Dishing Up History

more than a year ago
Undamaged by the Nazi cyclone, Kraków’s Old Town is one of the few town centres in Poland which remains in its original form, and as such represents a breathing history lesson. With a past that stretches back several centuries it’s not hard to unsuspectingly find yourself doing your boozing and dining inside a part of history.

Hands down the most famous restaurant in town is Wierzynek (Rynek Główny 16) whose opening in 1364 was attended by five kings and nine princes. The occasion of the gathering was to stop Europe from going to war, though by all accounts the banquet turned into a 21 day feasting and binge drinking marathon. The restaurant has been drawing big names ever since, with Spielberg, Castro and Daddy Bush being a only a few.

U Babci Maliny (ul. Szpitalna 38), once housed the Cyganeria Café, a popular meeting point for high-ranking Nazis. Outside a plaque commemorates a heroic attack on the café by Jewish resistance fighters.

Drink in more modern history in the Noworolski Café (Rynek Główny 1). This is the spot where Lenin would entertain both his wife and his mistress, while the art nouveau paintings are the work of Józef Mehoffer, who has his own museum at ul. Krupnicza 26.

Jama Michalika (ul. Floriańska 45), meanwhile, was not only the favoured meeting point of all the artsy types in the Młoda Polska art movement, but also the home of Poland’s first cabaret, ‘The Green Balloon’. The opening night was so nerve racking for the compere he got blind drunk before swearing at the audience and falling off the stage. That’s show business, and the success of the cabaret was guaranteed from thereon.


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