Eight days in Krakow, Poland and a couple days in Oswiecim, Poland on our trip to Auschwitz meant we ate about 15 meals in restaurants. Lots of travel blogs about Poland will suggest you eat pierogi, potato pancakes and dine at a bar mleczny – a Polish ‘milk bar’. None of those fit our personal dietary menu or dining ambiance desires. Although, I had a craving for some greasy potato pancakes a couple of days, after a bit too much beer the day before. I settled for zucchini pancakes.
Poland has some of the cheapest dining in Europe. A person can get by on $5 to $7 per day eating out at cheap places and $10 to $15 per day in mid-range nice restaurants.
Yelp turned out to be a valuable resource for us when seeking out good dining opportunities. Whenever we got hungry, we found a good looking place and often checked online reviews to see if it received a rating over 4 and preferably 4.3 or higher on Yelp.
There are 3,831 Krakow restaurants on Yelp. I am not the kind of traveler who limits my dining to the top 20 rated places, although I see I have been to 5 of the top 20 rated Krakow restaurants on Yelp. Three of them are places I only drank beer.
We ate at Kuchnia u Doroty three times, This is currently the top rated restaurant on Yelp. The food was good, prices were relatively inexpensive and the restaurant is close to the tram line stop we used when going to Kazimierz pubs or on the way when walking from Old Town to Kazimierz.
Once we find a good restaurant to eat, we generally go back there for more meals on other days. In Krakow, a city we have visited a few times before, we followed a familiar circuit of pub crawling around Old Town and Kazimierz repeatedly passing by the restaurants we liked. I only ate at three places I had not eaten before in our 8 days in Krakow.
I will cover some of my favorite Krakow summer pubs in a separate post and share a few pubs and restaurants we found in Oswiecim (Auschwitz) too.
Restauracja Sukiennice, Krakow for city center action, liters of beer, huge schnitzels and Fish Friday.
The first time we ate at Sukiennice in 2017, it kind of blew my mind that a restaurant in the center of Rynek Glowny at the medieval Cloth Hall – Sukiennice would have relatively cheap beer and daily food specials.
Restauracja Sukiennice does not come up anywhere near the top of Krakow restaurants, although its sister restaurant Pod Wawelem Kompania Kuflowa, a place by Wawel Castle where we have only drank beer, ranks #4 on Yelp at time of this post and #216 of 1,437 Krakow restaurants on TripAdvisor. Restauracja Sukiennice ranks #208 on TripAdvisor. Both of these restaurants offer half-price beer on Mondays at 8.50pln/$2.30usd for 1 liter of Tyskie. Amazingly, we stayed 8 days in Krakow and Monday was not one of them on this trip. That was the day we were at Auschwitz.
Kuchnia u Doroty Kazimierz
Kazimierz is the place where loads of people go to drink and dine in what was for centuries the Jewish Quarter of Krakow. While our laundry was being washed one afternoon, we wanted a place nearby to eat and Kuchnia u Doroty came up on my search. Besides the great food and reasonably priced beer, there was an air conditioner running on our first visit for the coolest meal we had in Krakow during the hot days of summer.
This became our go to place for meals. We ate there three times.
Sample menu items and prices:
- 4 potato pancakes with goulash 19.50pln/$5.29usd
- grilled pork chops with mushrooms 14.50pln/$3.93usd
- Pork stew 14.00pln/$3.80usd
- Polish beet soup with dumplings 8.50pln/$2.30usd
- Grilled chicken breast with mushrooms 15.50usd/$4.20usd
- Trout with dill-garlic butter 21.50pln/$5.83
- Zywiec beer 0.5 liter 10.00pln/$2.71usd
Pierwszy Stopien – Kazimierz
One night we stayed in our hotel all day when it had been really hot and ventured out to Kazimierz after 9pm. Looking for a place open late, we passed by Pierwszy Stopien and decided to give it a try since it was open and there were tables available. Turned out Pierwszy Stopien stays open to 5am on Friday and Saturday night.
Pierwszy Stopien ranks #334 of 1,437 Krakow restaurants and 5 circles with 28 reviews. Only 1 Yelp review and not ranked.
This was the best burger I had during our trip.
Actually, the only other burger I recall eating was at MoaBurger Krakow in Old Town. Moaburger is one of the highest rated burger places in the city (#46 restaurant on TripAdvisor) and the long line with a 25 minute wait for my burger attested to the place’s popularity. I paid 17pln/$4.58usd for a classic burger at Moaburger without fries.
I thought my burger at Pierwszy Stopien was better than the burger at Moaburger, beer was cheaper and better dining ambiance.