Krakow Street Food
Krakow usually brings to mind images of its architecture, museums and its incredible nightlife. A beautiful city to wander around in, the Main Square, Wawel Castle and surrounding area will keep first time visitors busy for at least a couple of days. If you’re anything like me, you’ll start to enjoy Krakow even more as you start to stray from the main tourist areas, enjoy some of the local markets and try some of the cuisine. Having traveled to this city three times now, I can tell you that the Krakow street food markets are always one of the things I look forward to the most. Long before I tried street food in the U.S. I enjoyed it here in the local markets. On this most recent trip I would have a chance to see their Christmas markets and could barely wait to get my hands on the food they would be preparing.
I was also excited to spend more time in the Kazimierz district. A neighborhood filled with university students and young professionals, it’s home to some incredible restaurants, bars and a few local clubs that may get overlooked if you spend all of your time in the Main Square. In addition, much of Kazimierz offers better value and a more diverse range of culinary options.
Krakow Street Food Markets
As I wandered out of the mall connected to the bus station the smell of mulled wine and roasting meat was in the air. I also noticed a light dusting of snow from the night before and I could clearly see my breath. A huge Christmas tree and massive market lay before me. As I wandered through the Krakow street food market all I could think about was what to eat first.
Vendors sell grilled sausages, skewers, ham, stews and many other options prepared in front of you at these markets. One of my personal favorites are the skewers, especially when you’re craving some meat and fresh veggies. I’ve enjoyed each of these items before and the skewers, stewed cabbage and sausages remain my favorite. At around $6 for the skewer these aren’t the cheapest deals in Krakow but they are fantastic.
You can also sometimes find grilled pieces of cheese with jam, dried fruit and other snacks, crafts and many other items for sale. Different types of markets are found in Krakow’s squares throughout the year but are most popular around Christmas time and during the weekends. A local events calendar can be found here.
As in Ukraine and Germany, hot mulled wine is very popular during the cold winter months in Poland. Also available at their Christmas markets, make sure to stop by and order a delicious hot wine to go with your food. At around $2 they’re a good deal and a tasty traditional drink to pair with some beautifully prepared Krakow street food.
Located in the Kazimierz District, Dajwór 21 (abbreviated D21) this Krakow street food truck park hosts diverse culinary options, draft beer and common seating. It became one of my favorite spots in the district when I stumbled upon it while walking to the Schindler Factory Museums one day.
Though many of these food trucks do lunch at other locations and are closed during the day, D21 starts to come alive in the early evening. With the cozy common tables and an almost beach feel in the center of a busy district of town, it’s a relaxing and fun space. And I was excited to choose from the number of culinary options available here.
Local chef and food personality Walenty Kania (Kania Valentine in English) operates this food truck which serves up an array of freshly grilled sausages. Unlike nearly every other sausage I’ve had in Europe, he prefers to prepare his in a deconstructed manner. Lightly buttered and toasted baguette and a sausage will be brought to you in about as simple a manner as you can imagine.
Served with ketchup and mustard on the side, the chef will ask that you spare them from at least your first bit to really appreciate the flavor of the sausage. The request is on point as these are some of the best you’ll taste in Europe. These are not overpoweringly fatty or oily and have some subtle undertones that can be lost with too many added condiments. Cut off a piece and try it on its own or with a bite of baguette. Then add condiments sparingly if you desire. In a land of Polish sausages of all types, these dogs stand out in a class of their own.
Along with my sausage I just had to try the Belgian fries from Ziemniaczki. You can choose your size for starters and I went with a regular. Secondly, you choose your sauce and I chose the spicy and creamy paprika. Wait a few minutes as they are fried and then served up with a long skewer for eating. All of the seasonings pack a ton of flavor and went well with the sausage and the beer. Delicious!
Make sure to give the other D21 concepts a try as well! They include:
- Flamingos Tortillas for sandwiches and salads
- Zacny Burger for burgers and sandwiches
- Calavera Mexican grill
- An indoor bar, ice cream, churros and more!
Check out the D21 Facebook page for more info.
Address: Dajwór 21, Kraków, Poland
Not quite pizza or open-faced sandwich, the zapiekanki is in a class of its own. This Polish specialty is a must-try for anyone visiting. Roughly 8-10 street food stalls are found in the circular building in a square called Endzior, also in the Kazimierz District.
Asking around, I was told two things by locals:
- There isn’t a favorite spot for zapiekanki, I just needed to take a look at all the menus.
- The zapiekanki would be large and good so I should bring my appetite.
I ordered the ham and pineapple with garlic sauce and added some corn. I also added crispy onions, similar to those on the famous hot dogs I enjoyed in Iceland. This was to be my last meal in Krakow for this trip. My zapiekanki was finished and I headed to grab my taxi to the bus station.
Nervous that the taxi driver would object, I was happy when he said he didn’t mind that I brought this along with me. I was so hungry I decided to try eating it on the ride. Huge mistake. Crunchy bread, crispy onions and lightly toasted ham and pineapple crumbled and fell apart all over me (but thankfully not the cab).
Garlic sauce covered my beard as I attempted to wipe it off with tiny white napkins. I could hear laughter from the front seat. Clearly the taxi driver was enjoying my desperate struggle to feed myself. By the time we arrived at the bus station I had managed to collect most of the crumbs and wipe off most of the stray blobs of sauce. I swept the remaining crumbs off my seat when I got out and tipped the cab driver generously for being so cool about everything.
I do recommend you give these tasty and simple zapiekanki a try. I don’t recommend you try eating them in a taxi.
Endzior address: Plac Nowy 4, Kraków, Poland
I was excited to see this growing trend in Poland. Frutti Art is a simple fresh fruit concept operating in busy areas such as the Galeria shopping mall, which gives an alternative to the delicious but not as healthy foods that make up a vast majority of Polish cuisine. For this reason, I felt they deserved some recognition as a healthy street food option that everyone should try. Be you carnivore, vegetarian or vegan, everyone should enjoy some of this fruit!
Their website with all the locations can be found here.
Address for the Galeria location: Pawia 5, 31-154 Kraków, Poland
Map of Krakow Street Food Locations
I hope that you enjoy your time in Krakow as you tour the beautiful main square in Old Town, Wawel Castle and the many nearby attractions. Along with Prague, Krakow is truly one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. This is one reason it continues to attract more tourists each year.
You may head to Krakow initially for the beautiful buildings and that’s understandable. Hopefully the incredible Krakow street food and charm of Kazimierz will give you even more to explore and act as as reasons for you to return. There’s a lot to see, do and taste in Krakow. Enjoy!
A big thank you to Bryan, Rico and Søren for the Krakow adventures and for their hospitality!
Na Zdrowie! (Cheers in Polish)
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