Sweet treats, savory dishes, and first-class street food, there's something for every palate in Kraków.
A historic bread and source of Polish pride
Rolling blue and white carts sell these soft, doughy rings on every street corner. Protected by the EU Traditional Foods list, these twisted breads have a hint of sweetness and a crunchy crust. Often confused with bagels, they shouldn’t be sliced but eaten as they are, sprinkled with salt, sesame seeds, or herbs and spices – or topped with tangy cheese and onion.
A creamy dessert with a religious twist
A thick helping of vanilla cream is sandwiched between two layers of rough, flaky pastry and dusted with sweet powdered sugar. This classic dessert was a childhood favourite of Pope John Paul II – and when the people of Poland found out, they renamed it ‘Papal cream cake’ in his honour.
Local tip: Pope John Paul II admitted that, as a boy, he ate 18 of these in a competition... and lost!
The city’s very own variety of sausage
The Polish have many types of sausage, but this thick, smoky version is so local it’s named after the city itself. Lean pork is seasoned with delicious coriander, garlic, pepper and a sprinkling of allspice, all wrapped up in a reddish-brown casing. A satisfying sandwich-filling, it can be sliced and layered onto freshly-baked bread or tossed into a fresh green salad.
A traditional pork dish gets a modern makeover
Sometimes called 'the grandmother of burgers’, this old-fashioned favourite is making a street-food-style comeback. While meat and bread were once served side by side, it’s now common for a crusty bun to be loaded with the tender, juicy pork, and soaked until dripping in delicious onion gravy. An instant comfort food fix, you’ll find it at food trucks and restaurants around the city.
Plac Nowy zapiekanka
Cheesy cult favourites from the hottest spot in town
Plac Nowy is legendary among locals for selling the tastiest ‘Polish pizza’ in the city. Hailed as the original Polish street-food – in its purest form, it’s an oven-toasted baguette covered in mushrooms and gooey melted cheese, and topped off with a fat squiggle of tangy ketchup. Nowadays, however, you’ll find all kinds of colourful topping combinations, with stalls competing to be the best of the best.
Kaczka po krakowsku
A creamy mushroom and duck combination
Tender duck slices, browned in butter until just a blush of pink remains in the middle, served up in a thick, velvety sauce of sour cream and mushrooms. Accompanied by a mound of barley or rice, it’s an effortlessly simple but delicious comfort food dish.
A decorative striped torte with humble beginnings
This simple sweet treat is a favourite with little ones and, for adults, a nostalgic taste of childhood. Made from the basic ingredients on-hand during the communist era, it features delicious chocolate cream, sandwiched between layer upon layer of crispy wafer – sometimes with rum for an alcoholic infusion. Left to stand, the cream slowly soaks through the wafer layers, creating a softer, cake-like texture.
Kielbaski z Niebieskiej Nyski
Late night craving-busters served up on the move
A satisfying street-food snack, locals search out Niebieska Nyski’s sausages to soak up the last drinks of the night. An old-fashioned food truck, painted bright blue, with fat, juicy kielbasas spitting and sizzling on the grill outside – if you don’t find it, it’ll usually find you. Served with a crusty bread roll, these meaty delights deliver the greasy food fix you need after a few hours' partying.
Local tip: You’ll find the van out and about every evening (except Sundays) from 20:00 until 03:00.
Lody na Starowiślnej
Frozen cones with a delicious reputation
Locals say you’ll find the best ice cream in all of Krakow at this little place. Serving up sweet scoops for decades, generous portions and well-perfected recipes keep the customers coming back time and time again. Queues may stretch down the street in summertime but, fortunately, this creamy ice-cold treat is worth the wait.
Local tip: Don’t visit in a hurry – sometimes it can take an hour or more to get through the door.