Krakow has always been a city I wanted to visit especially to see Auschwitz and Auschwitz-Birkenau as
Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it
I was nervous about visiting Krakow as I had heard mixed reviews regarding gluten free catering, as I found out myself it was very hit and miss. I was given gluten once and had a few close calls however there was some amazing gluten free places which made the trip better again.
Our first trip was to a restaurant called Miazsz in the old town of Krakow. All their paninis were gluten free and there was quite a few to choose from. On the counter they also had one gluten free cake for sale.
I chose the panini with cheese, cucumber, tomato, jalalpeno pepper, pesto and watercress. The panini was very big when it came and had a lot of filling. I’m very fussy with gluten free bread, so I found it quite dry but that could just be me. The staff were very friendly and were happy to help even when I asked lots of questions about whether it was gluten free. It was very cheap, there was an extra cost for the gluten free panini of 2PLN which equals 42p. we had two paninis and two fresh juices and it came to 33.00PLN which equals £6.97.
http://www.local-life.com/krakow/pubs/2928-Miazsz- A link of where to find it If you are interested
We visited a restaurant which had a salad bar upstairs and an underground restaurant called Chimera It had a really traditional interior and the waitress was very nice, welcoming and happy to explain what could be adjusted to be made gluten free. They did not have a separate menu however she said almost everything apart from the polish dumplings could be made gluten free.
I ordered the Pork chops with an apple sauce and vegetables which was a chef recommendation. It was a big portion with two big pork chops, however the pork was overcooked so slightly chewy.
At the end of the meal the waitress brought us over a complimentary small piece of chocolate cake and a small gluten free shortbread biscuit for me which was lovely. She even put the chocolate cake in a case to avoid cross contamination. The meal was a mid range price for Krakow but still very cheap in total we had the pork chops, dumplings and two soft drinks and it came to approximately 121PLN which equals £25.55
http://chimera.com.pl/en- Link to the restaurant for you to check out.
That evening we visited an Italian restaurant called Pasta Bar again located in the old town. They did not have a separate menu but they had gluten free penne pasta. There was a massive choice on the menu and as we were starving from a full day of walking we were ready for food! I ordered the ‘Spaghetti alle vongole’ which was spaghetti with clams, garlic, pepperoncino, parsley, cherry tomatoes and white wine. The waitress then brought out bread for us, I asked if it was gluten free or not, her face fell and she ran off. A few minutes later she came back saying she forgot to tell the chefs that my dish was gluten free so they will have to remake it so it may take a few minutes. I was fine with this as mistakes do happen, my partners food arrived and then 20 minutes later so did mine, when I tried the pasta it was rock hard, it was not cooked at all. I didn’t want them to make me another portion as it would of taken ages again to make, I just ate the clams and complained to the waitress when she came over. She was very apologetic but STILL made us pay for the food. I had a bad experience at the restaurant and will not be visiting again. For two pastas and two soft drinks its came to 80.00PLN which equals £16.89
https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g274772-d9805140-Reviews-Pasta_Bar-Krakow_Lesser_Poland_Province_Southern_Poland.html – A link in case you want to try it out for yourself.
On our second day we went on a day trip to Auschwitz and Auschwitz-Birkenau pre booked via a company called Discover Cracow on the booking we requested a gluten free lunch as lunch was included. They had received the request and packed me a fully gluten free lunch up. It consisted of rice cakes, ham, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber for the sandwich then a banana, an apple and a bottle of water. A request I didn’t think they would fulfil!
https://discovercracow.com/ – This is the company we booked with and I would highly recommend them they were brilliant!
We were still hungry when we returned back to Krakow so grabbed a quick bite to eat on the way back to the hotel in a vegan burger bar called Krowarzywa They offered gluten free burgers for an extra 3PLN which equals 63p. Two of the burgers could be made gluten free off the menu so a fairly limited choice.
I’ve never had any vegan food before so was not sure what to expect, I chose the ‘Tofex’ which was slices of smoked tofu, marinated in herbs and baked. The only concern was when they were handling the gluten free bread they used the same gloves and knife to cut the bread which resulted in cross contamination. The burger was huge and all the filling kept falling out everywhere as there was so much. I really enjoyed the burger for something different. The homemade lemonade was okay but was very minty. It was very cheap as for two burgers and two lemonades it was 50.00PLN which equals £10.56
http://krowarzywa.pl/ – The restaurant link for you to have a look at!
That evening we were really craving a steak so ended up going to an American steak house in the centre of the old own square called Sioux When we arrived the waiter told me all of the steaks off the menu were gluten free apart from two however when we came to order the waitress said only two of the steaks were gluten free which was very confusing.
I ordered the ‘angus steak’ and cooked rare. There were two good sized pieces of steak on the plate however one was cooked well done and one rare. They served chips which looked like they had been deep fried and was the same on a gluten steak dish so I avoided them. Overall the steak was good quality with no fatty bits but could of done with an equal cook. It was a mid range priced restaurant with two steaks, a beer and a soft drink for 128.00PLN which equals £27.03
https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g274772-d1098785-Reviews-Sioux-Krakow_Lesser_Poland_Province_Southern_Poland.html – Check out some other reviews of the restaurant on here
We discovered a really cool cocktail bar just out of the main square in the old town called Movida they had over 40 different cocktails on the menu! We had 6 cocktails altogether and it cost around 120PLN which equals £25.34 which is amazing considering in England they are about £10 each!
http://www.movida-bar.pl/en/ – A link so you can see where it is located
The final morning we got up early and went for breakfast in a restaurant called Sissi Organic Bistro The waiter showed me the menu and highlighted the icon I needed to look for to see whether it was gluten free or not.
I ordered the gluten free ‘Frank Joseph’s breakfast’ I asked many times were the sausages gluten free, was the bread gluten free etc. The waiter assured me everything was gluten free. When it arrived he said ”I should of told you the white bread has a slight more risk of it containing gluten” I had no idea what this meant. When I looked they had put ORDINARY bread on a gluten free breakfast, I was absolutely gobsmacked. I removed the bread and left the sausages and they were touching the bread however I ate the egg and bacon. Within 10 minutes I started getting symptoms of eating gluten. My tummy bloated massively, cramps began, nausea and diarrhoea. This lasted for a couple of hours so must of been cross contamination from the bread. I removed the bread from the plate before I took a picture as I wanted to get it away as quick as possible!
I became ill quite quickly so just wanted to leave so we forgot to take note of how much it cost just paid it and ran out! We think it cost for two breakfasts and two fruit juices around 25Euro
I would avoid this restaurant completely as it is not safe for coealics or those with gluten intolerances.
https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g274772-d8141152-Reviews-Sissi_Organic_Bistro-Krakow_Lesser_Poland_Province_Southern_Poland.html – Here is the restaurant trip advisor page.
I was very wary about eating later that day following breakfast but I knew I couldn’t skip a meal as I’m trying to gain weight after a drastic weight loss during my years as an undiagnosed coeliac. When we were walking towards the Jewish quarter we came across a restaurant called Pod Baran which advertised gluten free food in the window.
We decided to venture in as I couldn’t let myself be scared of eating out. The waiter was very nice and completely put me at ease, he reassured me that it would be gluten free. The menu helped too as from pages 27-39 were labelled gluten free and a gluten free symbol was printed in the background of each page.
I ordered the gluten free traditional polish dumplings with a strawberry filling and cream on the side. When the food was brought over the waiter said ”the gluten free dumplings” which always puts your mind at rest as you know they remembered you ordered gluten free. The portion was huge and very filling, it was absolutely delicious too, I’m glad I didn’t miss out on trying such a traditional polish dish.
I started to gain trust in the restaurants ability to cater for gluten free so I decided to try a sweet, they had a separate sweet menu too with lots of different fully gluten free desserts to choose from
I went for the vanilla and orange zest cheesecake, it was incredible The texture was weird a little like bread but was amazing, My partner got the gluten free raspberry cake which was heavenly too!
Overall Pod baran was the best restaurant we had visited in Krakow, the service and attention of the staff regarding gluten free food was amazing. The menu was perfectly laid out, easy to follow and clearly labelled gluten free. The restaurant itself was a traditional polish restaurant serving traditional food. It was very well priced for the quality of food as we had two sets of dumplings, two cakes and two soft drinks which came to 112PLN equalling £23.65 there was no extra cost for it being gluten free either.
http://podbaranem.com/n/ – The restaurant so you know where to visit!
For our final meal before we boarded the over night train to Vienna, Austria was an Italian in the centre of the old town square called Bianca I decided to retry Krakow’s gluten free Italian service. They did not have a separate gluten free menu however they did offer a gluten free penne pasta.
Tjhey had a wide variety of pastas to choose from, I chose the seafood pasta in a white wine sauce. The portion size was big, the pasta sauce was nice however the pasta was slightly undercooked.
The waitress said that all the desserts on the main menu were gluten free, I wasn’t convinced so chose the panna cotta which I know is naturally gluten free. The strawberry sauce it came with was very nice. It was an average priced meal for Krakow for two pastas, two desserts, a beer and a soft drink it came to 123.00PLN which equals £25.79
http://biancaristorante.pl/?lang=en – The link in case you want to try it out when exploring around the old town square.
Overall Krakow has been very hit and miss on their gluten free catering abilities. I think the most important thing to do is go off recommendation, avoid places where I have been given gluten and ask a million times if necessary if it is gluten free. Then if you are not convinced don’t risk it!
I hope this blog will help you have a safe trip to Krakow as it is a wonderful city full of history.