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Last year, I spent a very short weekend in Warsaw. During my stay in Poland's capital, I didn't get to taste all the vegan food. That's why I was excited to spend more time in Krakow and try as many vegan restaurants as possible.
Many people (Polish and non-Polish) thought Krakow would be difficult for vegans, but it is very vegan-friendly (like many other Eastern European cities). If you’re planning a trip to Krakow, this post is going to help you choose where to eat vegan food – from traditional Polish dishes to burgers.
Vegan Food in Krakow
The first place we went to was Nova Krova which was close to our Airbnb and on the way to the old town. Nova Krova is mainly a burger place, but I decided to order the quinoa cutlet which came with a spinach dip, some sweet potato chips, and a salad. I also got a yerba mate which is such a trend in Krakow. The cutlet wasn’t bad, but not a revelation either. My partner enjoyed his burger, but we weren’t impressed enough with the food to go back a second time despite the convenient location. With the number of choices they have, you’ll surely find something, especially if you’re in the mood for a burger.
Plac Wolnica 12. Open Monday to Saturday 12pm to 9pm, Sunday 10am to 9pm. https://www.facebook.com/novakrovakrakow/
Burgers seem to be the main item on Krakow’s vegan restaurants’ menus, and we couldn’t avoid them at all during our time in the city. The second place we went to was Mihiderka, and you can find it in the former Jewish district of Kazimierz. The place is rather small, but we were lucky and got an empty table. This time, I was the one who ordered a burger which was their classic burger. Even though they don’t have a fast food atmosphere, they operate like one in that you choose your burger and then the sauces and side dishes you want to order. My salad only consisted of carrots, but I have to say that the burger was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had so I would recommend the burgers without a doubt. My partner was slightly disappointed that he hadn’t ordered a burger as well, but he was happy with his delicious Middle Eastern bowl.
The only thing that put us off going to Mihiderka a second time was that the door was extremely noisy. It was squeaking every time somebody opened the door to the tiny place which was enough to make us not want to go back. Make sure to give Mihiderka a try though as the food was excellent.
Jozefa 22. Open Sunday to Thursday 12pm to 8pm, Friday and Saturday 12 pm to 10pm. https://www.facebook.com/mihiderka/
Strolling around Kazimierz, we came across a tiny square with several food trucks, one of them being a Thai ice cream truck called Frozen Rolls. If you’re not familiar with the new trend that is Thai ice cream make sure you watch a video of people making it. I wasn’t really in the mood for ice cream, but my partner asked for one serving of vegan ice cream. The guys seemed to understand quite well which ingredients are vegan, but the fact that they make the vegan ice cream on the same surface as the non-vegan one may be an issue for some people. I tried a little bit, and it was different but quite good. If you’re curious and not put off by cross-contamination, you should try these frozen rolls.
Ciemna 4. Open April to October Sunday to Thursday 12pm to 10pm, Friday and Saturday 12pm to 11pm. http://www.frozenrolls.pl/
The next morning, our quest was to find vegan breakfast, but we soon realized that none of the vegan places opened before 11am. We went to a place close to our Airbnb called Sufeat based on the incorrect opening hours listed on HappyCow (we corrected them on the spot). You can find Sufeat in Podgorze which means it’s not on everybody’s radar, but make sure you check it out. The atmosphere is lovely with several couches, and because it’s not in the center of the city, it doesn’t get as packed as some of the other vegan places. When we inquired about their breakfast choices, they said they didn’t usually make breakfast, but they ended up making unbelievably delicious pancakes for us. From what I could make out on the blackboard, all their dishes are gluten-free as well. If that’s the case, I have to say I’m impressed because these were by far the best vegan pancakes I’ve ever had. In my opinion, Sufeat is the best vegan restaurant in Krakow, and I would recommend making the trip here for some more traditional Polish food.
Długosza 2. Open Monday to Sunday 11am to 7pm. https://www.facebook.com/Sufeat-Wege-Sufit-477552685933674/
The pancakes kept us full for quite a long time, but eventually, we needed to have lunch, and we ended up going to an “Indian” place called Hariprasad Samosa & Curry. Indian food may not be an obvious choice when in Poland, but a fully vegan Indian restaurant seemed quite intriguing. The “restaurant” turned out to be a tiny kitchen with very few seats and also didn’t seem very authentic as we only saw Europeans working there. Hariprasad specializes in samosas and curries as the name suggests. They also have daal and chapati. We went for the full plate with rice, the curry, chapati, daal, and salad (which was in reality only tomatoes). The taste was decent but nothing too special. I also ordered a mango lassi as this is something I miss a lot as a vegan in South Asian restaurants. However, the taste of soy was too pronounced so I can’t recommend this as a vegan version of the traditional mango lassi. The worst part, however, was that they didn’t have any plates or cutlery, and everything was single-use. I recommend this place as they create a lot of waste, and the food isn’t even authentic.
Dietla 45. Open Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday 11am to 6pm. https://www.facebook.com/hariprasadsamosa
For dinner, we finally managed to have some Polish food. We went to Free Farma right in the center of the city which is a vegan burger place but has some traditional Polish options like zapiekanka and pierogi as well. While the burgers looked extraordinary, we wanted to use the opportunity to go for the veganized versions of typical Polish dishes. I ordered the classic zapiekanka, and my partner had the pierogi. The taste was a bit of a letdown, to be honest, and the pierogi didn’t remind me at all of traditional pierogi. It was nice to be able to order these dishes, but I would probably try the burgers next time instead as they looked excellent.
Ulica Wiślna 6. Open Monday to Sunday 11am to 10pm. https://www.facebook.com/veganfarmakrakow/
The next day, during the Free Jewish Tour, we were able to grab lunch at Vegab on the busy New Square in Kazimierz. This square is the center of nightlife in Kazimierz and features several fast food places for people to grab a bite before, during, or after hitting up the many bars in the area. Vegab is the only entirely vegan stall here, and they specialize in kebab-like wraps. I got the Hamster which has a peanut-coconut sauce. Perfect for me, as I love both peanut and coconut. My partner got the Greek-style Olymp and loved it so much that we came back to Vegab a second time. I wasn’t interested in their other options, so I got the Hamster again, but my partner got a hot dog the second time. We also got a bounty cake which was a bit too rich for me, but if you ask my partner, Vegab is one of the best vegan places in Krakow. It surely is your best option for a quick and cheap bite when you’re out in Kazimierz.
Plac Nowy 5/8. Open Monday to Thursday 11am to 12am, Friday and Saturday 11am to 2am, Sunday 3pm to 11pm. https://www.vegab.pl/en/
For dinner, we went for burgers which is the obvious thing to do in Krakow as a vegan. We had heard a lot about Krowarzywa which is a chain that’s also present in Warsaw but which I wasn’t able to try when I was in the capital last year. Like several other places in Krakow, Krowarzywa was a bit of a letdown. The burgers we got (chickpea and pastrami) were decent but nothing spectacular. We couldn’t even order the combo as they were out of fries (the main side dish). From the way you order to the seating and atmosphere, Krowarzywa is pretty much a fast food joint. That’s not necessarily a bad thing if you’re in the center and hungry. It’s nice that there are vegan eateries like this as well, but of course, you can’t expect mind-blowing food at such a place.
Ulica Sławkowska 8. Open Monday to Sunday 11am to 11pm. http://krowarzywa.pl/en/
As we were close to the main square in the city center, we decided to pay a visit to one of the non-vegan cafés with vegan cake options. Słodki Wentzl is a Viennese-style café that has been around since 1792, only three years before Krakow came under Austrian control. I don’t tend to go to restaurants or cafés that are located on a city’s main square or near a major tourist attraction. Such places are usually overpriced and not even that good, but the vegan cakes we saw looked too good not to try them. We were not disappointed, and the atmosphere was lovely, but I have to say that the service was rather slow. Nonetheless, if you want to enjoy a delicious vegan cake while people-watching on Krakow’s main square, I recommend Słodki Wentzl.
Rynek Główny 19. Open Monday to Sunday 10am to 10pm. http://slodkiwentzl.pl/
The final place we had dinner, was Vege To Tu on the same small square that my partner had had the Thai ice cream. The small vegan food truck had not been open the first time we were here, but we were lucky to be able to try it on our last night in Krakow. They make wraps that looked delicious, and wow, did they taste amazing! We each got one of the tasty pâté wraps with lentils and mushrooms and were not disappointed. Most street food places use meat replacements in their dishes, so it was refreshing to have these wraps with much more “natural” ingredients. The square is nice and quiet, so the atmosphere was lovely as well. We also had a lemonade as in many other places in Krakow, but like most of them, it was a bit bland. I would, however, definitely consider this the best vegan street food in Krakow.
Zwierzyniecka 8. Open Monday to Friday 12pm to 7pm, Saturday 12pm to 8pm. https://www.facebook.com/VegeToTu
Finally, the day we left, we wanted to go for breakfast in Krakow one last time. As we couldn’t find a vegan place that opened early enough, we had to opt for the vegetarian Cafe Młynek. Located within mere meters from our first vegan spot in Krakow, Nova Krova, we completed the circle with some vegan pancakes. As we had already had amazing vegan pancakes at Sufeat, the ones at Cafe Młynek were a bit disappointing, but the location and friendly service made up for it. Not every place can be perfect, and it’s nice to see that more and more restaurants and cafés are adding vegan items to their menus.
Plac Wolnica 7. Open Monday to Thursday 8am to 10pm, Friday to Sunday 8am to 11pm. https://www.facebook.com/cafemlynek
Now for the ice cream lovers: There are a lot of ice cream places in Krakow, and most of them have several vegan flavors. I got two flavors (don’t remember which ones) from Lody z Lodziarni at Ulica Floriańska 6. Again, nothing mind-blowing, but a decent choice for cooling off in the summer.
Overall, I must say I was a bit disappointed with the vegan food options in Krakow. While there were many entirely vegan places, most of them focused on fast food and tasted mediocre. I had expected a bit more after my trips to other cities in Eastern Europe.
Vegan Shopping in Krakow
Aside from food, we also checked out two vegan stores during our stay in Krakow.
The best, by far, was Fairma Ethical Design, a vegan, fair trade clothing store. They don’t have all that many products in the store, but the fact alone that a physical store of this kind exists made me fall in love with them. I don’t think veganism stops with the animals. Ignoring human rights is as speciesist as eating animal products is. Finding vegan clothes that take into consideration the people making them is high on my list of priorities. We ended up getting two pairs of shoes and a wallet which I utterly love! I would have liked to buy more as the prices are quite moderate, but we were traveling with hand luggage only. The solution? Fairma has a great online store as well, and they ship abroad, so I’ll be sure to make an order in the future. Please check out this store when you’re in Krakow. We all have to realize that there is more than just not consuming animal products.
Ulica Dajwór 20. Open Monday to Saturday 11am to 6pm. https://fairma.pl/en/
The other vegan store in Krakow that we went to was Roślinny which sells food items. It’s not close to the center and honestly not worth the trip as it doesn’t offer a lot of products. You can mainly find bars made of dates, marmalades, liqueurs, as well as some plant milks and cheeses, but not many of the products I see in other vegan stores. It may be better to visit an organic store and look for vegan products there. (Close by, you will find the vegan bakery Zaczyn, but when we went, they looked empty and didn't seem to have any of the sweets that I had seen on the pictures on HappyCow, so we didn’t manage to buy anything.)
Rynek Dębnicki 10. Open Monday to Friday 10am to 7pm, Saturday 10am to 2pm. https://www.facebook.com/skleproslinny
Have you been to Krakow as a vegan? Do you disagree with my sober assessment of the food in the city? Let's discuss in the comments!
Half Bulgarian Turk, half German living life as an expat in Greece.
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