9 Best Ethnic Places In Krakow
So let’s say you don’t like pierogi. We actually don’t believe that but if we try really hard, we can imagine this highly unlikely situation. Let’s also think of a far-fetched case when you’ve had enough of kiełbasa and bigos. That hurts, doesn’t it? And what about if we fantasize of you turning down another serving of Polish żurek? No way!
Ok, even though all the above is a nightmare of a Polish culinary tour guide, we understand that sometimes you may feel like something not-so-local. Kraków may not be a vibrant cultural melting pot, it’s more of an old city breathing with Polish history and tradition, but that doesn’t mean that you will be limited to the Polish fare. This city can surprise you with its hidden gems. Get off the beaten track and be adventurous! You can try delicious falafel, asian dumplings or authentic Neapolitan pizza.
01. Pizzeria Vicenti
Kraków has its first, real pizzeria al taglio (by the slice, literally “by the cut”), just like in Rome! At Vicenti’s you are greeted with a display of large rectangular trays loaded with delicious pizza. You have your regular margherita (tomato sauce and cheese) and pizza rosa (tomato sauce only – it’s vegan!). There are many toppings to choose from: eggplant, zucchini, prosciutto, salami, anchovies, potatoes (carbs on carbs, but it’s really delicious!) and many more. It’s a mix & match situation, so you can order small portions of many varieties. Your pizza is then reheated and bon appetit! It’s super authentic and really tasty. And it definitely won’t ruin your budget! And if you happen to visit Lublin, a branch opens there in a couple of weeks.
Pizzeria Vicenti, ul. Szewska 27.
02. Calavera Mexican Grill
Mexico is quite far away from Kraków, but at Calavera, you can have a spicy taste of this very popular cuisine. Calavera offers a wide range of tasty Mexican dishes. Start with soup of the day, nachos and a serving of delicious guacamole. There is a number of good taco options (with beef, pork, chicken and vegetarian) served on excellent corn tortillas, and their hearty burrito is a star. Other menu items are worth trying as well: crispy and cheesy quesadillas, flavorful tostadas and yummy flan dessert. They have a brick & mortar location in Biskupia street and a food truck than can be found in different locations across the city.
Calavera Mexican Grill, ul. Biskupia 4/1
In the past, Kazimierz used to be home to bagels, cholent (stew of meat, beans and barley) and gefilte fish. These days you will hardly find any Ashkenazi Jewish dishes here. There’s, however, Hamsa: a spacious and cozy restaurant in the heart of Old Kazimierz with its modern Israeli offerings. For starters, get the mezze plate with tasty snacks of your choice. You’ll be presented with a big hand-shaped platter with delicious hummuses, muhammara (spicy dip made with roasted peppers, walnuts and pomegranate molasses – it’s to die for), falafel balls or whatever you ordered. Now you can move to the main courses: chicken or lamb meatballs tagine, shish kebabs, fish from Jaffa or baked eggplant with bulgur. And you know what else is great about Hamsa? It will cater to all your dietary needs. Their menu is labeled with many vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free options.
Hamsa, ul. Szeroka 2
04. Ti Amo Ti
It’s a real Italian trattoria in the heart of Kraków. Music, decor, staff and most importantly food – everything at Ti Amo Ti feels like you’re dining in an authentic Italian place. The food looks and tastes just like in Naples. Try their Neapolitan pizza or actually pizza napoletana. Remember that it’s all about the crust – at Ti Ami Ti the dough is made with high protein flour (type 0 or 00). The pizza is rolled by hand and baked in a wood-fired oven. Don’t worry, the toppings are top notch as well – nothing beats San Marzano tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Ti Amo Ti is not just pizza, you can order perfect pasta or fresh seafood on Thursday.
Ti Amo Ti, ul. Karmelicka 10
05. Baozi House
Dim sum became all the rage a few years ago, but up until recently you couldn’t get them in Kraków. No wonder that this compact place took the city by a storm. The idea of dim sum is very similar to Spanish tapas – they are small bite-sized snacks usually served in steamer baskets. Dim Sum houses originated in Canton but these you will find everywhere, in Kraków as well. Although Baozi House is the heart of Kazimierz, it’s located on a pretty quiet street – Dajwór, a bit off the beaten track. Their menu has a nice selection of dumplings and steamed buns plus an Asian soup of the day (and they can be pretty spicy!). When it comes to the dumplings/buns you’ll find your classic options like shrimp and pork with ginger or honey chicken with hoisin. There’s is nice selection of delicious vegetarian and vegan options too!
Baozi House, ul. Dajwór 23/21
06. Coca & Ciuri Ciuri
It all started with a tiny place called Coca Typical Sicilian Food run by Antonio, a true Sicilian who moved to Kraków and gave the place its informal name: „The Sicilian”. At this hole-in-the-wall kind of place you could order a square slice of thick-crust Sicilian pizza topped with anchovis. Or sink your teeth in delicious arancini. And there’s pasta and flavorful parmigiana with eggplant. Make room for the dessert, because at Coca you’ll find Sicilian classic: cannoli. After a couple of years, Antonio opened a bigger place Ciuri Ciuri right next door. The menu is bigger and more diverse, but the idea stays the same – authentic Sicilian fare. During the summer they open an ice cream parlor just around the corner with the most delicious gelato in the city.
Coca Typical Sicilian Food, ul. Kupa 3
Ciuri Ciuri, ul. Kupa 3
07. Zazie Bistro
This busy French bistro offers a number of great wines and classic dishes like crocque-madame, cheese souffle, boeuf bourguignon, various quiches and potato gratins. They serve a number of succulent meat dishes (how about lamb tongues with mashed potatoes, green peas with mint, spinach and roasted linseed?) and beautiful seafood options (octopus with parsnip puree anyone?). Well, basically it’s hard to go wrong with anything on their menu. For dessert, order forest fruit and brioche pudding, it’s to die for. And dining there won’t bust your budget, as this year they’ve made it to Michelin’s Bib Gourmand list (a category described as “exceptional good food at moderate prices”).
Zazie Bistro, ul. Józefa 34
08. Mazaya Falafel
What does one look for in a falafel? To be tasty, cheap and filling. Food at Malaya falafel is just that and more. The place is run by the Syrians and is much more than your basic falafel shack offering quick and affordable bites. Order a falafel sandwich or one of the Mazaya platters with crisp and nutty falafel, tahini-dappled hummus, delicious pickled veggies, pitas and sauces. Don’t forget about a side of tabbouleh salad and tart, refreshing ayran (salty watered-down yogurt) to wash it down with.
Mazaya Falafel, ul. Grzegórzecka 40
09. Mandu & Oriental Spoon
After eating your way through all the types of Polish pierogi, you might find yourself craving something more exotic. No problem! Just head over to Mandu. This tiny and stylishly decorated restaurant serves delicious Korean dumplings called mandu. They come steamed, fried or grilled, with a variety of meaty and vegetarian fillings and you dip them in one of three sauces (if you want to eat Mandu’s peanut butter sauce by spoonfuls, you’re not the only one). Craving more Korean food? You’re in luck! Right next door you’ll find Oriental Spoon – bibimbap restaurant and Mandu’s big brother opened by a pair of Koreans.
Mandu, ul. Paderewskiego 4
Oriental Spoon, ul. Paderewskiego 4
Map of locations:
Text: Halina Jasonek
We’re Eat Polska. We run culinary tours about food and vodka in Warsaw, Krakow and Gdansk. We’re also passionate foodies and city explorers, and this blog is where we share our hints with you.