After exploring one of Europe's most beautiful cities, I can confidently say Krakow is vegan heaven! There are so many different vegan eateries around the city, I could very happily pack my bags and move there now.
With an impressive array of both veganised traditional Polish cuisine and incredible plant-based food, Krakow is a city that no herbivore will go hungry in and definitely one for all you foodies to add to your bucket list.
We had 5 days sampling as much of the cities best vegan food as we could manage. Here are our tried and tested recommendations (plus a few extras) for tasty vegan food when visiting Krakow.
I have to start my guide with what has to be my all-time favourite vegan cafe. If I was to ever open my own cafe this is exactly how I'd picture it would be. Vegano is a fully vegan cafe located a little outside the city centre, but it is definitely worth the walk. They have an incredible range of plant-based toasties, ciabattas, salad bowls and smoothies, making it the perfect lunch spot.
I ordered the indie salad bowl which combined all my favourite things - smoked tofu, avocado, mango and peanut butter. It was by far the largest (and best) salad bowl I've ever eaten and I have even made several attempts to recreate it at home... Dan ordered the 'egg and ham' ciabatta in their signature charcoal black bun. No lie, this tasted EXACTLY like egg, I had to triple check we were actually in a vegan cafe! Dan being an omnivore couldn't even tell it apart from regular egg sandwich and was begging to return for a second one, which we thankfully managed to fit in just before heading back to the airport on our last day.
I am definitely a junk-food vegan at heart, so as soon as we arrived in Krakow this was the first place we headed. Vegab is a vegan kebab shop well-known across the world for their plant-based kebabs, and luckily for us, it was right around the corner from where we were staying.
They have four regular kebabs on offer and a special which rotates frequently, all with their incredible v-meat and each offering unique flavours. I ordered the Beirut with hummus, tahini and pickled cucumbers (an instant classic) and Dan ordered the Olymp, a greek style kebab with tzatziki, sundried tomatoes and olives, both equally as dirty and delicious. If you love the taste of a dirty kebab after a night out (or just in general) this is one for you.
Massolit Cooks is a vegetarian and vegan bistro located in the middle of Kazimierz. They offer a large selection of vegan breakfast, lunches and sweets, and serve up what has to be some of the best vegan brunch in Krakow. The interior decor is very boho-chic and the atmosphere is relaxed, making it the perfect place to start the day.
I ordered the fluffy whole-grain pancakes, with sweet date toffee, delicious caramelized banana and topped with seasonal fruits. Dan opted for something more savoury and went with the perfectly seasoned tofu scramble, which was accompanied with a mix of vegetables, bread and two homemade spreads. Both breakfasts were unbelievably good and very well priced, I could have happily eaten here all week.
Pizzatopia is hands down the best vegan pizza either of us have ever eaten, and we've eaten a lot of pizza... What makes Pizzatopia so unique is their dough is proofed for 48 hours making it super light and it only takes 3 minutes to bake - So there is no waiting for ages to get your food!
Each pizza is made to order so you can create your perfect pizza, from everything including the dough, base sauce, toppings, and drizzle to finish, and no matter how many ingredients you choose, it is all one price! Although sadly there was no vegan meat options (yet). Dan didn't even have the usual complaints about vegan cheese and dragged me across the city to go back for another the following day. This is definitely a must-eat spot for any pizza lovers visiting Krakow (vegan or not).
This place was recommended as a must-visit by so many people back home. Krowarzywa is a well-known vegan burger joint located in the old town next to the main square. Their philosophy is 'you are what you eat' and this is reflected in their fresh and nutritious plant-based ingredients.
They provide several options for the burger patty including fake meat, tofu and vegetable and you also have the choice of a burger, wrap or bowl. We were tempted by the seitan pastrami, which was tender and perfectly flavoured. The burger was full to the brim with tasty toppings and the toasted bun added that extra crunch. Krowarzywa is a great place to visit for some high-quality clean vegan fast food.
Cakester Cafe is advertised as a healthy lifestyle cafe, but you'd never know this looking at all their mouth-watering food. They serve a large variety of vegan options, including pancakes, waffles, avocado toast, dumplings, smoothies and various fresh homemade cakes. We both opted for the banana-almond pancakes (can you tell we like pancakes...). They were fully loaded with a selection of fresh fruit, two toppings and sauce! Being a chocoholic I topped mine with cacao paste, peanut butter and chocolate sauce (the best combo) and Dan opted for apple and cinnamon, plum jam and a fruity sauce. Both were absolutely delicious and so sweet, we couldn't believe they only contained healthy natural ingredients and no sugar (they use erythritol instead).
For those of you wanting more of a fine dining experience, Veganic is the ideal place. Despite the name, Veganic is a vegan and vegetarian restaurant, however the majority (90%) of their menu is vegan. Their rustic, modern interior creates an ambient atmosphere, perfect for a romantic meal.
I opted for the cauliflower steak, which was very filling (much to my surprise), and served with toasted nuts, herbed potatoes, and the most delicious parsnip puree. Dan ordered their bean burger, however it definitely was not your ordinary bean burger. It had a super juicy meat-like texture and was complemented perfectly with fresh basil and avocado. Veganic takes vegan food to the next level, they really know how to elevate even the most simple of ingredients and their plating of meals is second to none.
We found Hilo by sheer luck when exploring the Jewish Quarter, only opening 3 months ago it wasn't even on Happy Cow yet! This cute bistro and bar has a very Hawaiian surf vibe and currently serves 3 vegan options. I went for the super colourful poke bowl with smoked tofu, mixed vegetables and fruits and served on a bed of rice. The bowl was fresh, light and so delicious, the nori added a 'fishy' sushi flavour which I love. The presentation was also flawless, these are bowls you just can't resist taking a picture of and give you warm summer vibes even in the coldest of months.
Mo-Ja is a relaxed modern cafe and bistro, with a great atmosphere and range of vegan breakfast and brunch options on their menu. Dan ordered the delicious apple pancakes, which were served with fresh fruit and a jug of sweet maple syrup for drizzling. I ordered the vege-vege brunch not realising quite what I'd let myself in for... Tofu scramble, mixed grilled vegetables, avocado, toast, spreads AND a smoothie bowl topped with granola - It definitely set me up for the day. From previous reviews, I have read be warned that the bread they use isn't always vegan so make sure to double-check!
I was desperately searching for something to take for my lunch on our day trip the following day when we luckily stumbled across Mazaya Falafel, another find near our apartment serving healthy vegetarian and vegan Middle Eastern food. With a choice of several wraps, salads and plates, I ordered the Fetusz salad with aubergine, crispy pita croutons and drizzled with tahini. It was so delicious and I was so glad I brought it on our trip because there was no vegan food to be found...
When in Poland you have to try some traditional Polish food, and what is more Polish than a Pierogi. We were drawn to Pierogowy Raj due to their separate vegan menu with both sweet and savoury options. We ordered the Szarlotka which consisted of apple, rice and cinnamon - An odd combination which strangely worked. Definitely one to visit if you want to experience some of the countries famous Pierogis.
Lody z Lobziarni is a chain of ice cream parlours dotted in various locations around the city, so you'll no doubt stumble across one at some point. They had loads of vegan ice cream and sorbet flavours to choose from. We tried the mango and cherry sorbets, which were both creamy and delicious, to enjoy as we explored the city at night.
Good Lood is the fastest-growing food startup in Krakow, offering a range of alternating natural ice creams which are all freshly produced in the city, and many of which are vegan. On our visit, they had peanut butter jelly, strawberry, and banana, raspberry and passion fruit, I went for the latter in a vegan cone. I couldn't believe that a large scoop was only 4zl (less that £1!!). Check out their facebook page where they announce the following day's flavours every evening at 8 PM.
Whilst I love exploring all the vegan eateries in new cities, Dan likes to do the same but with coffee. I'm not a massive coffee drinker, truth be told I actually had my first coffee in Krakow and much to my surprise I really enjoyed it - but that is likely since Dan took me to some of the best coffee shops in the Krakow.
Fika is a quirky coffee shop hidden away on a small residential street. Don't let their small establishment deceive you as they offer some of Krakow's finest speciality coffee. We ordered a v60 (I have no idea what that actually means, I let Dan do all the ordering). The staff are incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about their trade, and that really shows in their work - As someone who doesn't drink coffee, it tasted delicious.
Two Drops is a coffee and wine bar perfectly located on the front of the Vistula River. We ordered a creamy latte with oat milk (the best plant milk for hot drinks) and sat outside in the sun, happily watching the world pass us by. It was the ideal stop after exploring the nearby Jewish Quarter of Kazimierz.
Wesola Cafe is an intimate place with an industrial art studio vibe, serving high-quality speciality coffee which stands out amongst the crowds of chain coffee shops. We ordered a batch brew filter coffee with underlying roasted hazelnut flavours. They also offer a range of vegan meals including soups, sandwiches and curries. Their slogan really says it all ''LEPIEJ PIC KAWE NIZ NIE'' (better off drinking coffee)!
Other worthy mentions
Sadly we only had a few days in Krakow so we only able to sample a small selection of the incredible vegan food the city has to offer. I could easily come back again and here would be some of the places I'd love to try:
Mihiderka is a 100% vegan cafe near the Jewish Quarter which serves soups, curries and burgers. It sounds perfect for a quick bite to eat for lunch and I wish we had saved room for a visit. I've heard that it is fairly small inside so it is likely to get full fast during busy parts of the day!
Pod Norenami is well-known for serving some of the best vegan Asian food in Krakow, offering a range of vegan meat and vegetable dishes. We decided to give this one a miss since we weren't really in the mood for Asian food but it has an excellent reputation and is a place I would love to return to try.
Tajskie Lody is a Thai ice cream shop in the Jewish Quarter which serves vegan versions of the novel ice cream rolls. They use organic ingredients and a variety of fruit and sweet toppings. It was sadly shut for the winter season (I'm one of the strange people who likes ice cream in the cold) but definitely one to check out in the summer months.
Zapiekanki Krakowskie Lajonik is a stall which can be found in the Old Jewish Market. It serves the traditional Polish street food Zapiekanki which roughly translates to toasted cheese sandwich, but in my opinion it looks more like a pizza on bread. This stall offers a vegan option with vegan cheese and mushrooms but unfortunately they had run out, which was sad for us but also made me happy to think it must be that popular!
Thank you for reading, I hope you've found my short guide to vegan food in Krakow helpful! For more information about my trip to Krakow see my blog post Autumn in Krakow.