Don't recall if we had read about the Bar Mleczny here in Krakow or if one of the VTers from the meet pointed it out, but along with Chiara and Alex we decided to try it out. We found this one in the old city center of Krakow. Bar Mleczny I was told means "milk bar", now we did not see any milk, but we did see and smell food....
Very simple, just a single menu on the wall (only in Polish), you take what you want and then pay before finding a seat at the small tables. No fancy napkins or tablecloths, just a plain empty table. BUT, yes there is a but here, the food was very tasty and filling and very inexpensive. Since we could not read the menu, we just pointed at what we wanted.
In Krakow are some milk bars, the one of them is in the Grodzka street and is called: Bar Grodzki. You can eat here cheap and good, but this is not a elegant place. Here eat especially students and tourists, they havent too many money. The food is good.
Milk bars are an institution in Poland - there's even a very active website dedicated to them. I went in to the Temide (I'd guess it attracts law students or lawyers or is near the courts?) on the busiest tourist street in Krakow and found almost no tourists. You queue at a counter, get your food, pay and find a place at a shared table. No fuss, no muss.
Favorite Dish: I had Barszcz Ukrainsky (that turned out to be with whole veggies, incl. beans, and cream, rather than the consomme-like borshcht served in most Polish restaurants), Bigos (long-stewed sauerkraut and sausage, here flavoured with caraway) and, true to the spirit of the place, a yoghurt-fruit drink.
Althout the site insists in putting this tip under "Bar mleczny", this place name is Jadlodajnia!
It's a quite small but very nice place (it's possible that you have to wait outside), close to the market square. It's perfect for a quick and traditional lunch (and cheap). You can choose between few typical dishes and very few drinks (water and juices only!!) but liked it very much.
It is still quite cheap place to eat in Krakow's old town. Of course, the main dishes are milk and breads that should be eaten with milk. Other food is quite different and international - salads, meat with potatoes and more. I think it is not hard to find what to eat - only problem is that everything written in Polish. I think it is possible to make full stomach for 3 euros here.
Design of this place is not very nice, but anyway, it is for people, who just want to eat cheaper. It is always need to remember that Krakow is student city with Jagelonian University in central part.
Favorite Dish: Mostly I loved milk and some small breads. These breads are different types - with strawberries jam, apples, sausages and more.
You have to visit a Milk Bar while in Poland. Milk Bars are inexpensive cafeterias offering basic, hearty Polish food. It is not gourmet , but there are some pretty tasty things on the menu and it is fun! Be sure to bring your Polish phrase book if you do not speak the language. The menu is in Polish only. ..Or you can take your chances and just randomly order something and see what arrives!
Favorite Dish: We visited a couple of times. My favorite items were mushroom and sauerkraut pierogi, mushroom soup and potato pancakes with sauteed mushrooms.
This is a traditional "Milk Bar" built during the Communist era. These kinds of establishments were created to provide the working class with cheap, wholesome foods...and luckily, especially if you're on a budget, some still exist. Traditional polish food, served cafeteria-style. The menu is in polish only though! Be prepared for a loooong line (mostly locals, which is a good sign) and tables are hard to come by. It is usual to sit wherever there is an empty chair, even at a table filled with people you don't know.
The sign for Bar Milka is blue, and the restaurant looks so inconspicuous you'll probably walk right by it, so look carefully!
Favorite Dish: I had the tomato rice soup and a plate of cheese and onion pierogies that absolutely melted in my mouth. The portion seemed small but I was stuffed by the end of it. The meal, including drink, cost a grand total of 8 PLZ.
Mleczny are, to nearest translation, milk bars which serve local home cooked food, coffee and milk! The fare is traditionally polish and cheap compared to the restaurants/bars in polish towns/cities. Take a translator or phrase book with you, though, as the menus tend to be in Polish only, with only Polish food offered. The decor is usually very basic and often only filled with locals, as tourists tend to be put off by the polish menu and lack of comfort. One word of warning, if you ask for milk, it is only served warm!
Favorite Dish: Try any polish food, most people I know who have tried polish food all recommend bigos (cabbage stew, slightly spiced). Also, the coffee and tea was very good, and soooo cheap compared to restaurants/bars around catering to tourists.
Although hard to find, this place is worth a visit. Or a series of visits rather, because you won't be able to taste everything they have to offer in one time :). So, when you find it there's a short and narrow corridor leading to the main room. And it looks great- when I first went through it I felt like at my grandma's! And the name "U Babci Maliny" means "Grandma Malina's" (malina means raspberry).
When you pass another pair of doors you will see the main room with large pinetree tables with benches on two sides of them, the bar and many decorations (a fishtank, brick stove, stuffed wild boar :P, old wardrobe and others) which will make you feel like in a traditional house somewhere in Poland in 18/19th century (maybe except for the fishatnk:P).
The food is just like it should be- all according to Polish rules (even fries are prepared in "our" way:)). Three kinds of the famous Polish pierogi (YOU MUST TASTE THE RUSKIE PIEROGI THERE! noone makes them as good as them... and I've eaten those in amny places), pancakes, potatocakes, zurek etc. So, to name it: all the classics of Polish cuisine, some original plates and some international must-bees (?), like spaghetti.
The service may be small difficulty for foreigners- there's the self-service mode and you order at the bar, receive your number and later are called to the bar by number. After a delicious meal you take the empty plates to the window :). This makes it cheaper both for the owners and for the cxlients:) Enjoy!
Favorite Dish: As I wrote- definatelly PIEROGI RUSKIE. These are dumplings with a potato-cottage cheese filling. There, they make it perfectly spicy- as it shoud be. 5,50 zl for a plate of ten dumplings istn't much, of course you may order double or bigger if you think you are hungry enough to take it... And, as an option, you may order them roasted. Then it is 9,00zl ,but still worth to taste.
This is supposedly Krakow's oldest milkbar, located in a hidden backyard in the Old Town. A milk bar is basically a small canteen-like place which serves dirt-cheap food at lunch time. If you're a tourist, unless you're completely broke, you go there for a cultural experience, not for the food, which is usually acceptable, but not great. U-Stasi served different pierogis (filled dumplings), as well as sausages with mashed potatoes. Not bad, and really cheap.
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