When I first booked plane tickets to Kraków, I never expected to fall in love with Poland the way that I did. I loved everything about it: the culture, the people and, most importantly, the FOOD! Kraków is home to some of the best local cuisine I’ve tasted in Europe. So naturally, I tried (and photographed) all of it immediately. Keep reading for my list of must-try dishes in Poland!
For my complete 3-day itinerary to visiting Krakow and a list of useful Polish phrases, head to A 3-Day Kraków Itinerary.
Pierogi (duh) – Traditional Polish Dumpling
You can find traditional pierogis all over Kraków! They come with a variety of fillings: traditional (potato, cheese and onion), meat, porridge and cheese and dessert options (usually fruit filling). The best pierogis I tasted in Kraków were made by moi in a traditional polish pierogi making class. But if you’re not one for hard work in the kitchen, I would suggest heading to Restauracja U Babci Maliny for some of the best pierogis in the city!* Pierogis are my personal favorite Polish dish and #1 on my list of must-try dishes in Poland!
*If you try out U Babci Maliny, I would recommend ordering the fried pierogis stuffed with meat. Some of my friends ordered the boiled pierogis stuffed with cheese and potato and they were served with a sauce so sweet it tasted like melted ice cream.
Barszcz – Beetroot Soup with Dumplings
Barszcz is a beetroot soup that usually comes with dumplings. I ordered mine with egg instead, since I had already ordered an obscene amount of pierogis for dinner. Although let’s be honest, you can never have too many pierogis.
I ordered barszcz from Restauracja U Babci Maliny, but you can find it in restaurants all over Kraków!
Kotlet Schabowy – Similar to Schnitzel
My Kotlet Schabowy was fantastic, but tasted remarkably like German schnitzel. Not that that’s a bad thing…Although you can find Kotlet Schabowy all over Kraków, I would definitely recommend heading to Polakowski to truly be blown away by the dish. I ordered the Kotlet schabowy z czosnkiem (breaded pork chop with garlic) and mashed potatoes. Polakowski has a self-serve style and all the items on their menu are delicious and incredibly affordable.
Gotabki – Cabbage Rolls
Gotabki is a type of Polish cabbage roll usually stuffed with rice and meat and covered in tomato sauce. If you’re looking for some healthy Polish food, gotabki is your best option. I tried gotabki from Gospoda Koko on my first night in Kraków. There’s no place better to try out some delicious Polish dishes without breaking the bank. I ordered a beer, half a cabbage roll, and 5 pierogis for the equivalent of €4.
Placki ziemniaczane – Fried Potato Pancakes
Placki ziemniaczane are pretty self explanatory and every bit as delicious as they sound. Poland is also famous for a crepe-like pancake called Nalesniki, usually filled with cheese or fruit. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to try these.
I tried placki ziemniaczane at one of Poland’s famous Milk Bars! They serve food in a cafeteria style setting at crazy low prices. You can find them all over Kraków, but my personal favorite was Pod Tęminda (besides the fact they didn’t serve alcohol).
Zapiekanka – Polish Pizza
Found mostly in Kazimierz (the Jewish Quarter), Zapiekanka is a popular street food in Poland. It’s a mix between an open-faced sub sandwich and a personal pizza that comes with loads of toppings and sauces. Fair warning: for street food, it’s incredibly hard to eat on-the-go unless you want to be covered in crumbs and spicy sauce!
I ordered my zapiekanka from Smaczek Zapiekanki e Pieca in Kazimierz. Although they have plenty of delicious option on their menu, I would recommend ordering the Niebo w Gebie. It’s full of sausage, tomato, sheep cheese, spring onion, cheese, mushrooms and topped with spicy sauce!
Paczki – Polish Donuts
Only the best dessert ever, Paczki are plump and delicious Polish donuts! I went for the toffee flavor on the bottom, but the rose icing on the top shelf was a close second. At roughly €1.40 apiece, there’s no excuse not to try multiple flavors!
Krakowski Paczki in Old Town serves my favorite paczki in Kraków!
Obwarzanek krakowski – Polish Bagel
On every corner of Krakow you will find street vendors selling Obwarzanek krakowski. The taste is comparable to a bagel but they are much larger with a wider hole in the center. The flavors are usually salt, cheese, poppy seed and sesame seed. Obwarzanek krakowski are delicious, but I could have used some cream cheese!
No visit to Poland is complete without stuffing your face with all-of-the-above. I left Kraków feeling more pierogi than person…but I wouldn’t change a thing. Save this post of my favorite must-try dishes in Poland to make sure you experience the most of Kraków’s food scene!
As always, thanks for reading and if you enjoyed my blog make sure to follow my adventures on Instagram @madisonsfootsteps!
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