It’s very easy to fall into a culinary trap in Zakopane… There are a lot of places where quantity and shafting clients are more important than quality. A lot of places where the staff almost throw your plates on your table to be faster, to get another client, where no deviation from the menu is allowed, where the chef doesn’t have time to pour beet soup into a cup instead of a bowl. A lot of places where you pay for food after you weigh it, so you can’t really expect any culinary ecstasies. Luckily there are places where you can eat GOOD FOOD and spend time nicely too! A few months ago we made a list of places we tested ourselves – we visit them almost every time we’re around. This time we did it again. We just had to go to Zakopiańska (fabulous lamb, delicious soups, cool corner for kids, changing table), to eat at least 3 dinners in Le Chalet (try their panna cotta!!!) and to go to Bąkowo Zohylina, where cep soup is still amazing. But we wouldn’t be ourselves if we didn’t look for new places!!! We had your recommendations in the back of our heads while choosing these, but we also got some from the locals. This is how this list was made!!!
Thanks to that, we have 12 places worth eating in in Zakopane and its neighborhood!!! 🙂 There’s a lot to choose from!! 🙂 The order of the restaurants is random 🙂
1) HALKA RESTAURANT – ARIES HOTEL – M. Zaruskiego 5 Street, Zakopane
Aries Hotel is the newest hotel in Zakopane and from what the locals say, it’s definitely one of the best (and the most expensive) ones. You will find it in the very center of the city, near the post office. It looks beautiful, has a nice interior, the restaurant looks amazing too. It’s big, spacious, elegant and Goral.
It’s a place good for an elegant dinner rather than a quick lunch after hiking or getting crazy on the ski slope.
What about food? There are dishes that you will fall in love with, but there are also things that we would definitely change. There’s a big menu with local, traditional meals and more international ones (pasta, burgers). There are classics and seasonal options – in the fall you can get pumpkin, lots of saffron milk cups too. Thumbs up for a great corn soup with coconut milk and popcorn, perfect steak tartare, lamb or beef served on a hot rock. Thumbs down for frozen french fries served with burgers and meat, bland pumpkin, saffron milk cup and kale pasta. The desserts are a little too fancy and I think that the old, simple plum and vanilla ice cream crumble is the best. The staff have a little snub noses, but if you fancy a good dinner in a pretty place, you will find it here.
2) CRISTINA – Niepodległości Square 7, Zakopane
The best option if you want pizza in Zakopane. Cristina is famous for its pizza and even though it’s not our number one, not even our number one in Poland, it’s pretty decent – good dough, lots of good ingredients. Other dishes are pretty good too – melanzane alla parmigiana, surprisingly good lamb ravioli in salvia butter, very proper and pretty good quality mules! When it comes to desserts, they have nice panna cotta, but the cream in tiramisu is a little too heavy. The place is big, but a little bland. But kids will enjoy a corner with toys and cartoons shown on the screen. It’s good for lunch with kids, for pizza and a dinner for a group. I’m also 100% sure that you will find something in children’s menu too.
3) LEŚNICZÓWKA U ZIĘBY – Dolina Chochołowska
A lot of people have recommended Ziębówka to us but the locals said: if you want to go to Ziębówka, go to “the old one”, cause it’s the climatic one! They explained to us that there are two Ziębówkas and they belong to one family. The new one is on the side of a road, right before the turn to Dolina Chochołowska. You can’t miss it. “The old one” is called “Leśniczówka u Zięby” and is two steps away – all you need to do is turn left, as if you were going to Dolina Chochołowska, and you will see Leśniczówka restaurant and hotel on your right.
You can really feel like you’ve just entered somebody’s old house there. There is a climate! Goral menu. You need to try Syrwotka, a Goral soup on skim milk, cream and bacon that you won’t find anywhere else – Łukasz loved it so much he ordered another plate!!! This is one of the best things he’s eaten during that trip! Nice pork chop, potato and cottage cheese or blueberry pierogis, oscypek, delicious cheese crepes. Maks ate both – the pork chop and the crepes, which speaks for itself!
4) ZIĘBÓWKA – WITÓW 304 a, near Dolina Chochołowska
We stopped by the new Ziębówka right before our departure from Kościelisko. We arrived before it opened. A beautiful interior, every corner has its charm. The menu is pretty short and a little different than in other Goral bars, although you will find moskols and oscypek here too. Interesting Ziębówka’s cabbage, mushroom, oscypek and basil olive pierogis (although the dough was too thin), very good moskol. Maks fell in love with their cheese and chocolate (real, not from a bottle!) crepes. Thumbs down for disappointing lamb chops (definitely too dry) and… asparagus in October, although in the menu they pledge to using local, seasonal ingredients.
For parents: they have children’s menu, some books and toys, and a changing table in the bathroom.
5) KARCMA POD STANCYJOM – Kościuszki 190 Street, Bukowina Tatrzańska
Pod Stancyjom in Bukowina was recommended to us because of their kwaśnica – check it out!!! What else? Traditional, simple, Polish and local cuisine. Łukasz enjoyed his ribs with potatoes and cabage, I enjoyed my blueberry pierogis… Or maybe not even pierogis (I’ve had better when it comes to dough), but the cream!!! Real, thick, lightly whipped – I haven’t eaten such a beaut in a very long time!!! You can eat it with spoons!!!
6) Villa Toscana – Sienkiewicz 20 Street, Zakopane
I said the order was random, but Villa Toscana is the last one on our list for a reason. Big thumbs up for their nice interior, cool localization (by Równia Krupowa, so it’s Zakopane, but a little less crowded than Krupówki), a corner for children. Menu? Italian classics – carpaccio, pastas, pizza, tiramisu, gnocchi. If you want to sit in a nice place and get your kids to play in a corner with toys, it’s alright, but better Italian cuisine can be found in Cristina and Le Chalet. The food in Villa Toscana is a little bland… the mules are properly cooked, but you can feel it’s not their best product, shrimp and salmon gnocchi is a little tasteless and croutons served in tomato and pepper cream soup are too hard and panna cotta is served with too little sauce. You won’t get poisoned here, but there are better Italian places in Zakopane 😉
To tyle. Duuuużo zjedliśmy przez te kilka dni. Ale było warto, bo dotarliśmy w naprawdę smakowite miejsca! Jedyne, czego żałuję to, że nie zdążyliśmy zajrzeć do Casa Mia na Krupówkach – podobno też dają radę!!! 🙂 Następnym razem!
Ku przestrodze – szerokim łukiem omijajcie natomiast Witowiankę w Witowie – zdecydowanie nie warto!!!
a TU znajdziecie pozostałych 6 miejsc, które polecamy 🙂
That would be it. We’ve had a lot of food in these few days. But it was worth it because we got to really nice places! The only thing I regret is that we didn’t manage to go to Casa Mia on Krupówki – we’ve heard it’s good!!! 🙂 Maybe next time!
Just to warn you – don’t ever go to Witowianka in Witów – it’s definitely not worth it!!!
And HERE you can find other 6 places we recommend 🙂