Already from the 19th century onwards, confectioneries and cafés have played an important role in the city’s everyday life: they served as platform to exchange information and to debate over a glass until late at night.
If you want to feel the atmosphere of the old cafe Krakow, sit in the interiors with Thonet chairs and wobbly tables and walls that seem not to remember the touch of a brush, then visit the places where you get a coffee not to enjoy it, but to have a chat. These are Dym, Nowa Prowincja, Bunkier Sztuki, Alchemia (it is worthwhile to follow the programme of concerts held here) and Mleczarnia, which opens a gorgeous garden in the summer. Have a peek into the tiny Rio and sit next to the Piotr Skrzynecki monument in Vis-a-vis.
Things work differently if your coffee dictionary starts with a term ‘aeropress’, and ends with ‘V60’. Here, your guide will be Marcin “Makiato” Wojciak, the leader of the Krakowska Kooperatywa Kawowa community, and a renowned barista who recommends especially Karma, bustling Wesoła, as well as Tektura, where you can take part in coffee cupping, Somnium in Kazimierz, well feeding Blossom and the recently opened cosy Fika.
For dessert, we have some sweet addresses for you. We’ll start with the most unassuming place. Cukiernia Michałek (Krupnicza 6) is a true mecca for people who love doughnuts — not just on Fat Thursday. Try here other pastries as well: cheesecakes, cheese fingers, and cakes sold by weight. For great doughnuts, visit Cukiernia pod Arkadami (Krakowska 5). In Cichowscy (Starowiślna 21), in turn, you can enjoy traditional Krakow shortbread cookies and delicious nougat. You’ll find homemade cakes in Vanilla in Kazimierz (Brzozowa 13), run by gorgeous Ewa, in Słodka Manufaktura (Czarnowiejska 73) and in La Baguette (several locations). Desserts in modern form are the domain of Galeria Tortów Artystycznych (Bożego Ciała 22), Bracia Szewczenko (Rynek Kleparski 14), Assiette (Pilotow 61) and Słodkości (al. Daszyńskiego 12). The Francophiles should also visit Nad & Greg (Rynek Podgorski 11).
Nowa Prowincja (Bracka 3-5)
“And in Krakow on Bracka Street it’s raining…” If this verse brought the melody back to your head, you should visit Nowa Prowincja. It is one of the most typical for Krakowstyle cafes, not only because the author of “Bracka” song, Grzegorz Turnau, happens to have enjoyed coffee here. The place looks almost the same as it used to look a dozen years ago, coffee is still brewed by the same people, and cakes and hot chocolate always taste delicious here. If you are longing for a break, pass the entrance to the restroom and go upstairs to the room on the first floor.
Cafe Lisboa (Dolnych Młynów 3/4)
This tiny place is an informal meeting point for the Portuguese living in Krakow who come here for a delicious pastel de nata made from butter and pudding and espresso. In summer, order wine, snacks and sit back and relax in the garden.
Karma (Krupnicza 12)
A great cafe with an excellent brewed coffee from its own roasting house. All day long you can enjoy vegetarian and vegan breakfasts and lunches (different every day). The place is also famous for its homemade cakes and tarts. In late spring, Karma opens the doors of its roasting house at św. Wawrzyńca 9. You can also have coffee and breakfast there. Ideally in a cosy garden hidden in the courtyard of a tenement house.
Wesoła Cafe (Rakowicka 17)
A bustling, crowded place, whose secret are not only breakfast served all day, but also excellent coffee, which — as the famous neon sign says — “you’d better drink than not drink”. The regulars also highly appreciate cakes — be it glutenfree, vegan or sugarfree. In summer you can relax in a tiny garden.
Galeria Tortów Artystycznych (Bożego Ciała 22)
High-end French confectioner’s shop. Come here if you want to indulge yourselves in the delight over the dessert: whether for its appearance or taste and flavour, have macaroons or order a cake. A box of cookies bought here will be a real buzz at every party!