Krakow, or Cracow, is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland that is situated on the Vistula river. It was the official capital of the country until 1596 and one of the leading centers of the Polish economy, academic, cultural, and artistic life. Nowadays, the city is more majestic today than it ever was. It draws a multitude of tourists from all over the world. Being cited as one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, its Old Town and historic center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978, one of the first 12 sites to be granted the status. Besides the Old Town, the city is a heaven for architecture buffs from all around the world. You can find all the great European architectural styles – Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Art Nouveau – that have cycled through over the last thousand years and left behind traces here.
Krakow may no longer be the political capital of Poland, but it certainly is the cultural hub with its annual list of festivals, events, culinary offerings, and nightlife. You can enjoy delicacies such as kielbasa (Polish sausage), pierogi (pies) at the Pierogi festival, vodka, and international cuisine at restaurants inspired by French, Italian, and Asian influences. From stand-alone joints to gourmet restaurants, there is something to satisfy every palate. We have compiled a list of Michelin Guide-recommended restaurants for you to visit in Krakow for an unforgettable dining experience.
Bottiglieria 1881 is a unique and small restaurant in Krakow and the only Michelin-starred establishment in the city. It houses an elegant wine cellar that was rediscovered and resurrected after being buried for some hundred years in the Kazimierz Quarter. The kitchen is headed under the helm of Chef Przemyslaw Klima, who has culinary experience working in New Nordic and French restaurants around the world. The combination of local ingredients with his culinary background creates a fascinating blend of tradition and culture. The best of Polish cuisine in modern well-balanced dishes with a hint of Nordic style can be experienced in Bottiglieria accompanied by carefully selected wine pairings.
The restaurant features two tasting menus – a full experience menu and an introduction menu. Some of the dishes that you can sample are salad with gooseberry and shaved egg yolk, beef tartare with tarragon, cucumber and parsley cream, Mangalica pork with paprika and potato, crayfish meat with tomato, and caviar in a vegetable consomme, perogies stuffed with Polish mountain cheese, lamb with wild garlic and anchovies, and halibut with peas in a white asparagus veloute sauce. In desserts, you can relish their two signature dishes, rhubarb with strawberry and goat cheese ice cream and sorbet with frozen raspberries and lavender cream. We would advise you to make a reservation before visiting this establishment, as it is mostly booked.
Full Experience Menu – PLN490
Wine Pairing – PLN350
Introduction Menu – PLN450
Wine Pairing – PLN310
Fiorentina is an Italian restaurant situated on Grodzka street in the Old Town near Wawel Castle in Krakow. The inspiration for the creation of this place comes from the capital of Tuscany – Florence. The interiors of the establishment combine the idyllic atmosphere of Italy with its exposed bricks and wood panels, gleaming silver lamp fixtures, and mirrors on the walls. During summer, you can enjoy the lovely outside garden seating. Not just the interiors but also the food served in Fiorentina reflects the essence of Tuscany. The dishes are based on the best ingredients imported from different regions of Italy, and the menu changes at least 4 times a year based on the availability of the products.
The specialty of this restaurant is the wonderful “Bistecca alla Fiorentina”, which is Florentine steak. It resembles a T-bone steak with a portion of sirloin on one side and roast beef on the other. The meat comes from 8-year-old Angus and Hereford cows and is seasoned for a minimum of 30 days before it is charcoal grilled.
Apart from their signature dish, you can also order duck breast with parsley puree in orange sauce, grilled Dover sole fish with salad and potatoes, and grilled chicken in red wine sauce with caramelized onion. The fine dining establishment has a 5-course and 7-course tasting menu. Fiorentina is one of the best places in Krakow to enjoy amazing Italian cuisine with a royal view.
5-course Tasting Menu – PLN340
Wine Pairing – PLN320
7-course Tasting Menu – PLN440
Wine Pairing – PLN390
Zazie is a quaint French bistro housed in Krakow's Jewish Quarter. This little restaurant is a popular hangout among locals for its classic French cuisine at a reasonable price. The decor is very welcoming and pleasing with brick stone walls, an outside seating area, and a cellar with many classic French wines. Zazie is what most eateries strive to achieve – a simple commitment to serve consistently good food.
The restaurant has a lunch-tasting menu and a small a la carte menu with many delicious bites. At Zazie, you can enjoy French classic dishes such as pork belly with octopus tossed in a lemon mustard sauce, mussels with homemade Belgian-style fries, grilled eggplants, and mashed potatoes in wasabi, duck breast with tagliatelle in French mustard and truffle, and steak in a parmesan sauce with asparagus and red onion.
For desserts, order their creme brûlée, brioche with forest fruit pudding, and mango passion fruit cheesecake. There is also a selection of simple lunchtime snacks such as quiches and salads to supplement the midday set menu. The bar and cellar together feature a great selection of local beers, homemade lemonades, and French wines to accompany your meal. Reservations are recommended before visiting this place as it is a very popular local joint.
Lunch set Menu – PLN43
Average Meal – PLN175
Hana Sushi is an Asian restaurant located in the heart of Krakow’s Kazimierz district. It has been on the list of recommended restaurants by the Michelin Guide since 2016. The place specializes in Japanese and Korean cuisines. Hana not only serves the best sushi in Krakow but also authentic Korean dishes such as bulgogi, Ebi don, and jjajangmyeon.
The interiors of the restaurant house a full-fledged sushi bar and a dining area that is made of custom wooden furniture, calm color palettes, and hanging lanterns that create an authentic Asian atmosphere. The head chef is a trained sushi master who has experience from Tokyo and executes it with finesse.
At the restaurant, you can sample a Chef’s Nigiri Omakase tasting menu and an a la carte menu with dishes such as toro roll, spicy edamame, Ebi shrimp gyoza, double fried crispy Korean chicken wings in sweet and spicy sauce, miso soup with mussels, bluefin akami tuna with ponzu sauce, beef bulgogi, and rice topped with Japanese grilled eel in kabayaki sauce. In desserts, you can savor sweet delights such as matcha cheesecake, mochi ice cream tempura, and Japanese pancakes filled with matcha cream. Visit Hana Sushi for a truly authentic and exquisite dining experience in Krakow.
Chef’s Omakase Tasting Menu – PLN209
Farina is one of the finest seafood restaurants in the city of Krakow. It is located at the corner of St John Street and St Mark Street near the Old Town. The kitchen is run under the leadership of Chef Monika Turasiewicz, whose dishes are inspired by her grandmother’s recipes. The fine dining establishment is housed in the interiors of a historic palace with old ceilings, 16th-century Renaissance columns, and the biggest dining hall. Farina is set over three dining rooms, the two smaller ones having wooden frames on the windows and skew arches that give them a cozy feel.
The dining tables are lit by candlelight to create an unpretentious and intimate atmosphere that is vintage and welcoming. True to its logo (a sack of flour and a fish), this restaurant offers fresh seafood from France, homemade pasta, Mediterranean fare, and typical Polish dishes. Whatever you order at Farina, first, you will be served their trademark appetizer of an excellent truffle and mushroom pate with little bread rolls.
You can relish fresh seafood dishes such as tuna carpaccio, Mediterranean fish soup, shrimp in butter garlic, lobster thermidor, mussels in marinara sauce, and lobster tagliatelle in a creamy sauce. For desserts, you can order a white chocolate mousse with raspberry sauce, tiramisu cake, and creme brûlée with vanilla. There is also a good selection of wines, including a great dry sparkling prosecco, that would rival any champagne.
Average Billing – PLN340
A former royal capital, crammed with history and splendor, Krakow is one of the most beautiful and interesting spots in Eastern Europe. It is also a fantastic destination for food, drinks, and many more exciting activities. Krakow is a city bursting with color, culture, and curiosity. Whether you are looking for a romantic weekend, a fun getaway, or just keen on learning about its significant history, Krakow is the perfect destination for every kind of traveler.
Are you familiar with traditional Polish food? Share your experience with other foodies in the comment section below.