If you tell acquaintances who have been to Krakow in the winter, or Poland for that matter, they will gleefully tell you tales about how they scoffed sausage and dumplings to warm their insides in escape of the bitter climate. Although I wouldn’t disagree with them – I ate a delicious sausage served on a bed of Sauerkraut before I boarded my BA flight back to London – there is a little more to this stylish, welcoming little city.
I travelled to the Polish second city with three friends for a trip filled with eclectic activities, ranging from a full-day, sobering tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau to excessive drinking in the company of stag-do louts. We ate an equally eclectic range of foods and partook in some excellent drinking at an array of different venues, some of which I have recommended below.
Even if Jazz is not your thing, this laid-back cavernous space is a great spot to grab a drink and listen to Polish jazz musicians croon through the night. The bar staff were incredibly friendly and had a solid skillset when it came to making cocktails. It is located just off the main square so is very easily accessible and is also open late for all you night crawlers out there.
We hit up the Michelin guide for this one, a gothic hotel restaurant that sits nestled on Krakow’s oldest street – a former home of Polish king’s (according to their website). It sounded appropriate, so we booked a table the evening we arrived back from our tour of Auschwitz.
The setting and mood were lovely, the food was good but not extraordinary and the service was attentive and professional.
We ate five courses from their extensive tasting menu, the highlights for me were the deer with walnuts and red bean croquette on earl grey tea and apple mousse and the cheese cake with passion fruit on orange honey and pine nuts ice cream.
It must be said, however, that we had all been fortunate enough to eat in some of London, and the world’s, best restaurants before our trip to Krakow. Despite the food being good and some of it very innovative, it just doesn’t weigh up to some of the restaurants that make the Michelin guide in other European countries. Despite this, I thoroughly enjoyed Copernicus and would recommend.
We were actually recommended Hamsa by a girl my mate was trying to chat up at a bar in London. I don’t think his attempt was successful, however this Israeli restaurant was a success!
Simple, well-cooked fare that satisfied on a completely different level compared to the other rich, meat-centric cuisine we had been scoffing. Really tasty mezze platters, warm and doughy flatbreads and warming tagines was just what we desired after a weekend of heavy boozing and piss taking.