Manager @ Krakow Urban Adventures. Busy mother, traveller, and lover of local customs and culture. Happy about constant changes in lifestyles and the fact that the Earth still runs.
Polish cuisine at first glance is not very vegan, but in Krakow, vegan and vegetarian restaurants have been popping up like trendy mushrooms, there are so many of them now that it’s hard to keep track. This is great news for vegan travellers to Krakow or anyone who wants to eat a more plant-based diet. Want to know more? Our local city guide, Monika, shares everything you need to know about being vegan in Krakow.
You can’t talk about local food in Krakow without talking about pierogi. While not inherently vegan, pierogi can be made vegan if you omit eggs from the dough (totally possible) and stuff the delicious dumplings with plant-based ingredients rather than cheese or meat.
Something you’re likely to see a lot of in Krakow, is obwarzanki, one of Krakow’s staple street foods. This dough ring (kind of like a bagel) is sprinkled with salt, poppy or sesame seeds and can make for a quick vegan snack. Some are served with cheese, so make sure to avoid those ones.
Borscht, a vibrant and hearty beet-based soup may include meat, but it’s just as tasty without, using vegetable stock rather than chicken or beef stock and omitting the meat. Similarly, cabbage rolls, another Polish staple, can easily be made vegan by sticking to rice and vegetables for the filling.
In addition, depending on the season, you can get some seriously good local produce in Poland, something you’ll notice in the sałatkas (salads) you’ll find. Surówka, for example, basically just means shredded, raw vegetables (think slaw) and it can be made with anything from red or green cabbage to celery root and apples. Just make sure those vegetables aren’t dressed in a dairy-based dressing (which is possible).
Veganic: Located in the former Dolne Młyny (Lower Mills) cigarette factory complex, Veganic is a fashionable and multi-functional place. Due to long opening hours, the place is good for breakfast as well as for lunch or dinner. I especially recommend the vegan breakfast buffet for PLN 25 (about EUR 7 per person). In summer, a nice garden and live music make the place even better.
Karma: A good place for a quiet lunch, Karma serves a large selection of meatless dishes, sandwiches, and vegetable pates, as well as freshly-roasted, delicious coffee. It tastes like heaven with the local cheesecake or lemon tarte.
Glonojad: This popular restaurant is located in a convenient spot just behind the medieval Florian Gate. It’s worth taking advantage of a two-course set lunch at a good price, which changes every day. I also recommend delicious, freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices.
Momo: If you’re looking for a good place for the quick, simple and healthy lunch, Momo is a good bet. The interior is a bit old fashioned, but on the other hand, all the dishes served at Momo are tasty, nutritious, and inexpensive.
Mazaya Falafel: If you love falafel, Mazaya is a great place to full up. In my opinion, they sell the best falafel in the city. In addition, in the summer you will find in a small garden with two small tables and few chairs, which makes for a lovely place to sip your strong, Arabic coffee with cardamom or tea with sweets.
Bhajan Café: If you’re in the mood for Indian food, Bhajan serves up a menu of vegetarian and vegan Indian dishes with a variety of vegan options to choose from. They also host yoga and meditation events.
Hummus Amamamusi: Sit back, relax, and enjoy the food at this place where you can eat a freshly prepared hummus with pita bread and pickles, drink coffee or squeezed juice, read a newspaper, and even talk with the owners or other hummus-eaters sitting nearby.
Vegab: Fancy a kebab? This spot is the first vegan fast food restaurant in Krakow. Nice interior, good quality products, friendly and enthusiastic owners. A place for everyone, does not matter who they are and what they eat daily.
Shalom Falafel: Krakow’s only kosher street food restaurant, where everything is made exactly like in Israel, and dishes are prepared under the strict supervision of Krakow’s Rabbi Eliezer Gurary. The tiny place hidden in the basement brings to mind Kazimierz of old times. Everything is delicious, affordable and healthy. The only thing that bothers me a lot is the fact that all the meals are served on plastic, single use plates. It would be ideal to come with your own cutlery set and a small plate.
Fairma Ethical Design: This spot sells 100 percent vegan, ethical, and fair trade items including clothing, accessories, and shoes for both men and women.
Naturalny Sklepik: Both a café and an organic grocery store, Naturalny Sklepik is where to go for stapes like vegan meats, plant milk and cheese, as well as household products.
KOKOWorld: Head to this local clothing brand to browse and buy unique, handmade clothing and accessories made from natural materials.