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Restaurants in Cracow

From traditional Polish restaurants to gastro-palaces, Cracow has a wealth of dining places that are likely to send you home a little heftier. Prices are low, particularly in traditional restaurants away from the Main Market Square. Try the excellent local cuisine, from the wild duck Cracow-style (stewed with wild mushrooms and served with pearl barley) to soups such asbarszcz (a red beetroot soup) and zurek (soup flavoured with fermented rye flour). The local take on cheesecake (called sernik) must be tried.

The Cracow restaurants below have been hand-picked by our guide author and are grouped into three pricing categories:
Expensive (over zł100)
Moderate (zł50 to zł100)
Cheap (up to zł50)

These Cracow restaurant prices are for a three-course meal for one, including a pint of beer (wine is more expensive in Cracow) and service.

Expensive

Cyrano de Bergerac

Cuisine: French, Polish

One of the very best restaurants in Cracow, Cyrano de Bergerac serves fine French cuisine in a beautifully decorated cellar in the Old Town. The ambience is a gentle combination of Polish tradition and French refinement, while the cuisine is decidedly French - and rather haute. Artwork and tapestries add to the romance. In warm weather, consider booking a table in advance in Cyrano's pretty, flower-filled open air courtyard

Address: Old Town, ulica Slawkowska 26, Cracow, 31 014
Telephone: +48 12 411 7288.
Website: http://www.cyranodebergerac.com.pl

Wentzel

Cuisine: Central European

What many people consider as the finest restaurant in Cracow sits high above the Main Market Square and dates back to 1792. With timbered ceilings, oriental carpets and fine oil paintings all around, it's as classy as it gets around here. The food is excellent, with such offerings as foie gras with whisky and raspberries, duck marinated in Zubrowka (bison grass vodka) and many game dishes. Service is of a predictably high standard.

Address: , Rynek Glowny 19, Cracow, 31-008
Telephone: +48 12 429 5299.
Website: http://www.restauracjawentzl.com.pl/en

Wierzynek

Cuisine: Polish

Forget just being one of Krakow's oldest restaurants – Wierzynek is one of the oldest in all Europe. Dated (somewhat spuriously) back to the 14th century, the restaurant is a warren of palatial dining rooms overlooking the market square. The cuisine style is refined old Polish, and is particularly strong for game and freshwater fish. Booking in advance (check out the website and specify which dining room you want) is often essential.

Address: Old Town, Rynek Glowny, 16, Cracow, 31 010
Telephone: +48 12 424 9600.
Website: http://wierzynek.pl

Moderate

Pod Aniolami

Cuisine: Polish

An award-winning restaurant located in a 13th-century building on the Droga Krolewska (the Royal Route) from the Wawel Castle to the Main Market Square, Pod Aniolami (meaning 'under the sign of the angels') offers fine contemporary Polish cuisine that's some of the city's best. The kitchen is particularly famous for its pickled meat grilled in the stove fire with beech wood. A beautiful restaurant decorated with traditional folksy knick-knacks, it is also very popular, so book ahead.

Address: Old Town, ulica Grodzka 35, Cracow, 31 001
Telephone: +48 12 421 3999.
Website: http://www.podaniolami.pl

Pod Gruszka

Cuisine: Polish

Excellent Polish and international cuisine is served in the pretty period rooms of this place whose name means 'under the pear tree'. Located in a fine 17th century house, it's a favourite of writers and artists and has the feel of a private club. There's good reason for this, as Pod Gruszka was once the private meeting place of the Polish Journalists Club, which is still housed in the building. The food is gorgeous and very flavoursome but it's the soups that are unbeatable – try one that's served in small, hollowed-out bread loaf.

Address: Old Town, ulica Szczepanska 1, Cracow, 31 011
Telephone: +48 12 346 5704.
Website: http://www.podgruszka.pl

Pub Stajnia

Cuisine: Polish

Pub Stajnia's vibrant ambiance, rustic décor and cosy courtyard setting belie its grim portrayal in the film Schindler's List. Hidden down an alley in the Kazimierz district, this former film set is a favourite with locals who come for drinks or to feast on the restaurant's delicious food. The pork neck soup and pierogi dumplings (stuffed, unleavened dough dumplings) come highly recommended.

Address: Kazimierz, ulica Jozefa 12, Cracow, 31 056
Telephone: +48 12 423 7202.
Website: http://www.pubstajnia.pl

Cheap

Jama Michalika

Cuisine: Polish

Established in 1895, Jama Michalika was once a favourite eatery for writers, painters, actors and other artistic types. Cavernous but quirky, this café-cum-restaurant is rather beautiful. Its moodily-lit art nouveau-style halls are lined with nationally significant artworks created specially for the café. The traditional Polish food is of reasonable quality and value, but the décor, the theatrical etchings and other mementoes adorning the walls are what make a visit here truly worthwhile.

Address: Old Town, ulica Florianska 45, Cracow, 31 019
Telephone: +48 12 422 1561.
Website: http://www.jamamichalika.pl

Krowarzywa Vegan Burger

Cuisine: Vegan, vegetarian

A short menu of vegan burgers (with chickpea, tofu or vegetables) accompanied by delicious sauces and fruit smoothies, has proved overwhelmingly popular since this restaurant opened in 2013. They make an affordable and healthy break from the usual heavy Polish cuisine.

Address: Old Town, Sławkowska St. 8, Cracow,
Telephone: +48 531 777 136.
Website: http://www.krowarzywa.pl

Pod Temidą Milk Bar

Cuisine: Polish

You won’t get haute cuisine at Pod Temidą, but you will get an authentic slice of Polish life, along with hearty, traditional meals at knock down prices. “Milk Bars” are canteen-style cafes created in the post-war period that served dairy-filled food that contained no meat. Although meat has since crept back on to their menus, these are still decent options for vegetarians, serving Polish classics like bigos (cabbage and sausage stew) and pierogi dumplings (stuffed, unleavened dough dumplings). For lighter options, try barszcz (Polish borscht) or pancakes with sweet cream cheese.

Address: Old Town, Ulica Grodzka 43, Cracow, 31 001
Telephone: +48 12 422 0874.
Website: http://www.bar-mleczny.com.pl

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In the 16th century, Palac Bonerowski was the opulent abode of a wealthy, aristocratic family called the Boners (no chuckling at the back). Today the former royal residence is one of the finest, most lovingly restored hotels in Cracow. Located directly opposite the Main Market Square, Palac Bonerowski sits within a UNESCO World Heritage site and has some of the best views in town. Inside, the elegant rooms are still fit for royalty, and there are period features aplenty.

Hotel Polski

This slice of local history has been operating as an inn since 1815, making it one of the oldest hotels in Cracow. Modern amenities aside, guests could be forgiven for thinking they've stepped back in time; the hotel retains its decadent, 19th-century charm with beautiful antique furniture and period features. Add to that the stunning, Old Town location and exemplary service and you have to surmise this hotel will be good for another 200 years.

Hotel Mikolaj

Nestled down a quiet side street near the Main Market Square, Hotel Mikolaj is a tranquil retreat in the centre of this lively city. The refurbished town house has 10 cosy rooms, including suites which come with a kitchenette and lounge. If you don't fancy the short stroll into town for dinner then the hotel boasts an in-house restaurant, which serves Polish and international fare over two atmospheric levels.

The Piano Guest House

Enter The Piano Guest House and you follow in holy footsteps; Pope John Paul II visited twice when he was vicar of the parish in the 1950s. Today, this beautifully preserved, Viennese-style town house (which has been in the same family since 1886) is something of a diamond in the rough, although the legendary hospitality, beautiful breakfasts and the property's raconteur owners more than compensate for the scruffy neighbourhood.

The Secret Garden Hostel

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Hotel Amadeus

Located within the labyrinth of Santa Cruz, Hotel Amadeus is set in a classically-furnished, 18th-century manor house and has music as a theme. Several instruments, including a grand piano, are available for use by guests. Rooms are small but attractively furnished, with antique furniture and original patterned tile flooring. The hotel's rooftop terrace opens up to a panorama of Seville’s historic centre and is an excellent spot to enjoy breakfast.