Krakow, the picturesque Polish city, has become widely known for its amazing cultural heritage and delicious culinary offerings. A must-try dish for anyone visiting this charming destination is the traditional Polish dumpling known as pierogi. These savoury or sweet parcels of goodness hold a special place in the hearts and stomachs of Poles and tourists alike.
Whether filled with potatoes and cheese, mushrooms, or a wide array of other ingredients, it’s hard to resist these delicate creations.
As one navigates the winding cobblestone streets of Krakow, countless restaurants vie for attention, each boasting their own delicious version of the well-loved pierogi.
This article will delve into the various eateries that offer the best pierogi in Krakow, helping visitors to make their gastronomic journey a truly memorable one.
Table of Contents:
Traditional Pierogi in Krakow
When it comes to traditional Polish cuisine, one dish that stands out is the deliciously satisfying pierogi.
These tempting dumplings have gained popularity not just in Krakow but throughout Poland and beyond.
As a visitor to Krakow, one must try these amazing dumplings to truly immerse themselves in the local culinary experience.
Krakow is teeming with a variety of restaurants and eateries where you can indulge in the finest pierogi.
One such popular spot is Pierogarnia Krakowiacy, a cosy family-owned restaurant located near the main square. With their mouth-watering selection of pierogi, you’ll find it hard to resist trying more than just one variety.
Other noteworthy places to savour these traditional Polish dumplings include Mirror Bistro – Pierogi Bystro and Restauracja Starka. Both are highly recommended by locals and travellers alike, boasting delicious traditional food and an inviting atmosphere.
When tasting pierogi in Krakow, you should try the Ruskie pierogi – filled with potato and cheese – which is a local favourite.
Contrary to its name, the ‘Russian pierogi’ has no connection to Russia but rather bears the name due to its popularity and resemblance to Ruskie pierogi.
Krakow’s pierogi scene is versatile and ever-growing, continuously introducing new flavours and reinventing traditional recipes. With a wide range of fillings and styles to choose from, there’s a pierogi option for everyone.
While you’re in Krakow, don’t miss the opportunity to taste this culinary delight and gain a deeper understanding of Polish cuisine.
Popular Pierogi Fillings
When it comes to pierogi, Krakow offers a wide variety of fillings to suit every taste bud. Let’s explore some of the most popular options you will find in the city’s finest pierogi restaurants.
While in Krakow, be sure to experience these exciting activities:
- Food Walking Tour: Explore the city’s culinary scene with a guided walking tour that takes you to some of the best restaurants and markets in Krakow.
- Krakow City Tour by Electric Golf Cart: Explore Krakow in comfort with a guided tour by electric golf cart, which allows you to see much more than with walking alone.
- Pub, Bar & Club Crawl: Experience Krakow’s nightlife scene with a guided pub crawl that takes you to some of the city’s best bars and clubs. You can also try Private vodka tasting tour
- Polish Museum of Aviation: Discover the history of aviation in Poland with a visit to this fascinating museum. You can see there the collections of aircraft, engines, and other aviation artifacts.
- Zakopane Tour with Hot Bath Pools: Take a day trip from Krakow to Zakopane, a picturesque town in the Tatra Mountains. Enjoy the amazing scenery there, visit local markets, and relax in the hot bath pools.
One of the all-time favourites is the classic Ruskie pierogi, filled with a hearty combination of potatoes and cheese.
It’s a comforting and irresistible option that is sure to please any palate, especially if you’re new to the world of pierogi.
Meat-based pierogi fillings are very common in Krakow, with pork and ground beef being the top choices.
However, the city’s culinary scene also has plenty to offer for those craving something different, such as chicken, veal, duck, goose, and lamb.
It’s a meat lover’s paradise with each variant offering its unique taste and texture.
For those looking for a vegetarian option, mushroom pierogi are a popular choice.
The earthy and flavourful combination of mushrooms mixed with other ingredients, such as cabbage or spinach, creates a delicious and nutritious filling.
This versatile option can be found in almost every pierogi restaurant in Krakow.
Potatoes are another key ingredient often used in pierogi fillings.
Apart from Ruskie pierogi, you’ll find other variations that combine potatoes with different ingredients such as sauerkraut or even bacon, providing a unique twist to the traditional recipe.
So, whether you’re a fan of cheese, meat, potatoes, mushrooms, or Ruskie pierogi, Krakow has an abundance of options when it comes to satisfying your craving for the city’s most beloved dish.
Krakow’s Top Pierogi Restaurants
When visiting Krakow, one must indulge in the city’s favourite dish – pierogi. Luckily, there is an enticing variety of restaurants known for their delectable pierogi.
Here are some of the best pierogi restaurants in Krakow for a satisfying meal.
Pierogarnia Krakowiacy in Stare Miasto is a local favourite and a must-visit for pierogi lovers. With a friendly atmosphere and great prices, this dumpling restaurant offers a fantastic selection of pierogi flavours.
The portions are generous, so you’ll leave feeling pleasantly full.
In the historic district of Kazimierz, Przystanek Pierogarnia is another popular spot for pierogi enthusiasts.
Known for its wide variety of fillings and delicious homemade taste, this cosy establishment is perfect for trying a range of traditional and unique pierogi combinations.
Pod Aniołami restaurant
For a more elegant dining experience, head to Pod Aniołami near Wawel Castle.
This charming restaurant offers a fusion of traditional Polish cuisine with a modern twist. Their pierogi are crafted with finesse, providing an unforgettable taste experience in an enchanting setting.
Milkbar Tomasza at Stare Miasto is a great place to enjoy pierogi in a relaxed atmosphere. Styled as a traditional Polish milk bar, the restaurant offers budget-friendly, home-style cooking.
Expect to find a simple menu with basic but satisfying pierogi options.
Kleparz, a charming neighbourhood close to Krakow’s city centre, is also home to some delightful pierogi restaurants. One such location, well worth trying, would be the family-run Pierogowy Raj.
Prepare yourself for an authentic, home-cooked pierogi meal in a warm and welcoming environment.
Pierogi Beyond the Classic Fillings
Krakow is famous for its delicious pierogi, and while classic fillings like meat and potato are always popular, many restaurants have started to innovate and offer unique and flavourful alternatives.
For those looking for pierogi with a twist, there are plenty of options to make your taste buds happy.
One of the top places to try pierogi with more unusual fillings is the restaurant Nakryto. Located near the main square in the old town, they serve a range of creative pierogi dishes that include fillings like spinach, feta and rice, and mozzarella and dried tomato.
For those who enjoy the combination of sweet and savoury, their duck and apple pierogi are a delightful surprise.
If you’re interested in learning more about Polish food, we recommend these articles:
Kuchnia Polska Gaska
Another establishment worth visiting is Kuchnia Polska Gaska, where you can find pierogi with goose meat stuffing.
Their rich-flavoured fillings, infused with traditional herbs and spices, will leave you craving for more.
The restaurant is conveniently located on ul. Limanowskiego 1 and operates from Monday to Friday, 12 PM to 10 PM, and on Saturday and Sunday from 11 AM to 10 PM.
For vegan pierogi lovers, Krakow has you covered too. Many restaurants now offer vegan options, substituting classic fillings with ingredients like lentils, vegetables, or mushrooms.
Pierozki u Wincenta and Starka Restaurant
Moving on to the sweet side of things, restaurants like Pierozki u Wincenta and Starka Restaurant often celebrate the seasons with their pierogi offerings.
During the summer months, you might find sweet pierogi filled with fresh strawberries or cherries accompanied by mascarpone cream. In the winter, a warming chocolate pierogi could be on the menu, providing the perfect comfort food for chilly days.
Where to Eat Sweet Pierogi
Krakow is brimming with restaurants offering a variety of pierogi dishes, each with their unique twist.
For those with a sweet tooth, there are a few spots you simply cannot miss when trying the delicious sweet pierogi. Here are three of our top recommendations.
Pierożki u Vincenta
Pierożki u Vincenta is a cosy establishment located in the heart of the city, serving traditional Polish food.
Their menu is extensive, but the sweet pierogi stand out as a fan favourite. With fruit fillings such as strawberry, blueberry, and cherry, there’s something for everyone.
You can enjoy them with a sprinkling of powdered sugar or a drizzle of cream; either way, you’re in for a treat.
At Miodova, another fabulous dining option awaits for those craving sweet pierogi. Set in Kazimierz, the historic Jewish Quarter, this restaurant offers a refined dining experience.
Their pierogi, filled with cottage cheese and raisins, are a must-try. Have a taste of this amazing combination of flavours, served with a dollop of tangy sour cream and a touch of honey, making it a delightful blend of sweet and savoury.
Kuchnia Polska Gaska
Kuchnia Polska Gaska is a hidden gem that offers a delightful assortment of sweet pierogi. The restaurant presents a warm, welcoming atmosphere, making it an excellent spot to enjoy a comforting meal.
Among their delicious pierogi options, you will find ones with sweetened cottage cheese and vanilla, served warm with raspberry sauce or a dusting of powdered sugar.
It’s the perfect way to end a day of exploring everything Krakow has to offer.
Polish Cuisine Accompaniments
Polish cuisine is rich and diverse, with a plethora of hearty dishes that celebrate the country’s traditions and ingredients.
When indulging in some of the best pierogi in Krakow, diners will be delighted to discover a variety of delectable accompaniments that add depth and flavour to the experience.
Pierogi ruskie, or potato and cheese pierogi, is a classic filling that should not be missed when dining out in Krakow.
These delicious dumplings perfectly capture the comfort and satisfaction of home-cooked Polish fare. They can often be found at establishments like Kuchnia U Doroty and Mirror Bistro.
An interesting twist on Polish street food, zapiekanki are baguettes split open lengthwise and topped with melted cheese, meat, vegetables, and condiments.
These savoury snacks can be found throughout the city, offering a convenient and satisfying alternative to pierogi.
A traditional Polish stew, bigos is a hearty blend of sauerkraut, fresh cabbage, and various types of meat, including sausage and bacon.
This warming dish is often served alongside pierogi and makes for a satisfying meal, particularly during the colder months.
Gołąbki are cabbage rolls stuffed with minced meat and rice or barley, simmered in a tomato sauce.
This classic Polish dish offers a tasty and filling alternative to dumplings, bringing an element of warmth and comfort to any meal.
Zurek, a sour rye soup featuring sausage, vegetables, and often an egg, is another staple of Polish cuisine.
This flavoursome broth, popular as a first course or light lunch, complements pierogi and other dishes, providing a tangy contrast to their rich fillings.
Of course, no discussion of Polish cuisine would be complete without mention of Polish vodka. This iconic spirit, enjoyed worldwide, enhances any meal with its smoothness and versatility.
Pairing well with both savoury and sweet dishes, a shot of vodka is a welcoming addition to gatherings, celebrations, or quiet moments in the company of good food and friends.
In short, Krakow offers a wealth of culinary delights, making it easy to find scrumptious accompaniments to the city’s finest pierogi.
With each dish showcasing the rich flavours and techniques of Polish cuisine, visitors will enjoy a delightful gastronomic adventure.
Pierogi Festivals & Holidays
During various holidays and festivities in Krakow, enjoying pierogi, Poland’s national dish, is always a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture. Easter and Christmas are often celebrated with traditional feasts that prominently feature this delicious treat, customised with festive fillings.
In addition to the traditional celebratory meals, Krakow’s famous Pierogi Festival takes place every August. At this event, numerous vendors and participants battle for the title of Best Pierogi. Visitors can sample a vast array of inventive and delicious fillings, making the festival a must-visit for pierogi enthusiasts.
Furthermore, the Jewish District, also known as Kazimierz, has a strong culinary tradition.
Starka Restaurant, located in this district, serves some of the finest pierogi in the city. Visiting Kazimierz during Jewish holidays can also offer unique opportunities to indulge in tasty, traditional pierogi dishes.
Finally, pierogi lovers should not miss out on culinary workshops held during the Pierogi Festival, as they provide an insight into the best techniques for making the perfect dough, fillings, and beautifully crafted dumplings.
By learning how to make pierogi from the experts, visitors can take home a piece of Krakow’s culture and cuisine.
Unique Variations of Pierogi
There are numerous types of pierogi available in Krakow that cater to various tastes and preferences.
From traditional fillings to modern twists, each pierogi restaurant in the city offers unique variations that are worth trying.
One such variation is Ruskie pierogi, which might sound like it has a Russian origin, but in reality, it refers to a filling made from potato and cheese.
These dumplings are a classic staple and can be found in almost all pierogi restaurants in Krakow.
Ruskie pierogi typically come topped with sour cream, chives, and sometimes, sautéed mushrooms, making them a hearty and satisfying choice for both locals and tourists alike.
For those who prefer their pierogi a little on the sweeter side, sweet pierogi are an excellent option. These delightful treats are filled with different seasonal fruits, such as strawberries, cherries, or blueberries, and usually served with a sprinkle of sugar and a dollop of whipped cream. Sweet pierogi allow diners to enjoy the indulgent combination of delicate pastry and fruity fillings, a perfect way to end a meal or satisfy a craving for dessert.
Cabbage pierogi is another variation worth trying, as they are filled with a mixture of sauerkraut and mushrooms, making for a tangy and earthy flavour profile.
Often served with a dollop of sour cream on top, this delectable combination is a fantastic option for those looking to taste a different spin on the traditional pierogi.
In addition to these traditional variations, some restaurants in Krakow also offer a creative take on pierogi, incorporating elements inspired by modern cuisine and art. For example, eateries like Pierozki U Vincenta are known for their colourful and flavourful pierogi, which include unconventional fillings and unique presentations.
Pierogi are a beloved Polish dish made from unleavened dough and filled with various sweet or savoury ingredients.
The process of making pierogi is relatively simple, and the versatility of these delightful dumplings allows for countless possibilities in terms of stuffing and flavours.
Preparing the Dough
To begin, one must first prepare the dough using flour, water, and a little oil or butter.
The dough is then rolled out until it becomes smooth and thin, ready to be stuffed with the desired filling.
Some of the most popular pierogi fillings include a mixture of potato and cheese, known as Ruskie pierogi, or sauerkraut and mushrooms.
For those craving a sweeter treat, fruit fillings such as berries or apples are also popular choices.
Assembling the Pierogi
When it comes to assembling the pierogi, a small spoonful of filling is placed onto a circular piece of dough, leaving enough space around the edges for sealing.
The dough is then folded in half to create a crescent shape, with the edges firmly pinched together to prevent the filling from escaping during cooking.
Boiling and Frying
Before boiling these tasty parcels, it is vital to ensure that a large pot of lightly salted water is brought to a rolling boil.
Carefully place the pierogi into the boiling water, stirring gently to prevent sticking.
Once they float to the surface, allow them to cook for a few more minutes before removing them with a slotted spoon.
For an added depth of flavour, many enjoy frying their boiled pierogi in a pan with a bit of oil or butter, along with onions and bacon.
This step infuses the dumplings with a rich and savoury taste from the bacon while simultaneously caramelising the onions, which add a touch of sweetness.
To serve, pierogi can be enjoyed piping hot, garnished with crispy bacon, fried onions, or simply topped with a dollop of sour cream.
Regardless of the chosen filling and cooking method, pierogi are an inviting and delicious meal that always leave diners craving seconds.
Facts and Myths Surrounding Pierogi
Pierogi, an essential Polish dish, has origins dating back centuries. In Krakow, there’s no shortage of places where one can experience the best of this beloved dumpling.
Before you embark on your pierogi adventure, dive into some trivia and legends surrounding this delightful dish.
Legend has it that pierogi were brought to Poland by Saint Hyacinth, a 13th-century Dominican friar who discovered these delicious dumplings on a trip to Kiev.
Upon returning to Poland, he introduced pierogi to the locals, and the rest is history. The popularity of pierogi quickly spread, and it has since become an integral part of Polish cuisine.
Once you’ve finished indulging in Krakow’s delectable pierogi, there are plenty of other activities to partake in.
The city boasts rich cultural and historical heritage, with countless landmarks, fantastic museums, and entertainment options to keep you busy.
Discover the Best of Krakow with These Itineraries:
As you discover and explore the city, you’ll find that immersing yourself in the local cuisine is a fantastic way to get a true taste of Krakow and its vibrant culture.