As we prepared our trip we came across a video about a so-called food tour. We took this as inspiration to further google food tours in Krakow.
“Free Walking Tours Krakow” offers a Food Tour Krakow – not free. Participation costs 50 Zloty (12 Euros). Bigger groups need to register first, but single people can always just show up at the meeting point in front of the old Synagogue. Tours do not take place every day, it is essential to have a look at the dates on their website first.
At the meeting point, we waited for our tour guide who was just about to see off her last group before she welcomed us to her next tour. Nika, a local from Krakow, guided us through the city for the next 2.5 hours. From one treat to the next. Not only did she make sure we tasted the foods, she also enlightened us about the Polish cuisine and culinary culture. (The tour was held in English and Nika was easy to understand.)
Soup for starters
Our first stop was only a few meters away from where we started in the Jewish District Kazimierz.
In front of the restaurant Restauracja Samoobsługowa Polakowski Nika did a quick check for any allergies present in the group and collected the money.
Nika disappeared into the restaurant and returned shortly after with two soups. One was made out of beetroot leaves and the other one consisted of potatoes, garlic, mushrooms and egg – a `Zurek z Jajkiem I kielbasa.
Both tasters were delicious and sparked our curiosity for more.
Restauracja Samoobsługowa Polakowski
The Farmers Market
The Food Tour Krakow continued to the biggest market in Krakow. Local farmers can be found here as well as meat, fish and other produce. The market is open from Monday to Saturday, on Sundays, the area becomes the venue of a flea market.
First up were some typically Polish sausages from a butcher (supposedly the best butcher in town). One of the sausages was named Kabanos and is a traditional Polish scalded sausage made from corned pork and smoked. Unfortunately, I forgot the names of the other two sausages, but all three of them were tasty. Maybe a little too greasy for my liking, but tasty.
A few stalls further down the market we were offered Bigos (Polish Sauerkraut) and gherkins, pickled after a traditional Polish recipe. Apparently the best remedy for a hangover after a night with too much Vodka.
A very special treat on the food tour is the Oscypek or Oszczypek. A Polish hard sheep cheese made in the Zakopane region. The cheese is pressed and dries out hung from the ceilings of alpine huts. Afterwards, it gets smoked and then ages for another two to three months. In 2007 the name and manufacturing process of this cheese got protected by the EU. The cheese is salty. Taking a bite makes a funny squeaking noise. It has up to 60% fat but doesn’t taste heavy or greasy at all. It holds its well-deserved spot on a cheese platter after a good meal.
Our next destination on the Food Tour Krakow was the restaurant Pierogarnia, my personal favourite.
We were able to try three different types of pierogi. Pierogi are filled dumplings, eaten as starter, main or desert. Every region is known for its typical filling and there are hundreds of variations. The manufacturing process is quite the effort because every dumpling is filled by hand.
We got to try three different variations. Two of the more traditional versions, one with cheese and one with meat, each one with onions. The dumplings are cooked in water and taste the best when they are freshly prepared. I liked them a lot and they are also very filling. I am known for having a sweet tooth, so naturally, the third version was my favourite. The Pierogi was filled with strawberries and was served with custard and a sprinkle of icing sugar. Right up my alley and I am sure that I will come back in the future to enjoy more of these.
We stayed in the sweet department for our next taste test. Delicious cakes waited for us in the Ciastkarnia Vanilla. Our guide Nika claimed that these are the best cakes in town. She grew up in close proximity to the shop, so I guess it is rather the best cake in the district. Tables stood outside the shop and made for a nice spot to enjoy the cakes right then and there.
The cheesecake they had on offer was certainly nice. But even better was the poppy seed one. Traditionally that one is eaten during the Festive Season – but honestly, I could eat it the whole year around.
Bread and dripping and fish
After all these sweet treats we walked over to the restaurant Synk. When we stepped in we were reminded of an old Berlin tavern. It turned out that we had indeed landed in a pub. We were greeted with a plate with a massive slice of bread and dripping and a piece of herring. With it came a glass of vodka and the following advice: Drink first, then eat. The fish needs to swim in vodka.
Bread and dripping isn’t all that special for us as Berliners, it’s always good. The herring tasted like herring, greasy and salty. I would have preferred to have the fish before the vodka. Good thing that the tour carried on.
Vodka on the Food Tour Krakow
With an already pretty full tummy we arrived at our last stop of the tour. In the Bistro Café Bar Trójkat vodka filled glasses were already prepared for us. My secret wish came true. After so much good food, finally, something to clear the system.
We were offered four different tastes:
- Vodka with lemon and honey
- Vodka with quince
- Vodka with caramelised sugar (caramel)
- Vodka with flowers
Vodka with lemon and honey was not quite to my taste. It burned in my throat and I had to cough a lot. The caramel vodka, however, was really tasty. I could have taken a bottle home with me.
Bistro Cafe Bar Trójkąt
ul. Józefa 30,
The Food Tour Krakow was really worthwhile and excellent value for money. I would undoubtedly recommend this tour to anyone!