my city guide: Krakow
Morskie Oko (plac Szczepański) – the best Barszcz (beetroot soup) I have tasted. Ask for a table in the cellar downstairs, the restaurant has lovely traditional décor, live folk music and large wooden benches great for large parties.
Morskie Oko (sea eye) is a large lake in the Tatra National Park, well worth a visit if you have time to leave the city. To get to the lake it is a 2 hour walk on a paved road from the car park or take a horse drawn cart. Spectacular views but no swimming allowed.
Pierogarnia Zapiecek (Sławkowska) – ideal for a quick bite and you can’t leave Krakow without trying traditional pierogi (dumplings). It is so cheap; you don’t have to question going back for seconds. If you go in the winter this is a perfect place for a relief from the cold, it is tiny but we always manage to squeeze onto a table. The barszcz is the perfect shade of purple served with handmade mushroom ravioli. Then try the assorted mix of pierogi. If you still have room go for the strawberry pierogi, served with sour cream and then shower it in sugar. The pierogi are made by hand each day, there is a little corner where you can watch the ladies make them, great for keeping kids quiet.
Maly Sledz little herring (ul. Bozego Ciala) – I haven’t eaten here but it looks fun and something different if you can’t face anymore meat and pierogi. Polish tapas and cheap beer, the herring comes in all shapes, sizes and flavours.
Head down the alley next door and you’ll see a hidden hipster drinking spot Pasaz Bielaka, outdoor seating, great cocktails and music from Pasaz, open till 3am.
Wodka bar (Mikołajska 5) – if you go for the row of 6 make sure you get the caramel and chocolate flavour vodka, I would avoid the eggnog flavour (pictured in yellow).
Albertina (Dominikańska 3) – if you are celebrating a special occasion then treat yourself to a meal here (I took my beautiful Mama as a thank you present for our holiday). It is pricey compared to other restaurants in Krakow but still reasonable for fine dining. They have a great choice of lobster dishes and delicious amuse bouche arrive with the most fantastic customer service. The halva desert (pictured) was my highlight.
Tytano – the old tobacco factory (ul. Dolnych Młynów) a little bit out of the old town but well worth a visit if you want to drink with the locals rather than the tourists. Great cocktails and improved music. Poland isn’t known for its music scene, you won’t love the music it’s never going to be edgy it will be cheese/rock/techno.
Interesting sign for the toilet!
By day Tytano is a hub for art and design, you can visit the showroom in the urban design centre for Polish interior design and accessories.
Tytano meaning ‘old tobacco factory’ is an area of huge post industrial buildings, you have a number of bars and restaurants to choose from. Poles love their meat so if you are struggling to find a decent vegan/vegetarian restaurant then head here to Veganic. The food is beautifully presented and served with a choice of eco-wines or craft beers and set in an enormous garden. Sounds like a perfect hipster hangout to me.
Jewish quarter (Kazimierz) lots of little shops perfect for an afternoon mooch. I would recommend a visit to Lulua on ul. Jozefa 22, it is a niche (pricey) perfume and cologne shop which specialises in unique artisan scents from all over the world. If you are picking up a gift for the boyfriend/husband then I loved the ‘Blood Concept’ range.
Hamsa (Szeroka 2) Modern Israeli food with a youthful and informal feel, nice selection of juices and beers and you can even buy the staff t-shirt. It can get busy so book a table to avoid disappointment; everyone orders the mezze platter which comes with lots of pickles and bread.