Hawelka restaurant on Rynek Glowney has been serving food to Cracovians and visitors since the 19th Century when Antoni Hawelka opened a breakfast room in his shop.
The ambience is European old style elegance, muted lighting, wooden partitions, crisp white napkins and tablecloths. It appeared a bit forbidding when we first entered, however, first impression are not always the full story as we found the service to be friendly and efficient (our waiter looked disturbingly like a good friend of ours!) and the atmosphere relaxed.
As for the food is was good, solid, traditional and well cooked. Something you can get your teeth into, as my husband put it! And though not the cheapest meal we had in Krakow it was still very good value.
Favorite Dish: We Had
Salmon and Horseradish
Carp Jewish style (in Aspic)
Sole with Cream, Broccoli and Fried Potatoes
Duck Cracovian Style with Dumplings
Apple Pie and Cream
Beer, Vodka and Coffee
Total cost for 2 people plus tip: 190 zloty (31.84 sterling)
This is a truly awful restaurant.
It feels faded and shabby. The food is of poor quality, served almost cold and in meagre portions. By Krakow standards, it is not cheap either. There are no saving graces.
Do not eat here - there are many places to eat in Krakow that are infinitely better.
Favorite Dish: No favourite dish - but the best bit was walking out of the door.
My brother's girlfriend promised to take me to the best restaurant in Krakow. When we walked in I was immediately struck by the opulent surroundings. There is a strong influence from the days of the Austro-Hungarian empire. You could well imagine that you were in Vienna instead of Krakow.
Unfortunately the standard of the service on that particular night was certainly not up to the standard that I would have expected from such an establishment. Beata did say that it wasn't usually like this, but for anybody who hadn't been before, it certainly didn't create a favourable impression. eg. bringing the main course before the soup had been finished, taking 20 minutes to attract the attention of a waiter to get the bill.
I can't put it down to the fact that they weren't bothered because we were foreign tourists since Beata is Polish and my brother was talking to the waiter in Polish too.
Favorite Dish: The service may not have been quite up to standard but the food certainly was. The plums wrapped in bacon made a delicious starter.
Next came the mushroom soup served in a bread bowl. I still haven't figured out if I really should have eaten all of the container as well (I did eat the lid but knew that if I ate much more then I wouldn't have room for the main course!).
I also managed to sample a little cold borscht and some pierogi (my excuse was that my medication required me to take it with food and my theory was the more the better!)
For my main course I opted for the Peasant syle pork steak. with some potatoes as a side dish. The meat just melted in the mouth and was absolutely delicious. I would certainly recommend the dish to all you meat eaters out there!
Unfortunatley I managed to eat too much to have any room for a dessert. There was quite a good choice however.
There are two restaurants: Hawelka on the ground floor and luxury Hawelka-Tetmajerowska on the first floor.
First about Hawelka:
The name of this locale is rooted in Galician and Cracovian legend, according to which Antoni Hawelka opened a breakfast eatery in the back of a general store, which soon became a full-service restaurant known throughout the kingdom. After World War II Hawelka was nationalized (like most private enterprises in Poland at that time), but has regained its luster since the passing of the communist era.
The expansive ground-floor dining room features a huge portrait of the emporer Francis Joseph. An ideal place for a sentimental, reasonably quick, reasonably priced dinner.
Cracow residents take pride in the fact that Vienna also has a cafe called Hawelka which was established by a relative of Antoni's, Leopold.
Favorite Dish: Recommended choices would be žurek (a hearty, white borscht - pronounced "zhurek"), goulash, Cracovian duck (with mushrooms or kasha), cabbage pierogies, or fish soup with Viennese noodles and beer by the mug.
HAWELKA located on the market square is a well known traditional restaurant with typical polish cuisine and folk music. you have to try their mushroom soup served in a bread bowl! CHIMERA on wislna street offers cracow's best salad bar and is frequented by students mostly. u will find a place called SZUFLADA a bit further down the street - it's famous for its extravagant furniture which is - as i see it - typical for the polish proneness to overdo things just a bit ;-)
people make a fuss about JAMA MICHALIKA in florianska street - it's definitely a must-see but a bit too gloomy for my taste.
ARIEL in the jewish part of cracow called Kazimierz is another place worth going - they offer excellent food and have jewish folk bands almost every night.
to taste real polish life, however, be sure to go to one of the numerous milk bars (BAR MLECZNY) and try mizeria (cucumber salad) and pierogi ruskie (dumplings stuffed with white cheese) - ENJOY! ;-)
Favorite Dish: ok, i told you it takes more than just a few days to get to know poland. so apart from PIEROGI ( you can also have them stuffed with mushrooms, kraut, meat or even raspberries or blueberries), MIZERIA and various soups you HAVE to try BARSZCZ (*barshtsh* = beet root broth), BIGOS (*beegus* = the polish 'national stew'), ZUREK (*shoorek* = a delicious sour soup based on flour - if your lucky you will even find a boiled egg on the bottom of your bowl!) and nalesniki (*naghleshniki* = pancakes in endless variations).
for a snack at home or anywhere ser bialy (*sair beeowy) and obwarzanki (*obwoshanki* - pretzels you get everywhere in the streets) are perfect *mouth watering* ;-)