Traditional local snacks and foods

Obwarzanki

Traditional Krakow Snacks and foods from a local perspective

 

Like any place in the world, Kraków has its far-famed local specialities. Obwarzanek krakowski, zapiekanka and kiełbaska z Nyski are the must-tries here. They can be found in many cities in Poland but they originated in Kraków.

Obwarzanek krakowski is a type of bread roll topped with salt, sesame or poppy seed. It has traditions reaching 15th century and is often compared to bagel or German pretzel. This regional specialty registered with the European Union can be bought for approximately 1.70zł any time of the day mainly from little blue-and-yellow obwarzanek stands, shops or bakeries situated on each corner of the city.

Zapiekanka is often referred to as Polish pizza or baguette. It is served almost everywhere but the best ones can be found in Kazimierz district on Plac Nowy. Endzior is probably the most famous seller – you will recognize him by the longest queue. Queues form to any windows that sells this speciality. Especially long ones are in the evenings and nights but zapiekanka is definitely worth waiting for! You can get it with mushroom, cheese, polish sausage, “oscypek” (polish mountain cheese), salami, tuna, spinach and many more. To be safe to start with try “zapiekanka klasyczna” with chopped chives (“szczypiorek”) and garlic souce (“sos czosnkowy”). Remember the names as you might have difficulties with communicating in English. Have 5zł prepared as this is the price for approximately 30 cm length of oven baked baguette.

Meat-eaters should try “kiełbaska z Nyski” that are being sold out of an old fashioned Polish blue van on Grzegórzecka street next to Hala Targowa. Every evening (except Sundays) 9pm-3am you can try Kraków’s best sausages grilled on wood fired stove. Meat from local butcher, taste of Polish lemonade – that is what makes it unique experience.  

Krakow is also a city famous for sweets and desserts: Ciasteczka z Krakowa being delicious cookies, chocolate produced by Wawel (Kasztanki, Tiki Taki, Mieszanka Krakowska) –  to name just a few perfect treats, gifts or souvenirs.

One cannot forget about homemade ice-cream on Starowiślna street. What indicates its quality is the queue that is even longer than the one for zapiekanka‘s! If you are lucky you can try the traditional recipe of seven flavours: strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, peach, vanilla with nuts and dried fruits (“bakaliowe”), cacao and coffee. One scope costs 2.50zł. Hurry up as they are usually sold out soon before closing. In winter time try their doughnuts stuffed with rose marmalade and topped with icing.

Another typical Kraków dessert is Kremówka cake. This double cream layer cake was promoted by John Paul II who was said to be its biggest fan. The best ones are those from Wadowice, the city where the Pope was born. They can be bought in most confectioneries and bakeries.

These are the most recognizable snacks made in Kraków. I don’t know about you, but I am already hungry.

Barbara Kokoszka