Polish Restaurants

Polish Restaurants and dinning out

The truth is most Poles do not eat out that much. I am married and my wife cooks gourmet meals everyday. I guess it is also a matter of economics.

How is dining out in Poland different from in the USA?

When you walk in the restaurant, you probably expect a hostess who will lead you to the table. This is quite rare in Poland and mostly used at very busy places. Normally you can just choose the table you like. The waiter will not come right away to ask you about the drinks before you even look in the menu, either. If you want something before your main course you can call the waiter and order it, of course, but if you don’t, the drinks generally come with the meal or just a minute before it.

Polish restaurant
Oldest restaurant in the world in Krakow Poland and where I had my wedding reception

When you are done reading the menu and know what you want, close the booklet so that they know you are ready to order. The prices are in Polish Złoty and the tax is already included in the quoted price. This applies to anything that you buy in Poland and all over Europe, I believe. There might be some exceptions but none that I know of , and I’ve seen quite a lot of the continent.

In Europe it is not obvious that you want ice in your drink like it is in the USA, so make sure you tell the waiter about the ice if you want it. Otherwise you can get just a chilly or even room temperature beverage, especially in the winter. (However, this rarely happens during warmer seasons and will never ever happen with alcoholic drinks.) It’s because a lot of people here don’t like their drinks freezing or believe they will give them a sore throat. When I worked in a restaurant it was quite common that someone would ask for a room temperature Coke. It’s unacceptable in America, but not here.

Service is not included in your total. The tip should be about 10% of what you spend, as it is around the world. Try to leave them in cash as some restaurants do not allow the waiters to take tips off of a credit card. It makes things easier.

Smoking is not allowed in most places nowadays, only if the restaurant has a separate room for the smokers, but few of them do, thank goodness.






5 responses to “Polish Restaurants”

  1. Eleanor Arroway

    Mark (May i call you with your first name?)

    I really liked this website. And if I may ask, Would you recommend some vegeterian restaurants in Krakow or Opole? Since ham and its derivatives should not be included in our diet (I am a muslim), I need some places to taste some traditional foods of Poland but you know it is limited. Thanks.

    1. Mark Biernat

      There are many vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Krakow. I know the owner, of a few, someone who is highly ethical and a good human.
      He owns vegarestauracja.pl. I can recommend it.

      There is also Greenway, and alternative trendy place and cheap. Many Polish restaurants have vegetarian dishes.

      There is a place on Grodzka 9 which is Indian called Buddha. Oh and what about Jewish restaurants. They have similar dietary laws as Muslims. There are like 10 of them in Kazimierz.

      Of course there are many Turkish people in Krakow as I think the two countries have a good rapport. Many Poles love to go to Turkey to thaw out and many Turkish people come to Krakow to study.

      There are a score of Italian pizza places and they have many vegetarian pizzas. I have my favorite in my old neighborhood.
      Also the Pizza factory is good.

      Opole I do not know well, but I am sure you can follow the same ideas, Indian, or Pizza with veggies.

      Thank you sincerely for all your kind words

  2. Iza

    Eleanor Arroway – There is a vegeterian restaurant at Plac Matejki, it’s called Glonojad. Their salads are famous.

    I think the size of drinks at Polish restaurants is worth mentioning. They are tiny, so don’t be surprised if you have to order 2 or 3 of them. This might be a shock to American people, who are used to huge 1-liter glasses and getting unlimited refills.

  3. Patricia innes

    Where would you advise for breakfast and dinner on a budget.
    Staying at the Marriott Hotel so somewhere close.
    Would love to have a look round the shops and markets if possible…..any suggestions.Thankyou

    1. Mark Biernat

      I recommend exploring, simply by foot, and going to the open air markets

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