s hardly a surprise that locals and travellers are spoiled for choice when it comes to eating lunch in Krakow. Delve into our selection of the finest places to chow down at midday, complete with pierogi, creative culinary creations, plenty of Slavic beers and more…
Off-the-beaten-track and all the better for it, this tight-knit little hole-in-the-wall on Kazimierz’s Augustianska can often be found buzzing with the chatter of locals, and always scented with the twisting aromas of dry-roasted cumin and chilli. The name of the game – just as the name of the joint would suggest – is hummus, which comes in all shapes and sizes here, and is served with a generous helping of raw vegetables, pita breads and homemade loaves for dipping. There are also in-house organic wines to sample and one impossibly adorable resident dog for company.
Augustiańska 3, +48 533 306 288
Set between the bustling beer bars and interesting hipster spots of Kazimierz, this unforgettable and highly-recommended joint is a veritable must for anyone’s lunch outing in Krakow. Famed primarily for its off-beat gig calendar, resident crowd of Czech beer-sipping locals and hidden rooms (courtesy of one seriously cool wardrobe door), Alchemia has more recently branched out to offer everything from platters of haloumi and hummus to English-style fish and chips, wedge of lemon et al.
Estery 5, +48 12 421 22 00
Pumpkins ain’t just for Halloween in Krakow! No sir, a medley of pumpkin-themed dishes plumps up the menu at this stylish joint of exposed brick walls and washed out timber on Krupnicza Street. But it doesn’t end there either because lunch time also means oodles of interesting sandwhiches packed with grilled veg and cheese, salads and pastas both vegetarian-friendly and doused in marinated chicken. To drink, there are home-made lemonades and interesting mocktails, while retiring to the al fresco garden out back in the summertime with a beer at the ready is one of the finest past times in town!
Krupnicza 20, +48 12 430 08 38
Chimera Salad Bar
Beneath a canopy of greenery in the midst of the Krakow Old Town, this popular little spot serves up its trademark salad buffet with gusto. Portions are big, the options are endless and the cooking is second-to-none, making for a fine lunch that caters to both through-and-through veggies, heathy eaters and carnivores alike. There’s also a selection of homemade juices to accompany, along with beers and desserts of the craft and creative varieties.
św. Anny 3, +48 12 292 12 12
Jadlodajnia U Stasi
For those in search of a serving of classic Polish pierogi, U Pani Stasi is arguably the finest option on Krakow’s long list of so-called pierogarnia. An age-old joint that still packs a communist punch, shocking those who stroll in from Mikołajska Street with its stripped-down utilitarianism and stoic appearance (think plastic chairs and tables courtesy of This is England), U Stasi boasts some of the most celebrated dumplings in all of Krakow, nay, Poland. Expect everything from the ubiquitous ruski (packed with potato and cream cheese) to meat-filled options, and remember once they are gone, they’re gone!
Mikołajska 16, +48 12 421 50 84
A slightly puffed up version of the traditional Polish milk bar, this casual little eatery on the edges of Tomasza Street (the same of Diva fame) cooks up a smorgasbord of national favourites. Pierogi predictably reigns supreme, while a dash of more creative additions, like veggie chilli and tortilla wraps, takes this one out of the communist era and into the 21st century, a move only helped by the stripped-down, hipster décor and communal eating vibes.
A longtime staple of the Krakow lunch and dinner scene, Pod Wawelem is sits in an unbeatable spot in the shadow of the mighty city castle and cathedral complex. Inside, long, Bavarian-esque tables are manned by crowds of lively locals and travellers right throughout the year, while the sprawling main platters of meat kebabs and grilled dishes accompany a seemingly endless supply of frothy Slavic beers. In the summer, try to settle here early and grab one of the al fresco pub tables in the Planty Park, enjoying fine views of the swaying sycamores and cyclists that abound.
św. Gertrudy 26-29, +48 12 421 23 36
Hamsa Hummus & Happiness
A laid-back, low-key lunchtime spot that comes complete with beanbags and timber crate seating in its outdoor area, Hummus and Happiness has risen in recent years to become Krakow’s premier Middle Eastern food spot. Patrons choose from a menu of mezze treats, like deep-fried jibneh cheese balls (which come highly-recommended) falafel and baba ghanoush, while every meal is made to accompany the in-house hummus (also fantastic) and traditional flatbreads that seem plucked straight from the earthy kitchens of the Levant. Put simply: this Krakow lunch spot is not to be missed!
Szeroka 2, +48 515 150 145
Far away from the touristic hustle and bustle of Krakow’s Old Town heart, BAL makes its home in the post-industrial quarter of Zabłocie. True to its neighbours on the Podgorze side of the river, the joint is stripped-down and chic to the hilt, with white tables abutting swinging light bulbs, stainless steel shades and thought-provoking art on the walls. Food wise, patrons can expect a medley of fresh and healthy bagels, home-baked croissants, oodles of salads and sough dough bread sandwiches to boot. Oh, and the dog friendly means the company ain’t always on two legs!
Ślusarska 9, +48 734 411 733
Bringing a little cosmopolitan dash to this list of the finest places to lunch in Krakow, Youmiko Sushi and its medley of hosomaki, nigri and gunkan (yea, us neither!) is now being touted as the city’s top Japanese stop-off. The blackboard menu of rice-packed rolls changes daily, meaning all the vegan and veggie options here stay fresh and creative. On the side, there’s a range of Oriental teas to get through, while the location in the heart of Kazimierz makes Youmiko a fine place to chow down while touring the historic wealth of the Jewish Quarter.
Józefa 2, +48 666 471 176
Do you have any more suggestions for places to eat in Krakow? We’d love to hear them in the comments…