Crunchy obwarzanek, Prądnik bread and kukiełka buns, aromatic dry Kraków sausage, Kraków maczanka, bagels from Kazimierz, Ojców trout and those more modern legends of taste, Blue Nysa Van Sausages at the Market Hall and the famous zapiekanka from the New Square. Here are the traditional flavours of Kraków. Sound tasty? It is just a foretaste of a culinary tour of Kraków. Are you up for a delicious adventure?
Bagels – from Kraków to New York
It is safe to say about Kraków that there is no other city in Poland with such a diverse culinary offer. However, it is easy to find genuinely local products in the maze of restaurants, bars and bistros offering dishes from almost all over the world. We suggest where to look for them.
Kraków cuisine, like the cuisine of other sub-regions of Małopolska, has been shaped under the influence of many cultures. Administrative turmoil over the centuries meant it could draw heavily on the culinary traditions of the Jewish, Ukrainian and Armenian populations, while strong Austro-Hungarian influences can also be seen. Unfortunately, the post-war period and the era of the Polish People's Republic standardised cuisine and popularised mass-produced food. Fortunately, many flavours are being revived and returning to favour today.
In Kraków's Kazimierz, Jewish cuisine reigned supreme. The bagel, today considered a landmark of New York, originated in Kazimierz. Eastern, Ukrainian and Armenian influences developed due to trade links between the eastern and western parts of Europe. However, Austro-Hungarian traditions were the strongest in Kraków cuisine. The famous cheesecake, Sacher cake, and pischinger are delicacies that came to Kraków directly from Viennese tables.
Obwarzanek from the Foundation Charter of Kraków
Undoubtedly, the obwarzanek is Kraków's most recognisable delicacy. It was baked as early as the Middle Ages, and the first written text to mention it dates from the 13th century. Today, obwarzanek is a leading Polish accent on the EU's list of regional products. Its name is linked to the dough being soaked in boiling water before baking.
Traditional Kraków bakery products include Prądnik bread and kukiełka lisiecka – a bun with a characteristic spindle shape. Other regional dishes you can taste in Kraków include Kraków maczanka (a pork dish served with caraway sauce and bread), Kraków tripe and sour rye soup.
In Kraków, one cannot deny oneself the unique Kraków style duck, served with groats and mushrooms. Today, it is the flagship dish of the best restaurants in Małopolska. In the past, the locals also enjoyed caraway soup, based on the prevalent spice that’s added to many dishes. When it comes to spices, every Kraków dish must include Wieliczka salt from the famous mine that has been in continuous operation for hundreds of years.
Zapiekanka from the New Square and Blue Nysa Van sausages
A tourist coming to Kraków must also try the typical local fast food – zapiekanka sold in the famous ‘okrąglak’ at the New Square and the Blue Nysa Van Sausages grilled on the spot over a live beechwood fire and sold from the evening until the morning in front of the Market Hall in Grzegórzki.
Legendary Kraków flavours can also be tasted at Jadłodajnia u Stasi, well-known to all Kraków inhabitants. No wonder, then, that it won last year's poll – Tourist Treasures of Małopolska.
From the Market Square to the Parsley Market
Probably everyone has heard of the famous feast at Wierzynek's, but did you know a food-related place in Kraków has been in continuous operation since the 15th century? It’s the Kleparz Market with many food stalls. You can find almost everything there; in many cases, you can buy directly from the producers.
Lavendzarnia Stoki 6 Maurer Press Ojców Trout
The same is true of the Parsley Market in Podgórze, where you can buy fresh regional delicacies directly from farmers and producers every Saturday. There is also plenty of organic produce from the Małopolska region and Europe at the Ekosphere Market Old Bakery in Płaszów. We guarantee that you will find plenty of inspiration for culinary eco souvenirs from Małopolska in each of these places.
If you have a little time and are strolling around the city centre, you can check out the Kraków Story in the Wyspiański Pavilion at Wszystkich Świętych Square. The unique venue, which hosts a variety of workshops, also offers delicious honey from the Morawski Apiary, lavender products from Lavendziarni Stoki 6, juices from the Maurer Press and many other Malopolska delicacies carefully selected by the curator of the culinary section, Agnieszka Sendor, co-founder of Ojców Trout.
Flavours of the Kraków surroundings
While speaking of the Ojców trout, it's time to look at the delicacies around Kraków. The culinary star of the Prądnik Valley and Ojców National Park (Poland's smallest national park) is the Ojców trout.
The tradition of brook trout farming in Ojców dates back to the 1930s. In 2014, the unused ponds were leased by Magda Węgiel and her daughter Agnieszka Sendor, who naturalised them. Thanks to their hard work and outstanding commitment, they have restored the splendour of brook trout farming and created an excellent place for rest, relaxation and culinary adventure. It is a perfect idea for a bicycle trip from the capital of Małopolska, for example, the aim of which, apart from the charming views of the outcroppings of Jurassic rock, is delicious smoked fish.
South of Kraków, exceptional smoked meats are also produced. Chief among these are regional products, in particular Lisiecka and Piaszczańska sausages. Smoked meats from Podstolice, the municipalities of Liszki and Czernichów, are also famous for their taste and quality throughout the area.
It’s definitely worth it to accompany your meal with glass of good wine. The Wolski Forest’s Srebrna Góra vineyard and the Wieliczka vineyard aren’t the only Jurassic vineyards where you can taste exquisite world-class wines. You can easily find them all on the Małopolska Wine Trail.
Whether planning a more extended stay in Kraków or are just going a day trip, enjoy all the flavours of Kraków and Małopolska!