It is commonly claimed that milk bars are a relic of a bygone era. Nothing could be more misleading. These locations are still frequently visited by Krakow inhabitants, regardless of their social status and the size of their budgets.
The birth of milk bars marked the beginning of a new era in Polish restaurant industry: state-controlled mass feeding of citizens. Caloric value and product availability were more important than taste and flavour, culinary heritage or even simple pleasure. Thus, the menus were mainly based on dairy products, flour and potatoes. The regulars are attracted mainly by prices, fast service and typical Polish dishes, but also by nostalgia for old times. Oftentimes the interior design of these premises has remained almost unchanged since their opening, and generous servings of potatoes have been dished up by the same hand for several decades.
In the very heart of the city the Górnik bar (Czysta 1) or unrivalled Targowy in Grzegorzki (al. Daszyńskiego 19) are worth a visit. While walking along the Vistula river you can drop in to Flisak (Kościuszki 1), and while moving from Kazimierz to the Main Square it is worthwhile visiting Pod Filarkami (Starowiślna 29). In Podgorze, home-made food is served in the Południowy milk bar (Brodzińskiego 2) and Krakus milk bar (Limanowskiego 16).