Navigating Kraków, or Poland for that matter on a strict gluten-free diet can truly be a daunting task, especially since Poland is one of the only countries we’ve traveled to that faithfully uses the big three celiac enemies: wheat, rye, and barley in their everyday dishes! They’re really everywhere and in everything 🙁 But fear not! To help you navigate Poland’s cuisine during your trip, we created the ultimate gluten-free guide to Kraków. From gluten-free restaurants certified by the Polish Celiac Society to where to eat traditional gluten-free Polish dishes like pierogies, we’ve got you all covered. With the help of this guide, you’ll find everything you need to make your trip to Kraków worry-free, but most of all delicious!
What You’ll Find in this Article
- Celiac-Friendly Restaurants in Kraków
- Non-Celiac-Friendly Restaurants with Gluten-Free Options
- Traditional Gluten-Free Polish Dishes
- Polish Dishes that are NOT Gluten-Free
- Gluten-Free Hotels in Kraków
- Supermarkets with Gluten-Free Products
- Gluten-Free Auschwitz
- Useful Polish Phrases
- Polish Gluten-Free Restaurant Card
- Gluten-Free Resources
Celiac-Friendly Restaurants In Kraków
Just 200 meters from the must-visit Wawel Castle is one of the best Polish gluten-free restaurants in Kraków, Pod Baranem. On our first night in Kraków we came here as we heard they had gluten-free pierogi as well as other gluten-free dishes. To our surprise they had over five pages in their menu dedicated to just gluten-free dishes, not to mention they are certified by the Polish Celiac Society.
Many of those dishes also included gluten-free versions of must-have traditional Polish cuisine, such as Śledź w śmietanie (herring in sour cream sauce), Gołąbki (stuffed cabbage), Barszcz z krokietem (beetroot soup), Kotlet Schabowy panierowany (breaded pork cutlet), Kaczka nadziewana po staropolsku (stuffed duck), and Kasza gryczana (buckwheat groats). You could seriously eat here every day and be completely content!
As for us, we loved Pod Baranem so we came back three more times. Pod Baranem really helped us have an awesome gluten-free trip to Kraków. But I must admit that all three times we came out with a hefty bill as it’s quite expensive compared to Polish standards. Nonetheless, Pod Baranem is definitely worth at least one visit if you are looking to indulge in sinfully good gluten-free Polish cuisine.
33-332, Świętej Gertrudy 21, 33-332 Kraków, Poland | Website
Bezglutenowa BEZ PIEKARNIA
Bezglutenowa BEZ PIEKARNIA is the first and only 100% gluten-free bakery in Kraków. So obviously it was my go to spot for all my gluten-free baked good needs. They have everything from sweet pierogi, sourdough bread, and bagels to cookies and muffins. Fair warning, this is a small bakery so things go fast. I highly recommend reserving whatever bread/rolls you are interested in ahead of time. I should also mention that all their products are lactose, additive, and preservative-free, and they are certified by the Polish Celiac Society. If you want to know what they’ve baked for the day, check out their Facebook page.
Dietla 36/1, 31-070 Kraków, Poland
WieloPole 3 Restaurant
Located in the basement of the WieloPole 3 Hotel is one of Kraków’s hidden gems, WieloPole 3. This veggie-focused superfoods restaurant serves tasty soups, healthy salads, and hearty raw vegan smoothies, as well as traditional Polish dishes with a veggie twist. Some of those dishes include bigos, potato pancakes, and beetroot soup.
What makes this place so awesome is that everything is 100% gluten-free! Yes, I said it, a dedicated gluten-free restaurant in Kraków. To make matters better, they’re certified by the Polish Celiac Society and their prices are relatively cheap compared to other restaurants catering to gluten-free dieters. A filling meal with dessert and a drink would only set you back $10 USD.
At WieloPole 3, we enjoyed many of their dishes including their pumpkin gnocchi, bigos, and the Buddha Bowl. The guaranteed safety of their gluten-free food and the price kept us coming back for more. It goes without saying that WieloPole 3 is a must-visit for any celiac while in Kraków.
I recommend going earlier as they are not the friendliest when it gets close to closing time. As a 100% vegetarian restaurant, they also have many vegan options available.
Wielopole 3, 33-332 Kraków, Poland | Website
CiuCiu Fabryka Cukierkow
If you are in need of a sugar fix, the world’s smallest sweet factory, CiuCiu Fabryka Cukierkow, is calling your name. The 50-square meter shop offers free demonstrations every hour, where you can watch candy artists make delicious hard candy right in front of you! But who comes to a candy shop to watch candy being made when you can eat it? Especially when every candy in the shop is 100% gluten-free and certified by the Polish Celiac Society! Since everything is made with natural flavors (no additives), we left with 2 bags for 6 bucks. Even if you don’t want to buy anything, you have to stop by for some free samples, the different flavors are delicious!
Grodzka 38, 31-044 Kraków, Poland | Website
Hurry Curry offers a wide variety of aromatic and savory curries from all around the world, but specializes mostly in curries from Southeast Asia. The curries all have different levels of spiciness and flavor, but whatever you chose won’t be disappointing. Being certified by the Polish Celiac Society, you’ll be happy to know that almost all of their curries can be made gluten-free or are already naturally gluten-free. None of their curries contain thickeners or flour, however they do add soy sauce to some of them, so please double check that the curry you’re ordering doesn’t contain soy sauce.
Some of the curries you can devour include the famous Thai curry, Tom Yum, fish curry from Sri Lanka, and chicken tikka masala from India. The possibilities are endless. Wait, I lied. Though all the curries can be made gluten-free, the starters and desserts are unfortunately not gluten-free, but with so many other options to choose from, I can’t complain.
Hurry Curry also has two locations in Katowice.
Szpitalna 9, 31-024 Kraków, Poland | Website
Non-Celiac Friendly Restaurants with Gluten-Free Options
With the exception of one shop, I personally have not eaten at any of these restaurants below due to the risk of cross-contamination. With that being said, I do not recommend the following restaurants to celiacs or gluten-intolerant individuals, however, you can visit these places and be your own judge to decide whether or not it’s safe to consume food there. As for those without an allergy to gluten who adhere to a gluten-free diet, these restaurants below are perfect for you.
Located in the popular Kazimierz neighborhood is the cheap, but healthy vegetarian/vegan spot, Momo. Momo’s is a fast food Indian/Asian-focused cafe with many gluten-free options. Besides the permanent dishes, the menu changes regularly, however gluten-free items are clearly marked. Items marked on the blackboard with a blue square are considered gluten-free. Some of the staff do speak English and can talk you through the menu to help determine what is gluten-free! Note that their signature dumplings are not gluten-free nor are they certified by the Polish Celiac Society. Some celiacs have eaten here without any issues.
Dietla 49, 31-054 Kraków, Poland
Bhajan Cafe is an Indian-based restaurant in Kraków that is also 100% vegetarian. The cafe also has a nice zen-like atmosphere, relaxing music, and a decorative interior that everyone would enjoy. As for the menu, everything that is gluten-free and vegan is well labeled. From the appetizer to roti, there is a wide variety of gluten-free options, so you won’t be limited to just a salad!
Stradomska 17, 31-068 Kraków, Poland | Website
Nova Krova Krakow
Located in the popular Wolnica Square is the 100% vegan burger bistro. Gluten-free eaters can eat 4 out of 8 burgers, including the falafel and quinoa burgers that are served on gluten-free buns. All the soups and smoothies are also gluten-free.
plac Wolnica 12, 31-060 Kraków, Poland | Website
Cakester is the one shop I did visit from this restaurants list. 95% of the menu is actually gluten-free, including all their delicious cakes, crepes, waffles, pancakes, and even their toppings! What makes Cakester even better is that it’s sugar-free, lactose-free, and vegan friendly! It’s the perfect place for a healthy treat while exploring Kraków.
The only thing on the menu that isn’t gluten-free is the toast, which is where the cross-contamination comes in for us celiacs. While we were waiting for our cakes, we observed the kitchen (from above) and noticed that the toast seems to be prepared in a different section of the kitchen. However, the person preparing the bread didn’t immediately change gloves before handling other foods like the cake or the batter. So a tip for celiacs would be to ask the waiter to change gloves and only opt for the cakes rather than the battered stuff. Additionally, you should visit after 3pm as the toast options aren’t served after 3, thus limiting cross-contamination. Otherwise, they are very good at cleaning surfaces and changing their gloves frequently.
Świętego Tomasza 25, 31-027 Kraków, Poland | Website
My Hummus Amamamusi Restaurant
This is a small 100% vegetarian eatery in the popular Kazimierz district that specializes in hummus. Gluten-free eaters can opt for the hummus-filled corn bowls with a side of veggies. Make sure to ask for no bread! Since it’s an open kitchen, you can watch your food being prepared.
Beera Meiselsa 4, 31-063 Kraków, Poland | Website
Cafe Młynek is another 100% vegetarian restaurant in the Kazimierz district that offers gluten-free options. Some of those dishes include popular Polish cuisines like gluten-free pierogi, bigos, falafel, and potato pancakes. They also serve gluten-free beer.
plac Wolnica 7, 31-000 Kraków, Poland | Website
Traditional Gluten-Free Polish Dishes
Below are a few dishes that are traditionally gluten-free but fall under the ask category. So though they may be gluten-free, please double check with the chef to make sure it’s truly gluten-free.
- Oscypek: Smoked cheese made of salted sheep milk usually served with bacon wrapped around it, or cranberry marmalade.
- Chłodnik litewski: Cold beetroot soup made with cold yoghurt and beetroot, it’s usually served with a hard boiled egg
- Barszcz czerwony: Refreshing beetroot soup with vegetables and sour cream. It can sometimes be served clear with dumplings. Usually when the name barszcz czerwony is mentioned with uszka/uszkami, it’s served with a tortellini like pasta, so ask to see if it’s plain beetroot soup.
- Śledzie w śmietanie: Herring in sour cream and onion. It can sometimes be served with bread, so ask for no bread.
- Boczek ze śliwką: Bacon stuffed with prunes
- Kluski śląskie (Silesian dumplings): Almost every recipe uses potato starch, but please double check wheat flour is not used.
- Śledź w Oleju: Herring marinated in olive oil and herbs
- Gołąbki: Stuffed cabbage. Double check they don’t contain breadcrumbs or barley
- Ogórki kwaszone: Pickled cucumbers
- Kasza Gryczana: Buckwheat groats
- Wodka: Vodka
- Mead or Miod Pitny: Honey wine, made with fermented honey and water with yeast.
Polish Dishes that are NOT Gluten-Free
Below you’ll find a list of Polish dishes that are not safe for consumption and should be avoided if eating at restaurants that are not 100% gluten-free. Also, I know this list is long, but don’t worry, many of the restaurants listed in this guide offer gluten-free versions of these dishes. So no worries, you’ll still get to experience the Polish cuisine. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list, it’s merely a helpful start to navigating Polish foods.
- Barszcz biały: Sour, thick soup that contains wheat
- Żurek: Sour, rye soup with potatoes and sausage. It is sometimes served in a bread loaf.
- Krupnik: Barley soup
- Rosół z kurczaka: Chicken broth soup that is served with wheat noodles
- Zupa pomidorowa: Tomato soup also served with wheat noodles
- Golonka w piwie: Fatty pork knuckle that is usually cooked in beer sauce
- Smalec: Pork fat with bacon spread that is smeared on bread
- Kiełbasa (Sausage): Sorry, they almost always contain gluten, and usually vendors aren’t the producers so they have no idea if it has wheat, breadcrumbs, or barely in it if you ask. Because of this, bigos (a popular Polish dish) is also out of the question as it contains this sausage.
- Zapiekanka: Often considered the Polish pizza, zapiekanka is half of a baguette that is baked and topped with a variety of toppings like mushrooms, cheese, etc.
- Kotlet schabowy: Traditional breaded pork cutlet, similar to the German schnitzel.
- Placki ziemniaczane (potato pancakes): Traditionally they used to be made with just potato starch, but nowadays wheat flour is used.
- Kaszanka: Blood sausage that is traditionally stuffed with buckwheat, however sometimes they may use barley
- Piwo: Beer
- Kwas: Traditional drink made from rye bread
Please Note: For those who are very sensitive to gluten, you should be aware that gluten-free wheat starch is approved in Poland, and in the rest of Europe, and is used in many gluten-free products. So please read labels carefully. Gluten-free wheat starch in Polish is skrobia pszenna bezglutenowa.
Gluten-Free Hotels in Kraków
Holiday Inn Krakow City Center
Located in a converted 19th-century palace, this five-star hotel offers modern and spacious accommodation within five minutes of Kraków’s must-visit main market square and within 10 minutes of the Jewish district, Kazimierz. The complimentary breakfast has a wide variety of gluten-free options that are clearly marked, as well as a handful of specialty gluten-free foods available upon request.
Nestled along the beautiful Vistula River is the elegant and stylish Kossak Hotel. Along with the stylish decor and spacious rooms, Kossak Hotel also offers one of the most beautiful views of Wawel Castle and Kraków’s Old Town from their rooftop restaurant. Speaking of restaurants, both the Percheron and Cafe Oranżeria are certified by the Polish Celiac Society and serve exquisite gluten-free cuisine.
Hotel Wielopole is perfectly situated in the center of Kraków and within walking distance of great parks and many main attractions such as Old Town, the main market square, and the Jewish district. Also, if you are looking for a great hotel in Kraków with friendly staff that doesn’t break the bank, Hotel Wielopole is your home away from home. For breakfast they offer gluten-free bread and upon request you can get even more gluten-free products. Their restaurant of the same name is actually 100% gluten-free and is certified by the Polish Celiac Society.
There is nothing better than feeling at home when you’re not at home, and an Airbnb rental can give you that feeling. With an Airbnb rental you can have your own kitchen and make safe, gluten-free meals while avoiding high hotel prices.
Click here to get $40 off your next booking with Airbnb.
Supermarkets with Gluten-Free Products
The city center of Kraków is crawling with small supermarkets like Spar Express, unfortunately they don’t have any gluten-free products. The store chain Zabka is the exception, as they have a few things like gluten-free bread, cookies, chips, etc.
For a wider variety of gluten-free products you need to go to an organic store, a health store, or one of the two big supermarkets in the city center. The first supermarket, Carrefour, is located in the main railway station, Krakow Główny, on the lower floor. The other is Alma, and it’s located inside a shopping center called Galeria Kazimierz.
As for organic stores, you’ll find them throughout the city center. A quick Google search of bio stores in Kraków will give you a few. A popular organic store, with a huge selection of gluten-free goodies, is Natura Sklepy Ekologiczne.
Popular gluten-free brands in Poland are Bezgluten, Incola, Balviten, and Glutenex. All of them are dedicated gluten-free companies.
I just wanted to add a quick note about gluten-free food at Auschwitz… there is none, so please plan accordingly. The museum cafe doesn’t offer anything safe to eat besides fruits. I managed to find some bananas, apples, and Bounty bars.
Alternatively, if you book a tour to Auschwitz that comes with a lunch option, you can request a gluten-free lunch so you don’t have to worry about finding gluten-free food around Auschwitz. (But honestly, I would still bring my own food to be on the safe side.)
Packing Tip: Since Auschwitz has a maximum bag size of 20/30 cm (and anything bigger is required to be placed in one of the lockers), it’s advised you pack your gluten-free lunch in a bag of that size. As you can easily spend a couple of hours in the Auschwitz museum, you’ll probably want to take your lunch inside with you.
Useful Polish Phrases
Below you’ll find words and phrases to help you read and understand food packages in the supermarkets as well as ingredients of dishes that may be found in restaurants.
- Celiac disease = Choroba trzewna; celiakia
- Gluten intolerance = Nietolerancja glutenu
- Gluten-free = Bezglutenu
- Flour = Mąka
- Wheat starch = Skrobia pszenna
- Gluten-free wheat starch = Skrobia pszenna bezglutenowa
- Wheat= Pszenica
- Starch = Skrobia
- Barley = Jęczmień
- Oats = Owies
- Rye = Żyto
- Kasza manna = Semolina
- Spelt = Orkisz
- Groats/cereals = Kasza
- Bulgur = Kasza z ziarna pszennego
- Triticale = Pszenżyto
- Breadcrumbs = Bułka tarta, panierka
- Couscous = Kuskus
- Bread = Chleb
- Beer = Piwo
- I am allergic to… = Jestem uczulony na…
Polish Gluten-Free Restaurant Card
Please note that the following text was provided by the Polish Celiac Society to help celiacs eat safely in Poland. The card is by no means exhaustive, but it gets the point across. Hopefully, we will create a better card soon that would include specific dishes and cross-contamination.
Jestem na diecie bezglutenowej. Nie mogę spożywać produktów zawierających pszenicę, żyto, jęczmień i owies oraz wszelkich wyrobów z ich dodatkiem, szczególnie mąki, skrobi i bułki tartej. Mogę jeść: kukurydzę, ryż, ziemniaki, soję, proso, grykę. Również wszystkie warzywa i owoce, mleko, ser biały i żółty, jajka, świeże mięso. Glutenu nie zawierają również masło, margaryny, oleje, oliwa z oliwek, cukier, pieprz i sól. Przy stosowaniu przypraw należy przeczytać na etykiecie, czy nie zawierają glutenu.
I’m on a gluten-free diet. I cannot eat products containing wheat, rye, barley, oats, or any products containing flour, starch, or breadcrumbs. I can eat: corn, rice, potatoes, soy, millet, and buckwheat. Also, all vegetables and fruits, milk, white and yellow cheese, eggs, and fresh meat are okay. Gluten is not present in butter, margarine, oils, olive oil, sugar, pepper, or salt. When using spices, read the label to see whether they contain gluten.
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