If you like food you'll love Chimera. Seriously, this is an awesome restaurant with something for everyone who loves to eat. I think there's some fancy sit-down area with real food, but my love for this place starts and stops at the expansive full-service buffet and salad bar on the ground floor. Just a couple of blocks from Krakow's main square, duck into the vine-filled courtyard and surrender to the celery milkshakes and kohlrabi salads that you've always dreamed of. Priced by the plate (which can hold one, four or six different dishes), and with hot and cold dishes ranging from stuffed eggplant to broccoli quiche, soups and salads, and creative drinks (this is the furthest south I saw kvass, a drink made from fermented rye bread and better than Coca-Cola, in my opinion!). The attached bakery dishes up sweet and savory baked goods, and service is fast and friendly. A typical lunch (for me) cost about 20 zloty, which is less than five euro, and kept me full all day. Don't miss it!
"Chimera" salad bar is the first, largest and most popular salad bar in Krakow.
In summer you can eat (including meals from the restaurant) in a garden, which is open until late in the evening, and where you can listen to live music by candlelight.
Every Sunday (except during the summer holidays) at 12.00 they have a special theatre performance for children.
They are also open for breakfast every day of the week. You can choose from selection of cold meats, cheese, butter, bread, fruit juice and coffee or tea; or muesli, cornflakes with fruit and yoghurt, toast, eggs Viennese or scrambled eggs, and cakes.
Favorite Dish: .
Choose your favourite (fixed) salad - I like various (already didn't taste all haha).
Or get a plate (small for 7PLN or big for 10 PLN) and mix salads which you like from buffet.
Bread and sauces (mayonese, youghurt, spicy and mild vinegarette) complimentary (= no more $ :-).
"Chimera" salad bar is situated in renovated medieval cellars, where in winter it is a treat to sit and feel the warmth of the open fire and enjoy your meal, chosen from 40 different kinds of salads.
How to get there?
When you enter the gate walk maybe 10-20 steps (depends on how long are your legs and how much are you amused after drinks) and turn left to glass doors and go downstairs to get inside (look at the picture).
Attention: sometimes it's over-crowded, no free tables - hmm... where to eat then? Do you like "standing eating"?
The chimera of Greek myth is the offspring of Echinda and Typhon. From the Greek meaning "she-goat" the Chimera is a fire breathing creature that has the body of a goat, the head of a lion and the tail of a serpent. Hmm... rather horrible monster.
The restaurant (opened 12am - 12pm) is a favourite haunt of artists, professors from the Jagiellonian University, businessmen and politicians, all of whom value its elegant decor and excellent cuisine.
Do they look like mythic chimeras? Don't worry, rather not, I suppose :-).
Figuratively chimera means wild or impossible idea or fancy - and they really follow wild and impossible cooking ideas there :-)).
Chimera's specialities are traditional Polish and Eastern dishes which have been specially prepared to be low in fat.
Favorite Dish: - borsch with a meat pastry and meat-filled ravioli in bouillion;
- roast lamb or goat in herbs or wild boar and venison;
- if you like: trout stuffed with sheep's cheese
Good appetite :-).
In addition to its culinarily-accomplished cellar restaurant Chimera also offers an informal salad bar in its covered courtyard which is no less impressive. The website claims the food counter is about thirty metres long, which is a slight exaggeration, but no exaggeration is the range of dishes on offer - you get choice of a dozen or so freshly-cooked entrees (meat as well as vegetarian) with thirty or so salads to accompany them.
The system is simple: you can opt for a small plate (12 zloty) or a large one (16 zloty). The small plate allows you the choice of any four items whilst the large gives you six, though you should be warned that the small plate comes piled high enough for any reasonable appetite.
In addition to the main courses there's a range of fruit juices, milkshakes, smoothies as well as beer and wine and there's also a good selection of home-made cakes and desserts.
During lunchtime this place can get seriously busy, probably serving at least a couple of hundred meals, and has an amazing buzz provided by a totally eclectic mix of customers - students, shoppers, tourists and families. Sometimes finding an empty table can be a bit problematic but most customers seem to vacate theirs as soon as they finish and so you rarely have to wait longer than a few minutes. This is self-service but the numerous staff who plate your meals up for you are swift and helpful and to make life easy everything is labelled in both Polish and English.
Favorite Dish: On my only visit, so far, I foolishly opted for the large plate not realising how generous they were going to be with the portions. My main dish was the "New Season Asparagus Tart" which had a rich crumbly pastry filled with asparagus and, I think, artichokes, bound in an eggy savoury custard. The five salads I accompanied it with ranged from a nice simple beanshoots with peppers and coriander to a an almost meaty green lentils with tuna. A splash of the their homemade spicy dressing (from a range of half-a-dozen) and some good bread (which is a help yourself to freebie) was actually more than I could eat at one sitting - well, not if I wanted to leave room for a few afternoon beers ;)
For 24 zloty all-in this was great value for money.
This is a typical Polish cellar restaurant and a bit upscale with very special dishes. It's located in a side street of the Main Market Square. There are several cellars which are quite cosy and nicely decorated.
When you had ordered we received a tiny glass of mint and nettle juice which was excellent and also complementary bread sticks and butter.
With your tea/coffee at the end you also get some small confectionary.
There is another Chimera a few doors down the road which is a self-service salad bar which is quite popular with a courtyard and also a cute cellar room where there is a small theatre with the odd performance.
Favorite Dish: I took me a while to find the dish I wanted to try, but finally I ordered goose breast in honey with plums and apricot with dumplings and red cabbage with raisins for 48 PLN. Since I was taken here by the matcrazies, they also ordered an entrée which consisted of meat filled with spinach and spinach and sauce. We all had a glass of white wine for 11 PLN each. In this restaurant you may also order fresh juices.
The Garden of Cimera - the ideal place for lunch. They have the best sorts of vagatable and juices, always fresh! I used to have here my lunch almost every day during my all studies!
There is also the Chimera Restaurant, this one is very safisticated and of course perfect for dinner. But a little bit expencisive.
Favorite Dish: Carot juice!
The salad bar called Chimera is next to the restaurant of the same name. I always visit it when I am in Krakow- I like salads and what I like about this place, I can choose the ingredients on my own. I only say if I want a big plate or a small one.
What is more, you can drink there some tasty kinds of fresh juice -both fruit and vegetable.
Favorite Dish: Every time can be a mix of various salads.
I came across Chimera accidentaly walking in the labyrinth of small streets near Rynek Glowny. The food was very nice indeed (don't take a big plate unless you are used to great meals or are really very hungry). Self-service, extensive salad bar as well as hot dishes, a number of juices and desserts. The place seems to be very popular with students and tourists :)
This is a good restaurant - classy without being being wallet-busting. The menu reads well with a range of traditional Polish dishes including mutton stew, pork knuckle and stuffed pike-perch, simply described and reasonably priced, and lives up to expectations.
The dining rooms are in the cellars on a side street just off the main square providing an atmospheric dining location but without being dungeon-like dim as you may first expect. In fact the decor manages to convey both the medieval origins along with a few bright modern touches.
Service, from being greeted at the door and shown to you table, was excellent throughout - slightly formal but without being stuffy and the complimentary warm mead on arrival was just the job on a December evening.
Favorite Dish: The pickled herring starter with mushrooms was delicous (though it did repeat on me later) and the well-presented goose main course with honey, plums and apricots comes accompanied by light little dumplings, red cabbage and a baked apple with prunes - equally good! The wine list was especially impressive with its bias towards Hungarian wines (of which I am a devotee) and though slightly pricey for the good stuff does have reasonably inexpensive options by the glass.
With a bill of just under 120 zloty (more than half of which was accounted for by the excellent bottle of Takler Pince's Kekfrankos) including coffee and petit fours, I have no complaints whatsoever!
This restaurant has a warm and cosy ambience with laid back seating in addition to the usual tables and chairs. There is often an open fire in the cold months which really adds to the attraction. The food is excellent particualarly with the South African chef who works there 'Des' who I am sure could work in a far more expensive establishment given the way his dishes taste
Favorite Dish: I like the chicken with feta and spinach. A good staple meal for only three pounds fifty. Bargain. Also try the steak with red onion.
Cheap & filling salad/food bar.
Having decided on a big or a small plate, at the food counter you can choose 4 (small) or 6 (large) portions of various salads or hot dishes. Drinks also on offer. Nice courtyard seating.
It billed itself as a folk restaurant and the food was very good! The waitress was pleasant and remembered our orders without having to write them down.
Favorite Dish: I recommend the potato pancakes (with stew) as a starter. And the grilled pork OR shaslik as a main course along with fried sliced potatoes.
Labrinth is the restaurant at the back of the Chimera Restaurant/Salad Bar.
Tucked into a gothic cellar the restaurant provided us with great food and great service at a very reasonable price.
The atmosphere is quiet, relaxed and friendly while the warren of small rooms provides intimacy. The furniture and decoration is eclectic and informal, you almost feel like you are sitting in someone's front room rather than in a restaurant.
Where we were seated we had a great view through to the kitchen area so you could see the food being prepared. The food itself was excellent and the service absolutely brilliant and so helpful. At the beginning of the meal we were given a plate of complimentary meats. I don’t eat meat and when our waitress realised this she brought me a plate of cheeses instead (During our second visit in December 2004 we were given complimentary carrot juice). There were other little instances of such thoughtfulness throughout our meal that really impressed us.
I would certainly recommend a visit to this restaurant; it is well worth it in so many ways.
Favorite Dish: We had
Three types of herring on a bed of apple
Grilled Cheese with grilled tomato and herby cheese
Grilled Salmon with Herbs
Goose with grouts (crunchy, spicy rice)
Baked sliced potatoes with garlic butter
Fried potatoes Krakow style
Beer, Coffee and Vodka
Plus complimentary meats/cheeses before the meal and complimentary small cakes after.
Cost: (in March 2004) 130pln (approx. 22.27 sterling) including a tip
Cost for a similar meal in Dec. 2004: 137pln (approx. 23.48 sterling)
Open: Noon-10pm Mon-Fri.
Noon-11.00pm Sat & Sun
The atmosphere is delightful! On cold winter nights, sit downstairs next to the fireplace where they roast baked potatoes.
On warm summer nights, chose your salads and dine al fresco with a 1/2 litre of Zywiec.
Either way, Chimera offers delicious salads in a wonderful atmosphere.
Favorite Dish: Everything!