Balaton

Balaton
Rating
88% from 30 reviews
Phone
+48 12 422 04 69
Fax
+48 12 421 30 97
Website
Balaton
Address
ul. Grodzka 37

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Editor's review

"Balaton" has been around a long time, certainly over thirty years, and is something of the elder statesman along the popular Grodzka Street, where restaurants can change often. Its staple of good, basic Polish-Hungarian fare at a decent price, and in healthy portions, makes this popular with locals and visitors alike. The dish to try is "Placki 'po Wegiersku'", a splendidly rich Hungarian sauce smothering Polish-style potato cakes. Expect the occasional Hungaro-gipsy music recital and a low-key but cheerful service. Its open from 9 am until 10 at night.

Editor
Local Life Krakow

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Reviews

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Szymon from Poland Reply Aug 1st, 2017

Nie trzeba jechać nad Balaton, by skosztować dobrej kuchni węgierskiej w Krakowie: smaczna i sycąca zarazem. Obowiązkowo z tokajem!

Jake from New Zealand Reply Nov 25th, 2015

Excellent 'placki' !

john g from United Kingdom Reply Oct 3rd, 2015

amazing. The venison goulash was one of those meals you never want to end. Recommended

Guest Reply Jan 26th, 2015

Best goulash I have ever eaten. Lovely staff as well.

Graham from United Kingdom Reply Dec 19th, 2013

My partner is from Krakow and whenever we visit this wonderful city this restaurant is a "must visit". Like others here we go for the placki and goulash, (wild boar my personal favourite). Simply outstanding! Just three words for anybody looking for fantastic food - Go Here Now!

Mark from United Kingdom Dec 19th, 2013

Agreed - absolutely superb. Filling, delicious food here every time!

Helen from United Kingdom Reply Sep 17th, 2013

Quite simply the best placki with goulash I have ever eaten. A simple, modest setting for wonderfully fresh cooking. Thank you.

Mike from United Kingdom Reply Sep 26th, 2011

Incredibly good food - just go!

Greg from United States Reply Feb 16th, 2011

I have eaten at Balaton 5 times in two visits. I can not get past the goulash soup it is so good.

Loren & Beatka Nelson from United States Reply Feb 6th, 2011

Balaton is without a doubt one of the finest restaurants in Europe for hearty, delicious food. If you want really great potato pancakes this is the best of the best. While we have an apartment in Krakow, we also live in Arizona. Balaton is the first place we visit on our trips back to Poland. When in Krakow, do NOT miss this restaurant. Just save us a place at the table.

Caroline Vig from United Kingdom Reply Jan 16th, 2011

Fabulous food, great authentic Hungarian music too. Great price... cannot fault this restaurant ! :)

Greg from United Kingdom Reply Dec 18th, 2010

Simply fantastic - the Potato pancake with Goulash especially recommended! Just one tip - don't eat anything for about half a day before - the portions are very generous indeed!

Kim. C from United Kingdom Reply Aug 5th, 2010

Yes, a pleasant eaterie with good sized portions.There was some confusion among the waitresses as to whether the food was polish or hungarian...!!! Don't leave it too late to dine though. We went at 21:30 and felt a tad rushed as they were winding down.

Stella from United Kingdom Reply Mar 22nd, 2009

Extremely good food and huge portions making it good value for money. Very pleasant waitresses, giving friendly efficient service. Not the smartest of restaurants but by no means as scruffy as some book reviews suggest.

Karen from United Kingdom Reply Dec 13th, 2008

We visited this place on our first night in Krakow after reading about it on this site and we were not disappointed. The food was excellent and the waitress, Asher, was really great with us. We enjoyed it so much we went again for our last night. Great food in a great place at a great place. A must visit!

Andy Croci from United Kingdom Reply Oct 11th, 2008

Great Food at a great price. This restaurant comes highly recommended, the goulash was great and was only surpassed by the 'Beef in gypsy style'. If you are in Krakow you MUST visit this restaurant.

Peter Sutherland-Smith from United Kingdom Reply Aug 27th, 2008

Just try their potato cake (placki) with goulash sauce - delicious!

Anna from Hungary Reply Aug 15th, 2008

Good hungarian food what is cheaper than Budpaest I think. Leczo was not the same I got used to at home but still good. Today we gonna go back and try their goulash.

paulus from United States Reply Jul 12th, 2008

If I had one day in Krakow I would eat here, even though it isnt Polish, the dishes are amazing. My friends who have eaten here still tell me how their mouths water thinking about the potato pancaked. This place is classic. The interior looks like hardcore communism but the food is unbelievable. SUPERB!

ken ormston from United Kingdom Reply Jun 5th, 2008

my wife val and our 2 friends june and alan from cramlington/ashington had all agreed that we would go to the balaton for the ghoulash, we thought it was a really great dish, very tasty with the right quantity of spices, a very substantial amount meant we just managed to finish a truly authentic offering, from a very friendly and curtious staff, the red wine wasnt bad either. We then ventured into the town to be entertained by a tremendous blues band in the celler of the jazz club next to paparazzi were we warmed up with mad dog vodka's for the boys and cognac for the girls, brilliant and that was only one of 7 excellent nights in krakow.

Alicia Sacha from United Kingdom Reply Nov 4th, 2007

We were actually planning to go to Pod Aniolami, however it was closed for refurbishment. This was the restaurant next door. If you want a large portion of food and not too fussed about taste then this is the place for you. The service was good and the meal cheap. Inside lacks atmosphere. Even if you choose a non smoking place, be prepared to have your clothes smelling of smoke.

Pam Tait from United Kingdom Reply Aug 14th, 2007

Visited this restaurant on the last night of our holiday. Service was excellent but food was average - nothing to rave about. Ordered a carafe of chardonnay from the wine list but not what we were given - wine was a pale brown colour and totally disgusting. Restaurant did try to rectify this problem but do not appear to know their wines!

Miklós from Hungary Reply Jul 30th, 2007

Three years ago we were in Kraków with my wife on honeymoon. We had a lunch in Balaton restaurant there. I know the Hungarian kitchen well - but this one was not so original. Seemed like some Polish vandering a lot in Hungary during the 80's would founded a restaurant ten years later basing on his vague memories ... We have a bottle of quite good welshriesling from Eger/Bükkalja wine region from Hungary, but the food was terribly fat, my wife got a big mouth-herpes because of her disgust...

Tania from Italy Reply Apr 1st, 2007

Buona cucina ungherese e servizio (come sempre a Cracovia) ottimo. Consigliato a chi vuole provare qualche piatto diverso dalla cucina polacca.

derek pates from United Kingdom Reply Sep 23rd, 2006

i dined here on recomendation,the goulash soup was warm not hot,the main boar dish was not boar in the slightest-more like stewed steak i know this after myself working 20 years in the food industry -so you could say i know my food.very dissapointed.

Anna Newman from United Kingdom Reply Aug 30th, 2006

My boyfriend and I ended up at the Balaton on our first night in Krakow as it was the only place out of about 5 other restaurants where we could walk in without a reservation. It was such a good find! The food was delicious and very generous portion sizes for really cheap price. Would reccommend the soups - especially bean, which arrived in huge bowls hanging above flames!! The veal goulash is excellent, the meat just melts in your mouth! An excellent first meal out.

derek brown from United Kingdom Reply May 20th, 2006

can't agree with any of your other reviews. we had lukewarm fish soup,I did not rate the goulash at all and the wine was worse than poor.one saving grace was the service, it was excellent and consequently allowed us to leave our almost full plates with indecent haste. can't imagine we will be back.

ellen ni clerigh from Ireland Reply Mar 16th, 2006

Excellent!! Huge plate of piping hot goulash, great beer and wine and liquers, fab desert, oh and the starter of smoked salmon - huge helpings, tasty food and great service at such reasonable prices! Very highly recommended if you want really good food at good prices. Full marks Balaton!

Elwyn Williams from United Kingdom Reply Dec 7th, 2005

Great food and superb value for money. The goulash and potato cakes are just what you need after a hard days sightseeing. Excellent service and friendly staff. Can't ask for more. A Cracow must !!

Travis from United States Reply Nov 26th, 2005

Balaton is a great place to stop for a bite to eat. The staff is excellent and the food is delicious. At lunch I usually get the mushroom soup with bread (some of the best mushroom soup I've had in Krakow) and it's great on a cold day! At dinner the Hungarian appetizer can be a bit of an adventure for some, but I definately recommend trying it. I've spent 3 months in Krakow and, despite it's touristy location, this is one of my regular stops.

Denzil Watson from United Kingdom Reply Sep 7th, 2005

Can't believe nobody hasn't raved about this place already. The service, setting and food here is of the highest order. Try the soups - all of them are great with a special mention going out to the fish soup. Then try their fantastic pork goulash with potato pancake. If there's a better goulash in Krakow then I'll eat my hat!

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