Teishoku and Copernicus: A Foodie’s Guide To Lunch In Krakow

Teishoku and Copernicus: A Foodie’s Guide To Lunch In Krakow

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Two to three times a week, I took a break from my photo editing, to go out to hunting for one thing – a good lunch menu find. Not only do I get in my fresh air and steps, I’m exploring new corners of the cities and finding restaurants with a particular interesting or cheap lunch menu. It’s one of my favorite things about Poland. Even some of the most upscale restaurants will offer some kind of discounted set menu.

As much as I love a good baked pierogi stuffed with caramelized onions and melted cheese or a warm bigos (“Hunter’s Stew”) with slow cooked beef, part of what makes the Polish scene special is a desire to bring in international cuisine and a willingness to keep it authentic. So below are some of my favorite restaurants and lunch menus in Krakow. It’s a mix of both local and international food. I’ve also linked to their Google Maps location, so you can save it for later.

I’ll quote the prices in PLN, but for reference I’m using an exchange rate of 1 USD = 4 PLN as of May 2024.

Best Lunch Menus and Cheap Eats in Krakow

Here’s what I have to say about Krakow. There are so many good places to choose from in this youthful city, but if you’re visiting for the first time, here are my favorite go to spots and recommendations.

Cafe Manggha

It may seem crazy that the first place I recommend for everyone visiting Krakow is a little Japanese cafe in a museum, but hear me out.

Cafe Manggha is great for breakfast or lunch or both. The Manggha Center is a Japanese Cultural Center that hosts impressive exhibitions of art from Japan, usually in collaboration with the Japan Foundation. This collaborative exchange of culture and knowledge has paved way for a cafe that brings the authentic taste of Japan to Krakow.

The simplicity and minimalism of this place make it one of my favorite Japanese dining experience in Poland.

Breakfast is done in the Teishoku style where you choose from a selection of bento boxes that includes all the essentials of a Japanese set breakfast: a miso soup, rice, a protein dish, a pickled dish, a veggie dish, an egg dish, and a little dessert. The meal comes with a coffee or a herbal tea for between 34 and 37 PLN.

Lunch offers similar sets for between 42 and 46 PLN. Breakfast is available from 9 to 1 pm and then lunch is from 1 to 5:30 pm. One day, I actually went for breakfast and then returned at 5 pm and had their lunch just because I was missing Japanese food so much. There is even a dedicated tea master to prepare the different teas in the Japanese style.

cafe manggha Krakow Japanese breakfast

Pod Roza

Pod Roza is part of the beautiful Pod Roza hotel and offers a unique lunch tasting menu for 89 PLN on weekdays from 12 to 4 pm.

The tasting menu starts with a tray of five small dishes, each of which could easily be its own course on a different restaurant’s tasting menu. My appetizer tray was described as this:  bread/butter, a mushroom/kefir, arancini/pumpkin, wild broccoli/curry and tuna/apple. It was superb and just the beginning.

The main dish of the day was lamb and vegetable skewers served over a raita yogurt sauce. Dessert was a chocolate cake of sort with a layer of tasty elderflower “film” draped on top. Their menu changes regularly.

This was probably the best value lunch menu I had in Krakow and cannot speak any higher of their service and cuisine.


Copernicus is a centrally located upscale restaurant just steps from the old town. The chef takes old Polish recipes and reinterprets them in a modern way. Their normal five and seven-course tasting menus cost 390 PLN and 440 PLN, respectively, but they also offer a three-course lunch menu for 119 PLN.

And yet somehow you get so much more than the price gap suggests. The meal starts off with an amuse bouche, that would qualify as a starter in other restaurants, followed by a large selection of homemade breads accompanied by butter, vegan lard, a fruity paste, and a nut covered cheese roll. Again, the presentation alone was worthy of it being considered a standalone course.

On the day I visited, my starter was gnocchi with pumpkin and chorizo, followed by salmon with corn and baked carrot, and a white chocolate cream with passion fruit. The dessert looked more like a modernist piece of art than a pastry. But we weren’t done yet. The meal concluded with a plate of five different cookies and pastries. It was a shame it took me so long to get to this restaurant.

It’s available Monday – Friday from 12 pm to 3 pm.

This was on par with Pod Roza for being one of my the best lunches in Krakow, notwithstanding the incredible value.


Karakter has a chill atmosphere and is one of those restaurants where everything on the menu jumps out at you. For starters, they have less common tartare dishes made with horse and ostrich. They also have a veal brain pate and an orzo pasta with beef marrow. If you are feeling a little adventurous, this is the place I recommend.

For main, they had dishes like a sweetbread made with horse thymus, slow roasted duck leg in ponzu, and a beef burger with smoked mangalica lard. They also have a tapas menu and a mussel bar with 6 different sauces.

The a la carte menus is why I came, but there’s also a three-course lunch menu on weekdays for 55 PLN and includes a starter, main, and dessert. The mussels bar lunch menu is 59 PLN. You can find the latest menus on their Facebook page.

I had the tempura fried cheddar cheese in a cherry and beetroot cream with white chocolate for the starter, the hanger steak with a passion fruit butter and mango/baked shallots for the main and a slightly strange tomato ice cream with spinach, honey, and eggnog.

Zazie Bistro

For a little escape to France, Zazie Bistro is the place to go. The ute bistro cafe has a classically French menu. I came here twice, once for their lunch menu, which comes with a choice of starter, a main and dessert for 41 PLN. It was great value for a starter of goat cheese and onion jam baked in filo dough, mussels in white wine and cream, and a mini creme brûlée.

On my return visit, I went the la carte route and ordered the Bourguinon beef cheeks, and the asparagus with wild garlic and straciatella cheese. Amazing. There are so still so many dishes I want to try at Zazie.

PRO TIP: If you are looking for a great place to stay in Krakow, I highly recommend the Apartamenty Kossak Residence. the beautifully designed studio was everything i needed for a week. and its location by the castle and the old town was perfect to explore the restaurants close by.


For good old classic Polish cuisines that doesn’t try to be more or less, head to Smakolyki Smakolyki. Their mains range from 26 and 58 PLN, but they also have a daily soup + main + drink for 36 PLN. The restaurant is set in a large, well-lit space that’s simple yet pleasant. You can find all the hearty Polish favorites here like bigos, tripe, chicken liver with fried onions, and stuffed beef rolls with dumplings. They also offer healthier salad options.

Ranny Ptaszek

I’m not vegetarian, but I don’t mind going to a vegetarian only restaurant like Ranny Ptaszek when it comes to brunch. This cozy and inviting spot is great for brunch with friends. Their menu is simple, but every dish is so photogenic.

I ordered the shakshuka and shared one of the bowls with my girlfriend.


Hevre might have one of the most impressive and dramatic settings in Krakow. The restaurant is built in a former synagogue and gives old world, you’ve just stepped back in time vibes. The menu here is straightforward European, but well-executed, and the ambiance is what makes this place special. They also hosts events here.


Cafe Oranzeria is rooftop restaurant with one of the best dining views in Krakow, overlooking the castle and the river. Their classical European menu is can seem generic, but the execution is excellent. Make a reservation and ask for a seat by the window or outside. I visited on a weekend for drinks and snacks, so I don’t recall if they have a lunch menu, but it’s worth checking out.

Milkbar Tomasza

It would be blasphemous to leave a milk bar off a list of lunch recommendations for Krakow. Bar mleczny or milk bars, are like the beating heart of Polish dining. They are low-cost cafeteria style restaurants that are living relics from the Communist era. There are many scattered around the center of Krakow. Tomasza is an authentic milk bar serving all the typical local dishes, but is also tourist-friendly when it comes to language.

Lunch starts at 12 pm with dishes around 33 PLN. I try a different milk bar every week.I loved their breaded camembert and the dumplings with pickled cabbage and wild mushrooms.

If you come for breakfast, treat yourself to the pancakes with cottage cheese or the krokiety (croquettes).

Kolanko No 6

I like Kolanko No 6 as much for their food as their quirky interior decorations. It gives travelers vibe and is a fun place to sit out back to soak in the sun. They do a breakfast buffet here for 42 PLN from 8 am to 12 pm everyday and offer a lunch menu for 35 PLN with a different meat or vegetarian main every day, along with a soup and fruit drink.

The food is an eclectic mix of dishes from around the world, like Indonesian chicken satay, Tunisian Shatshuka, Indian butter chicken, and Greek Moussaka. I joke that this is the best place for a group of people indecisive eaters.

Soup Culture

When you really want soup, but want something more than just a borscht, there’s Soup Culture. They have so many options here that it can be overwhelming. The best part? The container is an edible bread cone-shaped cup you can eat on the go, along with your favorite toppings.

Happy eating! If you’re traveling in Poland, check out my food guides for all the other cities. If you’re looking for more travel inspirations, check out some of the 450+ experiences on my bucket list. Maybe you’ll find your next adventure on there.

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Updated on June 5, 2024


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