Balaton - Krakow
The one and only traditional Hungarian eatery in Krakow.
Balaton is Best For
Directions to Balaton
Balaton is something of a landmark on Grodzka Street in Krakow's Old Town. The little Hungarian restaurant has been situated along this last leg of the Royal Route, which leads from Florianska Gate to Wawel Castle, since 1969, and is constantly revisited by its earliest clients, who now bring their families along to see the fondly-remembered spot of their student days. Faithful fans claim that this vestige of communist Krakow's fine dining scene hasn't changed once in forty years. The restaurant is simply furnished, with a relaxed, friendly feel, while white vaulted ceilings, heavy chandeliers and elegantly carved wood chairs add a splash of the gothic to what is essentially a low-key, family-style place.
Balaton is famous for its scrumptious potato pancakes served with Hungarian goulash, its Transylvanian meat dish and its typically Hungarian soups. The food, as the restaurant's name suggests, is all predominantly Hungarian in flavour, blended together with Polish favourites. This is probably one of the only places in Krakow where you'll be able to try a good fish soup, or such a wide range of potato pancake dishes, which can be topped with spicy veal goulash, wild boar goulash, mushroom sauce or many other delicious choices. The enigmatically named gipsy beef or Budapest meat dish tempt alongside roasted goose, fruit-decked turkey or the familiar Hungarian stuffed peppers. To top it all off, you can choose from excellent Tokaji and Eger wines, Palinka (a Hungarian fruit brandy) or the herbal liqueur Unicum. Check menu
Balaton's regulars unanimously warn customers to expect almost unmanageably large portions - a welcome surprise for the hungry, footsore tourist and rather hard to come by in the city centre. Customers also comment on the fantastically friendly service. Opening hours from 12 in the morning until 10 at night make Balaton a welcome stop for tourists, locals, business lunch breaks and students rushing between lectures. Add to this a location too convenient to pass up, and you'll simply have to give this Polish-Hungarian fusion a try.