5 Places You MUST Visit In Krakow This Autumn (2016)
It’s getting colder, meaning you will want to spend time indoors not only when you’re visitng a museum or feeling hungry. Every now and again you’re going to have this thought: ok, so how about we stop for… coffee, tea, snack, drink, something sweet, you name it, it’s just an excuse anyway, as it’s just getting cold. Or windy, or rainy. So here’s where to stop in order to still be making most of your Krakow visit.
MASSOLIT BAKERY AND CAFE
The ‘Master And Margarita‘-inspired American bookstore is a Krakow institution, now it also has its bakery and cafe. It’s a lovely place. Clean and modern, with beautiful 1970ish tiles on the floor, it’s a paradise for those seeking a quick teleport channel to Brooklyn and it’s trendy cafes. They bake their own bread and bagels here (NYC style, of course) and serve coffee brewed using alternative methods. Both make an excellent breakfast. The staff is trendy, cool and wonderfully indifferent: we spilt our coffee and asked for help but nobody cared so we had to wipe the table ourselves. But hey, that’s the hipster tax you pay, right?
If you haven’t visited Krakow’s summer 2016 revelation Tytano, then Miedzymiastowa is a good enough reason to do it. It’s an old-tobacco-factory-turned-trendy-restaurant-and-club-centre and it’s home to a couple of interesting places, including the restaurant-in-question. Well, restaurant is probably not the most precise of terms to describe Międzymiastowa (which translates as ‘Intercity’), which is also a great spot to grab a cocktail or just coffee. The menu is a rather safe bet, with your typical chicken, steak, some seafood and pizzas and pastas, but it’s a great choice for informal lunch or just when you need some comfort food rather then feeling adventurous about your order. They are one of the first to serve breakfasts for 1 zł (plus the price of coffee, Mon-Fri), so the place fills up from the very morning!
Now that’s a place with character! If you’ve done your Krakow food research properly, you’ve probably come across Zazie, the Michelin-recommended French bistro in Kazimierz. Karakter has the same owners and judging by the quality of food you get there, another the Michelin plaque on the door there is just a matter of time. The restaurant specializes in meat (sorry, vegetarians!) and the chef is not at all afraid of ‘the fifth quarter’, so tongues, tripe and sweetbread are not uncommon on the menu. Speaking of which, check the sweetbread/green pea ravioli/beef cheeks dish, it’s pure poetry (especially if you favourite poet is O. Butter:) There’s a good selection of organic wines, including many Polish, too. If you’d like to see where Modern Polish cuisine is heading these days, don’t hesitate, book your table at Karakter (recommended!).
Z UST DO UST
The name translates as ‘Word Of Mouth’ but the literal meaning in Polish is ‘From Lips To Lips’, so other than referring to the tradition of passing the recommendations to the closest circle of friends and acquaintances, this cosy speakeasy introduces a little lusty atmosphere already at the name level. And a little erotic are their cocktails, too! After having a couple of choices from the menu, we also had some tailor-made propositions crafted by the guest-bartenders from Gdank’s Flisak ’76 who were working behind the bar that night. And to finish it off, we were offered some magic love potions in form of shots (wasn’t ‘Elixir Of Love’ the name of one of them?:) Their house vodka is Palace, one of the best Polish potato vodka in its category, so that stole our hearts, too. As it’s a speakeasy, you don’t just get the address to get to the place, you need to find it, or be told about it. So let’s say we’re telling you about it and here is a hint for you on where to find them:
Start at Zenit at 9am with breakfast, finish late at night sipping beer or a cocktail. Good thing is, your choice will not be limited to scrambled eggs or sandwiches (bacon porridge, anyone? Or a waffle with roast beef, local bundz cheese and poached egg?). In the meantime, have your lunch or dinner, or just meet up with friends for coffee. Zenit will welcome you at any time and it’s this kind of place you really appreciate: relaxed but classy (hey, their interior design with blue and gold, and a lot of wood, and plans, and beautiful logo font – just this makes you want to spend a while there!), not rushed but with staff that is attentive and will not let your table remain empty for a long time. Put it on your bucket list!
Map of locations: