Gastronomic attractions of Kraków by Rafael Anson

Gastronomic attractions of Kraków by Rafael Anson
Kraków, European Capital of Gastronomic Culture
My last visit to Krakow was motivated mainly by gastronomic purposes – the main reason was to visit the city that won the title of the European Capital of Gastronomic Culture 2018 where I was invited by Maciej Dobrzyniecki – Secretary General of the European Academy of Gastronomy and President of the Polish Academy of Gastronomy, founded as a branch of the International Academy integrating 12 countries, that I am honoured to chair.

Diversity of the gastronomic offer

In Krakow you can find mainly traditional restaurants, located densely all over the city. There is plenty of taverns, street food  stands and premises serving the specialities of Jewish cuisine, especially in Kazimierz district (note: Auschwitz is located about 60 km from Kraków – obligatory place to visit). On the other hand the number modern restaurants is also increasing – various bistro & bars as well as interesting food truck options.
Among the most popular dishes of regional cuisine one can find soups such as: the red borsch (beetroot soup),  tripe soup and sour rye soup with sausage and potatoes, but also: herrings, pork tartare (in this region pork meat is even more popular for tartare than beer of veal)and finally the pierogies, filled with various stuffing. This cuisine is rich in fresh-water fish (such as: tenches, eels, trouts – but also the salt-water versions of these fish).
Generally, Poles are can be considered among the greatest fans of potatoes in the world – both in boiled but also fried form. The dishes are commonly decorated and finished with lettuce, cabbage and cucumber. As for the dessert there are many delicious regional cheeses to choose from but also a speciality made from waffles layered with chocolate cream flavoured with alcohol.
Restaurants worth visiting
During my journey to Kraków I have visited quite a few restaurants, however there are some that really stand out.

One of the best restaurants in the city is Szara Gęś (address: Rynek Główny 17), located in the heart of the Kraków Old Town, at charming interiors of an old bookstore. The menu is short and well-structured, concentrated on regional products and the fact how the seasons affect their accessibility.  One should probably come by even only to taste the wonderful dessert called with the same name as the restaurant – Szara Gęś, served on a large plate, imitating a nest with an egg inside.

Another gastronomic address worth mentioning is Karakter (Brzozowa 17) – this place has a bold character and courageous menu. It specialises in meat, offal and seafood and as the faint heart never won fair lady, you should definitely try their horse meat.

You should also consider visiting Kogel Mogel (Sienna 12), located very near to the Main Square. This restaurant characterizes with traditional touch and delicious local cuisine. I will definitely come back for their pierogies and wild poultry dishes (such as duck, goose and guinea fowl).

After visiting these few restaurants in Kraków I am even more convinced that the gastronomic level of this city is in a full bloom. The interiors are more and more inventive, the service increasingly better and the menus are simply more delicious than few years ago. Today, Kraków has granted the  title of European Capital of Gastronomic Culture by the European Academy of Gastronomy and who knows – maybe one day it could be even considered one of the most important places on the gastronomic map of the world?
Rafael Ansón Oliart
President of the European Academy of Gastronomy
President of the Spanish Royal Academy of Gastronomy
Honorary President of the International Academy of Gastronomy
© EAG 2018
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