The European café culture in strong in Kraków and I have to say, they have done them well! I personally love a café; coffee in the morning is essential to life and bonus points if I can switch to wine in the afternoon. They are great for catching up with friends, a change of scenery when you need to get some work done and perfect to indulge in one of my favourite pastimes, people watching.
Kraków added an extra bonus onto many of their cafés though, with something fairly stunning to look at! I spent a lot of time in cafés during my trip to Kraków and ended up not being able to walk more than about 50 yards without convincing myself I needed a coffee break (no surprise I didn’t sleep so well on this trip). Most of the the time I was drawn in by something a bit more unusual like quirky décor or my absolute weakness, a knockout view.
If you’re planning a trip there anytime soon, here is my roundup of the best cafés in Kraków and if you find any others that should make the list, let me know so I can visit next time I’m there!
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Formerly a brothel, then a film set, Camelot is now a pink hued café with candles, lace covered table cloths and sparkly chandeliers (the latter being my life long love). Everything about it is utterly gorgeous and gave me lots of inspiration for my dream dressing room that I will one day have….
Sitting in a quiet corner down one of the side streets just off Market Square, Café Camelot is relatively unassuming and you could feasibly pass by without it catching your eye. Spilling out onto a terrace surrounded by plants and with a hidden courtyard at the back, Café Camelot will serve you every meal, should you wish, accompanied by your choice of coffee, wine or cocktail (pretty sure they do beer and other alcoholic beverages, I tend to whizz by that on a menu!).
We stopped there for some drinks after dinner one night and had such a good time sat outside watching the people go by, that we returned for brunch the next morning. Their food is as good as their décor; the breakfast menu includes dishes such as omelettes, waffles (which I can attest were pretty damn good) and yogurts with granola. For later in the day, the menu consists of soups, sandwiches, risottos, pastas and the traditional Polish pierogi.
Address: Świętego Tomasza 17
Opening hours: Every day, 9:00am to 12:00am
Bistro Bene by Tomasz Leśniak
Quiet and unassuming, Bistro Bene would be the perfect place to come and do some work for a couple of hours should you need. Luckily, I did not fall into this camp and came here for breakfast on my first morning; they are pretty good at it!
The smell of coffee hits you as soon as you walk in (best thing ever) and you are greeted by a fridge showing some unbelievable looking desserts. Our friendly waitress distracted us with some menus and led us out to the garden terrace at the back, it’s always our preference to eat outside when the weather’s good!
Their breakfast menu mostly centres around eggs and different kinds of healthy looking smoothie bowls, but they do something a little different here, they have a cocktail menu with one for each hour of the day! The names were fairly hilarious such as “Lets Go to Work”, “Sheet, Late Again” and “Keep Calm, I’ll be Rich Someday” and I was tempted, but coffee called! All I can say is that if I had a cocktail on the hour every hour, that would make for a fairly enjoyable day! Not sure it would if you had to go to work though….
They serve a good variety of food throughout the day; burgers, pasta, pizza, salads and soups dominate the menu. Something caught my eye though, pierogi filled with braised pork, duck and hazelnut with a plum sauce. I will need to go back to Kraków just to have this.
Address: Świętego Krzyża 17
Opening Hours: Every day, 08:00am to 11:00pm
Café Manggha is part of the Museum of Japanese Art and Technology, but is open to both museum guests and the general public. We stopped here on our walk along the Vistula River for a drink and a snack while taking in the fairly stunning views of Wawel Castle on the other side of the river.
There is a large shaded courtyard to relax in, or you can sit inside to admire the view; they have floor to ceiling mirrored windows all across the front. Café Manggha specialises in tea and has an entire menu dedicated to just that. I’m not a big tea person so had some very delicious fresh lemonade, but enjoyed watching the tea trays being served in the traditional manner to other customers. Their food menu was very light and inspired by mostly Japanese, but also other Asian cuisines, mostly consisting of salads and soups.
It’s very quiet this side of the river and everyone else at the café seemed to be local, with quite a few tapping away on their laptops. The views are truly spectacular and it’s a great way to get a different view of Wawel Castle and the Vistula River.
Address: Museum of Japanese Art & Technology, Marii Konopnickiej 26
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00am to 6:00pm
Read More: A Complete Four Day Itinerary for Kraków
Ogród na Dachu Kazimierza Rooftop Café
At the heart of the Jewish District and overlooking Plac Nowy, this rooftop café is on the building of the Centre for Jewish Culture.
On the ground floor as you enter, there is a bar with a quirkily decorated seating area if you wish to sit inside. The rooftop is the stunner though, take the stairs and keep walking up to get there, it’s eerily quiet and feels bizarrely like you’re trespassing, but eventually you will find yourself come out onto a beautiful rooftop with lots of plants and greenery. There are only 3 tables and it feels more like someone’s house than a café, it’s just lovely. It was very quiet when we went, only 2 of the tables were occupied and no one else came up during the hour or so we were there.
They serve a range of drinks (alcoholic and non) and lighter lunch options such as sandwiches, toasties and soups. They also have a fairly epic looking hot chocolate menu, it was bit warm outside for me to partake though! When you want to order, just call down using the telephone on the wall to save walking up and down the stairs again.
The staff are lovely but hands off and when they have brought you your order will stay downstairs, so use the phone if you need to contact them, (I thought this was quite fun!). You pay your bill at the bar downstairs.
The rooftop is only open in good weather during the summer months.
Address: Beera Meiselsa 17
Opening Hours: Every day, 10:00am to 10:00pm
Courtesy of the elevated vantage point, Café Szał has some of the most stunning views of St Mary’s Basilica and Market Square from it’s outdoor terrace.
Stop for a coffee (morning) or wine (afternoon), the perfect accompaniment to enjoy your surroundings. Served throughout the day, the menu consists of lighter options such as sandwiches, salads and snacks, along with an extensive dessert menu. Honestly, the service was hard work, but the views were so good I would still go again.
Finding it can be a little tricky though, go through the entrance to the National Museum which is on the same side of the Cloth Hall as the water fountain and St Mary’s Basilica. Turn left upon entry and go up the spiral staircase to the second floor and turn right to access the terrace.
Address: 1-3 Rynek Główny
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10:00am to 6:00pm, Sunday 10:00am to 4:00pm
MAK Bread & Coffee at Hotel Puro
Hotel Puro would definitely be high on my list of places to stay if I were to come to Kraków again, I loved it! Quirky, chic and modern, it was actually the clientele that were one of the most interesting parts about the hotel, a real blend of local and international. We were surrounded by business meetings in a variety of languages, local students writing assignments and some very glamourous American women fresh out of the spa, giving it a very international and cosmopolitan vibe.
Walking into MAK you get an instant hit of that gorgeous freshly baked bread smell, they have big ovens lining the back wall and everything is freshly made. The menu was totally up my street (this means no full English breakfast, Danny would have been furious) and I ordered the MAK Toast De Lux; marinated salmon, poached egg and avocado with cherry tomatoes and coriander (just amazing). With it came some of that delicious bread (there are lots of varieties to choose from) and lightly warmed, perfectly spreadable butter. This was my best breakfast in Kraków (they know how to make a good cup of coffee as well).
To accompany your meal, should you choose, is a wide range of books and magazines to keep you entertained. Afterwards, relax onto one of their chaise lounge couches (yes, you heard this right, I didn’t know they existed either!). Luckily there were none available when we were there or I wouldn’t have got up again.
As ever in Kraków, venture out the back for a lovely outdoor seating area complete with blankets, fairy lights and some very comfy seating. We loved it so much we had another coffee there enjoying the peace and quiet.
Address: Hotel PURO Kazimierz, Przemyska 5
Opening Hours: Every day, 7:00am to 8:00pm
Final Thoughts: The Best Cafés in Kraków Poland
These are just five of the best cafés in Kraków and it was hard to narrow it down. No matter what you do in during your time in this beautiful city, make sure to stop at one of them for your poison of choice.
– Check flight routes and prices with Skyscanner.
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– We travelled in a group so chose an Airbnb, they have some really great and affordable accommodation options both in and close to the centre.
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– You can check out my full list of tried, tested and recommended Travel Resources here.