The charm of Krakow is best experienced from inside one of the city’s cosy cafés, with a warm cup of coffee in-hand — and the following places are some of Krakow’s best for enjoying your daily dose of caffeine. Grab a seat, watch locals go about their day, enjoy decadent desserts and indulge in some of the city’s best brews at these Krakow coffee shops loved by locals.
For delicious coffee in the city centre of Krakow, at Main Market Square (Rynek Głowny), head straight to Szara. You might think because of its location that only tourists come here, but this isn’t the case. The café is an extension of a well-known restaurant nearby and its entrance is a bit hidden, so only a few in-the-know (or just lucky) travellers get there on their own. Local citizens, on the other hand, have long been visiting Szara for fresh coffee and tasty, nutritious breakfasts at a good price. (Breakfasts are served daily, up to 12pm.) I personally recommend grabbing a window seat, as then you can look out over the hectic Rynek Głowny from a safe distance. 6 Main Market Square.
Be sure to come to Café Lisboa in the heart of a cold Krakow winter because, as its name says, this café can virtually carry you away to the sunny capital of Portugal. The place offers a good choice of delicacies, all made according to traditional recipes from Lisbon. The decor brings to mind one of the cafés of the Belem district: blue tiles, fado music in the background, and above all the delightful smell of freshly brewed coffee and that delicious Portuguese dessert, pasteis de Belem, made on the spot. The owner of the place, Marta Kirsz, loves Lisbon and spent a lot of time there studying the art of baking and she has really managed to recreate that Portuguese vibe (and those tarts!) in Krakow. 3/4 Dolnych Młynów Street.
If you dream of finding an enchanted garden in the middle of the city, Meho Cafe is the place for you. It offers a pleasant and colourful interior year-round, but it fully blooms in springtime thanks to a big and shady garden where you can forget the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s an ideal place to drink good coffee and eat a piece of homemade cake. During lunch hours, Meho serves a soup or nutritious kaszotto (the Polish version of risotto, which uses buckwheat or barley in place of rice). Do not miss the interesting anti-war mural on the wall of the neighbouring tenement house. 26 Krupnicza Street.
Plac Nowy is full of great places where you can have a coffee or a snack, but I am personally in love with the French-style café named Les Couleurs. In addition to enjoying its Parisian atmosphere and original interior (packed with cinema posters and photos of French actors), you can have a good coffee or tea — or even a decent glass of wine or something stronger. They also serve small snacks such as salads, toasts and homemade cakes. Because Les Couleurs opens its doors quite early (around 8am), it is one of the few places in this sleepy, local area of Kazimierz where you can grab a quick coffee before the rest of the city wakes up. Enjoy it at the bar while reading the day’s news alongside the local artists (or at least those who consider themselves so) who gather here in the mornings. #localsknow tip: The toilet here is worth seeing. 10 Estery Street.
The name of the café refers directly to the building in which it is located: the freshly created Cricoteca, which is an amazing place associated with the brilliant Polish artist and theatre director Tadeusz Kantor. You can come here after visiting the exhibition (or not) for good coffee and delicious, homemade cake of fruit or chocolate. Crico Cafe offers one of the best views in the city due to its location in the Podgórze district, just on the bank of the Vistula River. Several districts and all the most important monuments of the city can be seen from here. The interior is also worthy of photo-taking, so bring your camera; you will rarely see something so lovely while drinking coffee. 4 Nadwislanska Street.